Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The technique of disengagement works wonders.

It's been a handful of years since I left the NSP (Narcissist/Sociopath/Psychopath).

I have learned how to remove myself from engagement with him.   It is particularly tricky to disengage when we share custody of our children.

I have learned in these many years that I do not need to communicate much at all with him.  He will try to engage me, and I will feel compelled to communicate openly and thoroughly because that is how I am in life.

I have learned that the NSP will use any information he is given, any detail, to abuse contort malign confuse distort.  The less information he has, the better off we are.  We = me and my children.

I am not his only target.  He targets my children too.  He lies, contorts, pathologizes.  How odd that I must share custody with such a monster, but I must.

People mostly do not understand.

People want to believe that a parent looks out for the best interest of his children.  Not so with the NSP.  It is all a game for power and control.

I use my self control and strategy to avoid the NSP.

Sometimes I am pulled under and into his game, and it feels horrible.  It can feel like a new wave of old abuses.  It can feel hopeless.  But in moments of peace, like the moments I am having now, I remember that it has all turned out alright.

I am alright.

I cannot control the world.  I am one person.  I am not God.  I cannot control the NSP or my children or my friends or my neighbors.  Giving up control is one of the healthiest and peace producing techniques that I've got in my pocket.

It has been a handful of years since I left the NSP, and I can see that my technique of disengagement has got me what I want.  I want peace.  The NSP knows that I am unavailable for drama.  There are always tests.  But, nowadays, I pass with flying colors mostly.  The result of good practice.

Do not engage.

Be Well,

AKA Rose Lee Mitchell

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Don't argue. Don't feed the psychopathic beast.

The psychopath is gonna argue.  He's just gonna.  And you can't make him stop.  You can't.  So stop trying.

Here's a great article about arguing with a psychopath.  http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-21819/6-signs-youre-arguing-with-a-psychopath.html

So, don't. Don't argue.


I have to "co-parent" with the NSP (Narcissist/Sociopath/Psychopath) that I unfortunately met, married, and had children with.  

Don't freak.  I love my children.  And I regret the fact that I ever made babies with their father.   Life is complicated.  Oh so very complicated when we involve a psychopath in our lives.


Co-parenting with a psychopath.  Oh, ha ha ha ha ha ha.  Right.

He puts obstacles in the way.  He diminishes me in the minds of our children.  He takes every opportunity to f$ck things up, especially when no one is looking.  But even when someone is looking, he'll still be an a$$. Why?

He is a psychopath.  Narcissist.  Personality disordered.   And he will not change.

I will not change either.  I'm a highly empathetic and straight forward person.  

I used to be a perfect target for a psychopath.  Not anymore.   I know how to deal.


The NSP will argue.  That is fine.   I don't have to argue back.

There is no argument.  I say what I say.  He says what he says.  I cannot control him.  I cannot control anyone.  If he chooses to undermine me, he can.  If he chooses to diminish me, he can.   It's his right to do so.  Shocking, I know!   This is the man I chose to marry!  He was so awesome!  Snow job!

An attitude of "whatever" is very handy.  It's hard to be "whatever" about my kids, but, it's really the only option.

Other options include fighting with the NSP, which is highly unpleasant and a waste of time.  And, life is short.  So so so so short.  Why waste it arguing with a psycho?  Another option is to be worried and upset!  I can go on and on in my brain about it, what a huge narcissistic a$$ he is, but that is not healthy and a waste of time.  Did I mention that life is short?  So short!  I already wasted years and years of my short life living with him, suffering through a horrible marriage with him, and escaping him!  I don't wanna waste another minute on his mind stealing nonsense!

Let. It. Go.

Easy to say.  Hard to do, at first.   But, it comes easier with practice.

Today I feel like a champ.


He set me up for failure and fight with my kids.

I didn't take the bait.

I said what needed to be said to the psychopath, in keeping with the "co-parenting" arrangement that we have.  Any outside observer can see that I have done my duty.  It is coherent, appropriate, concise.

There is nothing to

Work out.
Hash out.

You get it.

There is no circular argument to participate in.  He doesn't get to waste my time.  And he is going to do exactly what suits him.

His goal was probably just to yank our chains.  Drive a wedge between us.  Disappoint and upset.

And you know what?  He is capable of doing that.  He is interested in doing that.  And he does it all the time.

Oh well.  I can't control him.  And I don't try.

Is it disappointing?  Sure.  But I am so tired of being disappointed that I'm not even gonna go there.

Moving on.


Much love.  Be well,

AKA Rose Lee Mitchell

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Psychopath's Holiday Parade of Woe and Nonsense

It's the holiday season.  The NSP (Narcissist/Sociopath/Psychopath) is going to act crazy.  Get ready.

Why must we deal with such nonsense?  Why?  Why?  Why?

I have no answer.

I know that the NSP in my family of origin acted out during the holidays. I know that my children's father will be doing his annual crazy dance during the most wonderful time of the year.

