Saturday, January 31, 2015

Divorcing The Sociopath: 3 Tips

April 2014


This post was originally posted in 2014 but has been updated 

He wouldn't say who he was and what he needed…. I called through the door asking him. I was prepared to call the police and have him hauled off the property... his banging on the door had continued even after he rang the doorbell twice. Then it abruptly stopped. Curious, I peeked through the peephole, then window and watched as he angrily strode back to his vehicle parked on the street and got in.

Throwing on a faded baseball cap, sunglasses and grabbing my purse with lightning speed I left… backing the SUV out, down the driveway and onto the street and as I did I could hear him yelling after me, calling me by my name… now running after my vehicle waving papers in the wind… papers that unbeknownst to me at that time were for a modification. I studied him in my rear view mirror... I now knew exactly what he was.



When dealing with a sociopath it is quite the undertaking you have. It will be an uphill battle and some days you will surely feel as though the gains you made up that mountain were thwarted by him (or her) and now you may find yourself tumbling backwards to the very bottom. But don't fret… no need to wring your hands just yet and consider it a futile fight. This path will be battles lost… the focus is on the war… knowing when to act, when to stand still and when to just walk off.

You don't have to put on boxing gloves (tempting, I know). You do need to be smart. You are dealing with someone who is not what would be considered smart but cunning… there is a difference. He or she is capable of spinning, twisting and projecting. He (she) has a whole bag of dirty tricks in his or her repertoire and will not hesitate to use them. Yes, you may have days you feel as though you are living in a cable channel suspense movie. Don't allow yourself to be rash, do not let yourself do something in the heat of the moment, do not say or write anything in impulsive anger… I know this can be difficult; emotions are running high and the Narc/Sociopath likes to bait their targets but I share this because it will always, always bite you in the butt. Anything you say, write/email can be used against you in the courtroom. If you don't want your family or the judge seeing it I'd advise against doing it. 

There are vital things you need to know about how to go about divorcing a sociopath, dealing with child custody, retaining an attorney and going to court… here are some things to keep in mind.


1. Hiring An Attorney:

It is so imperative to consult with numerous attorneys. Initial consults (sometimes they are free) with several attorneys is so vital. There are questions you need to ask them. If you are the Petitioner (the one who files for divorce) you are already at a lesser advantage. The reason for that is because you don't know who your soon to be ex (who is the Respondent) will hire… and he will likely hire his attorney BASED on his case outcomes with YOUR attorney. The first thing he will ask is: "How do you typically fare with attorney so and so?"

Being the one to file… you're choosing first so it's imperative to choose an attorney wisely. Changing attorneys mid-case is sometimes done but it will be extremely expensive and will require catching your new attorney up on your case. When you hire an attorney you need to inform he or she that your soon to be ex is of a manipulative nature based on their actions. If you've "diagnosed" him or her yourself via internet research… an attorney or the court will consider it inadequate as you are not a professional. In court you could be painted as delusional... even a qualified therapist who believes your ex is a psycho and you're the better parent and should have more possession time with your children will be questioned by opposing counsel. 

Our children's therapist who was very experienced and had affirmed to the court I should have more time with the children versus my ex was put in the hot seat; opposing counsel actually had the audacity to minimize his credentials and experience by pointing out he'd never written a book. I was appalled and felt bad for him. 

The court looks at behavior, actions etc and even those must be extreme to take time away from a parent.

{The BEST scenario is if you can get your sociopathic spouse in couples counseling for awhile (BEFORE filing) with a seasoned therapist (20+ years experience) that will hopefully diagnose your spouse for what he or she is. After you've been in counseling for a few sessions you can always make an appointment for yourself to discuss their thoughts.} 

