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LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: Tips for co-parenting with a sociopath

Lovefraud received the following e-mail from a woman who we’ll call “Penny.” She’s been in a custody battle with the father of her child, who she believes is a sociopath. Although Penny has been able to gain full physical and legal custody of the child, and has a restraining order against the father, he still has visitation so Penny must deal with child exchanges. She’s provided the following tips for others who are in similar situations.

1. STAY STRONG IN GOD! I know that this is difficult at times because I myself have been tried so much. Go to church regularly and tell the pastor(s) and counselors at your church what you are dealing with and ask them and the congregation to pray for you. Pray and read your Bible. If you are not religious you might want to try this out anyway or meditate to bring peace to your soul. It is absolutely necessary that you find some peace in a situation that is utter chaos and dysfunction.

2. DO NOT TAKE THEIR BAIT! I have read on several websites (including this one), and books like The Sociopath Next Door, by Dr. Martha Stout, and also Without Conscience, by Dr. Robert Hare, that stress this very point. I found this out the hard way and have learned from experience that this only adds to the problem because the sociopath is often trying to get a reaction out of you. Reacting or retaliating against the sociopath only fuels the fire. Although it might sound cliché, one can only truly and successfully fight evil with goodness, especially in this case.

3. DOCUMENT EVERYTHING! Sociopaths (as my ex is) are pathological liars and are bound to contradict themselves in their stories. Thorough logs of all events with the sociopath and also supporting documents such as emails, police documents, medical records, court documents, etc., can all be of help when dealing with a sociopath in a situation such as this. When the time is right (sometimes its smart to let time go by so that the sociopath can implicate, perjure, and hang him/herself some more) you might decide to file the appropriate paperwork in court (i.e. Order to Show Cause for custody and visitation, declarations, motions for contempt of court, etc.) and attach the documents that you have been logging and saving as exhibits/evidence to your court papers (you can ask an attorney, paralegal, or family law self help center or other similar groups how to do this). If you have the financial resources, you might want to consider a deposition as another opportunity to let the animal perjure him/herself some more.

4. REQUEST EXPLICIT COURT ORDERS! I have found through personal experience that sociopaths will exploit and take advantage of any ambiguity or vagueness in court orders to create complete and utter chaos. You must push for detailed court orders when you go to court to prevent this from happening.

5. IF POSSIBLE, ASK THE COURT TO ARRANGE CHILD EXCHANGES AT LOCAL POLICE DEPARTMENTS! Doing this eliminates the opportunity of having to interact with the sociopath at your home or his/her home as well as other places that are easy for chaos to occur. Arrive at the exchange early and let the officers know that you are there for a child exchange (make sure you always have the court orders with you so that the police can see it if need be) and you can ask the desk officers if they can monitor the exchange.

6. HAVE PEOPLE OTHER THAN YOU THAT YOU TRUST AND ARE GOOD PEOPLE DO THE EXCHANGE OF YOUR CHILD(REN) IF POSSIBLE! Making yourself as invisible as possible might increase the chances of cutting the sociopath out of your life since he or she will no longer be able to see you sweat. Remember to always stay calm and collected when the sociopath tries to anger you (you can cry and vent in private) even and especially in court.

7. BE CAUTIOUS IN STATING THAT YOUR EX IS A SOCIOPATH! Many people, including the courts, child welfare organizations, lawyers, etc., are not familiar with this devastating disorder and as a result do not know how to respond properly to the warning signs (as many of us did not know how to until we were caught in a complex web of deception). Therefore, focus on proving the behavior of the sociopath in court using the strategies I suggested earlier and do not accuse your ex as being a sociopath in court. They will not take this seriously since you are probably not a professional licensed to make such a diagnosis.

8. PUSH FOR COMMUNICATION BETWEEN YOU AND THE EX TO BE THROUGH EMAIL ONLY WHEN YOU GO TO COURT! Communication using this vehicle of communication helps to eliminate the possibility of he said/she said. Websites such as www.ourfamilywizard.com are excellent because they provide an opportunity for you to communicate with your ex via email and all the communication is safe and secure and can easily be printed out (all emails also include the date and exact time the emails were sent and viewed by the other party and also include the time any printed emails are generated). Also, the website allows you to input your parenting schedules, input medical information for the child, and offers a journal, free children’s accounts to the child(ren) involved and can also offer professional accounts for minor’s counsel and possible others to oversee the account and monitor what is going on.

9. PUSH THE COURT FOR PERMISSION TO VIDEO OR TAPE RECORD EXCHANGES AND MAKE SURE THIS IS WRITTEN IN THE COURT ORDER! Doing this helps to eliminate any possibility for potential chaos.

10. GET ALL INFORMATION STRAIGHT FROM THE SOURCE! Do not rely on any information the sociopath provides you. Always verify all information concerning the child or children with their doctors, teachers, counselors, etc. If possible have the child(ren’s) doctors, teachers, counselors, etc. document all information they give you.

11. DO NOT CUT THE SOCIOPATH ANY SLACK! Record and document any and all violations of court orders. Recording these violations may be helpful when you go to court.

12. HIRE AN EXPERIENCED COMPETENT ATTORNEY, AND IF POSSIBLE ONE THAT HAS EXPERIENCE IN DEALING WITH SOCIOPATHS OR OTHER SIMILAR PERSONALITY DISORDERS! Child custody cases involving sociopaths are complicated and need the skill, experience, and know-how of a professional.

13. TRUST YOUR GUT! Oftentimes, we doubt our intuitions when we shouldn’t. In my personal experience I found that there were warning signs but did not respond to them as I should have because I took the signs lightly. Likewise, when I was drawn into my ex’s net of deception and chaos, I knew something was wrong, and attempted to explain what I believed was wrong with my ex to my previous attorney, but the attorney did not understand and discouraged me from engrossing myself in research. She stated that doing so could help me to become emotionally and mentally unstable (the attorney did not have experience in dealing with such complex personalities and so did not know how to properly respond to my ex’s actions). I later decided to trust my gut and continued with my research. Through research, trial and error, I have learned how to better deal with my ex and I do not respond to his baits (my ex has accused me of being a sociopath and has falsely accused me of harassing him).

14. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF! Living well is truly the best revenge. As difficult as it may be, try not to let the sociopath make you a bitter, angry, mean person. Remember the ultimate goal of the sociopath is to frustrate you. Enjoy your child(ren) while they are with you and let them know that you love them. Listen to them and model what real love looks like while they are in your care. Let them see you in loving relationships with other people. Criticize their actions and not them in private and DO NOT talk badly about the other parent in their presence (this can give the other parent an opportunity to bring parental alienation charges against you); instead you can let them know that actions like the ones their parents are exhibiting are wrong and hurtful to others and that this behavior is undesirable. Also, don’t forget to eat (like I have in the past), exercise, sleep, and laugh! Do not under any circumstances allow the sociopath to rob you of your ability to laugh.


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87 Comments on "LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: Tips for co-parenting with a sociopath"

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This is some of the best advice that I have ever seen for co-parenting with a psychopath. I ihope that Banana and Nic and those others that are co-parenting here will read and take all this to heart!

Great Article!!!!

“10. GET ALL INFORMATION STRAIGHT FROM THE SOURCE! Do not rely on any information the sociopath provides you. Always verify all information concerning the child or children with their doctors, teachers, counselors, etc. If possible have the child(ren’s) doctors, teachers, counselors, etc. document all information they give you.”

I can vouch for the importance of this.

Even though I’ve known a particular cluster B was a serial liar, I’ve things s/he have said on face value. I did so because I thought lying about the matter at hand was illogical or improbable. In many cases, I lacked imagination! S/he was lying, for purposes that only came to light after the cluster B had gotten what s/he wanted. In each case, I felt pretty dumb. “Why didn’t I see that?” I’d ask myself. It retrospect the gambit seemed obvious.

Just because you can’t see why they’d bother to lie about a particular matter doesn’t mean they’re not lying. Independently confirm every little thing they say. If they say “Good morning!”, check your watch.

PS – as for the “motives” of a cluster B –

Sometimes they experience pleasure from having successfully fooled you. I know it sounds crazy, but that’s because they are crazy. Some of them get a little dose of dopamine every time they succeed in misleading someone. It affirms their cherished belief that they are cleverer than the rest of humanity.

So don’t think you can guess when they’re lying or what they will or will not lie about.

The only way I could tell that a particular S was lying was by observing that he seemed pleased as the conversation came to a close. I learned that his flush of pleasure and rush to close the conversation were sure signs that he believed he’d fooled me over something. Then I’d have to go over the conversation and event with a fine tooth comb, trying to deduce what he was so happy about. Rarely did his lies make sense to anyone but him.

Excellent suggestions.

To number 4 I’d add that the orders should be explicit as to leeway times. If your agreement says he is to pick up your child at 5PM, have in there that you are only required to wait 10 minutes, upon telphonic notice that S-ex is running late, and after that time you are permitted to take your child and leave.

To number 5 I’d add that if you can’t do an exchange at a police station, than do it in a very public place which has security cameras. Gas stations and convenience stores are excellent.

To 8 I’d add that any requests for any variation to any parenting/custody/visitation/support agreement should be done via certified mail, return receipt requested. You need to make it as difficult for the S-ex as you can to try to vary things and by doing it via certified mail it gives you wonderful evidence when you have to go back to court.

To 11 I’d add that you must hold the S-ex to the literal terms of the agreement. That means no variations. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Look, I”m the first to admit that I’m a nice person and try to be cooperative. However, with an S-ex you can’t be. If you find yourself wavering, simply ask yourself “would the S-ex extend me the same courtesy?” The answer will be no and you should act accordingly.

Wow, this is right on. This is what people (Ox, Matt, etc.) on here have been telling me. It has been difficult for me in the past to follow their tips but I am now. It’s going 4 weeks strong so far that we haven’t heard from my ex-h and I am enjoying it.

Great article!

Matt (or anyone else with knowlede)-I unfortunately didn’t follow # 4 (explicit court orders). My decree has a dollar amount that my ex is to pay me but we did NOT specify a date. What is a reasonable period? We were divorced on 9/15/09. I was thinking about giving him a notice via certified mail in Jan. and then maybe in Feb. I am hoping he will give me the money when he gets his income taxes. It is a large amount.

nic:

The good ship Hope has sailed and sunk as far as the S-ex is concerned.

Reasonable under most contracts is 90 days. There are two ways to skin this cat.

First, if you are counting on this tax return, I would get very proactive, especially if the money he owes you is for child support If it is, you can attach his tax return. While you could try sending him the letters, I suspect he is going to give you the run around.

I would have your lawyer send him a demand letter and tell him the money is due and payable and he has 30 days to pay or you will be hauling him into court. And then do it. Your lawyer won’t charge you that much for the letter.

Second approach — take a page from our friend, Erin Brock. Go and talk to the judge’s clerk of court and ask him what a reasonable date is and if the judge could provide “clarification”. The judge may be obliging and tell you what his intent was for payment, and if he’s really obliging, issue an order to that effect.

And shame on your lawyer and the judge for not putting a payment date in the agreement.

Thanks Matt. The money owed is for half of my lawyer’s fees not child support. I can’t believe it has been 3 months. I am going to try the certified letter first and see where I get with that. If he doesn’t respond I will have my lawyer do it. I will also call the clerk next week to see if they can give me an answer over the phone. It is a hassle and very cold going to the courts in downtown Chicago. But if they tell me I have to I will. And I agree, shame on my lawyer and me also. Putting a time limit on it never came to my mind until about a month after the divorce but yes my lawyer should have known better.

Thanks for your great advice!

My son is 4. For the past year or so, when taking him on my errand runs, he asks if he can come inside with me. I answer, “of course” every time and explain leaving him in the car by himself is NOT an option. Yesterday was one of such days.

Only this time he said “Daddy leaves me in the car, but he locks it so no one will take me” and reiterated that no one did. I explained that he should never be left in the car alone and asked him to tell daddy that next time it appears he is going to. He had a small melt down and said he didn’t want to say that. I asked him if he wanted me to say something to daddy and he convincingly said “yes”.

So, when the exchange for visitation took place not even an hour later, I confronted his father. I explained, without emotion, that if he didn’t trust the child to go into the store by himself he aught not leave him in the car outside by himself. He denied, in front of my son, that he’d ever left him in the car alone. My son had an almost scary grin on his face, which led me to believe he knew his father was lying and didn’t quite know what to do.

