Archive for the 'Fathers Rights' Category

DIVORCING A NARCISSIST

Parting ways with a narcissist, regardless of whether they left you or you left them, is HELLISH!

It is a hellish and painful experience that leaves one exhausted – mind, body, and soul. They isolate you from all former social circles. Narcissists are charismatic and come across believable, while being adept liars who do so with no guilt or remorse. They tend to enrapture the court to their will.  They will make a false claim that requires you spend hours collating evidence to debunk. Then once you have evidence to debunk, the court will suddenly cease to care about the issue. Issues you raise of a far more serious nature will be ignored by the courts. 

I have had to deal with reports of my children being choked, sat upon, having their nose and mouth covered, and hear them share being called derogatory names.

Meanwhile, you will be attacked about everything. What you feed them. The quality of their poop. If you’re 5-10 minutes late dropping them off when they’re court ordered to pick them up, but don’t.

They will seem to be handed EVERYTHING with ease, and you will have to struggle and be exhausted to just retain the bare minimum.

It will feel insane. It is insane. Your heart will break. Your soul will crack. You will lose friends and be alone, because people will not understand.

They will just think (a) your divorce is just two bitter people who wont forgive  (b) that you just need to move on and ignore your ex – they do not understand that you can’t simply ignore things because of the court system. And that a narcissist ex never forgives and wages a constant and continuous vendetta.

Years after you have parted, when they have a new lover, new house, new car, while you’re struggling to just survive…they will still be attacking.

Years later they will contact or post utterly baseless statements on the walls of facebook friends that were your friends prior to marriage. You will think to yourself “why don’t they simply live their life, instead of focusing on attacking you” – but Narcissists do not know how to forgive. They will NOT be content to simply part ways. They are intent on your ruin. They need you ruined in order to justify their own actions against you.

You see, they view the time with you as lost, or more aptly, stolen by you. And you can’t restore that time to them. Therefore you will NEVER be forgiven by them. Narcissists need to have control (of their environment and those around them).  They also have need of being seen a certain way, and anything or ANYONE who tarnishes their image or puts it to question is immediately painted black.

They will create a version of you that they portray to others, in an attempt to justify their treatment of you. If abusive, the version of you cotinuously and deliberately did things to make them abuse you. It was your fault. If they abandoned you, they will seek your ruin so that they can justify having left you just in time.

Although routinely denigrated by the Narcissist and demeaned and called names, and perhaps even physically abusivr (be it occasional, as my cade, or routinely as in far too many others), the narcissist will attempt to portray you as the abuser and themselves as a victim. Garnering sympathy while simultaneously isolating you further.

NOTE:  Narcissists are instigators.  Don’t let the times they pushed you to react cause you guilt.  (I had to question a past ex, in order to get reinforcement and affirmation that in the year and a half we were together,  i was NEVER like what my dynamic with my Narcissist ex was like, nor what my narc-ex portrayed and claimed me to be like.)

Yes, even you may have done some of the same in retaliation or defense. same You may have shouted back or cussed them out too, (as i did), you may have even responded to physical attacks with the same (something i am grateful that i never did).  There were a few times after an argument that i kicked a trash can or slammed a door – i am not proud of those moments. And you likely are not proud of your moments of failure. 

However, please remember it is very hard to continuously endure such abuse and not be pushed to react on occasion. Especially as often the Narcissists entire goal is to push you to react so they can then swap blame for the situation onto you. That being a common Narcissist strategy, they pick at your bones continuously, starting conflicts over anything and everything. Small inconsequential matters are made into soul crushing criticisms. Then guilt and gas light you once they finally manage to push you to reacting. And most of this will happen in the shadows, happen indoors, not when people are around.