For him, the crazy season begins with Thanksgiving.  It ends after New Years Day.  Every other holiday, birthday and major family event will also be ruined.  Any time I had anything special or significant happening in my life, he'd be sure to screw that up too.

My last memory of the last special event he sabotaged was a job I had scheduled for out of town.  That was the last time I booked an out of town job while we were married.  I had learned the pattern.  Why bother trying to do anything while being married to him?

The last Christmas he ruined was the Christmas before I left him.  I was feeling suicidal for about 15 minutes while reeling from his non-stop verbal attacks and his screaming hysteria that would last for hours.  I sat on my bed and thought about how I didn't want to live.  This turned out to be a fine moment in my life.  It was that moment that it occurred to me:

I had a good life before him.  
Logically, I could have a good life after him.
So, I should leave him.
I should get a divorce.

That was the moment I started my plan of escape.  I opened a new credit card account; I had a good reason to justify it - I could save money on purchases with the card discount.  I got a new mobile phone with a new carrier so that the account was in my name only, and he couldn't cancel it; I had a good justification for that too.  My plans went on and on, and I eventually escaped.

I spent many ruined holidays with my psychopathic husband.  I could generally keep my head above water.  I remember throwing a great holiday party even though he had been throwing a fit for days, and I had shed many tears.  Our house looked beautiful, the food was wonderful, I looked put together and happy, my kids were darling.  But I was living in a hell.

Mr. PsychoMan still tries to ruin the holidays for me, even though we are divorced.  He attempts a lot of contact.  He needs a dog to kick.  He creates nonsense dramas which I have become increasingly good at avoiding. Even so, he still likes to waste my time, or try to.

Wasting our time is one of the NSP's greatest joys.  He needs all that attention.  Wheel spinning.  Drama.  Circular argument.

Time passes, I grow wiser,  my children grow older and more independent,  I heal from the exposure of having been in an "intimate relationship" with a psychopath.

Someday my kids will be all grown up, and I will be completely free of the custody coordination drama nonsense.  It will be over.  I do not wish my children's childhood away, but I do see the light at the end of the tunnel, and the other side of it is complete freedom from the psychopath.

It's the first week of December and I have my seatbelt fastened.  We've already experienced plenty of psychopathic sabotage this holiday season.  We are three weeks into it.  Lots of crazy email nonsense.  Attempts to pull me into arguments.  Sabotage of the children.  Inappropriate face to face contact with me.  On and on.

At this point, I am a freaking expert at the NSP Holiday Parade of Woe and Nonsense.  I can hardly care about it.  But more is to come.  I am ready.

And if you, who are reading this, are in the throws of personality disordered drama and nonsense, I wish you the very best.  I hope that you find a way to remove yourself from the situation as soon as you possibly can.

Be well, people,

AKA Rose Lee Mitchell

Do you have a story of Holiday Woe and Nonsense that you would like to share?
Feel free to leave it in a comment below.

Image Credits:
Creative Commons license
Found on Flickr
Dancing Reindeer by Carlos "A Christmas Fantasy Parade Reindeer"
Toy Soldiers by Anna Fox "A Christmas Fantasy Parade"

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Myth of Co-Parenting

It is impossible to co-parent with an NSP (Narcissist/Sociopath/Psychopath).  To call it co-parenting is an insult to the parent who actually parents.

The NSP takes information and uses it to cause confusion and pain.

I've been thinking about Attachment recently.  One of our helpers talks about how I am my children's primary attachment figure, and because they have me, they will be saved.  Their disordered father does everything he can to undermine my children's attachment to me.  Why would he do that?

Because he is evil.

Because if he can't win, everyone must lose.

My children come home to me,  consistently, shattered.  Trauma.   They are shattered and I must parent these broken children.  They have been told that I am wrong, and bad, and sick, and scared.  They have been told lies about me.  These lies are designed by their psychopathic father to distance my children from me, to weaken their bonds of attachment.

This is the culture we live in.  My house.  These times.

I cannot co-parent with the psychopath.

If I share information about our children's likes, dislikes, habits, preferences - that information is twisted to undermine them, and me.  Better to just keep it to myself.

I learned this the hard way.  Of course.

Every interaction I have with their psychopathic father, is guarded.  I share information very carefully, always strategically.

Always strategic.

It is the best way to protect my kids from the psychopath, and to ensure that I remain an active part of their lives.

Be Well,

AKA Rose Lee Mitchell

If you have questions about what I have written about the Myth Of Co-Parenting, feel free to comment below, and I will do my best to answer.

If you have an experience you'd like to share, please comment below.  I'd like to hear it.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Letting Go

Control is the Psychopath's tool.  He wants to control, manipulate, destroy.

Control is something we actually have very little of.  I cannot control other people.  I cannot control my psychopathic ex-husband.  By attempting to control other people, we make ourselves sick.  I believe this is a tenet of Al-anon.  Let go and Let God.

Our culture has trended towards shared custody between mother and father.  The psychopathic father uses his rights of 'ownership' to control, intimidate, coerce.  During my marriage, my psychopathic husband used custody to control me.  I feared leaving him because he was dangerous on many levels: dangerous to me, and dangerous to our small children.  I had to stay to protect them.

