Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Sociopathic Ex & Preventing Your Child Becoming One



You had no idea when you married he wasn't a healthy person you were saying "I do" to... but instead a sociopath. You may not have known for years, you may not have discovered it until during the divorce process or even until after the finalization of it. 

Once you realize you are/were married to a sociopath the first question that may come to mind is: 


How do I deal with him? 

First and foremost the absolute most important thing you can do with a sociopath is to cut contact with them in person, via phone and text. Email and www.ourfamilywizard are great ways to communicate. Communicating this way does two things.... one, it will make your life much more peaceful and two, it will help you get the distance needed so you can heal from the emotional destruction and abuse your ex has wielded for years over you. 


Working with a therapist who is skilled in dealing with sociopaths and who can guide you in setting healthy boundaries will go a long way in building the invisible security fence you need to keep your ex out of your yard, your heart, your mind and lastly, your life as much as possible. 


The next question you may inevitably have is:


How is a sociopath created?

Sociopathic behavior is said by experts to be a seed originally planted by family genetics but often later triggered to grow by the environment the child lives in; the mother or father's style of parenting. Not all children who are born with the predisposition go on later in life to become sociopaths. Most of whether it develops lies solely on the parent(s). If intervention is begun early enough in life, before puberty hits, children can receive the help they need to become healthy, well adjusted adults one day capable of loving others besides solely themselves. 


A sociopath is all about himself. These are typically the dads who are neglectful or just outright abandon their children, walking out and leaving the mother to solely care for them. In reality, this is the best thing that could happen and though it may be difficult for someone to wrap their head around that notion, it's the horrific alternative of having an abusive dad in the picture that makes him walking off the best case scenario. 


If the sociopathic father stays in the family picture it will indeed be an uphill battle. In fact, the father is likely capable of winning 50/50 custody due to his cunning tactics of showing how "devoted" a father he is... ultimately winning over the court systems with his "refreshing over the top" fatherly devotion to his children we see so little of in today's world as a whole. The court system is typically so pleasantly pleased to see what they view as a "respectable and nice man stepping up to the plate" that they dismiss away any talk from the mother that he's a sociopath painting a facade of care for his children when in reality behind closed doors he's a manipulative, cunning, controlling, lying man who will use his children as pawns at any cost to get the control he wants over you and them. This unfortunately often leaves the mother feeling a loss of control, her hands tied, her words cut off and no one believing what she knows in her heart is happening and no one believing what she has seen this man is capable of behind closed doors. 


But fret not..... 

There's hope. 


Children often see through a sociopathic father's behavior early. And they often see it much earlier than their mother does. They see the evil cloaked in kindness and they know what their father is capable of along with instilling fear in them... of creating confusion and havoc... of twisting their words, minimizing or dismissing their feelings, wants and needs. 


There are things as the normally functioning parent you can do even if you share custody and co-parenting with a sociopath to thwart their attempts at attacking your character, bad mouthing you, lying about you, twisting your words, etc. There are also things as the mother you can do to ensure you don't raise a sociopathic child who patterns after their father one day as a adult. 


10 Tips to help in dealing with a sociopathic ex 
& ways to prevent your child becoming one:


1. If your sociopathic ex who has cheated is lying and tells your children:

"Mommy cheated"... act cool without indignant alarm in their presence when they relay this information to you. When they begin telling you what he's said the lack of reaction by you gives his words zero power. You know it's a lie and he's continuing pitiful attempts at planting a seed of doubt in your children's minds about your character (because he wants the heat off him and placed on you. Sociopaths love creating drama and interaction even if it's negative. Sometimes all you can do is laugh)... then he casually follows his outright lie to them with a "Ohhh, I shouldn't have said that.... that wasn't appropriate. I won't say anything further, I'll talk to you about it when you're older and grown up." 

You, of course, see right through it, you see the evil. You know what he's doing. The children see it too and hence their loyalty is to you. So listen to what they say and then respond with "Hmmm, well, I never did that. Sounds like another one of those times people are just making up crazy stories. You may hear lots of stuff that isn't true." Then move on. 


2. Always, always document everything your ex does. It can't be stressed enough. Documenting what he's doing (or not doing) could certainly build you a viable reason to take him back to court at some point in time.


3. As a mother, guard against having a relationship with your son where he is your "pal", your best friend or emotional crutch aka husband figure. It's imperative you watch the "Mama's boy" dynamic  and make sure you are not leaning on him, allowing him to be "the little man", "the mini man of the house", etc. Children need to see their mother as fully capable, strong and self assured in her decision making, financial earning and emotional health. Even if at times you don't feel it. At times like those when you may feel less than confident it's important to lean on a friend. Children need to see that "mama has it all running smoothly and together and there is zero reason for worry". It will give them comfort by reminding them every so often of this.


4. It's imperative we give our children a voice. A sociopathic father wields great control over his children, as he voices what they need, their desires and most importantly their feelings as he sees fit. Anytime your children voice a hurt, an upset or an injustice the sociopathic father may react with visible irritation responding with a dismissive "You're fine!"  Sociopaths are narcissistic and always place their needs before others. They are the ones who spend what they want, evade taxes, come and go as they please, lie, cheat, praise status and image and look out for themselves. They will not give any life to your children's voices. But you can! Encourage your children daily to talk to you, use their voice and share their thoughts with you. This is vital. Ask them how they feel about different situations and experiences... how they feel when they are treated less than well by others and listen attentively with undivided attention. Be a good example, treating others with kindness and respect... letting your children learn by your actions that helping others, speaking nicely, using manners and caring about others is a wonderful thing! 


