By | September 5, 2012 20 Comments

Family Court Theater Presents: The Psychopath as “The Man Who Never Was”

Since the last round of my “Custody War” with Luc (my ex psychopath), I have thought a lot about the flaws in our legal system.  I run the events of the trials (“battles”) over and over in my head. I still can’t understand how such a disordered man like my ex can be allowed to have unsupervised access to a child.  I know it is not healthy to think about it so much, but I can’t help it when the thoughts creep into my head.  I keep trying to put my finger on why this process left me so incredibly disturbed.

Even after hearing disturbing testimony from several of Luc’s previous victims (who graciously agreed to testify against Luc during my Custody War), I couldn’t shake this feeling that I was looking at an empty human-like shell that slightly resembled the man I thought I loved.

The Analogy

During the opening and closing statements of my Custody War with Luc, my attorney described Luc as “The Man Who Never Was”.  As I am a child of the 80’s, I didn’t understand the reference my lawyer was making at first.  He explained to me that he had taken this phrase from the title of a 1956 film that was based on World War II.  In summary, the film was about “Operation Mincemeat”, which was a 1943 British Intelligence plan to deceive the Axis powers into thinking Operation Husky, the Allied Invasion of Sicily, would take place elsewhere.

(Stick with me here, I promise that this has relevance for even those non-history buffs.)

As part of this attempt to deceive the Axis powers, the operation involved dressing up a human cadaver and creating a fictitious story around a man who didn’t really exist.  This whole thing was an attempt to manipulate the opposition.  Unfortunately for me (and my son), I believe this analogy may have gone completely over the judge’s head. In the past few weeks, however, I have thought more and more about this analogy and I think it may resonate with many who have been in similar situations with psychopaths.

The Plot:

Though Luc is most certainly “the evil” in this scenario, his deception against me was like his very own version of “Operation Mincemeat”.  His objective was money.  He had run through his previous victim and needed a new income source.  He would find his target, listen to her hopes and dreams, and create the story for his “cadaver” based on her version of Prince Charming.

My Conclusions:

Family Court can be incredibly intrusive.  Many people (who aren’t dealing with psychopath ex’s) likely decide to settle out of court so that they can save themselves the expense and the relentless exposure of their personal lives.  That being said, this “exposure” only really applies if you are playing by the rules.  For example, I provided the court copies of my taxes, bank statements, pay stubs, property information, and a complete history of my education and family background.

Luc, on the other hand, remained “The Man who Never Was” throughout the entire trial.  His lies seemed to evolve and morph as time went on to further prove that not only was he “The Man who Never Was” to the court, I wasn’t even sure if HE knew who he was by the end.  He presented clearly fake tax statement and pay stubs for a job he has never held.  The court, however, accepted these documents as truth and never questioned how a man got to be middle aged without ever having a legitimate job.

The reality of Family Court is ugly.  It takes a special person to be able to see through the smoke and clouds that psychopaths create in the courtroom.  From what I have seen, most judges do not appear equipped (nor do they care enough) to filter through the lies and deceit in order to protect these innocent children.  Why then do we waste the time and money to go through the court system if these psychopaths are not going to be held to the law and forced to present proven and factual information?

A Media Example:

Just as I was pondering the above analogy, one of my friends posted the following link to her Facebook site.

Two American Kids Shipped to France in One of the Worst Custody Decisions. Ever.

While the term “psychopath” was never used in this article, the point that stuck out for me was how Actress Kelly Rutherford explained that she STILL did not know who her ex husband was.  After his U.S. visa was revoked, a judge ordered Kelly Rutherford’s children (American citizens who had been born and raised in the US) to live in France with her ex because he was unable to travel to the US to see them.

Kelly Rutherford likely had the best lawyer money could buy and it didn’t do a bit of good because the lawyer in her case refused to ask the obvious question — “Who ARE you Sir?  And why was your U.S. Visa revoked?”  The State Department refuses to issue this man a new visa.  His lawyer claims that its Rutherford’s fault his visa was revoked.  Even if this were possible, which it’s not because a private citizen can’t cause the US Government to deny someone entry, it doesn’t explain away the fact that this man was not required to present to the court how he made his money and who he really was.

