LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: Having a child with a sociopath, I am no longer a mother

Editor’s note: The following article was written by a Lovefraud reader who we’ll call “WalkonMom.”

I used to think that “six” was my lucky number. And sometimes, I used to remind myself to show gratitude for six little things, like, the sound of New England leaves as they rustle underfoot, the first snowfall with really huge flakes, each breath flowing in and out, especially when you recognize that you are free for the first time, the scent of your baby’s head as you cradle and rock her in your grandmother’s rocking chair, the preciousness of each holiday, along with the sacred spirit of wonder that fills you as you see your child grow from year to year. Falling in love, and realizing that, no matter what, you’ll be strong enough to fix any boo boo or heal any abuse in the relationship, however seemingly impossible, because, well, you chose to love that man, and that’s supposed to mean forever, and, besides, you’re a mom—that should be enough.

But to survive in a situation of domestic violence, how much love could it EVER take for you alone to mitigate or hold it at bay? And when you realize that nurturing is never enough, that you can’t solve or ever heal it, and when you need to leave Hell to save your child, how much LOVE will it take to get you both out—alive? How much love will it take, years later, when your once kidnapped child chooses borderline behaviors to blame you for everything the sociopath did?

I’ll never forget. November 4, 2008. The night my 17-year-old daughter returned to NH from NJ after nearly six years, finally reaching out to me for help—a plea in the darkness. It was late, and I was tucking her into bed. My second husband and I had just returned from our honeymoon to pick her up in Hartford earlier that night. She had recently voiced some problems (again) with her Dad. I wasn’t given to know what the seriousness of his issues were over the past several years. She and I had only visited on a few rare occasions during her six-year transition to womanhood.

This is what I do know: While she was away, she’d attempted suicide and ended up in the hospital on multiple occasions. She’d cut herself, developed impetigo from self-injury. She took varying cocktails and combinations of drugs over the years, sometimes in dangerous and lethal quantities. She’d engaged in dangerous sexual activity, run away, sometimes being found on a city bench. Most horrific of all, as I was to discover that night, she held an ominous secret close to her heart, one that loomed much larger than the two of us. Bigger even than life itself.

No match

I’d left my first marriage in 2000, and with nothing, save one child, and a NH restraining order. I was no match for this cruel man who would stop at nothing to punish me. He was incapable of love, and as his warped mind was obsessed with obtaining and destroying the one thing he knew I cared about, his sole aim became that of molding our precious child’s soul into something he could torture me with forever, a meted out, deliberate punishment for my daring to leave his controlling, jealous, narcissistic personage, a payback for my rejecting his penchant for enjoying watching me suffer—and for leaving the abuse. “You’re it until I die, baby,” he used to say, over the years. “You’re IT.”

And so I had to borrow money from Mom to keep NJ courts from snatching my daughter back unwillingly, even as she and I had moved to NH with his physical help, and his written, signed understanding that I had no choice but to leave the marriage because of his abuse.

We endured death threats, were in hiding twice, hired one corrupt NJ attorney, “enlisted” the aid of therapists, NH DOVE attorneys—family services workers. But we were no match for the lies, death threats, the unending stream of NJ Italian family money, all fueling corruption that carried a singular purpose: to wear me down while making me appear as “crazy.”

Thus, we fought a three-year long, fledgling court battle with a corrupt judge, between two states, both warring for the acquisition of my child’s tender flanks.


It was in 2003 that he decided to kidnap our child, at the end of a month-long visitation. And it was during that fateful year that the same vulnerable girl who used to plead desperately for the abuse to stop, decided inexplicably, to go back to NJ—to live with her father.

When she returned for a short time to NH with FBI help, she’d evolved into a demanding, enraged, uncontrollable, borderline, destructive teen, filled with angst, three-inch devil horns super glued to her forehead, and Celtic swirls painted where two eyebrows used to be, in the style of her famous half brother’s band.

Once I’d witnessed just how cleverly he’d turned her head with those expensive Lolita skirts, shit kicker boots and a multitude of other promises to be involved with the band, how he coerced her with things he purchased during his “quality kidnapping time,” I knew my role as a mother was over. All I had left was my right to mourn, to breathe, and to try to walk on.

