Tuesday, September 10, 2013

For the guys: Confessions of a Female Sociopath

For all you dads out there... the ones who take the time to read the blog and comment. Information on female sociopaths is very hard to come by. When I stumbled across this press release, I thought of you guys instantly!

This is a memoir of a female sociopath. Guess what? She's a lawyer (gasp!). Here is the link:

http://www.npr.org/2013/06/19/193099258/inside-the-mind-of-a-sociopath

3 ways To Build Character In Your Child and Get Revenge On A Sociopath

Revenge may belong to God, but we can “get even” with a sociopath by doing the right thing- building character in our kids. Integrity, strength, responsibility, fairness, and honesty- all the things a sociopath hates.



When I began my battle, I was lost on what to do. How do I protect my son? How do I teach him how to be a good person, when everything I say or do is negated by a sociopath? I see this question a lot popping up in comments and forums.

While I have discussed this before, I want to outline some clear tips that I have learned. These are a combination of working with child therapists and my own research on how to be the more effective parent.

1. Teach your child not to be a victim.

    1. No one has the right to degrade them or hurt them.
    2. Silence will ensure maltreatment continues. Teach them to speak out about wrongs.
    3. Teach them that their thoughts and feelings matter. Ask for their opinion and really listen.
    4. Encourage them to develop their “inner voice” and to speak out even when they are afraid. Be a courage coach.
    5. If abuse is active, run through scenarios with them on how they can cope until the situation passes.

2. Don't be an unintentional hypocrite (this is a tough one.)

    1. If you tell your child something is wrong, make sure you don't inadvertently model that behavior (ie degrading people, denying your child's perceptions and reality, etc.)
    2. Don't use corporal punishment. Learn positive parenting techniques and alternative modes of punishment. If you want to know why, ask me in the comments section and I will be happy to explain.)
    3. Do be somewhat of an authoritative parent. The rules, once established, are ALWAYS non-negotiable. Let them provide input, but there are clear consequences for non-compliance.
    4. Follow through. This was hard for me. It breaks my heart to punish my child, especially given how miserable and depressed he is, but failure to follow through sends a message that there will be no consequences if they learn to manipulate you.

3. Give BIG rewards.
 
    1. Compliance with the rules of personal conduct carries big rewards. Even if you are like me, flat broke from the legal fight, you can still give them something. Things I use include having a party, letting my son choose one activity we can do together (and I do it, even if it means jumping on the trampoline for 30 minutes when I am tired, sweating and make up running in my eyes), a special dinner, a trip to the park, etc.
    2. Don't make it about material things, even if you CAN afford it. While toys are great, you want to teach them that the reward is about enjoying life -NOT things! 
I'm not going to tell you that any of this easy. A lot of the time, it really sucks. I have my days where I want to shout at the world, “It isn't fair! I have to parent twice as hard as everyone else!” But I do it. I keep my eye on the final goal: to raise a smart, strong, moral, and empathetic child. Nothing says “revenge” better than shattering a sociopaths dream of creating a carbon copy of themselves.
 
What tips do you have for building character in your child?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Do Sociopaths Have a Personality Problem or Are They Bat Shit Crazy?

I have often wondered why, since Antisocial Personality Disorder isn't treatable and is so harmful, they don't classify it as a true mental illness.




The link below is a good article on why sociopaths are labeled with a personality disorder. By all means, let's enable them a little more by protecting their best interests instead of  the victims.

https://sites.google.com/site/consultingservicesinfo/mental-illness/anti-social-personality-disorder

Monday, August 26, 2013

Liar, Liar Pants on Fire

It may be wrong to say it, but sometimes I wish the Liar's pants would catch on fire, for real.



I have been thinking a lot lately about lies and the motivational forces behind them. Sociopaths are experts at lying, and I'm pretty sure lawyers are too (do they get special training in law school, or what). While I don’t think lies are inherently good or bad, I do think that the intention behind them is a powerful indicator of a disordered personality.

The best I can figure, lies serve two main purposes: to protect or to manipulate. Protective lies are the ones that most of us are guilty of telling. Complementing someone falsely to spare their feeling or to protect ourselves (or loved ones) from danger. We feel bad for doing it, but decide that is the best action to take in a situation.

Sometimes we accidentally lie by not following through on the things we say we will do. When confronted, we readily own up to it and apologize. Geez, I’m so sorry I did that. I don’t know where my mind has been lately.

