Personality Disordered Abusers in Family Law Courts

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(Note: This article was published together with Personality Disordered Abusers in Psychological Evaluations. That article focuses on problems encountered when psychological evaluations are used in an attempt to deal with a personality disordered abuser in a family law dispute.)

William Eddy is an attorney and licensed clinical social worker who has written many excellent books on personality disorders and how they manifest in family law battles. In his recent books, he has taken to calling people with personality disorders who engage in extensive and unreasonable litigation as High Conflict Personalities (HCP). He’s stated that a large part, possibly as much as 40%, of the litigation in family courts involves HCPs.

Yet despite the prevalence of these psychological problems in family law courts, judges often fail to understand the problems and are prone to reward the abusers for their conduct. This is likely to intensify the abuses because they have been positively reinforced with rewards such as sole physical and/or legal custody, financial awards, or simply emotional satisfaction of seeing the hated target being berated by a judge the abuser manipulated.

While HCP is a great term in many ways, it does not convey how abusively many of these people act particularly towards others in their families or former families. I’ve taken to using the term Personality Disordered Abuser, PDA for short, to refer to these people. Like many personality disorder victims, they are generally victims of child abuse. More importantly, they are abusers themselves. They often abuse children, spouses, ex-spouses, and other current or former family members.

Please keep in mind that not all Axis II personality disorder victims are PDAs. For instance, there is a large subset of people with Borderline Personality Disorder who engage in “acting in” behaviors which primarily hurt themselves. These people are the ones who cut and mutilate themselves, abuse drugs, engage in reckless and dangerous behaviors that primarily risk their own well-being, and often attempt suicide. While this may cause a substantial amount of emotional harm to the people around them, they are often not intending or plotting to harm others.

This is significantly different from the PDAs who generally have goals to cause harm to others. They use manipulation and abuse to control people and situations to get what they want. PDAs as a group engage in systematic “acting out” behaviors targeted against others.

Note that it is entirely possible for a person to engage in both acting in and acting out behaviors. However, usually if you look at the whole scope and pattern of behaviors you will see they primarily engage in one or the other. A person who primarily engages in unprotected sex, abuses alcohol and drugs, and has repeatedly attempted suicide but is known to infrequently hit another person while intoxicated is probably not a PDA. PDAs are much more intensively focused on causing harm to others than this example.

PDAs Hurt Targets for Own Benefits

A Borderline who “acts in” may succeed at killing herself or himself by many means, including accidental drug overdoses, car accidents due to reckless driving, or intentional suicide. PDAs “acting out”, on the other hand, are far less likely to hurt themselves this way as they avoid self-harm and are instead intent on severely damaging a select group of people around them. Those people often include their children, siblings, and current or former spouses, significant others, or close friends.

PDAs often benefit from their abusive behaviors. This is particularly the case if they are highly intelligent and skilled at manipulation.

PDAs are often able to “push the buttons” of their abuse targets, provoking them by using repeated threats, crimes, and other attacks. When the abuse targets finally respond to the continuing and possibly escalating attacks, they often do so out of desperation to make them stop. They are often in fear for their own safety or well-being or that of their children and loved ones. Then the PDAs are often able to deceive others into thinking that they are merely victims of some hostile crazy abusive person when in fact they are the abusers. They thereby further intensify their control and escalate the damage they are able to inflict upon their targets.

Personality Disordered Abuser Behavior Patterns

Many of us who have endured the ravages of a marriage and family law battle with a PDA can recite example after example of their abusive and bizarre behaviors going back many years, even decades. Sometimes we are even aware of their similar conduct with their birth families, but may have learned of it far too late to prevent major damage to our children and ourselves.

We have experienced their rages, screaming, and berating for no apparent reason, only to see them change their mood moments later acting as if they had done nothing hostile. Then they act as if we are the problems when we are not friendly towards them after being repeatedly attacked.

We have endured their constant threats, provocations, and refusal to cooperate with reason, fairness, common sense, and court orders that typify the unrelenting efforts of the PDA to control everybody and everything around them. At times we may be in fear for our lives from these people, but because they are very good at controlling their own behaviors to appear reasonable around most people, few can understand how truly dangerous they are.

We have suffered their vilification and distortion campaigns that spread into our children’s schools, doctor’s offices, workplaces, and to friends and family. Often only years after it started, we find that we have been described as vile, hateful, dangerous people to hundreds or thousands of people around us who have never even met us but believe all these lies because they have heard them unchallenged for so long. We have been overwhelmed by how dozens or even hundreds of people hate and malign us because they are too uneducated in psychology and easily duped and controlled by the PDA.

Gathering Minions for Attacking the Target

One of the methods PDAs use is to build a support system they can use to attack their targets. This is easiest to do with ex-spouses or former boyfriends or girlfriends, but sometimes can be used to attack children, siblings, parents, and others.

PDAs learn to identify weak-minded people as potential recruits for their distortion campaigns. These people are often very gullible do-gooders poorly educated in psychology. Occasionally they may be mentally impaired themselves, but even when that is the case it is only sometimes severe. They may be thinking they are somehow doing good by helping to attack the target. In fact they have been subverted into destructive behaviors by a masterfully manipulative abuser who deceives them and prevents them from discovering the facts.

PDAs sometimes are able to find other PDAs to ally with them. For instance, a PDA who had an affair with another PDA may recruit the person to assist them with attacking a spouse or former spouse. Elevated levels of criminality can be achieved while maintaining plausible deniability for the instigating PDA. She may be able to convince her personality disordered lover to stalk her ex-spouse, hack his email, and even physically attack him. While she is the instigator and it is a conspiracy of harassment, the broken family law courts will probably let her off with no consequences for the crimes she caused.

Building False Reality from Partial Truths and Lies

PDAs are especially good at sprinkling in enough plausible or partial truths amidst the outright lies and twisted distortions to convince the uneducated and ignorant people around them to accept their version of reality. They will often produce “proof” of their overall story in the form of other people repeating their claims, writings or notes that look hostile or unreasonable, or altered or abridged documents that may be very official-looking and convince the majority of people who have never seen a police report, court declaration, court transcript, or other such government document. That these documents are not complete nor accurate is often entirely outside the awareness of the people being manipulated in this fashion.

When one is being defamed and attacked relentlessly, it is only natural to want to defend one’s reputation. However, even this can be twisted by the PDA to cause more damage to the target. The attempts by the targets to defend from the PDA’s onslaught, hold her or him accountable for the abuse, and to get her or him the help needed to learn to stop these behaviors often backfire. This is especially the case in family law courts as judges are woefully untrained in psychology and rely upon custody evaluators who are usually incapable or unwilling to do what is needed to protect the victims from the abusers. They are also often highly unwilling to consider testimony of people who witnessed events and saw and/or heard what the PDA said. Such accounts often sound bizarre and therefore are dismissed as hearsay or incredible, even though they are objectively accurate.

Legal Self-Defense Is “Criminalized” By Family Law Courts

It is natural to want to defend one’s freedom and reputation from these assaults by a PDA. Some may also want to help people understand what has gone wrong, stop the spread of defamation, and help the family get needed help, all of which in theory should be easier to accomplish if people could name and discuss what has gone wrong with the out of control false accuser.

If the victim of false accusations responds by disclosing the false accuser’s behaviors and applies a personality disorder name to explain why she or he is behaving this way, that is often regarded as a very serious offense by the courts.

Blatant disregard for freedom of speech is commonly shown by family law judges. PDAs are routinely given free reign to defame their victims and to recruit allies to attack them. If the victim of this defamation writes about what the PDA has done in a blog, discussion group, or email to get help or defend against the defamation, incompetent or corrupt family law judges will use that as reason to reduce child custody, denigrate the victim, and make financially punitive rulings.

