In the past few weeks, I have received many more emails from women (no men yet) who are facing what seems like impossible situations with the father of their child/children. Given what has happened to Prince, it has been hard for me to find the words to advise others who find themselves in similarly horrifying situations. I fought through an impossible situation for 15 months, but even though I gave it my best shot – it didn’t end well for me and Prince. My baby boy died during one of the first times he ever spent alone with his father.
While to many my story is uniquely horrifying, I have come to find that it isn’t as unique as it should be. Sometimes after reading similar stories over and over, I start to think as if there is some playbook of psychopathy that all these crazy men are reading. I say this because even though we are all different in some ways, some of the terrible things these men do are sickeningly similar.
Many people love to judge women for falling for psychopaths, but I am here to tell you that none of these men are going to walk up to you – punch you in the face – and then ask for a second date. Most women who end up in abusive relationships (be it physical, emotional, or a combination of both) can’t even understand how they ended up in the situation when its all over. The burning question on many of my reader’s minds is this: what do you do once you realize that you have been sleeping next to a monster and you now share a child? The unfortunate reality is that you only have a few options and none of them are good.
1) RUN: If you realize the man is a monster early enough, the safest option is to back away slowly toward the door. As soon as you get through the door safely, run as far and as fast as you can and make sure you hide in a place where he cannot find you. If however, you have already entered into a Custody War with this person, this may not be a legal option. (Note: Even though it wouldn’t have been legal, I still wish I had chosen this option in order to protect my son. Hindsight is always 20/20)
2) FIGHT: Once you find yourself in court with one of these monsters, you don’t have the option to stop. By that, I don’t mean that you should get emotional and fight with your words or your fists. If you truly believe this man is dangerous (gun carrying, serial killer, drug user, mentally disordered, gang banging, or whatever else evil you can imagine) type, you can try and fight if you choose not to run. Most attorneys will not be prepared for the kind of crazy you are going to tell them, so start by contacting a local domestic violence group. They can give you free legal advice and refer you to an attorney who knows how to deal with psychopathy. If you choose this option, buckle down and get ready for a terrible experience. Family court is never fun and games and this is especially the case when you enter into court with a pathological criminal psychopath.
3) PRAY: If the first two are not viable options, sometimes all you can do is be the best parent you can be to your child and pray for them when they are with the disordered parent. The unfortunate reality is that in most situations, family court will not choose to protect your child if that means limiting the parental rights of the disordered parent. (Yes, this is crazy – but true) So if you have already considered the first two options, or have tried them and failed, your best bet might be to just be a good mom. Your child will need you to be emotionally healthy so that you can help them weather the storm of the disordered parent. (Note: At the point where I ran out of money and my attorneys would not file an emergency order, I tried this – it clearly didn’t work)
Psychopaths do not play by normal rules. You will find yourself playing a crazy and disordered game of chess with someone who might very well end up blowing up the chess board. There are many things I am proud of in my life -my son is one of them. I am not, however, proud of how many nights I spent stressed out over things I could not control. I would give anything to go back and rewind time so that I could try all over again to save my son. I would fight for him every single day and for the rest of my life. I don’t have that option now, but many of you do.
I come from a long line of strong people. My Scottish roots can be traced back hundreds of years. I am from the Clan McLeod. My son is a McLeod. When my son passed away, my father told me a story about how long ago when our family was still living in the highlands of Scotland there was a horrible tragedy. The rival clan had gathered around the McLeod church and burned all of them alive inside. Entire families were killed -women, men, children. The only people who survived were the ones who happened to not be there that Sunday.
If my family members who had survived had not moved on with their lives, I would not be here. They lived through a terrible situation and made sure to thrive in spite of it all. Our family motto is “Hold Fast”. This could mean many things, but to me it means sticking to who you are, protecting your family, and fighting for Justice.
So my advise to other parents who are living the nightmare that I have been living the past several years (since I met the devil himself), is to hold fast. It is your job to protect your child in any way you can - even if that means just being the strong and healthy rock they can come home to after surviving the chaos. For those of you, like me, who have lost a child (my unnatural or natural causes), you are still their parent and you must still hold fast in the fight to protect their memory and their legacy.