Manipulative lies are designed with a more sinister purpose in mind. These lies seem to serve no purpose on the surface, but really they are intended to accomplish a goal. The goal may be to win us over to the liar's side, make us love them or inflate their own ego.

When we confront a sociopath with their lies, they attack. The attack can be directly against us, or indirectly against us by targeting a third party. I have noticed the following patterns when confronting personality disordered liars :


Attack: Shift the Blame

The “Shift the Blame” strategy can be an indirect attack on a third party or circumstance. I don't know about you, but for me these are easier to spot. It usually involves the sociopath inventing a story. The stories are somewhat fantastical and fall apart under careful analysis.

 It might involve an active smear campaign about us or something more ridiculous, like saying they couldn't fulfill an obligation because they were hit by a car and hospitalized.  This is BS you can smell a mile away. Any person in regular contact with you- who really cares about you- doesn’t forget to tell you vital information until you call them out.

A more direct “Shift the Blame” attack involves insulting us directly. I think a lot of us have gone through this. It involves projection and put downs. It usually has the the words, “... because your a...” (fill in the blank.) Or they may say, “why didn't you...” do whatever it is that you could have done to prevent them from lying in the first plae.


Attack #2: Guilt Trip

What do sociopaths feed off of? Our compassion and empathy. The attack in this case usually making US feel bad about their lie.

Example #1: “I guess I am just a worthless person. After all, I'm only working my butt off for you. “

Example #2: “Join the list of everyone who's mad at me. I'm miserable but I have to stay here, in this horrible place, just for you.”


Attack #3: Isolation and Alienation

Similar to Shift the Blame, but the attack is designed to not only defend the lie, but also isolate us from anyone who can confirm our suspicions. It usually involves insulting people we are close to, and pointing out how those individuals have failed us, which the sociopath has not.


Attack #4: Confuse and Distract

Most of us are familiar with the gas-lighting technique used in the Confuse and Distract strategy. It consists of them making up additional lies, convincing us we didn't hear what we thought we did, or that we’re just so plain dumb that we failed to comprehend what they were telling us (see the post on the sociopaths deposition for an example.).


I'm sure there are many other techniques I've overlooked here. What patterns have you seen when confronting a sociopath with their manipulative lies?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What God and Rap Sensation M&M Teach Us About Fear


Joshua 1:9 says, “ Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Don't be afraid, or dismayed. For the Lord, your God, is with you whereever you may go.”

Why is it so hard for us to listen?
In talking with many of you over email and comments, I have noticed that- while our cases differ in some aspects- we all share the same paralyzing fear for our children. I'm talikng about gut wrenching, heart ripping, vomit inducing, imobilizing terror. It's not just we are afraid we will lose custody (although we are) but rather the flabbergasting possibility we will lose our kids to a sociopath.

When I was first served with papers telling me that the sociopath had filed with the court asking for custody, I thought: ya right. He doesn't know anything about my son. He's endangered him, abused him, neglected him, and a mental health profesional has stated he shouldn't be alone with the child. I had pictures, audio recordings, and witnesses. He will never win.

Then I began doing online research and discovered that these monsters do win- and frequently- in family court. The terror set in- far beyond any fear I felt previosly for the safety of my son or myself. I lived in a state of mental numbness, willing to accept any amount of abuse for the sake of proving that I wasn't interfering in a relationship between the sociopath and my son.

When the sociopath didnt show up for a scheduled visitation, I called him and voluntarily rescheduled. When he didnt call my son the talk to him, I would have my son call. I made my son give him gifts every father's day, birthday, christmas. I voluntarily shared every holiday, splitting the day evenly between us. I exhausted myself bending over backwards, trying to facilitate a relationship the sociopath didn't want to begin with. And neither did my son. Every contact resulted in added trauma, resistence, and distress.

I was so afraid, I over compensated. By the time trial rolled around, I was tired and fed up. I didn't eat, I didn't sleep. I broke out in a nervous rash. I started smoking- a lot- to deal with the stress. I thought no one has ever felt this level of fear before- I'm alone. Even my therapist questioned why I was trying so hard to promote a relationship between this sick, sick man and my son. Why? Because the court is going to expect to see that. I have to show the judge- it's not me, it's him.
 
I handeled fear poorly.

 I don't listen to a lot of music, but I can see a similar fear in the lyrics to one of M&M's songs. (Including getting into court and pretty much forgetting everything I had prepared for- thank goodness I remembered where I lived). How many of you can relate to this?

