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Mourning the man who never was (because he is a psychopath)

Before I had children, I always dreamed that my children would have a wonderful relationship with both me and their father.   Given the close relationship that I have with my father, I could never have imagined a situation where I would NOT want my child’s father to have access to him/her.  (Until now, of course)

Here is a quick example of how I felt about my father as a child and why I dreamed for my child to have the same: (This conversation took place as my father was tying my shoes.)

Young Cappuccino Queen (circa age 5):  Daddy, when I grow up can I marry you?

My father (holding back laughter):  No baby girl, I am already married to your mother.

Cappuccino Queen:  But Daddy, I love YOU and I don’t think I will ever love another boy as much as I love you.  You are perfect”¦you taught me to swim, you let me have Ice Cream for dinner one time, and you are really really tall so you give good back rides. (Yes, I know, silly)

My father:  I will always be your Daddy baby girl, but one day you will find a man your age whom you love who will be YOUR husband.  He will be wonderful too and he might be having this same conversation with your daughter someday.

For those of you who have read my story, you know that two weeks after my son was born I fled my ex’s home with my baby boy after learning that he wasn’t the man he led me to believe he was.  Ever since the day I left, I have to constantly fight both my own instincts (of wanting my son to have what I had with my father -in his own father) and society’s belief that every child is better off having contact with their biological father.  In fact, as many of you know too well, Family Court in America shoves this idea down our throats every time we have the misfortune of stepping into the courtroom.  Those of us who share a child with a sociopath don’t have the ability to have “No Contact” with him/her.  Instead, I would argue that we are re-traumatized every time we have to deal with this person (especially inside the courtroom) and this is how the sociopath likes it.

I have been trying to put my finger on what about the end of my relationship to this man made it so painful (besides the obvious deception, violence, etc).  For me, it felt like a death I could never properly mourn.  It felt like I had fallen in love with a memory or a figment of my imagination.

The violent death:

The night I learned who Luc (my ex fiance and sociopath) really was (or more like who he WASN’T) felt like a death.  I remember looking into his eyes that night and seeing a stranger in the body of someone I had loved.  It is hard to describe this feeling because it still scares and confuses me.  I remember feeling like time slowed down as I reached for my son and looked into the eyes of this devil in human flesh.  He had turned so dark and cold and that man I loved (the fake man) was now gone forever.  In was as if in that one instant he decided he was tired of the game and I was the game.  It was hard for me to understand how someone who had been convincingly professing his love to me just hours before could turn so cold and murderous.

In the weeks that followed my dramatic departure from my the relationship with the psychopath, I felt like the man I had loved (my sons father) died.  This might sound strange, but that was all I could equate it to.  I kept remembering how I felt about him and how much I trusted him.  I wanted to speak to the man I loved, but I understood that I couldn’t because that man wasn’t around.  It was like he had died — but worse — he had never existed.  My thoughts about this “death” were worsened by my obsession of how I would one day explain all of this to my baby boy.

Mourning the death (or the inability to) and Family Court

I remember one day arguing with one of my family attorneys about how devastated I was and how I would never forgive Luc for deceiving me.  My lawyer said, “think of it this way — there was a time when you were in love and happy.  For Luc, he was never in love and never happy.  He was always worried about keeping up the lie.”  While I understand that he was only trying to make me feel better about the time I wasted with this man and the shattered dreams that I will never be able to recover, this statement also showed me that he didn’t really understand Luc.

Luc is a psychopath.  Yes, I was a game to him  and a mark; however, he didn’t worry about keeping the lie.  Luc doesn’t feel how pathetic he is because he is incapable of understanding or believing that there is anything wrong with him.  If I were a hateful person, I might take comfort in the fact that Luc is also incapable of sustaining real relationships.  He has no family, no real friends, and doesn’t trust anyone enough to let them know the real him (if he even knows himself).  That would be a lonely life for someone who was capable of feeling enough to care.

