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Co-parenting with a sociopath: An environment of distrust (The Headless Bear)

When I first became exposed to the term “co-parenting”, I remember having a visceral reaction.  I was sitting in the three hour court mandated co-parenting class, breaking into a sweat, and having what felt like a full on panic attack as the woman leading the class showed slides of “parenting schedules.”  ‘How in hell was I going to co-parent with a man who was capable of such terrible things,’ I thought as I tried to get myself under enough control to not look like a crazy woman.  At the beginning of the class, the leaders made a point to tell everyone to disregard most of what was being said if you were in a situation with abuse/domestic violence.

For some reason, this statement made me feel worse because I knew that somehow the courts were not going to treat my case the same as a cookie cutter domestic violence case (as if there ever is one).  I knew how good Luc was at playing in that “grey area” of criminality and how adept at making himself look like the victim he was.  That panic that I felt throughout the entire three hours of that class only seemed to get worse as the months passed.  While I don’t break out into sweats and actively panic every single time I drop my son off, I never feel at ease because I know his father is damaging.  The point of co-parenting is to allow the child to have a healthy relationship with both parents even if the parents are no longer together.  My motherly instincts will not allow me to trust that baby boy is ever going to be able to have a healthy relationship with his father because his father is not healthy.

One of my coworkers wrote on the white board at her desk the phrase, “Crazy people make sane people crazy.”  Most people who have never had the misfortune of co-parenting with a sociopath (if that is even what you would call this) might think that the below story sounds a little crazy.  Honestly, I feel a little crazy sometimes whenever I try and get in Luc’s head and proactively prepare for his next crazy stunt.  You tell me, is this crazy?  Or is this just a reaction to the insanity of being forced to co-parent with a sociopath?

 

The Headless Bear

When a person creates an environment of distrust, it makes you question everything.  Since the beginning of this nightmare (i.e. the existence of Luc in my life), I have been lied to on a regular basis by this man.  Many of the lies have put both me and my family in harms way.  Every time I think that things have calmed down, the man pulls another crazy move that I didn’t anticipate.

These crazy moves have left me attempting to anticipate the lies and deception before they happen.  Please note, this is not easy as sometimes it makes you feel like you are going down the rabbit hole of crazy.

For my son’s first birthday, Luc bought him a build-a-bear.  This was the very first thing that Luc had ever gotten the baby so as you can imagine I was a bit skeptical of this furry creature.  Part of me thought, ‘come on cappuccino queen, it’s just a bear’ but then the other voice (the skeptic) said, ‘wait a second…he never does anything just because he is trying to be nice.’

While my first instinct was to tear the bear apart with my teeth and throw it in the mall trashcan, I decided I would do the more sane thing and ask my mother and aunts (who were standing right next to me when I first saw it) what they thought.  This is when I realized how truly traumatized my entire family had been.  One of my aunts said (before I even told them how I was feeling), “you better check that and make sure he didn’t bug it.”  The other said, “It’s too risky, just throw it out – don’t even let it in the car.”  I shook my head, threw the bear back in the box and took my son home.

I thought about the stupid bear the whole ride home.  I also thought about how throwing it out wasn’t the answer as this could be the ONLY thing my son would ever get from his father (I suspect it was purchased in order to look good in front of the court ordered supervisor who would be testifying in court the next day).  That being said, I still didn’t trust the bear.  That night the bear spent the night in the garage.

The next morning, I walked downstairs (having dreamed about that stupid bear) and low and behold my mom was awake and didn’t waste any time to ask me what I had decided to do with the bear.  I told her that we were being paranoid and that there was nothing wrong with the bear.

On the drive to work, I couldn’t stop trying to figure out if there was more to this bear thing. This is a man who has been lying and terrorizing since he met me.  A bear couldn’t JUST be a bear.  Once I got to work, I brought up the bear to my coworkers.  Some of the more paranoid ones were all for the idea of cutting the bear open and making sure it wasn’t bugged.

Eventually, I allowed my mom to check for a bug.  She cut the bears head off and pulled out all the stuffing.  Of course, there was nothing there.  It was JUST a bear filled with stuffing and a fake heart.  (A lot like Luc himself actually)  I felt terrible – and a little crazy.  My mom told me I shouldn’t feel bad and that the bear was a “casualty of war.”

