About Me




My name is Samantha (pen name) and I am the proud mamma of a perfect little boy. I have spent the last few years half embroiled in a nasty custody dispute with a sociopath. We were never married and I had always been the primary caregiver. In 2011, the father filed for custody of my son because I broke up with him and asked for child support.

 He was on supervised visitation due to parenting, anger and violence issues.  The court awarded him split custody, and made him the primary residential parent.

I was ordered to send my son to live with his father on Christmas Day of 2011.

It has been quite a journey. What began as a simple case in a rural Tennessee county went to the second highest court in the state on appeal in 2012. I lost, yet refused to quit trying to save my son. In 2013, I filed criminal contempt and a request for modification with the same judge I had brought up on appeal.

I won. Today, I have sole legal and physical custody of my son except for the months of June and July.
My little guy was only 4 years old when our story began. He struggled daily with the custody situation and cried all of the time. He has endured more than any young child should have to, and I am so proud of his resiliency. His favorite pets include five tree frogs, three toads, two spring frogs, a salamander, a worm snake, and various fish. He also has a horse and a dog, but they play second string to the reptile collection.

I had never heard of Antisocial Personality Disorder. I first came across it while talking to an online counselor about some problems I was having in my relationship with my boyfriend. What he said scared me enough that I knew that I needed help.  I discovered that finding information on this disorder, as it relates to child custody battles and co-parenting, is difficult.

I scoured professionals and expert resources looking for whatever I could learn. I asked for advice from multiple sources. Everyone said the same thing: to get as far away as I could and have no contact with him. Unfortunately, I could not wrap my head around that idea. I stayed and kept looking for a solution.

Ultimately, I was shattered into a million pieces. The sociopath in my life made good on many of his threats. My family and my closest friends have also endured a fair amount of abuse. Semi -glued back together again, here I stand: battered but still weathering the storm. My story is far from finished, but I want to share what I have learned with other women who may be facing a similar situation.

Running is good advice if you have no court order in place. I tried to take the high road and work through this problem as a team, but I still didn't understand the trouble I was in. I honestly believed that the family court system would protect us.

Nothing could have been further from the truth. So, one of my goals is to educate the family court system and the public about this devastating disorder.

As a rule, children need two parents. The courts assume that this is always in the best interest of the child. In a normal situation, I agree. BUT sociopaths are not normal- they are not really capable of giving true love, let alone nurturing. They also pose a significant risk to the child: children are at risk of developing the disorder though both genetics and environment.

I titled my blog “In Search of a Soul” because the sociopath is the closest thing to a soul-less creature that I have ever encountered. Straight from the lore, they are “skin-walkers”, adapting whatever form they think will achieve their goal. Some are brilliant and successful, others not so much. All of them are manipulative, cunning, and dangerous.

As you navigate this site, please feel free to ask questions and send me your stories. One of the biggest gifts I have received is support from other women who are dealing with personality-disordered abusers. I want to give back. It is good to know that you are never completely alone. Every step that you take towards exposing the truth is one step closer to victory. You may never defeat a sociopath, but sometimes you can out-maneuver them and (hopefully) escape their madness.

Note*

Definition of Skin-Walker:
"In some Native American legends, a skin-walker is a person with the supernatural ability to turn into any animal he or she desires, though they first must be wearing a pelt of the animal, to be able to transform. Similar lore can be found in cultures throughout the world and is often referred to as shape shifting by anthropologists.” - Wikipedia

The sociopath isn’t capable of feeling the same emotions that you and I do. This point can’t be emphasized enough, as it is their greatest weapon. Everyone assumes that we all have similar feelings and thought, that we make judgments based on an inner moral compass that tells us right from wrong. This is the meat of Antisocial Personality Disorder. Not only is their conscious missing, but also they know it and believe that they are superior because of it.

