Friday, November 30, 2012

Update on the Sociopath's Contempt of Court Charges

The contempt of court indictment I filed was a thirteen page document that detailed the dates and times of 66 violations of the court's order. It includes a charge of perjury in the original case. The Sociopath has called on Nimrod to defend him, once again. My attorney emailed me this morning to let me know that Nimrod called her last night to discuss the case.

Apparently, he has not decided yet whether or not he will be on board. The sociopath is due in his office today to discuss the matter. He did say that if he takes the case, he will want depositions and a trial date. It is interesting to me that Nimrod would even consider representing him after having to deal with him over the other two matters.

I am referring to his clients uncanny ability to lie, plead ignorance and make excuses for his criminal conduct. Here are some of the things that he has dealt with:
  • After winning the initial custody hearing, my attorney had to contact him about advising his client NOT to be stopping at my house without permission during my parenting weeks. Nimrod responded by sending the sociopath a letter telling him he can not do this. He went on to stress that if the sociopath does not understand, to take the letter to his “friend", SDP, and have her explain it. He further tells him that if he is questioned about it to state, “Mademoiselle, I have no idea what you are talking about.” In other words, to lie. How do I know this? The sociopath showed me the original copy of the letter- thereby waiving his attorney-client privilege in the matter.
  • One week after the initial hearing, the sociopath assaulted a witness in the case who testified against him. It was minor and the person is now okay, but he was charged with an aggravated offense because he used his vehicle as a weapon. The district attorney retired the case for 11 months and 29 days on the condition that the sociopath did not violate the restraining order. Two months later, the sociopath failed to follow the court order (shocking, right?). The case was returned to active status, then retired again under a new restraining order. Nimrod threatened the sociopath that if he violates any more court orders, he will have to hire a different attorney.
  • The sociopath has placed Nimrod in an ethical dilemma. You are familiar with the child support issue I blogged about previously. The problem is that it caused Nimrod to commit “Fraud Upon the Court” when he argued in appeal upholding the sociopath's original testimony. Nimrod is now guilty of failing in his “Duty to Candor” to the court (at both the trial level and the state appellate level). Can I prove it? Yes I can, beyond a shadow of a doubt.
  • When the sociopath told me that I was going to have to earn the right to see my child- the one I had raised alone up until now- he specifically stated that Nimrod advised him to do that. He also said that Nimrod told him he was within his rights to limit telephone contact between my child and myself. This was both in front of a witness and recorded. Did Nimrod do it? I am not sure. The sociopath is a habitual liar, but considering Nimrod's past unethical conduct it is certainly likely to be true. Regardless, his own client's testimony that he did is preserved as evidence against him.

I am still waiting to hear whether Nimrod will take the case or not. In the end, it doesn't really matter. I am prepared to defend every single allegation with solid evidence to back up my testimony. I am also much better prepared to expose the truth about Nimrod- officially and on the record- and to defend myself against his gas lighting techniques.

An interesting side note- The sociopath and Nimrod have not been on the best of terms lately. In order to help convince Nimrod to take the case, the sociopath flew his ex girlfriend (who is a devoted disciple) from across the United States to here in order to help him manipulate the lawyer into representing him. I can't wait to hear if it works.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Teaching a Child that God is a Bad Guy: Are Sociopaths Demons and False Teachers?

Warning: CONTAINS RELIGIOUS CONTENT! I believe wholeheartedly in compassion and tolerance. It is not our place to force our moral judgments on others. However, I do believe that at some point we must draw a line in the sand. There must be a clear boundary delineating what we believe to be morally just. I am not talking about bigotry- being defined as an attitude that promotes one's belief system to the extent of treating others with hatred and intolerance.

I am referring to a personal choice to worship God and Jesus as the higher power. I am a christian. I am not going to apologize for this, nor am I going to sweep it under the rug. If you happen to be of a different faith, know that I am not judging you. I have made my own mistakes in life and I don't think I am better than anyone else (well, except for the sociopath, if I am being completely honest here). I am merely expressing my own beliefs as they relate to the topic of my blog: co parenting with a sociopath.


If I had a dime for every time I heard the phrase, “Mommy, why does daddy say God is a bad guy?” I would surely be living in the lap of luxury. However, on a deeper level, it greatly disturbs me that the sociopath chooses to attack both my faith and that of my son. After all, what GOOD father would object to his child being taught not to steal, lie, or harm others?

The obvious answer is that a sociopath objects because if he takes an interest in his child at all, it is only for the purpose of achieving self gratification. Corrupting his child against decent moral values achieves this goal since it puts the child's belief system in line with his own. Which in turn provides another little human who validates the sociopath's sickness as being normal. “See, I'm not terrible- our child agrees with me, God is bad.”

It has turned into an outright battle for the soul of a little one. Luckily, we are surrounded by a wonderful group of people in our church. No matter what the sociopath tries to say, my son relates church- and God- to positive experiences. Most of them are unaware of the fight we face, they are just genuinely good people.