She walks away

At 12, she’d arrived at her own ironic version of an age of reason. For me, it was just another hellish turning point in the ongoing dialectic of domestic violence, an unholy grail of horror from which I knew I would never emerge, because he’d continue to use her to seek and secure a lifetime of vengeance and vitriol from me. What else could I do? I had to play dead, and let her go. She tried to push my mother down the stairs—threatened to kill all of us. So on one fateful summer day, I watched her put on her goth armor, the teeny weeny sexy skirts he’d purchased, and I let her choose to walk away. July 27, 2003—that remains the date of her death, regardless of our current and future interactions.

And so, this same beautiful soul and creature who once begged me to leave her father, now openly rejected the peaceful life it had taken several years for me and Mom to create for her, after finding the courage to leave the abuse. In the silence of one oceanfront family home, I was left alone to nurse these impossibly painful, openly weeping, inner wounds. From that day on, I mourned my daughter as dead. The mere possibility of having to hold, within, the fear and possibility of her death at his, or her own hands, in light of the risks I knew awaited inside the Hell she was to re-enter, now alone, without a mother’s protection or presence, would have driven any mother mad. I screamed and ripped my hair out for a week, and cried and vomited for one more. Then, I donned my teacher’s clothing, and went back to work, telling the story as if I were reciting summer vacation details. The only eyes that no longer had tears were my own.

No one validates this kind of death as mourning, so again, I was not given the grace of sharing it with anyone, for fear of being called crazy, or over-dramatic. Those few people I brought into the circle of the story blamed me, for being stupid enough to “choose” a sociopath, for letting her go, for feeding her Twinkies in grade school, for simply having been born at all. “What kind of mother leaves her child?” they would query. Well, the kind whose child threatens to kill Mom or use their Daddy to kill the family so that she can live the “Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (that he promised her, replete with sex, drugs and rock and roll in NJ), that’s who! I couldn’t compete against a band that was becoming famous; without that, he’d have had no power to sway her into the world of the perverse. Boundaries. It all boils down to boundaries.

Loss of motherhood

For six years, half of me tried to imagine living again as some fictitious single woman, one would never be again a wife or mother, while the other half keened as the woman whose child was absent and had died at the age of 12, to a murderous and conscious-less husband. I checked the NJ obituaries on a weekly basis.

Since that time, regardless of whether or not my daughter still breathes, I will always mourn the loss of motherhood. Life can be ironic, particularly if the devil won’t let you out of Hell.

I’ve read that children of divorce in the context of abuse tend to seek love unrelentingly from the parent with whom they feel unsafe, the one they instinctively know does not love them sincerely. My daughter and I were always so close that, had I demanded she stay with me, she would have given me the middle finger and left anyway, not because of hate, but because she needed me to prove to her, against her father’s protestations, that I loved her enough to let her go, to figure out who her daddy was on her terms, not mine, or the court’s, or any therapist’s. She compartmentalized her love, keeping me in a box only for the tough times.

Meanwhile, after years of trying to keep her safe before puberty, and to hold all of this up alone, I was battle worn, devoid of personal power and hope; in some ways, it was a relief to let her go. Years of his unrelenting torture had kept her hostage, and me from moving on with some kind of half-life. You see, she and I were so connected that I know that she knew all this, too. Deep inside, she knows that she and I were always just pawns, even as her budding psyche needed to fill that void in inner space in which we all need to KNOW that we are loved by our parents unconditionally, even if it’s not true.

Just a pawn

She had always been scared of her father’s unpredictable, controlling nature—many NH friends who called, after she left, validated this when they told me how shocked they were to discover she had chosen to live with him. But the hardest part for me throughout all the “she said” accusations, and through all the dirty legal tactics, his M.O., to avoid accountability, was my knowing from his eyes (and her mouth) that she was “just a pawn” between two equal parents, and an innocent victim of a lose-lose, power-over scheme, in which her Mom was the sole instigator, merely a cartoon character in a b-movie, a buffoon, an inconsequential, incompetent piece of shit, whose indomitable spirit as a mother existed in order to be squelched and mocked, at all cost.

