Friday, November 30, 2012
I read this today on facebook. “Forgiveness Friday. Forgive someone today.” Well, it is Friday, and the thought is lovely. However, where do you draw the line to forgiveness and to never forgive? The synonyms for forgiveness are excuse, pardon, exonerate and let off. The first three sound like legalize. The latter term really means “let off the hook”. It sounds like the person who was caught speeding, “I was stopped for speeding but he let me off the hook with a warning.” It’s a minor crime that is overlooked. It’s a one time event was made in error or with bad judgment. So, with forgiveness, there is moving forward from the incident and having a fresh start. The person won’t speed again, or won’t reveal a secret, or won’t ignore a friend at a party. For they have been let off the hook…they have been forgiven.
Never forgiving doesn’t have to mean keeping an anger burning inside. Never forgiving doesn’t mean hating that person either. Hate is an active feeling. It drains energy. It churns the poison in your own being, and that’s self destructive. Never forgiving is disregarding someone, or labeling them as insignificant and not worth your while, which is far healthier to yourself, as far more upsetting to the one who’s done you an injustice.
We often hear about the death of a young person, and how the parent’s forgive their child’s killer. We’ve seen the interaction on many television talk shows. The perpetrator appears humble in requesting forgiveness. They show remorse for their deed, as well as tremendous guilt. Everyone involved still bears the pain in their heart, but they are able to move past the pain.
But what about the narcissistic sociopath who cannot show pain, remorse, empathy or guilt. What about the individual who continues to perpetrate the crime? Can the children they damage ever be fixed? They were purposefully hurt many times, for many years – it was no accident. How can forgiveness be given to that individual, regardless of the fact that today is “Forgiveness Friday”?
Therefore, in lieu of “Forgiveness Friday”, I live by my own “Good Deed Day”, every day of the week. I try to do something nice for a stranger everyday. It may be as insignificant as letting someone cut into the traffic in front of your car, or getting a bottle of the top shelf in a market they were unable to reach. Today, there was a young man sitting on the cold ground outside of the supermarket. He was asking for spare change and I gave him a dollar. I will continue with my daily good deeds. I will continue to forgive people any day of the week. But I will never forgive the narcissistic sociopath for the damage he’s done to my children, nor will I give him the energy of hatred….as his own self hatred has created an insignificant creature….and I have better things to do with my time.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
It was just announced that an internet search was conducted by Casey Anthony on “foolproof suffocation” on the day her daughter Caylee was allegedly kidnapped by her nanny. But little Caylee was never kidnapped. Her body was found six months later in a swamp; duct tape haphazardly placed over her nose and mouth, wrapped around her little head entangling in her hair, according to forensics. All evidence pointed toward a premeditated murder by her mother.
Surprisingly the internet search for “foolproof suffocation” was never revealed at the trial. Somehow, the ball was dropped, allowing Casey Anthony to walk away free of punishment, free of maternal responsibility, and free to live the “beautiful life” she craved so desperately, even tattooing those words in beautifully scripted Italian, on her shoulder during the time her beautiful toddler was wrapped in a garbage bag in a swamp. Nevertheless, Casey Anthony gained her freedom with a finding of “not guilty”, as well as the right to live her “beautiful life” instead of a lifetime in prison for premeditated murder. Regardless of this new evidence, Casey Anthony cannot be retried for the murder of her daughter Caylee. Even if she confessed, she would remain free, as the law states that an individual cannot be tried fro the same crime twice. It’s called “double jeopardy”.
It makes me wonder why probate courts are far more lenient in their judgments. Why would judges accept a motion (a request) that had previously been denied, and “retry” it more than once? Doesn’t this go against the law of double jeopardy? And if a judge already ruled on a motion, why would another judge go against that ruling? Aren’t all judges required to follow the same rules? Why are judges making decisions that supersede previous judge’s decisions? These are men and women who call themselves “family judges” yet can be swayed, convinced, bought, or freely show apathy in custody cases, and possibly destroy the family unit.