“His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy
There's vomit on his sweater already, mom's spaghetti
He's nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready to drop bombs,
But he keeps on forgetting what he wrote down,
The whole crowd goes so loud
He opens his mouth, but the words won't come out
He's choking how, everybody's joking now
The clock's run out, time's up, over, bloah!”

Im curious about the level of fear you felt in dealing with the sociopath in your life. Is there anyone out there that was capable of obeying God's command to not be fearful? How afraid were you? What coping methods did you use during periods of intense fear?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Family Court and The Sociopath: A Perfect Pairing

 
I found another great article that might be helpful to some of you in understanding the sociopath in the context of child custody litigation. We have talked about these concepts before, but sometimes it is good to see other perspectives.
 

 Family Court is perfectly suited to the fantasies of someone with a personality disorder: There is an all-powerful person (the judge) who will punish or control the other spouse. The focus of the court process is perceived as fixing blame — and many with personality disorders are experts at blame.

There is a professional ally who will champion their cause (their attorney — or if no attorney, the judge). A case is properly prepared by gathering statements from allies — family, friends, and professionals. (Seeking to gain the allegiance of the children is automatic — they too are seen as either allies or enemies. A simple admonition will not stop this.) Generally, those with personality disorders are highly skilled at — and invested in — the adversarial process.

Those with personality disorders often have an intensity that convinces inexperienced professionals — counselors and attorneys — that what they say is true. Their charm, desperation, and drive can reach a high level in this very emotional, bonding process with the professional. Yet this intensity is a characteristic of a personality disorder, and is completely independent from the accuracy of their claims. Read the full article at http://incra.info/parenting-time/child-custody-battles/high-conflict-parties/personality-disorders-and-litigation

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Sociopath's Never Ending Quest for Domination



A quick update: the sociopath has refused to settle my current case. Not shocking, I know. It seems he feels he should get to be "in charge", yet pay no child support while I care for my son during the school year and he gets him all summer during playtime.

I agreed to no child support. I offered 40% residential time, a split Primary Residential status (him during summer, me during school year), but I want sole legal decision making due to his refusal to co-parent. It was a toss up as to what was most important to him... the money or maintaining his control over my son and I.

Not surprisingly, power and control won out over financial incentive. His never ending quest for domination has resulted in some new stunts that shocked even me. My attorney meets with the judge on August 15th to talk to him and set aside 2 days for trial. As much as I have prepared my evidence, I still feel disorganized and nervous.

While I  haven't ever really made it off  this crazy hamster wheel, I am going to be running harder than ever. I have the SAME judge... the one that hates me and thought it was a grand idea to take my baby away from the only parent he has ever had and award a sociopath joint physical custody. Then, just to rub it in... name him Primary Residential parent so that it is hard for me to modify the case. WOO HOO! Here we go...

Monday, July 1, 2013

Diary Excerpts From a Survivor of a Sociopath's Abuse

I have decided, in my down time, to share with you some of the sociopath's abusive behaviors my son and I endured. While I have escaped his grasp (for the most part), my son still endures his psychological terrorism. What follows are excerpts from a diary I kept before I had the courage to ask for help- or even tell anyone what was happening to us.
 
It is intensely embarrassing for me; but if one person out there feels less alone, than it is worth it. Although I didn't get punched, the abuse is clear to see. It is important to remember that, because abuse wears many hats. A normal, healthy person would never treat a partner, a loved one in this manner.




It has been a while since I have posted. Things are grinding slowly along with my current case. Nimrod has asked for a settlement agreement, which I sent to my attorney today. I have mixed feelings on how I think this will go. In the event it doesn't settle, we are trying to secure a court date for August or September, which means that this could drag out past when school starts. More frustration.

In the meantime, I have been reviewing the diary I kept while the sociopath was still living in my house. Looking back, it makes me so angry with myself that I stayed as long as I did. Angry... because I should have had the foresight to get away... right then and there. Angry that I allowed someone as worthless as him to hurt my son and I. Angry that I was so paralyzed by my fear, so busy tip-toeing around that I neglected to take action.


Ten steps forward and one step back. I thought I was over the self-blaming for being in an abusive relationship. Clearly, I am not. I have come so far in my journey to recovery, only to find that sometimes I feel as if I am right back where I started.

In this example, the sociopath only speaks about 20 words, but his intent is clear.

