By Joyce Alexander, RNP (retired)
We have recently been discussing on Lovefraud the judicial system that is supposed to protect our children from abuse, even from abuse by their parents, who are supposed to love and protect them. The case of Josh Powell murdering his sons has brought this topic not only to the headlines, but to the front of our own thinking about psychopathic parents.
Of course, not all parents are loving, protective parents, as proven by Josh Powell’s recent murder of his two sons in a dramatic fashion, after possibly murdering their mother. There was ample evidence, I think, that Josh was violence prone, starting when he attacked his mother with a knife when he was a teenager. His wife’s testimony to her friends of his abuse before she disappeared is more evidence that Josh was violent. Violence against others, even if not directly shown to be against the children, should demonstrate that a person is not a good candidate to be a nurturing parent.
While in theory it might be a “good idea” to help a person become a better parent, children are not items that can be put into cold storage (foster care or alternative homes) then taken out and put back with the parent, and if it doesn’t work, put back into storage for a while, while the parent gets their act together, then the child brought out again for another attempt at “reunification” of the family. Children need a steady, stable, loving home in which they are secure and know that that home will not be lost.
Most judges are attorneys, not psychologists, and even the psychologists who are “trained” and “educated” in dealing with parents and children and the court systems, still have their own agendas and biases about what is “ideal.”
One of the great stories of all times is the wisdom of King Solomon in his deciding a case between two mothers, both claiming to be the mother of the living infant. One of the women, I think is, a psychopath.
It is found in the Old Testament 1 Kings 3:18-27 New International Version:
16 Now two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17One of them said, “My lord, this woman and I live in the same house. I had a baby while she was there with me. 18The third day after my child was born, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one in the house but the two of us.
19“During the night this woman’s son died because she lay on him. 20So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I your servant was asleep. She put him by her breast and put her dead son by my breast. 21The next morning, I got up to nurse my son—and he was dead! But when I looked at him closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn’t the son I had borne.”
22The other woman said, “No! The living one is my son; the dead one is yours.”
But the first one insisted, “No! The dead one is yours; the living one is mine.” And so they argued before the king.
23The king said, “This one says, ‘My son is alive and your son is dead,’ while that one says, ‘No! Your son is dead and mine is alive.’”
24Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword for the king. 25He then gave an order: “Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other.”
26The woman whose son was alive was filled with compassion for her son and said to the king, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!”
But the other said, “Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!”
27Then the king gave his ruling: “Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother.”
I think it is pretty clear that Solomon knew that the real mother would want to protect her child, even if it meant that she would lose custody, but the psychopathic woman who truly did not care about the child itself, but only about “winning,” as most psychopaths wouldn’t care if the child was killed as long as she “won.”
Unfortunately, not many judges have the wisdom of Solomon in determining just who has the real interest of the child at heart, rather than in just “winning.”
Too many cases of the psychopathic parent, pretending to want visitation or relationships with the child/ren, only to use those children as weapons to hurt the nurturing parent, are apparent in our news today: The fake Clark Rockefeller, who snatched his daughter and ran with her from a “supervised” visitation. The husband of Dr. Amy Castillo, who had threatened to kill her children to get back at her, and the judge let him have an unsupervised visitation, at which he actually did just that and killed her children.
I wish I could say that they are “rare examples,” but they are unfortunately not “rare.” Before Lovefraud published the article about Dr. Castillo, I had never noticed any stories like this, but the story affected me so much that I started searching for stories like it and unfortunately found many. Josh Powell is only one of the “most dramatic” examples, but not a rare one.
What options did the parents (grandparents) of these children have except to allow the child/ren to go with the psychopathic parent, or to break the law and be jailed themselves, in which case the child would still be taken for the “visit”?
Holly Ann Collins took her children and fled to Europe, finding refuge there. Her daughter has a website called American Children Underground. It is a shame to me that Holly Ann only had the options of breaking the law or allowing her kids to be with a man she knew was a psychopath.
I wish I knew what the answer was, but I do not have the wisdom of Solomon, and psychopaths are very good at “masking” their intentions and using the children as tokens in some sort of “game” where winning is the only important thing.