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Do I sacrifice my 15 year old son whose father is a sociopath to save my family?

How to recognize and recover from sociopaths, psychopaths, narcissists and other exploiters Forums How do you deal with a sociopath in court? Do I sacrifice my 15 year old son whose father is a sociopath to save my family?

This topic contains 12 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Stargazer 14 hours, 35 minutes ago.

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  • #41031

    bradys1mom
    Participant

    I got involved with a sociopath 17 years ago. We have a 15 year old son together. He has ruined my life. He is extremely abusive. I lost 4 homes and over 1 million dollars. We were only “romantically” (?) involved 6 weeks of these 17 years of hell. Unfortunately he talked me into marriage (I wanted a divorce the next day). I found out quickly that he only married me to try and take our son away from me. We have been in a custody battle for 13 years. He tortures our son and me constantly. It has cost me everything fighting with him in court. I have had restraining orders on him for me and on behalf of my other children. He has even violated them and gone to jail. While living in California I had custody of our child then I made a huge mistake of moving to Florida. The Florida courts didn’t care what had happened in California or in the past and he immediately got custody and I was labeled a liar! This was in 2011 and our son was 10 years old. I got every other weekend, holidays and half the summer. He makes life unbearable. My son is constantly complaining of abuse-physical, mental and emotional by his dad, step mom and paternal siblings. I couldn’t take it any more and last summer I took him to California . He was able to get a permanent restraining order on his own in adult court at age 15. When the Family Law Judge called me (were permanent fixtures in court-twice a month for 13 years!) I informed the court that the child had a restraining order against his father and wouldn’t be returning to Florida and I wasn’t giving out his address due to the restraining order. The Judge put a felony warrant out for my arrest and a pick up order for my son. I was arrested in California Sept.2,2016 and my son was sent back to dad. I did 89 days in jail and am now on felony probation. I have a daughter who is 11 and needs me. Dad has now filed for a full mental evaluation of me, supervised Skype visits once a week, change of our child’s name (he has my last name due to the fact we weren’t married at his birth), and relocate to New York. I have no contact with my son right now and I haven’t seen or talked to him since September 2,2016. We go to court on July 20,2017. In one month. He has now turned my 23 year old daughter against me, my 22 year old son and has teamed up with my other ex in which I have a 7 year old with to help him get custody of that child. My question is DO I JUST STOP TRYING TO SAVE MY SON at this point and throw in the towel? He’s got the courts fooled and against me, my children, my ex, and I’m on felony probation! If I fight Or keep in contact at all at this point I fear he’ll keep lying, calling the police, calling Department of Children and families and I will end up in prison for 3 years. He’s recruited around 15 people at this point and they’ve called my probation officer with lies, DCF, my new boyfriend, his family, his job trying to get him fired, his sister trying to get my car taken away, on and on and on. Do I just save myself and my 11 year old daughter at this point or keep trying to get the courts, DCF, to listen that HE is the abuser?

  • #41039

    Donna Andersen
    Keymaster

    Bradys1mom – OMG, what a nightmare. At what age can your son decide where he wants to live? Did your son inherit his father’s traits, or is he more like you?

    • #41043

      bradys1mom
      Participant

      Thank you SO much for responding. My son is exactly like me-Praise God. The Florida courts don’t believe in letting the children decide even though he will be 16 years old at the next court hearing. The Judge said (before she incarcerated me!) she would give 3% weight to what the child wants. I think dad already relocated to New York.

  • #41051

    Jan7
    Participant

    Bradys1mom, heart wrenching post. I’m so sorry that you are literally in hell with this evil man & the courts are clueless. The court system is a joke when dealing with a sociopath. They are so clueless & their approach is to “reason” with a sociopath mean while they are being conned by them!!

    Look at the site One moms battle. com. Tina Swiften went thur hell trying to divorce a narcissist & protect her own children from him. She then went on to start her website & wrote two books. If you go to the top right corner do a search on “Tina Swiften” & “One moms battle” to see a video with Tina & Donna Anderson & also her post.

    They also have a great support system on Facebook. If you choose to chat on Facebook with them I would highly recommend that you open a fake email & a fake Facebook page so that you can chat freely without your ex, his family or friends from seeing.

    It is common to get a “mental evaluation” so get one on your ex!! Ask about this process on One Moms battle facebook or thru a email to Tina Switfen. Also ask how to get help from the court system aka supervised visits and “wizard” etc.