I call it church  door syndrome. My father could be a monster, and the drives to church were often the worst. But once we walked thru that doors the genteel polite helpful disposition was put on for show.  And a narcissist often will make a statement that will seem inconsequential to the others standing around, but will be a sharp stab related to the prior hidden conflict. So when you throw up your arms and exclaim “you’re done, you’ll be in the car” they will look to the others standing and sequester affirmation ” Did I say something horribly wrong? Or did she/he overreact?” And the Narcissist will be told nothing was wrong with their statement. They clearly overreacted. And the public image will be of the Narcissist’s spouse being at issue. Unaware that a subtle game of undermining was orchestrated by the Narcissist and that their seemingly mild words were in fact merely a fuse lit to set off charges they planted earlier. This is how Narcissists and the like work.

Narcissists rarely apologize. When they do, it is often for the sake of dropping the issue at hand. And if you attempt to inquire and discuss their action further, why they did it or how or hurt you, they will blow up on you and decry that their apology wasn’t enough. You quickly realize from the anger that they were not apologetic nor interested in your hurt nor remorseful for their actions, rather they simply wanted the matter dropped. I

Likewise, “Affection”  is meted out in controlled doses to reward, and withheld to show displeasure. Even asking for a kiss goodnight or goodbye can be refused, asking why will blow up into a confrontation. And you’ll be left to go to bed or drive home in a torn mental state having been belittled, criticised, and made to feel a failure. They will give you the silent treatment but not express why they are displeased. They will tell you nothing is wrong, while interacting with you in a way that is cold, harsh, and clearly says something is wrong. Because that enables them to control you, and leave you questioning yourself. You’ll think back to any recent situation in which you made a mistake or let them down. You’ll inquire of that is the issue. Their response “No, i already said there was NO ISSUE! But since you mention it.” (Having manipulated you into searching for and handing them ammo to now assail you.)

And if you think that separating ends these behaviors, you are quite misguided. Regardless of whether you leave them or they abandon you, they will use the divorce system to take as much as they can from you. Their idea of a compromise is, i gave into one thing and you have to give into all of mine. If you give them 90% of what they ask for, they still feel that they only got half of what they asked for, and less than they feel they deserve and are entitled to. And if you have children, you are cursed to 18 – youngest child’s age of being dragged into court and the entire family court system being a club they can wield against you. And since Narcissists tend to have a charismatic presentation, each time you have a new judge or court magistrate (which in my case is nearly every time) entails starting from scratch with the Narcissist immediately swoon them to their favor requiring you to have to spend hours of labor to defend from their accusations and substantiate your claims. The process will leave you feeling like Alice in Wonderland – all their accusations will seem to accepted at face value as truth, and any of your claims will be passed over.  Taking the high road, being passive, seeking an equitable 50/50 are sadly losing strategies when dealing with a Narcissist in family court.

This detail of what it is like to part ways with a Narcissist is based on my personal experiences as well as anecdotal observations of family/friends who have parted ways with a Narcissist. Sadly, i suspect that others who have similarly parted ways will relate to a large portion of what i have described above. 

It is my personal opinion that these behaviors are typical of  Cluster B disorders (Narcissist/BPD/sociopaths).

For those who have parted ways, be it spouse, significant other, parent, or a family member – do your experiences line up with what I have described above?

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The Scariest T-Shirt I Own…

A while back there was much debate as to whether Facebook was listening to conversations. Let me affirm that without a doubt, they were – particularly, if FB Messenger was open. People would express that they were talking about stuff and suddenly ads related to their conversations would appear in their Facebook feed. Others dismissed these claims as happenstance, and individuals just not recalling past searches and or viewing of related sites.

Let me share my tale, and I think it will settle that debate handedly.  You see, I own a really scary shirt…

But before I get to that tale, let me share a couple seemingly unrelated tales.

TALE #1 – My Kids Like Minecraft!

If you are like me, you probably grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons. Kids these days seem to be all about YouTube. They watch unboxing videos, 24 hour challenges, other people playing games like Minecraft. One of the popular youtubers is named DanTDM. My son was watching one of his videos titled “THE DAB MUST BE STOPPED!!!”. After which my son was running around the house shouting “Dabbing is banned! No more dabbing!” – until finally his older sister told him to shut-up already we get the point. Meanwhile, I was on my phone messaging a friend.