My son likes bible study. He believes in God. He equates his father's insults on church people as being insults against him. He also struggles with understanding why God let his daddy take him away from mommy. I too, have endured my own struggle with my faith during this process. It made me curious about what the bible says about sociopaths. Here is what I found:

Romans, Chapter 1, verses 28-32

... being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, and unmerciful.”

Hmmm.... describes the narcissist and the sociopath very well indeed. According to the study reference, the verses contain one of the most complete lists of sins throughout the bible. In society, we may rationalize some sins, but God judges all sin.

2 Timothy, Chapter 3, verses 1-9

... For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud blasphemers, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, brutal, dispisers of good... from such people turn away! For of this sort of people are those who creep into households and make captive gullible women loaded down with sins... “

The translation here is a warning, in particular to women, that these men will will use deception in order to win them over. Women are the target of these attacks by false teachers. The danger is ignorance. Paul instructs Timothy to teach the women so that they don't become victims.

However, women who are targets do not get a free pass. The victims of sociopaths are not immune from taking responsibility for their actions. We are responsible for educating ourselves about these predators and not falling for their lies.

1 Timothy, Chapter 4, verses 1-2

... Some will depart from from the faith, giving heed to the deceiving spirits of demons... speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron...”

Although the reference here is not to losing salvation completely, but rather a failure to be obedient to God, we can still see how the sociopath effects us on a personal level. As victims, we fall for the lies and ignore our own conscience.

A very wise friend pointed out that God didn't "allow" the socioath to waltz in and gain shared custody of my son. He doesn't "allow" the sociopath to abuse my child. What God did "allow" was for me to make a choice to have a relationship with this man. He "allowed" me the free will to turn a blind eye to this man's traits.
Now I, and my innocent child, are paying the price of my choices. Accepting responsibilty for my own part in this  drama has been like a bulldozer in my life. It cleared the path for me to be able to move forward with a resolution- one that doesn't entail me sacraficing my son to the sociopath. If my choices led me here, then hopefully with God's wisdom I can tackle anything.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Friends of a Sociopath: In a Country Full of Blind People, The One Eyed Man is King

A Hungry Ghost is a ceature of Chinese lore. They were once greedy and jealous humans who died under a curse. Their spirit takes the form of a being with a pinhole sized mouth, long thin necks, and huge stomachs.

They are forced to roam the earth in search of fullfillment, but are anatomically unable to attain it. Both their mouth and neck are too small to allow them to eat, yet their enormus stomachs are always begging to be fed.

A frustrating aspect of my custody fight with the sociopath is his ability to get people to stand up for him in court. Granted, they have nothing to testify to other than hearsay, but still....

My sociopath isn't brilliant. He isn't cunning in his ability to manipulate or lie. He is frequently caught. I suppose he would be what is referred to as a “low functioning sociopath”- except he isn't a drug addict or alcoholic either. Things would be so much simpler if only he were.

He has a remarkable ability to win someone over to his side using pity. Pity! Like anyone with a reasonable mind would sympathize with a nearly 60 year old man who doesn’t have a pot to pee in, who is admittedly abusive, but there you have it.

Harvey Cleckley, a preeminent expert on Psychopaths, talks about how they accomplish this feat. Their unconscious manipulation triggers a nurturing instinct, especially in women, compelling them to protect what they feel is an “emotional infant.” If you haven't yet read “The Mask of Sanity” you can do so here for free.

One woman, who we shall call SDP (for sad, desperate, and pathetic), actually had the nerve to testify that the sociopath was a GREAT father- even though she had never seen him with our son except for once (his entire life) at dinner. She further testified that I was neglectful and allowed my child to run “out of control.” She also doesn’t know me- in the three years she had been friends with the sociopath, she met me once and exchanged less than 12 words with me. Hearsay.

After the initial trial, SDP had the audacity to send me an email complementing me on how well my son behaved and then asking me for the details of my son's life. The sociopath had never been involved- and he had no clue who his doctor was, what enrichment programs he was involved in, or even what time he went to bed. Yet SDP claimed to be advocating for MY child- one she didn't even know!

SDP advocates for the sociopath. Her attachment to him is pathetic. She too, is pushing 60 and I almost feel sorry for her, watching her prance around in 4” heels and skin tight jeans, trying to impress the sociopath with her “sexiness.” She is also married to someone who the sociopath claims is his “dear friend.” As I mentioned, I don’t know these people, other than their court appearances, but here is what the sociopath has told me about THEM:

  1. SDP has a HUGE butt and really fat ankles. He doesn't know how her husband can stand to see her naked because it has to be disgusting.
  2. SDP doesn't work, her kids are losers that don't work, but she CAN cook.
  3. SDP's husband is even more pathetic. He has no friends and had no life before the sociopath took him under his wing and introduced him to the joy of riding motorcycles.

