By | May 29, 2012 48 Comments

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

This week finds me well and truly back on my soapbox. Because I am feeling suitably goaded to address the somewhat emotive subject of the lack of support and comprehension offered to victims of abuse. The fact that too many people in various circles (friends and family, law and order and other professionals) simply don’t ”˜get’ what it means to be held captive in a manipulative relationship.

I know many of us here in the Lovefraud community have already experienced the indignity of having to convince people of the validity of what we know to be true. I’m of course familiar with the remarks from well-intentioned friends and relatives that go along the lines of “he/she always seemed such a nice person!” “Surely, if what you’re saying is true, you’d have noticed something beforehand?” “You must have got it wrong, all relationships have their ups and downs you know!” “You’re saying he/she is a what”¦? A psychopath”¦? Have you completely lost your mind”¦?”

With the space and wisdom that hindsight offers, I guess those kind of comments are to be understood and even expected from people around us who care, but who simply can’t comprehend that psychopathic individuals live and breathe among us. Caring people who most certainly also struggle with the idea that it was happening so close to home and that, by association, they were duped as well!

To Understand We Must First Un-Learn

To put it in to context, the phrase “we don’t see things as they are, we can only see things as we are” is never so true when explaining a new concept to people. In order to take new ideas on board, the person doing the learning must find ways to understand what they are being taught. Puzzlement, questions and sometimes bewilderment are all perfectly natural responses in the learning cycle. Often, particularly in adulthood, this process involves shifting existing beliefs or long-held opinions — turning the previously ”˜unbelievable’ in to something that is appreciated and recognized. That’s all well and good, and it’s perfectly understandable too — goodness knows I’ve been there myself, both as student and teacher. The jury’s out on which role is the most taxing”¦

The thing is, though, this natural learning process becomes so very much more difficult to accept when the “unbelievable” relates to experiences that are being shared by somebody who has suffered from abuse and manipulation. At that moment in time, all that the ”˜victim’ needs is support and understanding. But when the subject in hand involves accounts of deception, gas-lighting, control, loss of self-esteem, and that feared word “psychopathic—¦ well, then it simply serves to make explaining the horrors that much more galling. That much more painful.

Because it’s hard enough for us to realize the truth ourselves. And even harder to come to terms with the fact we’ve been duped and manipulated. Harder still to then reach out and ask for help! When that request typically comes at our most vulnerable time, and is met by (understandable) disbelief, then those well-intentioned people we’ve chosen to share with end up creating further pain, deeper shame and more excruciating guilt within us — in short, the re-clarifying of what happened become a repeated process of public tarring and feathering.

You know what? I can live with that. I can accept that it’s merely ”˜not knowing’ on the part of friends and family who, at the time, caused me to turn the emotional knife once again on myself. At the time I knew no better myself than to respond in that way. Now, with distance, I can understand and empathise — and I’m grateful as well, because it’s highlighted the need to educate more people about the intricacies of this subject. So no, there is no axe for me to grind there. But then, this is only one small part of recovery. This is a part where we can feel confident that any hurts caused are unintentional.

Professionals And The Law

Then there are the other parts. The parts where the professionals step in. Where these qualified, respected, wise pillars of society are expected to at least remain open-minded. In many cases they are also expected to provide accurate useful support and guidance for our next steps — that’s why they’re professionals. Isn’t it? And yet this is the part which has once again prompted me to bring out my soap box. I am deeply concerned and angered by what I see as professional ignorance and ill-informed judgements. Ignorance that, in my opinion, protects the wrong-doers and in doing so continues to force abuse further underground. In this particular instant, I am talking about the law — or perhaps the interpretation of the law.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the idea of the law to protect the innocent, maintain a level of order and keep our society working for us rather than against us? Well, that’s what I’d always thought. I’m finding, though, that increasing focus on political correctness is steadily diminishing the effectiveness of our laws when faced with deliberate deception. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-political correctness per say”¦. I AM anti the fear-based interpretation of guidelines that result in too much ”˜covering of backs’ and losing site of what’s important.

What do I mean?

Well, there have been a couple of episodes over recent times that have rattled my cage. One is a very public news story in the UK about Tina Nash, a young mother who had her eyes gouged out by her psychopathic partner — Shane Jenkins. The sickening attack in her own home lasted 12 hours. She describes it as “silent and prolonged”.  He attacked her while she was sleeping, knocking her unconscious and trying to strangle her, before blinding her in the most horrific way. He was sentenced this month to a minimum of 6 years in jail, and is currently being held in a mental hospital. Yet he has been allowed to tell his story, blaming his victim for prompting the attack, and telling people he’s “not as evil as everyone has made out, I’m actually really chilled””¦! The attack happened in April 2011, but Tina says she feels he’s still controlling her, even now that he’s locked away. She says he deliberately chose to tell his story on her birthday just to spite her.

Soap-box And Fury

Surely, that in itself is wrong? How can society allow the twisted delusional bragging of a convicted thug to be printed in our newspapers? What effect will it have on the victim — in this case a 32-year old mother who will never see her children again? That, alone, was enough for me to dust down my soap-box”¦. But then I read these words that this brave woman had said a few days earlier and my blood started to boil:

“My life has been in limbo as I have not been able to have the treatment and counseling I so desperately needed whilst Shane has had a team of experts, professionals and psychiatrists assessing and ensuring his wellbeing and that he received the treatment that he required”¦”

WHAT? After surviving everything she endured, she has not been given any treatment or counseling, while her ex-lover (held on remand since the attack) has had a team of professionals ensuring his wellbeing”¦? My heart bleeds for her. Has the world gone crazy”¦? Well, I’m saddened to say that I believe in many cases that yes, it has. I believe that we’ve lost our ability to judge what’s important over our need to tick boxes and ”˜do the right thing’ to prevent being sued by the wrong-doers.

Is it any wonder that so many victims stay quiet while the bullies continue to get away with it? We’re protecting the wrong-doers, and pushing the truth underground.