This next part is ESSENTIAL… if your attorney laughs at you that your soon to be ex is manipulative, if he or she just dismisses you and acts as though you're neurotic, exaggerating, etc… RUN. Do not hire them. Ask how they typically do working with most attorneys, with the judges, etc. Keep in mind they may merely tell you what you want to hear. No one ever tells you that much of how your divorce ends is contributed to the many personalities thrown in the mix. Whatever you do don't let opposing counsel make all the decisions; you don't want them choosing the mediator. If your soon to be ex is a sociopath… he or she WILL likely hire a sociopathic attorney. His attorney will play dirty, he will be a snake, a pit bull, what have you. You need an attorney who knows what your ex is capable of and believes you and can fight smart if needed. It is unbelievable how often in court your attorney will need to speak up on your behalf and won't because they don't know your case well enough. You may be standing there at the bench before the judge thinking: "Wait a minute… what about scenario such and such? How come my attorney is not bringing this up?" This is your time and your chance. You need to speak up and get your attorneys attention (via post it note, whatever) or ask to speak. Otherwise the judge will only hear what your attorney shares and that might be only half the picture. If you have an attorney who wants to avoid court and won't ever fight for you… who only wants you to bend and bend and acquiesce to your ex no matter what he or she does, who is very passive… ditch them, find a new one or represent yourself.

If you have a diagnosis (written) from a psychologist make a copy and present it to your attorney and court. You can request a psychological evaluation ordered from the court but realize that if your spouse does an evaluation more than likely you will have to as well. It's expensive. Sociopaths will lie in court (yet look genuinely nice, respectable and like a caring parent) and they may have the ability to pass testing trying to prove they are one. He will accuse you (and his attorney) of anything he can dream up… stuff that is just laughable to you and your family and friends who know you well. Keep your emotions in check in the courtroom especially… the judge doesn't know you and is trying to get a first impression. Keep calm, be respectful, stick to FACTS. Opposing counsel will try the tactic of attacking your character based on lies versus facts. Have all your documentation ready to hand to the judge.

2. Documentation & Witnesses:

Check if you can record phone calls (you may have something on your cell phone that will record phone calls, if not, there are apps for that…. (I use SuperNote) or you can buy an old fashioned hand held recorder and put the call on speaker phone. Recordings may or may not be legal; check your state/jurisdiction for whether you can record. Recordings may not be permissible in court but they come in really handy for taking notes on conversations for documentation. Whatever you choose it's important to record any calls if you must have them with a sociopath. Remember, no contact is always best. Second best (for co-parenting) is communication done only by OurFamilyWizard or TalkingParents (check online for these sites) Then document the incidents in some form, keeping it all organized… by date is always good or by type of incident.

If you have to meet the sociopath (child exchange) take someone with you… it's good to have a witness. (McDonalds or the police station in the case of abuse are good neutral locations to meet). Family is good but a friend is better… someone who has known you a long time and knows your character. 

From personal experience there will be people who seem to scatter and run like scared kittens during your divorce/child custody battle, suddenly forgetting your name and phone number. Often these people cry "I don't want to get involved!" the minute you begin asking them for information or help. These people… don't trust them further than you can throw them. They may be being paid off by the sociopath, (they may BE a sociopath, maybe they were promised something like a job or have even been intimate with your estranged spouse behind your back… you just never know… (either way, even if that's not the case, they aren't standing up to do the "right thing") Being married to a sociopath is bad enough but divorcing one is even more life altering… people will continue to amaze you and who you THOUGHT you knew you may realize you really didn't. People will be weeded out of your life as the process goes on. Be on guard and vigilant in who you trust. Weed out your Facebook. And remember, if needed you can have people subpoenaed for court if need be if it would help your case, just check with your attorney.

3. Tips Regarding Kids:

Last, but certainly not least… your kids. Be extremely careful of any phone or electronic device your children bring into your home when they are with you. It may have a listening device. I know some may think this thinking is reaching or even ridiculous. But having been married to someone who is very technology savvy and once hacked a well known phone and cable service providers website, we really can't put anything past them. Checking your children's dolls, bears, backpacks, etc will help you have peace of mind. The sociopath will do anything he can to know what steps you are taking and stay ahead of them. I wouldn't allow phones, an itouch, etc in your home... or if you must when they aren't in use stuff them in a blanket in a closet or in the garage. May sound extreme but a sociopath has 2 points of focus: Punish you and to win AT ALL COSTS. Keep this in mind.

