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Lessons from my Child Custody War with a Sociopath

Custody cases are often referred to as “custody battles”.  Lately when I hear this term, I have to chuckle to myself because a “battle” seems so mild and finite compared to what I have been dealing with since the night I fled my ex’s house with my newborn son.

A “battle” might be an appropriate title when the case is between two rational parents.  If you are dealing with a sociopath in a child custody case, however, you are probably experiencing what feels more like a war.  Some battles are won and some are lost, but it is never just ONE battle with a person like this.  I am blessed to be able to share my war stories in hopes to give others ammunition that I didn’t have (and maybe even gather some tips/weapons from others who have been here before me).

My story begins…

The first time I walked into my lawyers office, I probably looked like a crazy woman (and to some degree that is how I felt).  I still remember the black sweat pajamas and spit up stained shirt I was wearing that day.  These were the only clothes I owned because they had been the ones I fled Lucifer’s house wearing (Lucifer is what I am calling the psychopath – Luc for short).  My two week old son was in my arms, despair and fear were the written all over my face, and I was visibly shaking as I held out my hand to meet my new attorneys.

As I sat in their office and told my story, I felt their judgement and disbelief.  They had seen so many scorned women come through their office with false accusations and unbelievable stories.  To them, I was just another one of these women who was determined to get some sort of revenge on her ex.  It took me nearly a year to convince them that we were not dealing with a normal and healthy man.  That, in fact, we were dealing with someone who very likely had a dangerous personality disorder – a sociopath.

A little background:

Just a few short weeks after my son was born, Lucifer’s mask fell.  After he threatened to kill me, me and baby boy fled the house and never looked back.  In the weeks that followed that horrible night, I learned more about Luc than I knew about him in the whole two years we dated.  What I learned was very disturbing and, frankly, continues to scare the hell out of me.  I learned he had lied to me about everything from his name and age to how he made his money.  I also learned that two of the most important women in his life died of unnatural causes.  While a lot of terrible things seem to happen around Luc, he has yet to be convicted of any crimes.

Things I have learned from my Custody War:

  1. Family court is not about what is best for the child.  It is only about dealing with parents.  Every time I hear people talk about “father’s rights” and “two parents are better than one” I want to throw up.  Again, these might be totally justified ideas when the father is not a sociopath.  Family court is “one size fits all”.  Judges are not interested in making sure the child is safe and healthy.  They are only interested in making parents happy enough so they don’t have to deal with the case again.
  2. Sociopaths are very good at finding people who will lie for them.  This includes professionals.  Luc actually found a psychologist to take the stand for him and testify that while he was at risk for a mood disorder and “socially maladaptive”, she didn’t have any concerns about him.  She said all of this after learning that he had lied to her about previously receiving a psych exam and about what he did for a living (among other things).
  3. The courts don’t recognize psychological abuse as abuse.  After only a few months of supervised visits, the judge awarded Luc unsupervised visitation with my non verbal baby boy.  The judge stated that unless baby boy was returned with cigarette burns on his back, the threshold for abuse would not be met.  He noted that he didn’t think Luc was a good guy, however, unless Luc was arrested, he would be allowed unsupervised visits with baby boy.
  4. No matter how many mistakes a sociopath makes in family court, he will always be given the chance to try again.  On the day of our initial trial, Luc showed up by himself with nobody to testify on his behalf and not a shred of evidence as to who he was.  He believed that the mere fact that his sperm contributed to baby boy’s life was enough for him to be awarded at least joint custody.  He wanted the court to make me pay him child support so that he could continue to sit at home and play video games all day.  This behavior went on for several months.  Luc even tried to get jurisdiction changed to his state after he had disappeared from baby boy’s life for three months without even a phone call.  For a while, I felt like I was in court with Luc every other week.  These trials were sport to him and he knew that the judge would keep giving him chances.  He continued to drag out proceedings and not pay his attorneys, while I drained all of my resources trying to show the courts who his true motivation – money, power, and terror.
  5. Perjury might still be against the law, but don’t count on it being enforced.  Luc is a pathological liar.  Throughout the custody war, my lawyers were able to catch Luc in several lies.  Let me just give you an example of one of the basic and most glaring lies Luc told to the court.  About half way through the year, Luc’s age changed.  The age he testified to at the original trial was false (even though he had managed to obtain an official drivers license with that fake age).  When we were able to prove this lie through official Social Security and Department of Homeland Security records, he pretended as though he had never testified under oath to a different age.  This ridiculousness continued throughout the custody war.

In the year since I left Luc, many people have questioned how I got myself into this situation.  Here is the best answer I can come up with:

If you throw a frog into a pot of boiling water, he will jump out; however, if you put that frog in a pot of cold water and slowly bring it to a boil — before too long, you are going to have one dead frog.  (In case it’s still not clear…I am the frog and Luc is the pot of boiling water)

The sad reality is that my war with Luc is far from over.  Each day, I wake up wondering if I will end up like his older sons mother (in a grave).  I have many days when I get discouraged by our terribly ignorant justice system.  What is my silver lining, my ray of hope, and why I keep fighting?  My baby boy.  He is my guardian angel and the reason I wake up every day.  I have been through a hell worse than I could ever have imagined in the last year, but I will do it all over again and for the rest of my life if I have to in order to save my son.


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108 Comments on "Lessons from my Child Custody War with a Sociopath"

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Cappuccinoqueen, I can type your ID this morning!

Thank you for your article. I cannot imagine the state of mind that you’ve been in through your experiences in and out of Court. Each note that you made with regard to your experiences are 100% accurate in every case that I’ve ever heard of. I have heard of 2 of thousands of custody cases that ended with a Judge actually recognizing what was going on, and taking steps to end it, safely, and reasonably.

Your baby may be the catalyst for your fight to live, recover, and survive, but YOU are your own guardian angel, my dear. You have enough smarts, enough guts, enough mettle, and enough “fight” in your soul to save yourself and your precious son.

I can honestly understand why parents flee with their children and go into hiding. I truly can. I see it as the only solution in most cases where there is an obvious lethal risk. I don’t fault these terrified parents for taking whatever steps that they must to provide safety for their children and themselves. In this, the entire system is truly and utterly broken.

I offer my most sincere and brightest blessings of protection, safety, and recovery.

Dear Cappucino Queen,

Hello. You have my utmost sympathy and admiration. Good for you. You escaped. You keep fighting, my dear.
You have the hardest road of all of us IMHO.

CappuccinoQueen, yes – a baby has the most intoxicating affect. They love without conditions.

Your sharing your experiences will not only be an inspiration to others, but they will also offer a true glimpse into how victims of sociopaths are treated through the Courts. My belief – my strong belief – is that these ugly truths need to be “taken to the streets,” and the entire system overhauled. From CPS/DFYS to Law Enforcement to the Psych Communities to the Justice Systems….it all needs a rabid shakedown and restructuring.

And, the saddest fact is that nobody “gets it” until they’ve been victimized, themselves. Suddenly, they “get it” and can identify with the horrors that they’ve heard tell of from other victims.