I asked my son if he was being truthful and he said “yes”. Now, I know as well as any experienced parent (I have a 15 year old too) that 4 year olds can’t always be trusted to tell the truth. I also knew I was at a turning point with this triangle. Believe my son or believe his father, the “S”? Not a tough choice…

I turned to his father and said, clearly HE believes you left him alone when you went into the bank and that’s a problem. His father got silent and pretended to rack is brain. “Oh, I know what he’s talking about. Once, when I was at the Credit Union. It was only for a minute and I could see him from outside the window the whole time.” The awkward smile still on my son’s face. “Sorry Bud” he finished with.

Not too surprisingly, after that, my son who was rather excited to visit with his dad had a change of heart and didn’t want to go. And here’s where I went wrong…

I reminded him how excited he was to go and sent him with his father, anyway. All the articles about not forcing your child to sit on Santa’s lap if they’re not comfortable with it because it contradicts the message about not trusting strangers and ultimately breaks down some trust between child and parent…and I pushed my son to go with someone he clearly didn’t trust at that time. I probably could have kept him without argument from his dad, and probably should have!

Now I’ve had an opportunity to process how I’d like to respond when my son outwardly doesn’t appear to feel safe enough to go with his father. I’m sure they’ll be future opportunities to support my son in his becoming aware that his father can’t really be trusted.

I did speak with my son when he got home. I asked if he thought daddy didn’t remember that time at the bank or if he thought his daddy wasn’t being truthful. He said “I don’t think daddy was giving the truth.” I explained telling the truth is VERY important and when he said “but daddy doesn’t” I reminded him he’s not his father.

Duped

Dear Duped,

Your son has an AMAZINGLY GREAT MOM!!!! What a wonderful way to teach your son to tell the truth, and to stand up for himself! WOW! I am so impressed!!!! Both with you and your son!

Your talking with your son afterwards when he came home, and the exchange and young wisdom and insight your son displayed. GREAT!!!

Plus, believing your son against his father’s lies—in front of the son—great as well. so many kids when they tell the truth against a lying adult are disbelieved (and yes, I know kids sometimes tell convenient lies too!) but when they are NOT believed when they are telling the truth I know that hurts to the core. And sometimes we must be Solomon to tell who is telling the truth in a situation of adult vs kid. Your X’s “convenient” stroy of remembering “one time” though is so typical. LOL I’m so glad all this came out so well for your son and for you—-and your son was validated about telling the truth! And learning that truth is not his daddy’s main object! ((((hugs))))

Duped: That is great your 4 yr.old can understand. Our stories are so similar but I guess everyone’s is when dealing with a S. I am always amazed when I hear about big age gaps with kids because I have a 17 yr. old and a 3 yr. old with my ex. Most people when they ask the ages of my kids give me a big sigh (as if they feel sorry for me) and say “oh my gosh you are starting all over again.”

I believe now that whenever my ex-h is talking then it is a lie. I have never met someone who lies about everything! I am glad at least your ex eventually “remembered” the situation in front of your son.

Our kids are going to be fine because they have wonderful, strong mothers taking care of them.

Thanks for the affirmation, Oxy and nic. I’m fortunate my son is mostly like me and seems only to have inherited what little good he could from his father.

It’s a fine line, knowing when to speak about the other parent in a negative sort of context. It’s frowned upon and even sanctioned as a default line item in custody agreements. I’ve learned with my first (an age difference which in my case is a blessing) the harm that can be done by not countering disapproved of behaviors with the other parent.

I know my youngest is a prime target for his father to exploit. I’m impressed and amazed that at such a young age, my son is able to recognize his father as not quite right. It’s not his driving impression of his father, but it’s a healthy lingering one.

In many instances, parents part because they just can’t make it work but neither is necessarily dangerous; mentally, emotionally or physically. In my case, and I’m sure others on here, the danger isn’t obvious to the bystander; let alone friends and family that are in denial about the truth of the situation.

I am careful not to bash his father or make negative comments about him directly. I address the behavior for what it is and work with my son to distinguish right and wrong outside of the influence of that role model.

I don’t expect most people to understand this delicate and ever so important intervention to insure my son the healthiest, loving, caring, empathetic and giving foundation. I’m so blessed to have such a beautiful, intelligent and wise beyond his years son. I have faith in HIM…and so I send him along for his visits with such.

The greatest gift a parent can give a child is faith…in them! If I’d only had that from mine, I may have never been such a prime target for a sociopath.

Namaste

Duped

Duped,

Your son is so fortunate! To have YOU!!! And I think your addressing of the behavior in such a way is not only appropriate but VALIDATING for your son. He was uncomfortable being left in the car alone. YOU validated that he was RIGHT in his feelings, and then he saw that YOU helped fix the problem and his father LIED about it. DUH!? What a wonderful lesson for the child.

2+2=4 Mommie is concerned for my feelings. Mommie protects me. Daddy is NOT concerned for me, and leaves me in the car, and then LIES about it. Mommie is taking care of me and daddy is not. DUH! Who do I trust? Mommie or Daddy?

That lesson will be hammered home 1,000 times by the time your son is out of grade school, and I think he is already learning who to trust and who not to. Trust is important for kids. He’s learning! What a fortunate kid!

May I gently point out, that in the first point you use a phrase that states this course of action is best done if one believes in a ‘god’. I find that quite insulting, and alienating to those who of use who are not of a christian, or of any other faith for that matter. It’s rather self-centered to assume that your beliefs are those of others, and it’s rather cruel to demand others to believe as you do or expect no change in their situation. I work daily with people who have been abused by religious zealots, in the name of whatever ‘god’ and asking them to read the Bible is certainly not the correct answer for everyone. Be fair to ALL of the members of this forum and to assume that people need to have your faith is completely unrealistic. Some of us, very moral, very ethical people need not rely on religion or anything similar to it. I’ve written to the owner of this forum several times about this alienating behavior, and I am even more concerned that it is now presented as a method of recovery. It isn’t. Clearly.

siennaseenya,

I am not a religious person nor do I have a traditional belief in god. As much as I want to be accepted for that, it is also important for me to accept what works for others. I had an initial reaction such as yours until I kept reading:

“If you are not religious you might want to try this out anyway or meditate to bring peace to your soul. It is absolutely necessary that you find some peace in a situation that is utter chaos and dysfunction.”

