In the past few weeks, I have received many more emails from women (no men yet) who are facing what seems like impossible situations with the father of their child/children. Given what has happened to Prince, it has been hard for me to find the words to advise others who find themselves in similarly horrifying situations. I fought through an impossible situation for 15 months, but even though I gave it my best shot – it didn’t end well for me and Prince. My baby boy died during one of the first times he ever spent alone with his father.
While to many my story is uniquely horrifying, I have come to find that it isn’t as unique as it should be. Sometimes after reading similar stories over and over, I start to think as if there is some playbook of psychopathy that all these crazy men are reading. I say this because even though we are all different in some ways, some of the terrible things these men do are sickeningly similar.
Many people love to judge women for falling for psychopaths, but I am here to tell you that none of these men are going to walk up to you – punch you in the face – and then ask for a second date. Most women who end up in abusive relationships (be it physical, emotional, or a combination of both) can’t even understand how they ended up in the situation when its all over. The burning question on many of my reader’s minds is this: what do you do once you realize that you have been sleeping next to a monster and you now share a child? The unfortunate reality is that you only have a few options and none of them are good.
1) RUN: If you realize the man is a monster early enough, the safest option is to back away slowly toward the door. As soon as you get through the door safely, run as far and as fast as you can and make sure you hide in a place where he cannot find you. If however, you have already entered into a Custody War with this person, this may not be a legal option. (Note: Even though it wouldn’t have been legal, I still wish I had chosen this option in order to protect my son. Hindsight is always 20/20)
2) FIGHT: Once you find yourself in court with one of these monsters, you don’t have the option to stop. By that, I don’t mean that you should get emotional and fight with your words or your fists. If you truly believe this man is dangerous (gun carrying, serial killer, drug user, mentally disordered, gang banging, or whatever else evil you can imagine) type, you can try and fight if you choose not to run. Most attorneys will not be prepared for the kind of crazy you are going to tell them, so start by contacting a local domestic violence group. They can give you free legal advice and refer you to an attorney who knows how to deal with psychopathy. If you choose this option, buckle down and get ready for a terrible experience. Family court is never fun and games and this is especially the case when you enter into court with a pathological criminal psychopath.
3) PRAY: If the first two are not viable options, sometimes all you can do is be the best parent you can be to your child and pray for them when they are with the disordered parent. The unfortunate reality is that in most situations, family court will not choose to protect your child if that means limiting the parental rights of the disordered parent. (Yes, this is crazy – but true) So if you have already considered the first two options, or have tried them and failed, your best bet might be to just be a good mom. Your child will need you to be emotionally healthy so that you can help them weather the storm of the disordered parent. (Note: At the point where I ran out of money and my attorneys would not file an emergency order, I tried this – it clearly didn’t work)
Psychopaths do not play by normal rules. You will find yourself playing a crazy and disordered game of chess with someone who might very well end up blowing up the chess board. There are many things I am proud of in my life -my son is one of them. I am not, however, proud of how many nights I spent stressed out over things I could not control. I would give anything to go back and rewind time so that I could try all over again to save my son. I would fight for him every single day and for the rest of my life. I don’t have that option now, but many of you do.
I come from a long line of strong people. My Scottish roots can be traced back hundreds of years. I am from the Clan McLeod. My son is a McLeod. When my son passed away, my father told me a story about how long ago when our family was still living in the highlands of Scotland there was a horrible tragedy. The rival clan had gathered around the McLeod church and burned all of them alive inside. Entire families were killed -women, men, children. The only people who survived were the ones who happened to not be there that Sunday.
If my family members who had survived had not moved on with their lives, I would not be here. They lived through a terrible situation and made sure to thrive in spite of it all. Our family motto is “Hold Fast”. This could mean many things, but to me it means sticking to who you are, protecting your family, and fighting for Justice.
So my advise to other parents who are living the nightmare that I have been living the past several years (since I met the devil himself), is to hold fast. It is your job to protect your child in any way you can – even if that means just being the strong and healthy rock they can come home to after surviving the chaos. For those of you, like me, who have lost a child (my unnatural or natural causes), you are still their parent and you must still hold fast in the fight to protect their memory and their legacy.
I pray you, and anyone else fighting a tinfoil twat (aka TFT), gets the justice you deserve. I pray that judges wake up and realise these TFT’s aren’t worthy of seeing their children. I pray that children are protected regardless of ‘parental rights’ children are people not objects, I wish the courts, everywhere, would realise that.