Family Courts in America are in crisis.

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I was looking for a spot to post this under ‘stupid judges’ Here is a man who murdered his wife who now has been granted a sex change operation by a stupid judge.

The womans family is reeling…and their(and mine) taxes are going to pay for his sex change….arrrgghhhh

Thanks for listening.

Cappuccino Queen – the link you included in your story is absolutely unbelievable. That judge made the most idiotic decision ever. Even the rich and famous can’t win in family court.


CappuccinoQueen, I used to believe that our Justice System approached all issues with an open mind and a fair decision. At my age, I’ve finally come to the painful conclusion that it is merely a circus, of sorts. Even Criminal courts are circus events.

Nobody is prepapred for the realities of Family Court – nobody. There is nothing “fair” or even “reasonable” when a socipath is involved in Family Court issues of divorce and/or custody/visitation. It’s all about getting them in and getting them out.

I just posted this truth on another thread with regard to repeating the events of the last year, over and over, to agencies for temporary assistance. Judges, like agency employees, are simply not interested in any facts or truths. They just want parties out of their courtroom in time for lunch. The “best interests” of children are never, to my knowledge, taken into consideration because there is the horribly mistaken belief that a child needs BOTH of their parents, even if one is depraved, dishonest, murderous, criminal, and “disordered.”

Donna, you are right: even the rich and famous can’t win in family court. And, that fact speaks volumes.

Brightest blessings


Good Morning,
CappuccinoQueen, I will pray for peace for you and your child.

This statement you make shows very clearly that judges, folks in general have no perception of the M. O. of Pathologicals in terms of the process of their deception with regard to their victims, and in turn why we so easily fall for and fall in “love” with them. Our “choice” to be involved with them was based on their fraudulent love bombing and deceitful tactics.

In reference to your statement;

“In my custody case, the judge told Luc he was “deplorable” and then turned around and questioned my character because I “chose” him. It’s interesting how often the terrible behavior of one parent can work against the healthy parent”.

Best wishes to you ~


Hi it’s me Lillian, oh boy this is one E Ticket Rollercoaster ride of what is now going on beyond a decade. Somebody get me the seasick pills please. The house was foreclosed & I had to be out by July 16th. I rented a garage. Yes. Who else here has the ability to open one whole wall of their home I ask? It took 4 very long days & six people to move me from my 4,000 sq ft4 bedroom 3 bath home to my 1500 ft garage with a ½ bath.

We started on Day 1 unfortunately about 5:00 pm & worked late. There were 4-5 teenagers & 3 adults. I hadnt even begun to bring myself to packing.

On Day 2 the garage sale day I woke vomiting. it was the garage sale where no one came because my daughter had not as I asked put the sale signs about town. we moved in the afternoon until mid evening 3 adults that day with me vomiting on & off. by midnight i had the worst head cold i’d had in years. in fact i hadn’t had a cold in years.

I woke the next morning Day 3 or so I thought hearing my girlfriend packing in the kitchen thinking at 9:00 am I got up said hello got cleaned up & realized she & her husband had been there sine 9:00 but it was NOON now & they had just let me sleep. I was terribly ill with my cold but I was horrified. There were only 3 of us & we quit early. Work for them on Monday & I was so sick.

Day 4 I called in the teens & again 4-5 of & 2 adults slaving away from 9:00 am to 2:00 am until we were done we had to be out & we did it somehow. I slept the next entire day & people were worried about me cuz I had disappeared. Boxes boxes boxes boxes & furniture took every square inch of space you could not walk & had to climb over things. I thought this would take a week. It’s been 7 weeks I’m still not done & at 4 weeks I had spinal chord surgery – scheduling thinking I’d be long done with unpacking.

My first day back to my 1500 square ft garage after surgery my ex husband had filed & slid the order for for 100% child custody since I was living in unfit conditions. This is a man I paid $3,000 a month for 8 years & has not paid me any child support whatsoever since I’ve been unemployed.