We can remember to not ever tell our children on the phone while they are in the ex's care "Next week when I see you I'll take you to go see such and such movie" or "Would you like to go eat at your favorite restaurant next week?" A sociopath will overhear this (it's probably a recorded call on his end) and then immediately take them to go do exactly what you said you were going to do with them. Personal experience here. Don't ever share your plans. He or she WILL wreck them and it's on purpose.

Don't say anything about your soon to be ex around your children. If they say anything about him just listen and use the go-to reply of:  "I'm glad you can open up and tell me how you feel. I love you" and then change the subject following with a hug, etc. Document what was said if it was negative. Focusing on listening to your child, that they are communicating with you, giving them comfort, etc is what you can do to be supportive but leave the commentary and bad mouthing off limits. Remind them that their feelings are okay! It's perfectly normal for them to feel mad, sad or disappointed, etc. As adults we can tell our children: "You know sometimes I feel like x,y, z too!" Affirm to them that it's healthy to express their feelings and you will listen to them anytime. Remind them so often the divorce is not their fault.

It's important to find a middle ground when it comes to talking to your kids about their past week or weekend with their dad once they are back at your house. The first day or so can be a little awkward in the beginning of a divorce… after all, everyone, from attorneys to the court system is so "Don't say this! Don't say that!" And that can be intimidating, no doubt. I know during the first few weeks I was like: What are we supposed to talk about? It seemed everything was off limits. No, you can't bad mouth their dad, etc. I do understand many people are then scratching their head going "Ummmm…. okay… then just what CAN I ask? What can I talk about?" I know it can feel that way, especially at first as you begin to navigate this new world.

Here are some ideas… Don't interrogate your children. Asking them twenty questions will make you feel like a reporter and put them on the defensive. Yet saying nothing… asking them zero questions makes for an incredibly awkward situation as well… because then the kids are thinking… "Okay, mom  (or dad) isn't asking me anything. Can I NOT say anything? Do I have to keep everything separate???" No, they don't. And it's not healthy for them to think they have to. A good general rule of questions are... "So how was your week?", "Did you get to try any new places to eat this past week?", "Did you eat at your favorite pizza place last weekend?", "How was the movie Dad (or mom) took you to see? Tell me all about it!", "How was school? Did you ace your spelling test?" General questions like these put your child at ease... you're asking about their week and they will open up bit by bit... and if there is anything concerning that crops up about their other parent.... document, document, document. 

© ~ 2015

To My Readers:

Thank you for reading, 

commenting and sharing!

Related Posts:

Divorce/Child Custody Trial: Tips For Moms

Divorce/Child Custody Trial: Tips For Moms - Part 2

Divorce: 6 Things To Never Tell Your Children

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Christ & Collecting: Who Or What Is Your Biggest Need?

names have been omitted in this post 


I pushed the red shopping cart along the wide aisle at Target past the frozen section filled with deliciously fattening goodies. Coconut cake and apple pie in boxes lined the freezer shelves alongside blue and white tubs of frozen cool whip. Up ahead was the refrigerated section that held small packages of yogurt and chocolate pudding. My daughter skipped ahead of me in her jeans and bright colored tennis shoes with excitement. "Mommy, can we get chocolate pudding? Can we, please?" She asked looking up at me with pleading eyes. "I need chocolate pudding." She added.

I furrowed my brows and spoke "You need chocolate pudding? Uh, uh… that is a want. A need is milk, bread, the basics." I told her.

"Yeah, I know…" She told me resolutely but then added "But can we get some? Please?"

Sigh. "Okay… that's fine. But the rest of this shopping trip I want you to take a look at our list and review what is a need and what is a want."

She nodded and agreed.


We, especially Americans often have issues with wants versus needs. It seems with today's excess overriding moderation we are susceptible of taking in way more than what we truly need to live. It's in what we buy to eat… high fat calorie foods, alcohol and sugar often override the healthier options available to us like vegetables, fruits and plain water. I will be the first one to admit I have a terrible sweet tooth and each day I want some chocolate. Just snapping off a couple squares from a chocolate bar or enjoying three to four chocolate kisses helps keep the chocolate consumption down versus indulging in an entire bag or pan of brownies to excess. Just like with alcohol we are certainly able to enjoy an occasional glass of wine or a beer if it doesn't impede our decision making skills, our driving, our ability to be responsible… once we have entered a drunken state and/or "buzzed" state we have crossed the line of moderation, wisdom and self control.

