One thing I’ve learned in dealing with a narcopath, is that when you point out their bad behavior, it rarely stops the bad behavior, but it does alert them that something is wrong with it. Narcissists don’t care about doing something that is wrong, but they do care about how people see them, so if they learn something is considered wrong in society, they will be careful not to do it in front of others, or to do the right thing in public. Their behavior isn’t based on any morals or ethics within their evil little minds, but is completely about giving others the right impression. Narcissists observe others and read how they are supposed to act, and then they mimic it. Oddly enough, my ex narcopath outright told me this! He told me he’d been in so many “relationships,” that he was really good at learning how to relate to people. Once you realize you are dealing with a predator, sometimes you look back and realize they gave you hints about their true selves all along!
My ex narcopath has supervised visits with my son. Initially, they were fully supervised, though now the monitors just check in every few minutes. We go to court every few months to update the visitation arrangement as needed, and the visitation center delivers their non-biased report of what they viewed. After the first view, I read the reports and cried. They were far worse than I’d imagined. I knew he was a sociopath by that point, but I figured he’d be smart enough to put on an act for at least a while. If that was his good side, the bad was going to be far worse. He’d kicked my son, said horrible things about me to my son, guilt-tripped my son for falling asleep, (my son was barely a year old at the time,) insulted the monitors, and more. He refused to feed my son the food I sent. He made racist comments about one of the monitors, and later called back to rage and attack her on the phone to her boss. Unfortunately, his attacks on the monitors, which were just a tiny hint of his typical behavior, were ignored because the magistrate thought that only the relationship with my son mattered. I disagree. If a sociopath is bullying and attacking people in front of my son, he’s still a dangerous toxic example for a child. Reading the reports terrified me.
But, the court determined that it was passable, so they made the visits less supervised. Instead of sitting in, a monitor would check every few minutes–which means they aren’t getting the full picture. I shared the report with a small group of trusted friends who were all horrified. Unfortunately, one of them ended up back-stabbing me and told the ex narcopath how to clean up his act and “fix” all the things that shocked us. I know darn well a narcopath doesn’t change, and I know the same things are going on, but he is now able to hide them from the monitor who checks in every few minutes. The report that came back to me recently described a loving, kind man who is not anyone I have ever met! One of my biggest pet peeves is this: I send food to every visit because they are scheduled through meal times. All of the reports show that my ex is feeding my son, BUT, the food containers always come back full or very close to it, and my son comes home starving and zoned out with hunger. He doesn’t perk up until I feed him. I hate it. So now, the narcopath knows he will look bad if he doesn’t feed my son, so he pretends to feed my son, gets credit for feeding my son, looks better…but still does NOT feed my son. I am documenting this each time with photos.
Basically, I feel like the narcopath was digging a big hole for himself, but when he got tipped off about how terrible his behavior was considered in society, he knew to hide it. This killed my ability to use his behavior to protect my son. I did notice on his recent report, a hint of the true colors came through, but the magistrate apparently isn’t experienced with sociopaths. She thought it was just a bad day. I know the truth–it was the tip of the iceberg of his real self.
A friend of mine who has seen my ex-narcopath’s true colors recently told me that you have to hide your evidence until you can reveal it all at once and make a huge impact. I agreed, because I found that to be true. Most narcopath’s are giving hints of their anti-social behavior frequently, but most normal people do not pick up on it because it can be spread out, or because people don’t know what to look for.
The narcopath has a string of public records for violence and reckless behavior all over the country, but since the incidents are in different states, the police rarely catch on. Most of the time, an incident will look like his first offense since the states have not connected their records. He has had more than one criminal incident expunged because they appear to be first and only offenses. If only the judges knew! But, the narcissist learns from his journey through the court system, and it helps him hone his manipulation skills. He learns what is “good,” and what is “bad,” and becomes a better actor–which makes it harder for you to catch him.
My non-professional advice based on my own experiences is: be wary of pointing out the crazy things your narc does, because once the narc sees other people judging the bad behavior, he will learn to thwart the truth the next time. When my ex was called out for things he’d done to me, he’d immediately claim they never happened. And he’d add that behavior to his “no” list or at least his list of things not to do in public. Don’t tip them off until you are ready to go big and prove it all at once! A steady stream of trying to show people what’s going on doesn’t have the same effect.