Casey Anthony has been exonerated of murder and does not have to worry about another trial. Yet mothers who have started a new life with their children after leaving their abuser have been dragged back into court on a repeated motion and then lose custody. Baffling! Why aren’t the same rules applicable in probate court? Is it because there are too many individuals seeking help so it’s difficult to keep accurate records? Perhaps a judge may not have the desire to wade through huge piles of documents, or check if the motion has been already presented. Another reason for repeated motions can be blamed on unethical attorneys who go “judge shopping.” She files the same motion numerous times in the hopes of getting in front of a new judge in order to get a different answer to her motion. Attorneys who utilize this tactics are usually hired by batterers, contrary to men who would rather maintain stability in the lives of their children despite a divorce. To note**Abusive men attempt to get custody more than non-abusers. It’s a way to maintain control and to punish. The success rates of the abusers are astonishing – sometimes reaching 90% of the cases. And these legal victories are without merit.
Little Caylee Anthony remains an innocent murder victim who will never get justice. In comparison, the innocent children of acrimonious divorces never experience justice either. They may be alive, but they are robbed of maternal love. (This can also be applicable in cases where fathers are victims and denied their children). Why should a mother who murdered her two year old be allowed to walk free? Why should a mother, victimized by an abusive ex, the judges and an unethical attorney, never walk free, always carrying the weight of a heart heavy with loss?
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Thanksgiving Day was always one of my favorite holidays as it was time to get together with family, no pressure for presents or religious connotations - just a day devoted to feasting.
But in 1996 Thanksgiving Day became paradoxical when I was unable to celebrate with my three oldest children, as “punishment” for divorcing their abusive father. Although I did have later opportunities to share the holiday with them, it was as if they were merely visiting for dinner. And regardless of the fun they had with me during the holiday, their father would always mock our celebrations.
I am still an avid participant in the holiday tradition and am thankful for the gifts in my life: my beautiful teenage daughter, an adoring husband, my cute cat and dog, good friends, my cozy house, a running car, my abilities as a writer and pianist, my optimism, and my good health, despite a few minor glitches this year. Thanksgiving meals have transitioned since my childhood. The past few years, we have been enjoying the holiday with friends. We are now the “older” generation, and our attending offspring are young teenagers. It’s practically perfect.
However, as we Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, it was the American judicial system that took my three oldest children and gave them to my abusive ex, who neglected them, and didn’t provide them with the love of family, and alienated them from any maternal ties. I find it somewhat contradictory to celebrate a family-based holiday that originated in a country that has destroyed the familial bonds. Yet, I persevere, as the message I want to provide my youngest daughter is in keeping with tradition and being thankful of what we do have, rather than what is missing.
I cannot mourn the loss of the company of my three oldest children, as I am still able to enjoy the holiday, and what it means. I can only find empathy in my heart for what has been taken from them. Instead of creating a strong loving bond within their father’s circle, the meaning of the day have been fraught with hate and retaliation over many years. How awful to be forced to celebrate the loss, and unrelenting vengeance on a day that is supposed to be dedicated to love and family!
Although this has been a difficult year with the loss of my mother, my job, and some unexpected minor medical problems, I can only anticipate a day filled with happiness, great food and wonderful people. And I will give thanks for that, and say a silent prayer for all children who have been robbed of the joyful message of Thanksgiving.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
2 years ago, my bi-yearly dental appointment was timely as my entire mouth was hurting. I was positive something had infiltrated my teeth, certain I was fraught with cavities or some horrific gum disease despite the fact I am meticulous when it comes to dental care. The hygienist told me my worries were in vain; and it sounded as if I were grinding my teeth at night, suggesting perhaps I was experiencing stress.
That seemed impossible, as I was a rock. I was touted for my steadfast positive attitude and ability to persevere despite the years of continued abuse by my ex husband. True, there were underlying post traumatic stresses, but in general, I was a survivor. Expressing anxiety with nocturnal grinding seemed impossible. However, I had recently learned my oldest son was going to be an unwed father. It was shocking because my son would relate how his father publicly called him, “my gay son”. Unlike his father, my son focused on school, sports and band, uninterested in mirroring his father who still needed an abundance of sexual conquests to enhance his reputation. My close relationship with my son had been severed by his father’s pattern of spiteful retribution at each happy milestone in my life, after my son escorted me down the aisle at my 2007 wedding.
So, in theory I was going to be a grandmother, but realistically, I was not going to enjoy the relationship that went along with that privilege. Indeed, that was the root of my symptoms. I had therapy to deal with the trauma of my former abusive marriage. I was in the process of the final editing of my book, “…Until You Die”: The Narcissist’s Promise, which proved to be a cathartic documentation of the road to survival. I was a high functioning woman, wife and mother. So why did I have to endure pain that was expressed in my sleep? It didn’t seem fair.