Family law judges do not like freedom of speech. Perhaps that is because they realize that if the public truly knew the crimes and offenses they routinely commit against children and good parents that they would be removed from office or prosecuted. So it appears that one of the foremost goals of many poor family law judges is to shut up the litigants by use of intimidation, threats, and illegal orders. For a PDA, this is no problem because the PDA is used to spreading defamation without being discovered. Targets, however, are not used to this and may find that they have just been told by an idiot judge that they should just sit back and watch their reputations be trashed and if they do anything to stop if that they will never see their children again.

The courts often rule that defending one’s freedom and reputation from the PDA by writing, speaking, or other public disclosure, or even such disclosure just to family members, is a form of harassment and it will be punished. But these same courts will do nothing to punish the PDA for engaging in false criminal allegations, defamation, and harassment in the first place. This destructive double standard is precisely what is being practiced by many judges in many family law cases all across the United States.

Courts also often side against a party who has been abused by the court when that party publicly points out the abuses committed by the court. Personality disordered abusers are often very successful at getting what they want because they build armies army of minions to attack the ex by various legal and illegal means. These parties too often include the judge in the case.

While it is clear the interests of justice are not being served by such judges and they should recuse or even resign their office given an obvious lack of objectivity, criticizing the judicial bias and misconduct risks even more judicial harassment in response. But saying nothing simply lets such judges continue their misconduct.

It is a common observation from people in cases involving a PDA that many family law judges are against free speech and will punish a parent and harm their children in retaliation. This willingness to persecute people and abuse their children for speaking up about the conduct of family law judges appears to be intended to forcibly suppress any negative publicity about bad judges and how they reward false allegations and other tactics that PDAs use with great frequency.

Gender Does Affect Risk from PDAs

The people at most risk of permanently life-altering harm are male targets of female PDAs. That is partly because of the gross misconceptions popular with the public about men being abusers and women being victims and partly because of sexist judges and laws.

While gender inequality is a huge problem in this area and men are more often than not the victims, female targets can easily have their lives ruined by male PDAs, too. This is especially the case when the male PDA is viewed as having special credibility such as working as a doctor, lawyer, minister, or other occupation which the public mistakenly believes is highly unlikely to allow abusers into its ranks.

Don’t Depend Upon Any Protection from Courts

The bottom line is that if you are a target of a PDA, you cannot count on any protection whatsoever from today’s family law courts. If you try to protect yourself, you will probably be persecuted for it. You are in a lose-lose situation because the abuser is likely to be assisted and rewarded by incompetent and/or sexist judges and foolishly destructive and/or sexist laws.

Possibly your only sure means to safety when being abused by a PDA is to disappear. The PDA may continue to attack you for some time, but if you are nowhere to be found and nobody who hears the defamation against you sees you again, it may have little if any lasting effect upon you.

While disappearing is feasible for people with no children, those who have children usually do not have such an option. They are stuck between only a few legal choices, all of which are horrible. These include abandoning their children for their own safety, staying and living with the ongoing abuse of the PDA against the children and themselves and possibly their extended families, trying to defend themselves in court which is virtually a guarantee of financial devastation, or trying to defend themselves outside of court which will almost certainly be spun by the PDA to get them into trouble with police, CPS, and courts. Meanwhile, the PDA keeps right on with the abuse.

Family Law Courts Perpetuate Child and Spousal Abuse by PDAs

Far too many of today’s family law judges lack any significant training or education in psychology and further lack personal experience being abused by a person afflicted with a personality disorder. Such judges are very likely to do exactly the wrong thing in many cases. These judges get bad data and act on it as if it is true. Even when it is pointed out to them exactly how it is wrong by a psychological evaluator or a party citing objective and accurate evidence, they often will not believe it because they cannot comprehend how powerfully effective the manipulations of the PDA are and therefore believe the PDA’s target is mistaken or dishonest and the evaluator was too easy on him or her.

William Eddy and others like him have been trying to educate judges and others in the legal profession about these problems. Sadly, these efforts are far too little to fix the problems even in areas where Eddy has done many presentations and training sessions.

One of these areas is San Diego County, California, where Eddy lives and works much of the time. A psychological evaluator from that region with whom I’ve spoken has stated that the family law courts there are “the most broken they have been in [the evaluator's] three decades” of involvement with the courts and CPS on behalf of children. The region’s courts are direct contributors to serious harm against children and families. This is especially alarming when well-intentioned activitists such as Eddy have spent years trying to educate the county’s judges on personality disorders and how they affect family law cases. It calls into serious question whether family law courts can ever be repaired to function effectively and justly.

Given their dereliction of duty, egregious incompetence, and frequent bias, many family law courts have no business being involved in family disputes involving allegations of abuse or mental illness. They only intensity conflicts, increase abuses, and worsen the harm done to all parties except for possibly the abusers they assist and reward. However, even the abusers are suffering because these broken courts enable them to continue their abuses rather than get on the road the psychological recovery.

I strongly believe that family law courts in the United States today as a general rule are incapable of effectively, fairly, and timely hearing cases involving PDAs.

The judges who are assigned family law duties are often newbies with zero experience in family law courts and no training in psychology. Yet they are being asked to figure out the truth in matters with people who are expert liars and are fully capable of making many other people believe their lies and repeat them. The methods they are using includes very weak evidentiary standards and allowing family law courts to be used as kangaroo courts for criminal prosecutions that would obviously fail for lack of evidence in a real criminal court. They are also willing to drag out no-contact and supervised visitation periods against falsely accused people for months or years with little to no evidence to support such actions. Sometime the evidence that supports there being no basis for a safety concern is even hidden by CPS and the children’s attorney, if there is one, for years until it is finally “discovered”.

The result of these broken courts is that children and families are frequently harmed. It is extremely easy for a skilled manipulator to lie and deceive, stage attacks to generate “evidence” that the victim is the abuser, cause the courts to become allies in the abuse, and to jerk around the evaluators, courts, and entire system to delay cases for years while they build their armies of hate and establish a “parenting track record” that the idiot judges in the broken family law courts will interpret as meaning they are capable parents (when in fact they are often highly abusive to the children, frequently by parental alienation and other forms of emotional abuse) and the target parents are irrelevant because they have had little contact with their children for years.

Reforming Broken Family Law Courts Proves Difficult

Many target parents end up with little or no contact with their children for years, are financially ruined, have difficulty working or functioning well after the abuses they have endured, and are sometimes even incarcerated for crimes they did not commit or “fake crimes” caused by temporary restraining orders that turned normal things like calling one’s children into crimes that can result in jail time. These are not isolated miscarriages of justice, they are common and are occurring to likely millions of parents, many of whom are so beaten up and devastated that they simply leave. Many of them end up being derided as “absent fathers” or “deadbeat dads” who lost their children, livelihoods, freedom, and health at the hands of abusive personality disordered females and broken family law courts.

Resolving these problems is very difficult because the public has little to no understanding of how many innocent good parents are being caught up in and ruined by this broken system until it happens to them. Then these fresh victims are usually stigmatized as child abusers, spousal beaters, convicted criminals, and/or deadbeats who don’t pay child support. (Note that “deadbeat” can apply to both genders of parents and that some statistics show a slightly higher percentage of mothers than fathers fail to pay child support.) Almost nobody who has not been similarly abused will listen to them. They and their children are the victims of the family law courts even more than they are the victims of the personality disordered abusers in their lives. The PDA could cause great harm, but the courts made that harm more or less permanent.

