Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Children & The Manipulative Ex: How To Respond

July 2013

names have been omitted in this post 


It was getting late… nearly nine thirty at night... too late for dinner but my mother and I were starving all the same. It had been a long day… movers had moved my belongings into my new home… the place I would begin my new life as a once again single woman… I would be receiving my final decree any day now and although my new abode was filled with all my furniture and belongings… most everything still sat…  untouched. Pieces of furniture were draped in sheets, the refrigerator held cold water bottles. My new home was awaiting much needed work… as the inside wasn't yet livable.

We pulled away from the drive-thru… neon lights and festive music in the background… thanking the kind woman at the window for our crispy chicken taco dinners with beans and rice to go… (is there nothing better than take out when you're exhausted?) and slowly glided toward the street to head to our hotel. All I wanted to do at that point was scarf down my hot meal, take a hot shower and get some good sleep. En-route to the Hyatt where we were staying until the house was ready… my iPhone began ringing that a FaceTime call was incoming. Setting the iPhone up on the dash against the darkened navigation screen so I could answer the call while I drove with both hands, my son soon appeared on the screen.

His tear streaked face looked distressed and pleadingly into mine. I asked him what was wrong, as it was obvious nothing was right by his expression. He was hysterical, crying and frantic asking for help, asking for intervention at Dad's home. He said he'd called the police.

The police never showed. 

Why? You ask.

Good question.

Fast forward…

One year later. 

This same man has successfully within a one year time period gone from heavy handed physical discipline to placatingly dispensing Disneyland-like bribery in his home and brain-washed an innocent child to turn against his loving mother. This same man has set a continual unGodly example and says "I don't know what Christian music is"… allowing his children to listen to Jason Derulo Talk Dirty on a regular basis… embarrassing yet true. A man who believes it's acceptable to allow an eleven year old to learn how to drive. A man who tells his daughter "Mommy never emailed me that picture you drew" despite my email showing it was sent and I showing her it was indeed. She sees the truth for herself. A man who believes everything… including ill behavior all the way to just prompting his child to jump from the diving board at the pool… just requires a bribe of some sort… promises are continually made for anything and every little thing… from new phone apps to cake to new toys. This same man has successfully lived a facade that makes others close to him believe him to be an upstanding citizen... who tsk tsk that "I'm so awful"… and sigh "I just don't understand her"… they erroneously believe him to be a good person… a person who never lies… who I have proof after concrete proof does indeed lie in black and white… a man who manipulates situation after situation.

How does this happen you ask?

Don't people often believe that there must be "more to the story" because surely you've done something to have all this havoc in your life… surely so because who on earth has these sorts of things go on? They may think "white trash" or "freaks" or "crazy people" and so on… who knows what they believe… and although I know not to take it personally… it bothers me in general terms… for everyone as a whole… because so often society sees others situations and may, just may think to themselves… "Well, clearly you did something wrong… that would never happen to me!"

Superior. Haughty. Prideful. 

Those words come to my mind.

And yet the thing I'm most guilty of is saying two little words... "I do." For people who have had zero familial dysfunction in their life… in their family growing up or in their marriage… those who have had a lack of unhealthy individuals surrounding them in their close inner circle… all I can say is this… count your blessed stars… thank the good Lord(!)… because if you haven't lived it you may admittedly certainly not understand it… I get that it's maybe not relatable and yet in that… please be kind to others… please keep in mind that not everything or everyone is as they seem. A manipulative person is a cool and cunning individual who can charm their way into anyone's life and begin their calculated agenda to take, take, take.

They first assess you… 
and decide if you will make the perfect target. 
They adore you then spin you in circles to confuse you. 
They create manipulation… they waffle between loving you and displaying disgust for you… "Jump, higher!" they laugh within in glee as they watch you do more, push yourself, love them more… and then… just as you think you are back "in"… they shockingly wish to discard you. 

They… like Sir Topham Hat in the Thomas the Train stories look for a person's usefulness… not a fan of that mindset or those stories. If you're a "very useful" person to them they will prey upon you… using up every good thing in you until their ready to move on… to the next unwitting target.

What most people would never believe is that nearly all of us will cross paths with at minimum one sociopath a day… this may be alarming and it should be. Sociopaths are skilled at conning people whether it be in business or relationships… 
and unfortunately they continue to breed…  
and the probability is high that they 
are unfortunately raising more sociopaths.

So now I give you concrete ways to deal with the less than healthy person who has infiltrated your life… now it's time to take that deep breath and realize you can take back the control you've possibly lost or feel you're losing. You don't have to feel chained and controlled by the manipulative person in your life or your child's life anymore. They don't ever want you to feel free. And when the day comes that they realize they no longer hold any power over you… that is a beautiful day. That's the day when you realize you had it in you to bite your tongue, to hold back… to state the facts and reply with a cool head when you'd really admittedly like to punch their face out… instead you realize joyfully how wonderful it feels to take back your life and say "This person is not worth me being worked up. Am I mad this is happening? Yes. Do I know he is purposefully trying to cause havoc? Yes. Do I see him for what he is? Yes. And I also know not to let it get to me. "

Because now instead of caving into a wave of hurling emotions, being sucked into a hurricane, I can count to three, ten or two hundred and reply calmly… almost scripted, almost robotic… because I know despite optimism or blindness he will not change… at least I've finally come to the sober realization that I cannot change someone… they must want to.

You cannot change someone who is counting on stirring you up… someone who is betting on your fury to overridewho will surely be disappointed when expecting you to be enraged

Instead you sit down and type your candid matter-of-fact reply devoid of emotion… noting his behavior, noting his choices, noting his insanity…

Then you press send.

You smile.

And you know.

God has given you strength where you lacked.

Where you had need.

Where you struggled.

And you thank Him.

© ~ 2014 


Anytime you must communicate with someone manipulative it's best done in writing. Phone calls may work but recording them is best if permissible…  (check your local laws) the verbal responses via phone can be the same as below if done in a calm manner and you stick with the script. 

Example #1. 

He's stated you don't really love your kids. 
He's questioned your love for them. 
He has chastised you for not taking them earlier than was scheduled. 

Your Response: 

"I'm noting your attempts to portray me in a negative light." 

Example #2. 

He has allowed your daughter who is six to stay home alone. 
He has allowed your son who is nine see pictures of his girlfriend naked.
He has allowed your children to hear lyrics about big booties and oral sex.

Your Response: 

"I'm noting due to your behavior you believe
 it's acceptable for our children to be exposed to x,y,z… "

At this point you've stated the facts. 
Nothing left to do but sign your name and ignore
 the possibility of an onslaught of angry responses
 or even the silent treatment. 
You've stated the facts and removed emotion.
Print and save for court. 
You're well on your way to exposing his behavior for what it truly is. 


Divorce: 5 Common Scenarios In Co-Parenting & How To Respond 

Divorce and Kids: Drafting The Final Decree - 10 Tips 

The Non-Sociopathic Child: How To Instill Empathy - 3 Tips 

5 Tips In Dealing With A Narcissistic Sociopath 

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