Will SDP one day see past the sociopath's fake persona? Maybe. Followers tend to be terribly blind when confronted with solid evidence of treachery. Anyway, the irony is that sociopath's don't have “friends.” They have followers, but true friendship is lost to them (If you think you have a “friend” who is a sociopath- you are wrong. You can't be friends with a sociopath).

They choose people who are physiologically vulnerable and those who will fall for their BS. Sociopaths have relationships for one reason and one reason only- to get something. Whether it is money and toys or admiration and validation, they are takers- period.

Here is a great quote I read about Hungry Ghosts- it defines the sociopath perfectly:

“...not fully alive, always empty, always hungry, always seeking fulfillment but never able to fill the enormous void inside them.”

I may be the enemy now, but at least I am no longer tasked with the responsibility for feeding the sociopath.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Sociopath's Contempt for the Court and Everything Else

Well, Thanksgiving this year marked a special day in my calendar for more reasons than you might think. Not only was my beautiful son with me for the holiday, but it also marked my first offensive move against the sociopath.

Throughout my custody nightmare, I have been like a badly maintained outhouse: a place for the sociopath to take a dump whenever he feels spiteful. It is starting to stink in here and I am sick of it. I filed a criminal contempt of the court order motion in court and asked for my parenting plan to be modified.

There are no less than 66 counts of contempt, in over 6 different catagories. I won't bore you with all of the details, but here are some of the better ones:

“...subsequent to the order dated January 10, 2012 the father has violated these provisions numerous times and is in contempt of this court's order”.

  • Father has demonstrated a pattern of conduct showing his inability and refusal to make joint decisions as court ordered. More specifically, father has blocked joint decision making with Mother on at least eight (8) different occasions as set forth below:
    • December 25, 2011 father refused to allow child to continue counseling, stating he is in charge now.
    • January 1, 2012 Father informed mother she is not allowed to have a say in educational decisions. Father further elaborated that the Judge doesn't trust Mother's ability to make decisions, so he gave Father custody.
    • March 12, 2012 Father unilaterally enrolled child in preschool and excluded mother from list of persons authorized to contact in the event of an emergency and persons allowed to pick child up from school.
    • July 11, 2012 Father took minor child to the health department for vaccines and wart removal without notification to mother.
    • August 3, 2012 Father showed up at kindergarten orientation (during mother's week) and told the teacher that he has custody and has all decision making authority. Father again excluded mother from list of contacts on enrollment forms.
    • September 18, 2012 Father refused to allow medical history of minor child completed by mother to be admitted into his file because he has custody and makes the decisions.
    • Father frequently limits or refuses telephone contact between mother and child, telling the child that the “court won't allow it.”
    • August 5th, 2012 Father told child mother was brainwashing him because child didn't want to go with father, then tells mother he has no respect for her that she ruined his life and is having an affair.
    • September 3, 2012 Father threw bag of child's medication at mother during exchange.
    • June 10, 2012 Father attempted to barter telephone contact between mother and child in exchange for putting father on mother's pool pass.

To prove contempt, I need to show the court evidence of the following:

  1. There is a court order in place CHECK
  2. The defendant knows about the order- CHECK
  3. The defendant has the ability to comply with the order- CHECK
  4. The defendant has not followed the order- CHECK

I am awaiting a trial date and it should be interesting to read his response. I am fairly certain he is aware of the charges. He had his roommate drive him to the exchange today, presumably to act as a witness at trial. I must say, tonight I feel empowered for the first time in a long time.

The judge who made the initial determination of custody also heard the lawsuit, the criminal assault on a witness, and the child support case. Now he will hear the contempt motion and request for modification too. In the mean time, child support court is coming up on December 3rd. I plan to ram it home that the sociopath committed fraud upon the court in regards to his income.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Threats From Nimrod: Obey the Sociopath Or Else

Note: I removed everyone's real names to keep their identites hidden.

One thing that my case seems to have in common with that of others is that the sociopath's lawyer threatened me. This happened back in April. My attorney was able to shut him down- because EVERYTHING he states in this letter is a lie. We did not let this go unchallenged. Another example of just how unethical Nimrod is.

I am sending a copy of this letter to Mr. X because he asked me to copy him on it, although a decision has not been made as to whether or not he will be involved as trial council. I am sending a copy of this letter to Mrs. Y because she is still Samantha's attorney.
I am not sending this letter to convince anyone of anything, except what I plan to do. Mrs. Y and I see this case very differently, and she has told me that not only does she approve of the things that have taken place since the hearing, but on the afternoon of March 26 she said that “she would have done a whole lot more”.
I am, of course, referring to the following:

  1. Samantha has made two unfounded charges of molestation by sociopath. Both have been investigated y the Department of Children's Services and found to be untrue.
  2. Samantha's boyfriend made an unfounded criminal charge against the sociopath.
  3. Samantha has only attended one counseling session, which was set up with the counselor of her request.
  4. She has refused to take the child to the preschool program during her weeks.
As these things are happening, I am contemplating taking her back to court, bringing it to the attention of the court and asking that her visitation be drastically reduced, then forcing her to attend mediation. However, I feel it would be better if Samantha were alerted first, so that maybe some peace will come. One more charge to DCS, one more criminal charge, and if she doesn't start taking the child to preschool, then I WILL do as I have said.
I am not writing to ask you to agree, I know that Mrs. Y agrees with Samantha's conduct, and I guess at this point that is not relevant. I am merely asking you to pass this message along to Samantha.


