“What you do speaks so loudly, I cannot hear what you say.” Ralph Waldo Emerson was quite accurate with this quote. Anyone who has experienced life with an individual with psychopathic features will likely confirm this as fact, largely because they have so much experience with the imbalance between the two.
However, individuals with these features will never admit that this dichotomy exists. Conversely, they will swiftly look elsewhere in an effort to assign blame, pointing the fingers at those around them for other’s reactions to their own acts. These individuals will never legitimately take responsibility for what they do or the problems they create, in spite of the words they may echo. While this may not surprise us, we may be perplexed by the notion that this is not always completely obvious.
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said…
Note: In this case, the non-custodial parent was court ordered to cover the children’s health insurance. However, there is a history of the non-custodial parent ignoring numerous orders, spanning a variety of subject matter.
Imagine being an older child with a health concern. You are waiting to see your doctor. Upon arrival at the office, the receptionist asks for your insurance information. Your custodial parent shares that. Minutes later, an office staff member announces that your insurance has been terminated.
You sit in the waiting room, hoping to find relief as a result of this appointment. Yet, someone has failed to provide for you….again. To make matters worse, this individual has done so without any notice to your other parent.
As the parent you are with provides other information, making your office visit possible, you ask out loud, “What did he think we would think about this? He was willing to let us die or create money problems by cutting our health insurance and not telling you.”
Your custodial parent assures you that everything will be fine and that you will see the doctor. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident regarding these types of obligations and you recognize that this, among other things, speaks loudly.
Another casualty on the path to revenge
It seems as though your non-custodial parent will stop at nothing to try to cause harm. On one hand, the attempts seem quite calculated. On the other, very poorly managed, with the precision of a “slot machine manager.” Today’s most recent pull of the handle happened to have left you without health insurance. But it could have been anything, and has been in the past.
Why does this happen? Perhaps revenge is the motivator. He has been quite open about his disdain for the other parent, as well as you. Or, perhaps you have simply been dismissed. Either way, the result is the same. However, you have thoughts, opinions, and are able to understand. You have been both an observer of this behavior, as well as a participant on the front lines, for a lifetime. You suspect something sinister, but acknowledge that utter disregard is also possible. Neither make the situation acceptable.
Back to reality
Silence follows until the nurse comes to bring the parent and child to an exam room. After a brief exchange, the nurse leaves. While waiting for the doctor, the child breaks his silence. “I don’t expect anything, but this is my health. My LIFE came second to his wants. He could have unnecessarily cost one of us our lives or our futures.”
The mother listens as the child continues. To negate him or try to convince him otherwise would be a lie, so she stays silent. “He still wants you broken. He still wants us (the children) broken because you love us. He knows that his failure to provide doesn’t mean we will go without. It means it will just be harder, which is what he said he wanted.”
He continued, “You can’t say anything either. He’ll lie and tell the story of how you or we did him wrong, so it’s our fault. He’ll say we’re crazy or disturbed or that it was an accident. But it’s not us. It’s what things were like before us. It’s what things were like after us. Even if things were to ever look good on the outside, it is what will always be. Everything is a lie or excuse.”
In this scenario, the non-custodial parent also claims to be disabled. Without saying too much on the topic, there are indications that this is questionable. If one were to examine the facts at anything deeper than face value, one may find discrepancies.
There you have it
This child is perceptive and intelligent and claims to have “known” from a very young age. He asserts that he never felt comfortable around the other parent, but didn’t understand exactly what was going on until he was older. Frequently, however, children know when things are amiss, even at young ages.
Disordered individuals are masters at alienating themselves from others with their own behaviors and then pointing their fingers. Unable or unwilling to see reality, these individuals cannot or will not admit that their behaviors and choices are what created or fostered dislike and distrust toward them.
Right on the money
In this case, there are a few things the child does not know. When examined, it further indicates just how correct the child’s assessments are. Recently, the other parent declared bankruptcy again. This individual moved to discharge some of the debt owed to the custodial parent. In spite of a very generous repayment plan agreed to by the custodial parent ($100 per month toward the almost $27,000 owed) the debtor still wanted to eliminate funds that would ultimately benefit the children.
Additionally, the agreed order was signed a mere two months prior to the bankruptcy filing. There was likely no intent to make good on the dischargeable portion of what the debtor owed or he would have either chosen not to name the custodial parent as a creditor or reaffirm the debt once he did. Neither occurred.
What was reaffirmed, however, was debt that amounted to over $800 per month on items much less critical than healthcare. This was a choice, given the fact that other solutions may have been readily available. Add that to the money spent in another unnecessary area and the total appears to exceed $1,100 per month. However, the children lost their health insurance.
Independently, each event may be considered minor. But when there is consistency over time, they cannot be ignored and the damage must be assessed collaterally. As each occurrence builds on the one prior, a significant pattern emerges.
Everyone here has a story and as with all of these situations, it is necessary to take time to process what is happening in yours. Hearing about the experiences of other’s is helpful because you realize you are not walking this alone. As always, with understanding comes freedom, even if we occasionally must pause to indulge in a few minutes of dismay, as with this scenario.
However, the goal for recovery is to have each incident bother us less than the one before. In time, this happens regardless of what more comes our way. We will also find that the effects of the actions do not linger as they once did.
In the above situation, the child is fortunate. He knows that he and his brother will be fine. He also feels he was handed the gift of a passion for furthering the cause.
Much strength on your journey through these experiences. May they guide us to strength we could have once only imagined!