Trusting Your Gut

Intuition, or gut instinct, is the most powerful natural protective mechanism that we have. – A quote just about everyone would agree on in theory

While just about everyone will admit at some point in time that instincts are a good thing, most of us are taught to also question them.  We learn from a very early age not to wrongfully judge others, to be kind and loving, and to avoid being a mean person.  I used to love walking closely behind Prince as he walked through the mall.  He was like a little barometer of goodness.  He would naturally gravitate toward people who put out friendly and positive vibes, and would avoid people who have him the willies.  By avoid, I mean that he never seemed to care if bad people were insulted by his screaming and he never thought twice about running away from someone who scared him.  For example, Prince cried every time he saw Luc.  One time he cried so long that he started to hyperventilate which forced the visit to end early.  Prince’s gut was fully functional. Prince was a special little boy, but his instincts were not unusual for a child.

When I was a teenager, I went on vacation with my family to Europe.  My sister was about seven years old and was easily scared.  While we were in Paris, my brother and I were teasing her about how when we went to the Notre Dame Cathedral she should be on the lookout for “Quasimoto”.    (Note:  For those who don’t know the story of Quasimodo, he was born with a hunchback and feared by the townspeople as a sort of monster.)  Just as we left the cathedral, my sister ran smack into a scary looking old homeless man.  In true seven year old fashion, she ran away screaming and crying about how she had just seen a monster.  Of course, my entire family was completely embarrassed and my parents explained to my sister that it was wrong to judge this man because of how he looked and was dressed.  About five minutes after my sister’s very public reaction to this man, we noticed that he was going around pick pocketing unsuspecting tourists.  While my parents’ hearts were in the right place, I think my sister had a very protective instinctual reaction that was not simply based on how this man looked.  While the rest of us felt bad judging him based on our gut instincts, my sister was right to run away from him because he gave her the willies.  She did what most seven year olds would do to protect themselves – run away screaming.

 

Ignoring your gut:

Everyone reading my blog likely knows by now that my life has recently been filled with all kinds of bad news drama.  Some of you might still be wondering how in hell a woman like me got mixed up with a serial killer.  While I recognize that my story is on the extreme spectrum of badness, there are a lot of important life lessons that are useful for even the less extreme situations.  I have spoken before about how I met Luc online (mistake number one – noted).  Our phone conversations had gone well and he seemed to have an interesting story (because it was just a story); however, when I first set eyes on Luc something deep inside me told me to run.  The hair on the back of my neck stood up, and he just plain gave me the willies.  That feeling in my stomach, sadly, was not butterflies – it was God sending me a sign and telling me things were not right with this man.

So why didn’t I turn around right there in the mall and leave?  Why didn’t I just stand him up, make up an excuse, or just disappear and never answer my phone again?  I didn’t run because I ignored my gut.  I was a good person who didn’t want to be mean by telling him he gave me the creeps before running in the opposite direction.  By ignoring those initial instincts and sticking around for that first date, I allowed him to dig his evil claws into me and disarm me with his charm and all out love bombing techniques.  It only took Luc a few minutes to squash my gut.

Unfortunately, after I initially ignored my gut with Luc, it became a bit of a slippery slope.  There were moments when that gut feeling would come back, but because I didn’t have solid evidence to explain why I had these feelings – I continued to ignore them thinking that maybe I was the one overreacting or just “being mean”.  When I was pregnant, I ignored my gut thinking that maybe I was just hormonal.  There became a point where I had defended the idea of Luc so much in my head, and to doubtful and rightfully skeezed out friends, that I felt invested in something I should not have even entered into.

 

Things that inhibit your gut:

In the past, I have cautioned my readers against internet dating.  I am going to take this a step further to say that with the emergence of technology, we often enter into situations that inhibit our ability to have that initial gut instinct.  For example, con men in other countries run online schemes swindling innocent people out of millions of dollars without ever having to face them in person.  It is easier these days for predators and criminals to hide behind a computer screen.  Luc was incredibly successful at finding his targets on the internet.  He would not have been this successful in person.  The nonverbal cues that people give off help us determine whether or not they are genuine.  When you don’t have the opportunity to assess these cues, you start out at a disadvantage.