This is where the unknowledgeable person, some of whom are unfortunately professional helpers, are mislead into thinking that the psychopath's true colors showed before the children came.  That somehow the victim-target-wife knew what she was getting into, and therefore 'deserves it'.  I literally had a very high-paid 'helper' voice such an opinion to my face.  Fabulous.

No.  I did not know who he was before I married him.  Despite the fact that I resisted his attempts to marry me quickly, and we were engaged to be married for an entirely decent amount of time, I did not know.  He was and is a psychopath.  He wore his mask until it was far far far too late.


Time passes.  I escaped the psychopath.  I have licked my wounds.  Custody was finally agreed upon.  Property was finally divided.  The world turns.  I watch other marriages dissolve besides my own.  I stretch out in my knew abode.  My children grow and grow and grow.  I get better at managing the nonsense of the psychopath and his mind-bending games that he plays with me and my children.  I find helpers who actually help.

But none of us can control the psychopath.  To attempt to control a disordered individuals behavior makes us sick and crazy.  My kids grow up and I let go.

What A Relief!

I am watching my children come into their own.  They are still young, but they are their own people.  And I am less responsible for their choices.  What A Relief!

I regret choosing That Man to be their Father!  Of Course!  What a MISTAKE!   But it is done, un-do-able, and forever.  They are his children, and they are stuck with him.

THEY are stuck with him.

I am not.

This is where someone likes to remind me, that, yes I am stuck with him forever, because he is their father.  Um, YEAH, I am clear that he is their father.  Duh.  Don't be dense.

And then someone likes to remind me that it's not all bad, because I got great kids out of the deal.

Again: DUH!  I don't need to be reminded of that.  Thanks.  I know they are awesome.  I have wrung myself out helping to keep them safe and well inside of a shit-storm of emotional abuse.  Thanks.  I'm clear.


Back to my point.

Letting Go.

1. My kids are growing up.  They are responsible for themselves more and more.  I can let go of so many of my worries.  We have made it this far.   I now have faith that they will grow up okay.

2.  He's THEIR father.  Not my father.  They are stuck with him.  I'm not.

3.  I cannot control anyone.  That's good news.   So I don't have to try.


Be Well People,

Love, AKA Rose Lee Mitchell

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Emotional and Verbal Abuse via Email

Emotional abuse via email.

We complain about how the abuser continues to berate us post-divorce.  Despite the passage of time and reduced contact, we still receive his hate via email.  We can't escape reading the incessant and pointless arguments, because we had the grave misfortune of having their children.  But, we can and do choose to not respond to the bait. 

Even though I am many years separated and divorced from the NSP (Narcissist/Sociopath/Psychopath), he routinely sends emotional assaults my way via email and by way of my children.  I have reduced face-to-face contact to nearly zero, so he doesn't come at me that way anymore.

Come at me.  Assault.  Abuse.  I use this language purposely.

The psychopath wants to kick you in the mouth precisely to keep you down.

He wants to knock the wind out of your sails, using all that intimate knowledge of your heart and history, gathered when he was your intimate partner.  If it is special to you, it will be used against you.  Hopefully you held some secrets back.  I did.  He'll use everything and anything to hurt you.   He’ll take achievements that you feel proud of, and twist them into shameful experiences.   And you’ll be left wondering, WTF? 

This is why no contact is the best way to go.  Except, in our case, with dependent children in tow, we must maintain some contact.  In my situation, I currently dance between extreme low contact and controlled contact.  I control the contact.  My terms.  My show.

Recently I attended an event with my children. My exhusband appeared.  Oh, by the way, I looked fabulous (and confident and happy and strong).  Even though the sight of him was so much less-than-pleasant for me, I played it cool.  No biggie.  Yes, yes, yes, much time has passed.  And yes, of course, my cool wore thin as the night wore on - I can only take so much. (He spoke to me after all.  Vomit.)  Compared to years past when a mere glimpse of him would send me into a post-traumatic state --- this is major improvement and cause for celebration.

I try to avoid the face-to-face enounters also, because I believe that it flares the psychopath.  He sees me, and then some bad behavior follows.  He viciously attacks my children with hateful slanderous words about their mother.  (This is child abuse.)  He sends me hateful and slanderous emails accusing me of all manner of nonsense.  His swirl of hate spilling forth, while me and my kids are trying to live our lives.  And we’re like: WTF?  We mustn't be too happy or too comfortable, or daddy will come to destroy our calm, and knock us off center. 

Remember all those years when you were at his whim?  When you had to live in the same house?  They call it ‘walking on eggshells’ but that never resonated with me.  It was more like dodging bullets.  It was more like waiting for the bomb to go off.   Bombs detonating all weekend, and nearly every holiday.  What a life.  

I believe one of the best responses to such a (stupid and spineless) attack is no response at all.  Silence for him.  Oh Look, Daddy throwing a little hissy fit over there! Daddy is a drama queen. Next.