I then came to the conclusion the author was trying to express, listing item #1 in importance, it’s important to have faith and take time to listen to your inner guide. In that respect, I totally get why it’s listed and listed as high priority. To me, it’s not about “god” but rather finding peace and listening to your inner self…however you may find it. I don’t pray, but I do find meditation helpful.

I’m not a religious person nor am I a recovering addict but I can’t help but find great wisdom in the following:

*insert name of whatever you call that with gives you strength*
grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.

Namaste,

Duped

Thanks, Oxy 🙂

I was lucky enough to have the s leave before the baby came. That being said, lovefraud was here to advise me not to put the s on the birthcertificate. Lucky me…the s still writes and promises childsupport checks and visitations (only by email, I accept no other form of communication). Its incredible how honest he sounds…. Its all bs, and whether or not it is true or not doesn’t matter to me. I assume it’s all not true, and move on. About 90 percent is not true; it’s a crazy maker to try and figure out that 10 percent that is true so I don’t try.

Needless to say, I keep all receipts that I spend on the baby. Then if that dreadful day ever comes that he takes me to court, I can say”oh great, now I can get back child support from you.”. Its a threat so he doesn’t try to establish his fatherly rights. And if he does, then I can get his paychecks garnished. Hopefully he won’t do that, but if he does I am ready…

DEAREST BIRD!!!

Just getting a post on LF from you makes my holidays wonderful! Thank you for the present of your presence here! How is my baby Birdie doing? My gosh he must be a big boy now! Pinch his little cheeks and give him a biggggg big hug from his Auntie Oxy!

I am so glad that you found LF, Bird, and that you have recovered your stability and SEE through this monster that your X is.

You talking that 90% of what they say is false and 10% “true” but keep in mind that a lie is a lie is a lie—-AND RAT POISON IS 98% PURE CORN MEAL, AND ONLY 2% POISON, BUT IT WILL STILL KILLYOU IF YOU EAT IT!

So even if there is a little bit of truth in what they say, it is ALL POISON!

With the history of your X, I can’t even imagine that creep trying to establish paternity legally because he would not want to man up and accept responsibility for the Birdie and when the day comes that you find a man who is WORTHY of you and Birdie, that man can legally adopt the Birdie and be a REAL father to him.

My step father legally adopted me because my sperm donor did not want responsibility and though his name WAS on my birth certificate he had never sent my egg donor a single dime, which caused the courts to negate his “parental rights” and so I had a wonderful DADDY who earned every respect from me and was a wonderful parent to me. I am hoping and praying that in time you will find the Birdie a man that is the equal of my DADDY! He deserves it and so do you!

Happy holidays to you and to your darling Birdie!!! ((((hugs))) and my prayers for you both, never ending prayers for you!

As far as the comments about religion… I am spiritual not religious… I attend a Catholic University for the convinence of the location… I replace the word “god” with higher power, other words like universe can be used….if you are not religious…dont get your panties in a bunch over others who believe.. in a GOD… we all have our own ways of dealing , hope faith etc after all this forum is for us to vent about others who think they are “gods gift to the earth” for us to cater to them… the entitled ones….anyhow… I tend to lean towards eastern religions the Tao, buddhism… I can not call myself a buddhist after all I have stepped on ants before and I have killed some bugs etc… but the philosphy is something I aspire to follow….

Bird are you new here…? seems an interesting thing to keep all receipts… I was keeping everything.. started cleanning out the clutter…. my child is 12…. if the scum bag in my case wanted to establish paternity why do it 12 years later? to avoid child support…. he left 3 days before the baby was born if he wanted to be there he would have stuck around to sign his name to the birth of his childs certificate… blessing in disguise!

Money is always a good way to keep an S at bay…if it means coming out of their pockets! My S has to pay support, but it’s not as high as it should be. I keep track of EVERYTHING so, in the event I need leverage, I can always threaten to take him back to domestics and he’ll have to pay considerably more.

I’m not certain you can get back support, except from the date you file. My first ex didn’t pay a cent for 6 years. When I finally filed for support, I was only entitled to back support from the time I filed till he actually paid something; when they took it out of his paycheck.

But just having the leverage is probably enough. The thought of having to share those expenses from any point in time into the future is probably enough to keep him at bay.

I would give up every penny my son gets to be rid of the S!!!! In fact, I’d pay for the privileged!!!

Dear Spirit,

I was “religiously” abused by my egg donor, who convinced me as a child that she had the “direct pipeline” to God and that if I didn’t do as SHE said that I would go to hell and burn forever. I can remember even as a VERY small child, being terrified of her “god” and his “mind reading vengence.”

It almost turned me against spirituality of any kind, but, as I came out of her FOG (Fear, Obligation and Guilt) I realized that in my opinion, Man (universal man) is a “spiritual” being. That doesn’t in my estimation mean that one must worship ANY “god” or any particular God. But the “moral code” that people adopt in order to live in groups is something above just “get what you want for yourself and to hell with others” which is what the psychopaths believe. It is a sense of what is “right” and “wrong” and what is “good” and “bad.”

If mankind didn’t have some “spirituality” inherent in us, why would ANYONE do anything for anyone else? It would be totally dog-eat-dog in this world. In fact, too many people don’t seem to exercise the spirituality and there are too many people who PRACTICE the dog-eat-dog life style.

In the sacred writings and philosophies of even the early polytheistic writers, there is a spirituality that transends just our mortal lives. I think that spirituality is necessary to our healing and coming to peace within ourselves.

When I read Dr. Viktor Frankl’s book,, “Man’s Search for Meaning” which he wrote as an emotional history of his years in the Nazi death camps, and how he survived emotionally as well as physically after losing EVERYTHING in the world, his wife, his home, his family, his books, his manuscripts, almost his life, he still (though he had no real religious beliefs) found a SPIRITUAL belief that transended his huge losses and his suffering in that prison camp.

Almost two and a half years ago I came to LF from another survivors site in which even the MENTION of any kind of spirituality, especially “I am a Christian” would get you WARNED to shut up about it or risk being thrown off the site.
(it was BTW owned by Sam Vaknin LOL who wrote an article there proving “Jesus was a Narcissist!”) Anyway, I came here because this site is congnisent that there is a spiritual aspect to mankind and to our healing too.

No one here “preaches” to others that “you must believe my spiritual and/or religious beliefs or go to hell”—and no one is abused because their spiritual beliefs do not mesh with anyone else’s. In fact, there is a very wide variety of spiritual subjects and bliefs discussed here in an open and accepting manner.