Here are the REAL facts:

1. I did not place two complaints to DCS about molestation. I filed ONE complaint after my son came home telling everyone his daddy pinched his “winky” and that daddy played a game with him telling him to “touch his winky so it didn't go down the drain".

I was explicit that I did not think it was for sexual gratification- that the sociopath has problems determining healthy boundaries. He sees nothing wrong with playing with his genitals. He doesn't want my son to grow up being “ashamed of his body”. The sociopath has a history if admittedly pinching my son to hurt him, so I am sure this was more of the same. If the case worker assumed sexual abuse, well you can hardly blame her for jumping to that conclusion.

Similar issues were addressed at trial. The judge stated in his final order that my child does not need the sociopath to teach him to fondle himself.

I called because I was advised my my attorney that if I DID NOT report it and someone else does, I may be charged with Failure To Protect. In fact, DCS questioned ME extensively about what was wrong with ME- judges don't take kids away from fit single moms and award custody to men with mental health issues.

The charge was closed the next day as “unsubstantiated”. DCS had called the sociopath HOURS before showing up, giving him plenty of time to tell my son that she was coming to “steal” him and not to tell anything or he would kill her. Needless to say, my son didn't tell the children's advocate a damn thing.

2. I don't have a “boyfriend”. The criminal charge he is referring to was an assault against one of my friends, who was a witness in the case. Obviously, the charge was NOT unfounded, since the sociopath is now under a restraining order to stay away from this person. The case was not dismissed, it was retired for 11 months / 29 days pending the sociopaths compliance.

3. I attended three of the mandated joint counseling sessions, after which the counselor himself canceled them. He said there was no benefit to continuing and that there was no way for me to work with the sociopath, because of his severe communication boundaries. The counselor notified all of the attorneys of this fact in writing, which Nimrod received. Nor did I select the counselor. I agreed to their recommendations because if I didn't they were going to ask the judge to select him anyway.

4. I did refuse to take my son to preschool during my weeks. The sociopath unilaterally enrolled him, telling me I had no description making, five weeks before the end of the year. My son was traumatized enough over being away from his mother. I had been homeschooling him (he was only 4 years old). Even the teachers commented that the sociopath was using the Pre-K program as a free baby sitter and a means of keeping the child away from his mother.

Nimrod never pursued any of these things, but he sure didn't blink an eye at threatening me. Of course, a bully likes an easy target. I pushed back and he decided it wasn't worth the effort. I will never comply with threats and I will no longer allow the lies to stand unchallenged.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Expressing Grattitude to the Army of Warriors Fighting the Sociopath

Find something to be THANKFUL about!

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. I have noticed that some of my Facebook friends have begun posting statuses related to being thankful. For a survivor of a sociopath, it can be tough to see through the murky waters and find the good in our lives. Yet, it is there and often in abundance. We just forget to acknowledge it.

Despite the agony of my custody situation, I also have much to be grateful for. Throughout my fight, I have remained blessed. During my darkest hours, I have angels that have faithfully supported me. So, I want to take the opportunity to share with you some of the best people in my life. They are the army that fights by my side.

I am grateful for:

My Son:

He is a wonderful little person and is the best thing I have ever done.

I am so grateful that despite losing the first custody fight I was awarded shared custody. Too many moms wind up with every other weekend or supervised visitation. It is far better to have my son every other week. My son has the opportunity to be with a healthy parent, if only for 50% of the time.

My Friends:

I have some amazing friends. Along this journey, I learned to tell the difference between who was a genuine friend and who wasn't. I ditched the fakers. I learned that those who stuck by me have solid gold hearts and can be counted on no matter what. They are always there for me, win or lose. You can't buy that kind of loyalty- it is a gift.

My Family:

Throughout my life, my family has never been especially close. We have always been geographically distanced and enmeshed in our own lives. I never saw them as a support system. But when I needed them, they came running. I never had to ask. They were just there. Facing evil has brought us closer and I am grateful.

My Counselor:

I have the world's best counselor. She doesn't know it, but she is a gift from God. Without her, I don't know that I would have seen through the mask of the sociopath nearly so quickly or so completely. She is one smart lady, with a beautiful soul. She has given me countless hours of support; far more than what she has been paid for. I am grateful.

My Attorneys:

This may seem strange to you, since I lost both my initial custody case and my appeal. Too often, I think we blame our own shortcomings on our lawyers. I know I placed a huge burden on my primary attorney's shoulders. Yet, she has been a ruthless avenger. She was so personally appalled at what has happened. This case hurt her, yet she continues to advocate and fight for my son. She is a warrior and she doesn't know it. One day she will be an amazing judge; a voice for Tennessee's children in the court system.