Yes, one could say it was JUST a bear – but it was more than that symbolically.  That bear became a symbol of the environment of distrust.  It also made it very obvious to me that co-parenting would be impossible.  I have a lot of work to do on myself to get to the point where the little things don’t bother me.  I also need to get to the point where I can safely stop anticipating his next crazy move.


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33 Comments on "Co-parenting with a sociopath: An environment of distrust (The Headless Bear)"

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Cappuccino Queen – this is such a good illustration of how everything gets twisted when we’re involved with a sociopath. We know we can’t trust anything, which leads to paranoia – justifiable paranoia. Then, on the occasions when we were paranoid for no reason, we feel like we’re losing it.

And to them, it’s all part of the game.

CappuccinoQueen, what a courageous article – thank you for being so open and honest about your experiences.

My counseling therapist gave me a load of good information and observations, and one of the ones that I still struggle with, today, is my need to “predict” outcomes of all of these situations. Because of the crazymaking, gaslighting, and inability to be validated, I am forever attempting to predict that this situation is going to end badly, and that situation is going to end badly. Well, sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t. But, it’s a condition that nearly all survivors of abuse and socipathic entanglements experience, and it takes a lot of hard work and time to teach ourselves otherwise.

Paranoid? Oh, you bet! I actually had a friend tell me, yesterday, that I need to work on my paranoia. Everyone is going to harm me. Everyone has an agenda. Particularly with my current situation, even people that I believed were trustworthy have “proven” that I can trust no one. Well, it may “feel” that everyone is going to harm me, has an agenda, and is untrustworthy, but that’s just a “feeling” and not a fact.

If the exspath had any idea of these issues that he helped to create, it would be an almost sexual reaction for him.

Brightest blessings CappuccinoQueen

Capqueen~ I can so relate to your article. Whenever the xspath buys something for my son, like new shoes or a backpack, they stay in the garage. I remember thinking how crazy that must look to someone on the outside.

Am always trying to keep my paranoia in check. It is so difficult to try and predict what their motives are because we know that there is ALWAYS a motive behind what they do.

Thank you for writing this, it is very validating.

The incident with the shoes happened many years ago when my son was around one and a half years old. It would be years later that I stumbled upon the word psychopath and learned what I was dealing with.

At that time, I clearly remember pulling the shoes out of the garage after my son went to bed. I sat them on the counter and stared at them. (as if they were going to do something) I turned them over, looked inside and tried to figure out where a ‘bug’ might be placed in them. I clearly remember thinking to myself that I surely have lost my mind!

My gut was screaming that something was clearly wrong. The exspath NEVER did anything for no reason. I left the shoes on the counter but my nerves and anxiety were over the top. In the end I left them in the garage, every single day. Same thing with my son’s backpack.

As it turns out, I was contacted by an ex of xspath a few years later. She confirmed that he had indeed hired PI’s to spy on my house, follow me and even steal my trash. Everything my gut was saying to me was true.

If anything, this journey has taught me to trust my instincts. If it doesn’t feel right, it likely isn’t. The paranoia we feel does help keep us safe. It also can paralyze us with fear, and yes the spaths would revel in knowing they do that to us.

I am so happy to see that I am not alone. Not only do I believe that my ex-hubster has sociopathic tendencies. I also believe that his sister suffers from them as well.

I remember during the Holidays how my 50 yo ex told me that he’d gotten a 19yo girl with the same name as me pregnant, and would no longer be able to help me in raising our daughter, and that he was moving on. I went completely ballistic on him. I freaked out, and after our encounter he was laughing as he called me to see if I was ok, because he said I appeared to have lost my mind.

A few weeks after that his sister that I have never gotten along with. Text messaged me wishing me well during the Christmas season and wanted to come over to my home to drop off a gift for our 6year old daughter. I didn’t respond to her text until Christmas day and told her that our daughter had been well taken care of, and that her gifts were not needed.

I try not to feel so paranoid, but I am constantly looking over my shoulder for his next caper. He has stalked me for the entire duration of the divorce, and in the state where i live. He has the right to come over because our home was marital property. I went to work one morning a 6 am, and in less than 10 minutes he was knocking on the door at my job..wanting to talk to me.

I went to a gas station kind of out of the way of our normal routine, and there he was popping out asking to speak to me, yet my all time creepiest moment with him was when i was at a local super center chatting on the phone with a relative, updating her on my situation, and out he pops confessing his love for me, and telling me that he was sorry. He was supposed to be 10 hours away in his home state of VA. There are times when I feel like a sitting duck.