 

TALE #2 – Taking the kids to see an old friend who was passing on…

(a few days later)

I had just picked up my children for one of my weekly evening visitations [family court sucks, and desperately needs 50/50 reform]. My eldest daughter asked what we were going to do that day. I replied to her that we were going to visit an old friend of Daddy’s who was passing on. With sympathy in her voice she apologetically asked “What happened?”. I explained that I had known this friend since I was their age, and that well they had made some bad decisions, run into financial hardship, and one thing led to another. And we were going so that Daddy could say good-bye to his childhood friend.  (Deep heavy topic for children, I know….)

My son inquired if we would have time to do anything else during today’s visitation. I replied, probably not, explaining that it likely would take up the entire visitation time – to which my youngest daughter loudly exclaimed “THE WHOLE TIME!” and began to pout. My eldest chastising her for being inconsiderate of Daddy’s feelings.  As we continued our drive we passed by a Toys’R’Us, which my eldest pointed out as she asked “Daddy, did you hear? Toys’R’Us is closing!”  I replied that I had, and it made me sad.

This is when the gears in my eldest’s sharp mine begins to put two and two together. She pauses, and then inquires “Wait…Daddy, is this who you mean?”  To which I reply as I pull into the Toys’R’Us parking lot. “Ya, we’re going to see Daddy’s old friend Geoffrey Giraffe to say good-bye.”  Needless to say, my youngest had no problem spending the entire visitation time at Daddy’s friend’s place – especially as they were told that they each could have $40 to spend on clearance items.  My eldest bought a gumball machine, my son a light-up Kylo Ren lightsaber, and my youngest a beginner’s “pogostick”.

Bear with me, this will ALL tie into together. This tale also helps establish the context of the time period this all occurred (i.e. Toys’R’Us closure).

While meandering thru the halls of Toys’R’Us saying our farewells, my youngest her heart’s desire. During this time I was mostly just wandering with the cart waiting for them to finish their selections, watching the clock for when we’d have to leave in order to return my kids home, and chatting with friends on my phone.  “Daddy, daddy, puh-lease…..can I get it!”

“Get what?”

“That!” as she points to the large  display case with a huge plush “Rainbow Unicorn”.

I replied to her “You already have a lot of plushies, and unicorns, and I think the pogostick you picked out is really cool. Besides, it’s probably more than $40.”

“Please Daddy, but it’s a ‘rrraaaiinbbbbow unicorn!'”

As we approach close enough to see the price tag, sure enough it’s well over a $100. I reply to my youngest, “It’s way too expensive. It’s over a $100.” The soft sighing whimpers trail off “…but it’s a rainbow unicorn….” Soon after it was time for us to check out and return home.

The END (or so I thought)

TALE # 3: The Scariest Shirt I Own!

Now, I’ll be honest, if you told me a week before that these tales would intertwine, I would of likely told you I don’t even remember the first one – as I never would if not for Tale #3, which occurred a few days after Tale #2. I was scrolling thru my Facebook feed when lo and behold the following advertisement appeared.

That’s right, Facebook was showing me a T-shirt, with my then employer’s logo, featuring a “dabbing rainbow unicorn”.

Now, let me make it abundantly clear,…

I have never ever wanted a shirt with my work’s logo and a dabbing rainbow unicorn, nor even a shirt with a dabbing rainbow unicorn – EVER!!!

Let me repeat…

I have never ever wanted a shirt with my work’s logo and a dabbing rainbow unicorn, nor even a shirt with a dabbing rainbow unicorn – EVER!!!

I had never ever browsed or searched for a dabbing unicorn. Facebook Messenger had been actively listening while I utilized it. And what did it pick up? My son shouting about “dabbing” and my youngest daughter shouting about a “rainbow unicorn”.  Additionally, Facebook had my employment info from my profile.  That information was apparently made available to advertisers. And apparently a vendor with an AI process to compose potential T-shirt designs thought due to those keywords that I might want a T-shirt of my company with a dabbing-rainbow-unicorn.