Sociopaths mimic emotions and acceptable behavior (when they need to) by watching us. Although they will never wear our skin or walk a mile in our shoes, they can temporarily transform by copying our behavior. Some people call this wearing a mask, or the many masks of a sociopath, but I like the definition of a skin-walker.

22 comments:

  1. Hi Heather.
    I sometimes Google co-parenting with sociopaths to see what new is out there. I ran across your blog. I still have to read more, but I so far am happy to hear someone fighting for people to understand these "skin-walkers". I just recently named my ex "freddy krueger". Taking the "high road" eight years ago, I am in Florida and agreed to shared custody instead of retaining my Sole Custody-he went fake to rehab for anger and alcoholism and gave him the benefit of the doubt. Little did I know. It's like noone really believes the nightmare he puts me through while trying to raise my child. I have to mentally stay SO FAR ahead of the game, and still that sometimes doesn't work. Hang in there. Thanks for your story, I'll read more and try to keep up with your fight.

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  2. MOST people don't understand what it is like to be caught by one of these predators. No doubt, sociopaths are hard to comprehend when we try to judge them through our own "inner compass" of right and wrong. A sociopath has no "inner compass" and is not hindered by guilt or empathy. That is what makes them so scary... they walk amoung us undetected until someone (like us) finally catches on.

    As you probably know, it is IMPOSSIBLE to co parent with one. I scoured the internet too- in search of that magic bullett that will tell me how to do it. The reality is that it will never happen.

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  3. I have stumbled across your site tonight and I can't hardly type with the flood of emotions I am being hit with. I'm reading all the words written here and all I can do is cry - in both fear and relief - fear for my children's fates and relief in finally having a sense of not being alone! Thank GOD you have created this blog!!!!!!!! I had my court pre-trial today and go for final trial (for my divorce and custody battle) on the 19th of this month. I think the courts have seen through him and his anger issues have (fortunately/unfortunately) helped me keep custody of my kids. My main worry now is for my son. He is almost 10 and SO much like his dad. I am really scared for him and his future. Thank you so very much - you can't believe the sense of relief I have from knowing I'm not alone!!! Jenni C.

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  4. I have a 50/50 type custody arrangement with someone I have just started realizing is (and always has been) a sociopath. I worry for my daughter now. I've tried to go through the courts, mostly to collect child support that never seemed to materialize despite insistence that he helped out. all i got out of it was frustration and retaliation and no help. i don't want to go the court route again b/c i'll end up even more broke and could push him over the edge. i've been trying to have no contact except for when our daughter's health or whatever is involved but i worry about our kid. this sucks. i wish he had abandoned us like he threatened to several times before she was born and when she was a baby. we would have been better off, but he didn't and now we're stuck

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  5. Court is stressful and bad for everyone involved. Unfortunatly, there is no comromise with the sociopath. He will forever demand things be his way, even if he has no clue what he is talking about. If your arrangement lloks like mine, 50/50 custody to HIM means he has all descision making authority

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  6. This is very good information.i think it's useful advice. really nice blog. keep it up!!!

    - co-parenting

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  7. I feel your pain, Samantha. My wife and I have been dealing with her former spouse for a decade now. He is a classic sociopath, and making every matter even worse, he is the chief of police. It has been hell dealing with him for 10 solid years. He has destroyed me, my wife, our kids, and his own kids. He keeps us in court over nothing. He is Satan. All judges and other law enforcement persons fall for his satanic activity against us EVERY TIME. He is Satan, himself, and he deserves every bit of hell he will eventually live. We hate this sick bastard. Hell will not be hot enough for him.

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    1. I cant imagine how hard it must be to face a sociopath in a position of power. (Luckily, mine doesn't have the ability to rise that high). As Chief of Police, he has a lot of resources to torment you with. I hope you don't live in the same jurisdiction! Do you have any advice for readers that may be in a similar circumstance?