Self control is so incredibly vital to us and our well-being, to living a fruitful life. Walking the path of following Jesus it's crucial to be able to say "no" to ourselves. To deny ourselves. If a woman never denies herself anything she wants… if she always says yes to the Juicy Couture bag, to the newest Michael Kors goodies gracing the catalog, if she always says "I want it" and hands over her plastic credit card with abandon… she is never refusing herself… she is never denying herself… she's instead gaining everything in the world and will be left feeling utterly and completely empty inside despite the hungry desire to be satisfied. The world can't fulfill her… clothes, shoes and new handbags can't satisfy but Jesus can. Likewise if a man finds himself chronically scooping up all the latest gadgets like the newest iPhone, Apple TV, stereo systems, flat screens, etc then it might be time to take a look at what he does say "no" to… if we are saying "yes" to ourselves much of the time we have placed ourselves as first priority in our lives.

There is a godliness in contentment

Just like food and shopping can never fulfill neither can collecting. Collecting is a lust of the flesh as we don't need more stuff to live a well lived life nor one that is meaningful. Jesus never once said "Collect everything you can…." but instead to "take up your cross and follow me." He wanted us to die to self… to deny ourselves, to surrender, to take out the "me" mentality, to stop trying to preserve ourselves, to stop trying to please ourselves, to stop trying to place ourselves on a pedestal or even someone else. What are we sacrificing when we collect? Who are we collecting for? What is it's purpose? How is it helping God's kingdom? True, we may enjoy collecting but how are we a disciple for Christ when doing it? It's something to think about. Are we willing to put our own lust and desire for worldly things to death in order to build something much greater?

New International Version

Then Jesus said to his disciples, 

"Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny 
themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
Matthew 16:24

when we do own something it is imperative we are good stewards of it…
our said ownership is merely a facade, as the Lord truly owns our belongings and our wages as we work for him, 
what does not come from faith 
is rooted in sin

Questions we can ask ourselves...

What was the ultimate cost, THE REAL COST 
for you to acquire the things you
own and collect?

Did you lie or deceive others in order
to gain what you wished?

What did you make OTHERS
sacrifice for what you wanted?

Growing up in an environment where it was all about the thrill of the gain in collecting and not so much about caring about the items once acquired but to boast about said ownership… it was embarrassingly painful to watch. It's comparable to addicts never quite getting their fix… never quite having enough as it's always about the high in acquiring. If someone has museum worthy items that notably deserve a final humble resting place where the public can enjoy them, where students can learn and soak up history, where preservation can take place for future generations and instead personal gain is pursued for one's pockets, how has that helped anyone but one? If life is a non-stop accumulation of the material and anything else the green eye fancies, it all comes at a cost… a great cost… not for Christ, mind you, but at the cost of family and a relationship with Him. A love of money and a love for Christ cannot co-exist in the same home or the same wallet. The truth is when we die we leave behind a legacy. What will yours be? What will people say about you? That you worked hard but hardly laughed? That you collected amazing things but never shared them? That you owned much but loved little? That you believed in God yet never spoke his name but in vain? That you claimed to love Jesus but not enough to deny yourself?

Matthew 6:24

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

1 John 2:15-16

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.

What or who is your biggest need? I don't want my wants to overshadow my needs. My biggest need by far is Jesus Christ. I don't want my life to highlight what I had in the ways of the world but instead that I shared my love and need for Christ. I don't want my life to shine with objects of material gain but instead stories of trial and joy that helped someone see God in them. I don't want my life to boast of worldly wants and gains that sit in my closet or driveway but instead that God wants us to have him in every aspect of our life, to live a life of humble moderation and yes, one of sacrifice for him.

