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By | April 1, 2010 335 Comments

Games Sociopaths Play (In Psychotherapy)

What can we say about the games sociopaths play in psychotherapy? We might start with: Sociopaths don’t seek counseling, ever, from a genuine motive to make personal growth.

This isn’t to say sociopaths don’t end up in therapists’ offices. They do, either because they’ve been mandated to attend therapy, or because they view counseling, somehow, as enabling their ulterior, manipulative agenda.

But never does the sociopath, on his own, awaken one day and say to himself, “I’ve got some  personal issues I need to examine seriously, for which pursuing psychotherapy is probably imperative—otherwise my life and relationships are going down the drain.”

I repeat, sociopaths will never, ever, seek counseling for purposes of genuinely confronting their damaged, and damaging, personalities. This is so reliable a principle that its converse equally applies—however antisocial his history may be or seem, the client who seeks counseling with a genuine motive to deal with a issue(s) disqualifies himself, perforce, as a sociopath.

And yet we know that sociopaths (some, not all) will play therapy games. But what therapy games?

I’ve alluded already to the court-mandated therapy game, which prescribes the sociopath’s manipulative cooperation toward meeting the court’s mandate that he participate in some sort of counseling—whether anger management, group therapy around domestic violence issues, or counseling for sexual offenders.

This isn’t to suggest that all, or even most, court-mandated clients are sociopaths, far from it;  even those who are court-mandated, the great majority of whom will be going through the motions psychotherapeutically, aren’t sociopaths. However, one can be quite certain that the court-mandated sociopath will most definitely regard the therapy process with absolute disdain; and, in my experience, unlike the unsociopathic client, the sociopathic client will be more likely to posture his sincere participation and recognition of his need for help. That’s to say, his tendency will be to “play” the system, more than even merely cooperate with it.

Then we have the sociopath who’s been read the riot act by, say, a seriously exhausted partner, and who agrees to participate in counseling. We might call this the appease his partner therapy game. In this case, the sociopath has reasons for wanting to preserve the relationship (or otherwise delay its dissolution)—reasons principally related to the conveniences the relationship offers or, just as influentially, to the inconveniences that a split or divorce would pose.

In these, and other, therapy games, the sociopath’s range of cooperative participation in therapy is rather wide—on one hand, he may present as compliant and receptive, effectively concealing his underlying insincerity and deception.  Alternatively, because after all it’s incredibly inconvenient that he should have to take time out of his life to appease his exploited partner, he may make no disguise of how put-out he feels, and may visibly brandish his indignation, agitation and resentment.

The latter attitude, especially in cases of couples therapy, makes for a dangerous dynamic, wherein the risk of abuse, post-therapy sessions, rises. One hopes the therapist recognizes this risk and terminates the couples sessions, which are contraindicated where  abuse is present and flagrant, whether overtly or covertly.

Of course it should only be so easy for any us to smoke out the well-disguised sociopath, who may just be a fantastic, convincing actor, and seem to seriously want to examine and own his misbehavior.

He may seem utterly sincere, for instance, in the therapist’s office, specifically in his contrition and his motivation to establish, or reestablish, himself as trustworthy. His agenda, even to the most astute clinician, may seem pure when it’s impure and merely effectively camaflaged.

Other therapy games sociopaths play include the I’m seeking therapy voluntarily charade, which can throw partners and therapists off, since we’ve established that clients who unmanipulatively, and voluntarily, engage in therapy, virtually by definition rule themselves out as sociopaths. This leaves us the tricky business of ascertaining the sociopath’s true motives for seeking therapy.

In other words, it’s not enough that he presents himself voluntarily for services, because his presentation, if he’s sociopathic, will necessarily be deceptive. And in any case, his status may be less voluntary than he purports; he may deny, persuasively, the court’s involvement when, alas, the courts (or probation) may be involved. 

But even in cases where the court isn’t involved, although technically he may have sought services voluntarily, in reality (as we’ve noted) the sociopath may be complying with a different sort of mandate—the mandate, for instance, of a furious partner, or an exasperated employer, whom he’s willing to mollify purely from selfish motives.

And so, once again, we have the illusion of a client who appears motivated to seek help and make a kind of sincere reckoning, but who, instead, uses therapy to manipulate his way out of the doghouse and restore the old leverage with which he’ll continue, sooner or later, to exploit in his customary style. 