Brightest and most protective blessings

Cappucino Queen,

Thank you for sharing your experiences. I’ve read so many nightmarish child custody situations on this site and others and completely agree with you. The judges act in the best interest of the parents, and themselves. Seems like they try to appease each parent enough to keep them out of their courtroom.

In my custody case, I submitted a federal investigative report detailing Spathy’s embezzlement of federal grant monies, which included his self reported admission of long term drug abuse and his admission that he felt he could beat the system, etc. He was in jail when I went to court and submitted a letter to the court, with his sincere intentions to change for his daughter, blah, blah, blah.

I asked for termination of parental rights. I didn’t get that, but I got substaintal power to protect my daughter. It was a complete God shot that he was in jail, and thus unable to be present for his “grand performance.” He was granted 2x monthly supervised rights beginning at 1 year of age and ordered to pay $70/month in child support. He ended up demanding to see my daughter on her first birthday! It seemed like he wanted to take that special day from me. That didn’t happen. He wasn’t entitled to birthday or holiday visitation.

I would request the notes from visitations and wanted to hurl when I read about his “performance.” He would bring musical instruments and healthy snacks for the baby. When he could see her all day, every day before I left him, he couldn’t be bothered, unless it was after the sun had set and he couldn’t surf anymore. And then he’d want to wake her up to be on his schedule.

Anyway, I had been fortunate enough to have the judge agree to let me leave the state, with subsequent visitation to be mutually agreed upon and supervised at my discretion. I realized that with his peformance being as great as it was, that he could drag me back into court and demand and probably get more rights to my sweet girl. And then he started to show up around my work and her daycare, an hour away from where he lived. And my car kept turning up keyed. I wonder, who could have possibly done this? I ended up fleeing the state 3 months ago. My little one is 20 months old and occasionally says “Daddy away.” She told me “I love Daddy” for the first time the other day. She probably had so much fun with him on those visits, and I think the more she was exposed to him with all the charm he is capable of, the more likely she would be hurt and disappointed in the long run.

My ex has admitted to the murder of a man more than 15 years ago now. I reported what he told me and ended up going to give a formal, recorded statement to a detective. Evidently, he has already been investigated in this case. I think they know it’s him, but all they have to go on is the information he has bragged to other people about.

I love the analogy of the frog in cold water, which starts to boil! People don’t “get” how I ended up with someone this disordered and I try to explain that he didn’t lead with his embezzlement, violence, and drug use. He led with his business, his talents, his strong family ties, and his adoration of me during a vulnerable time in my life. I think people want to condemn those of us who experience socipathic betrayals as naive or stupid, because they don’t want to imagine the true magnitude of such a manipulative person and that they could fall victim to a similiar situation.

Anyway, I identified alot with your struggle and I hope you can find a way to escape Luc for your son’s sake. I could completely relate to your feelings about your son, I feel the same way about my little girl. The only advice I feel qualified to give is to do whatever it takes to protect yourself and that child. It sounds as though he is responsible for the deaths of two other women he was intimately involved with. I would run for the hills if you think you could escape him. The long term risk of him around you and your son is far too real, IMHO.

I’m glad you are with us here on LF, not glad you experienced sociopathic abuse, but that you found this site and can help and be helped here. Hugs to you!

LPMarie, good god in heaven……what a strong and courageous gal you are.

Cappuccino, I believe that you clearly understand your situation. IMHO, you’ve expressed incredible courage, strength, and resolve. Again….brightest blessing to you, LPMarie, and all other parents out there who are desperately protecting themselves and their children. Brightest, brightest blessings upon you all.

Capuccinoqueen and LPMarie,

You are both so strong and courageous. You are both doing the right thing for yourself and your babies!

I can relate in so many ways, and without getting into detail, I will say that keep having strength. I left my Psycho mid pregnancy after he broke my face and threatened to kill me, spent one week in jail and by the 3rd week after the incident he had a girl in my home, which started to harass me, as well as him and whoever friends they had. The stress caused me early labor yet my daughter survived. I then decided he was not to have any part in the baby’s life. I’d rather have mine and my daughter’s sanity than his money. I’d rather go a lifetime of not dealing with him than an 18 year nightmare. Luckily he has not looked for us (not that I know of) he has bothered some of my friends, and an occasional email to try to provoke me. He finally saw his attempts are in vain to affect me. However, I do live in fear and I do live looking over my shoulder. I pray he stays away. I can’t imagine the hell you face with the justice system. Your guardian angel, your son, will be your peace. The hell I go through now is only money, but in a weird way I find comfort in knowing that I am not the only person suffering financially in such trying economic times. I never post on Lovefraud, but I always read the blogs. This is one of the places that helped me through my difficult times. Today seemed like a good day to post because after 3 years, I feel almost normal again. I may post in the future again, but to the readers and writers on here, Thank You.

Dear WhyOWellWhy,
hello, welcome and bless you for having the guts to post your thoughts and experiences. Your story reminded me of myself. I was more fortunate in that I never lived with my daughters ex and wasn’t brutalised in that way. She, my daughter is 26 now and has wondered why and asked questions but she’s never sought him out despite being inquisitive. Yes I was lucky like you. He let us go and only created small ripples compared to what some good people here have endured.

I’m glad you feel normal again. Good for you. Keep on keeping on. It takes guts and courage to support yourself.

Whyohwellwhy, thank you for sharing your experiences. And, it’s so good to read that someone is beginning to feel “normal.” I look forward to the day when I can take some time, relax, and “feel” something other than drama.

Brightest blessings to you

Truthspeak and Darwinsmom,

Thanks so much for the wonderful compliments and encouragement. I need the support, and in down times, I rely on the kind words people on LF have shared with me. Such good folks here!

Whyohwellwhy,

“However, I do live in fear and I do live looking over my shoulder.” Ditto. I’m around 6,000 miles away from Spathy and I ***still*** wake up during the night and wonder if he broke into my apartment. I won’t feel safe until I read his obituary. And then I’ll wonder if it’s a fraud, just like him! I love that you said you almost feel normal again. I feel myself getting stronger, too, so it is refreshing to hear that after some time and distance, you are healing. I’ve been NC for over a year with ex Spathy and his family. It was the best decision, and I found out that I am a stronger, more resilient person than I ever dreamed possible. Of course, having a sweet angel in the form of a 20 month old daughter has brought me all types of new confidence I didn’t know were available to me! It’s amazing how that awesome responsibility to a vulnerable little one will have me facing a huge mountain thinking “there has got to be a way I can get this thing moving.” 🙂

cappuccinoqueen,

I remember feeling the same way, that maybe my ex was the same person as another member of LF’s. Especially because she had met her Spathy ex in the same state that I met mine. But then, the more I started reading and discovered they pretty much operate from the same playbook, I’m wondering if they aren’t actually an alien species. (There was a article on here last month, I believe, likening these strange birds to aliens as an exercise in understanding their lack of “humaness.” Anyway, I diverge!).

I just wanted to encourage you to be gentle with yourself for your decision to stay, for the time being. I agree with Truthspeak who said:

“I believe that you clearly understand your situation. IMHO, you’ve expressed incredible courage, strength, and resolve.”

