Since my second child’s birth, we have been relatively safe because my ex narcopath has had supervised visits due to his history of violence against me. For a few months, his visitation reports were horrifying, but were only a tiny hint of what he is really like. Since then, he has learned to put on the right face while continuing the abuses in a less obvious manner. This does not mean he’s changed. He has still let his true colors show a few times, but the magistrate isn’t astute enough to realize that they are sign of far worse. The ex is a narcissistic sociopath who has been hurting people for five decades. He has a history of violence and recklessness all over the country. He will never change. But, it seems we have one of those magistrates who does not understand that abusers have two faces. Since he’s started putting on an act in his supervised visits, she foolishly thinks he is safe.
I know better. I know that the narcopath used to play perfect dad in public, then abuse and/or ignore my older son in private. I watched him easily slip between the two masks depending on who he needed to fool. I also saw people buy it. They’d exclaim about how great he was with my son, but in private, he’d get impatient and rage and yell at my son, (then not even 18 months old.) I saw him rage until my son vomited in fear. I saw him shove and push my son around while my son screamed. I saw him drive recklessly with us in the car. I prayed for our lives more than once as narcopath raged and drove recklessly to scare me on major highways. I froze in fear as we spun out on a busy highway when narcopath was driving dangerously. I saw him deny meals and diaper changes all day long, then shove food in my child’s mouth when we were allowed to have a single meal late in the day. At my final straw, he hit my son in the head over something tiny, then shook him upside down after slamming him around a few times. That was the day I ended the hell of a marriage after less than two months. I knew that he would only continue to escalate, he was incapable of caring about anyone–not even a small child, and as he pushed boundaries, he’d probably kill us. I knew that if I did not keep him away from my son, I would be guilty of allowing abuse. So, I kicked him out of our lives.
Except, since I was pregnant, I can’t ever be free from the narcopath. We had a brief bit of safety that is now coming to an end. I can either try to get the court to hear me when I tell them about the long and varied history of anti-social behavior and the heartless, reckless and abusive behavior with my older child, or I can hope the narcopath doesn’t kill my child during his soon to be unsupervised visits. I am stuck either allowing violence against my child or being accused of “alienation” which is actually me protecting my child.
Many parents are stuck in this horrible predicament because courts simply do not grasp that there might be something beneath a person’s outward appearance. They are ignorant about narcissists, sociopaths and other predators, and they go by mindless books and precedents instead of really hearing abuse victims and putting two and two together about the abuser’s history. The courts’ ignorance forces protective parents to hand their children to violent abusers and just hope the kids come home alive. I’ve been “lucky” so far, but now my child is no longer safe. I can’t do anything to possibly help protect my child until the abuser endangers him so badly the magistrate will listen. Now we have to live in more fear. I hate this.
4 thoughts on “Courts do not protect children from abusers”
Perhaps you have heard of a case that has been in the news over the past couple of years, about a narcissist abuser in Florida, and how his ex has valiantly tried to protect her son from him. The abuser is strangely obsessed with his son’s genitals, and when the boy turned three years old, the abuser suddenly decided it was then time to get the child circumcised. The mother has done everything she can to try to protect her son, but the court system has been against her, and in the process, she was jailed and lost custody. It is hoped that she and her son will be allowed to reunite soon. The abuser does not love the child; to him, the child is simply a means to terrorize the child’s mother.
I am currently back in court over my sociopath ex-husband’s treatment of our daughter. It’s disgusting that my desire to protect her is the one thing that could cost me custody of her. Our court system here (US) is simply defective when it comes to custody involving “domestic violence” issues. His lies and gaslighting go undetected by everyone with the power to protect my daughter. It’s appalling. In the mean time, he’s using his tactics on her. It’s painful to watch a four-year-old struggle through the lies and gaslighting as well. As Angela noted above regarding another case, these men don’t love their children. They are simply pawns in a very sick game.
What can we do? This is maddening.
What can we do? This is maddening.
Well, Jennifer, Lori, Angela, and Joanna your situations and how they affect children are appalling. Even so, it is difficult to see how the suffering of these children is worse than that inflicted on my daughter by her narcissistic mother. So when Angela you say “these men don’t love their children” you are right about the love part but wrong to expand from your man (or ex) to ‘these men’ and stop at that. Such men and women are lacking empathy and their perceptions are limited and selfish. To say that such people ‘do not love their children’ might be true, but it also hits the hub of the matter, they are THEIR children too. How would you feel if I told you that you do not love your children? Of course, you would be outraged. Well, narcissists love chocolate, cheese, fine furniture… and their children. Their way of loving is possessive and selfish. It is not that they do not love their children but that they chiefly love their children’s benefit to the selfish parent, whether father, or mother. How do we measure love anyway? The courts can’t even try. All they want to know is that at least one adult will take care of the child(ren) until and throughout school age and that the other parent will therefore be freely available to work and support the ‘family’ financially. That plays into a patriarchal employment market and a matriarchal home domain. Tragically that also plays into my narcissistic wife imprinting such fear and hate of me into my daughter from aged 10-15 that courts won’t endorse visitation against ‘her’ preferred view, even though it is a million miles from an ‘informed choice’. This is a case where ongoing abuse by the mother (female) of her own daughter (female) under the guise of being a domestic violence victim has ruined that child (also a female)(also my child) emotionally, educationally, and physically. All my information comes through the schools. I have not seen my daughter for over 4 years. It is abuse of me too. Yes! I have paid always all maintenance. Think of that next time you are with your kids. Think of that next time your narc ex gas lights and manipulates the minds of those vulnerably suggestible kids.
So please continue to bring the issue of personality disorder among parents to the fore, but please be careful not to misrepresent and distort the problem as if it were gender specific, when it most definitely is not. What is gender specific is the removal of due process from domestic violence issues that usually don’t even need to feed through a law court but simply cast a shadow of doubt on the male in the family court while children are isolated from him.
In other words, children of narcissistic mothers have even less protection than children of narcissistic fathers. But your problems are immense enough, believe me I know, and you have my deepest sympathy and support.