The latest attack on my self comes predictably.   After all, HE SAW ME.  He knows that I am doing great.   I look great.  Happy and calm.   

The shitty things he writes are annoying, but really, they are just stupid lies, and I'm not going to fight with him.  The part that hurts (and makes me feel small) is that I made such a mistake in CHOOSING HIM to be my intimate partner in life, and he turned out to be such a horror.  The sinking feeling of regret that I didn't know how to get away from him sooner.  The pain of wasted time - that it took me as long as it took to escape and untangle.   He got so far into my heart and mind that I am still recovering from his whittling away at my self esteem all these years later.  That sucks!    I didn't jump ship at 6 months, or one year.  I wish I had!  I was still strong back then!   I didn't know the signs, or what those signs meant.  If I had, I would have fled.  I didn’t trust my gut. 

But I didn't know!  Couldn't know!  Unfortunate me.  (This is one of the reasons that I write and share online, to shed some light on the abuse so many of us face.)

In response to the endless hate emotional abuse emails it is super tempting to "set him straight" and "tell him like it is".    No. No no no no no no.  He knows what the facts are.  I don't get it, but clearly he enjoys twisting the truth.  He delights in it.  

Think about that.   Years later.  He is still trying to engage his ex-wife.  Writing hate mail to her.  Seriously?  That is who he IS.   He is so sick and small and deranged that he writes hate mail to a woman who DUMPED HIM.  Who said: See ya, wouldn't want to be ya!    Who said: Later tater.   

He has a NEW WIFE and he is still focused on ME.  SERIOUSLY?????  Are you kidding me?  GET A LIFE man. 

And I'm not gonna actually say that to him.  Because, why?  Why engage?  Don't engage.  He lives for the fight.  The psychopath wants attention.  He is the earth and the sun circles round him.  Or rather, he wishes it did.  

Let it go.

So, my response to his latest version of reality, where I am the target of his hate:  

No response at all.   Let him spin. 


If you have an example of an emotionally abusive email from your ex, and you would like to share it,  you are welcome to.  Please remove all identifying information.  I will review it and post it.


Be well,

AKA Rose Lee Mitchell

Photograph by Olaf Eichler234/365Used under Creative Commons license

Related Articles: 
How the Emotional Abuse Continues in spite of Extreme Low Contact

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Gray Rock

I have stopped being a gray rock.

For a long time post-divorce, I practiced the Gray Rock Method, in order to protect myself from the NSP (Narcissist/Sociopath/Psychopath).  It couldn't continue forever, because I have to live my life.  I became strong enough to risk it.   I took some baby steps, and had some public success.  It felt good to feel like myself again.  It is an important part of recovery.  I look forward to being fully myself again.

There has been backlash.

Since the NSP has so very little contact with me, he attacked me with character assassination.  He used my children as his punching bag.   When he has abused my children in the past, it would destroy me for days.  The most recent attack took me down for about a day.  It is progress.  (Looking on the bright side, noticing my progress: keeps me emotionally healthy.)

The NSP's goal was to destroy me emotionally and physically.  He aimed to destroy my health, my beauty, my finances, my career, my hopes, my relationships.   When I met him, I was bright and shiny.  I was open and courageous.  I shared myself with him.  He was such a wonderful, kind man.  I thought we would have a good life together.

I am so glad I escaped.

I still am rebuilding the life he tried so hard to destroy.

I can not go through my life pretending to be a Grey Rock, because I AM BRIGHT AND SHINY.   Hiding my beauty and ability and happiness serves No One.  My children need to see their mother happy; I am told this again and again by so many people.

I took off my Grey Rock disguise and lived my life.  It was FUN!!!!


I am referencing Skylar's article

"The Gray Rock method of dealing with psychopaths

to explain WHY the NSP went on the emotional warpath with me.

"when you leave a psychopath, he becomes determined to punish you even more severely for thinking you could be autonomous."

Yes.  I am autonomous.  He hears from my children about my success.  He must retaliate.   His idea that I am so broken and incapable has been proven false.  He is enraged.  He must lash out.  

"So, how do we escape this parasitical leech without triggering his vindictive rage? "

I think the Grey Rock Method is brilliant.  But it is not a life choice that I can continue long term.  And I don't think she intended it to be.  I think I will just have to learn to live with the vindictive rage from the NSP, because hiding under a Grey Rock is not how I want to live my life.  It's not worth it.  My children will learn that their father has a problem BASED ON HIS BEHAVIOR.  He can badmouth me non-stop.  At some point our children will grow accustomed to it.  Nobody can control the NSP.  

"Drama is a psychopath’s remedy for boredom. For drama, they need an audience and some players"

I think I need to teach my children, that when Daddy goes on the emotional warpath, badmouthing mommy: GREY ROCK. Don't fight, don't argue, don't show emotion.  Respond the way you would respond to a bully on the playground.  

"A psychopath is an addict. He is addicted to power. His power is acquired by gaining access to our emotions. "

I don't respond to his nonsense.  I know better.  There is no reason to write him an email, confronting him about the emotional abuse to which he is subjecting our children.  He wants a drama.  He wants a fight.   I won't give it to him.  I need to teach my children to do the same.  