Finally, for now, we have sociopaths who play the dedication to their spiritual development game. These are typically well-educated sociopaths with a polished psychological rap, who posture as committed spiritual seekers. Some of these sociopaths may go so far as to make a sort of cult—a seeming life mission—of their alleged spiritual development, raising irony and farce to new levels.

This category of sociopaths validates another principle that applies to sociopaths in general: While they are absolutely incapable of genuinely pursuing their personal and spiritual growth, yet smoother, more glib sociopaths can be highly capable of ungenuinely, insincerely, manipulatively pursuing their so-called personal growth.

Think of the predatory trollers (and rollers) at AA and NA meetings, and all other sociopaths, who posture one way or another as honest, open books seeking to confront their trauma responsibly and seriously.

Summoning guises like Mr. Sensitive, Mr. Wounded, Mr. Relationship Builder, Mr. I’m In Touch With Vulnerability, Mr. I’m In Recovery From Co-Dependence, and countless other pseudo-evolved raps, these sociopaths can be magnets—and they know it—for genuinely vulnerable women seeking sensitive, emotionally available, vulnerable men with whom to partner in their own recovery.  

I’ve outlined briefly, here, several of the more common therapy games that sociopaths play. They are by no means an exhaustive account. In concluding, I realize there are several points and issues that scream (at least to me) for elaboration. I intend to address them in more depth in upcoming Lovefraud columns.

(This article is copyrighted © 2010 by Steve Becker, LCSW. My use of the male gender was for convenience’s sake, not to suggest that females aren’t capable of the behaviors and attitudes discussed.)


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Caroline

Amen, amen, and another AMEN.

Exactly what happened with my adult daughter and she continues the charade!!!!

philomela

I think this is true and experienced it with my P partner who played all- “Mr. Sensitive, Mr. Wounded, Mr. Relationship Builder, Mr. I’m In Touch With Vulnerability, Mr. I’m In Recovery From Co-Dependence,Mr. Sensitive, Mr. Wounded, Mr. Relationship Builder, Mr. I’m In Touch With Vulnerability, Mr. I’m In Recovery From Co-Dependence,” among others. He also happens to be a psychiatrist, so he has many well studied skills in deception of therapists and people in self-help/personal growth groups. And he also has particularly good skills in making others (me)appear to be the problem to therapists and others.

My question is, how does the therapist, the partner, the employer, or the court tell the difference between someone who is genuinely working on their behavior and issues versus someone who is simply playing the game or using “therapy” to further their control and deception of their partner or others?

Steve:

Excellent post. I second Philomela’s question – how can you tell when the sociopath is in therapy for his/her own agenda? Should a therapist do the equivalent of a 360-degree evaluation – talking to the people who are around the sociopath?

one/joy_step_at_a_time

oh, ouh, I’ll take a mr. wounded and mr. sensitive and raise you a cardiac and hypoxia patient….

…throw in a ASD diagnosis and a multiple personalities and we have it about covered.

of course, ’tis all a lie. no way it could be anything else, given the source.

ErinBrock

Like others, I was hit with …..But, I’m in therapy….and I went on my own!!!
Then it was blurted out in court when convenient……
So….I kept all 5 of the weekly receipts on the CC statement and made sure I had them for the judge…..
5 therapy sessions I’m SURE could cure a sociopath….no doubt….
NO…..actually…..truth be told….5 sessions was all he could handle before the ‘hard questions’ started and the therapist could ‘break through’ to see what she was really dealing with.
THEN…..it stopped…..he never went back…..
But held onto the ‘claim’ of sought help, and I’m fine….it’s NOT me….it’s her. My therapist told me so.

It was clear to me……and i was ready to make it clear to others……if needed….

I knew this therapist was NOT stupid and very aware of at least Narcissism. (hoping Sociopaths)……
I had a client who saw her after hubby left and SHE was the one who brought up boundaries and Narcissism with my client.
She was a christian counselor…..which suited client well….BUT THE SPATH???? seeing a Christian counselor?????
Uh, yeah…..Don’t buy that either!
I saw the books she sent home with my client…..all heavy ‘god’ books……THERE IS NO WAY THE SPATH would be able to sit and ‘open’ up with her……

I’ve often wanted to make an apt. with her just to talk about Sociopaths and the above topic Steve points out……HOW they recognize them……with limited time and the preface of honesty and openness.
I’d LOVE to discuss the spath with her……(although it doesn’t matter now)……

It kills me when they use the ‘I’m in counseling’ card…..