Only you know what is best for your individual situation and what you can personally handle. I had the incredible good fortune of having a judge who was a bit of a hard ass in my favor. She wouldn’t give me exactly what I wanted, but she gave me enough power to legally leave the state. The way the agreement is written, I am supposed to give him my residential address and phone number because there is child support being enforced, but I think he’ll stop paying in the long term and be grateful that I don’t track him down for it. I remember when I wasn’t aware that he was a Sociopath, and we were still together, his ex wouldn’t let him see his older daughter. I thought she was vindictive and said he should take her to court for legal visitation rights and he said no because she could ask for more child support. This gives me hope for the future. But I agree, it’s difficult living with the unknowns. Will he try to continue the drama? Could I end up in trouble or lose my daughter, etc? In the long term, I just hope he’s as sleazy as I think he is, and that he lets us go as long as I let the child support go. I think he’s that low, and that would be great. He has NOTHING positive to offer a child.

Don’t doubt your bravery. You didn’t stick around for more of his abuse, despite how vulnerable you were with a brand new little bundle to care for. You refused to wrap the blanketof denial around yourself and saw the situation for the dangerous one that it was. You removed yourself and your son promptly and got yourself lawyered up. You’re doing your best, and that is all that is ever expected out of any one of us!!! Hang in there and take good care of yourself and the baby. BIG (((HUGS))) to you. You’re gonna make it 😉

Capqueen, Thanks for sharing your story. It is very inspiring and strengthening.

I don’t live in your state, but I still have some questions to ask. If you could do it over again, would you engage in the legal battle? I ask this because I have decided to stay out of it, even though there are pros and cons. The ex doesn’t want to pursue legal action even though he keeps threatening to. The reason is that he doesn’t want to spend the money on the application and says it is cheaper for me, on a pension.

One of the advantages of having a court order is that there are fixed times – at the moment he tries to get away with calling in and getting time anytime he wants it. He won’t agree to fixing times for phoning the kids, because he says I will not negotiate a schedule. I definitely will not do it in person and every attempt to do it with a mediator has failed.

The downsides of going through the court system are everything you wrote in your article – there will be no justice. A battle (or rather a war) is exactly what he wants and I need it like a hole in the head. I don’t want ANYTHING to do with him, but I know that’s not realistic, given that we have children. If I go to court, we will be put through the wringer and come out of it worse than now; the kids will have to see him MORE often than they do, something they have told me they don’t want to do. AND we will be fifty thousand dollars poorer.

But if I don’t ask for a court order, he thinks he can phone them any time he wants, come around to leave gifts, ask for more times when he feels like it, change times when he feels like it with short notice, etc.

After what you’ve been through, would you avoid the legal battle if you had to?

Not-too-late~

I left the exspath when my son was three weeks old. The ex was abusive when I was pregnant and I knew that I couldn’t be in an abusive situation with my children. He declared war at that point and has been dragging us through the courts for the last seven years, nearly non-stop. He has a trust fund and wealthy parents so the money is nothing for him. For me it almost destroyed us financially and emotionally.

At first things were fine as we had a judge that was favorable because he saw the ex get angry on the witness stand. He had supervised visitation for a few months and of course he showed up looking like the perfect father every time. So he kept taking me to court for more time over and over. He always had wild accusations so people were appointed to check things out. We have had two mediators, a parenting coordinator, a CFI, PRE, Guardian Ad Litem. My life feels like it has been under a microscope.

Our court order also says that I can’t move out of the state so am trapped here by it. Our judge retired and the one we have had for the last two years has been from He**. She advocates for father’s rights and believes that 90% of restraining orders are taken out to make the other parent look bad. He now has 50% custody even after he was charged with child abuse.

I would never gamble with the family courts. Once you have a court order you are bound by it and if your ex is anything like mine, one slip up and he will drag you into court for contempt.

If there is ANY way that you could leave the state I would move heaven and earth to do that. Once visitation is established with a court order, it is VERY difficult to break that off and move. In my state they feel that the child benefits from having contact with both parents under nearly all circumstances unless the other parent has committed murder or serious sexual assault. Yep, that is their stance.

IF I could do it over again I would have NEVER, EVER entered the family court system. Just my opinion from what we have been through. What you think should happen in court and what actually happens are two completely different things.

I would have never believed in a million years that a man that I have a permanent restraining order against for domestic violence would have unsupervised custody. Until I went through this I had no clue how messed up the family courts are.

If you can, take those children and run baby run!

Cappuccinoqueen~ I remember reading about stories like mine back when I first left the xspath. I thought to myself, that would NEVER happen in my situation! It did. The ex knew what was near and dear in my life, my son, and he has gone after that full force. He has filed five motions in the court over the last year alone. Two are still pending.

I have often wondered how things would be if I had made custody or visitation a non-issue. Like if i would have said, ‘sure you can have son for a few hours, that would be great so I can go to out to the movies with a date.’ Or something along those lines. Am not sure if that would have worked or not. Spaths seem to be keenly aware of what makes us tick. He may not have believed it.

As far as these guys getting away with everything they do, they seem to be experts at that. The couple of times that he has been charged with a crime, he has gotten off completely.

One thing that has happened is that the ex has become an expert at the court proceedings and manipulating the multitude of ‘experts’ in our case.

The CFI we had made seven or eight references to his anger issues and stated that she felt that he had physically abused me and that there was loud fighting occurring in front of my son in exspath’s home. She concluded that my son would ‘benefit’ from more time with his father! It was downright reckless. Her report was turned into the court right before my son turned five. Four months later he choked him during a long unsupervised weekend over the Easter holiday. He was charged with child abuse. It gets very painful from there so maybe will write about that at another time.

I am not even sure what advice to give except that if you have a way out TAKE IT when it is presented!

Have thought about taking my son and just running for the hills many, many times. The ex has plenty of money and resources to track me down. Ending up in jail with no reprieve for my son from the spath would be devastating.

We have been being stalked by the spath for years as well and were placed in an address confidentiality program by the state. After relocating, he still found us! He tells others how he wants me out of the picture completely, how he would do it. It is sick and graphic. Don’t ever underestimate these creatures.

Another pattern that you may see emerge is this: They ask for more parenting time. You say, ‘no way’. They claim that you are uncooperative, trying to keep the child from them, alienating the child, blah, blah. Afterall, they are just wanting to be a good dad and have a relationship with their child. They will paint you as an uncooperative, controlling, vindictive bi%*# who is trying to keep the child away from them. Many times the courts will look at this so unfavorably that they will say that YOU are harming the child and award custody to the father. Bleck!

Funny how they call it a custody battle when the only ones that want to engage in a fight are the spaths. Us, we just want to be left alone.

Wish I had a magical answer. The courts need to be overhauled, but that won’t help our children now.

((HUGS))

Cappuccinoqueen~ Take a deep breath for tonight. It could be a long battle. I am really worried about your ex’s violent past.

Regarding the experts that seem to be too scared to actually have the balls to stand up and say, ‘Hey, this guy is psycho! He is abusive! No way this child would benefit in any way from being around him.’ Won’t happen. At least not anytime soon.