"He envies everything pretty, shiny and sparkly that you have and he wants whatever you value."

Yes he does.  I value my children above anything.  And they LOVE their mother.  The NSP wants to destroy our bond.  


Be well,

AKA Rose Lee Mitchell

by eric lynch 
"peacock 18 "
Used under Creative Commons license

Sunday, October 25, 2015

How the Emotional Abuse Continues in spite of Extreme Low Contact

During the marriage, the NSP was unrelenting in his tearing down of me.   Every contentious story was skewed to paint me in a bad light.  He was fully invested in me being a broken, helpless, sick and damaged person.

I was no more damaged and broken than any other average person on the planet.

During the divorce process, his attempts to paint me in the worst possible light continued.  I was surprised, but should not have been.  Now the carrot was gone, and it was only the stick.  He made outrageous claims about me, that I was a drunk (in spite of the fact that I almost never drank).  On and on, tear down after tear down.  Details don't matter.

Now, he has so little access to me.  I have him in a little box.  And I don't respond.

The only tool he has to hurt me, is our children.

It isn't new.  He started on them right away.  They would come home so distraught.  The stories he would tell them.  Lies.  Twisted truths.

Time passes.  And our children get older.  And his emotional abuse continues.

He abuses them emotionally in all sorts of ways.  But tearing down their mother seems to be his favorite.

Being abused is traumatic.  Emotional abuse is abuse.  Bullies ruin other people's lives and careers.  Children kill themselves to avoid the bullies wrath.  Women kill themselves to avoid the continued abuse from their husbands.

My abuser, my exhusband, reaches out to me and continues his abuse through my children.  He successfully plants the seeds of doubt about me into my children's hearts and minds.  Bless them.   I experience trauma again when I hear his stories from my children's lips.

My children have no context for the awful things he tells them.  They should never hear such things from a parent.  If I defend or explain, I further the damage he has done to them.

Despite the fact that I do not defend myself or explain the truth, they have lost trust.  In me.  In their father.

They should not trust their father.  And they do not.  It has nothing to do with me.  They do not trust him because they learn, over time, that he is not worthy of their trust.

Their father tears at the trust they have for me.  And breaks it down.  And my children grow distant.

Oh yes, it does break my heart.  And it does hurt me.  And it does cause me pain and worry.  Big points for the abuser.

The bigger victim here is our children.  Who float aimlessly, rudderless.


So much time has passed that our children mostly can not remember that we were ever married.   The NSP father fills in their memories with lies.

My children know who I am.  They know their father.

When I look back, and when I talk to myself back then, I say: You should have left sooner.  You should have left right away.  There was nothing to stay for.  There was no hope.  

But I didn't know that then.  I didn't know what was happening to me.  I had hope.  I thought maybe we could fix 'it'.

But I was also terrified of him.  Instinctively knowing how vicious he was.  Knowing the terrible position I was in.

It took me a long time to leave.  Too long.

But I got out as soon as I could.


If I had it to do all over again.   I would have left right away.


This latest attack of emotional abuse proves again how incredibly right I was about him.

We can not control the NSP.  We can not make him stop.


Please, be well,

AKA Rose Lee Mitchell

by Thomas Hawk 
"I Will Never Break Your Heart"
Used under Creative Commons license

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Perpetual Lie, Part 1

Today I coin a phrase:  The Perpetual Lie
definition:  The NSP generates lies perpetually in order to diminish, destroy and control.  


It has been many years since I have spent any time with my NSP ex-husband.  Let’s say, between 4-7 years.  (Why the ambiguity?

We rarely have face-to-face encounters.  We almost never speak on the phone.  I withhold personal information from him.   When I do see him in person, it is from a distance.   I practice extreme low-contact. 

Despite his profound lack of current knowledge about me, the Narcissist/Sociopath/Psychopath perpetuates his lies about me.   These lies are the same sort he generated during our marriage and divorce.   General lies meant to control and diminish me.   Lies meant to diminish me in the minds of our children, to confuse and control them, and to separate them from me.  

How do I know?  Well, my children tell me!  They come to me confused and concerned about the nonsense Daddy says.  

My reactions are confused as well.  In a high pitched, slightly silly voice I respond, wide eyed:  Really?  Daddy said that?  What could he possibly mean?  How could he possibly have that opinion?  Is he here?  Is he watching me?

And we wonder. 

I make a little joke of it all.  How Silly that he thinks he knows me!

When we were married, he would tell me I was lazy, and I would react.  I would become upset and worried.  I would reflect on my day and how I spent it.  I would justify all the work I had done.  I would point out all the wonderful things I had done with and for our children; wonderful food, projects, spent quality time, and on and on. 

We would argue about it.  The NSP loves a good argument.

He would tell me I was broken.  He would tell me I was wrong.   He had his lists and stories and evidence. 

I would defend myself.  The NSP loves the engagement.  Ooooh, he had me where he wanted me!  He had my full attention!  Mind, body and soul.

