Friday, March 29, 2013

A Grim Fairy Tale

Once upon a time there was a mother who had three beautiful children – two handsome boys and one beautiful girl.  They were everything to her.  The rising sun and setting moon could not measure up to the love she had in her heart for her children.  She made everyday an adventure. Although she had little money, she always came up with creative ideas to make each day fun and special. 

One day, the children didn't see her.  Their father had appeared and introduced them to a new house belonging to a new woman he said would be a better mother than the one they would no longer see.  The children were bewildered because this new woman was unpleasant.  She yelled at them all the time.  She never took them on outings.  She never sang to them or read them stories.  But, she was all they had, so in time they accepted her as a mother.  They clamored for their father's attention, but when he was there, most of his conversation centered on what a terrible person their own mother was and how lucky they were to be away from that terrible person.  In time, they started to believe it as well. 

There came a day when they finally were able to see their mother.  In the time they were apart, the mother had a baby.  They were so excited to see her and meet their new little sister.  Her hugs were as warm as ever, and she spoke to them in loving tones.  The fog that had grown through the years slowly dissipated as the children began to remember.  But their happiness was soon shattered by their father who daily told them that she only loved her youngest daughter and gave her all her love and possessions, while denying them with her lies.

Saddened, the children began to draw away from their mother.  Seeking a maternal figure, they grew closer to the woman who was now their father's wife.  In time, they did not ask about their mother and eventually they did not want to see her at all.  They coldly turned away when their mother tried to see them.  When their grandmother died, their mother again reached out to them, but they cruelly refused to attend their grandmother’s funeral. 

It was then that the mother had to make a difficult decision.  She could not think about her three older children any longer.  All of her attempts to talk to them were futile.  They were too frightened by their father to ask the details of their childhood, and and terrified to learn the truth, thus exposing their father as the liar.  So the mother devoted her life only to her youngest child, promising her she would no longer try to contact the older children because it made her sad, and her daughter did not like to see her mother unhappy. 

Years went by and the children went off to their own lives and families.  One day the three oldest children learned that their mother had died.   They went to the funeral and approached their younger sister who was standing there, her grief visible.  Approaching her, they briefly murmured condolences, and then turned to leave.  "Wait!" their sister spoke.  "I have a copy of Mom's will."  The three turned back, each remembering suddenly how much their mother had loved them.  Emotions welled up as the pain of all those lost years came rushing back.  She was their mother and they abandoned her. They asked no questions.  They never stood up to their father; and instead cried confused tears into their pillows.  "We're sorry," they cried.  "We loved Mom!  We're sorry we left you too!" 

As their tears flowed, their sister read from their mother's will: "To my two sons and oldest daughter- I loved you more than my own life, but you turned from me and never returned.  It made me sad that you chose to ignore your mother.  However, I did not want to leave you out of my will.  I want to give you something so you will always remember me....therefore, I leave to each of you one dollar.  This is so you will never forget that you only have one mother.”

The youngest daughter folded the will.  “She left me everything else.  But I would give it all away if she could have died knowing that you loved her as much as I did.”  She turned and walked away as one.  She would strongly stand as the one person who was fortunate to have her mother's love, which she knew would always be there.  

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Highly Profiled Criminal Case Swayed By A Narcissist?

As I have preparing for the 10th Annual Battered Mothers Custody Conference in May, where I will be presenting a workshop on Narcissism, Domestic Violence and my book, “…Until You Die”: The Narcissist’s Promise, I have been lax in my blog.  During this time, I have been consumed, obsessed, fixated, et al on the Jodi Arias trial.  As I’ve written about this trial in a prior blog (“Trials on Television Vs. Reality” 2-13-13), appalled that she is using domestic abuse and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) as her defense for killing her former boyfriend Travis Alexander.  This alleged defense is the reason she shot Travis in the face, stabbed him 29 times and slit his throat back to his spine.    Obviously, utilizing this defense is sickening – especially for actual victims of batterers who, in their attempt to leave their abuser, ended up losing everything; their home and their children, only because our family courts do not fully understand the many components of domestic violence.  Could this really be happening in our criminal courts as well?

To date, on the witness stand is a Dr. Samuels, a psychologist for the defense, brought in to confirm Jodi Arias is indeed suffering from PTSD; and her alleged “memory loss” of the damage she inflicted with the knife to Travis is not uncommon with an individual in the throes of a traumatic event – supporting Jodi’s claim of “self-defense”. 

In the past, Dr. Samuels has incurred sanctions because of inappropriate conduct with a former client.  It is becoming apparent that Dr. Samuels has crossed the line of appropriateness with Jodi, and his appearance in court is slanted for her benefit and not as an objective evaluator. 
This struck me with the sickening familiarity of how narcissists have the ability to charm a professional assessor to the point of disregarding the reason for the assignment.  

The same captivation occurred in my own custody trial, where my former spouse charmed the guardian ad litem to the point of writing a report full of contradictions.  So enamored was she, that she testified that she did not feel certain exhibits or investigations “were necessary”.  Chillingly ironic, these were the same words used by Dr. Samuels in the trial of Jodi Arias.          

The GAL in my case ignored the 50 pages of journal entries I gave her in support of my sole care of my children and an abusive husband.  She deemed them “unnecessary”.  Also needless was knowledge about the woman my ex was living with, even though she would be caring for my children.  The crux in her report was a statement, “Robin’s friends had nothing to say about J, as he was never home.”  This followed his claim that he was always home and the only caregiver for my children.  My journal entries were filled with pages of how upset I was when he chose to spend time with his friends away from the house.  How could she deem this unimportant?  This is how a professional can get reeled in by the compelling act of the narcissistic sociopath.

Dr. Samuels has seen the gruesome pictures from the murder of Travis.  I have seen them as well.  Looking at Jodi Arias and hearing her soft voice, it seems impossible that she bears that kind of evil.  But the pictures alleviate any doubt of the sociopathic core this woman possesses.  Dr. Samuels has the same quandary as the GAL in my custody case.  He is torn between a charming, attractive woman and the unforgivable result of her actions.  But, he has allowed his attraction for the narcissistic sociopath to cloud all logic, enabling him to twist the facts enough, turning this villain into a victim. 

In contrast, when a GAL, judge or family worker are ignorant of the allure of a narcissistic sociopath, they routinely turn the victims into villains; doling out the punishment of losing custody of their children. 

I am hoping my workshop at the Battered Mothers Custody Conference will bring attention to these injustices in our judicial system, and ultimately stop the victims from being punished just for seeking justice.