Status ten years after our divorce & five years after the boyfriend spath left: In debt to credit cards $60K, my family $50K, IRS $30K, other friends $10K. My house foreclosed, my bank account attached, unemployed again. not speaking to my parents because they are mad at me for my situation & think I should give my kids up. There’s a lot of rope around from the move & very very high ceilings & I think about hanging myself a lot. I do wonder why me. I feel like I must have done something to deserve all this. I just played a very high stakes game of chutes & ladders & got to the very very end space right before you win & slid back to start. It just keeps coming & coming.

I managed to get rid of almost half of my things but was able to divide the garage up with a small entry & living/sitting space, a small bedroom area with the big desk/bunkbed style beds, a kitchen (no kitchen sink) but i have a refrigerator & a convection/microwave oven. A den / dining area for hanging out & eating right across from the kitchen, a bedroom for me divided by a huge shelf & curtains. I put an oversized utility sink in the bathroom which works fine for washing hair, washing up by just putting a towel down & for doing dishes as it’s right next to the kitchen. I’ve TV & Internet & the TV swivels so you can watch it from the den area or my room. The areas are mostly divided up by large shelves, venetian blinds, curtains & artwork. The bathroom is private & has a door, walls & ceiling. A family friend allows me to do my laundry & calls the spare room mine. Our kids have known them since they were born & our daughters are best friends. We are welcome to stay there & shower any time or all the time. I put the garage space together so my kids who are teens & only have a few years left before they go off into the world & I would have a place to be together. My ex wants to take them away.

I will not have a lawyer for this custody battle nor for the bankruptcy I have got to claim but I’m going to try. The hanging isn’t an option because i couldn’t do that to my kids. But I am still consumed by the most amazing anger. It is my fear of prison that keeps the ex & the spath safe from my wrath. In order of fears prison is worse than suicide so I wouldn’t do either to my children. Who may not be living with me & will be gone into the world in the next couple of years. & I wonder”.

”.. why I make the same mistakes, it seems i never learn. always give way too much for little in return. i haven’t changed a bit I’m still not over it. my friends think i’m a drag, i wanna stay up late, i walk the streets alone, thinking of things til dawn, i make the same mistakes—.


Lillian, I am so sorry to hear of your situation – I truly am. I was in a similar situation, but at least I had a room with a bathroom separate from the landlords.

Spaths exercise limitless audacity, and it’s a form of emotional terrorism, as far as I’m concerned. It’s a constant climate of anxiety over court appearances, hearings, and disappointments. And, they “act” like such victims that they are actually convincing!

I will keep you in my most positive thoughts, Lillian – you , and your children. You’ve come this far with courage, determination, and dignity.

This may help, to some degree. I was in class, once, and my instructor was doing a demonstration and she had just done that same demonstration a couple of weeks earlier (or, so). Of course, I opened my mouth and asked why she was repeating the demonstration….a hush fell over the class and I realized that I had made a faux pas of the worst kind. She stopped what she was doing and replied that people generally need to see or hear something no less than 6 times before it sinks in. Okie dokie….class continued and life went on. I recently saw a statistic for domestic violence/abuse that stated that most abuse victims keep going back a total of 6 times before they never return to their abusers. When I read that, the faux pas came flooding back and I had one of those moments of clarity.

And, you’re allowed to feel the anger, Lillian – you are. You “should” feel angry! But, feel it and move on from it or it can become an absolute obsession. Anger is tremendous energy and it can be channeled into something positive. I’m getting there, myself, but it’s sure tempting to direct my anger at the exspath. I remind myself that the exspath never cared when I was angry, before – why would he care, now?

