So I married and divorced a sociopath, but we’re connected at the hip for life because we share three children.
(It’s been sixteen years so far.)
And last year, he sued for full custody of two of them. The boys. We’re still in court today, trying to work out the details of that.
Because despite all the issues I’ve experienced in the family court system since 2007, in this instance the professionals involved did (finally) manage to ask why we’re back in court and why I should lose custody.
My ex had his full list of reasons, but man, I’ve been fighting back. Which means defending myself as a parent.
Sending photographs to the guardian of the kids and I—since birth.
Reminding them all that I have no physical or mental impairments.
Reminding them all that there’s no real reason for cutting me out.
Trying to educate everyone I’m working with on parental alienation. Without offending in any way.
(And by the way, I have to admit that after all these years of being in court with my ex, I’ve borrowed and sold and bartered just about every way I can to keep up. The only reason I can continue today is because my parents have helped me out even more than they’ve been able to. They hurt because of me and my situation. So I’m not trying to look like a superstar hero by posting these things—these actions. Instead, I’d like to say that the only way it’s even possible for me to participate is because other people have lifted me up at their own sacrifice. And because of that, I will always and forever lift others up. In any way I can. Because I know what it’s like to need, and I know it can happen just after the moment of standing on your own at the top of your own personal success.)
So that being said, I’ll get back to the professionals and my vehement protests—”I don’t want to be eliminated from my children’s lives!” So they’ve given me a trial period. I can try to prove something to them.
That I’m a worthy parent.
Of my sons.
Regardless of what my charming, believable ex has to say.
The Sociopath is So Likable That It’s Easy to Forget
Now remember, my ex doesn’t want our daughter. Just our sons. Who knows why. But regardless of any reasons, you’d think that the court might raise an eyebrow over the fact that he’s actively trying to split the family along gender lines.
Nope. No one has batted an eyelash over that.
I haven’t heard one single curious moment in the past 13 months on that one.
Do they think it’s normal to care more for the boys than the girl?
I have no idea. It makes me feel sick, honestly.
Regardless, no one seems to think it’s odd to only want two of your three kids. No one at all.
Except for me.
Sociopaths Like To Be in Charge
So while I’m spending time and money trying to prove that I’m worthy of participating as a parent, I’m also working with my ex and a psychologist.
We meet together with him once a month.
And he’s instructed us to save seats for each other at our children’s events.
After death threats and a public shunning for leaving him, I have to say that it’s pretty brave and maybe even foolish on my part to walk through the hostile crowd of people and sit next to my ex. He’s not just a sociopath. He’s a public figure—a beloved sociopath. And when I left him, no one knew why. No one could see what happened behind closed doors. And he made sure that everyone blamed me.
That was in 2007. Lots of his charmed followers still won’t look at me today.
But they come to our children’s events all the time.
So I walk through them and stand next to the man. The man who made them hate me.
They give him sympathetic looks. I have no idea what they’re thinking, but it doesn’t look kind. After years of this, I’ve learned to ignore it.
My Sociopathic Ex Wants to Coach Me
This is where I’ll get to the point. After all these years of abuse and aggression, I’ve been told to sit with my ex at our children’s games. So I’ve been doing it.
And his response is to violate boundaries.
This is why no contact—absolutely no contact—is so important.
Because he wants to coach me.
What do I mean by that?
I mean it literally.
I’m pretty athletic, and so are all of my children. So is my ex. And he’s been coaching our two boys in track and field because that was his big thing so he wants it to live on through them. They’re doing well. And since the psychologist wants us to stand together at events, we’ve been interacting more in the past four weeks than we have in the past seven years.
And there are already a bunch of boundary issues.
Because I made the apparent mistake of throwing the discus a few times one evening with my sons. My ex was there. It was at his house. I was picking them up and wanted to do what they do. These are my big mistakes. Trying to be friendly. Trying to show the boys that I can participate in their things. Trying to be funny. Trying to be a sport.
Trying to be friendly.
So my ex jumped right into the role of coaching me.
And what’s coaching? Part of it is power. Being the one in the know. Being the one who has total control in the situation. Being the one in charge.
So I quit throwing pretty quickly and then talked about how awkward it was for the next couple days.
But it gets even a little more awkward—because then he sent me a few texts inviting me to come back so he can coach me some more.
Not our sons.
He wants to coach me. A forty year old woman. In the discus.
The Sociopath Knows No Contradiction
While he’s inviting me to come back for a coaching session (and no, I’m not going), he’s also calling me on the phone and encouraging me to settle for minimum time with the boys.
He’s also keeping me in court, remember—trying to take full custody of our sons. To “save” them from the woman who is “unfit.”
And he’s even saying (to everyone around) that he can’t understand why we’re still in court. To me, he says, “I called my attorney and frankly, I told him that I’m tired of paying him! And that he better get all our kids nice graduation gift. Let’s just be reasonable and settle this ourselves. We don’t need to waste money on our attorneys. We can settle it. And so while we both know the boys don’t want to see you, I could agree to them seeing you once a week and every other weekend. I could agree to that.”
He’s saying all of these things even though he initiated and has prolonged the court process. And even though he hasn’t been able to agree that I should even have the minimum time when in court.
The beautiful thing for me is that I’m so detached that I’m not charmed or bewildered by him anymore. And I feel empathy for all those who are. I get it. I know why they like him so much. Why they do and believe what he says.
I just don’t want them to decide that he deserves to own our children.
And I don’t want him drinking out of my coffee cup.
I don’t want him as my coach.
Even if I stand next to him at our children’s events. Or if I decide to participate once in a while.
My participation is not an invitation for a complete boundary violation.
Or maybe it is, to a sociopath.
So for all of you who don’t have a court professional telling you that you have to have contact, I’d like to reaffirm the idea of NO CONTACT. Be really serious about it. Especially if you’re fresh out of the relationship.
It’s too confusing to maneuver.
It’s too much contradiction for one soul to take.
Just get yourself away from it—save yourself the time of sorting it out.
Because even if the sociopath enjoys coaching or controlling you, that good feeling is never going to last.
And they’ll still eat you alive. Even while it does.
(This post and H.G. Beverly’s full story can also be found on hgbeverly.com.)