Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Less is Best: Communication with the Narcissist/Sociopath/Psychopath Co-Parent

Co-Parenting in a perfect opportunity for the NSP (Narcissist/Sociopath/Psychopath) to use and abuse.  After all these years of dealing with my kids' NSP  father, I have learned what not to do.  I have to remind myself constantly to not engage.

In my mind, the idea of co-parenting is to make life easier for children by creating consistency between households.  Co-parenting done well promotes order and routine - because shared custody in itself is a disordered (DIS-ORDERED) lifestyle.  Think about it: do you want to live 1 week at one home, with one family -- then the next week in another home with another family?  Back and forth for your entire childhood?   I certainly don't.  I want to live in ONE home, with ONE wardrobe, ONE kitchen, ONE consistent life.  Then, when I feel like it, I want to visit friends and extended family.

I think shared custody is stupid and insane.  It is in my situation.  Most parents I know who start with shared custody, over time, reduce it to more of a (generally) kids-live-with-mom most of the time, and visit dad every other weekend and some holidays.  That is what I know to be normal and good for kids.

What I have observed (and what has been reported to me from long-time psychologist-type professionals) is that the parents that insist on shared custody, when it doesn't work for the kids, and even though the kids object to it,  these parents are NSP types.

What I Do NOT Do...

I resist the temptation to communicate with the NSP in a way that I communicate with normal, non-psychopathic people.  The NSP considers me a target.  He wants to create havoc, miscommunication, difficulty, etc.  In a our shared custody situation, the concept of co-parenting is a perfect playground for the NSP.

Here is a great example.  A very simple example.  It seems harmless.

During Winter Break (and summer break), like most mothers, I take time to clear out the kids' rooms.  My kids and I go through their clothes and discard/donate what no longer fits.  Old toys are sent away to make room for the new.

My kids' NSP father does none of this WORK.  He does not HELP his kids.  Because this work needs to be done, in order to have a functional life, I end up helping them even though I don't live at his house.  I coach. I instruct.  "When you are at your father's house over break, you can/should do this same Cleaning Out and Cleaning Up work."  I tell them all the reasons why...coaching, discussing, instructing.  Sometimes we make "How To" list that they can keep in their school bag.  Sometimes the kids come home and tell me all about it, how good a job they did, etc.

It is my impulse to remind their father that this is a good activity, a helpful activity, that the kids could use his help sorting and discarding.

It is my impulse to share that we have done this work at my house, and that it would be helpful to the kids if they could do this at his house.

Likewise, it is my impulse  to remind him that the kids need certain items (like shoes that fit, or hygiene products, or this or that).

I have learned to NOT do this.  It is hard.  I care about my kids and they frankly need some help with these kinds of Life Skills.  I have learned that when I communicate with their disordered NSP father, it is an opportunity for abuse to occur.  The less I say, the better.   Every extra communication becomes fodder for more abuse, more nonsense.  To be clear, the NSP's abuse doesn't just come at me, it also comes at the kids.

It is so sad.

So, I do my best to Not Engage with the Psychopath.

I do what I can to help my kids and buffer them from pointless suffering.   I have learned the hard way, that any attempt I make to smooth the way for them, by communicating with their father, always blows up in my face, and my kids' faces too. 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Be careful what you say...to a psychopath.

This video, http://www.inc.com/mark-cuban/playbook-biggest-mistake-social-media.html
I describe the message as: What you do and say WILL be used against you
I interpret what he explains as a psychopathic culture, where what we do and say CAN and WILL be used against us. This is the world we live in, if we have a psychopath in our family (or even our past).
My personal struggle: how do I go forward in my life, powerfully and with freedom, when the NSP is still watching my every move?

This is the question I ask many times, daily.

The watchful glare of the NSP (Narcissist/Sociopath/Psychopath), unfortunately, still controls me. Even though I no longer live with him, I know that my steps are watched, and I do what I can to avoid his wrath.  

This is not a happy way to live, but it is a reality for so many of us.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Psycho-Crazy Holiday Nonsense - Starve the Beast

It's that magical time of year, again.  The holidays.  The time of year when the NSP (Narcissist/Sociopath/Psychopath) swings into full form.  Oh, what a party.  +sarcasm+

Just writing this gets my anxiety flowing.

Deep breaths.


It's been woe-too-many years since I have known the NSP.  He didn't act psycho before we were married.  The psycho-holiday act began after we had children.  Joy.  +sarcasm+

Psycho-Crazy Behavior During The Marriage

It took me a lot of years to identify the pattern.   I mean, the crazy behavior wasn't only during the holiday season.  It was a year-round festival of nonsense.  It was just extra-super-crazy during the holidays.  Pre-Thanksgiving/All-Of-December/Post-New-Year

The psycho-crazy husband insisted that it was My Fault.  For a while I believed him.  Believed him enough not to leave him.   I thought maybe it was our circumstances.  Maybe because our children were young.  Maybe we'd learn how not to have such a drama-filled life.  He told me it was My Fault.  

I rose above it.  I prevailed.  Presents got purchased and wrapped.  Trees got decorated.  Parties were thrown.  The children looked lovely.