I did NOT!

Though I did in fact wind up ordering the shirt with the idea of using it as part of a presentation on security in regards to social networks and socially integrated devices.  And that is how I wound up with what is by far, the SCARIEST T-SHIRT I have ever owned.

 

In Conclusion…

If there was ever any doubt in your mind as to whether Facebook was actively listening to your conversations, this should put that doubt to rest. THEY WERE!!!!

 

 

 

Karen Covy – you are wrong on so many levels.

“Equal Parenting” means exactly what it says.  Two parents share parenting rights, responsibilities, and time with their kids 50/50.

https://karencovy.com/shared-parenting-equal-parenting-new-laws/

“Research also shows that conflict hurts children.”
REBUTTAL: The periods of highest conflict and distress in regards to divorced children and two parents, are the periods of transition.  Equal 50/50 parenting allows a simple transition to happen once a week – that is 52 transitions a year.

Compare that to the present standard often allocated to fathers of every other weekend and one night weekly of visitation.
26 x weekend pickup
26 x weekend drop off
52 x mid-week visitation pickup
52 x mid-week visitation dropoff
TOTAL 156 transitions vs a mere 52 in an equal parenting arrangement, that is 3x the number of distressing transitions.

1. They establish a legal presumption of 50/50 parenting time.

“A legal presumption strips judges of discretion and requires them to “presume” that something is true. without any proof that it is true.”

In no way is a judge stripped of their discretion. The presumption simply mandates that a) the starting point for evaluating a custody case starts from an equal position b) that if a judge decides there are grounds not to award 50/50 equally shared custody, than the judge must be able to substantiate the reasons why they feel justified to take away a child’s right to have both parents in their lives equally.

“regardless of the facts and circumstances of their case.”

Completely untrue.  However, the facts and circumstances must be documentable and substantiated. Presently, this is not the case.  If one parent is an adept liar, they can simply make claim after claim with no requirement to provide any supporting evidence to substantiate the claim. Whom the judge believes becomes the winner – regardless of truth, facts, or the safety and well-being of the child(ren).  The presumption mandates that a judge can actually substantiate why they decided to believe one party over the other, what evidence led them to see a concern, and to mandate both from parents but also custody evaluators, etc. that any claims be substantiated.

2. They change the burden of proof.

“a preponderance of the evidence” versus “clear and convincing”

Why this change is necessary, because in family court a “preponderance of evidence” is often just “he said” or “she said”, and the judge believes them (be it because they’re younger, more attractive, a woman, etc., etc.) and routinely clear and documentable evidence is ignored in decisions.

However, since the burden of proof is set merely at a “preponderance of evidence” there is little ability to question a judge’s decision since the judge simply felt one individual to be more believable than the other, that can be deemed sufficient (despite that one individual favored by the judge repeatedly making false statements while the one disbelieved by the judge could of spoken honestly).

3. They change WHAT a parent has to prove in order to deviate from strict 50/50 parenting time.

As they should.  Imagine if we went back to the old patriarchy standard of custody, prior to changes enacted as women became more empowered politically and gained the right to vote. Fathers always received custody of the child, as they were deemed his heirs.

Currently, fathers almost automatically loses access to their children. Despite any concerns regarding the well being and safety of children in their mother’s care.  Fathers who are hard working, drug alcohol free, with no criminal records still lose to mothers who are engaged in drug use and criminal activities and repeatedly investigated by CPS.

How is that a system benefiting or protecting the well being of a child’s physical, mental, moral or emotional health?

“That is significantly different than requiring a parent to prove that having more or less parenting time is best for their kids.”

Why should I as an amazing dad have to prove that I have a right to be in my children’s lives or that my children have a right to have their dad equally in their life.  Reverse this, and you would decry the horrors of what fathers are subjected to continuously.