© ~ 2015 

Hebrews 13:16 ESV 
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God 

To My Readers: 

Thank you for reading 
and sharing! 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Single? Divorced? Married? A Status Does Not Define You

image by gps grace power strength 

I'm taking a Divorce Care class again. Some might say it's redundant to repeat the course but I've been surprised by the number of people who choose to take it again. It's been nice seeing familiar faces and catching up on how everyone is progressing along with a few new folks. My perspective is different this time versus the last course… last time I was a ball of hurt, tears and pain… not really wanting to share much but really just observe and listen. This time it's with more peace, calm, a renewed outlook, distance and clarity. It's being able to turn to someone and say "Oh, yes, I felt like that too… I totally feel your pain, I knew that phase, feeling, etc, well. It will get better." Each time we have the ability to walk away with learning something new with wherever we are situated in our healing.

Single? Divorced? Married? 

Last week's class was the topic of anger and the group discussion turned into an interesting one. In the class there is a couple who are each divorced from other people but now married to one another. They are each individually still working through the aftermath of their divorces. In that the wife admitted even though she's re-married she will always feel divorced. She stated that her divorce is not simply wiped away now that she's married… however happily. Her husband took issue with that noticeably by his outward expression in response. I wondered if that hurt him, as if it took away from what they had… I don't believe for a minute that she meant it in anyway whatsoever to hurt him. I think I understood what she meant. She further explained that when we get any type of form to fill out there are always a few categories to choose from… single, married, divorced, etc. She said those forms drive her crazy because she doesn't really feel like she fits into any one criteria. She said before she met her current husband and was single after the finalization of her divorce she felt single but not in the way she did when she was twenty-something prior to her first marriage. She didn't feel as though the choice of "single" post divorce really fit. Then she said she didn't really want to choose divorced because she was single… it was like a catch 22. Once she married a second time she checked "married" but still couldn't shake the fact she would always be divorced. Being divorced didn't sum her up, it didn't define her, yet it would always be a part of her and who she was, it was a part of her personal history… as there was no erasing it. She laughed that perhaps whoever comes up with these forms should make another category like "Been there, done all that!" I laughed at that with the others appreciatively and ruefully thought a "Now Free, Thank God!" category would also be appropriate. Nonetheless, I certainly got where she was coming from and could appreciate her perspective.

Our discussion in the group is food for thought. Are we letting the fact we are divorced define us? True, like in my Divorce Care group divorce is a large part of our history if we've experienced it… it is long, painful and demands to be dealt with. There is still a stigma even today with being divorced. I was absolutely shocked at the stigma regarding divorce today… at least towards women… I can't speak for men, as I'm not one, only the guys can… but there is something about a divorced woman in a room that clears out the couples speedy quick. It seems others may view you as potential interference to a marriage… which is so far from the truth, at least from my view. Most of us as divorced women are so glad to live in peace (finally!) if we've lived marriages that were toxic that simply working and raising children (sometimes on our own) takes up a lot of our energy… rest assured, the majority of us at least, are not after anyone's husband.

A Status Doesn't Define You… 

Whether were married or divorced we don't have to let our status define us. We don't have to give into labels summing up who we are or who others think we are. Just because we accept a proposal, a beautiful ring and lovely words of sentiment, promises of forever and ever… doesn't mean that we are then deemed worthy. It doesn't mean then that we are worthy of love, that we are "chosen", "special" or superior. We were chosen way, way before we were ever a gleam in someone else's eye of affection. Reality is… we are worthy in God's eyes… we are defined by his love for us… He says we are his beautiful one, his son or daughter. On social media today, especially Facebook we see relationships being defined by "In a relationship", "It's complicated", "Single", "Married", "Divorced", etc. We see the joining of two people, we see break-ups of couples, we see it all… but those don't really define us. What defines us is "In a relationship with Christ"… maybe they need that option.

New International Version

The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. 

He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, 

but will rejoice over you with singing."
Zephaniah 3:17

I admit when I was initially married I thought being married and having children was a destination reached that was loftier, better than one of being single. Being married seemed so grown up. So adult. As the years dragged on… after years of feeling controlled… heck, lets face it, being controlled… I was beyond tired of always feeling like I was never enough… always feeling used, always feeling like a trophy of sorts by him… he worked too much and was gone much of the time, he stonewalled and shut me down, everything was a "deal" to be made… selfless, giving love did not exist under our roof by him… I was always indebted, walking on eggshells and I was utterly exhausted. The single life started looking pretty good… seeing my best friend completely independent in an apartment with her own belongings, living her own schedule, making her own decisions, at times I felt twinges of jealousy of her single life. It's no surprise in hindsight as my marriage was not the epitome of love but instead emptiness and tension with hurtful actions and words. True, there were good days interspersed but the anxiety of dealing with him often overshadowed them. Marriage can only be good when both people are healthy and doing the necessary work. Today do I believe marriage is superior to single hood? Not a bit. Nor do I believe single hood is superior to marriage. Even in the best of circumstances marriage and being single come with undeniable blessings and challenges, they are each so different… and we can't sum up someone's life by whether they are married or not. There is so much more to them than that.