My other, very tiny, but very personal gripe is around the on-going shenanigans with the legal eagles finalizing my book. I was going to disguise this part of the story by introducing it as “a friend who is sharing her story”. Then I thought, no, I won’t do that. Because if I do, then I too become one of the faceless crowd who suppress the truth. And that’s not who I am.


So, my gripe in this instance is to do with some professional opinions detailed in a libel report. This is a document prepared by lawyers for the publishers, checking whether they may be open to any kind of libel claim as a result of the book they are publishing. Fine, I understand that. But what I don’t understand or agree with are many what I believe to be ill-informed comments, most of which I am not at liberty to share for the moment. There is one, though, that is innocuous enough to repeat, but the message behind it burned in to my soul. It is in relation to my ex-guardian. In the book I talk about one particular evening where this person slapped me across the face. This occurred more than 30 years ago, but I am being asked what proof I have that this actually happened — together with the implied advice that if there is no proof then the story should be removed. Why, you may well ask? Because it’s so far fetched? Because these things don’t happen behind closed doors? No. Because it’s possible that the individual concerned might one day read my book and, even though names and places have all been changed in order to comply with privacy laws, this person might take offence and try to sue me or the publishers.

The law, it seems, has become grotesquely skewed, and is now protecting the bullies and questioning the victims. Innocent until proven guilty may well have been the starting mantra”¦. I fear that in the case of victims of abuse, the mantra has shifted, and guilty until proven innocent is becoming the new reality.

Well this particular ”˜victim’ is sick and tired of staying quiet, bottling up emotions, and being a ”˜good girl’ in order to keep the peace. So listen up you army of ”˜do-gooders’ and ”˜politically correct’ professionals who have lost the gumption to stand up for what is right. The tide IS turning… And I will continue to do everything within my power to speak up for true justice.

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Ox Drover

Dear Mel,

Yea, this victim is also tired of hiding like I am some sort of criminal.! That’s why i finally came out and put my name at the top of my articles.

The story about the young woman and her eyes. “6 years MINIMUM?” ” OMG I can’t believe a person who did such a crime can be let out in 6 years, not even 60 would be enough. But I know you are in the UK and your laws and courts are worse than ours in the US.

Sorry you’ve had such a hard time with the idiots. Keep standing up!


Thanks Mel: great post. Yes, we are only ‘victims’, though, until we realize we are being made the victim. Then we become ‘survivors’. Right?

ONLY SIX YEARS for gouging out her eyes??!!
What is this world coming to?

I understand you, completely, about your legal eagles and their ‘libel’ bandwagon…I wish you well with that. Where I live, we must be careful in reference as well, or be open to libel and slander. I don’t see how they can question a first hand account, though, which it was you that was slapped across the face. There should be no question when it is a firsthand account.

Thanks for standing up for all of us this way. It’s only when people, such as yourself, stands up and speaks up, that change actually takes place.

This kind of-psychological and physical and emotional and mental and sometimes medically-abuse needs to be regarded the same way as any other criminal type assault. That’s what I think and I think it’s horrid that monster could do that to her and only get six years. The law needs to ‘tighten up’ and recognize that the rest of us needs to be somewhat protected from the predator instead of them assuring them their rights. All they are doing is reinforcing destructive behavior.

May the Good Graces help us all.

Thanks, Mel ~ Dupey


Hi Mel,
I am not sure how you define political correctness. ‘Policital Correctness was a good thing in my day: a way to bring equity to the forefront in situations where people had had no voice or their voice was heard through a filter of racism, homphobia, sexism, classism, etc.

This was and is a progressive movement. I do see that it has been perceived as a silencing of those who hold inequitable views, and that their behaviours now have to be presented in other, less blatant ways. They have become less forthright, and sometimes that makes it even harder to ferret out the xenophobia.

PC was always about not saying or acting inappropriately ‘against’ those who suffer most from inequity. The vocal majority has, of course, made it about what they are no longer able to do, and a loss of privilege.

Are you saying that this fellow is being treated as if he is ‘downtrodden’, and therefore getting away with all kinds of crap? If so, i wouldn’t blame that on PC, i’d blame it on the belief that all those who are criminals are just misunderstood people who came from abusive backgrounds (aka not responsible for their actions). There is a strain running through neo-liberalism where this belief is common. And i would blame it on our stupid psychopathic societies, with their pseudo big love of drama and horror, as long as it is on the telly and not in our own lives.

i think the type of track/ back covering you are talking about has little to do with PC, but it has been co-opted as an excuse to do what has always been done…and blame some trend in society for it….like always has been done.


Powerfully written, Mel. Thank you for this.

You did a good job pointing out how these days people are so afraid to take a stand against obvious injustice, like a psychopath who gouges out his partner’s eyes. Is society afraid to call that what it IS? That is monstrous behavior, outrageous, completely inexcusable, in addition to horrific, cruel torture…. HELLO?!? He will do it again. Don’t let him out! EVER!!

But instead people seem afraid or unwilling to take sides. Even IF proof is presented…. they still are not willing to believe.

In my case, I was told, “well, that’s YOUR perspective.” Sure, it’s my perspective that he hit me. If 5 objective witnesses could have been there behind those closed doors, they would have observed with their own eyes that he did indeed hit me. And that I did not hit him. And that all I did to provoke him was to exist in that spot. Perhaps that is the part where it is “my perspective.” The CAUSE or what provoked him. But objectively speaking, he certainly did hit me. Since no one saw it, does that mean it maybe didn’t happen? Or that he has a different, equally valid, perspective? One that lets him off the hook or causes me to share the blame 50-50?

His lies do not negate my truth.

I know what really happened.

But I have to be very careful what I say about and against him, even if it is the truth. It has been twisted. I have been accused of parental alienation. Even though he never needed my help to alienate the kids from him.