I installed alarms on my home and at my office, I am constantly alerting my friends and family as to my where-abouts. I live in a semi-red alert status, and no one will ever understand this…unless you’ve lived it.

Fortunately for me I was able to have his parenting time suspended indefinitely…he has to under go several steps in order to see our child. However this did not stop him from popping up at my home when he knew that I would not be there.

Coincidence I think NOT. The second week the new baby sitter was on the Job he shows up driving a different car, parked off on the side of the road, and slowly and suspiciously approaching our daughter.

Thank God as she puts it. “Freaked the freak out” and ran in the house and “locked the the locks extra hard”. I called him…he didn’t answer. I told him that he is never to show his face around our home with out clearing it with me.

I work less than 3 miles from my home. He knows when we come and go, and watches our every move, but I have yet to find his perch. A neighbor once told me that every morning when I would drive my daughter to school. He would show up and walk around our home….peeking into every window. I have lived like this for almost two years.

As a matter of fact just yesterday he sent me a text telling me how much he misses our daughter. With the help of my therapist (he specializes in dealing with narcissistic personalities) I have been able to establish strong boundaries for my ex, and cut him off at the path, somewhat. I never worry about hurting his feelings, I give him his crap right back served piping hot. Every few months he will make contact with me, and I will always remind him of his new love with the same name as mine ( I call her little Tiff), and their new bundle of joy…and that his energy should be focused on them, and not on us.

*Side note* about this girl and this baby…I think it was a story made completely up by him and that sister of his to get back at me, but for now I play along and constantly remind him of his new family and he hates when I do that.

I am constantly praying for my safety and the safety of our daughter. Thanks again for sharing your story. One of these days he will find someone else to torment, and will hopefully leave us alone.

TiffyP94, welcome to LoveFraud – I am horribly sorry for your experiences and relieved that you found your way to this site.

If you are not having to co-parent with the ex, then block all of his methods to communicate, if you can. Going “No Contact” would also require that you block his family contacts, mutual friends, his friends, etc. Block FaceBook, or other social site profiles, and in the same manner.

Sounds like he’s launching a stalking campaign, and the only thing that can be done, at this point, is to document, document, document. If he has threatened your life (directly, or indirectly), file for Oder of Protection, or Restraining Order. Yes, I know it’s only a piece of paper, but it could put him behind bars.

TiffyP94, stalking and harassment can cause untold emotional damages, and it might be a good option to consider some counseling to help you manage the anxiety and stress. It will also come in handy if this man finds himself in Court for stalking and terroristic threats.

My brightest and protective blessings to you

When a truly dysfunctional party is involved — or two, or a very hostile relationship — savvy psych evaluators and GAL’s are now advocating for “parallel parenting.”

For some couples who’ve split, coparenting is not possible. My situation is just that — one where coparenting was never going to work. We “parallel parent,” which means we do not communicate and have very minimal contact.

It’s not ideal for a child. But it’s better than the child experiencing volatility, hostility, animosity — or seeing all kinds of crazy that had the relationship end in the first place.

Here are a few articles on parallel parenting:

http://daytodaywoman.com/2011/02/09/parallel-parenting-the-phrase-that-saved-me/

http://www.mrcustodycoach.com/blog/custody-agreements-parallel-parenting-plan

While other lit seems to take the position that both parents are normal and healthy individuals at the very least it’s a good term to use and propose in courts.

Yes, we do become paranoid but hopefully safer. How many ignorant years I lived leaving my house doors unlocked until last year when my grown son attacked me. Now I kerp all doors locked, not against strangers, but against my own children. Sometimes, accepting the truth is our best way of coping and staying safe. Best wishes Tiffy…you are not alone!

I fear for my innocent and precious 4 year old granddaughter every day. I’ve seen my son (her father) violently kick his beloved dog for a minor infraction, yet the courts do nothing to safeguard the offspring of psychotics until AFTER they’ve done provable damage…disgusting how ignorant the legal system is concerning this growing mental illness.

Divorced from Gaslighter

Tiffy: my ex used to peek in the windows, let the dogs loose from the back yard by opening the gate, root through the trash, pump the children for information, etc. The only thing that you can hope for is that he will find a new victim at some point, and lose interest in you.

flicka,

I noticed you use the term psychotic several times before. I’m not sure what you imply though.