4. They require written court opinions.

The horrors, they actually require the judge to write an opinion justifiying his or her decision.  I mean, parents are forced in the court system (often by one selfish parent).

And to demand that after a father has spent $25,000 or more trying to be involved in his child(ren)’s lives, to expect a judge to actually write a few paragraphs justifying why they removed a father from a child’s life seems hardly a complaint.  Oh, and without that written opinion, it can be very hard to pursue an appeal. What was said? Did a court recorder record the opinion? How do you even get a copy.  Seriously, if the court cannot provide a father a written record of why it is taking him away from his children, than that court does not merit continued operation.

***

5 Ways the Proposed Parenting Laws Will Hurt Kids

1. The new laws put the parents’ “rights” above their children’s best interests.

No, the new law recognizes that it is a child’s right and in their best interest to have access to both parents on a regular basis. And that a parent’s gender is not the determining factor.

“What do children of divorce want? While the answer obviously differs from case to case, most kids just want to be kids.”

Funny you should ask that, because ALL my kids want their daddy in their lives a lot lot more.  All my kids want at least a return to the 50/50 equal custody we once had.  And if you want the truth, most kids want both mommy and daddy.  Sadly, in these cases that is NOT possible. So the next best choice (outside of any extenuating circumstances) is that the kids get parents 50% of the time.  ANYTHING ELSE, unless there are extenuating circumstances of abuse, etc. is a decision made against the children’s best interests, and usually against their desires.

2. The new laws endanger children in cases involving domestic violence, abuse, and neglect.

No they do not, any substantiated abuse or violence still has as much merit as it ever did. However, what it does is not allow is a wife who never had any claims of such abuse prior to suddenly after a divorce has begun (often because she’s chosen to be with another man) to suddenly claim and insinuate abuse without any evidence or substantiation. No accordance from any of the children.  And then under pressure to protect victims, enable the use of the courts to forcibly expel fathers from their homes, use restraining orders to prevent fathers from coming near their children – despite never having harmed their children.

At worst, it requires some sort of evidence to be provided. A record, history, child statement or testimony. ANYTHING….any single shred of evidence, regardless of how small.

At best, good fathers who have never abused their children or their spouses won’t have the courts utilized as a tool against them without cause. (The irony here is the presumption that fathers are the only danger to children despite many statistics that show abuse of children often is more common under mothers.)

3. Parenting research does not support the new laws.

“Depending on the study, “shared” parenting time can be anything from 25- 50% of time. Those studies simply don’t support the proposition that 50/50 parenting time is really best for the kids in all cases.”

First, the reason for the lack of in depth statistics on just 50/50 parenting time is due to the fact that the systemic bias of the family courts are so strong that there just are not a lot of 50/50 parenting time schedules.  The vast majority of schedules equate to mother automatically receives primary custody, father  is relegated to 2 weekends a month.

Nothing in the new laws prohibit appropriate parenting plans to be formulated. Nor do they say that accommodations cannot be enacted for newborn infants.  Rather, just that a case must be made and justified.

4. The proposed parenting laws will primarily be used by the people who are the least equipped to fight them.

“According to most experts, at least 90% of all divorce cases settle out of court.”
Why? Because most fathers are informed (and rightly so) that despite them being a superb and amazing father, that the mere fact they are male almost ensures that they will not be awarded even shared custody.
Do you spend $25,000 trying to stay in your children’s lives only to have nothing to share for it a year later. And if you do not have $25,000…then what? It is very hard for working parents to engage in a custody process “pro se”.

“The 10% or so that go to trial are the most difficult, highest conflict, cases.”
Often, only one party is difficult and high conflict. And they are seeking to use the court system as a way to destroy their ex-spouse and take everything they can away.

“Amicably divorcing people do not need an equal parenting law.”
True, but there are very few amicable divorcing people.  And it should be noted that BOTH need to agree to be amiacable, if only one chooses not to be, than it becomes contentious.