I kept the truth hidden from the kids for many years because I had been told that it would harm them to hear the truth. But then, he started doing the same things to them that he had done to me. So I was torn. I began validating my kids’ perceptions.

And then I was accused of alienating the children from him.

Things are getting tricky these days. One daughter went no contact with him three years ago. Now the other daughter is agonizing over whether to do that, to what degree, suddenly or gradually withdraw… she is almost 16 years old. So how can I help her, when he has legal rights to visitation? And when going to court costs money I do not have?

She is so stressed over this, her grades are suffering and she is hypervigilant and becoming depressed.

Her brother is going away to college soon, and she doesn’t know how she could stand going to her dad’s house without her brother’s presence protecting her.

She is trying to think of a “reasonable excuse” to tell her dad and everyone — the reason why she does not want to go over there. The truth will not be bought by him or anyone. Neither will lies. There is nothing, in fact, that will satisfy him or anyone… he just sees her as an extension of himself, as a possession to control, and by her willfully refusing to go over there or have contact with him, he is likely to become enraged and do something scary. Perhaps it will only amount to throwing objects violently across the room with great force and scary yelling. Or maybe something will get broken. Or maybe he will advance menacingly with a hostile look on his face, but stop short of touching her.

But the scary things he does, he is very good at hiding evidence or minimizing it, “I’m not as bad as they seem to think I am. That’s ridiculous!” Once again, there is likely to be no proof. And in advance, anticipating his certain retaliation, there is nothing that can be done. Not unless “something happens” — and even then, maybe nothing can be done, if there is no clearcut evidence or no one believes.

Things are calm now, but we know it is the calm before the storm. It’s just a question of when the storm will be released, and what form it will take this time.



Hate this kind of stuff court orders that force a bad situation. Even though I know the court can only move on evidence and that can cost lots of money. Still hate it.

This isn’t advice just an option. But it could be viable if things get bad enough. Emancipation. You’d lose any child support the spath may be paying. And the she would now be legally responsible. But it would trump the court order. As I said just an idea to be aware of. Not saying this is what you want or should do.


We are often victims of groupthink and of denial in any situation of abuse. Groupthink says that speaking out against the abuse is bad and goes against group norms. Acknowledging any deviation from what the majority thinks causes the person who speaks out to be expelled from the group, either literally or emotionally. Denial lets someone look at the abuse or the abusive situation without ever calling it what it really is.

In the case of sociopaths, psychopaths and narcissists, isn’t it true that they often play the role of the “charming, easy-to-talk-to” socialite who is able to connect or converse with anyone anywhere? They always seem to say exactly the right thing and spout off the ideas that fit into the group norms even if they don’t believe in those norms? In that way, they always look like the good guys in whatever interaction or situation.

And isn’t it also true that if you are the victim of this person, the others around you are so stunned and overcome by his or her charm that they can’t see him or her for what s/he is? I’ve been called the bitch for calling out my exes on their abusive/opportunistic behaviors when no one else would do it and when others around him were also suffering from his mind games and his vampiric (energetically, emotionally, economically, etc) tendencies. They are emotional vampires for sure and feed on all of those around them if they have the opportunity. But he got all of the support and help and I got shafted. Nothing as bad as what you described in this article, but with my parents, yes, things were violent, abusive (sexually, emotionally, psychologically, physically) and yet everyone thought my parents were just so charming and friendly that they couldn’t do any wrong. They went on doing their thing and me and my sisters suffered the consequences of growing up with that. Luckily, armed with more information and more support from true friends, I am much better at spotting the sociopaths and calling them out on it immediately or at least avoiding them. They call me “harsh.” I call me “more enlightened about this than ever before.” The last ex-boyfriend did me over good and this past year and a half has been a revelation that I wish I had had about 20 years ago.

Finally, I’m interested in knowing if many of the victims of these people are introverts. I say this because the profile of a sociopath/narcissist seems to fit that of an extravert and that many who are considered “socially isolated” or “unfriendly” could actually be introverts who need a certain amount of free time and alone time to recharge and recuperate from their interactions. The problem starts when someone who likes being alone and likes quiet time slides into a solitary life that does not include making social connections and therefore becomes vulnerable to this kind of predator. Just a theory, but it seems like it could fit.

Luz Blanca


luzblanca: thanks for your post. I can relate to what you were saying. others feel ‘threatened’ somehow when hearing our stories. it creeps into their little world and it’s something they would rather not acknowledge.

Yes, they do play the role of the ‘charming, easy-to-talk-to’ socialite who IS able to converse with anyone, anywhere. They DO seem to know, ALWAYS, exactly the right thing to say and they barge their way into your world smoother than a baby’s behind. To them, it’s important that they always look like the ‘innocent’ victim in everything and take no responsibility for anything they do but try blame shifting it always onto someone else.

STUNNED and OVERCOME is not really a definitive regarding what it does to others when they finally grasp a hold of the truths and that this person is a complete FRAUD. In all aspects of their existence and if you suddenly are educated of them and what they are is when the threats set in. They don’t like being exposed. They are omnipotent and how dare anyone try forcing them to be like anyone else who is decent and good.

Emotional vampires, yes. Pretty close to blood sucking vampires. By the time they are done with you, a person feels ravaged and violated in every form conceivable.

Your questioning how many ‘survivors’ are introverts. I acquired the majority of my ‘introvert-ness’ from this experience, for many reasons. In fact, I am so introverted, NOW, I have become agoraphobic and seldom venture out. Certainly not around others in any social situations. “IT” reinforced all of the ‘shaky’ traits I had and used my own weaknesses against me in very cruel and psychologically NUMBING ways and still tries to. I do think that the opposite is true, however, I think the spath is truly the introvert and the ‘survivor’ the extrovert. And I say that because the spath doesn’t have the inclination to alter and change themselves, whereas the ‘survivor’ is strong enough to forge ahead and mend the broken lives the spath has left behind. I am sure it’s all subjective and that is what makes them such successes at what and who they are.