They exploit every angle!!!

Thanks steve…..great article….ONCE AGAIN!

silvermoon

it kills me that the counselingprocess is so hard to decipher.
I dragged my first husband through thousands of dollars of it and it wasn’t until I was out of money and my child had been victimized that I found the sliding scalle place in Santa Clara, CA. It was only then that any of them every even tried to tell me what I was mixed up with.

You know, it just makes me annoyed with the profession that takes your money to basically tell you “I know, but I am not telling you until I buy a new car etc”.

To this frustration I except one and only one other human being in the world: Ladies and Gentlement, the infatiguable, Steve Becker.

S, you are in in a million and I mean that in dollars and therapists!

Ox Drover

Great article steve, but like Donna and Philomela, what’s your SECRET for outing them in therapy?

one/joy_step_at_a_time

oh man, I REALLY want to hear this secret!

Rosa

What’s the secret???

LET THEM TALK!!!

(They don’t know when to shut up & they end up exposing themselves everytime.)

I’m no therapist, though. That’s just my own opinion.

Rosa

If you really want to stump a sociopath, ask this question:

“What emotions are you feeling right now??”

You’ll get a blank stare……

~This comment is totally sarcastic and uncalled for.
I am going to delete it…..in a little while. 🙂

ErinBrock

Oh Rosa……Couln’t be more right there!!!!

The S LOVES to talk…..I listen to tapes of him ‘talking’….he’d call it a conversation…..but it’s HIM talking….me shutting up…..sometimes for over an hour…
The more he said….the MORE HE EXPOSED….once I learned to shut up and not take anything personally…..and listen and decode his ‘words’…..

This was the best thing I could have done for myself….to gain insight……FORGET my feelings….he didn’t care….he wasnt’ going to listen…..just SHUT UP EB and let him talk, talk, talk……

Once I shut up……I learned so much about what I was really dealing with.
It was like I had to separate myself off from myself….to be able to not take his ‘hits’ personally….and just listen…..with NO RESPONSE.

He didn’t even notice I gave no response……he couldn’t pull away from his chatter long enough to even question why I wasn’t ‘fighting’ with him, or arguing or even NOT SPEAKING…..NEVER NOTICED my change…..

HA!

Rosa

Yes, ErinBrock.

Another Golden Rule that I learned in sales training was, “A great salesperson knows when to SHUT UP & LISTEN!”

This is another valuable nugget of wisdom that I was taught early, and I still apply it to my life today.

This is what it says in “Stalking the Soul” about communication in an emotionally abusive relationship:

Page 95: “Establishing firm control requires procedures that give the illusion of communicating–a singular kind of communication that doesn’t really aim to connect but, on the contrary, aims to maintain a distance that will prevent meaningful exchange between the partners. The goal of this distorted communication is to enable the other person to be used. He must be verbally manipulated in order to keep him in the dark about the process and make him even more confused.”

Ox Drover

Rosa, don’t delete that comment, it is too good and too right! You are so right, shut up and listen, they will reveal themselves, their narcissism is too much for them not to.

EB you are right on there. I listened but I did not hear the messages partly because I was EXCUSING them or triavlizing them, but NO MORE I am turning the sound mostly off and watching the actioons as well as comparing actions vs words. They never match!

MiLo

Great timing on this one for me. But, I also need to know what can be done expose them. Especially since the daughter is about to call her latest counselor to the stand to testify FOR her.

I have found the daughter on social web sites like Meetup trying to form support groups for childhood abuse victims, dysfunctional families, depression, ocd (you name it). She doesn’t have any problems dealing with any of it, but wants to get down what Steve refers to as the “polished psychological rap”, she wants to steal other group member’s emotional identities.

If a therapist or counselor even begins to catch on, she just goes out and finds another. She has had 5 in the past 4 years.

We have had custody of her now 9 year old son for over 5 years. She has not had any contact with him for over 4 years, but now is taking us to court in an attempt to get him back.

MiLo

CAmom

And can’t forget the sociopath as therapist–my ex is one. And fits the spiritual seeker also–the transpersonal guru. He’s an author of a book on transpersonal psychology. Someone who is very intelligent, highly educated, and charismatic.

I hope this is extremely uncommon in the profession–and would be very interested in any statistics or anecdotal information on sociopaths who choose a career as a clinical psychotherapist? The real and potential damage a disordered therapist can cause is immense.