    Wishing you all the best for you & your child.

    Hugs to you!💜

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by  Jan7.
  • #41069

    Donna Andersen
    Keymaster

    bradys1mom – Maybe you should consider a “tactical retreat.” your son will be 16 in July – that means in 2 years he will be 18 and able to make his own decisions. I think your goal between now and then should be to maintain communication with him however you can. Will you have a chance to talk to him at the hearing? If so, tell him that you love him and you’re doing your best to be with him.

    A sociopath’s prime objective is to “win.” So if you do not prevail in the hearing, maybe you can let him have his “win.” Sometimes, once they win, they lose interest. So if you can at least secure some level of communication with your son, and you stop fighting the court battle, your ex may not care if you actually communicate.

    Keep telling your son that you love him. And perhaps explain that at this point, your best alternative may just be to wait it out. Once he ages out of court control, your son can do whatever he wants.

    Don’t look at it like abandoning him. Try to set it up so that you can communicate with him over the next 2 years, support him while he puts up with the insanity his father will create, and be ready to welcome him back when he turns 18.

  • #41084

    andwhat
    Participant

    I thought I was saving my son by having him live with friends for a short time, and then sending him to private school. My son is from a previous marriage and his father passed away during this time. But the result was that my son believes that I abandoned him by sending him away, and even though he knows the narcissist husband was evil, my son doesn’t understand what stopped us both from just leaving…I ended up staying for 10 years.

  • #41099

    Stargazer
    Participant

    This is a heartbreaking situation, bradysmom. I’m so sorry you must go through this. I resonate completely with Donna’s advice. You must be completely drained and exhausted, and I imagine at some point this will affect your health if it has not done so already. Donna mentioned a tactical retreat. I would extend that to an actual physical retreat, maybe for a week to a spa where you can relax and clear your mind, if you are able to. If not, then just a retreat from the fight to regroup. The situation is completely unfair but much of it seems out of your control. I agree that if you stop fighting, the monster may withdraw – he is in it for the fight and for the win. If he is truly a sociopath, than he regards your son as a commodity and way to hurt you. He knows you are hurt by how much you are fighting and the emotion you show. Remember, these vampires prey on your emotions. If you stop fighting and let go, he will get to see just how hard it is to raise a 16 year-old. And if not, there are only two more years left. He can’t win if you don’t play. There is so much peace in letting go, even though letting a child go must be the hardest thing to do. Like Donna said, I would find a way to let your son know that you love him and that you’ll be there for him. Stay in touch as much as you are able. This may be all you can do, and it may be the best you can do for yourself and your young daughter.

    I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it is to want to protect your child but you can’t. I’m so sorry. The sociopath can control a lot of things but he can’t control your inner peace. Please find a way to be peaceful and don’t let him take that away from you. Perhaps it’s just knowing that true love conquers all and that your son will see this and return when he is able. Or to know that karma will take its toll on your ex with or without your participation.

  • #41100

    bradys1mom
    Participant

    Thank you for reading my story and responding . It means a lot to me. These comments make me cry and feel defeated but I knew it was probably what should be done. I have wasted 17 years of my life tied to this “man”. I pray my son will remain sane and still be sweet and emphatic after two years of emotional torture by his dad, step mom and their sociopath children. My 11 year old daughter cries for her brother. It’s so unfair. Why can’t the courts see through their BS? It’s SO obvious to us! Any custody case that’s gone on for 13 years IS ABUSE! He lost everything and owes me $90,000.00 in attorney fees which he’s never had to pay one cent! If I had a lawyer I could go on but sadly that’s not an option. I’m deeply deeply saddened but I so appreciate hearing this from others who have been there. I have to give my son to God and pray. Thank you to everyone.

  • #41103

    AnnettePK
    Participant

    Do you have a good attorney? It sounds like you need the very best in legal representation. Even though it’s expensive initially, it’s likely it will save you money in the long run. A good attorney may be able to get the $90,000 that’s owed to you.

    Do you have access to a good counselor or therapist for you and for your children? It could be helpful in all that you have to deal with.

    Donna’s idea of a tactical retreat/pause in the action sounds like it’s worth considering. You might discuss this change in direction with your son to get his input. You don’t need to view it as ‘sacrificing’ him. A change makes sense because what you’ve been doing has not solved the problem, though not because you’ve not tried your best.

