I have learned so many lessons dealing with a sociopath. Of course, I learn them too late, and that gives the sociopath an advantage! I’m a normal person expecting normal behavior, while a sociopath is plotting and conniving ahead of time how to hurt and use people and how to set the stage to make it easier then cover it up. Every single time I have to encounter a new situation with the sociopath, I am blind-sided and at a disadvantage.
Most of the abuse I endured was not “provable.” It was raging, screaming, degrading, threatening, intimidating, black mailing, name-calling, and all kinds of mental and verbal abuse. Fortunately and unfortunately, it was rarely physical. “Fortunately,” because I don’t want to be injured, but “unfortunately,” because that meant I couldn’t get help with the intense darkness and terror from a person I knew was capable of killing me.
My sociopath ex did indeed physically attack me, and I knew that was the time to leave. Things had escalated quickly and violently, and I knew that more physical harm was coming. When he did it, I called 911 and pressed charges. I was given a restraining order, and I took that chance to be free and safe.
My abuser dodged the restraining order and kept coming to my house to taunt me. He contacted my mother daily to have her plead with me. Finally, I agreed to drop the order because he promised to go to therapy. I wrote more about that issue here: http://facesofnarcissism.com/2015/10/22/narcissists-and-protection-orders-or-restraining-orders/
Anyway, years later, I am learning the rest of that lesson.
He became violent in the therapy appointment, so I did not drop the felony battery charges. Thank God. However, he also threatened me repeatedly and made it clear that if he was found guilty of battery and I testified against him, I would not be safe. For that reason, I arrived at my court date terrified, shaking, and crying. I wanted justice and safety, but I was afraid he would kill me if he was held accountable. He had done multiple things to intimidate me in the days before the court date, so I was scared to testify or even be in the room with him. A court-ordered domestic violence advocate helped me through. In the end, to avoid testifying, I agreed to let him have a plea bargain. The prosecutor and advocate assured me he would still have a criminal history, and that was important to me. I wanted to make sure that the next time he attacked someone, there was a record and he was held accountable. He had previously attacked a woman and had it expunged, and he had attacked even more women who couldn’t get help, so I wanted to make sure that he had that crime on his record and judges couldn’t continue to let him get away with harming people.
Boy was I naive. It turns out a plea bargain for a lesser charge might leave a mark, but it isn’t used the next time he assaults someone. In fact, the criminal charges seem to be gone and I’ve been contacting the court to find out why with no answers yet.
How did I learn this?
After nearly a decade, he violently physically attacked me while I was walking away from him at a visitation exchange. I had brought my partner as a witness for protection, but the sociopath showed up in an especially violent mood and began threatening and attacking me from the start. When he punched me, I didn’t know what hit me because he hit me in the head from behind as I walked away. I slammed into the ground and blacked out. You know those cartoons where the coyote sees stars? I saw stars. I can’t forget the feel of the gravel under my face. I pushed myself up and saw double vision. I tried to make sense of what happened and yelled for someone to call 911. I had just been violently assaulted in front of my partner–my future husband–and my children.
Of course I pressed charges when the police came. He was arrested on very minor misdemeanor charges and was out without any bond the next day. (The first time he attacked me, it was a felony and a $25k bond.) The police said he had no prior domestic violence charges and they couldn’t find any criminal history. I was stunned. I had sought help so HE COULDN’T DO THIS AGAIN!!!! And he did it again. And it wasn’t just to me. He violently assaulted another woman two years ago, and when she sought help, the police also told her there was no record and she had no proof. This repeat predator has harmed so many people, and the legal system lets him do it.
My children are afraid to go home because he knows where we live. I am struggling with heightened PTSD. My partner is scared for us and worried that my abuser will also target him.
The sociopath is roaming free.
I truly regret allowing him to have a plea bargain. I wish I had known then what I know now.
It’s not over though. I will fight this time. For me. For my kids. For the other women. For everyone else who has been abused without getting help. I will do everything I can, bring every bit of evidence, call every witness, copy all documentation, and make sure that the courts correctly find him guilty of his crimes this time. I will make good come from this.
One thought on “Lessons learned with a sociopath: no plea bargains”
So so sorry for your woes. I’m going through a similar nightmare, 15 years after the divorce, when my kids were babies. Now my son is graduating hs and leaving, and the narc is having a meltdown. He pulled him from school 3 weeks to graduation, it took a court order to get him to graduate. Despite a felony conviction for assault of our son, he has full custody. He’s that charismatic and charmed the dumb female guardian ad litem to gang up against me. PS, he’s neighbors and friends with the judge, and the cops and social system cover for him.
I’m not at all shocked by your horrible story. The entire legal system is money-sucking predators and flying monkeys. Play it cool, minimize contact. Run the clock patiently. Time is your friend and the kids will grow up.