New International Version (NIV)

10 For we are God’s handiwork, 
created in Christ Jesus to do good works, 
which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:10

In life we can take heart and remember we are not defined by our status of single, married or divorced. We are not summed up by one status of a relationship or lack thereof. We are more than meets the eye. We can't be defined by checking a category on a form. God knows to whom you belong… Him. He delights in you as his son or daughter… you are wonderfully made… and he has a purpose for your life whether you're married… or not.

© ~ 2015 


Lord, if we begin to have thoughts of comparison to others or feeling as if our status sums us up… help us remember your view of us… gently remind us that we are your child and we are loved, that we don't find our identity in the world but in you. Amen.

To My Readers: 

Thank you for reading and sharing!

Related Posts:

All The Single Ladies: 10 Perks Of Being Single

"Did He Say Ugly?" Teaching Our Daughters That Strength Is Beautiful 

When He Tries To Change You! And 5 Tips To Not Change Him 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Is She A Sociopath? 20 Signs

“Young Man Holding Head In Hand” by stock images via

Is she a sociopath? Here is a list to help. If you're a woman in search of Is He A Sociopath? Click here

Is She A Sociopath? 20 Signs

1. She's superficially charming, attracts people like a magnet. In the beginning you're delightedly drawn to her as she makes you believe you have much more in common than what you truly do. In hindsight you realize she was mirroring what you liked and wanted in life.

2. She exhibits extremes in mood, one minute she's sweet as pie, the next she's coming unglued in anger or even rage. You're not certain what you're dealing with but you know it's not good.

3. She may have a history of alcohol or drug abuse but is now sober or clean…. supposedly.

4. She preys on your high empathy. She may threaten suicide or self harm causing you to feel great worry for her, drawing you back in, causing you to not break up with her out of concern for her safety.

5. She seems to have an especially high sex drive and never seems satisfied. Cheater, maybe numerous marriages. Originally you may have felt like her hero on a pedestal… now you feel rejected and never good enough.

6. She doesn't seem to have regrets or guilt over anything she's done in her past like most people do. If she speaks of past life experiences it's done purely to garner sympathy as a victim, not share her responsibility, insight, changed perspective and growth.

7. She's a pathological liar… she lies about anything and everything and it continues even after she's caught and called on it.

8. She doesn't appear nervous or react like most folks do when startled, she doesn't panic, worry, feel anxiety or true sorrow about life situations in which most people would; sickness, a car wreck, or a loss.

9. She's unreliable, you can't count on her, it's a pattern of broken promises, she leaves you up a creek more often than not, she "forgets" about you, dates, meetings, etc. She changes plans last minute on you when something comes along that serves her better socially.

10. She's disrespectful toward you and your relationship; flirts openly with other men despite your valid objection and voice of hurt feelings. She may refuse to discuss your very real concerns in general in the relationship, instead she may walk off, refuse to problem solve as a team and just disengage completely; stonewall.

11. She has zero remorse or guilt for the things she has done. If you confront her on her lies and cheating she somehow projects blame onto you. She has the ability to twist everything to be your fault taking zero responsibility.

12. She uses seduction as a tool to draw you in and manipulate you. You mistakenly believe the chemistry between you is real. You may realize in hindsight you rushed into marrying her or sleeping with her.

13. She is jealous of other women, she is highly competitive and doesn't like anyone who is prettier or more successful than her. She speaks ill of others and you're embarrassed by it.

14. She is not a nurturer as most men naturally expect women to be, but instead she is a predator and always wants to "win" at any cost. In a child custody case she uses her children as pawns against their father. She lacks sensitivity for others feelings and empathy.