Psychotic means someone who has dillusional episodes and fits… someone with a mental disorder who hears and sees things that aren’nt there at times and then acts in the real world upon the illusions they hear or see.

A psychopath has no psychotic episodes, no mental disorder. They don’t see or hear things that are illusions. A psychopath has a personality disorder, where they lack empathy, lack the ability to feel deep feelings ecept for envy and rage.

Is your son psychotic or a psychopath?

cappuccinoqueen,

On one of the last nights I was physically together with ex-spath he returned very late back home, while we had to leave by taxi an hour later for to get the bus (reserved tickets already paid for) for Costa Rica and the city of Liberia where I had to cathc my plane 2 days later. I basically had packed all of my stuff by then and had he not arrived at the time he did, I would have left by myself half an hour later.

Anyway, at first he seemed piss drunk, stepping outside of a car, peeing in the middle of the street, then grabbed some leftover rice with vegetables from the kitchen and gobbled it down in a manner that made me puke and started to tell some adventure tale of being in some rich expat’s house, and some drug gang trying to enter, and all types of guns being pulled and it nearly being a shoot-out…. I hardly could make sense of it, except that it could have been the basis for the scrip of a Miami Vice episode. But it was most definitely and very clearly as lalaland as it could ever be.

However, along with his behaviour, the bestial manner of eating, the garbled speech, etc… I’m sure he was far gone on drugs. He later claimed it to be just marihuana, but I’ve had some space cake trips where I could see Pegasus outlined in the stars perfectly (and it was a space cake trip for hours) and didn’t ever come close to the miami vice fish story. Coke doesn’t make people hallucinate either. I suspect he took crack but not sure.

Anyway, drugs have psychotic trip effects. Other than that one time none of his lies or big fish stories ever gave me the impression he truly believed what he was saying; the sole important thing was that I believe it.

Anyway, here’s a few links on psychosis

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychosis#Signs_and_symptoms
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychosis#Psychiatric_disorders

The words co-parenting and sociopath don’t belong in the same sentence. A family court judge recently told me that if I didn’t settle ie give my ex-path 50/50 custody then he would flip a coin to decide my case. This was after showing him graphic photos of my daughters face, which was swollen and had a blistery rash caused by a drug reaction to an antibiotic she was taking. Her father, a doctor, had her in his care for 5 hours and dropped her at my house (he didn’t bother to come in and tell me what was going on) for me to take care of her. After several calls to an on call physician I was advised to give her benedryl and get her to her regular doctor in the morning. The doctor immediately put her on a 10 day course of prednisone because the reaction was so bad. When I texted him to tell him what was going on he said, ” I know and I told her so.” He didn’t lift a finger to help his daughter who was in distress. The judge asked me if I involved my ex in the decision making process regarding this incident. I told him that he knew what was going on and did nothing about it. The judge said you should have involved him. This is co-parenting with a sociopath.

At the same hearing I told the judge that I had strong evidence and witnesses that would testify that my ex, the doctor, touched them or said inappropriate things during examinations in his exam room. He said he didn’t believe this fine doctor would do such a thing. Again, in the end my ex-path got 50/50 shared custody. Since this change in custody (two weeks ago) my daughter has missed her volunteer work that she goes to every Monday and has spent the night away from her dad’s home two nights already. Tonight he told her she had to buy her own eye drops because she stopped to look at lip gloss instead of focusing on getting the eye drops at the grocery store.

Sadly, during the six months it took to go to a hearing, my 15 year old was conned by her dad to say she wanted more time with him because he bought her a home with a swimming pool and a new puppy right before meeting with her law guarding and the judge. Right after the bogus hearing, I received a text message from a reliable source telling me that my ex-path was serving alcohol to my daughter and her teenage friends. As someone with the inability to control his impulses, the new custody arrangement is like handing the keys to the candy store to a teen. He now has 15 years olds who look like 20 year olds prancing around his swim pool in swim suits while he acts as a bartender for underage drinkers. This will end badly eventually.

Shame on the judge and law guardian for not taking the time to investigate my allegations and for now properly interviewing my daughter to find out why she agreed to a change of custody after 4 years. I volunteered to submit to a mental evaluation and for the law guardian to make surprise visits to my house. Neither was done.

For those in my position, keep praying that one day the family court system will recognize and admonish sociopathic behavior and make better decisions regarding the placement of children in the home of sociopaths. Stand strong ladies…..