12/23/10
I am in the kitchen cooking when the baby falls in the doorway and bumps his head. I walk over to him, kneel down and tell him he is mommy's brave boy, to let me see the boo boo. From somewhere else in the house, I hear the sociopath stomping towards the kitchen. I mentally freeze because I know that he is angry; he can't hear his TV over the sound of the baby crying.


As I wrap my arms around my little one to comfort him, the sociopath rounds the corner into the kitchen. He takes one look at us, reaches out, and pushes me over on the kitchen floor. I get to my feet and see the sociopath put his arms around my son, trying to hug him. I watch as my precious little boy screams and screams “MOMMY, MOMMY!” in between his sobs, stretching his tiny arms as far as they could reach, struggling desperately to get back to me.


I couldn't take it one more second. I reach out to take my son and the sociopath blocks me with his forearm. With an evil glare he looks at me and calmly says, ”No. He is my son. You will NEVER have him.” Meekly, I ask him to please let OUR son come to me; that there is no competition between us. The baby wants his mommy because that is all he has ever known, so of course his reaction is reasonable. I assure the sociopath that it has nothing to do with his ability to parent.

With a glare, he sets my son down on his bottom on the floor, stands up and says, “Shut that kid up- you have made him a sissy,” and stomps his way to the back of the house. I scoop my child up and head for the rocking chair. For the moment, the danger has passed- but I am so numb that I can't even feel relief that it is over. Just dread at when and how bad the next time will be.


Curled up in my arms, my son whispers, “Mommy, daddy is a Bad Man. Bad man. Why, why?”


To this day, I STILL catch myself wondering the same thing....why?
 
 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Is He Deaf or Just a Sociopath: Communicating With A Skin-Walker

Or rather, the push of the "record" button!


“It requires wisdom to understand wisdom: the music is nothing if the audience is deaf.”
Walter Lippmann

He died almost 40 years ago, but Walter Lippmann was a very wise man.

If ever there was an occasion to laugh my hind end off, it surely had to be during deposition when the sociopath stated, “We have trouble with communication”- referring to himself and I. Trouble is an understatement. You can't communicate with a sociopath. Period. The "audience" is deaf.

The problem is two fold. First, the sociopath isn't going to listen to anything that isn't about him. After all, EVERYTHING is about him. If its not, it should be. Understandable considering a sociopath's extreme ego and sense of entitlement.

Second, the “facts” can always be re-arranged so that the story benefits the sociopath. Here is where the manipulation of reality comes into play. YOU didn't hear what you heard, you only think you did. Reality is subject to each person's interpretation; hence it is just that YOU took it the wrong way.

I have a different belief. I think there are no alternate versions of reality... there is only one reality. Although it is usually 180 degrees away from what the sociopath chooses to accept as reality, I call it “the truth.”

Here is a great example of how the sociopath has tried to twist reality in our custody case regarding my allegation he took the child to the Department of Health for vaccinations and failed to notify me:

1. He HAD to take our child to the health department for vaccines (instead of his pediatrician) because I didn't give him the insurance card.
2. He DID go out of his way to notify me of that fact at the very next custody exchange that he had sought medical care.
3. He took my son to the Health Department because it was closer. BUT it wasn't the Health Department, it was the medical clinic beside the hospital. (Nimrod concurs and corrects the sociopath's testimony to reflect it was most certainly the medical clinic).
4. He can't remember exactly what happened because it was too long ago.
5. He is not sure if it was the Health Department or the medical clinic, but he knows it was beside the hospital. The Health Department is beside the courthouse, so he knows the difference- he thinks. But he's not sure.

(An uncomfortable silence followed when my attorney asked the sociopath to read him the letterhead at the top of the vaccine record, which the sociopath so kindly pulled from his briefcase and my attorney promptly confiscated, stating TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH.)

Now, my version of the REALITY of this event is significantly different from his. The truth is that he told me he didn't have to tell me anything, that double vaccinating was not dangerous, I am a know-it-all, that the health department would be our son's new doctor, and that nobody- not even the pediatrician- was going to tell him what to do.

To the court this looks like a clear case of “he said, she said,” right? Whose version of reality is true? Can I prove reality?

I believe so. It just so happens I audio taped the confrontation. Now, REALITY is beginning to look a lot like the TRUTH.  Wonder what Nimrod will think when he listens to THAT audio recording.