    Spaths like the fighting, they like making you miserable and harming you. Some victims have had some success in dealing with spaths by letting the spath think they don’t want custody, and the spath will do all he can to see that the victim gets custody if he believes that it will be an unwanted burden on the victim. That probably wouldn’t work in your situation, but you might look into the grey rock technique and get some ideas about what would work for you. https://lovefraud.com/the-gray-rock-method-of-dealing-with-psychopaths/
    https://bullyvaccineproject.com/the-grey-rock-technique-for-dealing-with-psychopaths/
    Consider taking away the spath’s payoff as much as possible, which is seeing your distraught emotions and the pain he is causing you. Try not to show him anything at all about your emotions, feelings, thoughts.

  • #41127

    illuminata007
    Participant

    Report the abuse to child protective services anonymously. Also, have your son report it to the school counselor. Insist he gets therapy, therapists are mandated reporters if abuse. Ultimately, it may be that he has to tough it out for the next two years but you want him to understand you did all you could and be prepared to have him go into therapy later in life to heal from this experience.The thing that will come up is : what did you do to protect me. You want to do your very best within your incredible difficult situation. You can also pray and send healing light to him daily. Like others have said, let him know you love him. Our legal system does not protect the children unfortunately and you’ve all been thru so much.

  • #41148

    Stargazer
    Participant

    You gave 17 years of your life to a sociopath already. Don’t give him one more second of it. I’m amazed at the ability of trauma survivors to recover and reinvent themselves (myself being one). I’m sure you have a lot of grieving to do. But you also have a lot of living to do, too. You can be a role model to your young daughter of how to overcome adversity and live a life with meaning. Remember the serenity prayer? There is only so much you can do and the rest is not in your control. You deserve some measure of peace in your life, bradysmom, in spite of all that is happening with your son. I am also sending a prayer that in a few years, your son will remember the mom who loves him and he will come around. (((hugs)))

  • #41155

    bradys1mom
    Participant

    Thank you for writing me. I burst into tears. This man has ruined my life with my oldest children (23 & 22 who now side with him) taken the life of our son together 15 year old Brady and now is cancerous to my 11 year old daughter and 7 year old son. He has stripped me of my four homes, all money, all self esteem, put me in jail, on and on just for sport . These men aren’t playing if you meet one. I’ve sacrificed 17 years of my life and spent over 1 million dollars for lawyers to help my son Brady but it doesn’t matter. He refuses to follow ANY court orders and no Judge enforces the orders. He owes me over $500,000.00 but I will never see it. I just want my son BRADY JAMES BURFORD to live and if he is harmed in ANY way let this be one of NUMEROUS clues I gave that his father wants and does harm him physically. My heart is broken. Why don’t the courts get it?! It’s SO obvious!

  • #41173

    Stargazer
    Participant

    I don’t know. I don’t understand it either. It unfair and it’s tragic. I wonder sometimes about the state of the world where there is so much evil and so many who don’t see it.

    I can’t even imagine what it’s like as a mother to have your son torn away from you like this and have to worry about the safety of your children. It seems it happens so much more than I would have imagined. I have a friend whose 19 year-old son was bipolar and just committed suicide. There were no signs; he came from a loving family and was a promising dancer. He was very close to his mom (my friend). She is so grief stricken, she can hardly get out of bed after about 8 months. I have another friend who just today told me her son just got married and had a child, but for whatever reason the wife has brainwashed him against his parents to the point where he actually sent them divorce papers. She is in incredible grief. She and her husband just put him through college, paid for his wedding, and even paid for his fiance’s ring! They are truly loving parents, so it’s hard to understand.

    It’s a mixed blessing for me to have no kids. On the one hand I will never know what you are going through. On the other hand, I will never have to go through anything like it. OMG, I was a mess when I lost my cats all those years ago. I cannot even imagine any kind of loss of a child.

    I wish you some kind of peace in your life bradysmom, but I have no road map to offer for how to get there. Sometimes life just sucks, and still you have to get up in the morning and take care of business. You can still have a profound effect on your children, even your 16 year-old son that you don’t see. You are more powerful in their lives than you know. It is the sociopath who is the weak one. He only knows power through control. He will never know power through love. Eventually, anyone close to him will see through the mask.

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