A presumptive 50/50 custody law would eliminate many cases that are brought to court merely for vindictive reasons. It will prevent one spouse viewing the court system as a way to take away everything from their former spouse (children, home, earnings, etc).

“As everyone knows, litigation is expensive. Fighting your divorce case in court can cost tens, or hundreds, of thousands of dollars. Yet, the only way to challenge the proposed equal time requirement if your spouse won’t agree to a different schedule, is by fighting in court.”

And what do you think one must do today?  No different…except presently, it is often based solely on gender.

5. The proposed parenting laws will dramatically affect child support.

OMG, both parents will be obligated to work and/or take care of their children. The horrors.

“While adjusting child support based upon time spent with a child seems fair, most men still earn more than most women.”
Most men work more hours, which is then used against them in custody court to justify taking them away from their children’s live.

Oh, and a little insight…EVERY state has laws and calculations that are designed to balance out any imbalances in income.  So even if a mother earns $25K/year and a father earns $50K/year, and are awarded 50/50 custody by presumptive default.  That does NOT mean that dad has twice the $$$ to raise the kids with then mom. Rather, the equations go thru and adjust the child support to balance out the income due the children.

What is seldom ever addressed is that if a mother chooses to not work or to work part-time in order to be with the children more, they will earn a reduced income, this then equates to the father a) losing custody due to working b) having to pay the mother more because she has chosen not to work.  Yet, even when it is the father who was the stay-at-home parent and the mother the bread winner.  Custody is still often given to the mother and the father suddenly obligated to get a job and begin paying child support.  Yes, this is about nothing but gender.

“Women therefore argue that if their support is reduced based upon parenting time, they won’t be able to make ends meet.”
Funny, you used the word women. Thank you for admitting this is really all about protecting a gender biased system that just happens to benefit women. One in which a man loses everything, the children he loves, the home he helped build, huge portion of his earnings, and then is held under the threat of incarceration and jail.

“Tying child support payments to parenting time causes many divorcing parents to put their kids in the middle of a financial tug-of-war.”

Funny, because presently, a father can pay child support and the mother can disregard court order after court order and refuse to let the father be in his children’s lives.  Yet, ironically, despite being in contempt of court, this behavior almost never garners jail time or even the threat of jail time.

***

The Proposed Equal Parenting Laws Are Not the Answer
“They will not put the children first in any situation.”

Ironically, they will put more children first than our current system. But perhaps you should talk to my children and get some insight.

“Right now, most laws don’t explicitly favor mothers in custody or parenting battles. But, as a practical matter, in many places there is a judicial bias in favor of keeping kids with their moms. That bias, as well-intentioned as it may be, is not helpful.”

And I think it is ironic, that in other areas, the solution of civil rights matters has been to pass legislation that protects equal rights.  Yet, here, you argue against such a protection. Meanwhile, children are left under abusive mothers, being abused, pimped out, even killed. While loving fathers don’t even have a chance at custody.

“How much time kids spend with each parent should be for the PARENTS to decide.”
Seriously? This is the dumbest line in your whole article. Firstly, it contradicts your whole argument above about being the child’s interests and not the parent’s interest.

Second, if both parents want the most amount of time with their children possible, than the only fair balance is 50%/50%. You’re arguing against codifying that for the very specific situations in which the parents cannot come to an agreement (because of either one or both parents).

Why should it not be for the children to decide?  The children get the least say. Were my children listened to, at the very least they would of have had 50/50 custody, if they had to choose one parent, it would of been daddy.

“The judge’s decision should be based on the best research, as well as the individual characteristics of each family. It should be based on gender neutral laws applied evenhandedly to all.”

IT SHOULD. BUT IT IS NOT. SO IT NEEDS TO BE FIXED!

“How can we really do what’s best for these kids?”

If you don’t think I have asked that question a bajillion times. You really do not understand this issue at all.


February 2023
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