5. Teach your children not to fear their father. The sociopathic father parents his children through fear. He doesn't want to be questioned, he doesn't want to hear they don't like his rules, that they don't like who he's dating, that they don't like how he's torn their world upside down. He's running a dictatorship not a peace loving home with the right to use their speech intertwined with respectfully sharing how they feel. Tell your children each and every day they are absolutely worthy of God's love, your love and the love of others. Affirm this to them. Encourage them to boldly (but respectfully) tell their father how they feel and to not shrink back in fear from him, for when they lose their fear of him he loses power to hurt them as much.


6. Give to others. An important thing for your child to see you doing is volunteering or helping others even if its on a small scale like offering a bag of raisins, water and crackers to a homeless person, letting a person cut in ahead of you in traffic, leaving a large tip for your waiter, etc. When your children see you doing nice things for others they will see the beautiful value in giving unconditionally to people without expecting anything in return unlike the sociopath who only has time for helping others if they find them useful to them and their own needs. 


7. Children are shaped by their parents. If one of their parents has stayed in the picture, abused them physically, verbally and emotionally, as the sociopathic parent does... this instills insecurity, fear, distrust and a general lack of control in their lives. Which leads the child to not receive the comfort and security from their parent(s) that they so desperately need to become a healthy adult. What develops instead is a child who acts aggressively toward others as a need for control in the name of protecting themselves. This may be a child who behaves defiantly, has incredibly low self esteem, bullies, is cruel to siblings, animals, plays with fire, etc. 


8. When we guard against acting aggressively toward our children we receive the same positive behavior we role model... back from them. When we guard against yelling at our children and instead implement positive ways to reinforce behavior through active praise etc, we are teaching them that gentleness is a vital part to discipline. 


9. Once a child grows into an adult who is a sociopath the damage is done and there is unfortunately no undoing it through medication or therapy.... that's why it's essential that children receive the intervention they need during childhood. 


10. Sociopaths attack you; your character without merit due to their deep rooted insecurities within themselves stemming from an abusive childhood. They criticize and transfer all their negative behaviors, traits, feelings, self hatred etc, onto others... and if you are divorcing one you may very well have become their favorite target. They will outright lie and say you've said things you never said, they will twist your words until they no longer resemble what you did say, they will create confusion where once there was clarity. The defense against these manipulative tactics is to disengage. This goes back to distancing yourself from them for your own mental health. Just when you believe things "may be different" and you attempt to dip your toe back in by communicating with them it undoubtedly will send you running back to safety... because each time the sociopath will delight in going for the jugular once again proving they cannot be trusted. 



No one prepares for marrying a sociopath 
nor one day possibly divorcing one
and unfortunately having to co-parent with them. 


But by sharing our experiences with others who have lived it we can raise awareness of how to handle the situation so none of us feel at the sociopath's mercy. Doing this is a great thing and although someone who hasn't experienced the wrath and craziness of a sociopath may question our coping strategies and may chalk it all up to "psycho-babble" or us behaving as disillusioned or less than nice.... those of us who have lived it know otherwise and what it requires in self preservation.


We can take the steps needed to keep a sociopathic ex at a healthy distance and instill the things needed to prevent a child becoming one themselves. The parent who is functioning as a healthy parent does have the power to make a difference in the child's life and help offset the destruction the sociopathic parent is attempting to create. There is hope!


We don't have to live as a victim at the hands of a sociopath or one who is our ex. We can walk in peace, freedom and victory! We can take heart in knowing there are others who have lived it too and have come out on the other side past just "survival mode" into healthy living and thriving! 


What a blessing that is.


© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2013











 Revelation 21:8 

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, 
as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, 
and all liars,their portion will be in the lake 
that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.

- English Standard Version



                 2 Corinthians 7:10
For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to 
salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.
- English Standard Version


                To My Readers: 

                Thank you for reading, 

              commenting and sharing!



61 comments:

  1. What if the mother is the sociopath and the courts are biased against the father? The children are still in the tender years and they beg to not go to their mothers house. DYFS does not care about the reports and the proof that they are in danger. The mediators side with the mother even after given mountains of documentation/evidence.

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    1. I'm incredibly sorry to hear about your situation. There are indeed sociopathic mothers. I wrote this post about a ex-husband/dad because that's what I personally know. I unfortunately can't give you much advice other than from personal experience that the more I tried to gather evidence and show the court (even filing a report with services for children) that he was mentally incapable of adequately caring for our children… it did zero good and ultimately he won 50/50 shared custody. It is undeniably a nightmare and I had plenty of evidence where he had placed the children in danger including affirmation from their therapist. A sociopath is cunning and cool and the more we try to fight them with the truth the more unbalanced we end up appearing. I would continue to compile evidence, keep really good records, bide your time and stay cool and collected if and when you go to court. Have as little contact with her as possible because when we engage with them it's fuels our fury… especially when they attempt to gas-light. I would also spend as much quality time as you can with your children showing them the difference in how to treat people, nurture them and love them as much as possible. Hopefully (and I know this doesn't seem good enough, because trust me I know the frustrating madness) at some point you will gain more custody of them or alternatively they will have the legal right to tell the court system they wish to live exclusively with you. You are in my prayers.