One of the mediators suggested that I should agree to meet with the spath once a month to stop him from becoming frustrated about having no contact with me. He actually suggested this!
A CASA we had on our case had turned over a multitude of emails where she indicated that she had to actually hang up on the spath because he had become so verbally abusive. This was AFTER she turned in a report to the courts stating that communication between the parties was difficult because of the restraining order and that I should ‘cooperate’ more and allow contact. That the lack of contact was ‘harming’ the child. *puke*

Can you possibly leave the state? Maybe get a job, or job offer. Wink.

I didn’t learn about psychopathy until about two years ago. Wish I had that knowledge years ago. You are at least ahead of the game in having the information about what the ex is.

I so wish that you weren’t going through this. Glad that you are armed with information about psychopathy.

Take care,

Cappuccinoqueen and AnnieO:

I’m so glad I came back to scan LF one more time tonight. I’m having one of those nights where my relocation “adaptation stress” is catching up to me.

I’m realizing yet one more thing I am going to lose due to my entanglement with Spathy. I’ve been stressing and trying to find a way to hang onto it, after all I have lost so much, and it’s been a steady source of income, benefits, and identity for me through Army reserve service.

I went through a bad time after my deployment and subsequent divorce (I suspect that ex is a S, too, but that’s another story for another night). I met Spathy during the aftermath. After I had some intensive therapy, I busted my ass trying to rebuild my military career and I had a wonderful opportunity to go to a great school for a new job that I was really into. And Spathy talked me out of it so he would have a place to live when he got out of jail. And I bought into it, allowing him to guilt me. And then I got pregnant a few months after he got back. I shouldn’t say “got pregnant.” I allowed Spathy to pressure me into having a baby. (This is not to say I don’t love my daughter, but it is often a bitter pill to swallow, knowing he wanted a child with me to continue to have access to my lifestyle, manipulating my dream of finally having a happy family).

I tried do the school online. But having a new baby and a Spathy partner who was bringing METH around made it impossible. I believed him to be clean and a “reforming” person when we met. After having seen how he can hide his drug use, I now suspect he was using drugs early in our relationship and maybe even throughout. It was only obvious toward the end when my daughter was 7 weeks old.

I’m angry that I worked so hard and have lost so much. All because I wanted to be loved and I believed he loved me as much as I loved him. Or the mask, I should say. I sometimes believe I would have made more self protective choices had I not been in such a vulnerable mental and emotional state when I met him. But what good does that do me or my daughter now?

But reading these last several posts between the two of you are a good reality check for me. My ex Spath has admitted to and literally gotten away with murder. That my daughter and I got out with our lives and limbs intact is truly a blessing.

Anyway, I’m grieving yet another pending loss and wondering what the heck I’m doing and going to do, but I’m also realizing how difficult a struggle so many of you other parents go through to protect your children from Spathy parents. It really stinks that you have to go through it, but thank you so much for sharing it.

It just convinces me that I, too, would have gone through a lot more stress and likely watch helplessly as he would eventually be granted unsupervised visitation and take my little angel God only knows where with God only knows who.

“I sometimes feel completely wrecked. I feel like I am screaming through the hills asking for the system to protect me and my son from his dangerous person and all I am hearing in return is, “you chose this man ”“ deal with him.”

That really stinks, too, but I know exactly what you mean. The judge gave me a lot, but she gave me that attitude, too. How can you possibly begin to explain the con and what happens when the mask drops without sounding like a total nutjob.

I think my train of thought is disjointed right now. I love my daughter and have so many fears about the future, how I will take care of her with my once relatively stable finances now crumbling around me. I also have a condo in the process of a short sale in the state we fled and soon my credit will take a massive hit for it.

I’m not sleeping well at night with all these worries on my mind. It’ s hard to see that in the long run, leaving was the best decision. But your posts really do help me to remember WHY I needed to leave, and what we had to look forward to and possibly worse if we didn’t go. So thank you for sharing such painful and stressful experiences here with the LF community. I’m not glad either one of you are going through it, but I am learning so much from your experiences and trying to remind myself to be grateful to be away from Spathy.

LPMarie13~ Count your blessings, you have broken free! Over here we are broker than broke and still have to accept the visitation agreement and court order. I would gladly live in a cardboard box and not have to deal with the ex psychopath and be entangled through the courts.

You and your daughter are free!! Rather than dwell on what coulda, shoulda been or anything you may think you guys left behind, think instead about the future you can create from this point forward. Keep up no contact and just keep putting one foot in front of the other. One step at a time. Your daughter is lucky to have such a brave mother who is walking through this life with her eyes wide open. Stop looking back, the future awaits you…

Wow. Ladies, I can’t imagine. I am so, so sorry that you are dealing with this. I don’t even have the words.

CapQueen and AnnieO, thanks for telling your stories. Thank you, CQ, for your input. I don’t live in your state, but I have seen enough where I live to know that the courts don’t see the truth and while I have heard of some good outcomes (I mean, OK outcomes at least), you can never tell which way it will go.

Everyone tells me I can’t lose because he is a loser and he’ll come off second best, but I’m not so sure because EVERY TIME I thought that when a third person was brought in during marital difficulties, he DIDN’T come off second best. He was on trial for aggravated assault of my son and got off lightly because his psychologist wrote him a glowing report, and so did his work colleague, who happened to be a very renowned lawyer in society. I already took him to court over breach of property orders and the court judge was very misogynistic, dressing me down when HE was breaching the order and I should have been the one to be awarded justice.

Right now, my older kids could say a thing or two, but firstly, I don’t know if they’ll be asked because they don’t see him and are not relevant to any parental order. Secondly, I don’t know if they are so over him as to bother getting involved again, knowing that he will see any statements they make.

My younger ones will tell me they don’t want to go, they are only going to make him happy, they are afraid of him, he gets mad at them, he doesn’t look after them, etc but they will not say it to anyone else because they are afraid of him “getting into trouble” or “going to jail” (which he convinced them was what happened). They don’t want me telling him that they don’t want to go when he asks for more days during the holidays, so the ex thinks I am the one stopping them.

Fortunately, the last holidays I was able to appease the boys because the ex didn’t reply to my offers of more days as he was refusing to communicate by email or text (he is always forcing a face-to-face interaction). He started using a communication booklet, but instead of writing stuff about the kids, he uses it to write long rants about how he has changed, how I have to repent, how God can transform anyone, how this stress is affecting me, how I should not stop the kids from seeing him, how he will always love and honor me, how I can abuse as well, etc. I told him I refuse to read anything personal but he keeps putting it in there, and sometimes shoves notes under my door because he knows I will not read anything he puts in my letterbox.

I think he would pursue me if I fled somewhere else. I think the only way to deal with this is to hold him off, detach in my mind, wait for the boys to grow up, and if he starts court action, try to get the best lawyer, give him a bit more time so he doesn’t think it’s worth the cost to get more time. I just don’t think it’s worth impoverishing my kids just to get him off my back by starting court action. He won’t comply with any order anyway, and I don’t want to have keep taking him back to court for breaches.

Ladies, thanks again for sharing your journey!

Ok Ladies,
I’m going to tell you a story. this is about child custody and spaths. It’s not my story and it doesn’t have a “pat” answer but it has a lot of wisdom and truth for you to use.

One of my best friends from high school, R, was a sweet innocent angel who was molested by her stepfather. Because of this she ran away and got involved with some biker types. One, J, who became her boyfriend was about 10 years older. There were lots of drugs around and she became an addict and became pregnant.