Very helpful to read your Headless Bear story and all of the comments about paranoia and distrust of these people. I have a few Headless Bear stories myself. Question: If your son seems to be the genetic clone of his sociopathically behaving father, is there anything that can be done to change them (15 years old) or is it so inbred in them that there is nothing I can do for him? Rather depressing, obviously…

Truthspeak I am in the same boat. I found out what my nightmare was called ” sociopath” from a PHD in psychology. My ex and I went to counseling together and the psychologist predicted so many of the chaotic events and actually role played with me so that I would be prepared mentally to not react out of fear.. It was the most difficult thing to get any lawyer to understand the behavior patterns the manipulations the set ups. I have lived through this nightmare and have children involved. I completely understand what cappucinoqueen is saying in this article. My ex use to tell me what he was going to do to me before he actually did it and people I would tell would say that is impossible he cannot..but often he did! he would do things and make people question the truth. i won’t even open any mail that I am to sign for without going to a post office where a camera is there so I can open it with proof if nothing is inside! This man has claimed to give me things that he never gave to me in the past and I can go on just like most of you here. I am so thankful to this site for giving me a place to go when I am feeling so alone in this nightmare. I can tell something else is up and I am also constantly anticipating his next crazy move too. The constant stress it places on my family is difficult.

Hopleful2,

Good for you for making sure there is PROOF that there was nothing in the letter…I would also suggest that you have one of the clerks open the letter with you too, and even let them READ what is inside in case you need them to testify.

I wish you luck and fortitude I know that the constant stress of dealing with “what will he do next?” is scary and anxiety and stress producing. I am there now with my son, who is my P that stalks me even from his prison cell. His parole is coming up and I am fighting it.

Dianaberger…I worry about my oldest too

Sending everyone on here good thoughts. Thank you for sharing your stories and for letting us know we are not alone

Ox drover,
I do have the clerk there to witness me opening the letter…the first time I asked them they had to hear my explanation to finally get it….most people do not get this kind of chaos. Ironic as it is…my ex use to point out ways he would not be deceived or how someone could just donor say something he always had this awareness I now understand be ause he was the con!!! He knew how shady people behaved… So much I get forced to recall. Such a nightmare

Hopeful,
yep, I know exactly what you mean. My exspath was always warning me about dangers that could kill me. This could snap, that could mix and turn into a deadly gas, this could catch fire, that could electricute you…blah, blah, blah. I used to think he just had an abundance of caution. Nope, it’s because he was always thinking of ways to kill people and get away with it.

And he has.

skylar,
I’m shuddering!My husband used to always call out “Are you alright?!!!” as if something had just happened and he was afraid I’d been hurt in an accident.The frequency with which he did this actually got on my nerves and did make me wonder what was up!

Skylar & Blossom4th, the exspath has always maintained a strong interest in murder mysteries and techniques. Oddly, it was this one thing that came thundering back into my head when I learned that he had an interest in veiled necrophilia. After he left, it occurred to me that it was quite possible that he had intended for me to die far sooner than what would have been “normal” because I finally had learned the extent of his betrayals. When someone is comfortable enough to coerce and forge checks out of someone’s private accounts, they’re comfortable enough to stage an untimely demise.

Now that I look back, I had NEVER been sicker than when we were living together. Oh, I still have serious medical issues, but I’m not SICK……if that makes any sense.