While I have emphasized how men are at increased risk from personality disordered abusers and their manipulations of family law systems, these abuses are happening to many women, too. This is not a gender issue so much as it is an issue of violation of civil and constitution rights, broken courts, and public apathy about a major crisis afflicting millions of Americans. The people who gain advantage from this broken system who consider their own financial security paramount over the well-being of children and families don’t want it fixed and often try to portray the problem as a gender issue to balkanize the public and impede reform attempts. There are certainly judges, attorneys, and psychologists who are disgusted with the system the way it is today, but they seem to be few and far between. Most of them are apathetic, as if they forgot the ideas of public service and helping people that might have once motivated them at the beginning of their careers.

Whores of the Court: The Fraud of Psychiatric Testimony and the Rape of American Justice

Booklist Mini-review

A take-no-prisoners condemnation of psychiatric experts being waved into the witness box, this account trashes psychiatry in general as a quack profession. Hagen (a psychology professor) assails most of the diagnostic tools of the field in her text, which roams among court cases whose outcome hinged on the testimony of mental-health experts. Her fundamental contention is that psychiatry is a junk science whose theories when extended to matters of legal culpability go against common sense. Indeed, Hagen assumes the posture of that legendary legalism, the “reasonable person,” and her prose is peppered with exclamations and rhetorical questions like “Who could believe that?” which might annoy as many readers as it might convince about whatever points are in question. Among them are such topically current items as battered-wife syndrome, recovered memory claims, post-traumatic stress syndrome, and urban psychosis claims. The average person could easily encounter in divorce and child custody litigation the situations Hagen vigorously complains of, so her energetic attack could gain considerable attention. Gilbert Taylor

Further Reading

Custom Search

Personality Disordered Abusers in Psychological Evaluations

Relationships and Divorces with Someone Who Suffers Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline Mom: Emotional Self Defense for Children

Abusive Women “Acceptable” By Double Standards

An Online Personality Disorder Test

Recovering from Personality Disordered Abusive Relationships

Detecting Borderline Personality Disorder to Begin Treatment

Breaking Mental Illness, Violence, Divorce, and Murder Cycles

How to Spot a Girl with Borderline Personality Disorder

BPD Distortion Campaigns

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  1. Michael
    June 29th, 2010 at 18:46 | #1

    I could not agree more with your analysis. My experience has been exactly as you described including arrest & incarceration for non-domestic violence crimes. When I presented the fact that the allegations were considered not DV by the criminal judge, the family court judge changed her story and stated the extreme measure (5 year criminal protective order) was necessary because I was on the VERGE of alienating BOTH children from the other parent. Neither child has ever stated they hated the other parent. Alienation was never argued/heard in her court and was nothing more than another excuse to discriminate and abuse the kids and me. William Eddy’s book helped me to understand my ex’s behavior. His book only touches the surface of the bigger problem of Negative Advocacy. I think there should be another study done on the impact of Negative Advocates in the legal system. My ex has a diagnosed DSM-IV disorder which I recently presented to the court along with actual threats that she made and she boldly states she can do these things and more anytime she pleases (which of course included the threat to destroy the bond between the kids and me). The hearing was continued to next month, I guess so they can prepare some more excuses to force the kids to stay with the true abuser.

  2. Janette M. Isaacs
    August 29th, 2010 at 16:33 | #2

    Once again, your article is right on the money. I began studying this issue in 2004 when I became overwhelmed with excessive litigation (all fabricated untruths) in my own family law case which is now 33 volumes (LASC Family Law Case BD403783). This same study and analysis was conducted by Dr. Edward Workman as it pertained to Medical Claims and Sociopaths. His work concluded the same results. They can be viewed and compared by accessing Google –The Classic Sociopath. Individuals with Anti-Social Personality Disorder – http://www.lectlaw.com/filesh/tabbpd.htm – From The ‘Lectric Law Library’s Stacks Client Personality Disorders Can Wreck an Otherwise Good Case – by Edward A. Workman, MD, FAAPM *

    • August 29th, 2010 at 21:49 | #3

      Janette,

      Thanks for the link to Ed Workman’s article. He’s focusing on BPD and ASPD in his article, but NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) is another very common kind of aggressive and destructive personality disorder that is often involved in family law cases. I’ve come to think of all three of these personality disorders, along with HPD (Histrionic Personality Disorder), as being essentially varying flavors of sociopathic personalities.

      It’s really unfortunate that DSM (the mental health industry’s Diagnostic and Statistics Manual) doesn’t adequately distinguish between the “acting out” and “acting in” variants of these. While Workman points out that even an “acting in” Borderline who engages in cutting, self-mutilation, etc. may turn on a doctor or therapist and file baseless complaints or lawsuits, it’s been my observation that the “acting out” variants are far more dangerous to other people, especially as they engage in vicious and abusive litigation, defamation, and persecution against others as common practice. This is why I’ve come to call them “personality disordered abusers” to emphasize that they routinely operate by abusing other people.

      Such sociopaths never seem to be satisfied with the results they get. They can strip you of your home, job, income, assets, and most importantly children and yet still not be satisfied and continue to attack relentlessly. Many are also very adept at manipulating others to join them, creating communities of people who hate the PDA’s target and are willing to join in the madness and abuse.

      Gullible do-gooders such as teachers, church pastors and members, therapists, doctors, and cops are frequent recruits to such communities. They inaccurately appear to many outsiders as “good natured” people. Because of this, they can greatly assist at ratcheting up the credibility of the PDA in the eyes of others.

      Some of them are arguably even more guilty than the PDA of abuse because they should know better, particularly those who are working in the mental health field. Yet it is common for a PDA to dupe a therapist or psychologist into believing outright lies or other distortions to get them to file false CPS and police reports against the target.

      Because of how the courts and law enforcement assume guilt and persecute people who are falsely accused, often for months or years without charges or trials, the damage to the target can be really severe even if eventually the truth of the matter is discovered. The co-abusers in the courts and law enforcement almost never apologize for the atrocities they committed. Sometimes they will even continue to commit more atrocities in an attempt to “kill the messenger” because they know their victims could get their stories out and cause a lot of damage for them if the public were to believe the truth. So they have a vested interest in perpetuating the lies of the PDA and continuing to victimize and abuse their targets, even after they fully know the PDA’s accusations were false.

      The typical person reading about such cases foolishly has trust in the courts, government, and supposedly good-natured people. They readily believe the lies and regard the truth as implausible, thus siding against the true victims.

      They should be reminded of what supposed do-gooders often are really doing. The Catholic Church’s complicity in the Holocaust, the US government’s genocide against the American Indians, and the racist concentration camps for Japanese Americans in World War II all show how much damage can be done in the name of common good or by people or organizations who are commonly believed to be good.

      Such extreme atrocities continue today in other forms. Just consider the actions of criminals wearing black robes such as Judges Michael Conohan and Mark Ciavarella who sentenced thousands of children to private prisons for their own profit for such “serious crimes” as criticizing a school principal on a web site. This continued over the course of several years while “officers of the court” including attorneys, clerks, and other court personnel watched and ignored their crimes and violations of civil rights and the US Constitution. All the while, such “good people” probably believed these evil judges were “good people” too and the children, the real victims, must really deserve the treatment they were getting.

      There are so many of these sociopathic people, as Workman says around 10% to 12% of the population, that it is impossible to avoid them. Add on their allies who are collaborators, often due to their own ignorance, and it’s possible that almost everybody knows somebody who is or has been abusive due to sociopathic behaviors.

      There seems to be little way to counteract these people except via education, but that education is not being provided today. Kids need to grow up learning about the sociopaths in their midst. Without such education, our children are nearly all going to become entangled with sociopaths and suffer from such experiences. Some may merely assist such sociopaths, others will fall prey to them, and a sizable number will become sociopaths themselves. I believe that much of this could be avoided with proper education on psychology starting when children are very young, even in preschool and kindergarten.