It isn’t just ‘lonely’ people they target. They will target anyone who pays them any attention at all. But, I will say that they do primarily pick on the weak and the kind and the gentle and will devastate them with their own weakness and emotions. I agree that loneliness can precipitate such an encounter, but it’s not necessarily the driving force for a spath to just concentrate specifically on that one situation. They will monopolize any situation that they think is beneficial to them, for any reason at all.

Very interesting post, luzblanca, thanks for proposing another thought to think and avenue to consider.

Have a nice evening.



Hi Dupey,

Thanks for the response. I’m sorry to hear about the devastating effects of your experience with a sociopath. They leave a trail of destruction behind them and never will accept responsbility for any of it. They’re too busy playing their role as the “innocent.”

After thinking about it, I have to say that I don’t think that sociopaths fall into either introvert or extrovert categories because the truth is the difference between introverts and extroverts is how they recharge. Introverts need a lot of alone time and silence to recharge and social interactions wear them out. Extroverts thrive on social interaction and too much alone time or silence bothers them.

A better way to have stated it would be that a sociopath has a solid act and that they play it well in public, social situations to keep up appearances. Their true evilness comes out in their personal relationships and when they are taking it out on their victims.

You make a good point, too, that they will prey on anyone they think they can get something from. That’s very true. If you have it and they want it, they will try to get it. It doesn’t matter who you are or how prepared you think you are. The hardest part of this is that there really are quite a few sociopaths/narcissists/psychopaths in the world. Makes it hard to make good friends when you feel like you have to be on the lookout all the time. But let one boundary go and, poof, they get you.

Thanks for sharing your story and information. I’m enjoying our conversations and this forum.

Luz Blanca


Hi luzblanca: Nice to read you too. Thanks for your sympathies. It has been a true lifetime experience, I can say!

Just recently, I have had to come to terms with the fact that I have had a psychopathic stalker for the past ten years and most of it has been quite ugly. I am very hard pressed to remember that experience with anything but immense disdain, shock and apprehension. One of those situations that you see in the movies, the girl running away screaming in terror…yep, that was me. Has been for some time until I learned what this was all about and how to best protect myself. I actually opened the door and fell for all the crap for a long time. Until my eyes were truly opened. It took almost losing my life in more than one way though. That is how good they are at their skills.

It’s difficult to comprehend that there are just some people so ‘cracked’ that they actually wish everyone around them harm in order to benefit themselves. In every single way. They do leave a trail of destruction behind them and don’t care that they do. It was YOUR fault for allowing it to happen…as they walk away smirking and laughing.

I am an introvert now, which I never had been before. I almost CHERISH my alone and quiet time without the ppath. It was so very ugly. Constantly. Sure, I allowed myself to ‘fall into it’ but I have also been strong enough to grab myself by the seat of the pants and pull myself up by my boot straps, as best as I could because I have recognized my life depends on it. Love Fraud and my friends, here, have truly given me an education as to the nightmare I just encountered otherwise I would not ever have known.

I have had to fight for every accomplishment I have gained on this journey back from that edge. I have been in counseling for the past four years. Not too long ago, I suffered a major heart attack, with two subsequent surgeries and almost didn’t make it. I have had my life threatened over and over again, irregardless of my medical status, which can be likened to a ‘murder by proxy’ while playing on emotions and threats.

They do prey on anyone they think they can get something from. Absolutely. If you don’t give them what they want is when the torture truly beings. Even if it is only your attention they want… and all attention, be it good or bad, is the same to them. As long as they can inflict themselves into your thoughts, it’s all good. They find it amusing that we suffer anything at their hands. It makes them feel something they seldom do: powerful. They suck strength off of others.

Oh yes, the world is full of them. I sure hope that is not the future of our world society. Scarey thought when compassion and kindness goes by way of the railroad.

No, you can think you are prepared, all you want to, but they will always catch you off guard and bazooka you off your feet, if not out of your mind. Then the real torture begins. Gleefully as well. Their evilness DOES show itself in their relationships. All of them. Not just romantic ones.

Hey, thank you for sharing too. I enjoy our conversations as well. Happy you are finding validation and healing here. You are always welcome to join our group of ‘survivors’. xxoo

Be safe.



Mel, thank you for the excellent post – YES, it galls me to no end that people who damage other people with deliberate and calculated malice are “protected” by the same “rights” as their victims.

It’s a violation on all levels. From making the discovery to submitting to STD testing, it was all a violation that never seems to end. Spaths can use the legal systems to their own ends – I’m in the middle of a divorce and the exspath had his attorney move for an adjournment so that I can submit to FURTHER tests. Meanwhile, I’m literally destitute and expected survive on what amounts to the cost of 2 tanks of gas, per week. Yet, the exspath is out there bringing in a good, solid income and he’s able to do whatever he wishes and go wherever he pleases.

The Laws need to be altered and the language needs to be simplified. Without some serious changes, victims will continue to be punished AFTER they’ve been violated and damaged by a sociopath simply because they trusted one.

Brightest blessings


The 5 Mistakes Women Make When It Comes To Happiness

Led By: Dr Annie Kaszina


I thought everyone had the right to tell their own story from their prespective? In a book I am writing .. I was told to put ‘based on reality’ or ‘based on real life’… that leaves it open so that should some say something.. it’s just based on…

Yes, it has become better to be the predator than the prey.. those harmed, the victims are put down for being victimized like it’s their fault .. victim is a dirty word and killer no big deal.. the world has flipped upside down.

only the spaths have rights because 1) they are disordered (poor, poor spaths) 2) They run the world and make the rules and change them at will.

For example, it is illegal in some states to record conversations. Why? Who does that help? LIARS.

A recording would shed light on liars, that’s why they are illegal.

The way I see the book writing thing is, we just tell the story and don’t say whether it’s true or not. Why bother? Nobody would believe us anyway! Only spath lies are believed because it’s set up by spaths that way.