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  8. Hey guys, I am also going through a huge custody battle with a sociopath, and a very functioning, "well off" one at that. He makes decent $and is very articulate and manipulative. He has caused constant litigation, loves the "fight" of custody hearings, and will lie, at every turn. He has no remorse, guilt or more importantly, no consideration for what his actions may do to my daughters. At this timehe has no physical custody. Mix a sociopath with a sick pervert child molester and you have my ex. My 6 yr old told her therapist that he had been touching her during bath time. The worst part of all this is the fact that at first, these allegations (made by my daughter) were taken seriously. However, because this county is so apt to involve mom and dad, regardless of what may have taken place, they are willing to put my daughter back into the hands of the man who "inappropriately touched her privates" He has supervised visits and I am scared to death to have to send my daughter back to the man who did these things to her. If I could give any advise to anyone dealing with a sociopath during a custody battle, Id say this- document everything. I did not do this and am paying for it now. Sociopaths will lie, and lie very convincingly. Get a huge calendar and keep track of everything. Secondly, don't put anything past them,. They will lie, cheat and steal to get what they want. Thirdly, money is everything to a sociopath. They will try to get over on you in anyway possible so be prepared. And lastly, you have to fight. Its going to be extremely difficult to deal with this person in court. They do not give up and have no problems lying under oath, in front of the judge and almost always hire sociopathic attorneys. It is a long, grueling battle but your kids are worth it. good luck

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  9. I have also googled Co-Parenting and High Conflict Battle with a SocioPath and ran into your site. I have for 5 years and continue to be in High Conflict Battle with my son's father. It has been a nightmare and thought I was alone. Everything I have read from each and every post mirrors everything from my situation. Using their Status, Uniform and Influences from his High Power Attorney by abusing the system with whom they know. It is a long battle and I pray that there will be a solution to these creatures. I know as they do not have feelings nor remorse especially for a child just to win that they will somehow fall apart. I have lost over $40,000 in Attorney Fees despite the fact that I have done everything right and I continue to do so. I have faith that they will fall apart. Thank you for your bravery in creating this site I now know that there are many Mothers in this same situation and we need to get together to raise this.

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    1. The family court system is so broken, I don't even know where to begin. I would say that it needs education about this personality disorder, but the problem is much, much deeper than that. In my case, the courts held that the parents right to a child (who had not even been legally legitimized) supersedes that of a childs "best interests." Figuring out how to fight this has been a no-win situation. I can only hope that as more parents join forces, we can help enact legislation that works to ensure a child's welfare becomes the paramount consideration for future generations.

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  10. Scouring the Internet about what options are available because my lawyer says a psych eval on my ex will cost me $7000 and be meaningless. Not only did my PD ex drive our daughter in a seatbelt at 10 months of age, he sent me the picture on my cell phone with a text that read "Is this safe?" He's refused to feed her, left her in a folding chair at her first birthday, dropped her, left her alone more time than I can count, even after I've had to fish small toys out of her mouth...

    I left when she was 1 and she's now 5. We're currently going through court and as long as he puts on the overly adoring father act, the guardian refuses to acknowledge his sociopathic behavior. Even though he was told he could not transport her in booster, that's exactly what he showed up with for the first time he had unsupervised visitation. A month later he drove her without the car seat fastened down. He arrived at the meeting place with it leaning on the kid sitting next to mine.

    The court than gave me permission to check the car seat at each exchange. FOUR times in 3 months he has shown up with the car seat not fastened down. It happened again this past Wednesday. One pull on the top of the car seat and it's at a 45 degree angle. Then he tells me to "get my butt over here and check it myself." Ummm, we're both looking at me moving it 8 inches side to side, what is there to check. And of course, he's already shown he can secure the car seat in that car at an earlier date.

    And to top it off, I email the guardian again and she writes back: "I obviously want her to be safe. Do you have recommendations for how I can ensure she is safely transported this summer? I am open to suggestions..."