And as a spouse, your chances of surviving the onslaught of what I called “the diagnosis du jour” are minimal. Which probably explains why I was wife #4. (Wife #2 was a psychiatrist; Wife #3 was a LCSW–Wife #2 is now a candy striper who never returned to psychiatry after he was through with her, and #3 was in therapy herself for years after their divorce)

One of his closest friends is also a PhD in clinical psychology and refers to himself as a “recovering narcissist.” Seriously. I guess that shows some insight, but he uses that description as both an excuse for really bad behaviour, and as a “see, I’m trying!” ploy on his wife.

ErinBrock

Milo:
4 years???? No support, financial/emotional for the child??

HOW is she going to prove a fit mother?
What can she show has changed? True or portrayed?
What basis is she going to court under….I’m the mother?

Well….I think your case of ‘what’s best for the child’ shines through here…..

Why does she need a phychiatrist to show she’s a good parent?
I think you can use the physchiatrist against her…..by asking the ‘right’ questions, based on your documentation you have collected and put together.

Not seeing a child in 4 years….after abandoning him in very formative years, then reappearing and wanting to play mommy again is just not feesable…..or healthy for the child.

I don’t think you would have a problem in court exposing her behaviors….current/past…..to predict what this child would face in the future.
Keep it factual….gather up your evidence and documentation and this should speak for itself.

At best….I see high level supervised visits under strict conditions …….and if she doesnt have the $$ to pay for these supervisors…..well then…….that might just be a problem for mommy-0!

Good luck!!!!

MiLo

Thanks so much for your comments ErinBrock. It is a longggg and complicated story which covers two counties, four different courts, thousands and thousands of dollars and several years. Our experiences in trying to save our grandson was the Murphy’s law of court cases. I’ll give details later.

We will find out tomorrow, after an “attorney only” meeting, in front of a Magistrate, exactly what we are facing. Instead of filing for visitation or custody, where best interest of the child MAY have some bearing on it, she and her esteemed attorney are looking for loopholes. They motioned the court stating I was pretending (for 5 years) to have custody when actually the case had been dismissed. However, in fact, there was ANOTHER case after the dismissed one which granted me legal custody. The daughter never showed up for that case and we think she will claim she was not served. We know that that is not true, BUT – Murphy’s Law. Oh and the Magistrate that it is in front of tomorrow – she dismissed the first case and was removed from the second for making prejudicial statements against us and our attorney – Murphy’s Law

She has been seeing a therapist to prove she is JUST FINE – a totally changed person because of the abuse and neglect charges she was up against last time, as well as alcohol and drug use and abuse. She hopes she can avoid a court ordered eval this way.

Like I said way complicated and my time is limited right now. I must mention my 9 year old grandson – diagnosed and treated for RAD, ADHD, OCD, Sensory Integration and just recently on the spectrum – high function autism. She knows NONE of this and could care less. Oh, and her attorney, he works for FREE because he SO BELIEVES in her.

Thanks – I need all the help I can get – and no not even a card in 4 years.

MiLo

DancingWarrior

How does one every trust anyone to be normal after dealing with all the deception, acting, crocodile tears that are pure fakery?

I am afraid after my terrible mistake of a marriage, I will think everyone I meet is a sociopath or a narcissist.

ErinBrock

Milo:
Regardless what she/attorney says about being served or you having the kids illegally…..whatever…..
WHERE HAS SHE BEEN FOR 4 YEARS?????

when my kids were kidnapped…they were taken by their father to a famlies home in another state…..

I NEVER stopped trying to reach them, speaking with another family member close by, keeping tabs on their myspace pages, contacting the school (who had been told there ‘wasn’t’ a mother)contacting the Dr. I saw they visited on my insurance… and when I felt it critical to show up…..and I wasn’t willing to risk one of their suicides….I SHOWED UP…..without warning…..
I knew it wouldn’t be prudent, due to the situation and stress they were under, ptsd, lies of me faking cancer and other lies to keep them from talking to me…..I knew it would cause them more harm if I showed up and rambo’ed them at school, put them in the car and carted them back to my home 600 miles away……I knew the S set this up so they wouldn’t go, due to what he was ‘feeding’ them……
So I had to wait for the right time and place and situation to get my kids.
All along, I had NO legal custody change…..I am their mother, I have raised them, I have cared, fed, educated and doctored them as their primary parent…..but THEY had to see what their father and family members were doing to them……to be able to come home in peace.
My guardianship/legal custody was Never in question…..I reported it to police, but I shared custody with their father bevcause we were not divorced at that point.