My appellate attorney taught me a lot about the law and legal strategy. He taught me to stand up against unethical attorneys and that there is more than one way to skin a cat. He taught me to never let a lie go unchallenged and to keep fighting. He is not a softhearted person. He is sneaky and ruthless; abrupt to the point of being semi rude sometimes. From him, I learned how to be an effective warrior. The truth may be slow at being revealed, but if I don't quit it will come to light.


Without the support of moms like you, my fight would be a lonely one. It is both appalling and helpful to know that I am not alone. I share your pain, and I hope to share in your triumph. Sociopathy is a devastating disorder. Together, we are gaining public awareness on how common this disorder is and learning better ways to protect our children. Thank you. I am grateful.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sex with a Sociopath? What the Hell Was I Thinking?

His approach in seduction is through pity.

It never fails- I walk into my attorney's office, exchange pleasantries, and out pops the question that everyone is dying to know, “What the hell were you thinking when you picked this moron to have a child with?”

That is always followed up by, “All I can say is that the sex must have been great”!
Here's the truth:

  1. He's not handsome (although he used to be when he was young)
  2. He's not rich
  3. He's not a good person
  4. He stinks- literally- like something dead
  5. He doesn't dress well
  6. The sex wasn't great

If you think I am being harsh or petty- well, let's just say you don't know my ex. When you are 20 years old and look like Antonio Banderas, you can get away with not taking a bath for a few days. When you are pushing 60 years old- it's just gross.

I struggled for a long time trying to figure out what my attraction was to this man. In my heart, I know that I was a sucker for rescues. That has worked to my detriment in the past. The sociopath had a good sob story about being abandoned as a child and mistreated growing up. I felt sorry for him. He had no one to love him. But I had never understood why, until recently.

A lot of people think that sociopaths have a super human ability to attract women (and they do). Naturally, this observation often leads to an assumption that the sociopath has amazing powers in bed; a sexual prowess. Not in my case. In fact, the sociopath talked about sex a lot and bragged on his sexual ability, but in reality he had a very low sex drive.

This weekend I had the opportunity to read “The Mask of Sanity- An Attempt to Clarify Some Issues AboutThe So-Called Psychopathic Personality” by Hervey Cleckley, PhD. It opened my eyes, oh so much. I thought my sociopath was just a little different from other sociopaths. It turns out he is exactly like those described in the book.

Cleckley's Answers on why a sociopath is a chick magnet:

“His ability to alarm and to draw out protective impulses in women is remarkable. Superficially he gives the impression when with them of a dashing and somewhat predatory male. He is not entirely without ambition as a lover and actually seduces some of his protectresses. His approach in seduction is, however, nearly always through pity.
This case well portrays the astonishing power that nearly all psychopaths and part-psychopaths have to win and to bind forever the devotion of woman. Because of this they are often regarded as vigorous or romantic lovers, as men of peculiar virility. I believe, however, that they are seldom as well endowed in this way as the average man.
Feminine intuition senses that here, concealed beneath an appearance of maturity, is a baby or something very much like a helpless, crying little baby. Her deep instincts to nurse and to protect this winsome little darling are unconsciously called out. The superficial relationship of woman to her lover conceals this fundamental urge. She longs to take this defenseless creature, hold him to her breast, guard him, shape him, and let him grow up under her protection. Her feminine intuition, which so accurately divines the presence of the spiritual baby, fails, alas, to understand that it is a baby who will never grow up.”

Ding ding ding ding ding! No more pity relationships- never ever again!
p.s. The link takes you directly to the book, which you can read for free

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Sociopaths Primer on Entertaining Children: Violence and Antisocial Behavior

If you asked me to choose, I would have a hard time telling you what annoys me the most about the sociopath's parenting style. Aside from the true horrors of what is being done to my son, there is a whole slew of smaller things that I can't stand. It would be great material for a book, “How to Be the World's Worst Father EVER”.
Today, my concerns center around what he thinks is appropriate entertainment for my son. Let's just say if the show has violence, he is going to tell my son to watch it. Last weeks lineup in his evening itinerary is:

  • Halloween (1 thru 100)
  • Walking Dead
  • Sons of Anarchy
Now, I love a good zombie story as much as the next person. I can't wait to see what happens this season on Walking Dead. BUT I don't let my 5 year old watch it and I don't watch it where my child can see it.

Oh, I can hear Nimrod (sociopath's child custody lawyer) now, yelling to the rooftops,”You see Your Honor, she will nit pick him to death. Nothing he does will ever be good enough! Complaining about him watching TV, for Pete's sake”

And, you may agree with him that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with allowing a 5 yr old boy to watch some of television's most gruesome moments.