 

The price I paid:

Ignoring my gut instinct was what initially allowed me to fall for a con man, but the sad reality is that once I figured out my mistake – and realized how terribly dangerous Luc was – the courts forced me to ignore my instincts when it came to Prince.  The Judge chastised me for having had a child with Luc, and appeared gleeful at the idea that I would forever be punished – now  forced to ignore my maternal instincts and turn my son over to the man who had conned me.  Prince only survived three visits before on the fourth visit coming home brain dead and cold.  Every single time I said goodbye to my son before handing him over to Luc, my gut would scream bloody hell.  My instincts at this time told me to run.  I had gotten as far as getting Prince a passport, and was actively thinking about places I could go and hide.  Unfortunately, I had ignored my gut for so long that the courts took away my ability to legally follow my gut.  I knew that I couldn’t break the law without becoming a fugitive, end up in jail one day, and lose custody by default.

Sadly, I know there are many parents who will continue to face this painful reality.  I wish I could provide you with the wisdom that would make it easier to endure.  The only possible advice I would offer you is not to let the court make you believe that it’s in your child’s best interest to ignore your gut.  Try not to let years in the system make you numb to those instincts that might one day save your child.  It might feel easier to ignore those instincts when you are forced to turn your child over despite them.  Play the game because you must, but don’t ignore your best defense against evil – instincts.

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Happy medium:

I am not suggesting that I should have run away screaming and crying when I saw Luc the first time (though this would have likely been better than sticking around).  Instead, I am suggesting a happy medium between the screaming child and my adult reaction.  Had I to do all over again, I would have slowly backed away and ducked into a random store in the mall.  Then, I would have ignored his phone calls or just made up some excuse why I couldn’t make the date and never again contact him.  Sure, if for some reason you cannot escape a bad situation without running and scream – by all means channel your inner seven year old and scream your head off.  Most of the time, however, we find ourselves in situations where we can easily choose to walk away when it doesn’t feel right.

Right after Prince died, my body felt like it was shutting down on me.  I was a perfect target for predators because, frankly, my gut didn’t work right.  I have since realized that there were several people who came into my life, and tried and capitalize on my devastating situation for their own personal gain.  Luckily, I am starting to come out of the initial fog and have noticed things about these people that have led me to back away slowly before running away (screaming only in my head so not to cause a scene).  It has proven somewhat harder to run away from a person you have initially let in; however, it is not impossible.  At the end of the day, it is not mean to cut someone off if by doing so you are protecting yourself and your children.

I will forever have little lessons Prince taught me.  The lesson of “trusting your gut”; however, is one that Prince reminded me of.  When I was Prince’s age, I also had a healthy gut that I managed to ignore countless times as I got older and started to overthink every single situation.  While I am not advocating making a snap judgment on a homeless person who may have fallen on hard times, I am advocating for not ignoring your gut instinct about someone just because you feel bad and have been taught to give everyone a chance.

If I ever find myself at the steps of the Notre Dame Cathedral with my future child, and we see Quasimoto’s stunt double trying to rob innocent people, I will grab my child’s hand, swiftly walk away, and say, “Mommy has the willies baby.”

 

Comments

  1. Dear CQ, thank you for these wise words of caution. You are so right about how we’ve all been taught to ignore our instincts. I’m just so sick at heart knowing you paid the ultimate price for being a good person and doing the right things. Many of us have ignored our guts and gotten into situations or relationships that were downright dangerous, but few among us have had to pay the terrible price you have. I’m glad your fog is beginning to lift and you’re learning to trust your gut. You are an inspiration to many. God bless you.