Hera, have you written you state rep or congress person? Maybe you can have a law passed in your state to better protect child from lazy judges and psycho dads. Picture this, Prince’s Law. You can do it!
Thanks Nicole, right now I am focused on getting Justice for my son. Round two will be changing the system for those who come after me.
The state of Maryland does not care about children. There are an appalling number of cases where children were killed or permanently injured because a previous offender was let go, and molesters can even get their records expunged.
I did not realize there is a whole fathers movement. All men have to do these days is show up in court and say, I want to see my child. The mother has to prove she is a fit parent the father does not. Even with alligations of abuse the father is favored. I agree with you all we can do is keep fighting and not back down. It’s a difficult path for any mother and her family who are heartbroken and trying to tell the court this man is not safe! All we want is a restraining order but 7 months (and a ton of money) later it looks like we may not get it. Thank you for the advice CQ I know it is a rough road you travel. God bless.
Maybe you should consider taking your case before the judge who just recently gave a restraining order to a college junior because she thought her parents were being too controlling. Sèems like our judicial system thought this girl’s parent were being more destructive in her life than a psycopath running around with a concealed weapon.
It’s a sad state our country is in…
I agree with all the points you make, and agree that even though it seems that so many situations are eerily similar there is no clear path that one can take to help protect their children from these types of situations. It’s as if the courts aren’t even aware that these types of personalities even exist. This is why it’s so important for the victim’s, women or men, to empower themselves by researching and learning everything they can about the family court laws and the custody process in their states.
Speaking from experience I would also suggest to anyone who is thinking about “running” with your children, PLEASE be very deliberate and strategic when planning your escape from your situation. Do your homework, seek advice not just from domestic violence groups, but from an attorney (many will provide free 1 time consultation). Also seek the help of (trusted) family and friends both for emotional and financial support as the entire divorce / custody process is soooo stressful and very expensive. Do your homework and learn the laws of your state and counties as it relates to custody issues, and NEVER…EVER, make your move until you have all your “ducks in a row”! Trust me, all your research will make it that much easier to free yourselves and your children from an awful situation.
Flawed Mommy, you are absolutely right about consulting with an attorney. I would also advocate for SHOPPING around for an attorney. Most attorneys will tell you what you want to hear and as soon as you pay them their tune changes and all of a sudden they are trying to “manage expectations”. Finding a good attorney is like finding a good therapist – you might have to go through several until you find a good one. I also suggest folks go and watch these lawyers in action. If I could do it all over again, I would take the time off of work and sit in on other Family Court sessions. When you are in a custody war with a psychopath, its important to get a lawyer who is quick on their toes and can call out the insane lies without looking like a bully. Most psychopaths are very adept at playing victim so they will be able to sit on the stand telling very obvious bold faced lies…while at the same time spinning the court with crocodile tears. A good attorney will be able to put a stop to this sort of drama by focusing on the facts and helping the Judge see through the forest of lies.
Yes, do search high and low for a competent and ethical attorney. If you hire an unethical attorney like I did, you will end up broke and without proper representation. This is what happened to me. Just like CQ said, the guy told me I was entitled to this and entitled to that and we had a great case, etc, etc. but after paying him nearly $20,000 he arrived at mediation completely unprepared and after 8 hours of mediation (and another $6,000 bill) he calls me and tells me to just settle. So, after $25,000 he refuses to fight for what he said I was entitled to all along. Not only that, but the trial was only 6 weeks away and he still had not made any trial preparations at all. Nothing.
It’s only due to a miracle (I believe in miracles and I believe in prayer) that I got my kids. (My ex held custody over my head during the whole marriage and he used it as leverage during the year long divorce battle). I lost nearly everything financially and I will have to claim bankruptcy just to survive, but my kids are safe with me, and despite my ex’s passionate, emotional pleas that all he wanted was “liberal visitation,” he chooses to spend only 26 hours per month with them. So, like Hera says, pray…… God knows how helpless your little one’s are and He wants to protect them even more than you do.
Hera, I’m sorry that God’s answer to your prayers for Prince was to take him home. It’s so hard to understand why, but I hope you continue to believe that God is good and that He loves you and Prince, and that Prince is in a beautiful place right now, and that you will be there with him one day.