Brightest blessings

This is a wonderful story and example of what they do to us. I have attempted while married to co-parent with a man who had no desire to parent AT ALL. The only thing he would do for the children was an obligatory ride here and there if I or my parents were no around or large gift buying which he used as manipulation telling my children everything was purchased by him and that they didn’t have to listen to me. Ugh. It was so painful. Since the day I met this man, I have been terrorized by fear, games, manipulation, lies, deception, and threats. There are days that this made me so depressed. There are days that this made me confused, frustrated and finally in the end angry. I now have attempted to coparent with him for 3 1/2 years. EVERYTHING IS TURNED ON ME. I always live up to the agreement (except once recently for good reason which was medical.) Every holiday is destroyed as he will not return my son. He has hidden our son in the home of his lover before. Some days I would just wait and wait for hours with no return and then when I would finally just report to the police he would say I am “crazy”. Now he disparages me to oblivion in front of our youngest son who was only 5 at the onset of this. He tells our child to call me names and to hit me. He bribes him with gifts and other things. My son is now suffering from the nightmares I have suffered from my whole life with him. They just don’t end. He is a man that seeks mind control and he gets it. He is so convincing, charming, connected, deceptive, and loves to play with words. What I have been through for over years with this man has caused me so much emotional, mental, and physical pain to the point I think I have been driven to “crazy”. I have tried to get to truth. I have tried to believe. I have tried to get answers. The only thing I could have ever done to protect myself and my children from this man was “run” but he always promised he would be sure I never saw my children again. I was never about to leave these children with a man like this. I know we are supposed to trust. . . and I have tried. . . but I just can’t. I have tried to “co” everything with this man over the years but it is pure control. I had no access to finances. I had no access to bills. He hid mail. I had no access to truth. It turns out my husband has been having affairs with men for over 15 years. For my own safety, there were times I had to create a bubble around myself or numb myself from it all. There were times I would seek out truth and I was put right back in my place. Over the years, my body has continually broken down from it from joint pain, gastrointestional issues, weakness, weight issues, low immune system, etc. He was slowly killing me. I had to get out. I thought I could divorce him but he told me I would never be able to because of his connections. He has tortured me throughout this to the point of perpetual lies, no disclosures, and the continuation of manipulation of children and sadly the worst done to our youngest child. There are days I am afraid to speak. There are days I have become afraid to do anything. There are days my body just cannot move. There are days I cannot focus. All I try to do is get therapy for myself and my children and health care take care of to the best of my ability as he took me and the children off of the health insurance long before when he began his last affair. Does anyone ever see what they do to us? How can we heal? I am sick of living in fear. I am sick of being silenced.

Hi there my names candice I just found this sight our stories are almost identical except my nightmare has been going for 10+years and mine wouldn’t marry me I’m glad though once I realized what he was gosh isn’t it so draining u wonder and continually ask God why and how much longer do I have to deal with this are my kids going to be safe when I’m not there we can’t even get breaks as mom’s because we can’t trust their fathers mine is so manipulative he lies to everyone has no remorse no moral compass no regard gor the law he’s unpredictable n that’s scary I feel he could do anything to us and not blink an eye..ru still dealing with this

Misslock, I am sorry to read of your experiences, and those of your children. Welcome to LoveFraud.

You asked, “How can we heal?” Here is the statement that brings it down to a pinpoint of clarity: “I know we are supposed to trust. . . and I have tried. . . but I just can’t.” The issue of trust (for me, personally) has been one of taught values and ideals. Like yourself, I held fast and firm to the faulty belief that “…we are supposed to trust…” and nothing could be further from the truth. We SHOULD trust those who have EARNED it, but I was never taught that simple truth and fact! I trusted everyone with everything and I was duly trampled because I held onto this faulty belief for about 50 years.

I identify with the fear, the defeat, the despair, and the feeling of hopelessness. I really do. The only reason that I did NOT remain with the second exspath after learning what he was is that I had been on this site for a couple of years prior to my discovery on a completely different matter.

We are not taught that there are “bad” people, Misslock. We are not taught that it’s OKAY if everyone in the world doesn’t “like” us, approve of us, accept us, or validate us. At least, I was never taught that priceless truth.

We can heal, and we do heal. You mentioned in another post that you’d been with the same counselor for 5 years and I might offer a gentle suggestion that it might be an option to seek a new counselor – it may be that the counselor that you have been working with isn’t challenging you enough, OR they could have reached the limits of their abilities. There could be a host of other reasons why you feel that you haven’t progressed, but counselors are not a “first-come-first-served” type of professional. Counseling is a deeply personal endeavor, and a good, strong counselor will begin asking hard questions and providing direct and specific options of managing, coping, and recovering.

I’m just going to assume that you divorced this man, and please correct me if I’m wrong. If he was supposed to provide health insurance for the children, then he still has to do it, whether it’s through his job OR private health insurance. Divorce settlements are not written in stone, contrary to popular belief, and can be amended even after the divorce has been granted (in most States).

Again, welcome, Misslock. Read, read, read, and post, post, post.

Brightest blessings

EDIT ADD: It also may help in counseling if you begin asking questions about “Shame-Core,” “Stockholm Syndrome,” cognitive dissonance, and other terms that you might see pop up in discussion, from time to time. A strong counselor isn’t going to wait 5 years to introduce a client to some things that could create a personal epiphany for them.

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