He wanted her off the coke when she got pregnant, but started up again after she had the baby because she is an addict. She left him and took the baby. I broke off all contact because I couldn’t deal with her drug addiction.

I saw him 25 years later when I was running from my spath and looking for a place to hide. I would say he is a spath. I think he hates women, but he says he likes me, (duh).

She was not a spath but now she is worse than him because of her drug addictions. She’s had 4 or 5 kids and all were taken from her because of her pedophile husbands.

Anyway, J told me the story of how he got custody of his boy from R:

R had the boy and was living a druggy life. J told her she and her bf could move a trailer on to his property so that they would have a place to live. Of course they agreed (more money for meth). Then the boy was able to go see J each day. The boy was a toddler. R wanted more money from J for child support. J didn’t want to give it to her, for several, obvious reasons.

R was on welfare too. (I’m trying to remember the story correctly) The welfare people showed up asking to see R. J simply pointed to the trailer. His boy had already left the trailer and was sitting in his house in front of the TV, which is what he always did. The welfare people went to the trailer and saw several drugged out people, including R, crashed out from drugs.

J was given custody of the boy and he didn’t have to pay R anything.

So the moral? A spath once told me: keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

Easier said than done for us, but easy for spaths.

He caused the problem, but then he did do the right thing (for selfish reasons). The boy is a now a good man.

IMO, he hates women and wanted to hurt her. By taking her boy and seeing her become a drug addict, he was done and satisfied. But it’s not cut and dried, right? because he saved his son.

I have no hope for R, but there is lots to learn about spaths from this. We can turn the tables on them, like J did on R. Furthermore, we can be aware of how spaths work from what J did to R. He gave her rope. He gave her a place to live for free and she took the rope and hung herself. (granted she has a low IQ, but we can work with whatever we have) The point is, NEVER LET THE SPATHS KNOW WHAT WE REALLY WANT OR VALUE.

The first thing you need to do is warp your brain until you understand their sick way of thinking. It will hurt.

It’s important to know that they will believe any emotion you pretend to have. They think we are not capable of acting as well as they can.

No I don’t have a pat answer, just some ammunition. lock and load it.

Not-too-late,

You wrote, “Fortunately, the last holidays I was able to appease the boys because the ex didn’t reply to my offers of more days”

You gave an explanation of how he’s not communicating by email or text anymore… But I think part of the explanation lies in these words “TO MY OFFER OF MORE DAYS”

As soon as you offered to him what he used to demand he didn’t care about that anymore… Why? Because you didn’t SEEM to care about the more days anymore, so he tries to pester you with something else now, something he thinks will upset you. So, now he’s trying to attack the no contact itself.

Spaths wants to scratch the blood from under our nails… They will try to annoy or upset us on whatever they know that will frighten, annoy or upset us. They can only deduce what we care about and what upsets us from our responses (face, tone of voice, content). I know people often ask, “But won’t he/she not realize I’m acting it… They know I can’t be this fickle and superficial, right?” Actually, the answer is “No, they don’t know,” exactly because they only experience fickle, superficial emotions. Even though they know we can care and bond, they have no concept of us caring and bonding forever. Actually they seem to believe that ultimately, when push comes to shove, we are like them (hence the projection and paranoia of people fucking them over). Just as we project our human emotional state as natural within others, they project their uncaring state as natural within others.

As Sky pointed out, this is the weakness of them that we can use as a mental weapon. I know that’s easier said than done. They’ll move on to pester you about something else as soon as they think they can’t make your blood curdle over their previous tactic.

Not-too-late, regarding the personal notes he’s passing. You might try to slip a comment how these notes make you smile (because they’re so pathetic really) – the opposite of what you told him before (that you don’t read anything personal). There’s a big chance he’ll stop writing them then.

Ladies, your stories are chilling. I hope you all find ways to make them either hang themselves or become so uninterested a target they’ll slither away to go pester someone else.

AnnieO,

Thank you for your encouragement and the compliment. Right now I’m likely just struggling to find the balance between being grateful we have escaped and simultaneously grieving the continual loss of things that I once held sacred, that I took for granted were always going to be a part of my life and were a significant part of my future plans. It was always a safety net for me and now it’s gone.

Its gonna take some time for my feelings to catch up to all of the changes I have been through. I hold onto hope, though, that as a result of taking such extreme protection measures, life will eventually get much better. Some times a big risk yields a big payoff, right? That’s actually something Spathy would tell me about being involved with him and our craptastic relationship… Luckily I have lost him and I haven’t lost hope 🙂

I believe I can recreate a new path for myself. I’m just getting wiped out from all of the effort I’ve exerted in the relocation and the 1001 things I’ve needed to and continue to need to do. Luckily, I get to start counseling again next week. I will benefit from some more trauma recovery work and it will be great to have someone to talk to help me manage the stress.

I’m in limbo right now and I feel disoriented and terribly lonely. I don’t have any friends where we are. We have been in our new place for a month now. Before that we were staying with an acquaintance and then my disordered parents. I knew this would be challenging, and it’s not even as awful as I thought it would be.

I agree it’s important to look forward and not dwell on the past. Regardless, I still have some intense feelings over it all. And I think there are a lot of fears around finances because I’ve been job searching with no results. I just need to find a way to support us and throw myself into the new routine for a while. I’m sure once my daughter is in a safe daycare and I’m back to work, things will feel less out of control for me.

I lost custody of both of my sons until the eldest one acted out and nearly got the first exspath kicked out of the apartment complex.

The battles in court are thoroughly humiliating, degrading, and never seem to end in a “just” decision. And, that’s all due to the ignorance of spathy, IMHO.

The losses: medical benefits, years, love, efforts….they are real losses. For those who have children under the ages of 6, get on WIC, as soon as possible. Take advantage of every agency out there. Get involved in a domestic violence support group or network – they have resources available to parents, male or female.

I used to believe that I was had no business reaching out for help from agencies, charities, or any other organizations because I didn’t “deserve” to be helped – I should be able to do all of this on my own. Well, the truth is that I can’t. I can’t secure housing, pay for it, buy groceries, or secure my own transportation. I simply cannot accomplish these basic needs on what I make in addition to the paltry spousal support. So, I have to set aside my false pride and my sense of shame and reach out.

Food banks, housing, anything. We need to do whatever we have to in order to survive and recover.

Brightest blessings

To clarify my response: we cannot count on the legal system to make just and proper decisions. We can’t. Regardless of how much of a loser a spath is, they always have a handy-dandy “excuse” or “diagnosis” to parlay into a better deal. As victims, we have NOTHING (yes, I’m shouting), and we have to count on that simple fact and do whatever we must to make it through.

We cannot trust the legal system, and we cannot count on the legal system – not ever.