    WHAT??? You're asking me to come up with solutions about how to prevent him from transporting her without killing her?? WTH.


    My lawyer (as well as a friend) is telling me a psych eval is a waste of time. I don't know what to do.

    I

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    1. I am being told the same thing. Not yet in court but in the mediation process, my attorney, after talking with our marriage counselor, who diagnosed my husband as a Narc-Soc believes that he will pass a psych eval with flying colors. He believes I should agree to my husbands terms in mediation because he's asking for 40% of timesharing, not 50%. We have twin toddlers and I fear not fighting for them and I also fear fighting for them, especially if I get less time with them in the end.
      I have the same concerns with car seats. They guy is so passive/aggressive that if I comment on anything, like poor ability to restrain the children safely in their seats, he will do it worse every time! My children are in danger but if I fight and lose they will be in more danger.....help! F.

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    2. I can't believe that all are story's are about the same. He does that car seat thing to.Our kids are in danger. I am also being draged through a custody battle again. I was counting on the mental evaluation. But I to have herd this.

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  11. I have been engaged in a custody battle with my son's father. He is a classic sociopath and I feel helpless in my situation. In this case, he not only verbally rages but he makes threats, is physically abusive and has scared the heck out of our son to the point he is afraid to accurately report his dad. He loves his dad as he should but his father doesn't love him - he only wants to use him as a tool to destroy me for whatever reason he has concocted in his mind - I suspect child support and taxes. I would appreciate any advice I can receive on how to get through this long process in court and get them to realize how sick this man really is...Thanks in advance.

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  12. Two things, we are going through all of this, but with a female/mother psychopath. Nightmare, yep! Could you specifically in detail, advise the best tactic for getting the court to see what the issue is, without, as you stated, bringing up the fact she is a psychopath. Here's the deal: she works as a counselor in the prison system AND portrays herself as a "good Christian" woman and upstanding citizen to the court. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers and I will do the same! Thank you for your time and wisdom; I look forward to reading what you have to say, Samantha.

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  13. Here is my story in a nut shell. I fell in love with a sociopath. I did not know it at the time, though many of the "red flags" were there. He is an emotional terrorist. Our relationship was both physically and emotionally abusive and I decided to leave because it was one thing when it was just me suffering, but then my son came along and I couldn't bare it. He left our four month old son in the crib to sleep while I was working, to go for a run in the neighborhood. He liked to throw him around like a rag doll in the air and dropped him once before that I know of. When I left, I was scared out of my mind and had no clue of what I was doing. He could still manipulate me and make me feel guilty at times but when I held my ground about leaving, he continued to turn into the monster that caused me to leave. I was property to him. So is our son. He did not take well to me leaving... I literally started over with practically nothing because he decided to come home in the middle of the night when he was supposed to be overseas on a contract working, and take my stuff to the dump or storage unit. He destroyed relationships with close friends and family... who oddly enough, knew of all of the abuse. Yes, he was that good at making people believe him. He tried to get me fired from my work, tried to get my license to practice as a paramedic taken from me, tried to get Department of Family and Children Services to take our son from me, and tried destroying my reputation at work. The douchebag even tried to get hired at my work... which was funny because as a firefighter/paramedic, he said my job was easy enough that a monkey could do it and that I didn't matter.

    I finally had a mental breakdown in November 2013 and though my son was not in my care when it happened, he was awarded primary physical custody. All this was because I finally broke after YEARS of no help with trying to stay ahead of the game with him. It is exhausting. My life is based around a recorder and journal entries to document the happenings. He has recently done some things that are actual felony charges, but until those are settled out in court, I won't mention them, just by the chance he comes across this post and recognizes that I wrote it. Not only is he manipulative, but he was trained by the military to be this way in addition to his natural sociopathic characteristics. His family is the same way. I have been fighting to protect my son. A beautiful four year old boy who loves his momma. It breaks my heart when I have to send him back there. He cries without fail and he suffers terribly for showing his love for me. He is very resilient also, but I fear how bad the affects of my ex may ultimately, eventually be. This is just barely the tip of the iceberg.... I will be presenting my blog soon as well too. I, like you, want to help others in any way I can to not have to experience what I have had to go through.

