Divorcing a Narcissist: Failure in the System

Divorcing a Narcissist: Failure in the System

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a quitter.  I have setbacks but those will not define me.  My ex parte request was denied.  I haven’t seen the official paperwork but I was informed by the clerk.

I am at a loss for how to understand this system.

It is my understanding that his co-dependent, enabling mother wrote a declaration (which I will go and read tomorrow at the courthouse) for her son.  This is the woman who created a monster and is happily married to another.  Over the summer, this same woman sat  and listened to my daughters recount a story about their father threatening to make my youngest daughter sleep in a parking structure alone.  When my oldest daughter told her grandmother how she stopped her father by telling him that she would keep her sister quiet, she exclaimed, “Well that was a good solution!”.  It was in that moment that I gave up all hope that she would ever protect my daughters.

My x is on his normal “high” after what he perceives as a “win”.  He has been on a “textual harassment” binge against the woman in the Bay Area who is his current stalking victim.  She wrote a declaration for me citing his insane and scary behavior over the past few years.  This was just one of many texts that he’s sent over the past two weeks:

The crazy narcissistic woman’s request was denied to take my children from me .  (this is the one with 200 pages of herself online after she cheated on me while we’re married)  That narcissist. She’s very vindictive, much like you. How does feeling full of vengeance work for you both I wonder? Stressful? Aging? Negative? All of the above. I wouldn’t know because I shun people like you two from my life. Oh yeah, and all your negative bs you wrote to hurt two innocent children and turn the court against me, all your effort to be hateful to a man you said you loved as recently as July was in vain. Hope to see you at the gym soon to laugh at you aloud. Everyone I know here will know what you did factually. That’s the truth.

No.  The truth is that the court system just put the lives of two little girls in the hands of a psychopath.  I don’t need an $8,000 test to tell me what I am dealing with.  I am dealing with a man who is out of his mind and a court system that just doesn’t understand.  They see a man who expresses interest in being in the picture (versus being a dead beat dad) and they find that refreshing.  They don’t understand that he is a sick, twisted, manipulative man who cares about his daughters as possessions.  He cares about them as pawns to hurt me and control me because he has no other way to do it anymore.

I will regroup and continue to be a voice for my daughters.  ###

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17 Responses

  1. Well, sorry to hear that Tina. I am in the same boat as you today. I recieved the opinion from the appellate court today and i lost. Judgement affirmed. The “father’s relationship with the child is best served by the father being the primary residential parent” and a “judge is not obligated to consider ALL of the best intrest factors in a child custody dispute”

  2. The “Best Interest” factors are apparently there for no reason- certainly not to protect our children if a judge doesn’t have to consider them!

  3. Tina,

    Sending light to you.

    I was with a NPD but we didn’t have children.

    You are one tough cookie; you are making a difference, never give up.


  4. I am sorry to hear that, Tina. It’s not right. I am dealing with a similar situation. My 9 year old sees through him, yet a court system and a psychologist don’t seem to be able to.

    Hang in there! You’re tough, and your girls are lucky to have you.

  5. I am so sorry. Never underestimate a determined mother. Keep fighting for what is right for your daughters, you are an inspiration.
    Your situation with the court gives me little hope that the judges will do the right thing, as I have yet to embark on the most important part of my own journey with the court system. I wish you the best.

  6. Tina, I just read (most of) this article regarding high-conflict divorce at http://www.mincava.umn.edu/documents/linda/linda.html#id496885. Part of the problem as I understand it is that there is a disconnect between the fields of say, mental health and law. Another part of the problem is that attorneys and those working in “the system” are not trained and aware of things like transference, projection and how vulnerable we are to those types of influences. Reading that article may help clarify some of what is going on … I am sure you are aware, too that there is a prejudicial attitude that BOTH partners are “disordered” in a high conflict case. How to work with people in the system who are being influenced by stereotypes as “it takes two …” plus factors like projections, etc (transference and counter) plus all the little human quirks at work … that I am not sure about at all but I am sure someone, somewhere has good info to assist. I will pass on any info I come across.

    I am sure if MIL is a decent looking and “pleasant” person, she will be given considerable weight as mine was … although behind the scenes she told me (then) 10 & 11 year old daughters that “Mommy is going to kill you,” prompting childish letters (complete with cause numbers, etc) begging not to have to see Mommy, who “scared them” or, if they had to, PLEASE make it “supervised visitation” (which I had never even heard of before that). She owes my daughters – and me – a huge apology; doubtful any will ever be forthcoming.

    Take some deep breaths and relax … some of “the answers” are possibly hard to find, but they exist. Hope this maybe helps clarify some of what may be (?) affecting your case.