So, for several days, I was experiencing intense pain in my mouth. Certain that this time, it was definitely medical, I was examined and tested and learned it was TMJ or TMD: TEMPOROMANDIBULAR DISORDERS occur as a result of problems with the jaw, jaw joint and surrounding facial muscles caused by grinding or clenching your teeth during sleep.
I am not one who likes to be viewed as vulnerable. I don’t like to show pain, sadness or discomfort. I keep my emotions hidden. Perhaps my desire to be strong and viewed as such is manifested by uncontrolled physical ailment. It was almost eerie that my stress was being felt through my teeth, as my ex had an abnormal fear of the dentist. During our marriage, he expressed his disappointment when he learned I did not need root canal by commenting, “Too bad. You should know what that pain is like.”
So, with a combination of pain killers, relaxers, warm compresses, a mouth guard and a lot of wine, I am starting to feel much better. I will use the remainder of my wine in my cooking. I will end the medications shortly as well. I will probably use my mouth guard as a precaution. My stress will always be present, lying dormant until something serves as its trigger; a memory of my children, their picture or perhaps an upcoming holiday.
Although I know I can only wait until my children can face the truth and return to me on their own, they are always in my thoughts. The unfairness and cruelty of the situation is excruciating when brought to the surface of consciousness, especially since I’ve learned I can be blindsided by that pain. But now I am equipped recognize the pain, face it and conquer it. This is just another symptomatic battle…and I am still winning for I am still a survivor.
Friday, November 9, 2012
My mother passed away this summer. She was one month shy of her 83rd birthday. Her demise began two years prior after breaking her hip in a fall. During her lengthy recovery, she began kidney dialysis three times a week. The downward spiral had started. A few months later, she had another fall and another fracture. With each incident, she grew more and more frail. Her insistence on remaining in her home exacerbated the inevitable, as the independence she craved was not conducive to her healing, rather a detriment to her safety. Her third fall was her final fall, as the amount of damage was irreparable and a week later she was gone. It was a loss many experience when they lose a parent or grandparent as death is the culmination of the natural cycle of life.
My cousin’s son passed away shortly after his third birthday from undetectable influenza complications. His death was sudden, tragic and unfair. It’s been four years and the sharp agony of that pain has faded. My cousin keeps memories of him in her new house. She keeps his spirit alive with stories and pictures shared with the sister he left behind. She gave birth to another son. She is traveling the road toward healing, which only has one direction.
My 16 year old daughter attended that funeral with me. Our relationship at that time had been strained after she meekly accepted her father’s demands not to invite me to her Sweet Sixteen party in his unending quest for vengeance after divorcing him over 10 years ago. As we drove to the grave site of this little boy, my daughter asked me, “How would you feel it I died?” Reflecting on my daughter’s question, I answered her candidly. “I feel as if I've already experienced the death of you and your brothers every time your father takes you away from me.”
Obviously, losing a child is the worse thing someone can experience. I lost three children when their father waged a horrific and fraudulent custody battle, utilizing his money and his connections. He utilized the help of a woman willing to do anything to have him in her life. I remembered this woman from high school as a strange, friendless, and volatile person. I later learned she was fraught with psychological instabilities that carried into her adulthood. Her behavior lent credibility to my fears as she was indeed the worse person to step parent to my children. Her presence intensified the loss, and amplified the painful unfairness.
Gradually the pain faded as I was still able to parent. My children and I found a way to accept the situation, still maintaining loving parental bonds. However, my ex-husband resented any positivity in my personal life. Each joyful event was met with retaliatory punishment in the form of withholding my children, hostile aggressive parenting and increasing their alienation. Time and time again, I experienced the keen, unmerited pain of loss. It felt like a death, yet it was surreal as they were alive. The cycle of life and death seemed endless. The possibility of their return was always on the horizon. There was always that agonizing hope contrasting with the inability to move forward and heal.
The loss of my mother is less acute than it was last summer. The loss of my cousin’s little boy leaves an ache, but there is closure. I am ready for that ending as well. I don’t want to hope anymore. The scab has been ripped from the wound so many times, I don’t know if it can completely heal. I find happiness in my youngest child, from my second (now deceased) husband. She knows how much she is loved and she is fortunate to experience a strong maternal bond. I will never do anything to compromise that, including bringing three angry young adults into her life.
