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.
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.
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.