IMO, the point of the story is not to be believed, but to write down a template of spath behavior that serves as a warning to others.


I have a question….need some input/enlightenment…My ex N….will be served with contempt papers for non child support payment.He should be served any day now as there is a court date set for July.It was no myself but Child support services who is going after him. I have not seen him in over 2 yrs….he attempted to contact me via a letter a couple months ago…however, I ignored it. Any thoughts or idea of what a spath will do or how he will react in this situation…I want to be prepared.

end the pain,
without more information it’s difficult to predict his behavior. The content of the letter might give you a clue.

Even with all the clues, you still never know because spaths are liars and they will put on a facade.

Just remember, don’t give him any drama. No emotion, no expression, no indication of what you want from him. They are first and foremost, drama addicts.

For a more thorough explanation read here:

Some of the comments give further insight on how gray rock worked for people who have custody issues.

There is a chance that by you getting to his money, he will go after shared custody or visitation. Not sure what you can do about that. Other LF readers who are more familiar with the custody and support laws might be more helpful.

The only thing I can suggest is that if he goes in that direction, you do not resist, but rather tell him you are glad that he has finally decided to step up to his responsibilities because it’s not fair that you never get a break from caring for the child and babysitters are prohibitively expensive, etc…

Anything along that vein will make him think that the child is a burden to you and that you are punished more by his refusal to see the child, than his demand to see the child.


The letter flat out states…if the child support continues to add up he will start legal proceedings for “time with his son”…whom he hasnt seen in 2 yrs. Mind you, that letter was sent 3 months ago…nothing has been done, yet. I kept the letter, as I was told that it would be to my benefit to use against him if it ever came down to it.

ah, you are between a rock and a hard place but I think there is some wiggle room for you.

The court WILL give him visitation no matter what. We’ve seen that before. So don’t fight it on that end OVERTLY.

Do make sure that the judge gets a copy of that letter so that they understand your spath’s REAL motivation for having visitation.

Your plan is this: make it look like you WANT him to have visitation but you want it to be SUPERVISED because he is SO IRRESPONSIBLE that you don’t trust him alone with the baby. Show the letter as proof that he has no interest in his child but only wants to reduce the child support payments.

At the same time, make sure they understand that you think he SHOULD “do the right thing” and spend time with his child because it may help him grow up and learn to meet his responsibilities… blah blah blah. (OK, I’m grasping at straws here for a logical reason!! But you get my drift… don’t let him know that you don’t want him to have time with your child, because if he knows this, he WILL fight for it.) If you get the opportunity to say anything in person to him, give him the impression that what you really want is free babysitting from him. But be subtle!

Hopefully with these subtle hints, he will have no incentive to see his child and you’ll still get the child support he owes.

Sorry you are in this situation. This is the best advice I can come up with. I know it’s not fool proof and it’s easier said than done. ((good luck))


Thank you skylar!!! that was along the same lines as I was thinking : ) Not sure what will happen with the contempt charges as they are two separate issues. I appreciate the feedback.

kim frederick

endthepain, let me emphasize the BE SUBTLE. Don’t ever put anything about wanting him to be a babysitter in writing, or on any devise that could be recorded. That would NOT be looked favorably on, by the court. It could be held against you. You only want him to get a whiff of the flavoring in conversation….just a slight inflexion, that only he picks up on. If he’s a true spath, he will leave you and your child alone, only because he thinks he is frustrating you.


Kim frederick…I havent spoken to him and do not dare put anything in writing….can you explain what you mean with your last sentence?

kim frederick

endthepain, I just mean, if he thinks that you really NEED him to step up to the plate and co-parent with you; if he thinks you want to have a little time off to take a breather, he will make sure you don’t get it. He will frustrate you, because that;s what he wants to do. If he thinks you want to keep him away from his child, he will fight, tooth and nail to see him/her. They deliver the opposite of what they think you want. Always. It’s part of the power dynamic.


Got it, thats been the past pattern. I truly appreciate your response…after 2 yrs of no contact….Im not overly anxious to do any of this….Thank you, again : )

that was an excellent summation of psychopathy. I especially love when he says that they love to dupe law enforcement. It’s a red flag.

end the pain,
Kim’s point cannot be emphasized enough. Subtle.
Please read the gray rock article I linked, if you haven’t already. It will help, I think, to keep you calm.


So true. I’m sad to see that this is the truth about our society, protect the perpetrator while re-victimizing the victim, but also in some way relieved to see that I’m not alone in this thinking. I’m very sorry to read about what you’ve endured. I, myself just lost all of my support after trying to warn them about my ex being a sociopath. (They are her parents and brothers and other family). After this latest episode from her resulting in her living in a shelter, again, (always the victim) only this time with our three children, 2, 5, and 8, I asked her family for help in trying to get primary custody as they have always been very supportive of me in the past. However, I was duped by another spath, my ex’s sister in law, who I just figured out is one. (should have seen it long ago, it was so obvious). She came to me, offering support. I told her about what was happening and that I was certain her sister in law was a spath. She then went to my ex with this knoledge, and the two of them called a family meeting to inform them of their concerns about ME. And that they were certain I am a sociopath. Of course two spaths made a very good case to convince them of this, and now, together, are all plotting to take me to court to take away my custody rights. (we have joint) for physical and mental abuse aswell as parental alienation. Lesson learned. Don’t tell anyone that someone you know is a sociopath until you are certain that knoledge can’t come back to bite you in the ass. Yet another reason I’m so thankful to have found Donna and this website and all of you others on it. sad to know that total strangers are more understanding, supportive, and trust worthy than your close friends.
Also a sad reality I’m just discovering is the level of ignorance of the subject. From the general public, to our so called judicial system, to mental health professionals. You would not believe how many psychologists think sociopath means serial-killer. It’s like you said Ed, “Your ex is a what??? A sociopath??? You must be mad!”
Sorry for jumping all over the place. I guess my rambling is as sorted as my thoughts right now. Lol. These children should not be in this womans care. She is abusive, neglectful, manipulative, uses the children to do sick and twisted things like making them make videos where they state they are afraid of their dad, me, because I’m mean and I hit them, she is addicted to pain meds and alcohol, avg. 24/day. I can’t afford a lawyer. It appears these kids are [email protected]$&ed if I can’t succeed in getting them away from their mother. CAS thinks she’s a good mother. I don’t know what else to do. Anyone with any advise would be so greatly appreciated. God bless and take care.

