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