Friday, March 12, 2010

Child custody fights (part 2)

A reader's experience in a child custody fight with her sociopath ex (cont.):
He was not happy with the amount they ordered him to pay, so he asked for a continuance. However they established visitation in a gradual step-up fashion. I was not happy with this at all. He had never shown an interest in my daughter before, but now - all of a sudden - with a price tag on my daughter, he was adamant about "following the court order" (touching, isn't it?). But there was an edginess to it all. He seemed panicked and his energy was all off. His once unshakable and confident demeanor seemed a bit desperate, reflected in his threats, his attempt to drop his wife's name at every opportune moment. So obvious, for someone who is usually so smooth. It became apparent that the wife still knew nothing, though he kept saying she did (methinks he protested too much).

Finally, in one last act of desperation, he drove over four hours to "talk honestly" with me, prior to a meeting I had with an attorney. I was thinking this was going to be some revelatory moment. And yet, it turned out to be more of the same threats and ultimatums. This time, however he threw in a deal. He would agree to less money per month and no visitation if I left him alone.

This is when it is helpful to know who you are dealing with. Had I been dealing with anything other than a sociopath, I would have said "hell no." The cards were in my favor. He was bluffing and it was obvious. No way would he risk visiting my daughter every weekend with the wife wondering what he was up to. But with a sociopath, I've learned, you have to let them think that they're winning. It appeases some control thing they have an insatiable appetite for. And regardless of how little the child support would have been, he would have come up with another number, I'm sure. He just had to feel like he was dominating the outcome in all of this.

Thanks to this website, I've learned much about how to best deal with him, but even so this was also through trial and error. I have lost several battles dealing with my ex, much to my frustration. I became emotional when I shouldn't have. I let him push my buttons when he refused to call my daughter by name. I reacted in fear when it seemed obvious he had objectified her, reduced to simply an obstacle that needed to be removed from his life. After much consideration, I decided to accept his offer. Though very tempting, to call him bluff would have infuriated him, and I have no doubt he would have periodically made my life uncomfortable. Initially, I would have felt satisfied that I got his goat. But it would have been short-lived and a small victory for small battle in a much larger war that held higher stakes. His offer affords us peace. And it affords him the illusion that he won.

As m.e. wrote in response to one of my emails "it would be better for my daughter to live in poverty than to have this man a part of her life."

My daughter and I get to live in peace, in a healthy environment, with tons of people to love us both. And we get a monthly allowance from the biological (albeit sociopathic) sperm donor.

Battle lost. War won.

26 comments:

  1. one of the best all-round psychopath depictions in this episode of brit cop drama
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgMNbzl3AQI&feature=channel

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  2. To the woman who corresponded with m.e.
    Are you completely out of your mind? Why have you corresponded about your problems with a self proclaimed psychopath? Do you understand that all your grovelling compliments are just getting him off, and the way you have stupidly taken his appalling advice has fed his twisted power trip? Do you think he just helped you? No he help you, he just helped you to back down and let that man get away with not paying maintenance. You didn't have to fear him, and by persuading you of his own mythical masturbatury fantasies about psychopath invulnerability he has got himself off and got you to lose your battle and your war. You began by looking for maintenance, you ended by giving it away. Game set and match. Get it?
    Is m.e. within the law in giving out this sort of disgraceful advice?

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  3. Anon @ 7:57,

    Wow. Ten points for passion. I could hear the edge of hysteria in your voice. First off, M.E.'s allowed to give whatever advice he wants. No one's holding a gun to her head, forcing her to follow it. Secondly, she made a very good decision here. She still get's her money, and he's out of her life and the life of her child. I think you underestimate the individual and overestimate the legal system. Had she called his bluff, do you not believe he would have retaliated? Calm down, tiger. She's happy with her decision and that's all that matters.

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  4. I suppose my concern is not whether or not I'm feeding ME's ego or not, or whether he/she is has "mythical masturbatury fantasies" as you say. My one and only concern is my daughter.

    I've read enough on this site to know that I'm dealing with a sociopath, and so advice from another disinterested sociopath is an invaluable tool.

    There are many more details to this story that are not mentioned here, but I have to say, ME was dead. I don't really care what motivates ME. I do, however, care about what motivates my ex.

    And yes. I am happy with my decision. To do otherwise would mean engaging in a lengthy, expensive court battle and then dealing with a man who has zero love, empathy, or concern for my daughter. Hand her over to him?

    Hell would freeze over first.

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    Replies
    1. I am in a simular situaton. I love my daughter more than life its self. I am so proud of you. I pray daily for Gods will and protection. What a true blessing, I am happy that you are able to be free of him. I would gladly pay for that privlage.

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  5. "There are many more details to this story that are not mentioned here, but I have to say, ME was dead."

    Meant to say "dead on."

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    1. No worries; it's called, a "Freudian Slip".

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  6. I just dumped my sociopath boyfriend today. You can NEVER WIN with a sociopath. I've been reading this site for a while to try to understand him better. He had started calling me names and yesterday asked to move in with me rent free. Keep in mind for the first couple months he was the PERFECT boyfriend, but then things changed oh so quickly, and I was always to blame.