I find wisdom in the sacred writings of several religions and in several philosopher’s wrtings. Wisdom is where you find it, it doesn’t matter who wrote it or when or for what purpose. If it is uplifting and wise, then it is good in my humble opinion. Even if someone does not believe in any god, or a God, that doesn’t mean that the Bible’s wisdom about how to treat others is bad, or that the precepts of Buddah are bad because I do not subscribe to that philosophy’s totality.

The tolerance and acceptance we find here for our divergent opinons and beliefs is what makes LF special, and wonderful, and healing. If someone is offended by what is posted here, then I think the problem is their intolerance of divergent views, not the views presented here. Donna doesn’t allow abuse, but she fosters a respectful sharing of ideas on a broad range of subjects, including spirituality as a component of healing our souls.

Merry Christmas OxD…I love what you say (great analogy with the rat poison!) You write with great clarity.

duped – In my state you can go for back child support for 6 years back, but you have to have receipts; there is not a yearly sum that will be given, it is based on what was actually spent. I can’t speak for every jurisdiction, but it is well worth getting an experienced family lawyer’s opinion on the matter.

My dear Bird,

Everty day I thank God for the healing you have experienced, I remember so well when you came here, deserted, desperate, dejected after that psychopath left you high and dry while you were 6 months preg with the Baby Birdie!

I watched with great thankfulness and pride as you pulled yourself up by your own boot straps and stood tall with your baby! When you started to feel your strength and the wounds became less raw! You are the “shining star” as far as I am concerned, you have done so much, starting from lower than whale crap and now you FLY! With strength and direction and I am so happy for you! And happy that the creep has no ties on the prescious baby Birdie! How fortunate you are and how fortunate Birdie is that the parasite has no legal claim on him.

I think of you so often and pray that others here will be able to find the strength and determination that you have to make a better life for both yourself and your baby! What a wonderful example you are to every LF blogger!

Thank you for stopping back in and letting me how how you are doing, it really is a great present for my holiday season and makes my heart sinig! Though I will never see his smile, I know that your baby has a wonderful mother and he has an old lady in Arkansas who loves him so much and admires his wonderful and STRONG mother! ((((hugs))) and my prayers for you this holiday season! Love Oxy

OMG-this is good!
I am dealing with my ex S right at my doorstep right now because it’s Christmas and we have a 10 year old son. He thinks he’ll get custody and is going to attempt to do so. Your tips on documentation cannot be better said. I am documenting EVERYTHING. I make notes on my phone, email accounts, anywhere I can and then add them to my master list. This sounds like hyper-vigilance but right now I have to do this in order to ensure my son doesn’t end up with this creep. Example: I found out he asked my son do give him a urine sample for a drug test he has to take. THAT went into my list. Every time I’m sure he’s used drugs, THAT has gone into my list and I have the evidence to back it up as well.
Your point about “killing them with kindness” is something I am practicing as well. IF and WHEN I deal with this creep, I am so nice, I make myself sick, but I know it’s for a good reason. It’s very hard to do this when what I really want to do is something I can’t even write here, but I know many of you know what I mean.
Haven’t been on LF in a few days and am so thankful I was able to see this today.
AWESOME article!
Thank you,
Cat

Dear Ox,
I read what you posted about the divergence on here regarding our personal beliefs in a Higher Power and you are so right on. I’ve been on other forums where it’s such an issue. People lose sight of the main goal, which is to heal, share and grow. They can’t get past the religion thing. LF is so non-judgemental (and haven’t we all had enough of that already?) that I’ve found myself drifting away from those sites and coming here on a regular basis.
My ex P/S was obsessed with religion for a time and all I heard was how I was going to hell because I didn’t do what HE, as the master of the home said. Little did he know I had already discovered I was already there, just by having him in my life.

Cat,
Funny how we can come back here and see just what we need to see on any given day.

I think what you are doing is really important by documenting everything. Him asking for a urine sample from your son….THAT is something that I’m sure you would love to nail him for.
Didn’t you say that your dad used to be a cop? I think I would ask him directly what works best in the “court” room situation to prove the drug use to the judge. Just to make sure you have everything you need and then some.

Deawr Cat,

Some people use religion or religious beliefs as a baseball bat to abuse their victims, does that mean there is no God? I don’t think so, any more than those that use LOVE as a baseball bat to abuse their victims means there is no LOVE!

My egg donor used religion and God as a ball bat to try to control me and make me afraid of God (as she interpreted and judged me in HIS NAME.) Many people respond as I almost did by saying well, then there is NO GOD. I didn’t do that, thanks to my step father who bless his heart was a sincere and non-judgmental and loving person, a true Christian. He loved me. He wasn’t perfect, he didn’t see what she was doing, and many times he failed to protect me from her when he should have, but it was a failure on his part to realize what she was doing. It was not him being part of her abuse. I love and respect and admire this man and always will, he did the best he could, but he was as BLINDED as I was to what she was doing. It never even dawned on him that she COULD lie or that she WOULD lie, or that she was emotionally abusive and religiously abusive, because she CLOAKED it all in her “love” for me. PUKE!

He did the best he could under the circumstances and the one time that she physically abused me, he PULLED HER OFF ME BODILY. He wasn’t perfect, he made mistakes, but I have never ever seen the man do a single MEAN thing or a HATEFUL thing to deliberately hurt someone or to punish them for not doing what HE decreed was “right.” He had great judgment about people, except for my egg donor, and he loved her so much he was blind. I don’t resent him for this, because he was HUMAN like we all are, and she is sneaky and cunning. But he gave me a faith that finally overcame her twisted idea of a vengeful God and I am glad for that. It made me realize that she was “inventing” her own god by taking scripture out of contest and using it as a weapon to try to acheive control and superiority over me.

He never did that. And thinking back kto the things he did for me and with me, that showed his pride in me, in my accomplishments and that he trusted and respected me, they all bring tears of joy to my heart that someone could love a child as much as he loved me and love me as an adult, with all my faults, and still be proud of me.

On the other hand, if I had say been 99.9% perfect (yea, I know, RIGHT! LOL) she would have focused on the .01% of imperfection and berated me soundly for not being perfect. He on the otherhand would have praised me if I had only been 1% “perfect” and have not criticized me for the 99% imperfections. Makes a big difference in your outlook on things.

