I met the sociopath when I was a 16-year-old Crown Ward on “Independent Living.” He was older than me and in the Army. I was in high school. I became pregnant at 17. Children’s Aid attempted to abandon me and have me instead rely on social services. The sociopath (father) wanted me to abort the child or keep it not put it up for adoption. He would not have a child of his in the world where he could not control it. I had been considering adoption or having the child on my own and didn’t want him involved. His mother, possibly also sociopathic, met me in secret urging me to make a family with her son, and to keep the baby, as they were Catholic.
I moved into an apartment a block from his mother’s home. I packed and moved BOTH our belongings by myself into an apartment in a neighborhood I had not been able to see until moving day. Pregnant, I moved and unpacked both of our belongings by myself. He was on a voluntary summer exercise with the army. I have no idea why his mother was not around to help.
Once living together, he became very controlling; I could not go out to see friends or call my friends, and I was not allowed to go to school. I was socially isolated, and psychologically/emotionally manipulated and abused. I made some complaints to his mother, but she did “not want to get involved”.
Child is born
When I went into labor my son was in the posterior position so my contractions were very close and strong – but the sociopath was sleeping and refused to get up for hours. Contractions started around 7am – I was alone and in pain in the bath tub – terrified. By about 11pm, my son was born healthy. I knew there was something wrong with him and my situation, so I pushed for my son to have my last name – I was afraid of what life would be like having a different last name than my child as a single parent. For a sociopath to give up this right to have his last name for his child – it meant completely me giving up any input into my child’s first name – he picked it. While the name has grown on me – as I associate it with my child – I hated the name.
I had income about equivalent to social assistance for Extended Care and Maintenance with no additional support for my child. I split the rent, bills and groceries down the middle with him – as if we were roommates. Our grocery budget being $50/week. His mother took me to and from grocery stores and never decided something was wrong.
He refused to “babysit” the child for me to visit foster family or have time to myself, and he refused to take on any expense for the child – though he was at this time working full time in the army, making at least 40-50k, compared to my 9.6k. I afforded this through donations, buying used, and breastfeeding for a year and a half. Throughout our cohabitation the sociopath was either on army exercises (he never went overseas), sleeping, out drinking and cheating on me, injecting steroids and working out – even late at night – to the annoyance of the neighbors I had to deal with the next day.
He was occasionally also physically aggressive – grabbing, shoving, using his physical proximity to intimidate or prevent me from leaving the home. A short while into the relationship he insisted we make an oath in human resources at his regiment. It turned out this was so he could move to a base – hours away – with free living expenses and separation pay. We were not welcome to join him there, because, he insisted, we needed the extra money – though my son and I did not benefit from this. He left me to care for his snakes – that he knew me to be fearful of – requiring me to kill mice – which was torture for me.
During the time he was living far away, I started correspondence courses for high school credits. He would sometimes visit on weekends, but he mostly just wanted a place to crash after drinking and cheating on me. Christmas 2005, I discovered he had a serious relationship in his new neighborhood, and he wanted to keep us both. He left us during the holidays to be with her for New Year’s.
I finally called my best friend who urged me to break it off and move in with her and her fiancÃ©e. So, I did. When we split, he dictated what child support was and it was $400. He said he wanted to avoid court because we were better than that. This was half of my income already, so it seemed generous to me. He paid this for the most part, and I moved in with my best friend. During this time, the father rarely contacted us, and it was always his mother who picked up my son for an occasional sleep over every few months. He never even called. I lived in this relative peace with my friend for a year outside of the city where we had lived while I continued to work on high school credits, when I was ready to move back.
The sociopath’s mother convinced me to rent her separate-entrance basement apartment while I looked for another place. I reluctantly consented as I didn’t drive and traveling with my son to check out apartments was a long and tedious task. A month later, sociopath quit the army position where he was, and moved in upstairs.
I aged out as a Crown Ward, and though I still had not graduated, I needed to work. I found a full time job at a fast food restaurant making minimum wage and he got a job as a personal trainer and took jobs as a bouncer. He was living rent and living expenses free, and didn’t pay child support for a year, while I was paying his mother rent, and supporting our child alone. He didn’t even increase visitation with his son. Though at one point, he and his mother got a lawyer and tried to force me to sign a document giving him complete control over our child’s life.
Even when he wasn’t home, his mother was always spying on me. I couldn’t come or go through my “private entrance” without her constantly inquiring as to what I was up to. During my stay, the father would have loud drinking parties while his mother away and have loud sex with random women. The noise would keep my son awake.
One attempt to have him keep it down and he shoved me down the stairs in front of our child – and then called the police on me. I was offered to press charges, but couldn’t bring myself to charges against the father of my child. I was constantly threatened with a custody battle and losing my child if I left the (expensive) neighborhood. Finally, I got a slightly higher paying position for a collection agency (gag) and managed to get a 1-bedroom apartment 2 blocks away.