Truthspeak,

I was reading some of your comments in another thread and I’m so sorry for the situation you are in. The more I come back to LF today to try to quell some of the anxiety I’m feeling, the more and more I realize that what I am experiencing is better than some, worse than others, but painful just the same. We are all in this together. I saw another member reach out to you and offer a place to stay. Late last month I saw a website for single parents called Coabode. It’s to pool resources and help each other through the struggles of single parenting. I’m interested in it but haven’t signed up yet. I’m not sure of your entire status, but it’s worth a look. It might be something in your area that you would want to look into.

http://coabode.org/

I’ve often wished there were some way to link up with the people I’ve communicated with on this site. Because you folks understand, I don’t feel as guarded. Maybe also because it is basically annonymous here on the site. I just wish I had more in terms of actual face to face interaction with healthier adults. I am around my family now and start to question my own sanity at times. I read codependency literature, and that helps. I’m going to look into a support group via the VA for trauma survivors.

I wish you pleasant thoughts today. I wish them for us both 🙂

Skylar and Darwinsmom~ I love your posts and have read them several times. I understand the concepts but am trying to wrap my mind around how to accomplish it.

I have spent the last seven years fighting to keep custody of my son and maintain as little contact as possible. The exspath obviously knows what is important to me. So how do I undo this? Have been trying to ‘warp my brain’ to think like them, and yes it does hurt.

CapQueen~ When my son was about 18 months old the exspath took me to court because he wanted overnight visitation. It was limited to once a month. Every 4-6 months after that he continued taking me to court asking for ‘just a little bit more time’, which everyone in the courts thought was ‘reasonable’. My efforts to block him were met harshly. He just wants one more day or two more overnights, why can’t I cooperate and let him be the ‘good’ father he is trying to be. Why won’t I cooperate, what is wrong with me. Jeez. It has slowly but surely worked into a 50/50 schedule which started this year.

Not sure how to stop the train wreck. Hopefully your ex doesn’t have the resources mine does to keep going to court.

It is a whole different ballgame when there are children in the mix. Sometimes I am so paralyzed by fear of doing the wrong thing. Constantly trying to figure out their next move.

Stay strong

AnnieO,

I think the best way is to do it gradually, and as if seemingly slipping your guard…

An example… Let’s say he wants to make an appointment to have your son over, and he’s trying to make it a moment that was not previously agreed upon. Instead of arguing with him over it, or reminding him of the rules… you first say, “That’s not really according to schedule,” and then do some out-loud thinking, offhand, “But then it might be convenient so that I can do [whichever]” You can prepare convenience excuses for yourself. Make sure that when you mention it, that it’s not on writing and it’s a reasonable convenience for you (that way he can never use it). But saying a thing like that would be enough to make him change his mind on the spot… Exercise on that, and then you can start to expand it somewhat, until he believes that you’re absolutely fine with him seeing your son because it gives you free-time. Once he believes that he doesn’t want you to have free time anymore.

Thank you Darwinsmom! The only communication we have is emails through Family Wizard so it would be in writing. They can be simple things though like a girls night out or whatever fun activity. He surely doesn’t want me to have fun so it will be easy to come up with things.

Funny that I was just thinking that I need to come up with a ‘long con’ for him, lol.

As long as it’s off-hand and to a 3rd person looks like you are both reasonable to his plans + making use of your time innocently he wouldn’t be able to use it.

There’s no long con needed, just a small one. Just make them think that instead of annoying you (as they expect), they are doing something that is pleasing to you, then spaths will back out of it.

And you have this important advantage: the last thing he’ll expect of you is to be pretending something in that smart opposite way. 😉

AnnieO,
It’s not easy to be fake because we have real emotions and they need to be hidden. It’s easy to give advice but harder to implement it. I’m so sorry for what you are going through.

The good news is that they really are dumb about emotions so that’s your ace. You can tell him you are on anti-depressants and he will be curious as to how they affect you. (yes, that’s how my spath was when I took SSRI’s.) Or you can take up a new REALLY EXCITING HOBBY. Or get a new boyfriend. Basically any STORY will work. But that’s the key word: STORY.

These drama queens get quite involved in stories. Whatever story you present, make sure there are lots of props and actors and emotional expressions. They’ll believe anything you present that way. Ironically, that’s EXACTLY what my spath does!! You would not believe the lengths he goes to create productions with an entire cast of characters. But these are REAL people getting conned into behaving as he wants, in order to create the “reality” that he wants.

I truly believe that they don’t know the difference between the “reality” they create and the real world. I had real cops chasing me around at his command. The neighbors were recruited to make me miserable. My own sister was involved. All of this so that he could convince me of the reality of his stories and I was supposed to commit suicide. (no, the recruits were not innocent, they knew the end goal.)

The mistake he made was that I’d been with him for 25 years. That was quite long enough to know what he was capable of.

Sorry, I digress. It still shakes me to my core when I think about it. But the point is, whatever you present, they will believe. Have fun with it, if you can. Laugh as much as possible. Laughter is our ONLY defense against the tragedy that a spath is.

As far as some props you can use, try face book. Post away about your fake plans. Then see how he reacts. If he tries to sabotage your plans, then you’ll know how to roll with it.

Skylar and darwinsmom (whose story I remember reading and being touched by somewhere else on this site last year?), I get what you are saying about reading the spath’s mind and not letting up about what we value.

But how do you lay down boundaries then? All the expert advice to “us victims” (*roll eyes*) seems to be that we need to set out boundaries. But to do that firmly is telling them where we want our boundaries. Eg, if I don’t want him to leave me personal notes, I tell him in no uncertain terms, “Please do not leave letters in my letterbox, I will not read them” but of course, what happens is that more letters come. But if I don’t, then when I try to get police help, they say I haven’t told him in no uncertain terms.

Similar problem with the court (which is why I’ve stayed away). If I start saying that I don’t mind the notes, or don’t mind him having the kids at certain times, or calling them whenever, then he has proof that I don’t have a problem with him. The court won’t know that it is a ploy. In fact, the policewoman said to me this week that surely I would not be sending the kids there since he was abusive, and I said, “You got to be joking. I am only doing what I can to make sure we get the lesser of the evils. If they don’t go, who knows what he’ll do and our lives might be at stake.” She seemed to understand, being a mother of a young child. Her advice was to tell him when he could or could not come to my door (is it EVER acceptable for him to come to my door??), then see if he breached it, then maybe I had a case for police to caution him.

Good news, though. I don’t want to say where I am, but we are connecting with people who are on a mission – victims who are going to harass and take it up to the police and the government. This particular person has already effected change – the new law with restraining order forces the perpetrator out immediately, even if he owns the property. We ARE going to see the system change!

Not-too-late,

I undestand your issue. It can be important for 3rd party reasons (court) to be very clear about boundaries. However, spaths will always disrespect boundaries.

As I understand it your tactic has been to show the court that he is a dangerous man who doesn’t respect rules. The problem with that tactic is that even with a huge amount of evidence how much he doesn’t care about the rules, the courts will still listen to his argument about him having the right to see his children. Even when the courts recognize the thruth of the situation they will still give him the benefit of the doubt to be a father, and in the eyes of the court you become someone with the goal to strip that right away from him… and they don’t like that.