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    2. Courts are often skeptical of reports filed by parents. They often view such things as an attempt by one parent to alienate the child from the other. This is sometimes true, of course, and judges are not necessarily going to get it right when it comes to figuring out the parent's true motive for filing a report. It is often more useful if other adults, such as a child's teachers or daycare providers, file reports based on whatever their concerns are.

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  2. I am divorced to one...and as your post says...I did not know until after I was going through it. My daughter is 3, and we have 50/50 custody and placement. It seems to be getting worse...he's engaged to a woman who does not respect me as the mother of my child...and he does not follow any of the rules we set up in our parenting plan...signed by us, our lawyers and a judge. I go to lawyers...and all they say is...thats really nothing. Nothing is big enough to get me more time with my daughter...her crying and not wanting to go there for 2 months straight is not enough. And now, he must be telling her some bullsh*t or warping her mind in some fashion, as she suddenly doesn't have a problem going...But when I come to pick her up, she now does not want to come with me because he tells her they are going to do something 5 minutes before I pick her up. What 3 year old wants to come when they are told they are going to do something fun and out of the ordinary? It is sad that the legal system thinks they are fit to raise children, and make the mother's out to be the crazy ones!

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  3. I was just recently made aware of a book titled Splitting by Bill Eddy. This man is from what I've gathered trying to raise awareness about sociopaths and the detriment they have to families in relation to the family court system. I would high recommend reading this book and googling Bill Eddy… from what I hear he's extremely caring… used to work in counseling and finally decided to get his degree in law as he witnessed so much destruction behind closed doors as a therapist. He might be willing to respond to you as to what to do if you were to locate some contact information for him… at the very least read his book. Most lawyers are incredibly uniformed about sociopaths and merely view them as harmless jerks. They underestimate what they are capable of, putting both the mother they are representing and their children at great risk. And the game you are talking of that he pulls… promising something fun right before you get possession only for her to be disappointed she has to go with you… puts the healthy functioning parent in a position of often feeling as though they must promise the moon too. My thoughts and prayers are with you… and yes, I as well as you and countless others are beyond tired of the system labeling mothers as hysterical delusional crazies… more awareness, more letters written, petitions started etc are one road to change.

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  4. This is very informative, Jennifer. Divorce and abuse are two tough experiences that are hard to deal with, considering you have a kid. It’s a good thing that your divorce has been finalized, at least one problem has been solved. And you can focus on your counselling sessions even more. How are you doing, anyway?

    Vesta @ Zalkin.com

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    1. I'm well, Vesta! Hope you are as well! Thank you for reading.

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    2. This has been very helpful I didn't know I was married to a sociopath until we separated now its like a strange that really wamts nothing to do with his kids unless it benefits him he has his 5th child on the way and still wont admit it to anyone with another girlfriend and he is stringing them both along I was already cutting out contact woth him especially since I'm always the villain I at times want to cut him oit of my children's lives to but not sure which is better for them my youngest can handle it the oldest can't stand to be away from him the things he does now like asking me to bring them by his job or constantly calling to talk to them is just to control the situation the kids and I he does view them like property he just likes to show off his kids like a new car I'm filing for divorce and custody I'm in NC and they favor the mother over the father sad but true but in this case im glad

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    3. Stephanie... I hope things are going well and you have gotten custody. Hang in there!

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  5. Wow, thank you so much for this blog entry! I can really relate to everything you have written and shared. I look forward to more!

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    1. You are so welcome! I hope it helps. Thank you for reading.

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  6. Thank you for this blog....I can so relate to all of this.. scary really..Anything you can suggest to read about if they are also in law enforcement? Thank you very much

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    1. Hi, thanks for reading! I'm not aware of any such book but if I come across any I will post here for you.

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  7. I needed to read this tonight. No doubt God just led me right to your blog. I am experiencing all of it. I have the book Splitting, and I am praying that God`s will will be done in and through this situation, for the good of those who love him and are called according to His will. It is true that so far, lawyers and police have not protected myself or my children, but I am praying God will lift us up with His mighty right hand and deliver us from this evil. I have been blessed with a faithful community of believers who have helped me in incredible ways. If I can suggest one piece of advice to others going through this, find and attend a Celebrate Recovery group close to you. It saved my life, and is the reason I have peace and joy amid the storm that rages around me. Trust me, Jesus is the only way to freedom.

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    1. Praying that you will have the best outcome possible for you and your children and God will bless you all with continual comfort, strength, guidance and protection. Take good care of yourself and obtain a protective order if necessary, document everything that happens and record phone calls... it's a lot of effort but always worth it if just one incident proves helpful later in court. Bless you

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  8. What if you learn that your daughter was sexually abused by the same person that the court made her continually spend time with? (Shared) She is 18 now and has a restraining order against him, but that's all. The authorities will do nothing and already know what happened. This person is not only a sociopath, but spends his time talking photos of girls posing as a professional. Howdo you get past the guilt that, though you've tried, no one listens. Now he is in another state and I believe he's a danger to girls, but have no idea how to get anyone to listen. The police let him get away once and don't seem to care about going after him.