None of it matters.  
Not then.  Not Now.  
His opinion doesn’t matter.  
He doesn’t matter.   

The only reason he ever got any traction with those lies is because I was invested in a relationship with him.  I was married to him.  I had children with him.  My mistake.  My great and grave mistake. 

But I am out now.  And really, his comments to me and about me are of no consequence.  Sure, they can be annoying.  Sure, they could be damaging our children.

I can not control him.  
Why bother trying?  
Why bother caring? 

My job then should have been to ignore him, to get away from him.  As soon as possible.  

My job now is to ignore him, and stay away from him.  And I do, as much as possible.  

My job is to live my life, love my kids, be healthy, be happy.  Live.

Worrying about the psychopath and the stupid things he says and does, is like focusing on the alcoholic….  Don’t.   When we focus on the disordered person, we become like them.  We lose our own moments, and we are sucked into Their Disordered World.

The NSP lives in a horrible world.  From the outside, his world looks shiny and fancy and it is decorated with public acknowledgement of his awesomeness.  The reality is, that the NSP is hollow and cold and his world is built on lies.  It is no place for a real human to live.  


I can’t control him.  I can’t make him stop.   So I don't try....

Be Well, 

AKA Rose Lee Mitchell

Upper Image

Thomas Hawk "Some Folks Say I Drink Too Much"  
Creative Commons License via Flickr

Lower Image
Leo-seta "Drinking bird"
Creative Commons License via Flickr

These AlAnon Speaker recordings on youtube have been very helpful to me.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Fighting a Psychopath for Child Custody

A reader named Veronica is in the middle of a custody fight with an NSP.   Her struggle sounds so similar to what I lived through.  Here are my thoughts about her post.

Dear Veronica,

I can not offer you any Advice.  I do not know you.  I am not a counselor or a lawyer.  But, what I can do is reply to your post/questions in the following way:  Your story, struggle, worry, etc is all so familiar to me – from both my personal experience and also the stories I have heard from others (in Real Life and Online).  I will address your comments by sharing my personal experiences and thoughts. 

VERONICA:  His emails upset me so much but people can't read them like I can.

RLM: In my situation, the NSP’s emails are mostly written in a code of politeness. One thing the NSP continues to do (as he did in our marriage and divorce) is to REWRITE HISTORY.  He cannot (does not) keep track of his lies/stories, so I have Conflicting Versions of Reality in HIS EMAILS TO ME.   I do not bring this to his attention.  I do not argue.  It is a trap.  I ignore it. 

VERONICA:  His are exactly as you said--the implied threat. My threats are like the other gal who commented--more subtle and covert--like everything else with this SOB.

RLM:  In response to the implied threat, the overt threat, the covert threat --- I choose to IGNORE.  He wants a fight.  I give him no fight.  This was particularly hard for me to do when we were ACTIVELY FIGHTING WITH LAWYERS BETWEEN US, and when custody and child-support were not yet settled.  But I also didn’t have the skill set yet developed to appropriately deal with a Narcissist/Sociopath/Psychopath.  My experience has taught me to not respond. 

VERONICA:  But he has me to a point where I cannot read my own emails—

RLM:  I would have an anxiety mini-attack/moment whenever I had to open my email account, because: would an awful email from him be there, waiting?  It was like he could reach through the internet and grab me, shout at me, etc.  I was advised by Experienced Women to sequester his emails to an account especially for him.  I have a post that addresses this issue in detail.  +LINK+

VERONICA:  then he takes me to court and said that I am not working together with him to provide the best care for my kids!! He is winning the war on winning people over. :( He used the "I only want my kids to be cared for and safe".

RLM:  The NSP used this line on me also, and anyone willing to listen.  “wanting what is best for the children”  “in the children’s best interest”   In time, however, his argument has become thin.  I find that most people don’t give a damn about my personal struggle with my ex-husband.  It is my burden.  Other people have their own burdens.  The court system is dealing with the types of abuse and neglect that makes my middle-class problems look ideal.  This is what I have come to learn after many years of struggle. 

VERONICA:  Then he set about showing that I was mentally unbalanced!! Then he got a professional to say that I what poor judgment.

RLM:  There are so many versions of this abuse.  The crazy ex-wife.  The mentally ill woman.  Women refuse to be controlled, refuse to endure the abuse any longer, fight back, are driven crazy by the crazy maker.  It is a tactic of the abuser to say that the target is mentally ill.  Some abusers are better at perpetrating this crime than others.  Plenty of professionals are taken in by the NSP, especially when the NSP is smart, educated, successful. 

VERONICA:  Then he parlayed that into a judge taking legal custody away from me--after the narcopath lied about me in court. Now he has all kinds of "evidence" that I am a bad mom and that I am damaging to my kids. Now he uses this evidence that he manufactured by parlaying bulshit into reality. Now he is seeking full custody because of those lies nd because the kids hate him--also MY fault.

