Since the last round of my “Custody War” with Luc (my ex psychopath), I have thought a lot about the flaws in our legal system. I run the events of the trials (“battles”) over and over in my head. I still can’t understand how such a disordered man like my ex can be allowed to have unsupervised access to a child. I know it is not healthy to think about it so much, but I can’t help it when the thoughts creep into my head. I keep trying to put my finger on why this process left me so incredibly disturbed.
Even after hearing disturbing testimony from several of Luc’s previous victims (who graciously agreed to testify against Luc during my Custody War), I couldn’t shake this feeling that I was looking at an empty human-like shell that slightly resembled the man I thought I loved.
During the opening and closing statements of my Custody War with Luc, my attorney described Luc as “The Man Who Never Was”. As I am a child of the 80’s, I didn’t understand the reference my lawyer was making at first. He explained to me that he had taken this phrase from the title of a 1956 film that was based on World War II. In summary, the film was about “Operation Mincemeat”, which was a 1943 British Intelligence plan to deceive the Axis powers into thinking Operation Husky, the Allied Invasion of Sicily, would take place elsewhere.
(Stick with me here, I promise that this has relevance for even those non-history buffs.)
As part of this attempt to deceive the Axis powers, the operation involved dressing up a human cadaver and creating a fictitious story around a man who didn’t really exist. This whole thing was an attempt to manipulate the opposition. Unfortunately for me (and my son), I believe this analogy may have gone completely over the judge’s head. In the past few weeks, however, I have thought more and more about this analogy and I think it may resonate with many who have been in similar situations with psychopaths.
Though Luc is most certainly “the evil” in this scenario, his deception against me was like his very own version of “Operation Mincemeat”. His objective was money. He had run through his previous victims and needed a new income source. He would find his target, listen to her hopes and dreams, and create the story for his “cadaver” based on her version of Prince Charming.
Family Court can be incredibly intrusive. Many people (who aren’t dealing with psychopath ex’s) likely decide to settle out of court so that they can save themselves the expense and the relentless exposure of their personal lives. That being said, this “exposure” only really applies if you are playing by the rules. For example, I provided the court copies of my taxes, bank statements, pay stubs, property information, and a complete history of my education and family background.
Luc, on the other hand, remained “The Man who Never Was” throughout the entire trial. His lies seemed to evolve and morph as time went on to further prove that not only was he “The Man who Never Was” to the court, I wasn’t even sure if HE knew who he was by the end. He presented clearly fake tax statement and pay stubs for a job he has never held. The court, however, accepted these documents as truth and never questioned how a man got to be middle aged without ever having a legitimate job.
The reality of Family Court is ugly. It takes a special person to be able to see through the smoke and clouds that psychopaths create in the courtroom. From what I have seen, most judges do not appear equipped (nor do they care enough) to filter through the lies and deceit in order to protect these innocent children. Why then do we waste the time and money to go through the court system if these psychopaths are not going to be held to the law and forced to present proven and factual information?
A Media Example:
Just as I was pondering the above analogy, one of my friends posted the following link to her Facebook site.
While the term “psychopath” was never used in this article, the point that stuck out for me was how Actress Kelly Rutherford explained that she STILL did not know who her ex husband was. After his U.S. visa was revoked, a judge ordered Kelly Rutherford’s children (American citizens who had been born and raised in the US) to live in France with her ex because he was unable to travel to the US to see them.
Family Courts in America are in crisis.