      I’d be interested to hear any ideas you may have about how to stop the madness and abuse of sociopaths running amok in our society.

      Rob

  3. November 6th, 2010 at 11:18 | #4

    Women’s rights on other humans’ lives are inhuman, feminism is a fascistic political ideology (femi-nazism) which arrantly polluted our system now for over 50yrs, fakefun&feelgood-terrorists, we have to rechange their backwarding norms&laws, feminism is worse than racism, feminism is a severe mind-control illne$$, femini…sm is character murder, in essence family-murder on children&fathers, infanticide and male-genocide, the main target of feminism is to destroy normal families, destroying men’s interests is their interest even abusing children as weapon&shield, the whole feminist-concept is a historic lie making first low selfish esteems to next empower their irrationally frustrated made idiots, ridiculous borderliners turning-twisting-spinning antisocial&destructive (sociopaths), from evil to worse, good feminists don’t exist, stop the dirty feminized heterophobic homophile U$A-UN sex-war against children&fathers, hetero’s and normal families, the mismaking of children-men&women, feminism destroys the world.

  4. WhatJustHappened
    February 1st, 2011 at 01:36 | #5

    @Michael
    Wow I thought you were talking about what just happened to me. EXACTLY. I am shocked at how Family Court is run.

  5. Julie Woods
    March 4th, 2011 at 22:47 | #6

    I am a woman who has been raped, and I strongly disapprove of people using the metaphor of rape about other situations, such as court. I disapprove the title of this book. I have been through more than 15 years of therapy to deal with multiple rape experiences. I have experienced PTSD. I am underemployed, which means my employment does not match my capability in terms of the talents and skills I possess. Rape has been a truly life-altering, devastating, and cruel experience, leaving me with deep psychological and physical wounds that have taken me years and large sums of money and personal time to address. For example, physiotherapy exercises to recover from rape wounds at one time involved three hours per day of bio-feedback and other exercises. I may never be able to experience pain-free sexual intimacy with my partner. I am lucky in that I am able to live a relatively normal life with a caring partner — many in my position are not able to experience intimacy at all. The effect of rape is so immense, I can not describe it sufficiently. It is wrong to apply the word “rape” to other events and situations. It is wrong and minimizes the horror of rape, and the respect due to survivors. I would truly appreciate people being open-minded enough to genuinely consider my words, and, even better, change their use of the word “rape” and discuss this issue with any one else who uses the word “rape” inappropriately. Thank you.

    • March 6th, 2011 at 20:27 | #7

      Julie,

      I didn’t name that book. I do find it interesting that your explanation of what you have experienced from sexual assault is very much like what many parents experience from the family law courts when they are manipulated by a sociopath. PTSD, depression, anxiety, fear, inability to enjoy normally pleasant things like spending time with your kids and family, life-long need for medical and mental health intervention, and chronic unemployment and underemployment are all among the many results of what the broken family law courts do to a good parent when manipulated by a sociopath. Although you clearly didn’t intend to do so, you’re actually making a compelling argument that “rape” applies very well to such atrocities.

      Taking this a step further, a sexual assault is generally a one-time incident. I know a woman who was sexually assaulted, raped in her bedroom by a stranger who was never caught. The total psychological damage from this experience to her was far less than that routinely heaped upon many children and good parents by family law courts. Of course the impact will vary with the specifics and the victim, so I don’t mean to imply that in general this is true of all rape victims. But it is very clear to me that what the courts and government do at the bidding of sociopaths is often far worse than even a very serious crime such as sexual assault.

      That’s in part because what family law courts do at the instigation of sociopaths is seldom ever just a one-time attack that lasts only an hour or less. On the contrary, such abuse is generally repeated over and over many times for many years. Often the children and a decent caring parent are subjected to this abuse for going on even more than a decade. The government is very strongly to blame despite being manipulated by the sociopathic parent. The use of false child abuse, false domestic violence, stalking, harassment, defamation, and perjury by sociopaths is a very common pattern of abuse seen all the time by the government. Yet despite this, they often assist in the abuse rather than put a stop to it.

      Rather than so quickly dismissing the book author’s choice of the word “rape” to apply to what she’s seen happen in courts due to the misapplication of psychology, perhaps you would better serve yourself and everybody else by appreciating just how much in common the psychological damage from government abuse via “psychology experts” and a sexual assault have in common.

      You state you have PTSD from your rape experience. Many parents end up with “complex PTSD” from the actions of a sociopathic ex-spouse and the government abusers and criminals who aid them. The symptoms of each are very similar. The difference mostly has to do with PTSD being tied to a single extremely traumatic experience rather than years of very traumatic experiences.

      I’d encourage you to read about the case of the Wade family in San Diego, California. What that family was put through by the San Diego government amounts to crimes far worse than sexual assault that actually did occur to the young daughter involved. Yet the government criminals who participated in these crimes got away with them and even retained their jobs.

      As many other horrific stories in recent years have revealed, San Diego CPS and family law courts continue to behave in a similar fashion against families two decades later. People who live in that city have plentiful reasons to be afraid of its government and courts. But these crimes are by no means limited to San Diego, they are shockingly common across the United States.

      Rob

  6. Douglas Emberland
    July 19th, 2011 at 07:02 | #8

    In general, people with Borderline Personality Disorder destroy relationship after relationship of everyone that’s around them. Sometimes it seems, the stronger the emotions of admiration they have towards a person, quickly becomes polarized in the opposite direction of devaluing that same person when the slightest thing goes wrong. What that equates to in the work force is they typically try and get their co-workers fired. Many of them are smokers that have additional substance abuse problems that almost always crosses over into the workplace. Mood wise, they are usually constantly irritable and many of them become obsessed with hate and revenge in the midst of their anger, which they use to their advantage. They can be quite cleaver in fabricating stories of wrongdoing of abuse when going around playing the roll of a victim wherever they go.

    The False allegations brought on by people with Borderline Personality Disorder are more common than people realize and is something that very few people understand. However there are entire legal teams that are dedicated in defending people against frivolous and malicious lawsuits brought on by people with the disorder. Some studies suggest that in almost all of the cases where a thorough psychological evaluation was performed on both parties, in the cases where the evidence showed that the allegations were false, almost all (75%) of the falsely accusing plaintiffs were diagnosed with BPD. Ever seen the movies Play Misty for Me or 1987 Fatal Attraction starring Glenn Close?? Both movies depict BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) and explains a lot.

    Douglas Emberland

  7. November 2nd, 2011 at 00:15 | #9

    I am so thankful for this article. I am currently writing about my experience with a man whom I believe to be a sociopath. He is a former police officer, a marine, a civil and criminal lawyer and holds a phd. (So he claims) I don’t believe it.

    No one is listening to me. He has the court system believing that I am the crazy one. The GAL who was appointed believes his lies. He has people convinced that I am a raving lunatic even though except for HIM filing NUMEROUS false allegations against me, I have never been in trouble with the law.

    I am appalled and disappointed in the court system.

  8. Kirsten Sjendsen
    November 6th, 2011 at 02:16 | #10

    I’m married to someone who is a PDA, full time , almost 24 hours non stop. He never never ever quits twisting, distorting, manipulating, blaming, falsely accusing me, confronting me, bullying me, provoking me, etc. Whatever he can and whenever he can do something to target me he does.

    PDAS, are extremely convincing at having you beleive that they are sweet and victimized, then suddenly there is an assault of either psychological and physaical combined, and or one or the other.

    Personally, for me I constantly feel like I’m being sucked into a sharp whirlpool with my husband that I’m incapable of escaping. I went to four different lawyers and none of them were even really able or willing to help me. Trying to communicate with them about his PDA was like speaking to them in another language, so I didn’t pursue, as I felt I would be destroyed in court and I still feel that way.