RLM:  This is tragic.  I am sorry.  I have seen this in real life with women who were married to high functioning, brilliant and successful NSPs.  One woman who I know personally and in real life, had been a full-time stay at home mother.  The kind of mother who volunteers at the school constantly, who packs beautiful organic lunches, who makes sure her children are beautifully dressed.  This mother looked like an angel, she was kind and engaged, and her children were happy and healthy and smart.  Clearly, nothing was wrong.  Her highly successful and constantly working NSP-husband orchestrated the divorce process to paint her as mentally unwell and unfit to parent.  He extracted all sorts of WORK from her to benefit his lifestyle just before the divorce was sprung on her, and then he kicked her to the curb.  He got full custody of the children.  He did this by getting an expensive, experienced and cut-throat lawyer.  She got a moderate and less-experienced lawyer who apparently did not know how to go to battle for her.  The NSP and his lawyer intimidated her until she acquiesced.  The NSP still works unreasonable hours, and A NANNY cares for her children.  But, I can tell you, that this woman has made incredible good out of her life, and several years later, she is living her dream in business, and has an amazing house.  And every time I see her in real life, she is happy.  The kind of happy that oozes out of her pores.  She is an example of how to thrive.  So, yes, horrible things happen, and we can rebound from them. 

VERONICA:  Either I have one of the most cunning narcopaths ever--or I am the stupidest person ever because I have somehow gotten completely destroyed by him--money, reputation, house, credit, life, and now kids are the last to be taken from me totally.

RLM:  You may have one of the most cunning narcopaths ever.  I don’t think it is our stupidity that gets us conned.  I think it is a result of a good heart, a lack of training in the realities of the world, and in my case: being primed for abuse by a parent…  Another story for another day (or year, or decade). 

Veronica:  Can't seem to ever fight back as he is a million steps ahead of me

RLM:  I find that fighting back was, and is, pointless.  Because, yes, the NSP is always too far ahead, and too practiced in evil.  He has had years of experience in being a disordered, lying, cheating Narcissist/Sociopath/Psychopath.  I found (and find) that it is better to avoid and ignore than to engage.  The NSP THRIVES on the nonsense.  The nonsense makes me Literally Ill.  During my custody fight, I held on for dear life.  I still didn’t get what was best for my children, or for me, but I did the best I could.  It has been, in so many ways, consuming and intolerable.  But, I have had to tolerate the situation, as my children have also had to tolerate.  It is hard on us.   During the acute stage of custody fighting, I found that holding my ground was my best defense (looking back). 

Veronica:  They will never survive the onslaught of boundary issues and gas lighting that they will encounter. How do I stop this and how do I save them???

RLM:  I felt similarly.  I worried similarly.  I can say that my children HAVE survived, so far.  They have suffered, but they are ok.   Many people told me that my children would be okay, as long as they had me in their lives.  I didn’t believe this for the longest time.  I worried so much about their health, well-being, safety…  They are ok, and I finally believe that they will be okay.  Because. They. Have. Me.   For so many years, the NSP made me feel as if I was of no consequence.  And then, after I left, I felt so desperate and scared.  For myself.  And for my children.  Time has passed, and I can see areas where my children would be happier and stronger and more successful if the NSP had less power and influence over their lives.  Yes.  It is true.  But it is what it is.  This is what we have.  This is the culture that we currently live in.  And we do the best we can do.  And, someone who I trust, who has tons of experience, and who knows me and my children TOLD ME THAT MY KIDS WOULD BE OKAY BECAUSE THEY HAVE ME.  And because of this, I feel much more peace. 

Veronica:  I have has 6 attorneys and NONE of them got what he was doing and all were "won" over to his side with something that nobody will share with me. When I meet them--the yare all abou t me getting justice. Buy the time they have talked with or met his attorney--the yare telling me that I am lucky if I would get custody in a trail..... All I have done--ever--was love and care for my boys. However---he has done something to my name that just completely helps him get whatever he wasn't. I have been"set up" with co-parenting classes that HIS attorney picked and now "family therapy" that the coparenting attorney and his attorney picked. I smell the same set-up I smelled when his attorney got to pick th psychologist.!!! They are only meeting wit hme and the boys which at first I thought was a good thing. Now I realize it is to say what he accuses me of--tht I smother, tell them too much, rely on them for emotional support..... None of ha tis true but so ealily provable with a few well placed questions. My son told the therapist tha he helps by hugging me when Icry. That is normal for a boy t odo and I just lose my young nephew and ws crying a lot--but didn't react fast enough in the sessin to say that was why I was crying so they implied thatI am suing him and trying to put him in the "mans role " of the house!!! I am supposedly the one who also treats them like babies--so which his it, right?? Why can't a mom get a hug from her son when he sees her crying an why isn't seen as a good thing-- I have taught them empathy.