    And for both you and Heather, I know judges are permitted a fairly wide degree of “discretion” in custody cases; there are appeal grounds if it is “abused”, but without compelling evidence of danger (not speculative), a judge would not be likely to cut one parent or the other out of the children’s lives. Not a lawyer, but that is the crux of the massive amount of research I’ve been doing, experience and other cases I’ve known of or read through. And state standards are probably not as stringent as what we think of as normal for “good parenting”; not understanding or knowing this can cause you to be viewed as a pest or troublemaker.

    All sort of crazy, but knowing and accepting that will help you stay more calm and relaxed; able to focus on issues and interventions that do need to(and can most effectively)be addressed. It’s a system that makes me think of the quote by Horace Walpole about the world being a comedy to those who think and a tragedy to those who feel.

  7. Can you speak to the minor’s counsel and discuss pursuing a new parent evaluation? Or pushing the issue of violating the court order regarding the phone? I hate that you have to keep spending money and pushing pushing pushing; it’s absolute insanity for the Commissioner to disregard what the girls’ lawyer recommends. This truly scares me. The system is broken.

  8. I know it is disappointing, but not entirely shocking-par for the course that is why you are fighting, but I am sure a let down nonetheless and I am sorry for yet another one. Don’t forget your X has a vindictive aunt who would know all the pressure points the commissioner needs to hear and MIL dearest does not care about you, your daughters or her son. She knows she should have been a mother who is more like you, she wasn’t and she doesn’t want to be confronted with that fact. The lost need to be saved, the children need to be loved. The children are yours to the love and love well, leave the rest to God. Hopefully the paperwork your X filed will offer insight and the commissioner allowed some room for you to respond accordingly. For the poor woman getting these harassing emails, she should be able to get a restraining order or block his emails if she wants, shouldn’t she, especially if he stalks her at the gym? Why would your X think she would want to hear from him about you when she can communicate with you directly? I think the fact that she is forced to get a restraining order against him would speak louder and be more favorably to everyone than anything your X has to say to her about anything.

  9. I forgot to add my remark about Dawn’s point regarding the state standard of good parent and that it not be the same as any thing that we ourselves recognize as “normal,” but then again we are talking about our Ns-far from normal and difficult to define or recognize sometimes even for us. It is an interesting point and factor we have no choice but to deal with-good point Dawn.

  10. Heather,

    It does seem that “best interest of the child” is a broadly translated term. I understand what you are going through. First husband who has been battling me for years for custody of our son finally got his winning card this summer. My second husband abandoned his stepson, me, and our son in March after much emotional abuse to me. Less than a week later first husband has papers filed against me again. I didn’t have money for a lawyer. Despite meeting all of my oldest son’s needs the judge said I was now too poor to take care of him. Ignored my requesting that he speak to son who turned 13 just a couple days after court date and wanted to stay with me, wanted to finish his last year of middle school in the special magnet program he was attending. Split him from his little brother. I am in south Texas. He now lives in Kentucky. Is that in his best interest? Really, what does that term mean to these judges who rip kids out of their homes and even put kids in emotional if not physical harms way?

  11. Gina- it means whatever the judge wants it to. Dont get me wrong- I do think there are fair and just people in the legal system. The system was designed for normal cases and normal people… which narcs and sociopaths are not! However, there are too many judges who dont care becuase at the end of the day, they are not accountable for anything that happens. I keep thinking about Amy Castillo and the hell she has endured with her (diagnosed) narcissistic ex. Her kids are dead- and it could happen to any of our children too!

  12. Agree. So he outright defy’s a court order, admits to defying the court order because of XYZ, you PROVE he is lying about XYZ, and he still “wins”. A six year old could of done a better job than your Commissioner! And if your ex is anything like mine, he will now feel he can ignore anything and everything else in the order. UGH!

  13. Dear Tina, I’m so sorry to find this out. The ruling is outrageous. I’m so sorry you are fighting such an uphill battle but I know it will never be a lost cause. The manipulator and liar has had yet another narrow escape with the help of dehumanized and malfunctioning system, but not for much longer. I know eventually you will get the better of both of them. I believe now is the time to use my declaration as well – the persistent cyberstalking of my friend hasn’t stopped and it’s a green light to use the details of the events I’m describing in my declaration. Lots of hugs to you, A

  14. A- You should see the paperwork that he submitted to the courts. It’s almost hard to believe. His parents will be no help to any of us– they have not only supported him but lied for him throughout the court documents. Thank you so much- (((HUGS))) T

  15. Thanks; I got into a bad spot and was extremely outraged because of the things I “don’t” know about the system. The article I referenced I was recently discussing with a therapist, as I don’t know that attorneys, etc. get training in things like “projection” and “transference/counter” but they are going to be subject to it. If we come up against it, we can be more prepared to defuse it (and as it is N #1 tool, not bad to have that in mind.)