Point is……there was NOTHING in the world that was going to create a gap in my parenting my beautiful children. We had a physical/emotional gap…..BUT…..that was what they were brainwashed into believing…..
Your daughter, if truely interested in her son, would have been co-parenting with you…..she would be in contact with the school, dr’s, having playdates at the park, attending soccer games and coming over for Sunday dinner at moms…..to see her son….

I hope to god you have been REALLY CLEAR to your attorney that you are ONLY interested in your gs’s best interest…..and you could give a rats ass about any loophole she’s trying to slither through….he is to protect that child!!!!

It would be shocking if a court would go off an attorny’s recommedation that she is drug free…….without testing her through the courts…..
Her psych’s evaluation might pull…..but cross examining the psych is also an option and he may admit to not knowing what you ask of him……because she’s never spoken of it…..

the not being served ‘ritual’……okay….fine….standard claim….but WHERE WERE YOU all 4 years, coulda mailed, coulda shown up…..what was stopping you…..THE CRACK PIPE???

With medical history on Gs…..I am sure no court would just hand him off……he’s not a giapet….hes a child with special needs……his needs are being met in his current environment….
and with her legal actions…..she’s not making her relationship with his current/past providers a good one for the future.
She’s really got nothing to lose if she’s not paying for her representation……(financially at least)…..so hey….why not file a suit against mom and pops……I want my kid now…..
CROCK!

Why hasn’t your attorney petitioned the court for a new magistrate to hear your case? She’s already been removed from a case you’ve had in front of her…..this shows severe predujice.

The courts DO offer second chances……but NOT without major proof….
With the bits youv’e shared….
I really DON”T SEE this happening for your daughter……

Good luck tomorrow and have one last chat with your attorney and make it real clear…..DON”T SELL MY GS out!!!!!

silvermoon

Dancing,

I hear what you are asking. Been there all day myself. And I don’t know that there is a better answer than understanding that we have to be present in each moment as they come and if in some future moment I need to evaluate whether somebody is good or evil, then I have to run that checklist and it will be committed to memory. I will measure words against action. I know how now.

But until I have to do that. I don’t have to do that.

I know that staistically the majority of people are not these bogeymen and that as I learn and grow through the discoveries I make after this last debacle, I’m going to see myself and them differently.

I’m going to take better care of my trust because my little me is going to get to stand up behind the grown up me who has an awful lot of experience in her intuition.

When it rings like a bell, I’m gonna listen more closely.
And you know what, I’m gonna learn oragami so I have the tactile sense of folding tigers into swans……

Until then, life is good. And when I come up against them and I can’t handle it alone, I know where to find a really supportive and wise group of folks to consult about it and I know that Oxy’s skillet among the many voices is gonna ring out before I do something stupid.

There are so many books and articles and people and tools now that I didn’t have before. Me and you, when we go out in the world we have an ARSENAL we didn’t have before.

Not bad Huh?

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Milo – I applaud all that you have done and continue to do to protect that child. I wish you very good strength and that murphy’s law breaks.

to innocent to know

Mine only went to his therapist to get his drugs, which he saved and showed me how he would kill himself

DancingWarrior

Silver,
You are very smart. I like that little me behind the grown up me with lots of experience in her intuition.
I am a lot more wary than you right now, but I believe all you say.

silvermoon

I took those words from you…:)
I will be right here and in good company Dancing, in good company….

one/joy_step_at_a_time

to innocent to know – well, that kind of manipulation just pisses me off. shame on him.

mine was always dying and having nervous breakdowns and trying to ‘kill himself”. so, know what this feels like. shame on him.

pollyannanomore

Well howdy everyone – I have decided to revert to my original name – the legalities are dealt with now so I don’t care if he is watching – the likelihood of it is in reality low as he cares not a jot for my life, having moved on with a younger sweetheart within weeks of moving out of the house.

Like many here, I dragged my Pex to counselling and psychotherapy in an attempt to understand what the heck was going on with the relationship. I found both to be a complete waste of time. He played the pity card in sessions and highlighted my ‘anger’ as being the cause of his ‘depression’ – of course both were completely fake. The counsellors rather stupidly focussed on elements of his behaviour rather than looking at the whole – same for the effects on me. So an example is his lies … he would explain that he lied because he was so fearful of my reaction and the anger that would ensue. Rather than pursuing the lies as the root cause of my anger, the therapists would try to examine my motives for getting angry – ie lost father issues from childhood.

