Psychopaths are good at draining our finances and leaving us emotionally wrecked. Since I am still going through my custody battle (and likely will for a long time), I constantly think about ways I can make this experience less painful. Dealing with the aftermath of having a child with someone who has a personality disorder is traumatic.
If I have learned one lesson this past year its how important it is to find peace in this sea of chaos. Even after instituting as much “no contact” as is possible my child’s psychopathic parent, I have come to realize that there are people who like to fuel the drama of a psychopath for either entertainment or financial reasons. These people don’t necessarily have a personality disorder themselves, but they have their own personal motivations to keep the psychopath’s drama train on the tracks and headed right toward their victim.In the past year, I have learned many hard (and expensive) lessons. I wish I had known about these “Psychopath drama fuelers” before getting into my custody war with Luc because I would have tried to avoid them (at least to the degree that I could).
Psychopaths keep lawyers, police, judges, social workers, etc employed because custody cases involving psychopaths seem to never end. Even if there isn’t a child in the mix, people with severe personality disorders always end up needing lawyers and coming into contact with police. In addition to financial predators, there are also those people who surround themselves by this drama because they, too, get some sort of sick pleasure out of watching us suffer at the hands of the psychopath.I am sure that for every example I give, many of you who are also recovering from a relationship with a psychopath could come up with several of your own. I never noticed these people before I met Luc, but after I found myself laying on the train tracks of chaos with a psychopath headed right for me – tons of people came out of the woodwork to support Luc to make sure he continued on his path of destruction. These people seem to be everywhere and always willing to help the psychopath by fueling his delusions and lying to support his stories (even folks who are supposed to be neutral). While it is sometimes impossible to control those the psychopath brings to court, you can identify those predators who will surround you in order to exploit your pain for financial gain and/or push your buttons in order to incite further drama. Here are the two categories of Psychopath drama fuelers I have been able to identify:
Those who fuel for entertainment: (Supervised Visitation “Professional”)
At the conclusion of the first custody trial, Luc was ordered supervised visitation for a few months (until an access review hearing). Not knowing better, I suggested that we just go with the woman who had been recommended by the court evaluator. She had been supervising visits for eight years and she was a retired police officer.
Looking back on it, I should have questioned what type of person enters into this sort of “side job” and made sure I got references from families vice just the court. While some people might do it for the extra cash or for some actual altruistic reason, I now suspect that our supervisor took this side job for entertainment value. Over the course of the supervised visitation period, it appeared as though this woman enjoyed chaos and would often attempt to make me feel worse about the situation (while trying to appear sympathetic). At first I didn’t want to accept that she could be playing both sides, but now I understand that its best to limit my interaction with this woman.
The first clue that she couldn’t be trusted was when she would lie about what occurred on the visits (we had a third party watching). The baby would cry the entire time and Luc would sometimes fall asleep on the ground in the play area while he was supposed to be watching the baby. After these visits, the supervisor would say things like, “he did a great job today. I know this is hard for you to take. He is very charming.” Even though the supervisor mentioned her concerns about how he made his money (had hundreds in his wallet each week) and the fact that she believed he was delusional (based on his outlandish stories that were not based in reality), she got on the stand during the trial and told the court she had no concerns about Luc. As she got off the stand, she turned to me and winked. I felt like she had stabbed me.
When Luc was awarded unsupervised visits, the supervisor called me and said she couldn’t believe the court would do such a thing given all the terrible things he had done. I wanted to jump through the phone and punch her, but instead I continued to listen. She went on to tell me that she was concerned that Luc would kill me someday and how she worried he would take off with the baby and never come back. The week of the first visit, she actually had the nerve to ask me if I thought Luc would kill baby boy for a life insurance policy. I finally asked her why in hell she didn’t mention these concerns on the stand. Her response was, “well I don’t have any solid proof.”
So why does she say these things to me and then clam up on the stand? Well, she enjoys seeing me freak out. She feels better about herself to watch someone in such a terrible position. I have stopped sharing information with her and I no longer fall into her drama traps. While the supervisor’s comments may not have been outside the realm of possibility, they served no purpose other than to upset me as she was not willing to say them on the stand.
Those who fuel for financial benefit:
I have gone through three different law firms in the past year. My theory is that lawyers can smell a woman (or man) who is devastated and in desperate need of protection against a psychopath (for herself and most importantly her child). When there is a child involved, they act like vultures swooping down on fresh roadkill. They all want a piece of the meat and they want to take you for all you have. Lawyers also love these cases because they know that you are likely to be a cash cow. Custody wars with psychopaths are like gushing wounds that never stop bleeding. I have learned that with lawyers they will fuel this fight on and on until you can no longer pay – then they will disappear fat and happy (only to resurface again when they think they can get more out of you). Even if its in the child’s best interest to have no contact with the psychopath parent, its my belief that many of these lawyers fight to keep you in a situation where you can be a continuous cash cow. They are not interested in setting precedent and doing what is right – they just want your money.
How to avoid these people (or how to treat them if you are stuck with them):
To a certain extent, I realize that I was bound to come into contact with these people at some point in my custody war with Luc. Knowing that they exist, however, is half the battle. My best advice is to try and identify the motivation behind a person’s actions and pay close attention to these actions in relation to what they are telling you.
With an entertainment seeking Psycho drama fueler, limit your exposure to this person. In my case with the supervisor (she is doing the visitation exchanges now), I treat her just as I would treat the psychopath himself – no contact. Someone else interfaces with her and I limit my communication to only what is necessary. I don’t let Luc send messages through her beyond voicing when he is going to cancel a visit. If I don’t play into her attempts to draw me into conversation, she won’t have the ability to provoke me. Each visit, she is met with another member of my family and it appears as though she is less vocal with her provocations when I am not there.
As far as lawyers are concerned, be your own advocate. These people are only worried about their finances. You are just a client to them. If you discover a way to make litigation less expensive or you want them to push for something in particular – do not take no for an answer. Consider searching for a law firm experienced in fighting for the rights of victims of domestic abuse. Even though Luc never slapped me or punched me in the face, I was still abused and I now realize that I deserved for my case to be presented to the court this way.
You are your child’s best defense against the psychopath. As soon as we identify these Psychopath drama fuelers, it is easier to turn the tables and get them to work for us instead of against us.