Every week, a chapter of my book,”Husband, Liar, Sociopath: How He Lied, Why I Fell For It & The Painful Lessons Learned” (available via Amazon.com, just click on the title or book cover) will be published here on Lovefraud. To read prior chapters, use the links at the bottom of the post.
I’ve also just released a new ebook titled Narcissists, SOCIOPATHS & Wolves: Lessons From Little Red Riding Hood. (Just click here to find it on Amazon.com Narcissists SOCIOPATHS & Wolves.)
Chapter 56A: It’s Not Over Until Paul Says It’s Over
Three months after the divorce became official, Daniel was at one of his hated, required weekend visits with his father when he walked by Paul’s home office. Apparently, Paul was on the phone telling a friend that Linda was more than four months pregnant. That meant she was pregnant before Paul and I had even finalized our speedy divorce. Daniel’s pain from the news itself and the way he found out (by overhearing his father telling someone else) was incalculable, his respect for his father down to air.
Daniel started getting into arguments at school, almost coming to blows with classmates multiple times. Night after night, sleep proved elusive. He became reclusive, and his grades plummeted. Intermediate grade reports even showed D’s. Paul thwarted my efforts to get Daniel help at every turn. No time off from required weekends with his father, no therapy, no antidepressants (of which I am only a believer as a last resort), no sleep-away summer camp for a struggling teenager. In Paul’s self-serving, uncaring, sociopathic mind, nothing was wrong. In Paul’s mind, the only problem was Daniel’s lack of reverence for his father.
Daniel became so chronically angry and agitated that I tried to never leave him alone. I worried he would hurt himself. If things got any worse, I feared an attempted suicide. I had to get Daniel help. After I made an appointment with a psychologist, Paul cancelled Daniel’s appointment and told the therapist I had no authority to take Daniel to see him. It wasn’t true, but it scared off the therapist. Paul undermined efforts with a second therapist as well. Finally, I found a therapist who was not intimidated by Paul. Daniel liked him, and he started making immediate and significant progress. I was thrilled and hopeful.
Unable to stop the appointments, Paul called the therapist to insist that his relationship with Daniel be “off limits” during therapy. He also demanded that the therapist back him up in his view that Daniel should not be allowed to continue with karate. The therapist thought just the opposite. When Paul failed to bully the therapist into accepting his terms, he involved our lawyers in the debacle, costing me thousands. Meanwhile, Daniel was finding therapy helpful; he was starting to sleep better and feel less angry. He wanted to continue, because he was finding some resolution and peace about his relationship with his father.
Our divorce decree specified Paul would pay for any therapy the kids needed. To try to undermine Daniel’s therapy, Paul insisted Daniel did not need therapy and refused to pay. I paid for it. My son was hurting. He needed help. The cost was irrelevant. When that did not stop me, Paul took me to court to make me stop taking Daniel to the therapist. In addition, Paul trumped up charges and filed an official complaint against the therapist with the state licensing board. An investigation ensued.
The therapist was cleared easily and quickly, but Paul’s actions, if successful, would have resulted in the therapist losing his livelihood and his license to practice therapy. The risk to the therapist who had been so helpful to Daniel (and, ironically, to Daniel’s strained relationship with Paul) was now enormous. He called me and said that, regretfully, he could no longer work with Daniel. Having seen the monster Paul really is, he recommended that Daniel and I have no contact with Paul ever again. But that was impossible. Thanks to the laws of the state in which I was divorced, I did not have that choice. Quite the opposite, Paul was entitled to have my email, phone number, and address and to share in all decisions relevant to Daniel. To a sociopath, shared decision-making means having the power to blackmail, using the child as leverage. It was madness. I tried to find another therapist so Daniel could continue to deal with the considerable anger he still felt. In light of Paul’s actions, no other therapist was willing to work with Daniel as long as he was a minor. He was sixteen at the time.
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Identifying names, places, events, characteristics, etc. that I discuss here and in my book have been altered to protect the identity of everyone involved.