Finding comfort in the idea of a death:

Sometimes it makes me feel better to think of the situation as a death.  When a person dies, you still have the ability to think of the good times you had with that person.  It’s tough to think of Luc associated as anything good because I know it wasn’t real.  That being said, when baby boy is old enough to understand and ask about his father, I will show him pictures of the day he was born and how both of his parents were there.  I will explain to him how this was the happiest day of mama’s life.  I will also explain to him how sad it makes me that his father isn’t capable of being the man I thought he was.  For that day, however, we were the family we would never be — the family I wanted for my son.  A mother, a father, and their baby boy.  Mama is sorry, baby boy.

Hope after death:

For so many years, my idea of a father/son relationship was wrapped up in biology.  Since this was my experience, I was devastated when I realized that my son would not have that same experience with his father.  I felt terrible about this (and still do to a degree); however, I realized that my son can have amazing men in his life despite the terrible reality of his father.

When I came home today, I was surprised that my son was not waiting at the door smiling and doing his wiggle dance per usual.  When I asked my mother where my baby boy had disappeared to, she directed me toward the back door and told me to go outside and see for myself.  As soon as I stepped on the back porch, I heard my father having a seemingly one sided conversation with my non-verbal toddler as they stood under the berry tree eating blackberries.  (Note:  my son won’t take these sour berries from anyone else)  After a few minutes of watching the two of them (and fighting back tears), I joined them for a group hug as we all walked back into the house.  I looked at my son, who was now covered in berries and smiling from ear to ear, and I realized that he would be ok”¦and eventually”¦so would I.


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11 Comments on "Mourning the man who never was (because he is a psychopath)"

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Your story, to remove your children and yourself from that relationship, will hopefully inspire others that are in similar relationships. It takes a great deal of courage to do what you did. These men, psychopaths, sociopaths, fakes or frauds, can turn on a dime. One second they are kind and loving, proclaiming their love for you, then turning murderous, violent and agressive the next. Of course, it is all your fault, always your fault. No more will I stand by, stand silent, take the blame for HIS choice of behavior. I admire you and respect the choices you made. Your children have a very special Mother.

CappuccinoQueen, I’ve always believed that the end of a spath relationship is very much like experiencing someone’s death, but without any “normal” sense of closure. Especially, when children are involved, there is this constant “contact” that is forcibly maintained by the Court because they mistakenly believe that children “need” both parents.

It is a process of grieving like no other. No body. No memorial service. Nothing to put an end to the relationship and give it a proper burial.

And, the endless dances at the Court Cotillion are humiliating, degrading, invasive, and thoroughly unjust. These events further the damages that the spath perpetrated until the carnage is like wandering through Rwanda during their recent civil war – there are bodies, everywhere, and every nation in the world is looking the other way.

Thank you for your frank and open sharing, Cappuccino.

Most sincere brightest blessings to you

Dear cappuccinoqueen,

This is a wonderfully insightful article.

The “death” of the person you loved is so much how I felt/feel about my psychopathic son, Patrick. I actually had a memorial service for his “death” retrospectively when he was about 12 or 13 and the evil started to surface out of the “ideal child” I had until that time. Of course I didn’t realize he was “dead” for many years after his morphing into a monster. Even in 1992 when he was arrested for murder and I wanted to trade places with the mother of the murdered girl he killed, and have my son dead and her child in jail for the murder…I still couldn’t realize that my son, my beloved son was “dead” and that the man walking around in his body, animating his body, was really a monster and that my “son” was GONE. DEAD.

Now, fortunately, I can think about that wonderful child who is gone from me, gone from this world….and remember those good times, just as I remember my late husband and step father and the good times we had together.

The monster in the cell that possibly resembles what my LATE son Patrick would have looked like if he had lived past puberty is a STRANGER to me. Not someone I know. Actually, Patrick hasn’t lived in my house since 1988, and for the three or four years prior to that, he was in battle with the family, rebelling and causing havoc.

But all parents “lose” their children who grow up to be adults, and even if those adults are good friends, good people, those babies and children we have are GONE in a few years, ever changing just like a puppy becomes a dog or a kitten becomes a cat, our babies eventually become adults.