Counseling is another great example of our "trouble" communicating. At a custody exchange, I give the sociopath a note saying,

Dear Ex-hole,

(Okay... so I didn't really call him an ex-hole, but I wanted too)

 I wanted to let you know that I am taking (our son) to counseling. If you recall, you gave me permission in front of (name omitted). The counselor's name is (omitted). The business card is attached.  You are listed on the paperwork and as an emergency contact. If you have any questions, please let me know".

He responds immediately after reading the note- again on tape- by stating he refuses to move the exchange site. Did I just lose you? Don't worry- I was lost too because the note said NOTHING about the exchange location. I tell him I think he misunderstood, perhaps he should read the note again. He refuses, of course.  Another great example of our "trouble" communicating.

I could write pages of examples. My advice: if you try to communicate in person with the sociopath, audio record it. If you communicate in writing, record yourself giving him the information. Check your state laws to be sure it is legal. In Tennessee, only one party has to be aware the conversation is being recorded.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Sociopath's Idea of Early Child Care: Stay and Play


Sorry it has been awhile since my last post. The sociopath's deposition finally took place yesterday. As a whole, I am pleased with my attorney's performance. His experience and professionalism were apparent. Nimrod was present, of course, and he did try to help the sociopath come up with the right answers. Hysterical considering neither one of them know a darn thing about anything.

One of my goals was to find out where and who had been caring for my child during the sociopath's parenting time. There really was no good answer here. I knew that he was either being left in the care of any person who will babysit for free, or he was forced to go to work with the sociopath. No matter what, the answer was going to be hard to hear.

I, the child's mother, am not allowed to see my son during the sociopath's parenting time... despite his sworn testimony to the judge that the child would be in my care during work hours. I work for myself, from home. So, where does my 5 year old son go when the sociopath is at work? To Stay and Play.

Now, this threw me for a loop. I am very familiar with most of the child care options in our little county. Where the heck is Stay and Play? Even more shocking... the sociopath pays for child care?

As the attorney began to get into more detailed questions about where Stay and Play is located, the sociopath begins to smirk. The precise location is.... his truck. Yup.

Now, for those of you who don't know- the sociopath is a horse shoer by trade. This means he drives around to different people's houses and trims or shoes horses. One horse takes about an hour, depending on what he does. He carries a propane-fired forge in his truck for heating and reshaping metal shoes.

My son had told me that he has to sit in the truck when his “dad” works. I had assumed that this was a one time deal... not the normal routine. This includes when it is snowing and 10 degrees outside, and when it is hot and 100 degrees outside. For four to five hours at a time. With no supervision, other than when the sociopath happens to stop and go check on him.

So, what type of childcare does a sociopath find appropriate for a 5 year old child?
The sociopath points to a spot and says “Stay” and “Play!”
And thinks it is funny.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Antisocial Personality Disorder... Sociopathy is a Hidden Epidemic

I came across another really great article today that I want to share with all of you. It discusses why so many people are unaware of sociopathy and how harmful this behavior is to both families and society. Please read and share!




http://blog.oup.com/2013/03/antisocial-personality-disorder-hidden-epidemic/


By Dr. Donald Black
Professor of Psychiatry at University of Iowa and Lucile A Carver School of Medicine in Iowa

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Quick Update and Upcoming Event

I appologize for missing a few posts here lately. This has been a busy month with work and parenting. My son is having a difficult time at school (no shock there, given his current parenting situation). With a new plan in place, I am ready to tackle this issue and prevail.

My legal case has stalled until March 20th. Depositions were cancelled at the last minute due to my attorney being sick. I invested an enormous about of time into preparing the discovery evidence, and still have a few items to copy. I feel confident and ready.

In the mean time, I want to share with you information on an upcoming event. If you are appalled at the way custody descisions are handeled in family court, consider attending.



All Together Now!


The 10th Annual

Battered Mothers Custody Conference



Friday, May 10th and Saturday, May 11th


George Washington University Law School, Washington, DC


BMCC X is a work in progress, so please always refer to

www.batteredmotherscustodyconference.org for the most current (accurate) information!

Register Online Register by Mail Conference Hotels/Special Rates Tentative Schedule Presenters Workshop proposal forms
due 3/1/2013 Be a Conference Co-Sponsor, Exhibitor or Advertiser

For its historic 10th year, BMCC will be joining forces with Mothers of Lost Children, the Center for Judicial Excellence, and other organizations and grassroots groups to bring our issue to the national stage in Washington, DC. Here, legal professionals, advocates, activists, policy makers, concerned citizens, and celebrities will share knowledge, provide advice, and create an atmosphere of support and solidarity—for the overreaching purpose of insuring the human, legal, and civil rights of battered women and their children.