15. She never seems to take responsibility for her behavior, for her acting out, for her outbursts, her rage etc. She doesn't appear to have a desire to get help, to improve and grow like most people do.

16. She is a user… she uses you for money, sex, meals, image, status, gifts, vacations, etc. You feel the imbalance of the relationship. Instead of a natural give and take between two people, it feels like you're the sole giver and she's the taker.

17. She seldom if ever shows appreciation for the nice things you do, appears to feel entitled. Self-centered, expects everything to go her way.

18. If you call her on her behavior she grandstands, plays the victim, the martyr, fakes tears to gain sympathy. Defensive.

19. She's deficient. Very limited to no depth. May come across to others as extroverted and friendly but what you come to see later as over the top shallow behavior toward others as if she's putting on a show.

20. In the beginning she seemed too good to be true and now you see two sides to her… the public face and the private face. The one you see behind closed doors is the real deal. Don't doubt yourself. It's time to move on to happier, healthier and free.

© ~ 2015 



a person with a personality disorder
manifesting itself in extreme
 antisocial attitudes and
behavior and a lack of conscience.

If you're in the beginning 
stages of a divorce
 from a sociopath,
 here are 5 tips to help…

1. You do not have the ability to change your spouse/ex, they have a personality disorder. 

2. Try not to beat yourself up for falling for the sociopath's lies, facade or mask. You are not "stupid", "dumb" etc. You, like many others fell for someone who is of a predatory nature. 

3. Joining a Divorce Care class at a local church helps in your healing process. Many people take the classes multiple times as they journey through the many phases of healing. Being with others in a group setting helps remind you you're truly not alone. 

4. Feeling angry is natural and expected. God doesn't expect us to not be angry. But how we express anger by our words or actions does matter. We can pause when needed and try to remember to respond, not react. 

5. Take the time you need to heal from your divorce. Jumping right into dating again ups the chances of repeating unhealthy patterns. Focusing on your children, work, hobbies, health and exercise is one way to keep busy while rebuilding your life. If finances permit an occasional vacation with friends and family and regular therapy with a psychologist who is familiar with personality disorders can help. 

There are a total of 10 personality disorders, you can read about them in more detail here

Monday, January 19, 2015

Parents: Flawed Human or Villain? Acceptance & Healing

 this post contains language 


I was scrolling on Facebook and noticed a post by Humans of New York … otherwise known for short as HONY, maybe you're familiar with the page. There, posted on Sunday the 18th was a photograph of a young woman wearing a purple hooded jacket, black jeans and boots with curly hair… she was quoted saying:

"I realize now that my parents are just regular people with flaws,
 and my dad is not a villain. He's just an asshole."

I believe she was trying to explain that initially she viewed her father as being a villain, a calculated individual who knowingly, purposefully hurt others and as the years passed she has realized, learned the difference between someone being merely flawed, perhaps the occasional jerky behavior and then the one who is of a sociopathic nature. There is a difference and she has learned she merely has one from the lower level, a flawed father or occasional jerk if you will. No matter what she believes she has dealt with, no matter what she believes he is… she has endured some type of hurt, some type of infliction by him. We can't know exactly what she's experienced, as we have no information to go on in terms of details. I don't believe for a second she's a spoiled or entitled young adult who is haphazardly throwing verbal barbs. She's had a less than swell experience with him growing up and has put great thought into her changed perspective of him as it's grown and changed as she has. There were many supportive people on there who commented that they too had had less than wonderful fathers, some even more aptly referring to their fathers as downright abusive. People acknowledged her hurt, her wounds, they shared words of love and affirmation and even hope and healing. It was beautiful to see so many folks of all ages pouring out their hearts with compassion for her. As well there were commenters who bashed her. Some argued she was perhaps the "a**h***", that perhaps she shouldn't have used the word "a**h***" in describing her own father. Granted, God obviously doesn't want us using foul words that don't bring life and some commenters further stated that she shouldn't have used the word she used to describe her father on such a public platform. Could she have found a less potentially volatile adjective? Could she have chosen better wording in describing him? Yes. We've likely all used less than golden words to describe others, myself included. But no matter what they believed, at the end of the day the young woman needed compassion shown to her. 

