Personality disorders are a growing problem in the United States. Recent NIH studies indicate that 20% or more of Americans suffer from one or more personality disorders. Author Bill Eddy points out that in his experience about half of “High Conflict Personalities” (or HCPs) involved in destructive divorce and child custody battles probably do have one or more full-blown personality disorders. The other half may not meet all the criteria for a full-blown personality disorder yet still show many traits consistent with troublesome personality disorders such as BPD and NPD.
(from Don’t Alienate the Kids! Raising Resilient Children While Avoiding High Conflict Divorce)
I believe that about half of HCPs have a personality disorder and about half have some of these traits, but not a full personality disorder. This means that they are still difficult, but may respond more easily to approaches designed for people with personality disorders.
It helps to understand some of these traits, but it is important to not tell someone you think they have a personality disorder. They may become very defensive and angry with you, as defensiveness is a common characteristic of those with personality disorders and those just with traits.
I fully agree with Eddy’s advice about not telling a person they may have a personality disorder. To be clear, this is not because it is better for them but primarily because hearing this news seems to turn them into even more destructive abusers than they were in the first place. Even if you are only trying to help, they will probably interpret your words as dire threats and redouble their efforts to destroy you. There is also a substantial risk that you will be ridiculed for your reasonable beliefs by divorce industry “professionals” who have an agenda that does not make room for unpleasant truths unless they are stated by an expensive paid expert.
CCFC co-founder Cole Stuart was recently wrongfully arrested due to what appears to be manipulation of the police by his ex-wife Lynn Stuart and possibly various elements of the San Diego family law system. While malicious alienating parents using courts and police to abuse their children’s other parent is commonplace particularly in a broken family court system such as that in San Diego, she has been aided at this by a particularly dirty San Diego lawyer. Lynn Stuart hired Jeffrey Fritz. He has earned a reputation as an attorney who is a “shark” who will resort to all manners of abusive and unethical tactics to “win” cases for his clients while driving up huge billings that severely damage the finances of all but the very wealthiest. He typically attracts high-conflict clients such as Lynn Stuart.
(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.
|BPD, Child Abuse, Child Custody, Children, Civil Rights, Courts, Crime, Divorce, Domestic Violence, Family, Government Abuse, Legal, Marriage, NPD, Parental Alienation, Partner Violence, Psychology|
In late October 2009, one or more people distributed a large quantity of flyers inside the San Diego family law courts. Reportedly they were stuffed in books, free magazines, and other literature in the courthouses. The flyers protest the use of expensive professionals in child custody cases, in particular section 730 psychological evaluators. Criticisms are also directed at minor’s counsel attorneys, exchange and visitation monitors, and consulting psychologists.
Toronto residents K.D. and A.L. spent more than a decade battling over custody of their three children. Mother K.D. committed parental alienation child abuse against all three daughters starting at birth and continuing until present. Father A.L. was given sole custody of their children on January 2009. Subsequent court decisions have held K.D. liable for $286,641.75 in fines and legal fees due to her contempt of court and bad faith litigation.
The decision announced by Ontario Justice Faye McWatt in January 2009 was that an alienating parent can and will be stripped of child custody for repeated refusal to cooperate with court orders and relentlessly brainwashing the children to hate the other parent. Custody of their three daughters was transferred to their father who had spent more than a decade battling the alienating mother in court to attempt to remain a part of their daughters’ lives. Their mother is only permitted to spend time with them during psychotherapy. It appears it is the hope of the courts and their father that someday their mother will learn to behave reasonably and can become a part of her children’s lives again without continuing her destructive and abusive behaviors against the children.
Minnesota is considering passing legislation to make shared physical custody of children between both parents a presumption of the court. Under the current law, the courts presume that parents will share legal custody. But physical custody is up for grabs. Detractors of the current law believe that it sets up families for bitter custody disputes and frequently results in fathers and children being short-changed of time with each other.
(Click here for more coverage of Borderline Personality Disorder.)
If you’ve got a loved one or former loved one who has BPD, you’re likely to need a lot of emotional support to deal with the problems they present for you. Some may be lucky enough to have a relative with BPD who has gotten past the denial and is actively working on learning to improve behaviors. If you’re not so lucky, you may be in need of legal advice in family law, civil, and criminal arenas as Borderlines in pain and denial tend to lash out at their family or ex-family, as the case may be.
(Click here for more coverage of Borderline Personality Disorder.)
If you are in the unenviable position of being forced into the abomination that is the US “legal” or “justice” system by a hostile divorce, baseless or harassing lawsuit, or false criminal allegations, perhaps you might wonder why a lawyer would take such a case in the first place. Some people may be first inclined to believe that only money-grubbing scum lawyers would take such cases.
However, just because a lawyer took a case for a legally abusive client doesn’t mean the lawyer is unethical or is simply willing to work as a hired mercenary, attacking whomever the client pays to attack. It could be the lawyer believes the client. Some clients are liars and manipulators and are so very good at it that they can confuse a even a well-intentioned competent lawyer who really does want to do good.