    To date I have not seen anything about People with obsessive compulsive disorder people as being difficult and vendictive like people with BPD.

    Yet my husband has been diagnosed with OCD and he’s every bit as destructive as a BPD.

    To me OCD should be categorized along with NPD, BPD HPD,etc.

    • November 6th, 2011 at 05:51 | #11

      Kirsten,

      What you are describing does not sound like OCD.

      Unfortunately, diagnosis of mental health problems is not very precise. Furthermore, many therapists may fail to understand a patient until having spent months or years working with them.

      I suggest that you go get a book called Stop Obsessing!: How to Overcome Your Obsessions and Compulsions by Dr. Foa and read it. My guess is that you will see that nowhere in there does it say anything that reminds you of the malicious distortion behaviors you are describing. Somebody with OCD may lie to cover up their embarrassment, but seldom do these people lie to get other people in trouble unless something else is wrong with them beyond the OCD.

      If you don’t see at least some of your husband’s behaviors in there, it is exceedingly unlikely he has OCD as that book is an excellent self-help book on the topic used by many therapists with patients who really do have OCD.

      OCD generally involves irrational obsessions that the victim often tries to hide because of shame. The obsession piece is what the victim focuses on, the compulsion piece is what they do to feel better when they are feeling anxiety from the obsession. Often their behaviors are highly ritualistic. For instance, a typical OCD victim might have an obsession with extreme cleanliness. They may feel disgustingly dirty even from opening a door and touching the knob or handle in the process. To relieve that anxiety, they may then engage in compulsive behavior such as scrubbing their hands with AJAX cleaner for 5 minutes, leaving them raw and in pain but feeling like they are clean again until the next time they have to open a door.

      Foa’s book has many other examples of OCD behavior patterns, it is quite comprehensive and readily readable by the typical person who has at least some interest in psychology but little or no expertise in it.

      It appears from recent medical research that OCD may be caused in part by chemical imbalances in the brain. There are some studies on using nutritional therapies such as high-dosage NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine) to treat OCD and some other disorders with similar compulsive behaviors that are very troubling for most victims.

      It is entirely possible that somebody with BPD could have OCD, also, as it is common for BPD victims (or those with NPD) to have multiple other mental health disorders.

      But most people with OCD would not behave the way you are describing.

      Translating this into the realm of medical diagnosis as a metaphor, consider a person who is diagnosed with a moderately deep cut requiring stitches and a course of antibiotics. This person also happens to have AIDS. But you would not generalize to say that this means all or most people with cuts that require stitches carry a deadly communicable disease. The same line or reasoning goes for for your husband, he might have OCD but even if so that isn’t likely the cause of the behaviors you are describing as most people with OCD do not engage in the distortions, false accusations, bullying, and so forth that you describe.

      More likely is that your husband is good at fooling a therapist into thinking something else is wrong with him. Borderlines and Narcissists are often very good at doing this and they can avoid an accurate diagnosis for many years even when in therapy. Sometimes they switch therapists when they get the sense that the latest and greatest therapists might be on to them. They can keep up the deceptions for decades if they are really good at it, all the while getting wrong diagnoses and continuing to hurt others. The Borderlines who are diagnosed the quickest tend to be the ones who are less deceptive and more into self-harm, these people are often called the “acting in” group. Your husband sounds more like he’s an “acting out” group member who tries to hurt others as a way to deal with his own deep-seated insecurities.

      Another possibility is that you have heard from your husband that he has OCD, but you have no independent confirmation of this and he’s made it up to cover for BPD, NPD, or something else so as to explain to you why he is getting mental health treatment.

      If you do much reading on personality disorders, uou may also find out that there is an obsessive compulsive personality disorder abbreviated as OCPD. This is not the same as OCD. The obsessions are not nearly as irrational or detrimental. A typical OCPD person would be highly detail focused and ordered and might work as an accountant, engineer, or in some other profession with extreme focus on “perfection” and be really good at what they do. Many of them may be known as “anal retentive” in their focus on perfection but most observers would acknowledge they are really sharp at nailing all the details in their chosen professions. These people do not tend to be troublemakers at all and are even less likely to behave as you describe. OCPD is so mild in its negative effects that it’s almost questionable to call it a disorder as in many cases it leads to great success for people with that style of thinking if they are in an appropriate profession. In general, OCD is much more damaging to its victims than OCPD.

      If your husband does have both comorbid OCD and BPD “acting out” subgroup, that would be a really bad combination. Such a person tends to be obsessed with harming their targets by any and all means they can invest.

      Rob

  9. Kathryn Compa
    February 12th, 2012 at 05:50 | #12

    @ Julie Woods
    I agree with you whole heartedly ,My 14 yr old daughter told me that my husband raped her…I am waiting for the da to decide wether or not to charge him? !I am so sorry that happened to you,I will consider this and never use that word in the wrong context again.Good Point and Im glaD YOU WERE HERE TO SAY THIS.!;0) tHANK YOU!

  10. Bob
    February 15th, 2012 at 09:07 | #13

    Our legal system encouages this disorders by not punishing the liers in court they should be made to pay cost instead the courts and the legal system feed there compulsive abuse with rewards of the children so they get stronger in there abuse the lawyers get wealthier the star chamber courts in Australia do not have a jury nor do the criminal courts in Australia.These abusers have a free rein to rule over anyone they choose to destroy .What has happened to our legal system where are our rights and the jury in courts .I see the police and the judges personallity disorders getting worse with judges and police doing as they wish . My advise is dont have anything to do with police partners they are serious about there personality disorders. Men need to start a class action law suit against the legal system that is no more than a act of slavery against the men of Australia and America .

  11. C Jones
    March 27th, 2012 at 21:35 | #14

    I totally have to agree with Bob on this one. Liars SHOULD be punished. When a person is found to have lied (PARTICULARLY when that person is also an officer of the court) they should have to pay legal fees. My ex and his PDA attorney have lied about me constantly. Oh, btw, my ex is undiagnosed with any actual disorders (because he stays as far away from mental health professionals as humanly possible). He’s a lawyer (not a good one, mind you), but knows enough about the law to be able to abuse it and abuse it some more. He has physical custody of our 3 girls and does everything in his power to keep me away from them. And when that’s not enough enjoyment for him, he makes up false criminal claims about me and I have to hire an attorney to defend me against his unfounded claims for which he has zero evidence! It amazes me how someone can just walk into a courtroom and claim that another person is a villian and the idiot judge buys into it. By the time the true victim gets to defend herself, the judge’s mind is already clouded. Yeah, so much for impartiality, right?

    The worst part about the whole situation (besides the $80,000+ I’ve already spent in court trying to get more time with the kids, defending myself from false claims, etc.) is that he married another PDA…and she is doing the same stuff to her ex. It’s like the “perfect storm,” and the poor kids are suffering through it. They’re living with people who pretty much don’t give them the time of day until they NEED something from them (like to use them to get back at me, need them to testify in a court hearing, etc.). It’s a real shame. I spend so much of what little time I have with my kids trying to show them what a truly loving family is really like. My oldest daughter, now a senior in high school, hasn’t really spoken to me in two years. He’s totally brainwashed her into thinking I’m some terrible human being and that all of his financial woes are somehow MY fault.

    When my kids were younger, they LOVED the show “Invader Zim” which was on Nickelodeon in the early 2000′s but got cancelled. They started watching it in re-runs and I totally began to empathize with Dib. He was the “normal” one, but every time he tried to convince everyone else that Zim was really an alien, people thought DIB was the crazy one. That’s really how I feel sometimes. I want to scream, “SERIOUSLY??? I’m THE NORMAL ONE!! WHY DO YOU KEEP BELIEVING HIM?!?!?!”

