If you are dealing with a sociopath in your life I know how extremely difficult it is and it’s even more difficult if you are forced to co-parent with a sociopath. I know how desperate you must feel. I can only speak from my own experience, but there are sure to be commonalities between you and I when it comes to any situation with a sociopath.
In my own experience it was during my pregnancy that I really grasped the dire straights I was in and started to panic about what it would mean to try to parent with this person (whom I had not yet identified as a sociopath, but had already tried to leave twice before). The biggest hope I had was that he would either a) end up in jail again before baby was born, or b) simply not have an interest in the baby, or at least not any long term interest. I know that sounds selfish on my part because every child deserves two parents, however, the negative influence is far worse.
When baby was five weeks old I caught Mr Poison trying to put water in the gas tank of my car. I had no idea what the consequences of that might be at the time, just that I was sure it couldn’t be good. The thought that anyone would even think to do that, let alone actually do it was completely foreign to me. I had never heard of such a thing. Thank goodness I caught him before he succeeded. It was that morning that I went to the courthouse to obtain an order of restraint, in spite of breastfeeding and recovering from a C-section. It was during this process that I realized how absolutely insane and dangerous Mr Poison could be. I erroneously believed that my request would be honored with the information I had given,plain and simple. I knew what a complete liar Mr P was to me but I was astounded that he went into the courtroom and showed no hesitation whatsoever in lying to the judge right in the courtroom.
Mr Poison showed up in a suit and proceeded to tell the courts that I was unstable, that he owned his own lucrative business and had hired a nurse to care for the baby in the home. There was much more but that is the gist. I was so floored that he could lie so blatantly and get away with it in a courtroom that when the judge asked me why he shouldn’t be given custody, I couldn’t immediately think of the long list of reasons why and when I basically stated that he was lying about everything that came out of his mouth, I was met with a “he said, she said – so prove it” type of thing. UNBELIEVABLE!
That was my first experience with the legal system and the beginning of losing complete faith in the system and justice overall.
What transpired over the next couple of years is a different story. This story is how a sociopath affects children and it’s just not good. Be sure to read my other post that defines what a sociopath is so you have some idea of why and how a sociopath can negatively affect a child, YOUR child. A sociopath has no conscience and their whole bane of existence is to see people as targets and victims and how they can use them. Children are no different for them, even their own children.
Go to the website Lovefraud.com and you will find some general information about sociopaths and children. One of the most important things I gained from that site is the knowledge that sociopaths exist for one reason and that is to win. Simply to win. It doesn’t matter what situation, what person, what entity; their whole goal is to win and they will do anything to achieve that. Lying is nothing to them and because they have no conscience they spend no time feeling guilty about what they do or say.
In my own situation, I had a three year old child when I met Mr Poison and in the beginning he was attentive and playful with her, appropriately so. At first it was small things that started to make me watch a little closer. I couldn’t quite define it and he wasn’t hurting her. I almost felt like I was being paranoid or overly protective. The process is so difficult to define, to put into words. It’s almost like you arrive at a place that is like a horrible and scary nightmare and you are trying to wake up but you can’t remember even falling asleep or getting ready for bed.
He started to say things to me in front of my daughter that were derogatory or demeaning but then laugh them off or act like I was crazy or over reacting if I got upset. I’m not one to easily let things pass when it comes to mutual respect so there would be arguments. However, Mr Poison is a relentless talker and would talk in circles, sometimes following me throughout the house. I got worn out and would just give up or lock the bathroom door. This is emotionally damaging to a young child, very confusing. After baby was born things only got worse.
Because I work in social services and have a huge affection for babies and children, Mr POISON made it his mission to discount me, to use my knowledge against me, to try to gain the affection of the children. I can’t even explain how this confuses children because they love their parents. When I would try to set limits as to his being at my home and would tell him to leave he would get in my face and call me awful names, just quiet enough so the kids didn’t hear but so that I would become upset and tell him to leave my home before I called the police. Then he would loudly say things like “why are you acting like this? I’m only trying to be here to help with the kids, I know how stressed you are, ” and on and on. The kids would cry and not understand why I was ‘making daddy leave’.
And then I started to hear how he was talking to them when I wasn’t in the immediate vicinity. He seemed to enjoy saying or doing things that upset the kids and then twist it around when I intervened so that he seemed reasonable and they were misbehaving or tired or whatever.
A sociopath has no fear and thrives on excitement so he became the “fun” parent. This means spending money on unnecessary things instead of basic essentials. There would be impulsive weekend trips with no planning whatsoever. There would be no consideration for how any of his behavior or lack of planning affected the kids. I can’t stress the emotional damage this causes any child because they truly do love their sociopathic parent. They have no understanding, or they can’t define when something doesn’t feel right or they have the sociopathic parent deliberately telling them that what they know they experienced wasn’t true. Like I said, it’s very difficult to explain.
I could spend another hour writing specific examples of my own experience, of my own kids’ experiences, but I want to hear yours too. I think just knowing we are not alone is a tremendous help.