Yet she could only see the situation at that time as any child would, stuck between two divorcing parents who would act upon love only and therefore fight for HER behalf. In spite of circumstances, children all need to believe that their very existences hold real meaning, and that both parents are acting sincerely. That is why she felt so vehemently angry. Since she knew that she could always be herself with me, and that I would love her back without question, while holding her very birthright, which carries also a permanent reminder of my sole personal responsibility for her rage about being born in the first place, within my own being.

In 2008, six years had passed since I’d experienced being a mother to my only child, six years since I’d been lost inside his torturous definition of divorce hell, a place in which I was stripped of all motherhood, raped from the inside out by a cruel and damaged man. Looking back, she and I both knew that all this irony and complexity required that she release herself from the fire of her daddy’s life, and from mine. She had needed to figure it all out by herself, to pull herself up by her Goth corset straps, and eyebrow-less face.

Something to show you

Within this set of sixes in years, I hadn’t known if my child were alive or dead, or even whether or not I’d ever find the will to continue living for myself. So simply for us to come back together, just before she reached the age of 18, was a small miracle. Naturally, she and I were catching up, that November night, on lost years of talking, about little things—how she’d run away from Dad again, how she was missing too many days at school in her senior year, how she didn’t want to live in NJ anymore. I remarked on how very thin and frail and sad she was, compared to how she had looked when she had visited in the summer. I asked her if she was feeling better. She’d vomited when we picked her up, lying in the back holding her stomach all the way to NH. She said, casually, “Oh you know, Mom. I’m withdrawing from heroin again; when I ran away from Dad last week, I had to stay with my friends.” Her friends had held her together, even as the drugs to mute the pain of trauma and long-term abuse were gradually killing them all.

I tried not to pry, even as I felt that sudden, old and all-too-familiar adrenaline rush from the past, that trembling murderous rage within that makes you want to kill the bastard that did this to your child, to erase that power-ridden, sociopathic smirk forever from his evil, stinking face.

It was then that she said, “Mom, I have something to show you.” I tried to draw her out tenderly by guessing what it might be, but then she slowly lifted the fabric of her pants up over her emaciated pajama-donned legs, revealing a horrendous, ugly truth, a horrific badge describing the six years she had taken on a un-winnable and pointless battle all on, by herself. Her precious flesh hung in tatters; there was a long series of deep muscle scars running up and down her thighs; some cuts were half-infected, others long healed. A few were one to two inches deep. I could not breathe, but I knew this moment could either save her life or end it; her future, carrying the basic will to live, was in my hands. I felt IT coming. I stayed steady, like a ship withstanding a rogue wave, turning my bow into the white squall.

His son

And then she said, “I know now why I’ve done this since I was young.” My response was a silence in deep waves of impending grief and doom. I held my breath, as I could sense that dread and nausea and relief were rising up faster than I could feel the blood coursing through my veins. Slowly, and with utterly slow agony, she revealed that her 29-year-old half-brother, son of her father (from his 1st marriage), had raped her, had sex with her. He’d done it while her father was downstairs; my former stepson and daughter up in her bedroom. She said that it was consensual, that she loved him, but that it also led her to take heroin. It made her cut. It made her run away. She’d stopped going to school. It was her senior year. She had done this over the years. I knew then that it hadn’t been the first time, but it wasn’t mine to say it. Her half brother had thrown her across the room before coming to see me; that’s when I realized there was no going back. This was bigger than incest or abuse. This was a life or death situation.

My daughter’s precious life depended, in that moment, for me to be stronger for her than the ocean is deep. She needed, more than oxygen, for me to hold her as a fortress- of understanding, compassion and love. And so as I rocked and held her, I struggled to keep all my past wolves at bay. She spoke only of one incident, yet the cutting and the sex and the problems with her father and his son likely occurred since she was a little girl.

As long as I could focus on breathing out into that eternity, into the inferno of that moment, and as I held her, I felt that we both began to let go, to breathe back in all the life from those lost years back into the corpses of one other. To keep the horrendous thoughts from ripping me apart, I consciously drifted into my realm of gratitude, and uttered seven silent things for which I was now truly grateful, as “six” was no longer my lucky number:

For scent of song in a sky of blue, for dancing and healing and walking on, for the gift my daughter bestowed, which was to let her mother go so that she could be free and learn to grow strong enough to climb back into the abyss again to save her daughter’s life, for the phrase “love goes on forever” engraved on our laundry basket by one nine year old child, for newspapers that do not yet contain the obituary of my own child, for the hope that someday truth will prevail over lies, with the spirit of good triumphing over the hell of insincerity.