His father was still not consistent with contacting my son, even while living under the same roof. Once I had moved out, he moved a 5-hour drive away to work for the army again. I encouraged him to call, but stopped when my son would get upset that daddy kept forgetting to.
One day his father insisted he take him for a few days to his home up north. I consented but insisted that he just needed be back for a family visit from part of my family that I almost never saw, who were going to be in town and wanted to meet him. He consented, but when it came time to bring him back, he refused.
By this point, I had 2-bedroom apartment 1 block away from his mother. I was planning to leave the neighborhood once and for all. I gave my landlord 60 days notice, and was waiting for rental ads to go up so I could find a new place. I had a couple thousand dollars in my account (and a credit card without any debt on it), and was leaving one collection agency for a job closer to my new place – so while technically unemployed, I was by no means “at-risk” of anything. Yet, this was the perfect time for he and his mother to pounce.
He had friends in law and claimed he feared for his child’s life – that I even fed my son chocolate bars for dinner. He got temporary emergency custody (before I even got notice to attend court a 12 hours bus ride and overnight motel stay away) – he kept my son for the weekend my family was in town, and then dropped him off a couple days later – smug and oblivious to the stress, fear, and tears of what I had been through.
No longer had custody
I got my child AND the paperwork that I no longer had custody, at the same time. I was threatened that if I tried to leave the neighborhood, I was a horrible mom and he and his mom would take custody away from me. I had started a new job in telemarketing, and was faced with having to take time off to bring my child by bus to HIS hometown, pay for a motel over night, and then attend court to try to get my parental rights back. I consented to staying in the neighborhood, and reluctantly agreed to move back into his mother’s basement.
Then, he withdrew his motion.
He remained infrequently and inconsistently involved in our child’s life – almost always canceling our child’s sleep over with him the night or even hours before. He was always hours late picking him up and dropping him off when he did come. I was now faced with trying to pick my son up from daycare and him not being there. His father knew by this point, he legally did not need my permission or even inform me that he was taking him. This was scary given the history.
Finally, I decided I needed to go to court to make a consistent access schedule for my child to see his dad, and to try to get some control back into my life.
It was at this point my child also began to demonstrate difficulty in school. He was distractible and overly anxious. I began to seek help for him. I did not have a lawyer and wanted full custody – something I didn’t realize I basically already had. I was forced to go to mediation – despite my complaints that I couldn’t be in a room with him.
He was HOURS late to every mediation appointment. Even the mediator threatened me that neither of us could get what we wanted if the judge decided for us. The sociopath wouldn’t budge – I was chipped away at. I even was forced to consent to relying on him to drive me back to the daycare, because I would be late picking him up otherwise – and be charged a dollar per minute and risk losing his daycare – because HE was hours late for the appointment.
I complained about the position of relying on my abuser and urged her to do something – she insisted we needed to get through it. I ended up with an agreement that was joint custody and parallel parenting – and an agreement that every lawyer, principal, social worker, treatment provider, and other service providers would say is the most ambiguous and confusing agreement they have ever seen. It requires cross referencing of various points to make ANY sense of it. It gave this sociopath legal control. It was a HUGE mistake.
Suddenly he was interested in parenting. He (and the agreement) made it difficult to get my son the help he needed. With increased access – my son began to complain of psychological/physical/emotional abuse.
ADHD and anxiety disorder
My son was later diagnosed with ADHD and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. At this point I was in College too, working towards an Advance Child and Youth Worker Diploma. I tried to take him back to court a year later to fix it – except that material change is a confusing thing – and a matter of perspective, and the judge told me AND him, pre-trial, that she didn’t see it.
I was advised my own counsel that if I didn’t give in to everything he wanted in a new agreement through mediation – again – against my protests due to what I now understood was a history of abuse – it would get thrown out and I would have to pay for his rather expensive lawyer – thousands of dollars – all while he was underpaying child support. This resulted in handing over more control and more access – my son was begging me to decrease.
A year after I started school, the sociopath decided he needed an education too. His steroid use had apparently caught up with him – to his heart anyways and he got discharged for medical reasons. He got a full salary and tuition paid to become a paramedic – a career that also requires optimal physical health. Conveniently, when it was time to graduate – his heart was completely better.
Recognizing child abuse
As a CYW student, I also began to better recognize child abuse, and the signs of child abuse – such as nervous tics my child would demonstrate after long visits. His father disagrees with my methods of treatment – particularly for the anxiety, and keeps trying to flood him with his fears and make him a man. I called CAS to report this, but because we were in and out of court they said they don’t get involved – as parents lie about abuse during these times. My report was not even documented. They encouraged me to utilize school resources.
My son reported fearing his father to the principal who brought me in to discuss this. He offered to have my son meet with the school social worker each week to discuss his relationship issues with his dad. Unfortunately – he was so anxious and shy, and the school so hazy as to what psychological and emotional abuse was – nothing became of it.