    I’ve finally solved the problem of the false criminal charges and multiple attempts to get protective orders against me–the most recent one was for “false imprisonment” in a public place with hundreds of people surround us. Really? When his brilliant legal skills didn’t work in court the first time, he just filed an appeal (which is an automatic “right” in domestic violence cases in my state)…only to find that he couldn’t get the circuit court judge to buy his ridiculous claims either. So, that one was a small victory…but I got a severe tongue lashing from the judge–as if I, somehow, was the one who was wrong. Jeesh. Anyway, my solution to all of that is (1) I’m never physically near him without another adult witness present and (2) I don’t even look in his direction in public, totally ignoring him, and (3) I don’t speak to him. Every communication I have with him is through email…not even any phone calls because I got tired of him yelling at me and hanging up the phone OR accusing me of yelling at him, when I’m generally the “calm” one. I’ve decided to give him as little ammunition as possible.

    The only silver lining is that, through all of the crazieness–court battle after court battle, accusation after accusation–I met a WONDERFULLY loving man who has stood by me despite the craziness my ex pulls. A lesser man really would have walked away a LONG time ago, because dealing with someone’s ex who is a PDA is really more trouble than they ever asked for. I don’t know what I’d do without him. He adores the kids and thinks of them as his own…and it breaks his heart to see just how much my ex and his PDA wife hurt the kids on a regular basis. I’ve also learned that I am WAY stronger than I ever gave myself credit for. People hear the stories I tell about what’s been going on in my personal life for the past 5+ years and they wonder why I’m not curled up like a ball in a corner somewhere, crying my eyes out and hating everyone around me for how I’ve been wronged. But, that would just make me the victim…and victim’s don’t win.

    The PDA’s try to control us…and the best way to really get back at them is to not let them EVER see you react. They feed off the negative reactions. And, do we really want to let them think they’ve beaten us down and gotten the best of us? NOPE! I, personally, am a survivor. My “revenge,” as it were, is to lead a healthy, happy, successful life. I do take great pleasure in the fact that even though I’m less educated than my ex, I make more money than he does, I’m heavily in debt but am current on all of my bills–and the bank isn’t foreclosing on MY house (but they are foreclosing on HIS)! :-)

    Good luck to all of you who have a person like this in your life. It’s a very stressful road. I keep counting down the days until my youngest child is 18 and I don’t have to ever see him again. I’m thinking about moving AND changing my phone number. LOL

  12. Robi
    April 5th, 2012 at 16:07 | #15

    Wow! After watching Christie’s interview I was brought to tears because I know exactly how she feels. After watching her on “The View” and being refered to this website, I read everything you had to say and I was astonished. For years I have known something is seriously wrong with my ex husband but, couldn’t quite put my finger on it nor explain his behavior. I have been going threw this divorce for almost 2 years now and have been abused twice a week ever since. We have children so I have no way of removing this person from my life. It’s so frustrating and even writing this brings me to tears and in a way reading this article makes me feel helpless. I am lucky to have an exceptional judge whom I believe sees right through his bull crap but, I have many court hearings to go and many allegations attempting to ruin my reputation in the mean time. It is sad that you almost have to try and figure out these mind games on a daily basis and have a hard time moving on with your own life. At times I feel like giving up but, I look at my children and I know that it is worth the fight. My strength in God is what helps me stay strong, I put my faith in Him first and formost and I know He will see me threw. I will be praying for all of you that are suffering and going threw the same as I.

    • April 6th, 2012 at 04:16 | #16

      Robi,

      Thanks for mentioning where you found out about this article. For those of you who are interested, Christie Brinkley was interviewed on “The View” on April 5. A brief portion of the interview (click here to view and fast forward to about 18 minutes into the show) mentioned her difficulties with an allegedly NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) ex. On her Facebook page, she shared with her fans this article from our site and others from other sites covering NPD to offer help if they are facing similar problems.

      It sounds like you are luckier than most that you have a judge who can see through some of the lies and manipulations.

      Personality disorders abusers (aka sociopaths) are adept at manipulating courts to persecute their ex-spouses, often using ridiculous but highly damaging child abuse and domestic violence false allegations with little or no evidence to back them up. Family law judges generally regard these allegations as true until proven otherwise. They are very quick to strip a good parent of his or her home, children, income, and freedom based upon lies. Statistically speaking, this probably more often happens to men than women. But it is happening to an increasing number of mothers, and indeed many of the better father’s rights organizations recognize this and are quick to speak out against men pulling these kinds of dastardly deeds against women, too.

      These same judges who are quick to persecute anybody who is accused seldom do anything to make up for the harm they have caused when the allegations are later proven false. This creates a perverse incentive for the abuser to lie relentlessly in court. A lie that like a dagger stabbed deep in the back of the ex (e.g., false child sexual abuse allegations that often cost a person his or her job, home, children, and life savings) will usually do very serious harm to the ex for which the abuser is effectively granted immunity from prosecution because of the actions of the courts. Perjury is illegal, but in American courts it is seldom if ever prosecuted unless for political reasons. And because of this, American courts are direct participants and beneficiaries of such abuses. Bill Eddy’s estimate is that around 40% of the litigation in family courts is coming from such abusers. It’s no wonder judges love these abusers and reward them amply. Their continuing lies and harassment ensure job security for themselves and a steady stream of profits to their friends who are lawyers.

      There are of course some judges who will stand up against such abusers appropriately, and sounds like you may have one of them. Unfortunately, they are few and far between.

      Rob

  13. David
    April 5th, 2012 at 18:56 | #17

    I read “I hate you don’t leave me” a great book after a relationship with a women with bpd..
    I learned how to deal with her…and how to not let her hurt me so I could help her…

    • April 6th, 2012 at 04:28 | #18

      David,

      BPD and NPD share so much in common as far as destructive behaviors, lying, lack of empathy and remorse, and willingness to break the rules and law go. Anybody who is struggling with an ex who sounds like he or she may have BPD or NPD would probably benefit from reading books about both those disorders as well as books on emotionally abusive relationships.

      Rob

  14. Ex ToChiro
    April 6th, 2012 at 01:08 | #19

    These comments have been so helpful and supportive. Thank you. So often I have felt so alone thinking I was the only one going through this devastation. My ex husband is the most famous Chiropractor in the world and, just as this article states, because he is a doctor and well-respected in his profession, his perjury, threats and manipulation go unnoticed.

    So many of us have suffered in silence for so long feeling ashamed, fearful, worried about retaliation and beaten down mentally, emotionally and physically.

    Again, thank you for addressing this issue. And to all those who have suffered and continue to suffer – thank you for your courage. Let’s hope we can make a difference in the lives of others.

    • April 6th, 2012 at 04:34 | #20

      Ex ToChiro,

      As commenter David mentions above, resources about the abusive behaviors of Borderlines can be very helpful, too. Many of our readers have found the article BPD Distortion Campaigns to help others in their lives understand how powerful and damaging the lies spread by an abuser can be. Not every Borderline or Narcissist conducts such destructive propaganda campaigns, but they are far more common than most people realize. It’s likely that if you have not been a target of one of them, you have at least heard rumors and lies spread by somebody running such a hate campaign against another person.

      Rob

  15. helen
    April 6th, 2012 at 07:54 | #21

    I think my husband may have PDA. He name calls me very frequently. He shuts and puts down what I say and do and likes to provoke me into an argument only to call me ‘crazy’ or ‘out of control’ when I finally rise to the baite. I gave up my family, career and friends in the UK to stay with him in Australia after he promised that we’d move there in two years’ time (this was over 5 years ago). I lost my skills as a lawyer when I came to Australia as I would have to retake 4.5 years’ of further study here just to get my qualifications which are extortionate in this country. I feel that he knows he has all the control and can take me for granted because I am quite dependent on him here – quite contrary to how I would be in England. I have never been treated like this before by anyone and I am sure that it’s not right. Do you think he may have PDA? I would love to hear any feedback.