Lastly, for the power of imagination lying deeply within the understanding that there will always be many different kinds of deaths we must accept, all of which she and I have endured.

Into the fire again

As she was a minor, the abuse was reported by her, to therapists, and to her father, and to DYFS. Yet still, She chose to enter back into the fire again. She is now 21, trying to bully me into believing that “none of this happened,” trying perhaps to assuage her guilt that I’m slowly dying, by striking the truth from the records of her history. She also has developed borderline personality. In the meantime, I’ve been diagnosed with a rare connective tissue disorder, and fear that these things will never be resolved between us, as my time on earth is limited, keeping me from being able to let go of her. Time is short; most of all, it is unfailingly precious.

Motherhood, too, with a sociopath, is a tenuous, bitter, lose-lose hole into which we fall; it burns me inside that the revelation of the perpetrators must die with me. Yes, against my better judgment, I must do as I am told by US therapists: to keep these secrets under wraps until after I die. One never wants to stir the hornet’s nest, and the revelation of the names themselves will be the margin of safety I leave for my new husband and his family, in the event they are ever threatened. It all seems so ludicrous, and it is exactly why perpetrators continue to get away with murder. I will never see the fruit of my womb heal from her own wounds; I will never be able to protect her from this genetic disease, which she, too, carries. Most of all, as she eschews the truth of her history, she refuses to honor our connection as mutually respectful. I am no longer a mother.

In life with a sociopath, I believe now that one gives up the right to motherhood. The rights to breathe and live on are defined by sheer whim, luck, space, and a lot of grace.

Yet, The one thought that will always bring me the only comfort as I die is this:

In the bowels of Hell, there is but one gravestone, and the only surname that is and will ever remain engraved on it belongs to the sociopath and his son.

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45 Comments on "LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: Having a child with a sociopath, I am no longer a mother"

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I am so sorry you are dealing with the underbelly of the beast! Not only do I completely believe your story I have lived much of it. Don’t kid yourself, MANY KNOW it’s true! Somehow our society has become so apathetic toward victims and embracing of the victimizers that serious destruction must come to wake them up! My daughters pediatrician wasn’t surprised when I told her the criminal had more rights than I, the honorable citizen of society.

It’s sick and wrong. I have murder threats on record by a team of psychiatrists (homicidal ideations described in sick detail) ignored. He came for my daughter/his daughter. I lost everything and while he has an arms length of criminal and psychiatric history while I have NONE, I was ordered to a court appointed psychologist and so was my honor roll “well rounded” child. It is a money making system. They have sold their souls to be in that “business” as even they no longer refer to it as law but BUSINESS!

That’s what you must wrap your mind around. It’s not what you thought. It’s not honor or justice. I cried telling them (the attorneys, judges etc) I still believed in the words etched on the exterior of the building (truth and justice) and I asked if any of them even look up on their way into the courthouse anymore. I was then asked “did you come up with that on your own?” WTF?!!!

I have experienced NO PROTECTION. Whenever I called due to finding psycho lying in my backyard watching through the window, I had no proof he was there. When I showed 50 phonecalls on the caller ID in ONE day they said it didn’t prove HE was calling. Mine finally got himself incarcerated but let me tell you, it gave him more power than he ever had before!!! It BLEW my mind. They learn in there how to use the system even better. Nobody could believe what happened after he was released. He had the backing of the “fathers and families and faith based prisoner reentry programs”!! They get BILLIONS of dollars in federal funds to make MEN become FATHERS IN PRISON! It’s a psychos dream! They believe each others lies and now they are giving them jobs making unbeleivable amounts of money (4 times any pay he ever made before) and give them free legal assistance to gain custody of their kids as they believe it will stop them from committing more crimes. Instead it is destroying the non-criminal parent and child/ren.

The biggest thing is MONEY!!! There are many trying to expose all different aspects of this.

