I had to deal with the sociopath today because he visited my son this weekend. I hate those weekends! Sociopath has been testing boundaries lately by calling my phone to inform me of his visitation plans. Our court approved mediation states that he must email me by Wednesday and is not allowed to call me…so of course he calls me on Friday night. Test. Test. Test. Sometimes I put up with this crap, because I know if I don’t pick up the phone and set up a visit time at the last minute, he will manipulate and lie and claim I’m refusing his visits. Uggh. I’m also genuinely afraid he will rage and endanger us all if I hold tight to the rules. I do not want him coming over to my house violently demanding my child! So, narcopath tests every boundary. He constantly changes times, shows up late, calls over and over to keep moving his arrival time, and anything else that wastes my time.
So today, he brought my son back after the visit and arrived just before bedtime. As usual, son was not fed lunch or dinner. (Sociopath can’t bother to spend money on a child’s meal, right?) He always gaslights me with a lame excuse saying he didn’t feed my son because I said I was going to or something like that. In reality, I always warn him to feed my son because visitation ends close to bed time and we need to go straight to getting ready for bed. Does narcopath really think I don’t remember what I say!?! Gas lighting!
Narcopath then started lecturing me saying I am alienating my son because my son would not obey him during the visit. Apparently, he told my son to pick up toys and my son cheekily replied “I don’t like you!”
Now, pretty much EVERY parent in the world has heard this. You know it! My son started doing it to me about a week ago, and I suspect he picked it up at daycare or something. It’s NORMAL! It’s also nothing to do with “alienation.” Newsflash, little kids don’t actually want to pick up their toys. We make them do it, but they aren’t exactly jumping for joy, plus they will test us to see if they can get away with not doing it.
Then, sociopath told me I’d sent my son in pooped in pants and obviously I must have done something to upset him emotionally to cause him to get upset and poop his pants. This surprised me because we don’t have potty accidents anymore, plus I’d sent my son to the potty immediately before we left for the visit drop off. So, I looked at the “poopy” clothes narcopath sent home for me to wash. Hmmm…shirt is clean and dry. Shorts are clean and dry. Socks are clean and dry. What is going on here? This isn’t messy at all! I finally looked and noted the two inch skid mark on my pre-schooler’s underwear. Ohhhh, that’s it. A small stain where a little child didn’t wipe very well. That is hardly the same as pooping one’s pants in emotional terror! But of course, narcopath has inflated it to make me look bad.
I just gray rocked, stayed bored, and nodded as sociopath, (who can’t even spend money to feed my child, hasn’t paid support in two years, and has only purchased one $2.00 birthday gift and one $5.00 Christmas gift in my son’s ENTIRE life,) told me how much he cares about my son and how it’s so great that we are getting along now. (What the heck? We aren’t friends. I still know you are a sociopath! Stop calling my phone!!!) I didn’t bother to disagree, because I know that makes him rage and become violent. I just said things like “huh, that’s weird” and looked bored.
The conversation was very annoying as he tried to manipulate me, lie to me, and create non-existent “alienation.” THEN, as he said goodbye to my son, he told my son that he was going home with mommy because “that’s where you have to live right now.” Okay, now *that* is real alienation. He HAS to live here? Only for right now? When we got home, my son said to me “Daddy says I am going to go live with him, but I don’t want to. I want to live with you.” So clearly, the real alienator who was trying to make me into an emotional bully so bad my son “pooped” his pants and refused to pick up toys, was telling my son he isn’t going to live with me anymore and upsetting my son who is very strongly attached to me. (Which makes sense because his father rarely visits and doesn’t support him in any way.)
Yep, that’s a sociopath. They lie to us about what really happened, twist bits of truth to manipulate normal situations, then accuse us of what they are doing. And they do it so sadly and realistically that foolish people believe them. I know better, but I can only imagine how his orchestrated story would sound to others.
16 thoughts on “Gaslighting and manipulation at visitation time”
Oh my gosh that is insanity.
I left the married narc at 6 months pregnant so he leaves me the hell alone.. for now. He has other people to keep insane.
I’m glad I found your site because I need regular reminders of the insanity.
May God give you and your son strength!
So horrible, what this sociopath is doing to your son. This is not a narcissist-much worse-basic difference-narc is completely self-absorbed, everything for their gain, they hurt and damage other people because nobody matters beyond what the narc wants-but the pain is not intentional, just a by-product. The socio harms intentionally-they are just as much only about self as the narc, but the hurt, harm for fun. Very sick, evil people. Record everything possible, get it in writing. When he calls, take a pix each time with old phone. Email back, that he is not allowed to call and to send email message-and take pix and pix and pix. Also get son to report what he ate. Very important-you did not state age, but guessing 4-5. Not feeding the child is abuse-go first to a domestic violence officer in your courthouse with the child to report the not feeding. You would be amazed how fast things will happen-likely that day if you are there in the AM. Do it-your child only has you to protect him.
PS-this IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE-WHEN THE CHILD IS IN THE FATHER HOME, THAT IS A DOMESTIC SITUATION-THEY MAY REFER TO DCFS-BUT PLEASE FOLLOW THRU.
Is YOUR son also HIS son, I mean the person you refer to as sociopath or narcopath? Just count how many times in this article you refer to MY son, and compare that to how many times you refer to the same person as OUR son, or even HIS son. Narc or not (and it sure sounds like he is one), nevertheless that is bad parenting from you. I mean you call your ex self-absorbed and selfishly obsessed with his own interests, but you are equally absorbed with denigrating. Please give your son and his son some sunshine.xx
I disagree. I am the only one who has ever supported or cared for my son, and he shows up every couple months for a neglectful visit to show off. It would be impossible and a lie to consider him an equal parent.