Ox Drover

Dear Dying dad,

I am so sorry to hear your story about your children being in the clutches of a psychopath. I am also sorry but not surprised that your x’s family circled the wagons around her. That is sort of to be expected. It is difficult to get people to see the REAL TRUTH. It is a scary thing for people to recognize what is really going on.

If the family is so supportive why are they allowing their daughter and grandkids to live in a shelter?

You are very right you must play your cards CLOSE TO YOUR CHEST and not say the “P” word because people will not believe you.

My P-son is in prison for murder and yet my egg donor keeps on thinking he is a choir boy. So go figure. There is no way to win with people who do not want to believe someone is EVIL.

The book, “Legal abuse syndrome” in the LF book store might be of help to you.

Also, try legal assistance or whatever it is called in your state and see if you qualify. Also, if you don’t qualify, then talk to an attorney, and maybe you can find one that will take you cheaper than you think now. Don’t give up on legal assistance just yet. Keep on looking for resources.

The other thing I suggest is to DOCUMENT DOCUMENT DOCUMENT and get together a notebook of a “time line” of what all is going on with your family….to show some kind of pattern in her behavior.

Good luck and God bless.


Dyingdad, OxD offered some super suggestions, and DOCUMENTATION is a moral, ethical, and legal imperative. Writing out the history is ideal, and keeping a running log of all communications as per date, time, precise/exact quotes and responses, and updating this log religiously will be priceless.

I would also like to caution you on using the term, “sociopath,” to describe/label your ex. The problem that survivors run into when they do that is that most people (even the “experts”) cannot process the facts of sociopathy. Moreover, even though we can clearly see the symptoms, behaviors, choices, and actions that are 100% dyed-in-the-wool sociopathic, WE ARE NOT QUALIFIED to render an assessment or diagnosis. Rather, “fits the profile” will suffice. Often, when we use the term, “sociopath,” we end up looking like ranting, raving, foaming-at-the-mouth lunatics.

Legal Aid… your local Bar Association and get the information about Legal Aid in your area. Also, engaging in counseling therapy can be a personal (and, legal) benefit. Personal benefit to help you process your experiences and help you to set boundaries. Legal to document the carnages that the spath has created for you and your children.

Brightest healing blessings to you


Dyingdad, to clarify the running log: this must be short, sweet, and contain ONLY facts. Save any “feelings” or observations for your counseling therapist. And, keeping the log in a paper notebook using a waterproof pen is a very good idea. Computers and technological devices have their uses, but when it comes to things of this nature, the “old fashioned way” is probably the best way to go. 🙂


Dyingdad, I am so sorry for your situation. I know you say that you cannot afford a lawyer — but I think you really need one. You might be able to find a pro bono one. But here is some advice I have for you which I did, which helped me a lot (I too cannot really afford a lawyer). Find a very good lawyer, even if he/she costs a large hourly rate, and pay for one or two hours of their time, to pick their brains and get some excellent advice and names/recommendations of pro bono lawyers. They may even be willing to give you a financial break. But even if not, an hour or two of truly excellent advice can help you out greatly later on, even if you represent yourself. In other words… you do not always have to pay an upfront retainer to make good use of legal advice.

When you call to make the appointment, be clear that you are seeking advice rather than representation. And if they are not available to offer this, ask for recommendations/names of lawyers who can/will.

Best of luck to you in an awful situation.


Truthspeak, ox, and 20years,
Thank you all so much. I’ve already been to court several times with this sweetheart. I’ve been self represented the whole time and got some help from a friend who is a paralegal. Unfortunately, here in canada, they are not permitted to represent or even give advise on family matters. I thought I was doing a very good job, and being very professional. All my ducks on a row so to speak. That was until I faced her lawyer and the judge. The lawyer ripped me a new one, and the judge basically told me to shut up and take it. I now know I desperately need a good lawyer and an looking into possible solutions. And ox, they are living in a shelter because my ex went to stay with her parents the first time we split up, and it resulted in her being removed by police. She is just now really reconnecting with them after two years, now that she has them convinced I’m the sick one and I’m responsible for destroying their relationship. I honestly feel sorry for them, and their situation. Being their daughter and all. Also because of how much she will be able to use them again, and how devastated they’re going to be when they realize I was telling them truth about her, and they helped her to emotionally destroy their grandchildren. Also, I’m starting therapy tomorrow. Will also be starting group therapy soon with my children. unless she manages to prevent it.
Thank you all again, and God bless.

Ox Drover

Dear Dying dad,

I’m glad you are getting some therapy and for your kids too…it will help. Just don’t use the Psychopath word to the therapist until you see if they “get it”—it is tempting to use “the word” but so many times it bites us in the ass if we use it because people think a psychopath is a serial kill and if we use that word we are raving mad.

Her parents will maybe get it, and maybe not. My egg donor has not gotten it that my son is a murderer and it has been 20 years and a few years ago he sent someone he knew (ex convict) to murder me for an inheritence and she still thinks he is “reformed” DUH?

It is difficult to accept that your child is a monster…so it may be difficult for them. I’m glad that you can feel some empathy for them… it is difficult for them.

You have a long hard road ahead of yourself I know, and I know you know. But you just have 6to take it one step at a time…God bless.