Brightest blessings to you, Lillian


Dear Lillian, Much admiration to you and your children in a most difficult situation! I know it is hard! I’ve been in some similar situations with my children back when they were younger, and was married to their dead-beat “sperm-donor”. You said something that struck a chord, you said: ” why I make the same mistakes, it seems i never learn. always give way too much for little in return. i haven’t changed a bit I’m still not over it. my friends think i’m a drag, i wanna stay up late, i walk the streets alone, thinking of things til dawn, i make the same mistakes… I to have asked myself those same questions. This is my 3rd marriage, and the spath was/is the worst one of all! I ran across an article that is really helping me……(excerpt of article)— Abused women make up a significant proportion of any community. And it tends to be their gentler, more feminine qualities that put them at risk. By acquiring self-awareness and learning to ring-fence their frailties with strong boundaries, they can safeguard their specialness. At the same time they can protect themselves from further abuse.” So what are the characteristics that set an abused woman apart?

� She’s a naive romantic. She believes that love, her love will conquer all. It takes her the longest time to learn that love doesn’t excuse her partner from being accountable for his actions.

� She doesn’t know when to give up and walk away.

� She is a natural at guilt, apologies and shouldering the blame for whatever goes wrong.

� She takes responsibility for anything and everything. Hence my concern that writing an article aimed at revealing the specific characteristics of abused women might benefit predatory men.

� She doesn’t believe that she is good enough. Her low self-worth, progressively lowered in an abusive relationship, means that however imperfect her man is, she still feels inferior to him. She sees him as compensating for her own inadequacies.

� Her ’no’ lacks authority. In other words, she is easily bullied and put upon. She may sound strong-minded, but her wants, needs and reasons never carry the same weight for her as those of her partner.

� She has little or no idea of boundaries. She has little instinct for self-protection or self-preservation. Her best ’strategy’ is often to hope that others will do right by her. (This strategy causes frequent, painful disappointment.)

� She believes in gender stereotypes. Men are the strong, powerful ones. Women can’t manage on their own. Women need a man to complete them and to manage the challenging areas of life.

� She’s really into rescue. A generous soul, she may well yearn for a rescuer, but she can’t resist running to the rescue of anyone in distress. (This is often part of what attracts her to an abusive partner.) She’s slow to learn that the people she rescues are more likely to turn aggressive than to show gratitude and loyalty in the long term.

� She believes that she is entitled to far less from life than other people. Other people have rights, she only has wishes that she believes are probably unreasonable.

� She’s a generous, long-suffering person. A poster…FortuneCookieDad said in a post:I believe that I was mourning not so much the death of a relationship, or even the acknowledgement of allowing myself to be abused and marginalized for two decades, but more so the potential death of my entire worldview that people are innately good; that “happily ever after” is possible; that a soul-mate exists for me; that true love (a la Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly in “High Society”) is desirable and happens for people in real life.

Like so many others here, (everyone?) I am now trying to isolate the part of “me” that lies at the heart of my prior overly-romanticized world-view (but which I want to KEEP). Then, I will work on a way to protect that essential “me” and raise it again in the “real world” which is more hostile than I imagined, but in which I must live. I was just WOWed by that! Thank you for sharing your painful situation here with us. Wishing you the very best, strength and endurance to rise up and stand strong!


Dear cappuccinoqueen, Much admiration to you also! Your analogy and plot in your post left me breathless!!! YES!!! Operation Mincemeat! Just OMG! Can I ever relate! Those of you (both genders) who are dealing with these types of monsters…and situations, who still have children to care for, my utmost admiration goes out to each of you!!! All four of my children are grown now, with their own lives, however I have grandchildren that concern me now. But I do remember all of those years and the things we went through, very vivdly…and most of those years are riddled with grief and pain. Fortunately, 3 of my 4 children are doing alright. Unfortunately, my only son….well, lets just say he grew up, and ended up much like his “father”. Appreciate your post cappuccinoqueen, and do hope the best for you and your son!

Ox Drover

Dear C-Queen,

I didn’t read the link you posted to the children being shipped to France, there are things that trigger my anger and rage, and that kind of story is one of them. I am finally telling myself that I cannot read them, I MUST NOT read them.

Your point about the “man who never was” is so valid and what you mentioned about his FAKE tax forms and pay stubs and the judge never questioning them….like the judge saying, “BUT HE’S UNDER OATH so they HAVE TO be real and I have to accept them.”