    I agree about the court systems. Something must be done. Court was made for criminals. The courtroom is no place for such delicate issues as the well-being of our children. I reached out to so many organizations who couldn't help me ... all because I had already left the abusive relationship... The abuse continues. I will continue to fight the good fight. Let's change the way things are. Our kids are more important than rulings based on technicalities and discretion of people who have little to no involvement with our situations.

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  14. Trying to find some kind of counselor for my 30 yr old daughter whose father is a sociopath and ran across this site. Just be aware that when your child is an adult and you cannot fully protect them anymore, they must deal with it themselves and it is ugly and it will break your heart! ( I dealt with the same issues that all of you have expressed when she was little--it is HELL)

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    1. Dear Anonymous- I can identify with you and your experience. My heart goes out to you and your daughter. Actually everyone here on this site. I just officially have been informed by a Domestic Violence Expert/Forensic Clinical Social Worker that my Ex-Husband is a sociopath too. He actually fits all Cluster B Personality Disorders of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, and Antisocial Personality Disorder, and a sociopath as mentioned above. I have two adult sons and they have suffered so much through their life. I have recently discovered a You Tube Video by PHd Craig Childress that described the Narcissistic/BPD/Antisocial aspect of this in a very understandable way. It has been 22 years since I separated from my Ex but he has spent these years lying, and projecting feelings and guilt regarding the things for which he is actually is guilty for onto me despite the grounds for my divorce was Cruel and In-Human Treatment toward me. He has since convinced my sons that I am crazy. I have saved the court papers and the FACTS but my sons refuse to look at anything that I offer them. They are 36 and 42 years old and are adults. Anything that I since have tried to share since they have grown up they do not want to hear. Despite being told by two trauma specialists to share my experience with them. During eth divorce and well after I was the well behaved parent that refrained from saying anything disparaging to my sons and thought that we could go on to make a great future together. Little did I know behind my back Ex husband was lying, and making me look like the bad parent in all this so that he wouldn't have take any responsibility for what he has done to destroy everyone's life. There was extreme violence, and sexually abuse to both of the boys that he
      convinced them "it never happened." CPS was no help, and neither was the police. I was there in the presence of the police interview when my youngest son disclosed the abuse. Hell is an understatement.

      This site may be the only place that I can share my experience with and not be judged negatively.

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  15. Samantha,
    Thank you for bringing your story out, opening a place for others to share. I have 50/50 custody and have endured skin-walker activities for almost 5 years now. Never anything I could (or would) put my kids through the courts for, but that's part of the problem. Shineypants Zipperhead (one of the nicknames I use to amuse myself) always stops juuuuuuust short of anything prosecutable...Knowing that there are others facing this 'secret' lifestyle is helpful. I'm so tired of people seeing the "unstable" victim he wants me to be. But taking a stand against subtle, insidious, irrational manipulation does have a tendency to make one appear insane. All the PTA mommies try to politely avoid the insane lady. Thank you for creating a place where all of us "shrews" can speak our truth and, hopefully, find support. As we get clear of the caregiving years for our children, I look forward to organizing a full-fledged support and advocacy organization for those who find themselves in this endless, silent fight.

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  16. Wow. Wow. Wow. I've been searching and searching and searching for this site because I knew I was right and I knew I was not alone. I started my own blog about these issues but never have time to write. I wanted to find somewhere I could turn to save myself from insanity. I've found it! I don't have time to read a lot today, but I cannot wait to catch up on EVERYTHING. I swear, I could have been the writer of this "About me," except my child is older, and I haven't gone to appeal. I am every so thankful for you, for this blog, for its participants. I look forward to reading up!

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