When the parent of your child is a sociopath

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When you discover that the person you share a relationship with is a sociopath, (including a malignant narcissist or psychopath,) the further you can separate from them, the better off you’ll be.  Unfortunately, there are circumstances that make doing so very difficult….

  • When you have a child with them
  • When you have a business relationship with them.

Child-rearing with a sociopath

Children are forever, and unfortunately, the sociopath in your life will always be the mother or father of your child. And your child, by law, is entitled to have the emotional and financial support of both parents. Courts will not deny access to a parent simply because the other parent has been cruel to you. They will only separate a child from a parent once the child is physically harmed by them, and even getting the courts to protect from physical abuse is an uphill battle.

Going after support from a sociopath is excruciatingly painful and can rob you, and therefore, your child, of a consistent, supportive life.  They will use every trick, including living completely off the grid, to rob you of the money that can feed, clothe and house your child. Driving you into desperation is a game they play in order to punish you for leaving them, and for knowing who they really are.

The failure of our legal system

The court system is not set up to recognize or acknowledge sociopathic behavior from parents.  They are blind to the heinous problem of parenting a child with a person who defrauded you of sex to impregnate you, or someone who intends other forms of serious emotional or physical harm.

Financial chaos is the hallmark of attempting to get adequate child support from a sociopath

Legal fees to go after them for parenting support will further diminish your finances, and until you either give up, or get an absurd disbursement from the courts, that fails to reflect their actual ability to pay, you’ll be subjected to the ongoing costs of attempting to secure relief. The financial games they play will haunt you for the rest of your life.

They see your child as a weapon to harm you with. The fact that the child has needs that must be met is irrelevant to them. They’ll gouge your pockets to cover their responsibilities.

Gas-lighting is a smoke screen to hide their misdeeds

Sociopaths will try to gaslight you and diminish you to the world. They do not want their bad deeds following them into the next chapter of their lives. When you have no children with them, you are best off to simply let go…. cut the chord, walk away. But when you have a child, there is a perpetual link that connects you together, so they will attempt to alienate your child from you in every way possible. You will be subjected to ridicule, lies, blame and intimidation, if not outright physical harm. And whatever you do to protect yourself from their cruel behavior could be twisted to appear as if you, rather than they, are attempting to alienate your child.

They will either disappear and leave you with a child who feels abandoned, and the financial repercussions of their absence, or they will remain involved and try to discredit, torment, undermine and abuse you. There is no simple answer as to which alternative is best. People who think there is do not understand that children are forever, and misusing them has life-long implications for everyone concerned.

The solution?

All too often I hear victim advocates preach the benefit of disappearing with the child. Without being able to prove, in a court of law, that the child is at grave risk for physical harm, courts are unlikely to allow you to do so. And the repercussions to the child may not be the peace of mind you are seeking. In fact, it could cause the child a lifelong fear of abandonment and create Borderline Personality Disorder.

Seek help

Your child needs exposure that can serve as a model for their concept of “family.” Try to identify relatives or friends who can fill that role. Whether the sociopathic parent is in your life, or not, there are consequences. You and your child should have the benefit of a knowledgeable mental health professional who is familiar with the dynamics of child rearing with a sociopath, and can help both you and your child come to terms with the fallout.

Cutting the chord when you’re financially linked

Perhaps you work for the same company or own a business together. Maybe you’ve loaned them money or invested in their business venture. If so, please send me the details. I’ll be addressing this point in a post next week. You can message me on Facebook, Carnal Abuse by Deceit.

8 thoughts on “When the parent of your child is a sociopath”

  1. hi Joyce,
    i’ve been thinking about not to runaway with children.
    if i had ever been in a physical dangerous situation & had children, i would run away in the hearth beat ,yet you made me think, if that happens, then Cluster B gets upper hand in courts.
    I’m still searching for the documentary, as soon as find it i will email it to you.

    1. anabasis-

      My best recommendation to a person who has children with a Cluster B, when they are not physically violent, is:

      1. Document everything. Keep a journal of all contact and visitation. Write notes on what transpires between you. Retain all written correspondence such as emails and texts. Xerox all child support or other payments that they make. Record any face-to-face discussions that take place between you, and keep them to an absolute minimum.

      2. Hire an attorney and have the attorney handle arrangements regarding visitation scheduling and collection in cases of non-payment.

      3. Use an intermediary when you have to drop the children off or pick them up.

      4. Seek counsel for you and the children with a Therapist who has background in dealing with Sociopaths.

      5. Provide nurturing, loving support for your children.

      6. Give your children exposure to people with loving families.

      7. Involve your children in volunteer work so that they can understand the nobility of humanity and take pride in being helpful. loving people.

      8. Read “Just Like His Father” by Dr. Liane Leedom, and books that will give you insight about dealing with character disordered people. A few are listed here on my blog.

      9. Last, but not least, understand that your children did not come into this world as a clean slate on which you paint their personality. They have innate nature. All you can provide is nurture. When you do so to the best of your ability with the resources and knowledge that you have, that is all you can ask of yourself. The rest is in God’s hands.

      My best-

  2. I was blessed to have an attorney who saw this and did her best to shield me from unnecessary costs during 16 months of litigation. I receive no child support, and I had to start all over again building my household, as everything I had, was in the home we shared. He sees the kids every Wednesday, and every other weekend-school vacations are split 50/50. He continues to emotionally abuse our kids. He isolates them, makes them fear losing their mother-on an ongoing basis. I take both kids to counseling, and help them learn to be independent and make friends. They are full of so much fear-it is not an easy task. Thank you so much for writing this! This is invaluable information. Every word you wrote, I found true.

    1. Army-

      I’m so glad you have supports to help you and your children through this ordeal. And it sounds like you’ve truly been through the ringer. My heart goes out to you!

      A good attorney and therapist can be critical tools in dealing with this problem!

      Wishing you all the best!

  3. I have a sociopathic mother with NPD. If only I knew what I was dealing with years ago! Thanks for posting this article. I’m following your blog now.

    1. Hi Luckyotter-

      Thanks for following along!

      Character Disorder has flown under the radar screen of society for generations. Knowledge is power, and can, hopefully, help you renew your life in a positive way!

      My best!

      1. I’m so glad these disorders are finally out in the open. I myself have BPD which is very stigmatized. But I practice mindfulness and in my life have been more dangerous to myself than anyone else. I also have complex PTSD from years of abuse. I’ve only been free of my abusers for a little over a year, which is when I started blogging and therapy a bit later. Thanks for the warm welcome.

        1. There is still considerable discrepancy in information you’ll see about the various disorders that fall under Cluster B. It’s an evolving science. You may find it helpful to follow Christine Louis De Cannonville. She’s a therapist who’s endeavoring to get Narcissistic Victim Syndrome introduced into DSM, and build a treatment approach that therapists can use in helping their patients. Here’s the link: http://narcissisticbehavior.net/

          Since I have a son with BPD, I’m very interested in the types of treatments that are available. Is there anything you found particularly helpful?

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