I want every single player in every single case named publicly. Your Judge, your GAL, your court appointed psychologists and if custody is changed, there should be a publicized reason for that decision. If your kids or any kids (God forbid) are harmed/killed, there is no accounatability. They can all point the finger at CPS, GAL reports, Psychologist recommendations so the judge doesn’t lose a wink of sleep.

I know the amount of energy and stamina it takes to persevere and it’s an inhumane expectation. There is no help or assistance for us either when they have destroyed our ability to work and function.

Keep telling your story. Go to Safe Kids International. They are also getting media attention. They want timelines from YOU!! Fox news is on this. Your story is perfect for them.

Hang in there and remember it’s a corrupt business. It is not LAW.

I am sorry and I am pulling for you as I am a mother too who has learned this horrid life lesson!

One more point I want to let everyone know, since the prisons are now being run by private companies, many who knew in advance became millionaires from this and now these private businesses running the prisons have started programs in all directions which are federally funded, tax exempt (we are paying for this with our taxes) and they are starting companies (a lot of contruction type) to hire these convicts upon release and they are protected by our federal government so for they avoid insurance purchases and are reimbursed all under the guise of prison reform, prison reentry, families and reducing recidivism!!! IT”S TRUE AND THE COMMON HARD WORKING CITIZEN IS NOT WELCOME!!! I am madder than hell about this.


There seems to be a common issue with the children and SUICIDAL IDEATIONS! I wrote to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) back in either 2009 or 2010. They had written an article about the increase in suicide in adolescents. They insinuated it was due to the problems with the economy. I told them to look a bit deeper and find out how many of the suicides and calls to suicide prevention from children were children in custody battles. They did write back to me stating they forwarded my letter to different departments, one within their organization and one at the Health and Human Services department but I have since found out billions of dollars of federal funding are coming from HHS to the fathers rights and fathers and families and faith based family all non-profits which are not regulated or followed to prove any positive help the funds are having on children. (I consider them as corrupt as they get and will be elated if they are ever held accountable) While it sounds like I have a problem with fathers I DO NOT. Unfortunately good fathers are not the ones using these resources for the most part. It is the sociopathic/psychopathic fathers who “work” the system to victimize. There aren’t funds going to mothers under this subject or to any degree like this so I am just stating what I have learned.

I suggest all parents who’s children have been driven to suicidal ideations or even homicidal ideations, to write to the CDC and/or HHS as it cannot hurt. All of their “stop bullying” campaign should start in the courthouse!!! I have also written about this to whomever I could or those who would be connected to this problem. Even moms who have been driven to suicidal thoughts should put it on record if it doesn’t threaten their custody.

I did retain sole custody of my daughter but I made so much noise and dragged myself to every venue I could, I almost think they decided to move on to the next person instead of dealing with me. LOL I was not going to stop until I was dead on their doorstep and I let them know. I did this professionally as possible and as honestly as I could. I do believe my rich relatives names got around to the courts as they and their friends donate to causes for children and taking my daughter and giving her to a 9 time felon in my county alone was going to be questioned. Again, MONEY. I am not rich. I am a good mother and honest so the courts had no real leg to stand on.

Please disclose to all outside businesses or federal institutions and don’t stop as I even wrote to the president daily for many days. I even “oopsed” a couple to Homeland Security for reasons I won’t mention but in hopes Napolitano might hear. (although I started getting scared of reprocussion) I made valid points. I did get a response so again proof somebody reads it. It’s wearing and difficult and if you can’t due to exhaustion DO NOT hold it against yourself. Do what you can. Pat yourself on the back for each thing you do. It’s more than most are doing!!!!

Dear Traumatized and Eralyn,

My heart goes out to you both and my prayers for you and your children. What the “family courts” do on a daily basis to children and nurturing parents makes the Penn State Sandusky cover up look like peanuts….and yet these judges go home at night and the DAs get reelected and the crimes against families goes on….

I wish I had something comforting to say to you both more than “you are not alone.” I WISH you WERE ALONE at least it would mean it was “only” two women and their children…but unfortunately, you are not alone, your name is LEGION. I am sorry.

Keep on reading, learning, healing yourselves so that you will be strong for your kids. God bless.