It is like any child, if you continually tell them what is wrong with them they will feel that they are worthless, but if you focus on the positive aspects of what a kid does, (and I don’t mean ignore totally the other things, especially deliberately mean things) you are going to reinforce the goodness in the child, rather than beat them contiually for their faults.

Because my X-BF-P abused my natural need for a loving relationship, that doesn’t mean I don’t believe in love, I DO, just not with HIM. Just because my egg donor used my belief in God to “put the FEAR of GOD” into me, rather than the love of God, it doesn’t stand to reason that God isn’t real (at least to me) I just SEE Him differently now, I see a spiritual relationship with a loving heavenly father. If when I die and find out that there is no God and I was wrong, so what, WHAT HAVE I LOST by believing in a loviong spiritual heavenly father? Nothing, and in the meantime, it is comforting to me.

I have no PROOF that there is a God or that the one I believe in is Him, so I don’t try to foist my beliefs off on others who don’t also believe, or to pound MY “version” or my “vision” of that spirituality into others, or tell them that their visions are wrong and if they don’t believe like me they are bound for hell.

I read the Bible and other spiritual works for the wisdom and guideance in there for ME, not to “prove” by their words that someone else is going to hell. I want to learn how to live a loving, peaceful and joyful life, and how to be the kind of person I want to be, treating others well, but also not allowing others to treat me poorly.

To be supportive to others, of whatever faith or no faith, in any way that I can be, because to me it IS “more blessed to give than to receive”—but by giving to others (not allowing ourselves to be stolen from, not the same thing) we also GIVE TO OURSELVES something that cannot be bought with money or anything else except true altruism, and to me that is an important part of being a true human being.

The psychopaths cannot have this because they cannot give, even when they “give” gifts or money, they are in reality trying to “buy” what can’t be bought.

I see the many gifts given here on LF ech day with support, caring, compassion and empathy that are more valuable than the “pearl of great price” spoken of in the Bible.

I’ve also learned that trying to “give” to a psychopath is “casting our pearls before swine” because they cannot appreciate the value of the love and gifts that we give them. And, as Jesus said, they will “turn and rend you” just like Henry’s X got mad at him for giving him Christmas gifts! LOL

Dear Cat,

Find out where he is taking the urine drug test, and go oto talk to them, they CAN use HAIR to test and it can’t be faked, it costs a bit more but when I was working for the clinic and we did company drug urine tests, I got them to change over to hair and it was GREAT! It can’t be faked.

I have actually known of people who would cathertize a baby to get clean urine for a test, Then because the urine is temperature tested, they have to keep it warm when they go into the stall. I even knew of one nurse who took urine out of a patient’s catheter bag and inserted it inside her own bladder because she had to be watched while she peed for the test.

These people will do ANYTHING to pass a urine test and it can be beaten. I used to have some guys who would drink so much water the specific gravity of their urine was essentially WATER and I would always refuse to accept it if it wasn’t a certain concentration of real urine and not just 4 gallons of water that they drank the day before! LOL

If you could get the place he has to go for the urine test heads upped and they got a hair sample they might nail him! Good luck.

Hi there!
Wit, yes, my dad was a cop and I have asked him about all of this. He gave me excellent tips for documentation and on that alone, I will win. My other family members don’t know we have talked about this and they won’t. I have the dates and times he’s used. Here’s where my ex I. (I for idiot) was so arrogant and all knowing made a big mistake. He still has his bank statements sent here. Those give times, dates and places as to when and where he withdrew money. I have not said a word about this. I mapquested all of the locations and sure enough, they are right in the middle of the drug neighborhoods in my town. DUH?!? My best bet right now is to be “dumb like a fox” and my father has taught me well.
Ox, I called ahead and let them know he was using a false sample. I was able to do that because he went to the doctor my entire family goes to and one who has been a family friend for a very long time. My ex. has not put 2 and 2 together at all. I spoke to the doctor personally and it was all taken care of. I know the stories of what they will do to pass a urine test. I had not heard about the babies or the nurse’s trick though. I DID hear of one who actually filled an IV bag with urine, tucked it under his arm and somehow ran a tube down so that it LOOKED as though he was giving a urine sample of his own when in reality he was emptying the IV bag. Ick! Yeah, they will go to any length.

I loved what you said about God. The God I’ve come to know is all loving, all knowing, all forgiving and never lets me down. I have asked many times to be given a sign as to what I should do next and have had the gift of having certain things happen that showed me I was on the right path. I grew up Catholic and went to church 6 days a week. My family was very involved in the Catholic church. While I’m not a practicing Catholic today, that taught me the importance of organized religion for some and I respect that. MY ex I. taught me something else entirely. In God’s name, it was OK to verbally abuse, cheat, lie and steal. EVERYTHING was being done in God’s name. In God’s name, it was somehow OK for him not to work, take money for drugs, punish me when there wasn’t enough money and………I could go on and on but you get the picture. I’m quite sure in his mind it’s quite OK to ask his only son to give him urine, which essentially is just another lie. The twisting and turning of the Bible just boggles my mind, yet I have lived through it and today have that God in my life that I trust totally.
OK, henry’s ex got mad because he gave him gifts? How did I miss this?
Hugs!
Cat

Duped,

Leaving a child in the car, no matter how far away you are is a criminal offense.
I wish you got that whole conversation on tape.
I wish I could get dirt that good on my S/P.
Where I live one cannot even leave a child in the car while I they are in their own home!

Dear Cat,

Maybe you can get the doctor to requeist a hair test next time. That would nail him completely. Or call him in for an unscheduled test–oh the lab messed up the sample, we will have to redo, come in NOW.

Yea, I “can’t believe” the nurse one of putting another’s urine (nasty out of a urine collection bag) into her own bladder! But I know it is true!!! YUK!!! Anything!!! No matter how vile or repulsive or risky.

I’m glad your dad is advising you, that is great! Great resource. Love Oxy

Merry Christmas and happy holiday! I hope the s stays away from us all in 2010.

Happy Holidays to all! Like Bird, I hope the sociopath in our lives stay away from us all in the coming year and forever!

