Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following from the reader who posts as “RobertInSeattle.”
I’ve been running into sociopaths all my life often when I least expected it. And believe me when I tell you — the more I learn, the less I know!
As I’ve been delving into all of this more deeply than I ever have in the past (all because of my breakup earlier this year with my most recent sociopath encounter), it’s finally gotten me to looking much farther back into my own long history with them.
There was so little discussion — and certainly few if any online support groups — in years past that actually addressed sociopathy when I went through my first divorce which started back in 1989. Many of the experts were only beginning to come on board at the time. And only recently have I been reading about how many “experts” — particularly male therapists — continue to avoid identifying females as sociopaths, choosing instead to tag them as bipolar or Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).
In following so many of the current divorce and court stories that I read about on the growing number of boards and chat rooms today, I continue to see all too many of the same cycles of events that transpired in my own divorce and custody battle that started back in Florida. Except there was virtually no support or information to work with back then.
My first marriage
Looking back with new-found enlightenment, my first marriage was truly — and frighteningly — a textbook study in how these people move in quickly and use their charms and power to manipulate and set things up to their advantage. She moved in with me within a month or two of first dating and we got married not long after that, in part due to a problem she had gotten herself into that would have been a violation with Canadian immigration. But we did end up moving south to the States (she was an American) and in less than a year, our son was born. Four years later, we had a daughter. Five years after that on Christmas Day in 1989, after our kids had happily opened up all their Christmas presents, she simply came up and told me calmly that she had been seeing someone else and wanted a divorce. And that was that. No discussion, no emotion, nothing. I was devastated for days but it was just the beginning of a long and dark spiral into a place I could never have imagined. And it all revolved around money and control rather than the welfare of our children as I soon discovered.
Only recently did I finally realize the association of her behavior with being a sociopath: During the drawn out court drama, I had actually made a hard-fought request for court-ordered MMPI tests administered by a professional for admission as background in our final custody hearing. But the woman designated as my children’s Child Advocate was an alcoholic, divorced, man-hating spath herself who naturally sided with my ex- from the outset. Oh — and I later discovered she had never even been qualified for her position in that organization (but that’s for another story). Three days before this pivotal hearing, she managed to get a copy of the tests from the psychologist and realized what was about to transpire in court. So this woman then requested an immediate ex parte hearing with the judge in our case. Without even mentioning the existence of this MMPI evaluation, she told the judge that her recommendation as the Child Advocate in the case was to hand my kids over to my ex — unequivocally! Taking her word, the judge simply signed off on the order and our custody hearing was cancelled! My son called me from their mother’s place that evening just before I was about to pick them up from their weekly dinner (it was their alternate week with me). Probably the worst day of my life (and my children’s)!
And just what was in her MMPI? Short of actually calling her BPD or bipolar, the psychologist’s analysis of my ex- was that she exhibited all of the standard behaviors of people in “a certain category.” Had I known what I know now …
My ex- managed to manipulate and game everyone around her — friends, family, attorneys and even the system — initially gaining full custody of our son and daughter. Through a lot of perseverance and help from a few close friends, we managed to completely change the entire system and process in one Florida county, and I did eventually gain full custody of my kids. But it certainly didn’t help that the Child Advocacy program and even the Court system had been infiltrated by sociopaths as well. It was quite the battle and the stuff of books and movies.
I suspect that a lot of this probably sounds familiar to many of you who are still in different stages of battling things out with your sociopath partners. So for those still in your fights, know that there is more information and support today than many of us ever had in the past. When we share our experiences openly, it’s good for everyone and cathartic for each of us. And open knowledge is probably the best way to fight these people who live among us.
Oh — by the way: I have no regrets over any of this. It’s made me who I am today and my son and daughter would not have grown up to be the two wonderful adults that they have become had all of this not transpired. No regrets at all.