Yes, setting boundaries is very important, but that does not always necessarily mean you make them heard. For example, with regards to the communication. The rules how to communicate and what to communicate have been made clear long ago. Those are the boundaries. Yup, he will break them, but you do not need to repeat the boundary, you simply ignore the ‘wrong’ type of communication… you don’t say it, but do it. Have some box to throw all these notes in (as evidence) without ever reading them. You don’t need to tell him that you’re not reading them. Setting the boundary means simply that you do not read them nor spend any energy on it. Those notes do not exist for you on an energetic level. When you tell him instead that you’re not reading them and that he shouldn’t put notes in the mailbox, then you acknowledged their existence on an energetic level and your annoyance by them to him. Let’s pretend he were to ask you about mailbox notes, you could answer astonished ‘What notes?’, because on an energetic level those notes were never supposed to exist in the first place and you haven’t read them anyway. Do you see the difference? Repeating boundaries to him is ‘trying’ to set a boundary and giving him another chance to comply with it or not; not repeating them and just acting accordingly (ignoring their existence completely) is actually setting a boundary, irregardless of whether he complies to it or not.

Setting boundaries is more of an internal process than a communication process (and it took me a lot of years teaching to understand it). Some people will not respect your boundaries. You do not have any control over that. But you do have control over yourself. You can hang up the phone, not respond, throw the note with the thrash without ever reading or speaking of it again, walk out of a room and completely ignore a person who disrespects your boundaries, and you do that by setting the boundary for yourself that you will not spend an ounce of energy in it.

Also, thank you for your words on my story. I feel my story was not as dangerous nor as destructive as that of others, because luckily for myself a lot of it was ultra long distance and little less than 2 years, and it was fairly easy to go and maintain nc. But the cognitive dissonance and the aftermath effect upon all of my life for several months was as painful as it is for everybody. And I did experience some very scary and personally very painful degrading moments. And though I had not much to lose financially… the € 14,000 debt I had amassed by November 2010 was a lot for me and pretty much a downward spiral that kept choking me. At least over € 9,000 has been paid back now, and I actually have over €1000 in savings.

Not-too-late,
I hear you. It can be confusing trying to read their minds at each step. I suggest distilling the concept of boundaries down to the bare basics. What are we really setting a boundary on? Our emotions. The boundary says they cannot have our emotions or any emotional responses, or any reactions based on emotions. Since they eat emotions, we don’t feed them. But you can give them fake emotions, to keep them busy.

What darwinsmom described is spot on. When they cross a boundary, do not respond the way they would expect, by telling them again to stop. Simply don’t respond or walk away.

Maybe another story might help. There is a woman who has a son with a spath. The spath is remarried but continues to try to torture his ex by not following the court ordered rules like writing in the journal. He sends emails, changes the schedule etc…He also keeps giving the boy a buzz cut. The mom likes at least 2 inches in length and makes every effort to compromise by going short on the sides, to no avail.

I wish it didn’t bother her so much but I told her to keep making a big deal about it, as if it bothered her more. That will keep him focused on it.

You see, she told me she knows he is cheating on his new wife already because when he cheats, he goes to the emergency room a lot. He suddenly needs all kinds of drama. He even takes the dog to the emergency room.

I recognize the pattern. The spaths think that by causing upheaval and drama, they can hide and distract from, any evidence of their cheating.

My concern is that he will hurt the boy so he can take him to the emergency room. So I told the mom, to allow him drama over the hair to appease that need. She doesn’t get hysterical over the hair but she does keep trying to get her point across. She also documents EVERYTHING. Pictures, email, everything.

cappuccinoqueen, how old is your child right now?

Once he’s of communicative age, you could tell him how happy you are his father is trying to be a father figure for him and there for him, that you wish him to have a father who loves him (and the latter wouldn’t be a lie, because we would all prefer a child to have a loving parent). You give him a hug and wish him fun and tell him you’ll try to have fun too, and mention some activity.

Spaths love to interrogate their children to find out as much as they can from the ex-partner. Spaths use their children to have knowledge and control over the ex-partner. The sole thing you are doing then is (a) proving you’re not alienating a child from a parent (b) be loving and encouraging to your child (c) you have more control over what your child will be telling to the spath when he gets to be interrogated.

Another way that will be of help for you now, instead of waiting until your child can talk, is to drop some off handed remark to someone you know will talk to him, might be a spy, or just an innocent in denial or no knowledge, or an ex-in-law you can sometimes run into and still have a cordial meaningless weather-chat with. You could even have the supervizor mention something. You don’t tell them the plan in any way. But when you give the baby you can say while saying goodbye to the supervizor, “Well, I’m off to treat myself on … (fun activity here)”. Or if you run into such blabbing mouth of his camp you can have a cordial chit-chat and mention that the other day, when he had visitation you had so much fun when you treated yourself on (fun activity here)… Do this a few times and he’ll hear about it.

queen,
think about what he knows about you. Does he know about your facebook, your friends, associates, habits or whatever?

Then use those channels of communication to plant disinformation.

They like to spy on us, so give them something to spy on.

I call this “selective gray rock”. I wrote an article about it. Search love fraud for it. It describes how animals do this to protect their children from predators.

Boundaries with spaths…..good discussion.

For me, telling or indicating what we will (and, won’t) allow is an announcement to challenge. Since spaths have no recognition of any types of boundaries, any indication (verbal, or otherwise) of what we expect and won’t allow is met with an all-out campaign to trample those boundaries.

“Acting” as if visitation/custody isn’t a “big deal” is probably the hardest thing that a non-spath parent can do, IMHO. Perhaps, if I had done this with the first exspath, it wouldn’t have been such a horror show in court appearances.

If the spath, through omission or outright misiniformation, believes that taking the child(ren) for visitation/custody is going to provide much-needed rest, relaxation, a night out, or will be a “help” for us to attend classes/jobs, they’ll drop their efforts, eventually. Their intent, on every level, is to inflict damage. Financial, emotional, spiritual, physical damage.

Then, there is the notion of “alienation of affection,” when one parent actively attempts to prevent the other parent from contact with their offspring. This is a “legal concept” that is utterly flawed, but still used as an argument, today. Courts are not interested in individual cases – they aren’t. They want the parties to sit down, shut up, and get out of their courtrooms with as little fuss as possible. Whether one party has a mountain of evidence against the other that is valid and clearly demonstrates that the other party is dangerous, manipulative, fraudulent, irresponsible, and cruel DOES NOT MATTER (caps for emphasis, only). Sorting through the “evidence” takes up valuable time, and very few judges are willing to give more than 10 minutes to any given case or complaint.

This is the hardest truth to process for any non-spath parent. The Court simply does not care about our individual situations. The louder we shout (literally, or figuratively), the deafer the Court becomes until even the reports of Law Enforcement and case workers are rendered into white noise.

The only remedy that I can see for this issue is a complete overhaul of every legal system. Penalties need to be implemented with acts of violence, fraud, and manipulations. These things should be defined as “criminal acts” and consequences for these actions be dealt accordingly. These are my personal beliefs.

Having said all of that, it isn’t “against the law” for people to be jackasses. There is no real or true penalty for emotional abuse even though there really should be.

Brightest blessings

Darwinsmom, I get what you are saying – and I agree with you, too. The reason why it’s counter-intuitive is because of the very strong and constant message I used to get that one must always state (face-to-face) one’s concern and boundaries, then bring it up again, then lay down the consequence, etc. etc., eg Cloud and Townsend’s book Boundaries. I also used to read their other books, like “Who’s Pushing Your Buttons” and they always used to emphasize the process. After devouring about 6 of their books, it was hard for me to do anything else. Their advice is also pretty much why my mind was wrecked, as it exposed me to a lot of abuse.

