Dear Lady Liberty,
On 10 January 1998 I sat at the window seat of KL 691 trying to get a glimpse of Lady Liberty, the promise of this wonderful new country where I was enrolled in a prestigious PhD program.
I was trembling with excitement. I was in my early 20s and the world was my oyster. With just 2 suitcases and my dreams I landed in this wonderful and beautiful country.
After about a year I met Ex and I have to admit now, I kissed the wrong frog. I kissed the psychopath frog, and he did not turn into a prince.
Psychopaths are exceedingly charming, it is clear from our whole divorce proceedings that our female judge and female GAL are absolutely smitten with Ex. And so was I. It wasn’t until the end of the marriage that I, like Little Red Riding Hood, started asking questions, and no longer took the lies, gaslighting and manipulations for truth. The spell of the charm was gone on the 8th of July 2011 when I kicked him out of the house. O, and how he has held it against me that I kicked him out during the proceedings. The rage, he was insulted beyond. How dared I do this to him.
Hervey M. Cleckley wrote the ‘Mask of Sanity’ in which he describes the elusive psychopath, the master deceiver, who secretly possesses no moral or ethical restraints, yet behaving in public with excellent function.
Like a snake charmer mesmerize the snake, the psychopath with his/her superficial charm enchants the victim with the determined focus of a predator on its prey. Through a web of blatant lies, subtle lies, lies by omission, half-truths and truths the psychopath maneuvers its victim to where (s)he wants them to be.
And so did Ex. He knew from the get-go that 50/50 as a father was likely the best he could do through court. To him that was not a problem, as he would from there on proceed to full custody through the children, aka ‘Parental Alienation’. During the divorce proceedings he worked relentless on them.
And he succeeded with the court. I rejected an offer from the judge, where the children would spend 6 months of the year with the father first and then 6 months of the year with the mother.
Nobody familiar with Parental Alienation would take this idiotic proposal in consideration. This offer would have assured the bond between 1 parent and the kids would be broken. The judge assured me that she ‘would make sure the children were allowed to contact me’, despite a 2 year trail of evidence and admittance by Ex himself, that the children were not allowed to contact me, or talk about Mom, that the kids would be punished with a time-out if they failed to obey.
Six months are a long time without contact with a parent for a toddler and young child.
But both the judge and the GAL were smitten with the idea, Ex had cleverly maneuvered them in an advantageous position for him. Probably how he did during the marriage, like it was ‘my’ idea. Both the judge and GAL lost sight of the best interest of the child and had become puppets of the psychopath, they were enchanted. Ex could not conceal his victorious smile walking out of the judge’s chambers. I had no idea what had happened, but it send chills down my spine.
In criminal court these manipulations can not happen to the same extend. Apart from the Judge, there is the jury and the rules of evidence and sentencing are strict. Family Court is ruled by subjectivity. The Family Court judge becomes the ‘trier of fact’, in my case giving credibility to the parent who scored 2x the standard deviation above the norm on the Lie Scale in the MMPI. The seductiveness of charm; throwing away objective data to succumb to the psychopath.
It is in Family Court that most Life Sentences are given, ironically not Criminal Court. The lower standards and rules of evidence favor a bias, where subjectivity determines what happens to the child.
Do I regret my marriage? In a strange way I do and I don’t. For one, there are 2 beautiful kids and I wouldn’t want to have missed out on them for the world. Furthermore, not the marriage, but the divorce has grown me as a person. I wish I had learned my life lessons in a different way, but that is the past.
Standing in front of you last weekend I realized that what I dreamt of when I landed on JFK I have become. I’m happy, I have inner freedom. My dream is not over just yet, there are so many more promises to fulfill. On to the future!