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    1. My experience has been that the police are good for very little other than just filing a report so there is a record. I would contact the FBI considering the pornography and see if anything can be done from that angle. Often sociopaths are also guilty of bigger crimes; under age porn, elder abuse/exploitation... etc. The FBI handles all these sorts of cases. You didn't state if your daughter is in counseling but I'd recommend it for her, maybe journaling and getting involved with a support group of some kind if possible. I really hope this helps you and your daughter... prayers for healing and blessings.

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  9. X wife is definitely a sociopath! Son is 13, and starting to show traits that I do not like!! Got a divorce when he was 1 yr old. She got re-married after 3 months. Reeled this guy in from nowhere! My son lives with her primarily. I do exactly the things I've read when it comes to dealing with her. My son loves me! We have fun together! Yet, I feel that everything he has witnessed over at her house has been affecting him mentally. He's been a witness to her fury several times. She's tried to kill her husband by trying to hit him with her vehicle, a hammer, hand gun, hit him in the face with her purse from the top of a flight of stairs, "the death stare", etc... He's witnessed her continuous lies, manipulation, and mind games. Although, I don't think he sees all her actions, especially when it pertains to me. He's called me crying stating his mom is freaking out. Courts are lopsided as hell!!! So, I can't do anything! Even my lawyer told me I STILL don't have enough! I'm worried beyond belief. I pray everyday and try to set an example. She is unrelenting!! Her current husband suffers, too. She cheated on him and even told my son about it!!!!!!! I need relief!!

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    1. Hi! Your situation is so extreme and your ex has become so brazen you have a better chance of getting more time with your son versus someone whose behavior is more insidious. I would recommend hiring a private eye to follow her some to document her behavior. Also... I would highly recommend (as you didn't say if he was) getting your son in counseling WITH a seasoned therapist who is willing to testify in the courtroom.. because many of them aren't willing to. And this advice is good general advice for anyone but esp in your case. I don't know if you just have a typical family law atty but you might search and see if you can find someone who specializes in child custody specifically and perhaps has a background more focused on kids like CPS experience etc. Def keep documenting and recording calls if possible and if you don't already sign up to communicate with her on www.myfamilywizard.com
      I hope this helps you... blessings & prayers for you both!!

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  10. My step grandchildren are in a hard place. Their natural father is a sociopath according to their mother and the mother appears to not be much better. Waiting for my son to wake up and see through her lies. What she told me in the beginning about her acting skills seems to be the most true thing she's ever told me.

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  11. I truly think my ex is a sociopath and we are currently battling over time sharing in regards to our teenage child. My ex has only shown interest in spending time with our child when it has been convenient for him and, now that our child is old enough to see for themselves what is going on, child does not want to be forced to see my ex. It's all a game of power to my ex and it makes me sick that he shows no regard for how his actions are really hurting our child.

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    1. If your child is a teen he or she may be able to state who they'd prefer to live with exclusively... or at least a bit more time with. If not already it might be beneficial for your teen to be in counseling with a therapist who is willing to testify on his/her behalf in court.

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  12. It is very bothersome that this was directed at "him". When people write about this issues, they need to be directed/referred to as he/she or they. It is 2014 and the chances of fathers getting custody of their children is just as good as a mother's chance.

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  13. I am my husband's second wife and i understand this all too well, because his ex wife put us thru the ringer for YEARS until my husband got sole custody of his two children 6 years ago and she has had very limited supervised visitation for 4 years now. and i agree the sociopathic person should not ever be allowed to raise children. i worry every day and every minute about how my step children will turn out because to me they are just my children and not step, i have become their mother and its so sad to see their bio mom go to the lengths that she will to hurt not only us but throw them in the mix every time and constantly spread lies about the custody battle that she lost. We finally had to move a very long way away because their control reaches a long way sometimes and the best way to deal with it is to put as much distance in between as possible