Similarly his compulsive spending was seen as a reaction to the stress of his ‘walking on eggshells’ around me – I was the cause of everything that he did wrong and the therapists would try to get me to work on my ‘issues’. Not once did anyone address or question the emotional abuse or psychological games he was playing – I doubt if I could have even articulated them at the time anyway.

Only one therapist showed any insight into what was really going on and even she didn’t mention personality disorders – instead she drew a parrallel between his compulsive spending and the risk taking behaviour of alcoholics – she said it was an impulse and he didn’t think ahead to the consequences of what would happenn when he did it.

He usually disparaged therapists once we were out of the appointment and made any excuse not to go to a session – he felt sick, had a headache or had to work late. The hassle of getting him to attend was just more effort than it was worth so we would usually quit after a few sessions before anything really truthful came out. It would have been so helpful to me for someone to have drawn my attention to personality disorders. I think therapists need much more training in psychological and emotional abuse as well as recognising the covert signs of personality disorders and the impacts they are likely to see in the victims as it is most likely the victims rather than the perpetrators who will seek help.

They are excellent actors in therapy and able to project all their faults onto the person they are stalking – therapists should question a little more and not accept the reality the psychopath presents as it is little more than an illusion.

Rosie – glad you enjoyed Stalking the Soul – marvellous book isn’t it? I have highlighted just about the whole of every page as the author has so excellently described the covert nature of what I was dealing with during that relationshit.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

CHICA!! – i haven’t read your post yet, just darn glad to see you here….okay will go read now.

Matt

I saw the “3 Faces of Eve” vis-a-vis the subject of therapy when it came to my S-ex.

Face 1: when he knew I was at the end of my rope he’d start the “You’re right. I’m running from my problems and I’ll call one of the therapists you gave me.”

Face 2: the night I threw him out he said something to the effect of “and that therapy you’re always pushing me to go to? Well, one of my exes made me go. And it was useless. Absolutely useless.”

Face 3: one day early in our relationship after he had come clean to me about being on parole, told me about a group therapy session he had to go to as part of his probation. The counselor had asked the group memeber why it was important for them to come to group. My S-ex responded “Because it helps keep me on an even keel and gives me a point of reference.” The therapist lapped it up. My S-ex was so proud of himself for how he shined the therapist. I should have paid a lot more attention to that story. But, it came early on in the honeymoon phase and I was suffering from a severe case of cranio-rectal inversion. So, I had to learn the lesson. The hard way.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

pollyannanomore – you know you’re going to mess up EB with the name change again. 😉

so, how’d the legal stuff turn out?

Ox Drover

I’m sorry, it is difficult enough for an old lady with chronic CRS to keep up with people’s screen names and stories, I would appreciate it if people would say what their “real” screen name is, and IF THEY CHANGE IT, to put a reference in each new post under a “new” screen name as in “the PERFORMER FORMERLY KNOWN AS PRINCE” or something like that at least for a few days.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

well polly was first polly, the she became midlifecrisis.

i’ll call her anything she likes, i am glad to see her back.

Ox Drover

Matt,

that is why most people who work with them say that therapy really makes them WORSE, as it gives them new tools to work with and the jargon to fling around to sound “sincere.”

Philosophy is the same way, they can pick out “sound bites” of philosophy to quote for just about any con-game that they are trying to impress you enough to get you to swallow the hook, and to sound so “Wise” and CARING (where is that puke emoticon when you need it?)

kim frederick

Pollyannanomore. Oh Yes. It was always the fault of my anger. Not only with one man, but with two. If only I was a nice, giving care-taking (BLIND<SELF_SACRIFICING-COWED ) wife, he wouldn't have to run off for 3 days, put my electric bill $ up his nose, screw women who were barely through puberty, and break one of my ribs in self-defense.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

kim – seems like a ‘little more anger’ on your part would have been a good thing. 😉 you know – having given him something to defend himself against – like a baseball bat.

whew, i am in a MOOD…

Ox Drover

Dear Kim,.

A psychopath or even a dysfunctional non-p will always get angry when they are confronted with their bad behavior—but the only recourse we have is to GET AWAY FROM THEM, AND STAY AWAY FROM THEM.