They don't ask how often that happens or why that happened--the only tape the sessions and make me feel like I am about to be executed. Really they make me feel like I have been a bad mom and that I will lose custody because of this. He gets off on keeping me in this state of panic.My first nightmare came true--they believe hm all the time. Then I lost 50% custody. Now he is shooting for the rest of the pie. The 50% custody I have and the house and the money and the lack of debt to him.... I have failed miserably to protect my children and made every mistake that I could. I am the poster child for how NOT to deal with a narcopath. My children will suffer. I am out of ideas and options. I was stupid. I lost it for me and now for them. :(

RLM:  I have felt that the professionals involved in our situation often sided with the NSP.  His credentials and professional (psychopathic) demeanor often won them over.    This caused me great pain and worry.  I held on for dear life, and held my breath, and prayed and worried.  I shook internally for years.  I made lots of mistakes that cost me dearly.  I fought too hard at times, during the divorce.  I was weary of professionals who bought his nonsense and labeled me incorrectly, who didn’t listen, and didn’t notice, and ultimately didn’t care.  But I did find a few professionals who did care, who did give good advice, and who ultimately did the best they could. 

I wish you the best of luck. 

Be well,

A.K.A. Rose Lee Mitchell


Veronica posted a response at

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

How I Deal with the Psychopath's Email Nonsense - Decode and Ignore

The NSP (narcissist/sociopath/psychopath), with whom I share custody of our children, will never stop his barrage of hatefulness toward me.  He will never stop manipulating every person in his path.

His nonsensical, lie-filled, mind-bending emails will never stop.  They come intermittently now, since I so rarely engage via email. I mostly text, for this very reason.  Sometimes, however, I must email and the barrage typically ensues. Why? Because he can.  He has an audience.

Granted, the latest hate-emails came predictably.  I stepped outside of the box he built for me.  In my box I must worship him duly.  I must slather him in praise, adoration and (false) sincerity.

I read that an NSP cannot tell the difference between a compliment and flattery, the genuine and the fake.  I believe that may be true.

I dared to draw a boundary, a line in the sand.  And [sarcasm] one must never ever establish rules with a NSP, limiting their scope and power.  Never ever.

I also questioned his Good Judgment.  [More Sarcasm] Never ever do that.  Not ever.  The NSP is Omnipotent.  Close to Godly.  Do not defy him.

Seriously.  It's all fine.  I'm used to it. And he is so far away.  Not in my home.  I maintain such distance that I rarely see his face.  I practically never speak to him on the phone.  I generally count our interactions in characters, like a twitter post.

I used to tally the word count of his emails.  2000 word emails were common.  Twisted logic and pontifications.  Demeaning.  His words rattled me.  (That's an understatement).

Now, his emails simply take up more space in my brain than I would like.  I think that is the job of a bully, to make their presence known to the target.  To be important.  To be seen.  To matter.

I'm hopeful that as time passes, his presence in my brain will continue to lessen.  The trend looks promising!

Here is a run down of his most recent barrage, simplified and decoded.

A summary:

"You are a bad mother.  
You are selfish and inconsiderate.  You cause our children pain because of your thoughtlessness and cruelty. 
You are unaware that you lack empathy. 
You are dumb.
You are a bad person.
I am better than you.
You had better not cross me, or I will make your life very hard, and you know I can make you suffer.  
You are a neglectful mother.
I am a perfect father.
The children say you are a bad mother.
You had better bow down to me.
You are bad and lazy.
If you don't do what I want, and bend to my will, I will be a monster. "

He doesn't outright say all of this.  Some of it he states, some is just implied.  Vague, so as to terrify (he uses this tactic on our children).  He lies about the children.  He throws them under the bus.  No wonder I was under such stress during the marriage and divorce!  Dealing with all that!  I had to deal with it until I decoded it, and learned to buffer myself from it.  (Link)

I say it's fine, because it is now.  Really.  

Sure, I'd PREFER to not have any contact with the NSP, ever again for as long as I live.  Since I can not make that happen, it has to be fine.  It has to be fine, because I want to live a nice life.  I have learned to buffer, to decode, to ignore.


The reasons we ignore the nonsense:

1. We have better things to do with our time.
2. Our energy is better spent on things that bring us joy, growth, income....
3. Ignoring the NSP's nonsense sends the message that "I Don't Care".  This makes the NSP look elsewhere for drama and engagement, and this results in less work for us!
4. It's all nonsense, so, why bother?

My tactic is to proceed like he never said those things.  I just skip over it.  

It's somewhat tempting to defend myself, and argue with him.  But, less so over time.  Like curing a problem with compulsive spending, I have trained myself to avoid triggers, and delay gratification.

If I do need to acknowledge something in his whacked out message, it is an innocent "I'm confused" or "I'm not sure what you mean".  Then, I will redirect the conversation the direction it should have gone the whole time, except that, since the NSP is Personality Disordered, he can not behave in a normal, rational, human way.   

Not My Fault.  

And (except for the fact that I have to deal with a grown man who often behaves much like a strangely articulate three year old throwing a full-blown temper tantrum) Not My Problem.

A tool to try:

When dealing with an NSP on the attack, decode the messages by writing out the bottom-line meanings.  See if this helps to abate your cognitive dissonance and upset.  And let us know how it works.


Be well. 


AKA Rose Lee Mitchell