Dear Traumatized,

I can’t imagine what it would be like to have to go through this nightmare with more than one child- my heart bleeds for you and I am keening for your suffering. I’m so sorry I didn’t respond earlier; I’m preparing for brain surgery soon, and so if I don’t get back online here, it’s because of the health issues.

You are not alone, as Eralyn, Ox Drover and so many of us have experienced. It’s amazing how even little details of the tortures meted out by the spaths seem so eerily predictable- it’s as if there’s just one man doing the same thing to the masses of women and children trying to move on with their lives! Interstate issues are horrific- we might as well be living in another country altogether as far as the dearth of laws and protections are concerned.

I couldn’t survive in NJ, and the ex would have put a hit out (his mother threatened it), so moving to another state was a double edged sword. Also, in terms of GALs, we were REFUSED a GAL on the record in NJ, and then the transcript for every court hearing disappeared (I still have the judge’s order to destroy all the NJ records before divorce). Corrupt judges, police etc. random people following us, (and even getting beaten to a pulp by thugs)-death threats- were all part of the deal. It was my experience that these guys, if jailed for violating DV orders, make fast “buddies” in the jails with the bad police guys, and then records start disappearing, and weird things happen, all designed to scare and threaten- it’s akin to a club of sociopathic misogynists. I did find help from the local YWCA Women’s Crisis Services; they sometimes have a network of support for people going through this stuff. They even go to local hearings with you, and can help navigate getting DOVE attorneys involved in some cases (I’ve used DOVE attorneys twice in my home-state). A bleeding heart attorney took our case on in the other state after the first “lawyer” we’d hired in NJ had been paid off by the ex – he was allowed by the NJ corrupt judge in chambers and in court several times after being disbarred for taking money to buy oxycontin (we didn’t find that out until he withdrew from the case in the judge’s chambers, with the ex, his uncle attorney, and the judge calling me at home to say that they were taking my child back to NJ, 2 1/2 years AFTER she’d lived in NH). I wrote to several attorneys online, and this one wrote back and found out that the NJ court file was empty. In the meantime, I had no car (the axle had fallen off), and I had to spend the meager child support (he lied and said he earned 10,000 a year as a handyman) to hire a driver to send my child off on visitation 13-15 hours on the road every other weekend and anytime he wanted, ALL holidays, only to have the ex not show up, putting my daughter in a state of panic. I won’t even mention the IRS tax return audit disappearing at the federal level (he forged my name), and the identity fraud (so I couldn’t get a car). All this, and no wonder the kids end up “splitting” and, as Eralyn so eloquently investigated, suffering from suicidal ideation. Eralyn, thanks for being a warrior for the cause- you are amazing and so spot on in terms of the causal relationship between the suicidal ideation and power-over divorce situations. In addition, the “cutting” and the drugs seem also a red flag for this, as well as for incest/sexual abuse. Dr. Drew Pinsky wrote and said, for example, that heroin use in teens is correlated directly with sexual abuse.

Traumatized, I’m sending out a big hug to you; if you need anything, just holler. The YWCA women’s services might be in your area (or something similar). You so deserve a warm soft place to fall and an oxygen mask for yourself so that you don’t feel so alone. At the very least, this site is incredible, and, at the very least, we all have one another. Thanks also G1S, Skylar, and Truthspeak. You guys are wonderful. Blessings, and hang in there!

really moving.. my son too has repeatedly shown rage that I chose to produce him at all… the only blessing may have been that he is a son and not a daughter, so the chance of sexual abuse speacially when he was very small, pre-verbal, and alone with his father may have been reduced, though as I reflect back now, the maid did report that he used to vomit and panic on seeing that his father had arrived before me from work, and I also remember that he used to cry desperately if I was leaving town even though I was leaving him with his father and could not understand why he’d cry so much when one parent WAS home… but probably the parent was the problem…. yes, I have to bear the brunt of my son’s frustration with all the violence he has been subjected to, and all the general abuse and madness he has had to witness as a child, and says he hates his childhood because of “us”, and that as soon as possible he wishes to leave us and never have anything to do with either of us; in his mind we are one blob that has caused him grief and agony, and as of now he blames me equally for letting any of this happen; he questions my decision to marry the monster, and definitely the decision to have a child with him…

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