Here's the caveat: my ex has Antisocial Personality Disorder. My son is at risk for developing the same thing. Violence on television DOES have an impact on him. The American Academy of Pediatrics released a study that found that boys between the ages of 3 – 5 who viewed this type of content were more likely to be aggressive and engage in antisocial behavior at 7 – 10 years of age.

Here is the link to the study:

It just serves as a subtle reminder that when it comes to fighting for my child, even ordinary everyday things can be a tool for the sociopath.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Why a Mental Health Evaluation May Not Help Your Child Custody Battle With a Sociopath

When my attorney shared my ex's mental health evaluation with me, I could see she was happy. The psychiatrist pretty much made the case for her. Diagnosis? Antisocial Personality (sociopathy). The treatment recommendation? Supervised visitation with our son and at least a year of therapy before implementing unsupervised contact.

The psychologist sated that father needed to be able to “demonstrate basic skills in keeping (the child) safe, to grasp his importance as a role model, to manage conflict without violence, as well as model socially and culturally appropriate behaviors.” Father further needs to see a psychotherapist who can make ongoing recommendations for at least a year. He pointed out that these traits are not easily undone and it was going to take time to learn to behave appropriately and develop insight.

The sociopath did not produce any mental health experts to rebut this testimony. It was admitted into the record and the written report became evidence. The judge made no comments other than to ask how long the father needed supervision. As most of you know, the sociopath was awarded shared custody anyway and designated as the Primary Residential Parent (note: in my case, this designation is only relevant as it applies to the burden of proof needed for requesting a modification of the order. We are equally divided, in a true 50/50 arrangement).

Can I Prove He Is a Sociopath?

 I get a lot of questions about whether or not I think it is beneficial to ask for a sociopath to be evaluated in a custody situation. My answer is always that it depends. Clearly in my case, we wasted the money it cost to have him testify. However, it depends a lot on the judge who is hearing your case. My belief is that I would not go through this process again. At least some of the attorneys I have talked to agree. Here's why:
  • Judges are not mental health professionals. They do not understand what sociopathy is and they are not likely to get it with a one hour lecture. Sociopathy is fairly rare. Estimates have placed the occurrence rate somewhere between one and three percent of the population. It took us, their victims, years to understand what was going on and we lived with it.
  • You most likely NOT going to get a full diagnosis. Most evaluators are reluctant to diagnosis sociopathy without extensive evidence. Sociopaths are also skilled liars and manipulators. I am not sure that ex would have been diagnosed if it were not for one little thing: he was caught red handed lying to the evaluator.
I had put together a list of specific concerns that I had about the sociopath. I tried to be very fair so I never mentioned the abuse that I had suffered... only harmful behaviors done to my child (I was a little more naive back then and now I wished I had told everything). I also included a print out from the county courthouse of his 4 page arrest record and photographs of marks he left on our 3 year old sons back from hitting him.

When the evaluator asked him if he had a criminal record, he said no. When confronted with hard proof, the sociopath tried to back peddle and came clean. But the damage was done. The psychologist knew he was lying and trying to present himself in an overly favorable manner.
  • The evaluation can be used against you. If a judge orders you to undergo an evaluation also, it may shed a negative light on some aspects of your personality. I wasn't worried about this because I felt confident I would have no problem. It turned out to not be an issue because the ex didn't ask for me to be evaluated. However, it is a fact that all of us who have survived a sociopath's abuse have issues. It effected us profoundly.
We have endured terrorism and we have developed some type of coping mechanism for it. The mental fog, the way we question our perceptions of reality,and the way we become hyper-vigilant are all things that might cause a problem on a standardized test. Yes, these things are a normal part of experiencing trauma, but do you really want to have to argue that fact to a judge?

Also, even if we have recovered in time for an evaluation we often have PTSD symptoms just from the stress of litigation. On the other hand, the sociopath thrives on the conflict so he will have the upper hand while we are sweating, shaking, and want to vomit.
Better Strategy

What I think would be a better strategy is to paint a picture of sociopathic behaviors for the judge and then tie that together with how it impacts the child. For example, say the sociopath calls you nasty names and throws stuff at you during exchanges. This is bad for the child in two ways: emotional distress over the conflict and in being an inappropriate role model for managing anger. Excluding you on decision making, neglecting the children, dressing them inappropriately for school, and neglecting their supervision or hygiene are also other red flags.

Just be certain that you have good proof to back up your testimony. Assume right off the bat that no judge is going to believe you. Journals, recordings, photographs, and witnesses are the best way to do this. Keep a log and document EVERYTHING, then notate any evidence you have beside the incident. Research “Cluster B” personality traits to help you sort through what is relevant and what isn't.

I do think expert testimony is critical- but NOT for the purpose of proving that your ex is a sociopath. Instead think about hiring a psychologist to testify about how your child can be damaged by this type of behavior. Explain to the judge why the sociopath is harmful.

At The End of The Day

Evaluations? Not so helpful. Sociopathic behavior? Very relevant, if you can prove it.