    • April 9th, 2012 at 03:39 | #22

      Helen,

      It sounds like he may be emotionally and verbally abusive. Although people with personality disorders are frequently emotionally and verbally abusive, especially towards people such as spouses and children, not all emotional and verbal abusers have a personality disorder.

      There’s a book on emotionally abusive relationships by Beverly Engel that is very good and may help you understand what is happening in your relationship. It has some quizzes and sections that prompt you to evaluate both your romantic relationships and your childhood relationships with your parents that can help you gain a lot of insight. I wrote about it previously in my article Relationships and Divorces with Someone Who Suffers Borderline Personality Disorder.

      Some people who are emotionally abusive can learn to improve their behaviors. Sometimes they have fallen into bad behaviors and need to be alerted that what they are doing is hurtful and they will be willing to work on the problem. From what you explained so far, it sounds like your husband could fall into this category.

      For example, moves or even contemplated moves can be stressful. He may have fallen back into bad behaviors based upon what he observed during his childhood as part of how he coped with the stress. This isn’t to excuse his behavior, it is just a possible explanation for why somebody might become abusive even if the person does not have a personality disorder.

      Think back throughout your relationship with him. Has he always been this way? If not, when did it change and what was going on at the time?

      What do you know about his family and past relationships? Information about these areas often helps form a more accurate picture of what emotional triggers and behaviors are common. Generally speaking, people who have a close and supportive relationship with their parents which did not feature abusive conduct are much less likely to suffer from personality disorders.

      There are some cases of personality disorders which may have a significant genetic factor or which triggered by abuse from outside of the person’s immediate family during childhood. However, these are less common. The typical case is that a person develops a personality disorder as a result of abusive or neglectful parents or parental figures.

      Those with personality disorders are unlikely to have any success at fixing their tendency to abuse others. A few are able to make some progress, particularly if they are willing to admit they have a problem and seek help on their own. Most, however, refuse to admit they have a problem. In their views, it is always somebody else who is at fault, generally the person or people whom they are abusing often. As a result, they are unwilling to even try to make a change for the better.

      Rob

  16. helen
    April 6th, 2012 at 07:55 | #23

    Sorry – I meant to say that the fees here are extortionate.

  17. April 11th, 2012 at 08:18 | #24

    I want to thank you for doing your part in bringing awareness about Personality Disordered Abusers in the court system. I once asked a mental health professional what the community is doing to bring awareness. He mentioned this site among a few others. You have helped me tremendously.

    I have been dealing with a man who I believe is a PDA. We have a nine almost ten year son. It is to the point that I am afraid of being around my son for fear of accusations that will be levied against me. I’ve been accused of everything under the sun at this point, from abuse, murder, violent, that I’ve been arrested, that I’ve threatened to kill his mother, grandmother, the united states army…I can go on for days listing all the things that I’ve been accused of. Yet, I’ve never been in trouble in my life and the ONLY person who has ever filed anything against me is him.

    Unable to infiltrate my support system, they became targets too. He attacks them with false accusations and tried to get them fired from their jobs. My boyfriend’s been accused of abuse. Another man was accused of being a child molestor…

    The man that I am talking about claims to be a former police officer, a marine, has a PH.d in Sociology and is a civil and criminal lawyer. He’s also run for Mayor and State Attorney of a state in which he is not even licensed to practice. (That is if he’s even a lawyer at all)

    I did not know that people like him existed until about a year ago but I have been writing about him on my website since 2004. His character is called CX I don’t think he knew about my site though I disclosed in trial that I am the author. I don’t know if that was good or bad. I think that I may have pissed the judge off more than anything. In fact I linked to your site in this post “Know Thyself” http://sexwriter.typepad.com/sexkittenwrites_candidly_/2011/11/infected.html

    At this point, I am looking at losing my son to this man who lies without a moment’s hesitation about any and everything and who seems hell bent on destroying my life. I know that my son is in danger and I feel powerless to help him. The GAL recommends that he gets custody. The court despite obvious mountains of lies and contradictions.

    I feel as if the only options left to me is between abandoning my son or risk ending up in jail framed for somrthing I didn’t do. Or murdered. But worst of all, I fear for my son’s safety.

  18. Mccreight29
    April 29th, 2012 at 12:05 | #25

    @Julie Woods
    I too have been a victim of rape and what has happened to me in family court feels no different to me. I have had a part of my soul ripped from me. You are right in that it is not the same. My wounds from the attacks of my childs father are deeper. Unless you have had this happen to you, you have no right to tell me what word is innappropriate. I have been raped by family court. I have been raped emotionally by the father. I feel like nothing can cleanse the wounds I have endured. More was taken from me in these allegations then a rapist could ever take. I survived that attack. I was able to recover from that attack. My daughter has been missing from my life for 8 years. It is rape.

  19. Craig Erskine
    May 18th, 2012 at 21:17 | #26

    this is what im going thru with my wife, and i have a daughter that has to be at the front line, i need help and no one here in maine wants to help stop this from going on, can someone help my daughter and i. i need help before the 30th of may 2012

  20. iwillsurvive
    June 19th, 2012 at 10:38 | #27

    @C Jones
    I loved your story! Sounds like a cloned version of my own current 30years long story. you gave me a broad, silent smile at the end. Go girl! We will not let them get to us. Go well xx

  21. Kim
    June 23rd, 2012 at 19:27 | #28

    @helen
    i find myself in similar situation .we have been seeing a counselor for communication problems,last week we went in and he announces that I have BPD and wants me to get help,because Im so mentally unstable raging at him all the time and abusive.we have 3kids together 10,8,6. I quit work to stay at home,for financial reasons.he controls all. the car he bought me for my birthday 6yrs ago it’s not mine,in his name only.He is a Doctor ,really hard to discredit them.now he bought a gun,an assault weapon.a big one.if I’m so mental why would he buy a gun?He never shot one before,we also have two teenagers at home,I worry about safety and suicide with teens or a deadly assault from him claiming self defense.toward me!

  22. August 28th, 2012 at 19:24 | #29

    MASSACHUSETTS CHILD TRUMATIZED, SUFFERING FROM PTSD
    August 28, 2012

    Although, Alexiss, 6-years old, is home, it was 27-days before she saw anyone in the family after being taken and placed in a Massachusetts Department of Children and Family foster home. Within 27-days, Alexiss had lived in two different foster homes.

    Alexiss is traumatized, suffering from PTSD, and receives Trauma Focused Therapy.

    When the therapist asked Alexiss did she see her dad while she was in the foster home, Alexiss replied, “yes, but it was the wrong dad.” When the therapist inquired, “How was it the wrong dad”? Alexiss replied, “I didn’t know him”. (At the time, Alexiss did not know her biological dad; dad chose fine money, the courts were ordering Mother to pay him for the last five years over establishing a relationship with Alexiss).

    During play, Alexiss informed her Lego Friends in her Butterfly Beauty shop; “I lost my live.” I am hoping she does not loss her little mind. Alexiss, as a way to deal with the trauma; has locked all the pain and suffering away; and does not talk about the ordeal. With the trauma focused therapy we are praying to unlock this ordeal for Alexiss to be free.

    Please continue to read, sign, and circulate Alexiss’ petition. Alexiss’ ordeal has to have some oversight and accountability. Alexiss needs 1000 signatures!