    I did not take this advice, that M.E. posts on here. I did it in a very immature fashion and said "well you'll look like shit in a few years since you're going bald" wtc etc etc since I know he's really insecure about that and every unsavory comment I could think of. I laughed as I said it, it felt good to be hurting him instead finally. He said he hopes we can still be friends. But I think that's probably a bad idea!

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  7. anon - maybe ME wanted to get the best of another sociopath. if it's all a game for power then that victory seems like it would be greater than the satisfaction derived from pulling one over on non-sociopath.

    oh! another line of questioning...is that true? is manipulating another manipulator the ultimate? or do sociopaths prefer manipulating easier targets (as i'm not a sociopath i readily see that what seems logical to me might have no bearing on a socio's motivations)?
    -Laine

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  8. M.E. here is a quote from Thomas Paine that I think can be helpful in understanding some of a sociopath's problem understanding morals:
    A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right.

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  9. a long habit of not thinking a thing right gives it a superficial appearance of being wrong

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  10. the mom or baby mama was right to take the sociopath up on his word. if she agreed to his terms and instead he went back on his word, that would have been a different story, but at some point the games have to stop, even for the sociopath, and i think the dead beat dad realized that.

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  11. oh! another line of questioning...is that true? is manipulating another manipulator the ultimate? or do sociopaths prefer manipulating easier targets (as i'm not a sociopath i readily see that what seems logical to me might have no bearing on a socio's motivations)?

    It's challenging yes, and all the better if you enjoy challenges. I wouldn't naturally call those who are easily manipulated as targets unless I truly have anything to gain from them. There are those who are simply easily influenced by me who have nothing to give me besides lengthy phone calls expecting emotional consolation about their petty problems in life. Though the easier ones become boring (and annoying) after a while, they're good to have around to use against a more challenging opponent.

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  12. @ishtar...so if two 'targets' had the the exact same thing that you wanted, would you naturally go after the more challenging or the least challenging one? i know, i like these hypotheticals.

    i was thinking this morning about how sociopaths are often described as predators. predators, unless afflicted with disease, always go after the weakest and the smallest. so are socio's typical predators or do they often have ambition. ambition seems to me to be a terribly human thing.

    has anyone here read 'in the woods' by tana french? i picked it up this week not knowing anything about it, and as chance would have it, it has a sociopathic character. just wondering what any Ss might have thought of it.
    -Laine

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  13. @ishtar...so if two 'targets' had the the exact same thing that you wanted, would you naturally go after the more challenging or the least challenging one? i know, i like these hypotheticals.

    It depends on what the ends are. If material, I'd go with the easier target. If for reputation, admiration, trust, etc., it depends on what the costs are and how much energy and time I have available to invest in it. Usually the latter is generally more time consuming, but if the result is something I see as significant, then I would put the time and effort into it. This is just my way of doing things, so it need not apply to everyone.

    i was thinking this morning about how sociopaths are often described as predators. predators, unless afflicted with disease, always go after the weakest and the smallest. so are socio's typical predators or do they often have ambition. ambition seems to me to be a terribly human thing.

    Are you suggesting that we aren't human?

    As for "always" going after weaklings, it's not so much that I'd seek them out as if they are ends in themselves. Rather, because they're easily influence, they can be used as means to a greater end.

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  14. @ishtar - thank you so much for your replies!

    i see what you mean by choosing targets with the ends in mind. my hypothetical was even worse than i thought! so do you get pleasure from 'besting' someone or is just getting what you want that drives you? do you feel pleasure at all, in fact?

    as for the ambition being human thing, i wasn't suggesting anyone wasn't human. it just happened to occur to me that there's really no equivalent to ambition in the animal world (yes, there's going up in the hierarchy of the 'pack' but human ambition often goes far beyond that). and if ambition is the only thing that makes us human i'm in trouble too - i am supremely without ambition!

    to me, it seems to make sense that a person without empathy would choose the easier path in victimology. but it does make me wonder about the application of sociopath to some powerful people. it seems like taking *pleasure* in ruining someone (like many business titans and politicians seem to, as well as just about all of us at some point) requires the ability to empathize with the other person's pain. hmmmm, this is not nearly as coherent as i'd like. any thoughts?
    -Laine

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  15. so do you get pleasure from 'besting' someone or is just getting what you want that drives you? do you feel pleasure at all, in fact?

    I wouldn't know for sure if what I experience is "pleasure." I would say it more closely resembles stimulation from outsmarting someone who I see as a challenge, which might explain why I prefer arguing with those I find to be worthy opponents more exciting than arguing with those I find to be lacking in logical thinking (e.g. people who argue emotionally by way of personal attacks rather than attacking the actual argument). It just so happens that it's rare to find people whom I find worth the trouble.

    to me, it seems to make sense that a person without empathy would choose the easier path in victimology...it seems like taking *pleasure* in ruining someone...requires the ability to empathize with the other person's pain...