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  14. I've suspected for quite some time that my ex is a narcissist, but only this week researched the sociopath and I have no doubt this is what I'm dealing with.
    We split 2 years ago and I can honestly say that some of the things this twisted individual has done to me I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.
    I've read your article and I want to say thank you, for putting into words what I have been dealing with. I especially relate to your point regarding disengaging myself and keeping contact to a bare minimum, then eventually giving him the benefit of the doubt again until he as you said 'goes for the jugular''
    The thought of co parenting with this man and having him in my life until the day I die fills me with dread. I live in the uk and when I told him I was moving 70 miles away with our daughter he dragged me through court, wrote a statement that was more fiction than fact and tried to get me to agree to not leave the area without his permission. I had to call his bluff and told him a few days before the hearing that I would cooperate and sign anything he wanted. On the morning of court I told his barrister that I would sign my life away if the judges believed it was in our daughters best interest. I played the victim and attempted to expose him as a bully, a fraud and a liar, a man who wanted to control me still and dictate where I could and couldn't live for the next 15 years. I represented myself in court and the judges refused to grant to he prohibited steps order.
    They asked if I understood what they had said and I replied 'yes, I think what you are saying is that I can move out if the area if I want to?'
    Yes they replied. I thanked them and it was one of the best feelings in the world to watch him scuttle out of the court room having been out witted and tricked! A taste of his own medicine imagine that!
    Some of the things he said in his statement were unforgivable and extremely hurtful to me.
    After that ordeal I cut all contact and would only communicate with his partner or family regarding contact with my daughter.
    Every time I open communication with him he gets into my head and it seems to me that he just wants to torment me and get the upper hand and basically just screw me over for his own twisted needs.
    I want to get as far away as possible from this man, I've been unable to even think about a new relationship with anyone else because I feel so damaged.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear that you were targeted by a sociopath. It sounds as though you were very blessed to have such a triumph in court-- often positive outcomes take much longer. I have found that narcs and sociopaths will often go long periods of time with ignoring their past supply and then suddenly show renewed interest. It seems to happen in cycles. They may even suddenly want to engage in counseling "for the kids" when there is zero reason to.. and any good therapist who can see a sociopath for what they are would never agree to putting their target through that. It's up to us to stand firm and no matter what (or who) tries to sway us on our boundaries with them to not give in. It's sickening to see the damage they wish to inflict on not just us but our children. It takes time to heal after going through this, you like so many others are incredibly strong and resilient... thrivers. It will take time, be gentle with yourself in recovery, it's okay to take things one day at a time; it takes energy to heal.

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  15. I'm in a custody battle with 2 babies. The sociopath is denying the second. She's 9 1/2 months now. I'm so scared of the abuse they may face and I don't know how to stop it... Do you have children with a sociopath? Can I warn the children when they are older what their father is? I just feel so helpless. A mother is supposed to do what it takes to protect her babies but the court system gets in the way..

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    1. Yes, I can relate to your situation. It would really benefit you to join the One Mom's Battle Facebook page. It will help give you guidance through the system and also specifically how to respond (or not to) your babies father. The best course of action for you would be to go no contact with him. Don't text him. Don't answer his calls. No email. Sign up for talking parents; it's free. Use that site to communicate with him; only regarding the babies. Stick to facts only. Have him sign up for the site as well. Get a protective order if necessary. Set up a neutral place you can exchange the children. Either find an atty that understands narcissism/sociopaths (have consults with several and ask them about their experience) and/or find an atty that specializes in child custody. If you need therapy, which is really helpful through a divorce please seek it... there will be difficult days but it helps having a strong support system. I'm not certain how old your children are. When they get old enough to understand its best to not tell them their father is a sociopath. Any negativity you bring to the table regarding him will be used against you by the system. You can try to thwart his destruction by teaching them what is kind, acceptable behavior versus those that he lives. When possible discreetly record conversations in which they relay what dad us doing. Document these calls and save them. Keep a daily journal. It's near impossible when you're in the depth of this but try best not to show emotion; don't give him "supply; attention"... read up on sociopaths as much as possible to educate yourself. You can always join gps-gracepowerstrength on Facebook and message me anytime! Prayers for you!!!

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  16. There is a protective order already. Pick ups and communication are through his insane mother.. my son Is 2 1/2, daughter 9 1/2 months. I've done a lot of research That's why I'm in such fear for my babies. I know the "grey rock" method etc. I'm just scared for them! You have children with one? If so what are their ages and how are they doing? Thanks for your responses..

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  17. It sounds like you're very informed about how sociopaths are. Yes, I have two children… ages 11 and 8. My son has been successfully alienated by his father and he's not been in my home since March… he refuses to come back and not physically out act toward me. Father condones this behavior by his actions; allowing it to continue. I still have my 8 yr old every other week.

    It's natural to be scared for your kids… it's a very unknown and frightening situation. It would be wise to have your 2 1/2 yr old in play therapy… if you don't already… find someone who has experience with sociopaths and recognizes their behavior.

    With my daughter I continue to teach her the difference between acceptable moral behavior and what isn't. When she told me "Daddy said you didn't email him a photo of the picture I drew of the little mermaid". (which he'd asked me to and I did send it) I showed her where it stated "sent." She said "So he lied." I asked her how she feels when someone lies to her… it's imperative we don't bad talk the other parent but we can still show that their actions are not right.

    Praying protection and favor for you and your children.

    You might check out a few other posts…

    Disneyland Dads
    http://gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-happiest-place-on-earth-disneyland.html

    Child & The Manipulative Ex
    http://gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com/2014/07/children-manipulative-ex-how-to-respond.html

    Instilling Empathy: Children - 3 Tips
    http://gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-non-sociopathic-child-how-to.html

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  18. Your son won't have anything to do with you??

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    1. This is a different anonymous person who just passed by the post. I'm very sorry to hear about your son.. I have two children who I have to co-parent with there psychopath father if there is anything resemble to co-parenting. He also used the alienation tactic on both kids. The older one became ill mentally, the younger one hated me just so much. This younger one often complained my parenting style to his father and he called CPS twice on me. The second time, the investigator scolded my child instead of tuning in his lies. What the investigator said was like she was standing up for me my action as a mother. From the day on, my child changed and started being more cooperative and loving toward me. The older one has healed but at one point in the past she sold her sole to her father by helping him win over parenting time to reduce his child support obligation in exchange with some tangible item. I see a lot of troubles ahead of her...but I will be there for her. I hope your son will come back to you very very soon.