Child Support Court Reset Again

Well, Monday marked my fourth appearance in child support court. The sociopath has been fighting like hell to have his child support obligation removed. In the latest round of paperwork, his new attorney provided me with an "Annualized Estimate of Earnings for 2012."

Basically, it is just last years income tax return with the numbers scratched out and new figures handwritten beside it. What a joke. The most significant information that it reveals is that my ex is reporting a net income of $16,840 for 2012. Let's see, that would amount to a $34,000 difference from what he so earnestly testified to at trial.

Since I am contesting the child support modification, it has to be heard by a judge. It just so happens to be the same judge that heard the inital custody case. Right now, he is on some kind of vacation. So, the case has been reset again for a hearing December 3rd. The sociopath has committed blantant fraud upon the court -but I just wonder if the judge will acknowledge that fact.

Quick history for those of you who don't know:

 In a previous post, I shared the actual testimony that was given at trial. The judge questioned him about whether or not he know the difference between net and gross. We all had to sit through Nimrod's (the sociopaths lawyer at custody trial) theatrical story telling as a means of illustrating how net differs from gross. The judge made a finding of fact that the sociopath's earning capacity was $50000 / year based on his sworn statements.

A few weeks after this testimony, the sociopath filed for a modification of his earning capacity- stating his business had "declined". I filed a notice of appeal on the custody ruling. Nimrod and the sociopath continued to argue that his earning capacity was $50,000 in the appellate court. Simultaneously, he argued (and IS arguing) it was around $16,000 in child support court.


It Takes a Village to Fight Story # 1 : A Mothers Fight Against Corruption

You know that saying, "It takes a Village...?" Well, I believe that it is going to take all of our voices to bring change to the family court system and protect our children. None of us are alone. By sharing our stories, we encourage others to heal and inspire them to keep fighting. My heart goes out to each one of you and to your children.  Just maybe- if we all refuse to shut up, refuse to back down- then someone will hear our message.

A Mothers Fight Against Corruption: 1/2 of my HEART is healed: I do not even know where to begin. Other than shouting from the rooftops that "JOZIE IS COMING HOME TO ME!!!!!!" God is so good. This I beli...

If you would like to have your story published on It Takes A Village, then please email me at Stories should be 600 words or less. Your identity will remain
anonymous, unless you choose to include it.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Some of the Best Advice I Ever Read Regarding Co-Parenting with Sociopaths

This is a summary of all of the different tips I have read on co-parenting with a sociopath. For me, every bit of this is true.

  1. Limit all contact with them. Obviously, if you have a child this is difficult to do but you can still set limits. Don't see the sociopath unless it is for parenting time exchanges. Don't talk to the sociopath. Communicate only in writing or through email. Don't let them come over to your house and ignore them if you see them in public.
  2. Never call them a sociopath except to those who already know it. This can and will be used against you.
  3. Expect them to try to gather supporters using sympathy. Sociopaths will use the children to accomplish this. Don't react to it.
  4. Don't believe a word they say. Sociopaths lie and manipulate to the extreme. Do not believe anything they say and don't let them suck you into their games.
  5. Show the court the conflict they cause and how this is detrimental to your child.
  6. Facilitate a relationship between the sociopath and the child so that you can show the court that you are not interfering in the other parents rights.
  7. Go to therapy and learn to control your emotions. Get support and start the recovery process. Transition from a victim into a warrior.
  8. Document everything that happens. Try to gather irrefutable and admissible evidence.
  9. A sociopaths weakness is that he doesn’t know how normal people feel. Use this to your advantage by feeding him false information. Let him think he is winning.
  10. Do everything in your power to raise an ethical and moral child. This is the ultimate prize.

Friday, November 2, 2012

K.I.S.S. And Tell: Fight a Sociopath and Win!


I have to laugh every time I check my analytic's page. Especially the keyword phrases that people use when searching for information on co parenting with a sociopath. Don't misunderstand- I'm not laughing AT them. I am laughing at the absurdity of the fact that ANY of us are having to learn how to co-parent with a bonafide sociopath. Unbelievable.

That being said, I have personally been put through the ringer trying to figure out how to convince a judge that my ex is a sociopath. You would think that a psychiatrist testifying to the fact would be enough. NOT.

I have worn the search engines out looking for information about how to beat one in court, how to win against them, how to protect my child from one, how to testify against one, how to explain ASPD to your attorney, and how to co-parent with one. The answers are hard to find.

Here is what I HAVE figured out about winning a battle against a sociopath: It is possible and it isn't that hard. I have developed a theory I call K.I.S.S and Tell. So, far it has been working for me. Here is how it works:

K.I.S.S. stands for Keep it Simple, Stupid. Sociopathy is hard to explain to someone who has never lived with it. The traits are not. Predicting the impact on a child isn't hard either.

Q: How do we tell a judge a sociopath is bad for a child? (Again, laughing... it is sooo wrong we should have to do this, duh!)

 A: Tell him about morality as a predictor for future criminality and values as an ability to instruct and inspire the child in preparation for becoming an asset to the community BUT don't throw a label onto your ex.