How are you doing today? Feeling any better or do I have to “threaten” you again! ha ha LOL

Today was like 80s here and wonderful even if a bit windy, took the storm windows off the front of the house and enjoyed the sun and spring time. Hope you had a good day and did something nice for YOURSELF. ((((Hugs))))

ErinBrock

POLLY……holy shiznoli girl…….
Don’t think i’m ignoring you …..i;ll be the one in the background going…..geeze this story sounds real familiar…..now who the heck was she……scratching head big time!!!!
OIY-VEY!

I think I will have a sticker on my computer of who’s who…..

Go easy girl go easy on me!!!! 🙂

So…..how’d it turn out……

ErinBrock

Kim….yeah…you shoulda changed…..
I made mine hit me and push me down……
the kids inherited the ‘do this to me please gene’ ……also!

kim frederick

One-step, I went to jail.
Oxy,I know. Staying in it. Why, why, why? The million dollar question. Trauma bonding? No way out? Learned helplessness. My own denial and wish for control? Co-dependancy? Some #%$^%&* so-called concerned person trying to help me by making me feel more guilty, less entitled…oh God who knows.

Right now feeling angry.

I will take a deep breath though.

I took care of my two youngest grand-babies today, so their Daddy could go for an interview.

God, they’re cute. I guess if I hadn’t been with their granddads I wouldn’t have them. 🙂

one/joy_step_at_a_time

kim – seriously? for whupping him?

silvermoon

Kim.
YOu’ve had one hell of a time. Those babies are lucky to have you for their caretaker and wise teacher.

You won’t let them…………..

If we are here now and here is not there where we were, we’re in a better place.

And look, we’re all together!
let us be careful what we wish for….

kim frederick

One-step, Let’s just say, trying to.
It was a really sick relationship with a whole lot of alcohol thrown on the fire.
But I had been supporting him for a really long time, trying to go to work, pay the bills, etc.etc.etc, while he blew smoke up my ass, and did nothing. Then he started getting out of the bed, at night and not coming home.
I quit even saying anything about it. This happened about 4 times a week. I still had to get up and go to work.
This went on for awhile until I snapped. I confronted him, he made for the door, and I slapped the shit out of him. He knocked me to the kitchen floor, dragged me out of MY HOUSE by my hair and locked the door on me.

Let me repeat, this was MMY HOUSE. HE WAS NOT on the lease, I PAID THE RENT. Being stupid, I went ballistic, broke the window, went in, slapped him some more, called the cops, I went to jail….because I had been drinking (more than him) I was shaking, soooo angry I couldn’t think, and he was calm, charming, and persuasive.

When I got to jail, calmed down, I realized I was in pain. I had a knot on my head the size of a golf ball from where He’d knocked me down.

I asked to see a nurse, so I could have it documented, but I never did. They assumed, because I was more intoxicated, it was my fault. And maybe it was. But God knows I wanted out of that relationship.

That’s only one incident. I took him back.

It totaly ruined me. I lost everything.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

NOT totally ruined anymore. that is plain to all of us!

kim frederick

Now I feel like I’ve share too much. I’m the person that all your LF friends has warned you about. My biggest fear.

silvermoon

???? Nope.
You’re KIm.
And that, rocks.
🙂

Don’t worry about stuff, there is plenty more.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYHl44x_3bA

one/joy_step_at_a_time

kim – i am going to say something i held back, because i didn’t want to say something that others or you might misconstrue. but given how vulnerable you are feeling, i am going to take the risk,’cause i want to affirm you. k?

i was in program for a long time, not AA, but others. i know the drill. i know the things people bring and how wild some of it is. and that we take responsibility for it. i don’t see anything in your post that suggests you don’t. nada. zippo.

i wanted to say, ‘you should have smacked him harder.’ – but i didn’t want to make light of this very real and very difficult situation and burden that you carry.

i know you struggle. guess what? me too. and if i could get my hand son the spath i’d probably strangle her. in anger and in the desire to protect all the others she wouldn’t then get to dupe and possibly maim emotionally.

i value your coming forward with this. don’t doubt it for a minute.

kim frederick

Silver, Thanks.

I need something for hope. What herbs do you have for hope?

one/joy_step_at_a_time

marijuana.

silvermoon

Salt is the first one that comes to mind Kim…. And you have PLENTY of that!

Then, take a look at this……
http://aromatherapyliving.com/hope_essential_oil_blend.html

silvermoon

One, HA! That was my first thought but its actually a depressant…..