    PLEASE READ, SIGN, AND CIRCULATE FOR ALEXISS!

    http://www.change.org/petitions/the-governor-of-ma-help-get-child-home

    http://www.alexissneedshelp.blogspot.com/

    Alexiss’s Mom,
    [email protected]

  23. Kimmi
    January 22nd, 2013 at 22:50 | #30

    Hello~ I found your article after googling about how to defend myself against false accusations in a PDA order. My husband is a sociopath and had been carrying an online affair for 3 months before I found out about it. I found a second one Jan 4 2013 and a huge argument ensued. I smashed his monitor onto the floor, he smashed my laptop and without thinking I hit him with a piece of the monitor and he got a small scratch on his wrist. He had been lying about ending the first affair and he tried about the second. I was arrested for simple assault after hitting him and I was the one who called the police. Though the officer he said he got what he deserved they still had to arrest me. Since then I have found out about so much. My husband has a criminal record that has prescription fraud on it, insurance fraud on it writing bad checks and possessing firearms with serial numbers that had been filed off. That was just the tip of the iceberg. We married in April 2011 and he was laid off (so he said) and unemployed at the time of our marriage. I have since found out he hasn’t worked in 17 years and yet has been collecting a huge tax return from the federal government as well as the state. Now today I was served with a PDA order and he has lied so much all through it. We don’t have kids together…I am more worried about my name and my integrity as an upright citizen. I have never been in trouble before. How do I defend myself at this hearing…the PDA order hearing is the 28th of this month at 8am and the hearing for my charge is at 1. I know it looks bad on me for the charge, because I did hit him. I was at my wits end for all the lies he was telling me. But what he said in those PDA papers was horrible and it was all lies. He has children that he severely neglects and children and youth were called and so have the police been called for fights between his son and himself. His kids want to live with me and I’m guessing that’s the reason for his latest action. I have reported him to the IRS fraud division and to the State of Delaware for state income tax fraud. We all live in PA now…is there any advice you can give me…thank you.

  24. Karolina
    September 3rd, 2013 at 14:00 | #31

    As of today it has been about 2 months since my divorce, from a 19 years marriage, with children, to PDA (Narcissism). His primary “weapon” was and IS where we leave. To isolate us from family, friends, and environment were I would be able to lead a full life. This makes us dependent on him, and never able to make connection with people and places.
    3 years ago, he finally promised to move us back to Chicago, so I can return to work and he to start looking for better job. We sold our main residence first. Then we were going to stay in our summer home in a total isolation for a year, while we were looking for schools and places to leave in Chicago, to save money, and to sell our summer home. He continued to work for the same company 300 miles away from us, the only thing has changed during that time, he came home every other week to help me drive our children to school because of the distance (80 miles per day). In years before, he drove the children to school only 2-3 times per month. When a year later, I called him, while he was away and asked for meeting in Chicago to interview schools, he said “You are a mother and a wife, you will finish your job and then you can go anywhere the…you want”. When he returned home, he apologizes and for 4 months pretended that we are still moving. Then he filed for a divorce. In “The Best Interest of a Child”, with a small town courts, I was not even allowed to returned where we leaved for last 10 years. The referee told me, that I have to move out from our summer home, and move closer to the children school, or he will give full custody of the children to my then husband. The courts told me, to move to another county, now I know they had no right to do so. Then 8 months later, the same referee during divorce proceedings told me the following: “Mrs…you know I would have never taken the children away from you, but I wanted to scare you, so you do not move away, because I felt that after 19 years being taken care of by your husband, you had no idea where you want to leave”. This referee maybe spoken to me in total of 20 min before the original “threat”. This is just a fraction what has happend to me, during 2 years of separation and divorce proceedings . In small town, I was refused a translator, he used my status as an “immigrant” even tough I have been a legal resident for 31 years and I have a US passport for 26 years. Even though, I did not worked for last 15 years, and I am unable to find a job in a small town, I was told by the Judge he will not rule in my favor for my ex to pay for attorney fees for me. The Judge reviewed my attorney billings, and saw that 80% of fees were due to his fillings.
    We received 50/50 custody, I presented the proof that I was 24/7 365 days per year with children for last 15 years and that he was away through that time 50% of the year. He used the 6 months of DRIVING the children to school every other weeks to establish a pattern, and the courts ruled that we will have every other week schedule, stating that in the best interest of the children they will not change this schedule. I settled, because I could no longer afford my attorney.

    (FYI my ex is a brilliant attorney of 30 years)

  25. Wife
    September 22nd, 2013 at 16:55 | #32

    How can I tell if my husband would hurt the children? He has BPD. He lies and “forgets” things when he is angry at me. I think he might someday give our kids too much medicine, then just say he forgot. I wouldn’t be surprised.

    We are in a custody battle. What should I do to get him evaluated?

  26. Kathi Sherburne
    May 7th, 2014 at 01:32 | #33

    My ex-daughter-in-law is a psychopath. It took 15 years for me to figure out what was wrong with the way she behaved. My granddaughter was her target until she decided to focus on me 8 months ago. At first, I just ignored her and avoided her. I’ve since discovered that she “punched” my granddaughter in the face when she was 10 yrs old and made the kids lie about it in the CPS report. The ex D-I-L has been trying to isolate the kids and keep them away from me because they confided in me and would tell on her. The ex D-I-L has tried to enforce a “code of silence” on the kids, their father and me but I refuse to follow her “rule”. of not talking about her. I’ve filed a complaint with CPS and spent a long time talking to someone who acted like she cared. I was surprised to learn that constant “yelling and screaming” at a child is not considered verbal abuse, however, putting soap/hot-sauce in a child’s mouth is abuse and so is pulling hair. Also, CPS did not consider it neglect to have 3 kids ages 14, 12 and 8 alone in the house without telephone access (they should know to go to a neighbor’s house to call). The last time the ex-D-I-L tried to control me – I told her I knew the truth about the punch in the face and that she made my granddaughter change a police statement that let a potential future rapist go free while implicating my granddaughter. I told her I have “evidence”. She hung up the phone on me (YAY)! It caught her by surprise that the truth is known by someone and that there is evidence so her brain-washing the kids to lie for her won’t hold up in court. In my experience, I would say document, document, document, record, record, record and at the first opportunity, file a CPS report;, hopefully, before the psycho/sociopath files one. Then avoid them like the plague. The only thing that’s keeping me sane is realizing that she is a pro at “projection manipulation”. She accuses everyone else of what she does and she has to tell everyone what a good mother she is (who is she trying to convince?) I tell everyone to imagine her with a mirror in front of her face and whatever she negatively says about anyone else just realize that she is talking about herself. Don’t waste your time trying to reason with a psycho/sociopath because they defy logic and will twist things around to suit their need for drama and playing the victim. At least you can understand what they are doing and why. The laws must be changed and CPS, Family Court and the Police must involve grandparents and extended family members when dealing with CPS reports. The secrecy in the name of “privacy” only protects the psycho/sociopaths – the children are already damaged. At least if the extended family members are informed of any CPS reports where they can start putting pieces together – these master manipulators might get stopped sooner rather than later. They should be forced to admit their lies and apologize so the family can heal. “You just might be around a sociopath if the person always has drama, only likes you while they can use you, is selfish and vindictive without empathy, sympathy, remorse or compassion.”

  27. Annette
    May 31st, 2014 at 22:51 | #34

    Hi Kathi,
    I don`t know what country you live in but I can totally relate to everything you have said. How does one protect the children from all the effects of a parent who behaves in this manner and has no regard for the effect on the children.
    Unless they are held accountable by the Courts then nothing will change.

  1. March 30th, 2010 at 02:48 | #1
  2. April 20th, 2010 at 22:09 | #2
  3. April 20th, 2010 at 22:14 | #3
  4. April 22nd, 2010 at 16:46 | #4
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  12. May 19th, 2012 at 03:33 | #12
  13. July 5th, 2012 at 20:17 | #13
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