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    2. It's wonderful that cps saw the reality of the situation and talking to your child led to improvement in the relationship, that is a huge step. Kids are so susceptible to being bribed with tangible gifts etc it's exactly what has happened to my son along with alienating talks on my exes part. Like you wrote all we can do is continue to be there for them and hope for better and a healed relationship. Thank you so much for sharing your story, it gives me hope as well.

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  19. Oh you mean your son lives with you and his dad won't have anything to do with him?? Why does he have sole custody of the other and why would a judge split them up like that?

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    1. Son lives with his father. We had 50/50 originally of both children. Daughter continues to go back and forth between homes. But son refuses to come and not physically act out while in my home. I told him physical and or verbal abuse won't be permitted. Father has not backed me up on this; enabling. So it's become a stand off. Son and I had a very close relationship during the marriage... father gives him free rein in his home and allies him to speak to me with hateful dismissive language/tone on the phone.

      Typically judges don't split up kids but in some cases they do. Daughter is very aware of fathers behavior and her brothers... and that's it's not right.

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  20. And if the father alienates one child is that not a Red flag for a judge???

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    1. One would think... if a parent is able to negatively affect a once close relationship between the child and other parent it's pretty safe to say he or she will attempt it on the other children as well.

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  21. Agree on some of the statements, but so often the men are the ones who have the finger pointed at them as the wrong doers and it turns out to be the woman . I have seen cases of both in my lifetime and wish when issues such as this come out that it be stated that it is not always the men doing the harm there are many many women just as guilty.

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    1. Without a doubt there are female narcissists/sociopaths. There are loving, healthy men who suffer during their marriages to manipulative women as well as in the aftermath in attempting to co-parent. It's a tough road for them as well for women married to/ divorced from men with personality disorders. This blog's target audience is women... and yet many of the posts can be applied to both sexes.... ultimately everyone deserves healing and peace in their life from the damage inflicted on them.

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  22. Reading the posts and responses are so frightening to me. I have spent much of the last ten years in a relationship with a man I have two children with. For years I have denied the level of "crazy" and always amounted it to immaturity. It took an attempt on my life to put all the pieces together. I have been dealing with a sociopathic narcissist. I am so afraid for my children. Now that I know the depths he is willing to go to have total control - I've no idea what he is capable of. How will I ever be able to send my children with this evil man again? How will I protect them? Where is there help for families that are living this reality to protect their children?
    I am so scared. And not for the loss of my own life. I know this man always wins and he will win out and I am sure kill me, but what then for my children? We see this occur over and over again in the media and there are signs to prevent it - but the "system" seems to protect the sociopath - what about the innocent children caught up in it?

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    1. Jennifer... I know it is incredibly scary dealing with all this and certainly some situations are more dangerous/volatile than others. If you fear for your safety please take the necessary measures to do what you can to keep you & your children safe. If you need to gain protection in the legal sense please do.

      The media is just recently beginning to cover narcissism and sociopaths but we need more awareness. I agree the system needs major work; so much enabling is occurring by attorneys, judges and therapists who turn on the good parent because they don't want to acquiesce to their abuser and co-parent. We know we can't co parent with these people; they aren't reasonable, they merely want to "win."

      I pray safety and good things for you and your children! Bless you.

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  23. I really want to reach out to some one for help but I do not even know where to start.......My kids and I have been through so much and I do not even know how I have managed to hold it together. I feel so silenced and tormented by their father and have for years and both my children and I have experienced a lot of communicative dissonance. I used to make excuses for him all the time and try and help them work through their feelings and encourage self love and help them to be able to separate themselves from the way he treated them and me. .I am so emotionally drained, I have lost so much faith though out this all, I have been worn down, worn out, intimidated, scared out of my mind, I have found so much faith and strength to survive but I fear not enough, I fear I have not done as well as I could and just want to break down and cry, fall apart into invisible pieces on the floor and give up, I do not think anyone can fully know or understand the horrible suffering and pain the kids and I have been through. I feel so silenced and manipulated and have little energy to filter through all the lies, I have lost any want for a relationship with a man ever again and only want to dedicate my life to caring for my children and working on my spiritual path and relationship with god. I've been traumatized, when I am away from him, when I do not have to count on him for anything or have contact with him I feel safer, happier, stronger, the core of my body feels good again, then he pulls something and I try, I really do try to not let it shake me but eventually, he wears me down and I'm left with that awful intimidated fearful feeling in my gut. I pray for my children, for myself, for him and many others every night, I have so much more to say so much truth that needs to be spoken and is so silenced, he is incredibly smart and convincing and so good at tearing my self esteem to shreds and hurting me, please pray for god to give me strength to heal and get through this. This has all been such a nightmare Thank you for sharing I feel less alone and I will pray for all of you going through this kind of suffering as well many blessings *

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    1. I would begin by finding a good therapist if you already haven't. Someone who is seasoned (20+ yr exp) and has experience with people who are narcs/sociopaths. If they don't understand your situation find someone else.