You may be wonderful Joanna but you and I have to accept that we made a mistake to parent a child with an unsuitable partner. I know you don’t evaluate him as an equal parent and from what you say he sounds dreadful. But parent is not something to be evaluated. It just is. Moreover, the child is almost entirely always with you anyway. It sounds like you want the ‘almost entirely’ to become 100%. Now, if you switch that the other way, if you were denied your child, how would YOU feel? You would feel it was a cruelty to deny you your role and your identity as a mother. And you’d be right. So the issue is whether there are sufficient grounds to deny this father any involvement with his child, and his identity as a father. As to what would constitute sufficient grounds, evidence of abuse that threatens the safety of the child. Since you fear enraging this man, think how enraged you would be if you were removed from your child’s life? How’s that going to affect your ex? Might just tip him over the edge. Rather than that, I’d opt to placate him since it is only one day a month.
Omg. That’s reaching Richard. LOL. She isn’t enraging him. He is enraged all by his stupid sociopathic demented self. Stop picking Joanna apart. Since when does she have to be perfect to “prove” her ex is indeed a sociopath. Blather.
Omg. That’s reaching Richard. LOL.
Reading this just makes my skin crawl. Who knows what he says to your son when no one’s around. Ugh. One thing I learned and I urge you to do is to BELIEVE what your son tells you happens. The narcopath I was married to would tell me that our son was lying when I confronted and questioned him about the things that my son told me were said and done on weekend “fishing” trips. Back then I had no idea what gaslighting was, nor that I was married to a narcopath! These guys are evil.
Joanne, please ignore people asking how you would feel if she were denied her son, because you have empathy and a conscience, and you love your son. You cannot compare that to a sociopath, who lacks empathy and conscience and does not feel love, only ownership. The socio’s feelings and response to your perfectly reasonable behaviour are not your responsibility, they are his. You aren’t a parent if you aren’t doing any parenting.
Whenever you allow a boundary to be crossed with a socio, you encourage them to cross more boundaries. Personally I would refuse to communicate by phone, I would insist on email communication *as per court order* because otherwise it could go against you if he ever does take you back to court. If you follow the court order to the letter, he has nothing on you.
You are doing great, ignore anyone who is insinuating that you aren’t, or who is suggesting you remove a speck from your own eye rather than worry about the whole freaking forest in the socio’s (to badly paraphrase!).
Ooops, ‘how you would feel if *you* were denied *your* son. Was going to address it to the commenter originally, but decided that would be pointless.
Ooops Karen! No! It wouldn’t be pointless. If you and Joanne genuinely have empathy, and a good conscience, you would hesitate before inferring that your love for your children is greater than another person’s (mine, for example). Even if true (and from what Joanne reports it certainly is in her complicated situation), does greater love equate to a right to longer parenting time, or even to eliminating the other parent? With all due respect, the issue isn’t love, it’s risk of abuse or danger. Skipping a meal or two is deeply unimpressive, but the earlier comment by danni describing this as abuse or dv, is not accurate. It would count as negligence. Anyway, my heart goes out to you Joanne because it really is as impossible to deal with a narc father as it is with a narc mother, which is to say totally impossible. Just one other point, when you say the father rarely visits and doesn’t support the child it strikes me as a double complaint. I’d like to point out that many parents are absent from home precisely because they are away working to support their family. I do not really understand what employment opportunities this ‘narc’ has. I mean, is he working and earning but not supporting? Or, is he not working or earning for some reason? Oh! I sort of agree with Karen, but I wouldn’t invite confrontation by insisting on emails on your own account. I’d strongly Insist on emails specifically on account of the court directive.
When one is dealing with a narcopath, it is dangerous to assume that the disordered person can love. They lack the ability to love as a normal human can. When courts and outsiders assume that the narcopath is a loving parent, they are doing the child a disservice. In my situation, the narc father has a job, and spends quite a bit of money on luxuries–including resort vacations. In fact, he has skipped my son’s birthday many times in favor of a vacation, and he also chooses those trips while refusing to give a birthday gift. He is simply choosing not to pay. He is also choosing his social life ahead of visits. If he visits, it is when there is nothing “better” to do. I think those of us who DO love our children and have the ability to do so, would gladly put seeing our children and taking care of them ahead of our own fun. That is not so with a narcopath.
Your gaslighting “questions” are so revealing Richard. These are so not rational objective inquiries, only those of a gaslighting douchebag pretending to be objective and oh so pro fair parents’ rights for both. Spare me. TRANSPARENT. Wait, let me guess. Next, you are being “ganged up” on by man hating femi-nazi’s here by these responses, am I warm? BOUNCE DUMMIE. Go to another blog and needle and TROLL FOOL.
Skipping a meal or two? Ha ha ha. That’s rich Richard. You creepy creep.
I just reread these comments. This Richard Burton guy sounds downright unstable and DEFINITELY A WOMAN HATER THROUGH AND THROUGH. DAMN DUDE. He TOTALLY HARRASSED AND BULLIED YOU Joanna under the guise of playing some kind if devil’s advocate shit game. He”s a DEMENTED FREAKING WEIRDO SOCIOPATH WOMAN HATER TO BE SURE. CRINGE. I would turn him in for cyberbullying seriously. There is something WRONG WITH HIM. That was all just way too personal and belligerent.