BMCC X will run from Friday, 5/10 at 10 a.m. through Saturday, 5/11 at 4:30 p.m. All sessions will be held at George Washington University Law School.

The conference will be followed on Sat. evening by LOBBYING TRAINING for those interested in lobbying Congress on Monday, 5/13.

On Sunday, May 12th (Mothers’ Day), BMCC X will combine forces with
Mothers of Lost Children and other Grassroots Organizers in a

MARCH AND DEMONSTRATION on Washington, DC


Detail planning, directions, and organizing for the march will

take place during the conference

Conference Fees


are set as low as possible to allow a wide audience to attend and to permit us to waive the registration fee for as many battered mothers as possible. Conference fee includes Lunch on Friday and Saturday and coffee/snacks. Register online or by mail.
Early Bird fee (before April 1st):………..……. $75
Full fee (after April 1st):……………..………… $95
Reduced/scholarship fee for
unpaid/low salaried staff, advocates, etc…... $50
Battered mothers in current
or past custody battles:…………………..….. $35

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Advice From a Reader on Divorcing a Sociopath


I was skimming through my emails today and I wanted to share a comment from one reader. I think, in retrospect, what she says is good advice. To stay in contact with a sociopath may subject you and your child to years of abuse. I chose to stay, and I am still fighting the battle of my life. It's not a fun place to be. If you are not yet involved in the court system,  carefully consider her view:

"Once I turned off the "pity" and began holding him responsible for his actions.......he turned into a raging monster. His mask came flying off and I saw him for what he really is....empty, frightened and scary. I learned to not let a word he says into my psyche as he is a master manipulator. He knew just how to melt my heart...I kept myself trapped by believing him. The best advice I have is this: WATCH what they do...DO NOT BELIEVE A WORD they say....because their words and actions will never come together. Mine always had an excuse....don't believe it. TRUST your own instincts. Move Forward as if he doesn't exist. It's the only way. Demand No Contact....their psychic energy is powerful and overwhelming. If I had known how my divorce would play out, I would have taken my kids and run. That was advice I got from other women divorcing these types. Just run, run away as far and fast as you can. The Courts have become militant over fathers rights....they are creating the next generation of angry, controlling men and supporting those efforts. Then spend time healing yourself and your children....lots of it."

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Child Custody and The Sociopath: Common Case Traits


Note: This post refers to sociopaths and abusers as men and fathers. I apologize if this offends any of you. It is not my intention to discriminate against men on this issue. However, statistically men make up the majority of abusers and those diagnosed as sociopaths. For this reason, most studies focus on the male gender when compiling data. It is not personal.


I came across an interesting report today that I want to share. The study, by the American Psychological Association Presidential Task Force on Family Violence, asks a hard question: Do abusive fathers have an equal right to child custody when the relationship with the mother ends?


Make no mistake, if you are involved with a sociopath your relationship is abusive. He (or she) doesn't have to punch you or break bones to be a terrorist. Psychological abuse is every bit as valid as physical abuse.


Along with identifying the dynamics that are common in abusive relationships, the study identifies three critically important elements that all of these cases have in common.


  1. Sociopaths and other abusive ex-spouses will try to alienate your child from you. They accomplish this by telling the child negative things about you and restricting your telephone access with your child.
  2. Almost always, the parent now seeking custody was NOT involved in raising your child prior to you splitting up.
  3. They may have a history of threatening to abduct (or actually do abduct) your child if you leave them.
“Fathers that are abusive in a relationship can be EXPECTED to use abusive power and control techniques to continue to exert control over the mother and child”


Yet, courts often don't consider how abusive behaviors are relevant in child custody issues. Why? Public opinion dictates that fathers should have equal access to a child. The obvious flaw is that this opinion is based on an assumption that the father is a mentally healthy individual and will act in the best interest of the child.

Clearly, a sociopath NEVER acts in the child's best interest. He acts in his own. If it gets him what he wants, it is okay regardless of who gets hurt. Barry Goldstien, a tireless domestic violence advocate, has this to say about custody issues:

A standard abuser tactic is for him to tell the mother she will lose custody if she leaves because of some real or imagined charge. Too often, women stay with an abuser because she is afraid she will lose custody over an issue that he can't prove or is not important.