Cappuccinoqueen, “burying” the one you love/d is difficult, no matter who that person is/was….and just as you have to have contact with the animated corpse of the one you loved, the zombie if you will, of that person, because of your child, we can’t completely go NO CONTACT…and just as I must rise up and protest the release of my son from prison on parole, knowing that I will not likely be able to keep him in prison forever, that sooner or later he will get out, the pain returns each time I must have even “distant contact” or “intellectual or emotional” contact or write about him to the parole board, unsure of what the result will be (just as you wanted to talk about your clean health record and your attorney said “forget it”, I’ve wanted to say things to the parole board that my attorney said “forget it” they aren’t interested.)

You have a long road ahead of you in dealing with your X until your child is at least a teenager…and I have a long road ahead of dealing with my son’s incarceration and hoping I can keep him there for my life time at least, but realizing I probably can’t, which will disrupt my life and the lives of my other two sons for our own safety.

As you traverse this long road ahead of you, take your attorney’s advice and concentrate on the BIG ISSUES not on each individual gravel in your shoe even though they may hurt (the STD thing) because he will ALWAYS be slinging gravel at you, one then another. (I know it is difficult to ignore the gravels, but concentrating on the gravel keeps us from seeing the boulders they roll down from the cliff)

God bless.

CappQueen ~

You saved the best for last “I looked at my son, now covered in berries and smiling ear to ear, and I realized that he would be OK” – Amen – You are so right, he will be OK because he has a mother who loves him and is willing to fight to protect him. He obviously has grandparents who adore him. His childhood and young life may be different from the one you had, but it will be filled with love and wonderful memories just the same.

Truthspeak is so right, the “court cotillion” (love the term) will be filled with humiliation and outrageous accusations. Even though your attorney stated his lie had no revelance, that doesn’t make it hurt any less. The lies will keep coming, just tell yourself that the people that love and care about you know better and they are the only ones that count. There were times I came so close to standing up and screaming right in court. Maybe it would help to remember you are taking the “dirt”, the humiliation and the hurt so your little son doesn’t have to.

Again, I agree about the grieving. My grandson’s psychologist once said to me, “I don’t mean to be cold hearted sounding, but if your daughter had died, your grandson could have gone through a mourning period and some sadness and it would have been done. Now he is faced with constant rejection over and over and over. That is something children have as baggage the rest of their lives.” She was so right.

You have friends here, friends who understand and want to listen.

Best – MiLo

Hi Cappuccinoqueen, I wish so much strength for you and your precious boy through the years to come. Thank goodness your parents are there to help share, and care. Maybe your ex will lose interest eventually, but if not you will need good, honest, decent people in your son’s life to help act as the antidote to the warped reality he experiences with his father. Isolation and secrets and shame are horrible weapons. The more people your son can talk to and compare things with, who won’t judge him and will help him understand and process what he sees and experiences, the less power his father will have to damage his development. Bravo to you. I wish I had had a parent who would fight for me like you are for your boy.

I totally relate to the feeling of mourning for the loss of what never really existed. It is a wicked thing to say about another human being but the truth is I WISH HE HAD DIED. If he had dropped dead I would be no better off physically or financially. I would still not know where or how I am going to live.
But I would still be able to believe that he had loved me. Instead I have to face the vileness that it was all a lie, I have been living in a lie, I have lost myself in a lie. I hate him for that.
If he were dead people would be more understanding and I would not have my friends not wanting to talk to me because I am so broken, so not the person they thought I was and it is all my fault for “being too trusting”. It’s as if he has wiped out all the success I had and all the good things I did and to others I am tainted by his badness because I let him into my life and helped / enabled him to destroy everything I had created. I did have good times and fun times with him. If he had died those memories would be a comfort. Now, like you, I can’t escape knowing they were not real and it is like finding my diamonds are made of glass.

Ox Drover I think it is easy to forget or underestimate the pain of parents and siblings. My ex has caused a lot of suffering for his family. His mother is so hurt and also frightened of him and feels so guilty that it must have been something she did wrong that made him the way he is. I tell her that even if she wasn’t a perfect parent (and who is?), he still has the choice about how he acts and she cannot be responsible for his behaviour as an adult. Again the person with a conscience takes on the shame and blame and the bad person feels justified in what they do.

I hope you both have a good outcome with your battles.