Oh, I forgot to add….. I love the idea of “Prince’s Law.”
I am willing to stand with you, organize, and fight for some kind of change to the law that screens for psychopathy in ‘high conflict’ divorces.
The patterns of behavior of abusers, bullies, psychopaths, controllers, and felons are all known to the legal and psychological community. It is not hard to see the patterns once you know what to look for, as we all have experienced. There is a willful denial of the most severe and destructive psychological condition that exists that it is KNOWN FOR FOOLING JUDGES AND PSYCHOLOGICAL EXPERTS.
Megan’s law informed the Public where the abusers of children are in the community. Psychopaths harm EVERYONE in the community, not just children.
Psychopaths come through the system in criminal cases all shapes and sizes. They also come through the system in ‘high conflict’ divorces and custody battles. There is no reason that the Court should not ‘screen’ individuals who come before the Court and meet some minimal threshold for ‘conflict’.
A psychopath is a psychopath regardless of whether or not they are actually convicted, so the screening must take place regardless of the outcome. There is no reason why the Courts can not order that the party before the Court be given a Psychological Evaluation and screened for mental illness in order to prevent injustice and to protect the public.
I will gladly speak out and fight with you in order to implement change in the law to protect the public from Psychopathy. If any of you are willing to work on this issue, please let me know. I am open to any suggestions or approaches to deal with this very serious issue. Whatever form the change, I support the name ‘Prince’s law’.
The ONLY way for this to happen is for the victims to join together and speak out with Hera.
Not sure if everyone saw this or not, but the lawsuits for the Sandy Hook Shooting have already started. What I find very interesting is the language that the attorneys use for their claim. The allegations are that the ‘Board of Education failed to take steps to protect the minor children from foreseeable harm.’
I think that is the key to any success in Court for our cause. Psychopathy is a known and foreseeable harm. The loss of a parent in a divorce is a foreseeable harm if Psychopathy is properly considered. Claiming that only an expert can diagnose psychopathy and therefore any use of the term by a parent is inadmissible gives them plausible deniability. However, it does not take an expert to allege psychopathy and abuse. The Court’s failed to take appropriate steps to protect Prince from foreseeable harm. Hera ‘foresaw’ the harm and told the Courts and the Courts did nothing. Did you actually allege Psychopathy to the Court, Hera?
In my case, I told the Court repeatedly that I was concerned for the emotional welfare of my children because I was 100% certain that my father in law is one of the most ‘successful psychopaths’ ever and that his daughter who is a less severe psychopath have targeted me after I uncovered irrefutable proof that he committed the murder for hire that he has denied for 40 years. He fooled the Court into sentencing him to probation instead of the death penalty. He went on to building a lifelong reputation for being a ‘bully’ and having over 100 lawsuits in Fairfax County alone.
Rather than appoint a guardian ad litem, parenting coordinator, or other third party to verify my allegations the Court began to take away my rights to my children and my ability to monitor their emotional welfare. It was clear that the Court was more interested in protecting itself and did not want a third party to enter the case to see that the Court allowed itself to be fooled by a psychopath.
I have petitioned the Court 4 times to appoint a Guardian Ad Litem, citing Parental Alienation, Psychopathy, emotional and psychological abuse of the children as the reason for a Court appointed attorney. The Court now knew that the patterns of behavior existed and chose not to appoint an attorney for the children.
Hera, did you ever specifically allege psychopathy to the Court about your ex? Was the Court made aware of foreseeable harm?
Madmacks, you make some excellent points. I did bring up my concerns and even brought a forensic psychologist to testify about psychopathy and how Luc fit the description of a classic psychopath. The psychologist talked about the threat Luc was based on his history of violence and abuse (which I had several witnesses to testify about), previous arrest history (testified to by a Police officer from Manassas City), and Luc’s psychological exams and Luc’s very own testimony.
In the Newtown case, I think the parents will have an easier time suing the state/school district because that is a clear cut case and the laws will be on their side. Sadly, in Family Court Judges have certain immunities against law suits. That is one of the reasons its so bad because they don’t care about making mistakes. Ultimately their mistakes have no bearing on whether or not they even get to keep their job.