I am about to reply to his latest communication in the booklet – I hang on to it as long as possible so I don’t get the booklet back in my letterbox. But if I hang on for too long, he comes to the door, claiming that I have not responded to him, leaving him no choice. I am about to do what the policewoman adviced, which was to tell him when it was OK to come to the door. I don’t think it is ever OK, so I am going to write “Please do not come to my front door – if you have something for the kids, please give it to them when you see them. Leave them outside if you can’t wait. If you wish to speak to S1 [who doesn’t ever see him or respond to him], please email him yourself.”

But I guess that would be just provoking him to see how he can get around it. But the police are not willing to do anything without me being clearer about it(with documented proof). Of course, I know I have been clear enough with my messages – for goodness sake, I divorced him, is that not clear enough to most sensible people? But he is the type to coerce you into saying what you know he will twist. He likes to “educate” people and keep them accountable (he despises hints). Many pastors have told me before to be straight with him because he doesn’t take hints. That’s when things escalated – when I started to be straight. It put me in danger, but I’m glad there was no more living in denial.

OK – here goes then. If it works, good. If it doesn’t, I’ll get back to the policewoman, and say, “Now will you do something?!”

Truthspeak, I know someone here who is intending to try to overhaul the legal system. Sick of being dismissed as a victim, she will not stop before she attacks and dismantles the legal system and the police, and the lame domestic violence services, etc. She says the problem is that they all know that victims will eventually shut up and go away, and since there are no financial consequences for the government, nobody cares. But if the 30% of married women who are being abused speak up and hold the forces who should be helping accountable, they have to take notice and do something to protect the victims and punish the perpetrators instead of the reverse.

My advice, not-too-late, DO NOT ANSWER THE DOOR. No matter what. No matter how long he persists. DON’T ANSWER THE DOOR. Let him waste HIS TIME AND ENERGY being a jack-ass.
Is there some way you could rig your porch electrically to push a button from inside and send an electical shock through him after about an hour? A video camara would come in handy, just in case there are legal ramifications,,,,then you could prove harrassment.

Nottoolate, I am not able to get a grasp on your current situation and it’s strictly due to my own ability to process information, right now.

From what I’m gathering, you’re being harassed because the spath is manipulating a court order for visitation? If this is the case, there is another avenue that may apply, depending upon various things, but it still may be an option.

Courts can appoint a “guardian ad litem” to represent the best interests of the children. Now, having said that, it is vital to understand that “family” members are often appointed this task, and they tend to “take sides.” An independent attorney is probably the best option, but this option comes with a serious warning: the GAL represents what they believe to be in the best interests of the children, only. Being attorneys, they tend to follow the general belief that both parents have “rights,” even when it is painfully clear that one of the parents has “an agenda.”

I mentioned boundaries, above, and it’s an extreme challenge to do this with spaths. The boundaries must never be implied, spoken, or written. The non-spath parent must simply “act.” By “act,” I mean that the non-spath parent knows what the spath is bent upon, and makes every effort to anticipate what would make the spath believe that they were causing the greatest inconvenience or discomfort.

For instance, a scheduled communication (you determine when you will respond without any indication of this approach) about visitation might go like this: he sends 40 texts in 3 days about visitation. Third day and 40 texts later, you respond with, “Saturday would be great! I’ll be able to _____.” And, end of text. No instructions, no written or implied expectations – just a set time that you will be available to deliver the children between 9-10am, and after that you’re off to whatever wonderful activity that you filled in the blank with. NO THREATS, either (caps for emphasis, not yelling). This means that you don’t respond with, “Be there between 9-10, or you don’t get your kids.” No threats, of any kind. Simply, “I will be available between 9-10.” No additional, “…after that, blah, blah, blah.”

If the spath believes that making you wait until 1pm for him to collect the children will cause you misery, he’s going to do it. And, sometimes, they won’t show at all, so the non-spath parent is sitting with the children dressed, packed, and ready to go, and the spath never shows up. A day of anticipation is wasted for the children, and your time is stolen. So……do you see where this is going?

Save and record all communications if you are forced to “co-parent” with a spath. This includes your own responses. Document, document, document. That way, if he starts clamouring for more time, you can clearly and factually demonstrate that he has no interest in “more time,” but only in raising the children’s hopes of a visitation, only to dash them. Very matter-of-fact and no emotions.

Personally, if he’s coming to your door at all hours of the day and night, I am in complete agreement with Kim Frederick’s observations. If he continues to persist, it may be necessary to contact the police, but I don’t know your whole situation and that could actually cause him to become violent. So, only you know what this spath is capable of, and you’ll have to gauge those possibilities, yourself.

Brightest blessings to you

Cappuccinoqueen – welcome to Lovefraud 🙂

I salute you for your bravery, and I know that your story will both inspire and comfort others. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences… stay strong, you’re among good friends here.

With love

Mel xxx

Truthspeak,

Thanks so much for your input.

I can understand the difficulty in processing information. I find it hard to even sometimes read back my own writing, much less understand it! I really try to read the stories so I can learn as much as possible for them, and I really thank CQ, skylar, darwinsmom, etc for sharing their experiences.

#1 – no court order. My first question was to CQ to ask if she would have gone through the court system if she had to do it all over again. I am avoiding it, ex is threatening.

#2 – Ex has decided not to respond to texts or emails. I once withdrew the kids because of that. He started again but has stopped, this time starting a communication booklet. He did that cos I stopped reading his letters. I don’t answer the phone. So the only way I can tell him something is to do it by the booklet.

#3 – I answer the doorbell because the kids run to the door and no matter how many times I tell them not to answer it, they (esp the younger one) always do if they see their dad. If I don’t give them what their dad has bought, they get upset.

#4 – I have been to the police. The policewoman said that if he coming to see the kids or under the guise of kids, then he was within his rights since he is a parent. She suggested telling him the times I found acceptable.

#5 – Every time I have tried to negotiate a parental plan/visitation schedule, either by text or through a mediator (6 times), it has failed. Surprise, surprise. Yet, when I took him to court over breach of property orders, he told the court I refuse to communicate with him, and in spite of my pages of documents, the judge believed him, and wouldn’t listen to me, he just wanted to tell me off and he told me that I should talk to him.

Thanks for taking the time to respond. It’s great we now have access to knowledge like this.

Hey all, if I don’t respond or post the following days (and today) it’s because I’m moving tomorrow. Have been running around to every civil institution for address change, the post to refer my post to new address, the municipial distric for change of residency parking card from old to new address, deconstructing all the closets and bed, putting all the china and fragile stuff in boxes, getting boxes and their non-fragile content to what is already standing in the new home. From tomorrow I won’t have internet until the 9th. It’s time for my matrass because it will be an early, long and hard physical working day again tomorrow.

Not-too-late, I hope you can find some advice and ideas to use in your particular case 🙂

Hey Darwins,
Does your new home have room for one old geezer and two wiener dogs?

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