Another common abuser tactic is seeking joint custody. Such a request seems benign (too often to the courts), but is often misunderstood. Joint custody is not about visitation. A father can have normal visitation without custody. Instead, it is used to control his ex-partner. Joint custody is generally a bad idea and should never be considered where the father has been abusive. Many decisions affect the parent living with the children more, but joint custody requires equal rights in decision-making. “

Other things a sociopath will do:

Encourage the child to disrespect to the mother by interfering in her attempts to create structure for the child, contradicts her rules, and ridicules her in front of the child. He may also permit activities prohibited by the mother (such as watching violent tv shows) and seek custody for vengeance.

Interfering in the relationship between the mother and child by refusing to let the mother comfort a distressed child and/or encouraging the child to be abusive to the mother. A sociopath sees a child distressed at being separated from the mother as a direct attack on him personally. He will often counter by convincing the child that it is the mother's fault.


Use the child as a weapon against the mother by neglecting abusing, and endangering the child to hurt the mother, threatening to harm or kidnap the child, and refusing to buy the child anything because he knows the mother won't let the child go without.
 
 The Presidential Task Force study summerizes this issue by stating that it is better for a child's development to have limited contact with an abuser. These behaviors are harmful and a very valid reason to fight the sociopath for custody.

Wheel of Abuse for Children:

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Celebrating 3 Months of Freedom From The Sociopath's Stalking

After 2 years, I think the stalker finally gets it!
 


As I am gearing up for the depositions in my contempt and custody modification hearing, I have been organizing all of my documentation into a nifty binder for my new attorney. I came across my old stalking logs and realized an astonishing fact: I have been free from the sociopaths stalking for 3 whole months now. Whoop!


I am so excited to be able to stand in my own front yard without fear. I no longer have to plan how I am going to deal with his intense scrutiny of my daily life. I can breathe again. I don't know from day to day if my peace will last, but for now I am in a stalker free zone!


It is a victory but quite ironic how, after 2 years of ruthlessly exploring every avenue to combat his relentless stalking, the win came completely by accident. Before I tell you what happened, I want to share what I tried and what did not work.


  1. I visited every online resource for stalking that I could find. There was some useful information about how to document the behavior, but very little real advice on how to stop it.
  2. I talked to someone at the local domestic violence shelter. She could offer a lot of sympathy, but no help. She did offer to let me stay at the shelter in order to hide from him, but this would have accomplished nothing. I couldn't stay there forever.
  3. I visited a stalking resource task force website that recommended moving and changing my name. This is not possible because I have forced shared parenting with the sociopath. I will never leave my son behind.
  4. I had my attorney complain to his attorney. Ya right.
  5. I called the police. They dismissed my complaints and refused to fill out incident reports, telling me there was no law against watching someone from a public place- call back if he tresspasses onto my property.
  6. I had my attorney write a letter to the sheriff outlining the state stalking statute and requiring the deputies to fill out incident reports (at a cost of $250).
  7. I filed another official complaint with the sheriff’s department during the next incident. I had an eye witness who included a verbal and written statement.
  8. I had 4 friends and neighbor write letters to the sheriff’s department stating that they knew both of us and are concerned for my safety.
  9. I wrote out my own statement chronicling the events, abuse, threats and stalking. I included audio recordings, videos, and photographs to back up my statement. Copies of everything went on file and to a trusted outside source in the event that something happened to me.
  10. I vented to my own therapist when the frustration was too much to bear. She also expressed great concern about the sociopath's potential for violence, but couldn't do much more than refer me to the domestic violence office.


I had been videotaping the sociopath driving past my house multiple times per day and laying in wait at various locations. I also kept a detailed log of dates, times, which vehicle he was driving, and if anyone was with him. I photographed his friends vehicles driving by my house and breaking their necks to try to see who and what were at my house. I planned on using this evidence to show the judge how unreasonably obsessed this thing is.


During the time that all of this was going on, the sociopath was also facing criminal charges for assaulting a witness (who lives 2 houses down from mine) in the custody case. The District Attorney agreed to retire the case for a year, with the provision that the sociopath stay off of the road. Of course, he didn't and the DA pulled the case out of retirement due to a violation of the court order.

They asked me for the video tapes and logs of the sociopath driving on the road. I declined to give them the evidence... at which time I was told that it would be subject to subpena anyway. Fine by me, but I was frustrated. I had done all this work for MY custody case- not someone else's case. The sociopath didn't know this evidence existed! I had been collecting it in secret (except for close friends and family).