I feel that a physical death of my three oldest children would have been easier. At least there would have been the journey of healing, and the pain would have faded instead of remaining almost as fresh as the first day there were lost. I don’t want that elation of having them return to me, until they can severe the ties with their father and stepmother. They have made a pact with the grim reaper. And the two they now call "parents", are leading them to the death of their souls.
Monday, November 5, 2012
Parental Alienation was a term coined by the late Richard Gardner. By claiming the custodial parent was poisoning the minds of the child(ren) against the other parent, the ridiculous Guardian ad Litem (GAL) was implemented in probate court. The GAL system is far from flawless; it merely gives an obviously power-hungry individual the right to unilaterally determine parenting responsibilities, thus handing over the reins to the parent they deemed “fit”. Unfortunately, GALs were uneducated about the effects of domestic abuse, and had no knowledge of personality disorders. Therefore, it was easy for a narcissistic sociopath to charm a GAL in order to get awarded custody. And with that custody, the parent was able to continue his abuse by alienating the children from the non-custodial parent. Richard Gardner was a mentally unstable man who eventually committed suicide. Those who understand the damage he created balk from using the term, Parental Alienation. Some anti-Gardner groups are using the phrase, Hostile Aggressive Parenting (HOP), and defining it as “one parent mentally abuses the children causing them to reject the other parent”.
One GAL in
has earned a reputation of
“liking men”. Her meeting with the husband, a true
narcissistic sociopath and abuser had her heart all a-flutter, charming her to the
point of writing a blatantly slanted and contradictory report; actually kind of
embarrassing for a woman with her credentials.
But, she was so enamored, she ignored the job she was hired to do, instead complying with the husband's wishes. She gave him the opportunity to use the power she held in court to “punish” his ex
for divorcing him by using the children as innocent pawns, as a Hostile Aggressive
parent. Synonyms for HOP are unsympathetic and insistently destructive…and this is frightening. As a narcissistic sociopath, this man had no
empathy, and his vengeance was unrelentingly vicious. His need for retaliation reeked from his pores, and his
entire being was consumed with spreading the word about his purportedly horrible ex-wife
for years, including his children, as well as their young friends. This fixation never waivered and profoundly
damaged the children who were constantly taunted by their peers about their mother. Massachusetts
This is particularly heartbreaking on several accounts. During their marriage, the father had demanded his former wife abort all three children. He had never been home to help care or nurture them as he considered it “work”. He admitted being physically abusive to his young sons, and had a history of criminal behavior. The wife had a loving relationship with the children and was an avid participant in their lives. But one by one, the hostile aggressive parent destroyed the relationships by handing the children monetary gifts with one hand and feeding them lies about their mother with the other hand.
The children were hardened into cruel robots created by a sociopath driven by what he perceived as “intolerable rejection” from his former wife. Even with his spiteful severing of maternal love, one last try was attempted to soften the children. They received a message that their maternal grandmother had passed away, with information about her funeral. Since their father had been adopted, she was their only biological grandparent. The sons ignored their mother, but the daughter answered with malice dredged from a place so dark, it’s almost incomprehensible.
These are the words of a once sweet and beautiful daughter, whose intense attachment to her mother was murdered by her father’s lies. (Directly from her text)
- I don't feel like she was involved in my life and the part that she was was not a good one.
· I do not feel obligated to go to my grandmothers funeral who was never there for me or my brothers..not to mention when she was around it wasn't pleasant for me
· You don't even know anything about my life anymore. I do hope you are not truthfully planning on me changing my mind on anything because I can assure you that will not be an occurance. If you decided to agree to disagree then that is the best I can do. Sorry you feel so sympathetic for me, I think it is kind of humerous considering I couldn't be living a better life thanks to my father.
This is what our courts are allowing. This is an example of the products emerging from our probate courts. I dread to think what our courts will be like when these children begin to wage their own legal battles, as the stage has been set for failed relationships. For more information on exactly how this can occur, please order my book, “…Until You Die”: The Narcissist’s Promise online at barnesnadnoble.com or amazon.com. Feel free to contact me for speaking engagements or book signings.