Ox Drover

C-Queen, of course it made sense…that elephant was in my living room, a convicted 3x pedophile and I had proof and his rap sheet and none of my family except my son D would believe a word I said…they believed a man they KNEW had served tiime in prison for a “misunderstanding” the girl said she was 18 but she was 3 days shy of it so he got sent to prison. ELEPHANT!!!!

Dr. Amy Castillo is a pedi doc that told the judge her husband threatened to kill the kids if he gave him unsupervised visit to “get even” with her The judge wouldn’t listen and the FIRST visit the guy killed his kids. At the time Donna and Dr. Leedom published that here on LF I thought this was some sort of a one time thing, but it is ALL OVER THE NEWS parents killing their kids to get back at the ex spouse. It is NOT A ONE TIME THING. I got to where I could not read the stories without wanting to go out and start shooting up some court house. LOL It made me so angry that these children were being so abused not only by the psychopathic parent but by the court’s failure to protect them.

All that said, look at that article about the Afgan dancing boys who are sold by their parents to be dancers and bed partners to rich Muslim men.

But at the same time…how many of those parents had to make the decision to sell one child in order to feed the rest? Sometimes I think there are whole CULTURES and subcultures that are psychopathic in nature.

All that trauma and I can’t do anythiing about it except vote, and believe me I DO vote (for what that is worth) but I think that we should educate others about the existence of these perversions of justice here and abroad.

Good articles and comments C-Queen, glad you are here on LF I think you have a lot of good stuff to share with us…even if I can’t look at some of it. (((hugs))) and God bless.


OxD, I believe that spath/ppath parents are killing their children because they can. There is no acknowledgement that socipathy exists in Family Court – just “desperate” parents and wild-assed stories by a bitter ex-spouse. They DO NOT GET IT, on any level.

Aside from the most horrific outcome, the collateral carnages caused by spaths cannot be adequately calculated. Every level of society is thoroughly damaged by spathic behaviors: businesses, individuals, children, families, credit ratings, employment security, finances, spiritual and religious beliefs….. “The System” just does not get it. Does………..not…………get………

And, the worst part of why they “dont’ get it” is that the system simply doesn’t care. Clear the docket before lunch and get the parties OUT of the courtroom – there’s a 3pm tee off scheduled!

Brightest blessings


I finally had the nerve to leave my first love from high school 8 years after on and off abuse. I hung on to that relationship for dear life. Luckily it spawned no children but when I finally tore myself from that relationship and felt as if I severed a limb or limbs doing it and I promised myself just one year of an attempt to live without him as I didn’t understand the abuse or why “I made him so angry”, I said one year and if at the end of that one year I couldn’t live without him, I would crawl back on my hands on and knees. It was the only way I knew how to get out of the clenches that picked up where my family of origin left off. I was healing.
I pulled up to my house where I lived with friends who I’d known for many years and a song was playing. The band was “Boston” and the song was “The man I’ll never be”. I sat in front of that house with that song cranked and cried. I had heard it a multitude of times prior but I heard the lyrics loud and clear and cried.
I still didn’t get. I just knew it was “him”. Part of me probably didn’t want to believe it and another part of me didn’t understand it as I had no concept of “psychopath” or “sociopath” but to this day it was “him”.
I so get it now and it ended up being the father of my child in the future of which I am fighting for my childs life against in family court.
Reading this and the references just brought that all back to me. They know. They always have and they act with intent. They do know what they do contrary to “he knows not what he is doing” statement my mother always said.
Thanks for helping that get completely through my thick my skull decades later! lol
Don’t succumb to those thoughts of the ropes and such. I saw myself swan diving off the overpasses of the freeways for the first 2 years of family court and was scared to drive on the freeways. It passed and I never thought it would. I am ok and I am not recovered but I am not there anymore and it is amazing how many times we’ll make the mistakes in this life before the pieces come together but believe me, they can come together late instead of never. I am living proof. When you are in the thick of it, it seems like there’s no surviving it but there is. Food tasted literally like cardboard and I would chew and swallow just to stay alive and so I wouldn’t look too broken in court to care for my child. Somehow somewhere food tastes like food again. I never thought I would survive this. Really. But I have and bit by bit it’s getting better.