The sociopath enters another agreement with the DA and the criminal case is returned to retirement, with the explicit instructions that it will be immediately placed on the active docket if “any further credible evidence arises” that indicate the sociopath violated the judge's order.


All of this time, I have been holding my breath, waiting for him to violate the new agreement. He hasn't. I was confused by his sudden compliance... until a telephone conversation two weeks ago.



I can't trust you... you are sneaky. You have been taping me the whole time and you were going to give it to the judge and put me in jail!”


(Skin- Walker lingo for:: I can no longer count on you to be my victim. How dare you prove that I am a liar and hold me accountable for my behavior!)


It turns out that the DA told Nimrod (who represented the sociopath on this matter too) that there was videotape evidence proving he continued to drive on my road. And, it turns out that discovering he was being video taped proved to be the best deterrent EVER against stalking by a sociopath. If I had only known....

Build Your Own Sociopath: Influencing Nature with Nurture

Having a child with a sociopath puts my son at risk.

Ever heard of the Build a Bear Workshop? You know, where you get to pick different animal parts and then sew it all together. The result is a cute, cuddly little creature that is unique to each builder. Well, here's a twist on that idea I would like to avoid having to face: sociopaths are built by their parents.
 
Like most mental disorders, sociopathy develops from one of two areas: nature and nurture. A child can be genetically predisposed to the disease or they can develop it through their environment. Kids born with a sociopathic parent get hit with a double whammy: they are are at risk for inheriting the genes and from exposure to cluster B behaviors.
 
These facts have caused me to lose a lot of sleep since finding out my ex was diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder. Like any good parent, I worry about my child. I want him to have a healthy future. I also want him to be a leader, but not at the cost of sacrificing his humanity. It is a topic I have discussed in depth with child psychologists. Here is what I have learned:
  1. While sociopathy is genetically inherited, it doesn't necessarily mean your child will develop the disorder. Ted Bundy's kids didn't become serial killers. 
  2. While research in this area is limited, scientists have identified two distinct sets of genetic markers that contribute to the condition. In the majority of cases, both of the following personality traits were noted in at least one parent:

  3. Aggressive Disregard- a refusal to recognize another person's basic human rights, usually expressed in a style that exhibits uninhibited aggression.
    Dis-inhibition- a loss of restraint that results in an individual not conforming to the rules and expectations of society.
  4. Nurture can overcome nature. Environment plays a huge role in making a sociopath. In addition to the sociopath actively seeking to corrupt a child, a history of abuse increases the likelihood of the disorder.
  5. Parenting style can also increase or decrease a child's risk of becoming a sociopath. The best prevention method is to look closely at the characteristics of ASPD and develop strategies to prevent these traits from taking hold.

    For example, sociopaths can't accept responsibility for their behaviors. Therefore, you need to have firm limits on what you rescue them from. If my son trashes his bedroom during a tantrum, he doesn't get to do anything other than sit in timeout until he cleans it up. Mommy is not going to do it for him. The result is that he stopped doing that because it has a negative consequence he can't get out of.

While either parent can be a sociopath, the condition is far more prevalent in men. One significant study focuses on the effects of boys with antisocial fathers. The results show that the longer the child is exposed to a sociopath father, the worse off he is. In other words, a boy is better off with no father at all than he is with one with ASPD. You can find the study here:
 

This proves how harmful these skin-walkers are to our kids. I wish more people out there understood this condition, especially family court. More importantly, I wish someone had told me this two years ago. I would have never been so determined to keep my son's father in his life. If you are trying to co-parent with a sociopath, what strategies have you developed to protect your kids from this risk?


Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Arizona Supreme Court Prtoects Man Who Murdered 2-year-old Child by Dousing Her with Gasoline and Setting Her on Fire.


January 9, 2013

PHOENIX (AP) - The Arizona Supreme Court has concluded that a man was mentally disabled and cannot be executed for murdering his 2-year-old daughter by dousing her with gasoline and setting her on fire.

The state Supreme Court's unanimous ruling Wednesday overturns Shawn Ryan Grell's death sentence by reducing it to natural life in prison.

Grell was convicted of the Dec 2, 1999 murder of the Kristen Grell in the desert near Mesa.

The court's ruling say the killing was "horrific" and devastating to the family but that Grell's sentence must be reduced.

The justices say that's because the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that it would be constitutionally prohibited cruel and unusual punishment to execute someone with mental retardation




http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/story/20540282/arizona-court-to-rule-on-fathers-death-