Thank you Ox D.
I’m very sorry for your own accounts. It has to be very difficult to come to terms with the one person who is the one who we should love more than any other, even ourselves is suffering from this disorder. Many props to you for getting through this and going on to help others who are also suffering. Truly inspirational.
And I’m only just learning now, just how much stigma there is around that word aswell as the unbelievable ignorance of the subject.
Equally as infuriating is the bias we face as men here in canada in regards to family law. Men are brutish barbarians, and women are kind nurturing, caring, innocent victims of our brutality. Family courts lead everyone to believe that their only concern is the best interests of the children. Yet, it isn’t enough to be a great parent. It isn’t enough to be a much better suited parent. As a father, to get custody, you have to prove the mother is unfit. It’s not enough to show she’s a bad parent, she had to be unfit.
Anyway, I will not give up as these three children are my whole world, and I’m their only hope of protection from a destructive mother.
Thank you all and god bless.

Ox Drover

Dear Dying dad,

It is frustrating, and the courts don’t get it, but you just have to take things one step at a time, one day at a time.

Take care of YOURSELF first. I know you think you mjust put your kids first, but if you don’t take care of yourself you can’t take care of them. Be good to yourself, eat right, get exercise and sleep. Get therapy…whatever you must do to meet your own needs for emotional and physical health…do it. Then you will be in a HEALTHY position to help your children.

Knowledge is power. So read here and learn. Do your own therapy and take care of yourself so you can take back your power. You can’t change HER. But you can change yourself.

In the healing process we must change ourselves, to take care of ourselves and get healthy. It is a long, difficult journey but we can and must do it. Be the best parent you can be, and accept that she is going to be a bad one. Don’t let her disorder ruin your life, as you deserve a good life as well. My advice is to right now focus on yourslef and getting yourself healthy. No new relationships until you are healthy (and that may be several years down the road, frankly) just work on yourself and your kids. Then the time will come when you are ready for a healthy relationship with a healthy partner. Don’t despair, the time will come. You are NOT alone. There are other fathers here. I’m glad that you have come here because we DO NEED men here and that will encourage other men. This is NOT a “man bashing” blog though most of us here are women, but there are men who are working on becoming healthy after a roar with the psychopaths.

I would very much like to see you become a male mentor here!~ So I’m so glad that you are here! God bless.



I want to echo what Oxy says, that we are not a “man bashing” forum. I realize that sometimes my words can come across that way, when I am speaking from my experience… I had an abusive, sociopathic husband. But I am acquainted with abusive, sociopathic females, too.

Gender bias (and any type of bias!) is so maddening. The more we can do to discuss and bring it to the front of our consciousness, to be aware of it, the more we can all cut through the confusion to make sense of our collective and individual experiences. It is very, very hard to overcome an entrenched societal stereotype — something we all have to work on together, and be willing to listen to each other’s perspectives and be open to changing our views. A lot of people don’t want to listen/don’t want to change, but there are plenty who DO.

We would all benefit from more male voices, here. We can all learn from each other’s truths. I’m glad you are here.

Mel. Great article. The way to take back our power us to speak out and stop hiding in fear and shame. I recently went through a custody battle with a man I believe is a psychopath. After 9 years of hell. I fought back. The judge sealed our file and awarded him custody. I was deemed hostile and angry for having the audacity to fight back in defense of my son, name, peace of mind and freedom. I’ve been documenting my life with this guy for over 8 years on my website:

Our power lies in collectively telling our stories no matter who may or
may not believe us. We have to keep telling our stories.


Very true article. My lawyer told me not to bring up the abuse or the fact that I had PTSD in case the judge thought I was “crazy” or vengeful towards my ex. The PTSD was greatly exacerbated by the court system that I thought was there to protect me. I remember when my lawyer called me with the final verdict, I was so shocked I fell to the ground in the middle of the phone call. My legs just gave out under me. I couldn’t believe he was getting so much shared visitation.

But he pretended to be a caring, church going father (he doesn’t even believe in GOD). He went to church during the divorce, and quit the day after the hearing.

You are totally correct. If people have not gone through something similar with a psycho/sociopath, then they just are not capable of understanding. I gave up trying to educate those that are not knowledgeable. I had one friend tell me “Oh, she is just a sociopath…..they aren’t dangerous!” 🙁



It’s so frustrating!!!!!!!! 🙁



That is a place many of us have been: so frustrating whether it happens to us or we witness it happening to others; the sheer blindness of so many people to what sociopathy is, which further victimizes the victim.

Well… last evening I had one of those frustrating experiences where I was out with some young people (in their 20s) who were talking about the living situation of one of them: for financial reasons, living with his sister-in-law who is about to get married to the father of her not-yet-born child, he has been gradually alienating/isolating her from her mother/siblings, and this pregnant young woman just found out he has another woman pregnant and has been cheating with even more women… she is STILL planning to marry him nonetheless, and furthermore this young man has a violent temper and apparently threatens people with a baseball bat…. and I find myself listening to this, thinking…. WHY would you be living in a household with this DANGEROUS man, even if you cannot convince your sister in law not to marry him (“she won’t leave him! She keeps taking him back!”). I guess all I’m saying is, these young people were “disapproving” but they were not ALARMED, as I was. All I could think of was, “RUN!!!!!” I mean — these are not just little red flags — these are kind of no brainers.

I was appalled at the passivity I was hearing from the young people I was with. That they seemed accepting though disapproving of the bad behavior — and the tolerance and allowing of the obvious sociopath in their midst. There were general comments indicating they thought they could contain him.

All I could say was, “he is bad news. He is more than ‘not a nice guy’ — he sounds very DANGEROUS.”


Stillinshock, I rather went through the same thing and it was simply senseless. There doesn’t seem to be legal remedy when spaths are involved, and LORDY HELP US if we ever utter “sociopath” or “psychopath!”

20years, we have become such a permissive culture and society – kids today are tolerant of EVERYTHING because there are no true “heroes” except on movie screens and in video games. I remember one young man (about 30, now) describing a horrific auto accident that he witessed saying,”I’d been waiting my whole life to see that!” No horror, no concern, nothing more that gleeful awe.