Siennaseenya,

I must start off by saying that my intentions on this website were not to offend or alienate anyone. As a person who is co-parenting with such a disordered person, I know first hand the alienating behavior that such a person inflicts on his/her victim continuously on a regular basis and as such, I know that the last thing that victims of such disordered people need is more alienating behavior. I know first hand the pain, frustration, anger, and emotional trauma that comes along with dealing with such a disorded personality. This is why I shared what works for me. I never demanded of anyone that they must share my faith in order to heal from their experience, nor was it my intention to do so. In fact as Duped mentioned, this is why I offer an alternative suggestion such as meditation to help those of you out there who do not share my faith. If reading the Qu’ran or other religous texts will help you or others out there gain inner peace in a situation that is filled with utter chaos and confusion, then by all means do so. The ultimate goal is to find peace and not to get caught up in divisive or distracting dialogue. Remember the ultimate goal of this website (which is my ultimate goal as well) is to teach people to recognize and heal from the sociopath.

Matt,

Great additions! I forgot to add to my 4th point that it is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARRY TO HAVE GRACE PERIODS SPELLED OUT IN COURT ORDERS. For example, in mine, we have grace periods of 30 min., so if my ex fails to call the police station and request an officer to inform me that he is running late (since he is restrained from me, we do our exchanges at the police station) or notify me by email that he will be late, I wait for him for 30 min. Once his 30 min. is up, his visitation period is considered cancelled and I get documentation from the police showing that I was there at the appropriate time and waited for him and that my ex did not show for his visitation. This helps to prevent my ex from saying that I wasn’t there or bringing the cops to my place.

Secondly, I would like to add that I STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT ALL COMMUNICATION WITH THE SOCIOPATH TAKE PLACE VIA EMAIL! AGAIN I STRONGLY RECOMMEND THE OUR FAMILY WIZARD.COM WEBSITE http://www.ourfamilywizard.com. Please ask the judges hearing your cases to order that you and your exs open an account with the website. There is a cost involved (you have to pay $100.00 a year to maintain your subscription to the website or $179.00 every 2 years to maintain your subscription every 2 years), but it’s worth it. The emails (which are admissable in court) allow the court to see the type of personality you are dealing with (sociopaths can not help what they are). In addition the website offers interesting articles for parenting including articles for high conflict parenting. I do want to offer a word of caution and this is basically to make sure that your communication with the sociopath is brief and all business without emotional overtones. Make sure the communication is only about the kids and provide the BARE MINIMUM of information about the kid(s). Only give the sociopath information about the kids that is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. Do not allow the sociopath to distract you and NEVER GIVE THE SOCIOPATH ANY INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR LIFE OR THE LIVES OF YOUR LOVED ONES!

If an S parent consistently lies (twice just this week) in front of their child and in a way that is noticed by the child, what impact might this have on the child’s moral reasoning? How does the healthy parent combat this problem without bad mouthing the other parent? How does a child learn when not to trust if one of the people they trust, and should trust, the most is not truthful?

My four year old’s “best” friend is much like his father; inconsistent, dishonest and selfish. Should I be worried?

Duped

Banana,

It doesn’t matter if I got it on tape or not, it’s in our son’s head. Besides, I won’t get him less visitation then he already has without risking him getting more! And THAT I can’t risk!

I put in for a new position at my place of employment that, if I’m offered AND accept, will give me good excuse to move my son far enough from his father to impact visitation during the school week. THAT is probably my best bet to minimize exposure.

The sad thing is, I really like where I live and my current position. I have LOTS of schedule flexibility, work 10 minutes from home, mostly do my work out of my house and like the people I work with and for. I’ve been in this position and home for SEVEN years!!!! But may have to sacrifice it, up root my other son and take on significant responsibility at work just to save my youngest from his messed up father!!!

Then, I wonder, would he even be better off? Is he better off with more of me and more of his father or less of us both? That seems to be the potential trade off.

I just got caught up! Took some time off from the site to focus on everything BUT my S woes.

Read the stuff on the drug tests. My ex is expected to submit to random drug testing, which he has to pay for, on a monthly basis. This was after he swore he wasn’t using and I tested him and he came up positive. So he came up with this solution so he could see our son.

Here’s the deal, though. He supposedly submits to urine testing through a legitimate agency and then the results are sent to him, via email, in a secure PDF fashion…which he then forwards on to me via email with the password.

Now, in most circumstances, this would seem an acceptable and reliable solution. However, my S is a systems guy who’s already been arrested for using a key logger to illegally obtain my user credentials and transfer large sums of money out of my personal bank account via electronic methods. What’s to stop him from spoofing the IP address of the legitimate drug testing agency, cracking one clean PDF result and then repackaging it, securely, with an updated date and new case number???????

It’s been a year since this solution was devised. Which means he’s up for his annual renewal, which costs money. I don’t imagine he’ll sign up for another year without asking me first if it’s necessary…unless, of course, it’s not costing him a cent cause he’s not really doing it.

Since my son says his father, who rents a one bedroom apartment at the top of an old firehouse, is a “roof fixer” cause he’s been climbing the “black stairs” (aka fire escape) to fix roof shingles…I’m inclined to think he’s still using. The man has never worked a day of construction in his life! And, he’s climbing up there when he’s alone with our son…which makes it impossible to wish he’d fall…cause he’d leave our son alone in that apartment at the top of many an unsafe stairway on a busy city street!!!!

Fun, isn’t it????

Duped

My four year old just got out of his second time out in 24 hours for lying. Hmmmm…any coincidence????

Why are they reckless not only with their own lives they do not care who elses lives they are reckless with…children ? driving and doing whatever they want in front of them… mine while drunk tried to show my son the last web page he was viewing it was porn… I stopped it but he has no values morals no shame no guilt and not a care in the world…….. asshole… scum bag

Spirit 40,

I share your frustration but have stopped asking “why”…since to understand insanity would be insane. My questions now are related to “how”. How does one raise the next generation to not be as messed up as their predecessor?

Duped

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Banana: confused by your post and concerned – you don’t know where he has taken your son?
and not to bother with a PI for what?

one/joy_step_at_a_time

and hiring a PI was to find out the truth?