Family Court is easily fooled by a psychopath because nobody bothers to do any independent verification of facts. Luc is very good at getting on his computer and creating a fake persona. He created fake bank statements, tax papers, and even created pay stubs from a company which he has never worked for. If Judge Algeo had bothered to go back into this chambers and picked up the damn phone and called this company Luc claimed to work for, he would have realized that Luc made it all up. Instead of spending the extra few minutes, the courts would rather be played for fools while psychopaths walk all over the system.
Good and honest people don’t lie under oath. Psychopaths do it ALL THE TIME. In fact, my lawyer caught Luc in several lies on the stand. He completely contradicted his testimony from previous court cases. Another example of due diligence. All the judge had to do was lean over and ask Luc a simple question: “Were you lying last time under oath or this time?” Purgery is no longer against the law – well at least in Family Court it isn’t.
The whole system is a joke. For me, it turned out to be nothing more than a waste of money and a vessel for Luc to continue to terrorize me by legally abusing me. In the end, I got an expensive (and useless) piece of paper that didn’t protect Prince from anything. Sole legal custody means nothing if the parent who has visitation is willing to kill your child.
My heart breaks for you and all you have been through. May God bless you richly with courage, strength and determination as you fight for justice and to honor your son Prince. And may you find the peace that you deserve.
The more and more I think about it, the Courts are absolutely negligent in not protecting children or the public from Psychopathy. The first line of the FBI Bulletin Law Enforcement Bulletin from July 2012 is ‘Psychopathy is a well-known concept in the discussion of criminal behavior.’
The author that wrote the first real book on Psychopathy ‘Mask of Sanity’ updated his book in 1982 to include ‘Surrounded by what almost seemed a conspiracy of silence, a desert of evasiveness or indifference, not only the relatives of the patients but also courts, physicians, and medical institutions had, it seemed little to guide them in a task of the first order.’
Robert Hare, creator of the PCL-R Checklist, the ‘Gold Standard’ diagnostic tool for psychopathy wrote in a paper titled ‘Psychopathy, Homicide, and the Courts: Working the System’. He writes: ‘Psychopathy has been described as the prime criminogenic personality trait (Wison & Herrnstein, 1985), the most important psychological construct in the criminal justice system (Harris, Skilling, & Rice, 2001) and as perhaps the most important forensic concept in the early 21st century (Monahan, 2006).
The Courts know that psychopathy is a problem and they act as if there is nothing they can do about it.
For the Courts to hear your concerns about Psychopathy and for them to take no action is a complete failure to protect children from a foreseeable harm. They are not fooled. They see exactly what is happening and pretend and find some way to avoid having to rule on Psychopathy.
Have you called for an investigation into your case or the Judge yet?
“The Courts know that psychopathy is a problem and they act as if there is nothing they can do about it.”
Or, they act as if it cannot be proven. Or, that the woman/wife/mother is simply “mudslinging.” I was even told, “Well, you married him!!!!” No, I didn’t marry him. I married the “man” he pretended to be.
The reality is that it can be proven! There are fMRI tests that can detect structural and functional abnormalities in the brains of psychopaths. Dr. Kent Keihl and Dr. James Blair both have worked extensively with prisoners and adolescents with psychopathy and will tell you there is a difference in their brain. The density and size of the parts of the brain will reveal psychopathy.
If the Court wanted to it could simply order an fMRI, just as easy as they order a psychological evaluation or a drug test. Psychopaths are known for fooling judges and experts in psychology. fMRI technology is an objective form of evidence as opposed to a ‘Custody evaluation’ or a ‘psychological evaluation’, which is completely subject to the opinion and bias of the evaluator. address the problem
Based on my experience, the Judges simply don’t want to ‘label’. I guess they don’t want to hurt their feelings. Which is so strange to me because they care so little about the feelings of the person seeking help, like Hera. Judges are literally protecting abusers.
Nothing is being done because no one is asking for anything to be done. The only way there is a change in the law is when Victims speak out. As victims and targets of psychopaths we should organize ourselves, create a message and start to ask for change from our legislators. They can change the laws to require Judges to screen for psychopathy, take some action when allegations are made, or implement some kind of safeguard against abusers who lie and manipulate like psychopaths.
You are also absolutely right about the man he pretended to be. My ex-wife hid the fact that her father was convicted of murder from me for 10 years. If I had known that he hired a man to kill his business partner over his heroin trafficking, there’s no way I am marrying into that family. Its all a facade. Eventually, see behind it all and realize its was all a big lie.