I have heard a lot of people give advice about how the best way to get rid of a psychopath is to show him/her a “grey rock” of emotions. While I understand that this means that I cannot let the psychopath see any emotion beyond that of an emotionless grey rock, putting this theory into practice has proved to be one of the hardest things to do. I still believe I will have my moments, but it took an extreme situation for me to tap into what I needed to understand in order to achieve my own version of “grey rock”.
The “Extreme Situation”:
Baby boy had another rough 72 hours which landed him two more hospital visits. We started out in the hospital a few days ago after he spiked another fever, had another seizure, and this time turned blue in the process.
There has been nothing in my life more terrifying than seeing my son not able to breath and appear as if he is dying. I had to simply hold him and wait for an ambulance as there was nothing medically I could do to help him. While I felt like panicking along with my poor little boy (and I initially did), that moment allowed me to dig deep and become the rock that my son needed. I found the strength to calmly give the paramedics information and speak to the doctors in actual sentences that appeared to make sense. I didn’t realize how strong I had become during this year of “Luc terror” until the doctor applauded me for being able to remain so calm during such a terrible experience. I thought to myself, ‘this woman doesn’t know what Mama has been through’.
Practicing “Grey Rock”:
Luc was supposed to have a visit the day after this medical emergency began; however, given the state baby boy was in it was only reasonable to cancel the visit. There was no way I was putting a child who had a fever of 105 in a car with Luc (whom he still barely knows) to drive three hours round trip just so that Luc could play dad for the day. While Luc was busy throwing a fit with the supervisor via text message (requesting proof that baby boy was actually sick and insisting on a makeup visit), it occurred to me that I may have finally gotten to a point where I realize the insignificance of Luc.
This weekend I think I finally achieved “grey rock” with Luc. When the supervisor texted me for reports and told me, “don’t be surprised if he insists on a makeup visit”, I simply said, “my number one concern is baby boy and NOT Luc’s visitation schedule. You can tell him that I will provide him with the necessary documentation of baby boy’s medical situation to document my reasons for canceling the visit.” I wasn’t upset about his antics because there was no point. I had more important things to be concerned with other than how Luc was feeling and his threats.
Lawyers: A Necessary Evil (and an occasional reality check)
On the morning after baby boy’s hospital visit, I had the first civil conversation I have had with my attorneys in months. I called them about a conversation that I had with the supervisor the day before. The supervisor was insisting that I send the emergency plan I had created (in the event my son has another medical emergency while with Luc) to Luc’s attorneys. My attorney had been resisting any sort of communication with Luc’s attorney and insisting the supervisor be the one to pass the paperwork. While Luc insisted that he still obtained legal representation, my lawyers weren’t buying it.
After several days of this ridiculous back and forth, I finally got a straight answer out of my attorney. He said, “whatever comes out of Luc’s mouth…consider it just words. I don’t believe his ‘old’ attorney wants anything because if she does, she knows my number and can call me for it. Luc is full of crap.” He doesn’t believe Luc has an attorney anymore (attorneys tend to stop representing you when you won’t pay them). While my attorney still assured me that they had my back (which I had started to question), they told me to do my best to ignore Luc’s idle threats and just move forward with my life.
It has been a roller coaster of emotions with my legal team as sometimes I wonder whether or not they are more concerned about their reputation and bank account than doing what is right. That being said, the attorney I spoke with re the above conversation helped me to further put things in perspective. He helped me to realize that I was putting way to much stress and weight on the words coming out of Luc’s mouth. I had been allowing Luc to get the best of me when, really, he is insignificant. I am not sure what keeps making me think that Luc is capable of telling the truth, but my lawyers were right – Luc isn’t going to start being honest now.
Finding My Definition of “Grey Rock”:
Even during a very stressful weekend dealing with a sick child, Luc was trying to terrorize me via our court ordered third party (the supervised exchanged professional). My attorney served an important purpose in reminding me that I am baby boys legal custodian and that no matter how much Luc tries to throw a toddler- style fit about that, he can’t force the court to see him as the healthy and fit parent. He cannot change the fact that I will always be “mama” to my baby boy.
This weekend was terrible. I was awake for about three days straight watching baby boy sleep, constantly taking his temperature, and administering medication in order to try and prevent another Febrile seizure. During the hours spent awake watching baby boy, I had a lot of time to think about our little “family situation”. One of the conclusions that I came to is how much I am able to control my sons environment. I will be the parent he turns to when he is sick and needs protection. He will be able to rely on me through the good times and the bad ones. Nobody will ever be able to take away the bond me and my son have with each other.
It was through both the turmoil and the reality check from my attorneys that I came to my two part definition of what “Grey Rock” means to me:
- Emotionless Grey Rock: This refers to the act of giving the psychopath no emotions to feed off of. This is like torture to a psychopath. They hate it when they don’t feel relevant and they will be tortured when they realize they can no longer create chaos in their life of their victim. No matter how much of a fit I might be throwing inside, I need to channel this emotionless grey rock when it comes to Luc (and by proxy the drama fueler supervisor for the exchanges).
- The Mama Grey Rock of Strength: This refers to a mother’s ability to be the rock of reason, stability, and love for her child. I cannot help that my son’s father is disordered – that he is a psychopath. I can, however, be the strong supportive rock that my son needs. I will not allow Luc to take that from me with his attempts to drive me insane.
Just Another Disordered Encounter – “Insignificance of the Psychopath”:
Finally, baby boy will likely encounter many people during his life who are disordered. His father, unfortunately, will be one of them. This weekend I was able to see our custody situation for what it is. Baby boy’s father is a visitor. There will be times when baby boy is sick and when these visits will not occur. Luc will continue to throw fits and threaten to take me back to court. He will continue doing anything his evil (and feeble) mind can think of to terrorize me and attempt to exert control over both me and baby boy.
Despite having had several moments over the past year when I have wondered if I am going crazy (because of Luc’s reign of terror), I consider myself relatively psychologically healthy. During my life, Luc hasn’t been the first person on the spectrum of Psychopathy (though possibly the only full blown psychopath) that I have run into. Now that I understand more about the disorder, I can identify many people from previous bosses, ex- boyfriends, and even family members who have many characteristics on the psychopathy spectrum. I would love to be able to shelter baby boy from these people and all of their negative influences, but I realize that is not our reality. The best I can do is to not allow the terror to negatively impact my relationship with my son.
Living with Luc was like living in hell. I thank God every day that I was able to leave that man before he killed me. I am also thankful that my son will never have to see me put up with abuse at the hands of Luc. He may not understand why I left his father for some time, however, when he does understand my guess is that he will respect me more for making the decision to leave. I also have hope that he will see me as his “Mama Grey Rock of Strength” who protected him, loved him, and helped him become an emotionally healthy man.