      I recently had mediation regarding modifying child custody and am approaching the 2 yr mark this month of when I filed. I'm not certain it ever ends; we just get better at dealing with them over time. Going no contact really helps to get stronger.

      I was doing the exact same thing you are for awhile... where Id go no contact then after some time dip my toes in ... and sure enough... he'd annihilate me. It's hard to be consistent with the no contact but it's worth continuing I try. I'd be angry at myself for believing "this time" he was going to be different or be nice. No such thing in their book. Everything is a facade with them. It takes getting burned a few times. I hated that feeling that he had my hands tied behind my back and was laughing. So it's taken lots of time and practice but it does get better. It's like anything... progress is made a few steps forward, backward then forward again.

      You are precious in God's eyes and He loves you!! He will continue to help you. My life is still bumpy... still trying to get everything to come together and yet Id never go back to my old life. Even still I have less stress and I'm not subjected to his abuse in the name of love. Hang in there..., we are all rooting for you!! Bless you.

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  24. I am a grandmother in distress for her little grandson. His father has been diagnosed as being a psychopath 3 times now. Unfortunately, he is no longer the happy little boy i use to know. He is now in pre-kinder, and is having problems. He actually hit another child yesterday, and this is something he has never done before. He does not socialize, or want any other child to play with him. He wants to be alone all the time. He use to play with me and i would read to him. He rejects me now also. I feel like he's sinking deeper and deeper into his own little world, and wants no one involved in it. His father is always yelling at him, sometimes thinking he's the culprit behind whatever mischief has been done, when in reality is his 2 yr old brother who was guilty. He's also demonstrating difficulty in learning in school. Does not want to participate in classroom activities either. Please, can anyone tell me if this behavior is in relation to his fathers treatment due to his diagnosis..There is much more to mention in regards to his irresponsible behavior towards my daughter. He lies, cheats, even left her for 2 months with her not knowing where he was or cared about the kids. Please, if anyone can give me some type of advice and how i can help her. My grandsons well being is very important to me. PLEASE HELP

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    1. I'm so sorry to read about the change you are observing in your grandson. It appears to me that more is going on ... your grandson may have a learning delay/disorder. I would first start by having him evaluated for a general learning issue... and Autism considering the social isolation he seeks. I would also start looking into family background; what is the mental health history on all sides of the family? You've stated the father is a psychopath and has been diagnosed. I can tell you that if that is true your grandson needs immediate and intense intervention. Primarily consistent teaching of empathy and unconditional love; reading books like the Velveteen Rabbit, The Giving Tree, The Runaway Bunny, etc. Talking to him about characters actions and pin pointing what they are feeling. He may need play therapy at some point, and depending on his learning issues therapy to address them. I would start there... You may be able to get a referral from his pediatrician. Your daughter needs to begin documenting her husbands poor behavior now. Your daughter needs to begin forming an exit plan. She needs to talk to her dr for help, look into local resources for women. I can personally tell you that a marriage to a sociopath will not work. She's not in a viable healthy relationship... no amount of staying or "trying" will make it work. He will always do what he wants at the risk of her safety & health. If she can afford therapy with someone seasoned who has dealt with manipulative behavior it would be a huge help.

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  25. I am crying uncontrollably right now because you described my sons dad to a tee but my son is 5 and I just realized how helpless her really is. I feel like I failed him, I thought I was doing the right thing by trying to put my feelings to the side so that his father could be in his life but now, I've created the damage. Only thing is instead of 50/50 he was able to get primary and now my son only gets to talk to me once a week and i only see him 3 times a month.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear he has full custody. And I totally get the sense of feeling like you've failed him... it's hard feeling like we have little control in a situation like this... especially in a broken court system. You were doing the "right thing" by ensuring your child's father was in his life... you didn't know this would be the outcome. There is hope--- you could still potentially get your son back, or at least more time. Continue to document. Continue to disengage with your child's fatter and if you haven't already check out the One Moms Battle page on Facebook. They can help offer specific questions regarding what to do next. You could try for a Modification on custody and attempt to get more time. If you've kept good documentation it will help. Another new resource that just came avail is Ryan Thomas Speaks, he has a website and FB page. Watching his videos helps explain what kids go through if/when they are alienated from a loving parent. It's eye opening to see it from the child's perspective and Ryan gives great concrete ideas for countering it. I'd highly suggest those two avenues. Is your son in therapy? It will help if the therapist is educated about manipulation, I'd find someone who has been in practice for over fifteen/twenty years. Trust your gut, if they don't seem right they prob aren't, and find a new one. You're not alone, and there's definitely hope for parents in this. I hope some of this helps...

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  26. This has been very informative and mostly accurate. However, I am the adult child of a sociopath, and the thing that I must disagree with isthe idea that children of a sociopath can tell that parent anything about their feelings or being upset about the rules, etc. We are terrified of that parent and we tend to walk on pins and needles 24 hours a day trying not to upset him/her. Even with that being said, that parent often goes into a rage without cause, and the children too often are abused as a result, as well as the spouse. My sociopathic father is now deceased. My parents never divorced which resulted in a nightmarish childhood. If you are married to a sociopath, please divorce them, hopefully before you have children. The children have no choice, but with all the agency to help abused families, if you are the spouse, you
    Do have a choice and the responsibility to protect those children. PLEASE put your children first.

