One of my readers has been going through child custody issues with her sociopathic ex and father of her child. It's an interesting subject, and I do believe that there are pretty common mistakes that empaths predictably make. About the topic generally, this lovefraud post is actually sound advice. But for a more personal angle, I asked my reader to write her story summing up some of the advice I had given her and how she applied it to her particular situation:
How do you deal with a sociopath when he's fathered your child?
It wouldn't be such a big deal if there wasn't so much at stake. Sure, there's the whole business of my heart. He didn't just break it, he masterfully chiseled at it until there was nothing left. I hardly knew I was being tormented as he romanced me into insanity, literally through hell and back. But that's another story for another time. The end result was that I finally left with what shreds of dignity I had left. I was three months pregnant.
Our relationship was convoluted with other women, one of whom he married around the time I was about four months along. She never knew about me, much less the impending baby.
When my daughter was born, I filed for child support, confident he would not pursue visitation in order to protect both his marriage and reputation in his community. He is a charming, executive director of a well-known non-profit organization and is socially active in his town. This, I believed, was my leverage. I would soon learn that when you choose to engage in battle with a sociopath, nothing is what it appears to be, and you have to step into his world, his rules, his games. It is not for the weak or faint of heart. You have to be strong, have an undetectable poker face, and be ready to call bluff when the timing necessitates (but be ready for the consequences of calling bluff - it will generate a strong reaction from your sociopath, which is not advisable when children are involved).
It is also a delicate balance of knowing just exactly how far to push, and when to give in. I learned the hard way that you absolutely never, ever let a sociopath know what your vulnerability is. This seems like a no-brainer, but for me, the fear was all to real when he began to threaten me with visiting my infant daughter. Mistake Number One. It would prove to be a fatal mistake that would be difficult for me to overcome and regain my footing. I learned it became easier for me if he underestimated me. So I played the light-hearted airhead. Absent-minded, not a care in the world. This worked for a while. When it came closer to our court date, he pushed more and more to see my daughter. I told him he was more than welcome to stop by. And then I would inquire innocently how his wife was doing. This was just subtle enough to make him gently back off. We did this for a while until we met in court.