And as they continued
 to ask him, he stood up 
and said to them, 
“Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 
John 8:7 ESV

Maybe you can relate to her experience. 

Perhaps you can relate to her, and maybe you've tried to cope, to deal… maybe for a long, long time, maybe decades. More than likely you have tried above and beyond if you're the child of someone on the extreme who is abusive, man or woman. When we have a parent, whether father or mother who is toxic we go through our entire childhood wishing, hoping they will change. We seek affection, adoration and love from them. We silently shuffle and step around that stinking pile of poo that we know goes with them and hope by appeasing, by pleasing them they will love us unconditionally, they will take the time needed to listen, to connect and show affection, that they will show us love in a healthy, nurturing manner. Instead, we may face a wide spectrum of actions that range from in-your-face screaming, cursing and put downs, to neglect, to more insidious emotional abuse like triangulation amongst us, our siblings and our other parent, gas-lighting, projecting, etc. We may call them on their behavior and yet they may deflect. As children we may spend an entire childhood and even young adulthood hoping in a false hope that our parent will not hurt us again, that they will lay down their toxic behaviors once and for all. Unfortunately, that may not happen. It can take years for children, yes, even grown children to come to the stark realization that they are sending up prayers that may very well never come to fruition. It's an incredibly disappointing reality to come to terms with what we've endured. Because even once we admit to ourselves that a relationship with one of our parents isn't healthy for us, that it causes us great grief, despair, hurt, anxiety and personal violation in terms of boundaries… we still long for it not to. We long and yearn for it to not be that way. We may dabble in a "fake it till you make it" mentality… thinking if we just pretend like it's all rosy the relationship will grow and change from a decaying rotted one to vibrant, blooming and healthy.

People may say:

 "Well, so, they are flawed. They are human. You must accept them." 

Yes, we can accept they are flawed. Perhaps for some this takes longer than for others… perhaps we can remember that all humans are flawed and do UNintentionally hurt others at some point or another and YET there is a big difference between merely flawed and PURPOSEFULLY inflicting hurt that is swept away under the rug by the perpetrator, by the villain, minimized and even delusionally rejected as reality. Undoubtedly some parents are "flawed" in ways so bad, so extreme that it's detrimental for us to be exposed to them… yes, we accept it, we accept that fact and also perhaps that we don't have to accept it as a way to live

It's hard to heal from a relationship 

when you're still getting jabbed, isn't it?

When they continue to stick you

and then act like it's your fault it hurt. 

 Distance is sometimes the greatest salve to an open wound. 

As a daughter you may have never felt fulfilled by your relationship with your father. For girls and women, their relationship with their dad sets the tone for any future relationships with men. Becoming co-dependent and marrying narcissistic partners, avoiding commitment all-together or taking on the role as the "head of household"could all be ways to cope later in life. For boys and men… they may sadly never feel as though they match up in their father's eyes… they may always feel like they've let dad down and can't seem to please him no matter what they do. 

It's the great ability to accept the fact that you cannot make a person change, that you can accept they are who they are, whether flawed human or villain…. The ability to accept yourself is wonderful as well, to trust yourself again, to trust your instincts, to delight in the gifts you possess, to realize your beauty and strength, to learn that yes, you are worthy, you can choose distance, you deserve a life free of anxiety and tension, free of walking on eggshells, free of always second guessing yourself, that you are lovable and healing can be yours and that thank goodness without a doubt there is a love greater than anyone else's… Christ's.

Go to Him… he's there to heal you, he accepts you fully. 

14 But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, o“Let the children come to me; pdo not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15 qTruly, I say to you, whoever does not rreceive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” 16 And she took them in his arms and blessed them, tlaying his hands on them. 
Mark 10:14-16

11 fI am the good shepherd. The good shepherd glays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is ha hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and ileaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and jscatters them. 13 He flees because khe is a hired hand and lcares nothing for the sheep. 14 mI am the good shepherd. nI know my own and omy own know me, 15 pjust as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and qI lay down my life for the sheep.
John 10:11-15

© ~ 2015 

To My Readers:

Thank you for reading & sharing!