And, it’s not just a lack of healthy role models, either. It’s the constant barrage of “It’s all about ME” that has this upcoming generation presenting the most narcissistic and “entitled” group of people, yet, in modern history. Parents, for the greater part, are no longer involved in “raising” and teaching their children. That’s left up to underpaid day-care workers, dramatically flawed education systems, technological devices, and various soccer and gymnastic coaches. They have NO healthy personal goals except to either be the Best (by hook or crook), or the worst, by default.

I don’t know what the answer is other than to impose “reproductive licences.” Nobody would be able to reproduce offspring unless they demonstrated that they were physically, emotionally, spiritually (NOT religiously), and financially prepared to raise and teach. Having said that, we also know that all of the best intentions can be for naught if a child is born a sociopath, but it sure as heck would reduce the number of neglectrd and abused children out there.

Okay – ranting done!


Okay….rant continues. My housing situation is such that I rent a room in a colleague’s home. The homeowners have cable television in their living room and their bedroom. So…the programming that the missus is interested in and constantly watches consists of: My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, Bad Girls’ Club, Teen Moms, Sister Wives, Dance Moms, Jersey Shore, and every other screaming and demeaning reality program known. And we have the nerve to wonder what’s wrong with people? The missus is a preschool teacher that believes there’s nothing wrong with porn, reality shows, or teenaged pregnancy.

And I either expose myself to this barrage of pure sociopathic negativity or remain isolated in the room that I rent. YAY for Generation Shit!



Yep, and I made “choices” and career sacrifices to stay home with my kids and took part-time (rather than full-time, career) jobs when they were in school, to be able to raise them myself…this impacted my current financial situation profoundly. But I did want to be a strong, positive influence in their lives (another reason why the CPS investigation was so horrid and weird!).

(but yeah, CPS… now I’m starting to finally see that as another sociopathic, upside-down, backwards and totally opposite-who-I-really-am projection — but with governmental authority “teeth” to do real damage to me and my family… well, more lessons for me to learn, I suppose).

One thing I do know is that even if I think my kids are not listening to me… the actually really ARE listening AND watching. They just pretend not to (teenagers!). So… that keeps me pressing forward, knowing that I still remain a strong (positive!) influence in their lives.

They have found a crowd of very nice kids who have healthy personal goals. I feel very grateful for this…. though I know it is not “over” yet (my job is not quite done yet).

So as for your fantasy about reproductive licenses (love it!)… I also think it is important to keep getting the message out that parents still do matter, and I even if we cannot be at home to raise our kids, I still think there is a lot we can do during the hours (and days) we do have them.

The main thing is to teach kids the difference between the seductive, fake, shiny “nice” mask (spaths as well as societal temptations to misbehave, and tolerance for misbehavior) and the deeper, more enduring qualities of character. And to help guide them to form a strong, personal identity. The fine difference between “It’s all about ME!” and “This is who I AM.” This is not easy work. I wish parents could receive better guidance and support — as well as respect.

I have felt for many years that the work I have done, raising my children, has been minimized and invisible; that it has not been apparent HOW HARD I have worked at this, how SERIOUSLY I have taken this role, and what a GOOD JOB I am doing. I’m not saying there aren’t screw-ups — of course there are! But it’s an honor and a duty to be a responsible parent. Very, very hard in a co-parenting situation with a spath ex-spouse. Very hard if you are a single parent. (hard anyway!)

And it is not by any means all within a parent’s control, how their kids turn out. They could have the spath genes, or the influences of a spath society/the wrong crowd/unhealthy media influences, etc. could trump all of your loving efforts.


LOL Generation Shit! You got that right. It’s scary how these young people act. One of my nieces I’m sure is a sociopath and the other one is questionable. The were brought up by my sister (their aunt) because their parents were to busy using heroin and alcohol.

They both act like their gradmother, who I’ve known most of my life. So that gene went from grandmother, to daughter, to grandaughters UGH!

The way they act you would have thought the socio grandmother or socio mother brought them up when in fact they had NC with them for over 14 years. It just blows my mind. They lie, cheat, steal, smear people, are promiscuos, and the list goes on. My sister and bil have been nc for about a year and peace is finally settling into their home.


Truthspeak, my sympathies! There is a lot of extremely bad television out there these days.

My kids watch some of it (The bachelor — ick!). But at least “Bachelor” and shows like it do give me opportunities to point out to them some pretty obvious red flag behaviors to them…

I am too old for reality television. I still remember reading Stephen King’s “The Running Man” and being absolutely horrified… and here we are, just about living that, today. Life is too appallingly strange for me, sometimes.


So grateful for your site; so few understand what it means to be a victim of narcissists/psychotics. This site allows for compassionate understanding amongst fellow victims and offers such excellent advice. thank you all.


Mel –

Your post has left me speechless and so boggles my mind that I can’t think. The only response my mind and body can muster is to cry. People are looking at me strangely. I’m sitting in Starbucks and crying.



20years, I think it just doesn’t register with people to understand that some people are truly dangerous. I know for me, it did take a little while for me to realize my ex was a dangerous and malicious person. That type of person wasn’t really in my frame of reference. I wasn’t exposed to those types of people growing up, they were only on TV.

Plus, many people (until something happens that proves otherwise) run around with the mindset of “that can’t happen to me.” Of course we all know better because it HAS happened to us and we are believers now, but I really think until something like this happens to you personally, you just aren’t going to believe it.


Beware of lawyers. The profession attracts psychopaths. They actually use the system to gratify their needs. I was married to a psychopath. Law school only made him worse and taught him how to use the system. I got to know a lot of his colleagues, the psychopaths outnumbered he normal ones ten to one. Perhaps the numbers are exaggerated because they were the ones who accepted him. I have also known some wonderful people who are lawyers, just not that many. I believe the same is true in many positions of power…politicians, police, etc.

The inmates have taken over the asylum.

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