Now is the time to give yourself some credit:

#1: You were able to unmask this deceiver relatively early on in your child’s life;

#2: You made a choice for your son that will prove to yourself and to him that he is important and comes before your own personal desires/agenda;

#3: You chose to surround him with stable, loving people (your parents, you lucky girl!), instead of falling into another destructive relationship out of lonliness.

You need to remember these important choices/milestones because there will be times when you’ll be in the thick of “what wuz i thinking?!?!?!?!?” that you might start second-guessing yourself.

DON’T!!!!!!!

One of the biggest favors you could do for your son now is to get the book that’s on this website called “Just Like His Father”. I swear it should be a handbook that’s given to every mother before she leaves the hospital with her baby, regardless of whether the other parent is a socio/psychopath, or not!

It’s better than “Nanny 911”. Not only will you get insight, you will get solid, practically step-by-step instructions on how to parent your child so that he’s as mentally and emotionally healthy and stable as you can help him to be, whether he shows no sign or many signs of his father’s sociopathy.

I can’t over-emphasize how important, interesting, and helpful this book is. My son is almost 33, and I’m convinced that he is not a total psycopathic serial-killer (I’m not exaggerating here – I was afraid of him and for him since he was a toddler) because I fortunately found a book written by a pastor that had covered some of the same principles written in this book when he was 3 yrs old and I faithfully put all my effort into guiding him, praying for and over him, and being his conscience, as he had no conscience of his own.

He’s got a lot of sociopathic tendencies, but they exist alongside his desires and struggles to surmount them. As a boy, a teenager, and a young “man” he’d be torn, violently at times, between trying to be a good person and just looking out for #1 (himself, of course). He still struggles with it to this day; the very fact that he’s struggling is a blessing, because it so VERY easily could have been otherwise.

I’ve had to distance myself from him, so I’m not part of his life right now. I get “reports” sometimes thru the grapevine. I can’t, don’t, and won’t trust him until the struggle is completely over and it’s clear the good side of him won. I believe if I had this book when he was a baby we would have had a better outcome than the one we’re facing now.

GET THE BOOK. THIS IS NOT A SUGGESTION. The same love and care you showed when you yanked him from danger should motivate you to buy it and read it. Maybe you’ll be lucky and your son will not have any hereditary factors from his father, but do you really want to make a bet with your son’s future, or do you want to be sure you did everything humanely possible to parent him in the best way? This book WILL help you to make sure.

Anybody (male/female) planning to have children, or already have, BUY THIS BOOK. It can help even into the teenage years. GET IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dear Mother of a Mutha,

As the mother of a full fledged psychopath myself, I also can relate to your being out of the life of your son who struggles with his life. I am out of the life of my other biological son, who isn’t a sociopath, but is not the kind of man I want in my life either. He too struggles with his own moral compass, but I can no longer participate in the drama around his struggle. It costs me too much to participate in the drama-rama.

I can’t trust him to be truthful with me. I don’t fear him like I do Patrick. He won’t come steal from me, and if I needed his help and called, he would be here to help. He just has a problem with which direction his moral compass points from time to time and he violates what he knows is right and does what is wrong to the detriment of others. He isn’t a thief or a murderer, he isn’t going to con someone out of their lunch money…he just has a problem with telling the truth.

I still love him, I even miss him, but the time has come and then some to stay out of his life. I pray for him and I hope he gets his life together and that he finds some success and happiness and peace in life, but it has to be without me in his life.

Dear OxDrover and Cappuccinoqueen:

Thank you very much for your understanding and empathy. There are times that the guilt in thinking about what my son is up to tries to choke off my joy in life and help me blame myself. Sometimes I have to work very hard to remember I did everything I knew to do. Other times I’m just sad for him; there’s a gap in my family, if you know what I mean. The “ironic” thing, tho, is that I have 3 other children that I raised and he is the only one that has a seriously impaired conscience.

Capppuccino, I’m SOOOO happy you have that book and that you’re using the wisdom inside to shape how you raise your son. Hope and prayer are very powerful, and are not to be underestimated. Even now, I have hope that as long as God exists, if it’s His will my son might have a chance at redemption and change (they’re not called miracles for nothing!) 😀

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