Mine’s not supposed to take my son to his drug dealing mother’s house. But he does. He also allows him to be unsupervised at his bipolar sister’s house, and that’s a no no too. So little we can actually control…

Banana:
Yes darling….PATIENCE……snake under rock…..basque until it’s perfect timing…..
He’s hanging himself…..
Here’s the real deal and I’m sure Rosa would wager on this one too…..
HE GOT FIRED from his attorney…..
Attorney’s are there to share the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth……(pardon the pun)… there job is to spin and follow the law…..
If they dont know the ‘truth’, they can’t support or prepare a case…..
The ex s did the same…..went through 3 representations…..
The judge will not tolerate this crap…..and the new attorney will be quick (sounds like already happening) to drop him too if he doesn’t see $$ from this client…..

If I recall….wasn’t your ex DATING his attorney?

If so……another good sign he is unravelling!!!

Hang tight my dear….the noose is tightening…
I’ll tell ya….PI’s are expensive…..I did all my own “PI” work…..but ya gotta watch yourself…..if you get caught…..your looking at a restraining order.

I did things like hire a professional photographer to take pics of the S surfing….while claiming he was severely injured…..
It was classic……I told the photog, it HAD to be a surprise, so when he saw him in the water……just tell him how great he is and he just wanted some shots…..I assured him he would give him the best pics because he would then start showing off….I told the photog…..he always wanted framed pics of him surfing done professionally, and this is what his kids wanted to give dad-y-o for x-mas……I told him they needed to be signed on the back and stamp dated on the front for ‘authentication’ of the date!
It was cheap…..$25.00 a shot……had 3 ‘nice’ ones framed….
Shouldof seen his eyes light up in court when I presented the pics!!!!
Except he would have been way more thrilled under ANY other circumstances…..
HA!

There are things you can do on your own…..
#1 rule….TAKE NO CHANCES!!!
NEVER

Banana, When they made the movie, “Daddy day-care,” they should have used our spaths as material. They are SO pathetic, you wouldnt leave a dog with them, much less a young, helpless child.
probably safer to leave your child with an alien from a different solar system!Its beyond belief that a judge can give them any access at all to young, vulnerable kids, who are just ripe to be turned into mini- spaths.Love, Gem.

I have posted about this before, but I am nearing my court date(s) with my sociopath ex.

He took my son on April 24, 2008 and still has him. He and his attorney have done everything they can to keep my son in his custody and away from me (for NO reason other than I filed). He threatened me for years that he would stop at nothing to get my son from me if I went through the courts. So far, he is getting away with it.

Due to the backlog of cases in my county, I have waited all this time for my court date. Meanwhile, he has verbally assaulted me at EVERY drop off, he has only allowed me visitation, he has blackmailed me with my child, and is still saying horiible things to my son, and to my husband and I in front of my son.

He began to carry out his threats as soon as I began to date my (now) husband. When I saw the damage it was doing to my son, I began to document, and filed for custody.

I have backup third party documentation (witnesses, medical records, hospital records, phone bills, emails) for all of my claims. I am banking on the fact that this will weigh heavily in court, since he is making similar claims (that I coach my son and poison him against his father – which BTW is the farthest from the truth) – with NO evidence, since its all untrue. I also have his ACTIONS to show in court. Action and his behavior. He has cut me out of dr. appts (no notification), he has placed my son in classes and not given me any schedule – I’ve emailed him three times asking. He has withheld medical information from me, saying he will give it to me if I pay him for it (witness to this). He has left the country and allowed a family member to take my son 3 hours away on vaca – with no notification to me at all. He tried to keep me from my son while he was hopitalized this past October, by lying to me and sneaking his aunt in to watch him.

My lawyer asked for an evaluation, and a court appointed attorney in the best interest of my child – back in MAY. We were just able to have one appointed. She is just getting all the information together to look at – and my court date is scheduled for Jan 26 and 27.

I am praying that she – and possibly an evaluator… can see through all his BS – and see what he is doing – to my child…. The past year of my life has been horrendous – and I am praying SO SO SO hard – that I get my son back and am able to give him the happy, healthy life he deserves.

Thanks for those who understand where I’m coming from- yes, it was very much the sociopaths in my life who still spend time trying to convince me that the world is wrong, they have “god given” rights to abuse the way they do… and it never seems to end. I’m not arguing that people shouldn’t do what works for them, I’m just frustrated that when I do what’s right for me- it gets turned into something unmoral (atheist isn’t immoral). Everyone here gets it, I know. I just had to feel clear that I was feeling alienated.. but I get where you are coming from.

Always, always remember especially #11, but imo avoid #5 as police hate this and are not set up to do this–in my experience this option provides no protection and can easily be manipulated by the sp — yes do #6 instead, or use a professional supervised visit center that is recognized by the local court for pick-ups & drop-offs–find out who the real pros are in the area, as there are some schmucks as in every business. There is usually a fee, but it is so worth it and should be considered necessary when dealing with an active sp.

Great help. So glad I found you. It’s been 3 years of dealing with a sociopath now..lots of court. I’ve been doing ALL the advice above..on my own. I suppy to the court piles of police reports of violation of ALL court orders. Well, she just decided to comply with one from 2008…attend co-parenting counseling ..until the counselor feels it is no longer necessary. (It’s an 11th hour attempt before our April 28th hearing) Yikes!! I know her only interest is to mine for any and all information that she can twist around into lies to continue her efforts to seperate me from my son (age 2 1/2). Does anyone have any advice on how I should attempt to deal with a sociopath in court ordered co-parenting counseling? ie. damage control?

Hi OakieED, I haven’t had any experience in this area, so can’t really advise you, but there are many here who can…Hold tight.
I just wanted to pop in and say it’s nice to meet you,and to wish you luck….Glad your here. 🙂

Dear OkieEd,

I second Kim’s welcome, also you might want to click on the LINK (it will be on your left on the screen) to Dr. Leedom’s PARENTING THE AT RISK CHILD. Dr. Leedom has a child with her X-P and has some wonderful parenting advice.

There are people here who have fought through the courts with their P over their children–some won, some loss and some “tied” so the courts themselves are a crap shoot. But win, lose or draw, you still want to stay in there trying to protect your child the best you can.

I am sure some of the parents will chime in and give you some good advice and support.

I am the child OF a psycho pathl,, and the PARENT OF ONE, there is unfortunately some genetic components to the disorder, but that doesn’t mean your child has to turn out a P either. Parenting is very important to the nurture and maturation of the child into someone with a working conscience. Good luck and God bless. Stick around and LEARN, read and read and read. The more we know the better we can do. KNOWLEDGE=POWER!

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