After all, aside from the abuse and neglect that our children must suffer now, our biggest concern is the impact a sociopath will have on their future. (I am not minimizing abuse and neglect, but I am avoiding it. Bringing this up in family court is an almost guaranteed way for a mother to lose custody- even if the sociopath admits to it and even if you can prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt.)

If you run into court saying your ex is a sociopath and he tries to make you look crazy, then the judge WILL think you are crazy. The ex will snicker and laugh and say, “see, I told you she was nuts!” Emotionally detach yourself from your case. If you focus instead on proving a pattern of behaviors and painting a picture for how this will impact your child, you will come across as grounded. Judges like grounded.

I highly recommend the book “Teaching Right from Wrong – 40 Things You Can Do To Raise A Moral Child” by Arthur Dobrin. It is all about how to raise an ethical child- which a sociopath knows NOTHING about. It is also a valuable blueprint for telling a judge what your child needs and how you can do it better than a sociopath.

So, try to keep your case simple. Complicated equals confusion. Sociopaths thrive on confusion.

and tell. What is a sociopath's ONLY FEAR? The truth being revealed. Do tell about what has happened in your life and the hell that your child is going through. BUT be clear that you can separate the past from the future. The reality is that in the current court environment, you WILL be forced to co parent with the sociopath. If you suggest anything less you run the risk of losing your child to the sociopath completely.

I used to keep my mouth shut about the abuse. I was embarrassed. Now, I tell every chance I get. Once people hear it they start noticing things on their own. The sociopath hates it, which triggers his issues and causes him to make a fool out of himself. I made the mental shift from victim to survivor and people are starting to see through his act. Me telling has caused him to sabotage himself. He is not winning anymore.

I believe in K.I.S.S. And Tell because I tried it the other way and I LOST. Then I learned that I was not alone. Thousands of mothers and children go through this very thing. The more outraged against the injustice we become- the harder we fight to reveal the truth – the tighter the noose around our neck gets. In this way, we mothers have a LOT to learn from corrupt father's rights groups and perhaps from sociopaths as well.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Can Sociopaths Love Their Children: Part 2 Sociopathic Love Isn't Love

In a previous post I talked about my confusion surrounding the issue of whether or not the sociopath loves my son as he claims. Needless to say, the topic sparked a lot of interest and I am clearly not the only one who has struggled with this question. So, here we go with Part 2 on this issue!

Calling someone a Narcissistic Sociopath is Redundant
All Sociopaths are Narcissistic

I received many emails from readers on this subject. They ask, “how it is possible for sociopaths to “love” when they lack a conscious and are unable to experience empathy?” This group does not believe it is possible.

Some argue that sociopaths do love- and hurt. They advocate that having a mental condition does not make the sociopath any less human. As humans, they deserve the compassion and empathy of society.

So what is the answer? Do sociopaths love their children? After a lot of research, I am of the opinion that the answer depends entirely upon on how you define love.

A sociopath is NOT capable of loving the same way that you and I do. We ( the “normals”) experience love as a strong emotional attachment for someone else. We value the person, hold them in high regard and work towards their well being. Love is more than an emotion, it is also an action.

Parental love has a biological basis, not that much different than the drive to eat. We need to form attachments so that we have a place in which we belong- sharing a home, raising children, and emotional security. From an evolutionary standpoint, without love our species would be threatened. Humans are dependent upon parents for care and nurturing. In turn, the parent ages and becomes vulnerable later in the child's life. Give and take.

For a sociopath, “love” is not defined by these standards. Instead, it focuses solely on their need to have someone attached to them- so that they can feel good. It is not about giving and receiving in mutual partnership. It is about only taking and never giving. Love for a sociopath is all about obtaining narcissistic “supply”.

Sociopaths have two dominant needs when it comes to “loving”- attention and validation.

Attention: Sociopaths are a bottomless pit of emptiness. They crave affection. They need admiration. Without this, they have no worth or meaning.

Validation: Sociopaths need people who agree with them. If you fail to do this, you will become the enemy and watch out.

The “supply” is any person who will feed them these things. The easiest supplies are children and those with low assertiveness and low self esteem. People who are overly kind and empathetic are good choices too. The sociopath will target them.

Sociopaths will react one of two ways when it comes to their own children: they will hate them because it reduces the availability of their narcissistic “supply” (mothers devote energy to their children, which the sociopath sees as the child stealing from them) OR they will try to gain their narcissistic “supply” from their children.

The supply-seeking sociopath may be very loyal to their children and very proud of them. They will profess their love over and over. BUT they do not really love them. It is no different than the pleasure a child may get from a new toy. Children are props- the same as any other possession- AND they are easy targets.

In reality, sociopaths are not loyal to anyone but themselves. They lie and manipulate with ease. NO- they do not LOVE their children because sociopathic love isn't love. Like everything else a sociopath does, it is selfish, consuming and destructive.