When my son complained to me again – I asked the principal why what my son had shared was not grounds to contact CAS. They inquired, but said they just didn’t have grounds yet and admitted as to not understanding what the non-physical abuse was. My son told me he was to anxious to tell the social worker all of the things his dad does to him, and was frustrated that time would be over by the time he was brave enough. He asked me to accompany him to the school – where he disclosed the abuse and the Vice Principal told my son that what his father is doing is wrong and needed help to become a better dad. He disclosed to his paediatrician too. The school reported the abuse to CAS and an investigation begun.
Investigator becomes defensive
The investigator immediately informed me over the phone she wasn’t coming right away and it wasn’t pressing as he “only calls him a wimp” – this was clearly not all that he does. When I asked her how she can be biased before conducting an investigation she became defensive. She rescheduled our appointment several times and when I told her my son was anxious to get it dealt with, she became upset with me that my son knew he would be meeting with her and said I was responsible for making sure my child was NOT anxious – clearly not grasping my son’s issues.
She seemed more preoccupied with how clean my home than our concerns, and implied several times to me and my son that it must be so clean because we prepared for her.
A completely different worker took over to meet my son and his father at his paternal grandmother’s home, a place that is not only clean but where my son has his own space in a spare bedroom.
The father’s home is untidy and unclean, has venomous snakes, several dogs, guns, and the spare bedroom, my son complains, has so much of daddy’s things on the floor he can’t open the door. Hardly a space prepared for him by his father, who is so anxious to be a parent now and to show his child he is welcome or important. My son complained neither worker listened to him, spent more time talking to his dad, and allowed his dad to speak over him and FOR him, and to speak poorly of me, where my son felt obligated to deny the accusations against me.
Back to court
After the report had been made, the father took me to court to try to get more control and decrease child support – support has already been decreased – though I know he is hiding income, lied on his documents – even to Canada Revenue Agency, and prove that he’s spending more money on itunes than child support. He also continues to lie in court.
Despite my complaints to my counsel against mediation due to the history of abuse – and my resulting emotional break downs at court – which make ME look unstable – I am told by my counsel that he understands I was abused but that unfortunately I have to “suck it up”. Are there no abuse victim’s rights?
Then I find out in court documents from the father that the social worker told him before investigating him that she was only meeting with him as a matter of formality as they suspected I was behind the report. He can lie in court, he can harass me and break the agreement, and abuse me – but because it is ambiguous or minor, or when no body is looking, he gets away with everything. When the infractions are so frequent and he is constantly passive aggressive, and he is causing problems with my son receiving services – it is torture.
My anxiety is high and I am not the same person I was 2 years ago. I believe I have Legal Abuse Syndrome. I have no faith that the court can make him abide by any agreement – so what is the point? And I am legally not allowed to protect my child. He can also continue to legally harass me and abuse me.
Son is afraid
My son is afraid that this summer his dad will hold his head under the water while he fights for air, because his dad wants him to get over his fear of water. He is also convinced he taught my son to swim – who clearly can’t and his life could be jeopardized if he convinces caregivers of this. He is afraid of his dad.
Every time he even goes for a weekend (once a month) he comes back with pain and knots all over his body from forced workouts. He exposes him to violence and only reluctantly agreed in court not expose my child to his killing and skinning of deer – to a child who loves animals and has an anxiety disorder.
The children’s aid closed the case however, denying a bias and incomplete investigation or a stance that discourages parents from advocating for their abused children or escape from their own abusive situations. Their recommendation – the father and I need to seek counseling together.
Still in court
I am still in court. The father continues to lie and break the agreement. In fact, he keeps getting away with not listening to the judges requests from the previous court dates – like proof of job search efforts; instead of this he just came to the next court date saying he had a job – even when the job search efforts were requested at the last court date. Nobody has an issue with that? It wasn’t even mentioned, and I keep looking like the emotionally unstable one. He is so calm – it’s creepy.
Every request in his documents are about his convenience, control, and ego. Mine are about my child’s best interests and what he is asking for. Yet, he keeps winning. How is this possible? I have no faith in the justice system or in the system put in place to protect children.
This man was hardly in our lives for the first 8 years of my child’s life. I took him to court and our lives changes drastically for the worst. He causes so much harm, but all people see is a spiteful woman trying keep a father from his son. On the contrary, I want him to get help, so he can have a safe relationship with my child – who is a soon to be pre-teen, already has depressive symptoms, is statistically at risk of suicide, substance misuse, and has access to guns in father’s home where is subjected to sociopathic behavior and abuse.
I can’t believe how long this report is when I haven’t even included details. Long story short; my ex is a sociopath who is abusing me (11 years and counting) and my child (3 years at least and counting), it is completely legal, and we need help.