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  27. I have a beautiful 5 year old son. Last year his father took court action for 50/50 custody. As a result of his narcissistic behavior during a court imposed psychiatric interview, and during trial, I was awarded sole parental rights. Our son spends 107 nights a year with his dad and I make all long term decisions for his welfare. However, since the court result ( and prior) I have been harassed, gaslighted ( to the point that I will only talk to his dad if the conversation is recorded) and ultimately blamed for the judges ruling. My son is subjected to a father who parents from fear and control and then showers him with expensive gifts and toys. When he returns from his dads he is abusive and physically violent toward me for a day or so until he re-settles and then he won't let me out of his sight and tells me he loves me constantly. Then he goes to his dads and the cycle begins again... I never speak ill of his father and I have always encouraged his connection to his dad. I don't know how to protect this little boy ...

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    1. You're very wise to only talk to him if the calls are recorded... I know firsthand how frustrating those calls can be, there were many days I thought mine would drive me to the brink with all the crazy he spewed. Do you have your son in counseling? It might help him in coping better in the transitions back and forth. I know it's really hard to see them suffer. The best thing I can recommend is a good experienced counselor (20+ years) who is familiar with narcs/sociopaths and to document as needed. I hope things improve, it's hard enough on us but so much worse for the children.

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  28. I've been divorced from a sociopath for about ten years now. My oldest daughter sees him for who he is and no longer goes to see him but my youngest who is twelve does and is enthralled with him. He used to favor the oldest until she called him on some stuff but now my youngest is the clear favorite and she loves that. Since the fallout, which was last August, my youngest has been showing signs of sociopathic behavior as well. She has been lying often, mainly about taking my oldest daughter clothes or eating ask the ice cream, even when there's only the of us in the house. My oldest gets upset, and I know it wasn't me, so there's only oneother explanation. She screams and cries that she didn't do it and tells me she is getting tired of being blamed. What can I do?

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    1. I would perhaps try some books on empathy... to help her gain others perspectives and how they feel when she lies etc... I would search Pinterest for some books for her age group or check Amazon or your local bookstore. But definitely counseling for her as well. .. someone with years (20+) experience. Another idea would be to begin a kindness jar activity... Warm and fuzzy jar, Hands Free Mama did a post on that concept; http://www.handsfreemama.com/2013/05/29/how-to-fill-up-a-child/#more-5619

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    2. Do you know of some good titles or authors?

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    3. Yes, here are a few books to get started…
      What If Everybody Did That? by Ellen Javernick
      Have You Filled A Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud
      Stand In My Shoes by Bob Sorson, Ph.D
      Just Because by Amber Housey
      No Kidding About Bullying: 125 Ready-to-Use Activities to Help Kids Manage Anger, Resolve Conflicts, Build Empathy by Naomi Drew M.A.

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  29. Aphrodite KotsirasMay 2, 2015 at 12:59 PM

    This post just clarifies everything that I knew about sociopaths and I no longer feel alone in my situation, knowing that there are many others out there dealing with the same thing, Thanks so much.

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    1. There are so many others... thank you for reading and commenting! ((Hugs))

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  30. I am co parenting with a sociopath and normally he doesn't really get to me but tonight I am frustrated. I am always trying to defend myself. I am always being attacked, privately and publicly. Cops see it, school sees it, courts will do nothing. Took my son to a counselor and he acted like a great guy and dad. The counselor bought it and now he is pulling records and I'm sure I will be seeing those records in court soon. I went through a custody battle and won sole custody then supreme court and got sole custody but still deal with constant harassment. CPS calls. Has other people harassing me too. Just hard to always stay strong.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear that you're dealing with this, I feel your pain, it can seem never ending in the battle with a sociopath ex. It can feel like it comes in cycles; you win and yet it's a win that's overshadowed by their constant barrage of harassment. I'm continually amazed by how many counsellors are not seeing the truth before them; that the ex is toxic and not fit. Sadly it's often the toxic parent they believe. I would obtain and keep all documentation from the police and school; statements of what they are seeing and document their names etc if you haven't. I've had those dark nights of frustration, where hope seemed bleak and they always seem to come out on top. Practice lots of self care; exercise, sleep and eat right, set aside time for things you enjoy to refresh your outlook. Hug your son and maybe do a summer journal/scrapbook together of memories you share. It is hard having to be the strong one all the time... you're not alone! Hugs!!!

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  31. How do you get family to listen to you when you tell them what you have been being put thru? I had to send my kids to stay with my mother so that they would no longer be in the line of destruction. I have begged my family to help get me away from here, only I can't get them to see I can't fight this battle alone. I'm slowly dying each day I live this hell by a sociopath and his mother and suffer because I can't be with my kids or won't be until the destruction ends

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    1. Many people unfortunately don't understand it... I feel for you because it's exhausting trying to figure out the transition of getting away and needing support. People (generally speaking) either can't imagine anyone behaving so evil, thinking there's exaggerating, etc. So often Narc's and sociopaths are able to fool those around them. One start might be to give them some reading material from a local library or articles online that speak to you... that you feel similarities to and have them read them. Perhaps message boards they can view online that show many others are enduring the same chaos and dysfunction ...

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