It was the last Christmas that was THE LAST CHRISTMAS.  It occurred to me one magical psycho-filled Christmas holiday morning that, hey, "My life had been good before the marriage, maybe, just maybe, my life could be good AFTER the marriage!"  And thus, I began to plan my escape.

Psycho-Crazy Behavior During The Divorce

Well, yeah.  Everyone assumes that a crazy man will act crazy during the divorce.

And, everyone assumes that the crazy man will calm down after the divorce.

His craziness persists.  Like a chronic illness, it will not go away.

I've just gotten better at avoiding it.

THE HOW-TO: His Crazy Behavior and What To Do About It

See how it is All About Him?  All About Managing HIM????


I am assuming that if you are reading this, you are already OUT of the relationship.  If you are NOT, then Grant Yourself a Christmas Wish and Get Out ASAP.

He is crazy.  He is an NSP.  He is unmanageable.  You have to deal with him on some level because you share custody of your precious children.

I have the most simple plan:  IGNORE HIM.  Ignore him like an Olympic Event.  You are competing the Olympic Ignoring and You Will Win The GOLD.

The NSP is baiting me.  Oh, he is working hard.  I am doing NOTHING in response.  He breaks our legal agreement in this way and that way.   I am giving him ZERO response.

At first I was like, "What Is Happening?  Why is he acting cray-cray?"   OH YEAH, we are warming up to the Thanksgiving Holiday!  Fabulous!  +sarcasm+

Now we are firmly planted into December.  It's cold outside and the fires inside are burning hot.

1. Wrap yo'self up in a blanket of un-responsiveness.  

2. Toss a big bowl of ice water on his flames by saying and doing NOTHING. 

I've actually never done this before.  I like to think that I have evolved. I'm experienced and knowledgeable.  This subject is an area of my expertise.   Even so, I still have room to grow.  Ignoring him entirely may starve the beast.


...because ...DOING SOMETHING feeds him and costs me.  I want to starve him.  I want him to focus his psycho-efforts elsewhere.  He has a WIFE.  He can bug her!  I want to spend my energy on My LIFE.  I have spent too much of my energy on HIM.

I have written about this before: The Psychopath's Holiday Parade of Woe and Nonsense


No doubt I will write about it again.

- be well -

feel free to share your experiences
your how-to's
you can vent here - it's better than feeding the beast

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Reader Response: I Have Stopped Fighting

This post is a reader comment, in response to Yes, You Are Trapped By The Psychopath 
It is a perfect example of what we have to deal with.  
Her experience and strategy is so similar to mine.  
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.  
- AKA Rose Lee Mitchell
I have not commented in a while but I have been reading! I agree with you 100%. The court does NOT care, nor do the lawyers, mediators, etc. I stopped writing down every time he violated the judgement because I realized that no one cares! I tracked his violations during the court proceeding. We put all his errors into a nice little easy to read spreadsheet. The judge didn't care. His attorney would rant and rave, he would look like a scared sheep and the judge would give him MORE.

The only women, and I don't mean to be gender specific but I haven't seen a man do this, the only women that are even slightly successful are the ones that represent themselves. Maybe it's because they are willing to fight harder. But the toll that I've seen it take on them is immeasurable. The years continue to roll by. Their former spouses go on with their material goods and new girlfriends, insist on the custody schedule and cause problems whenever and wherever they can, and don't give a dime more than is taken from their paychecks. While the women are going to court to try and get a hospital bill paid, and they are battling his lawyer because he'd rather pay a lawyer than hand over another penny.

I have personally reached the conclusion that the best we can do is to monitor our children, give guidance and support when we can, and live a parallel parenting lifestyle as much as possible. Of course it isn't completely possible as the judgement makes sure of that.

So what can we do? Your posts about ignoring, isolating, letting go have been tremendously helpful to me. For the most part, I have stopped fighting. I do enforce my boundaries with him. I isolate his intrusion into my life and my children's as much as possible, but I still get triggered. There is still the tiniest part of me that wants to believe the fantasy could have been real, but the realist knows that even the minuscule good times were manipulations for the evil side of his nature. So I limit the chances he has to set me up for the "aha! I got you!!" moments that they thrive on. I still slip, but not often anymore.

I have been dealing with family court and lawyers for 6 years. I've been out of court for a couple, but never completely out because you never know when you'll have to return at their bidding, or possibly your own. I have friends who think I should return now. I say no. I say no because I can't go there. I haven't recovered from the first rounds, and I am slowly, oh so slowly, taking back my life.

If you have children, there are only two documents needed to divorce. One about custody and one about finances. The court and the lawyers drag this process out a long, long time when they realize one of the spouses is high conflict. Why? Because they can, and because it's more money for them.

I feel trapped by the schedule, and by my job that I'd like to leave but can't. I feel trapped by his endless games with the schedule, and by the way that every date I've had since them has to be run through my red flag radar. I think having a good relationship would help, but I haven't been able to go there. I am trapped. However, I am slowly, and I see this happening at a snail's pace, crawling my way out of his abyss. I am slowly rebuilding my life, my social network, and forging a strong relationship as a parent. In the end, I want to be trapped by nothing more than the schedule, because really, as we all know, that's hard enough.

Thanks for writing. It helps to know I'm not alone.