Have you ever done any work with theives oil?
http://aromatherapyliving.com/thieves_essential_oil_blend.html

MiLo

ErinB

So sorry for what you must have gone through with your kids. You reacted as a normal, loving, caring Mom would, never giving up and always putting their best interests ahead of your own. My daughter is an S through and through, her needs (especially the need to party) always comes first. Along with her need to control her father and I.

I totally agree with everything you have said about how the courts SHOULD look at all this and I have made it as clear as possible to our attorney what I expect. You just have to hear about our “court horrors”.

She got charged with child endangering – signed application for us to take guardianship – took application to her child endangering hearing showed magistrate – NOT GUILTY

Probate Court – Guardianship to be finalized – “the attorney” claims she was tricked into signing it based on a child endangering charge that she was found not guilty on. Showed outdated medicade cards to prove county should not have jurisdiction – TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER COUNTY – We do get Temporary Guardianship until settled in other court because daughter was arrested on 4 outstanding warrants right in the court room

Probate Court – Other County – Court investigator tells us to save our money, in that court mothers always get the child.
Court Investigator – “he is almost 4 years old, that is old enough for him to take care of himself”
When presented with evidence daughter is driving on suspended license (DUI – another) with gs in car on visits, magistrate laughs and says everyone does that – so what is your point.
In chambers everyone agrees to a family mental health evaluation – us, daughter and gs. We pay $3,000, take our evals – daughter refuses – Magistrate lost his notes, can’t remember – daughter can pick her psychologist to do it – we pay. “The attorney” keeps asking for more and more visitation – granted – daughter never uses it.
I am ordered by Magistrate to spend Christmas Eve at drug dealer boyfriends house with gs, so mother and son can be together. I am told by Magistrate to keep my mouth shut and do what I am told.
Court Investigator is “supervising” visits – we pick gs up, he has no hair – he was in the bathroom cutting while Mommy and Court man talked.
Court Investigator asks 3 year old who he wanted to live with.
We fire attorney because he wants to give up.
We have been in Probate Court for 1 year now.

New attorney convinces us we need custody not guardianship.
We must change courts – to Juvenile Court. We must drop Guardianship because you cannot have cases in two courts at once. We file for EMERGENCY custody. This should take 3 to 4 days – It takes over 2 months. Grand is beaten, tied up, emotionally traumatized.
First case, Magistrate dismisses because it was in 2 Courts – NOT – that’s why it’s an emergency – she has him back.
Second case, same Magistrate makes prejudicial remarks, laughs and brags she is “sitting on case” She is removed.
New Magistrate (also brand new to the job) keeps stating she doesn’t know what to do. GAL makes first visit with gs and daughter – calls DCF emergency line from drive.
Court date – continued – Court date – continued etc. etc.
We exercise old grandparent visitation rights and go to pick gs up. We arrive just after violent domestic violence incident, daughter had sliced herself all over, gs had run down road and was picked up by stranger, totally hysterical and traumatized.
Our attorney called Magistrate told her to throw us all in jail for contempt because kid was not going back.
Magistrate issued us Temporary Emergency Custody, after asking our attorney how to do it.
Daughter decides to give us custody, over her attorney’s objections. We all sign including visitation plan. Done –
No not really, Our attorney turns it in to Magistrate. Magistrate dismisses case because 90 day period after first filing is up. Our attorney is escorted out of court house for threatening Magistrate.
We file 3rd case – daughter refuses to come to hearing or to call her attorney – she is DONE – thinks we are pulling a fast one.
We no longer have custody – case with order was dismissed. I hear from DCF – we are now being viewed as “failed to protect the child” – if we don’t get custody immediately, they are going for custody and he will go to a foster home
GAL asks magistrate for emergency custody order for us until court date – granted
Court – no daughter – no Magistrate – substitute Magistrate – old guy dressed like a pimp – we are screwed
Magistrate reads all the reports, says to us “Do you want this kid?” Duh Yes “He’s yours”
We get custody papers, the part for visitation times is blank – she has no visitation order.

For anyone who has taken the time to read this mini series, thanks, I needed to write this tonight. Now you know why I am scared to death of going back to court.

Yes, as soon as our attorney gets a feel for this informal meeting he is going to ask the Magistrate to step down. This may help get the whole mess transferred back to our county where it should have been 5 years ago.

Oh, and up until a year and a half ago, we allowed our daughter unlimited supervised visits, she made 11 the first year, then the 4 years of nothing.

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