    Not necessarily. I may not know first hand how it feels to be "ruined," but I know how deeply it might affect others, and that to me is curious. If for instance, my goal was to prevent a 'normal' personal from acting in a certain way, the best way may be by controlling their emotional reactions. My goal may not necessarily be of inflicting the emotions themselves, but by using those emotions to control their actions instead in a way that may be beneficial to me. The internal experience of being "ruined" may simply be a side effect useful for the actual goal.

    Of course I wouldn't doubt that there are some of us who are more sadistic than I am. I'd say I'm more of a pragmatist than a sadist.

    it just happened to occur to me that there's really no equivalent to ambition in the animal world...

    That depends upon how to define "ambition." I assume you mean the ability to anticipate future events and plan for them? Although, I can tell you that I am quite capable of anticipating future events and setting goals for myself in order to survive. Not to mention, humans are technically/biologically animals. To think otherwise would be anthropocentric.

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  16. lol! it's not just you who rarely find worthy opponents for a decent arguement!

    ok, i think i may be at least starting to see what you mean about the 'ruination' thing. but i think that does support my feeling (no pun intended) that many ruthless people that others are quick to label sociopathic aren't necessarily. sadism exists in a variety of populations.

    um, i think i was meaning more in the i-want-to-be-not-just-king-of-my-tribe-but-king-of-the-world sort of vein. *other* animals don't have quite the reach of vision that humans do. and i in no way meant to indicate humans weren't animals. wait, you mean the world isn't just 6000 years old...?
    -Laine

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  17. lol! it's not just you who rarely find worthy opponents for a decent arguement!

    ok, i think i may be at least starting to see what you mean about the 'ruination' thing. but i think that does support my feeling (no pun intended) that many ruthless people that others are quick to label sociopathic aren't necessarily. sadism exists in a variety of populations.


    See? We're not all that different from each other after all ;)


    um, i think i was meaning more in the i-want-to-be-not-just-king-of-my-tribe-but-king-of-the-world sort of vein. *other* animals don't have quite the reach of vision that humans do. and i in no way meant to indicate humans weren't animals. wait, you mean the world isn't just 6000 years old...?


    I've never seen inside of the mind of another animal and so it would be presumptuous for me to make any assumptions about their thought processes. Similarly, since I am not you, I will never know what your subjective experience of the world is. I can, however, learn to interact with you based on your behaviour, but knowing anything about your consciousness and how you define abstract concepts like "ambition" is beyond my capabilities, just as it is for everyone else. In order for me to have some grasp what you mean by "ambition," you'll have to be more descriptive.

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  18. well since i don't know you at all, i would never venture to guess how alike or different we are ;)

    i'm going to abandon the ambition bit here. it was an off-hand comment that referenced a thought that was far from fully formed. you answered the question that i was really asking without needing to muddy the waters with my random choice of words!
    -Laine

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  19. @ishtar (again) - i've been thinking about the 'ruination' thing some more, and i think it's helping me to remember that sociopathy and sadism are different. i've always assumed (so much so that i didn't even realize it) that the sociopath who stomped about in my life when i was younger was concerned with hurting me. now i see how that might have just been a side-effect (in the over 20 years i've known her she has shown no other overt signs of sadism). perhaps i understand her better now and my own role in that drama (drama for me).
    -Laine

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  20. I have a little bit of a problem. See I'm reading up on the sociopath profile and now I'm coming to the conclusion that I've been a sociopath my whole life. How I've gone my whole life without giving my life style a name, but sociopath pretty much sums it up. So in relation to this comment, I have a baby girl. My baby's mama left me while she was pregnant. She had told me she had a miscarriage and broke up with me a week later. I found out later she was still pregnant, and by this time I was seeing another girl in plain site, just to recollect my ego and have some sort of power in my loss. Well, I know understand that her mom, a psychologist, had insight to my lifestyle and that was the reason for her disappearance in which I knew nothing about my pregnant ex. Skipping forward almost 2 years I now have a daughter out there somewhere and incappable of seeing her or being with her. Despite being a sociopath, something is constantly changing inside me. It's not because I can't have her that makes me want her. It's small moments of reflection that are making me realize the douche I been my whole life. And rewinding my memory and reliving the year and half of being with this woman, mother of my only child, is beating me up. Could I be growing out of being a sociopath? is that possible? I'm actually freaking out over here, because I loved her, I just had this big personality fault that kept me from showing her how much I loved her. She's ok, I seen her facebook. But no communication. I want to tell her that she means so much to me even now. That I'm sorry for the damage I'VE done to her. That I'm now conscience of who I am and what I'm capable of and I want her to come back. For you women who were/are in relation with a sociopath, help me switch the coin here. I want to be part of my child's life. HELP!

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  21. Oh who the hell are you kidding? Shut UP.

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  22. It is good to know that you really fought for your child's custody. For as long as you can give the best to your child, then you are the right person to get the sole custody.

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    ReplyDelete

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