Be well and kind to yourself.



Oh one more thing, I stayed away that year and built a life for myself. I had one catastrophe after another, 2 car accidents, hit by a boat but kept going without him and then a huge family of origin came to the forefront 5 years later and I got back together with him. For the next 2 years he gave us his best shot but was still him. Still angry and scary. In the end we broke up. 5 months later he knocked on the door and beat the living heck out of me and I ended up with a knife wound that could’ve killed me. I was a successful business owner and 5 years into counseling but I still had issues.
I survived that attack and then a year later I allowed myself a fling. I had no family during the holidays and it was out of character. He was great looking, younger and I was guarded and up front about no commitment. I became pregnant. (he poked holes in the condom!) He was the worst psychopath/sociopath I had ever even imagined. Made my ex look like a saint. It’s been one heck of a ride and I am tired.
Stick with this website as we all understand and have made mistakes over and over trying to get life right. You did nothing to deserve this except believe in people and they preyed on you. That’s it. Nothing you did as a kid or teen which you have regrets from warranted this horror story.
Nothing. I can give examples of why I fully believe this if you want.

With best regards and the utmost respect,



I just found this — thanks for posting it. Yes, they lie, lie, lie. And yes, the courts are filled with sociopaths. I would even go so far as to say that much of our court system IS sociopathic. So, since we are swimming in it (like fish swim in water or we are breathing in the air we don’t see nor think about), people do not recognize this!

Until they finally DO. Like us, we got a very rude awakening. So now, we see it. Bless us for our painful experiences. Bless them, that they have not experienced such pain (yet?) to force an awakening.

Well…. I just came across a very interesting website which applies to all this, and it applies to where I am with it all now (some distance from it, some of the time, still processing, still trying to see the whole thing with absolute clarity and Truth). So for anyone who is interested, check it out and start at the beginning, with info about the different belief systems we are all caught up in at one level or another:

whatonearthishappening dot com (dont’ know if I can post an actual link here or not — just type it in).

It is the introduction which I am hoping to draw your attention to. It is about some of the things which lead to sociopathy and victimization, and a way out of it. As it goes farther, the other stuff on the website is up to you. The first part is really good and applicable to our experiences.

It is my experience with sociopaths which has led me to this (mental, emotional, spiritual) place I’m in now.

Lillian… my heart goes out to you. What a tough place you are in. I think you can do it and hang on. I don’t know how old your teenagers are, but you are right to fight for their stability and their relationship with you, their mom. You seem very brave — you have made it this far. Keep going. The love between you and your kids is what matters most.

cappuccinoqueen… you are right, there is such a beauty in innocence. But there is a different sort of beauty in wisdom. I see the innocent beauty like a butterfly, and the wisdom-beauty as a deeply-rooted tree that is allowed to unfurl to its greatest potential.

Divorced from Gaslighter

My divorce and custody fight went on for years, with the spath ex continually claiming that I was victimizing him. EX: He hadn’t paid any child support for five solid years, but it was MY fault because I hadn’t given him my new address. When I told the judge that I had a file folder containing the greeting cards he had sent to the children during the five year period, PROVING that he HAD known the children’s address, he went off on a rant saying that the fact that I had the cards PROVED that I had been intercepting his letters to his children.

Every time I said ANYTHING in court, he twisted it to make me look terrible, and even when I was represented by an attorney, the attorney couldn’t keep up with the endless stream of false accusations. The bottom line is that men who seek custody are always given the benefit of the doubt. A woman who wants custody is ordinary, but a man who wants custody is a super-duper involved daddy!

The court will NEVER take enough time with the case to figure out which parent is telling a believable story, and which one isn’t.

By the way, I watched “The Man Who Never Was” on Netflix a few days ago, and it is a very good movie. The book is excellent, too.

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