  2. Cappy, I was born a trusting soul, and have been hurt many times simply because my gut reactions are slow to kick in. To say I don’t trust a person feels wrong to me. As if I am being less than a Christian person. I was very fortunate that no one ever hurt my children. Once, when I was in my early 30′s there was a man I didn’t feel right about. Not someone I was close to, but knew enough to want to distance from but had no solid reason to. I warned people who was allowing them into their lives. They didn’t listen and a few months later the guy sexually assaulted their 4 yr old. Since then I have found my gut, but it is still a weak indicator. Now, I trust my dogs. If my dogs don’t like people I am careful about how close I allow them to become.
    I agree with you 100% about Internet involvement with a person. It is just too scary.

  3. Hera, we all have a good working gut and we’ve all deliberately ignored it for the reasons you’ve listed and more. I can still hear the voice track in my head that goes something along the lines of “you’re lucky any man is even looking at you let alone talking to you, how dare you reject him”. I look back on that with the question of Is THAT all I’m worth in this world? Thus, absolutely no apologies from me that I’m teaching my kids to listen to their gut, learn to be diplomatic about it, but to get away fast when someone (even a family member, especially a family member) makes them uncomfortable. Trust your gut, use your brain, take care of your heart.

  4. Excellent post. I too have often ignored that gut feeling, but no more! Isn’t it weird how we can look back and see the red flags we ignored? I know there were many I overlooked in the beginning with my ex con. I am teaching my girls to always watch out for red flags in any relationship. I hope they make better choices than I did.

    You are such a strong brave women. Prince was very lucky to have you as his mama. I commend you for keeping up your fight. I am sure he is proud of the work you are doing now. Your posts give me hope and courage that someday this broken system will stop and realize what a danger some people are to their children. I am looking forward to they day that parent’s rights take a backseat to innocent children’s rights!

  5. Christine says:

    I wish I would have channelled my inner seven year old and screamed bloody murder all the way out of the damn church on the day of my wedding. My “gut” was in such turmoil that day. I came within seconds of telling my sisters in the bathroom of the church that I was scared and to please call me a cab and help me escape. I had ignored a few “red flags” during the courtship because I wanted to believe he was telling me the truth about himself. But two weeks before the wedding saw some really scary big neon “red flags.” Still, I ignored them. Don’t ignore your gut! I truly believe my gut was in turmoil that day and for the two weeks prior to the wedding because God Himself was warning me. I paid dearly for not obeying Him.

    • cappuccinoqueen says:

      Aww Christine, don’t beat yourself up. I am sure there are many women and men who wish they had run screaming on their wedding day after they discover that they have been ignoring some huge red flags. I am sure that now that you realize that your gut was working just fine, you will be following it in the future. I know I will.

      • Christine says:

        Thanks Hera. It’s amazing but even after the hell I endured with this psychopath, I ignored my gut again and hired a psychopathic lawyer for my divorce. Can you believe that???? I hired a demon to help me extricate myself from the devil!!! The guy ripped me off to the tune of $25,000 and did nothing to represent me or to protect my interests in the divorce. I ignored my gut this time because the guy was recommended to me by a friend, so I figured my gut must be wrong. Can you believe that????? But, I can honestly say that I’ve finally learned and I will never ignore my gut feeling again. And I will teach my children to never ignore their gut feelings, or intuitions because I think they come straight from God and are there to protect us. If I could teach them one thing and one thing only about avoiding these monsters, it would be to trust their own guts.

        • cappuccinoqueen says:

          Christine, sadly….there are a lot of psychopaths in the legal profession. That is why I advise folks to find a domestic violence group and get a referral from them because they will have vetted the attorney. :) Don’t worry, I made the same mistake…went through several attorneys and wasted tons of money.

          • I didn’t realize you had been taken by attorneys as well. I know it fails in comparison to what Luc ultimately did to you by taking your precious son from you, but does it make you feel like you were further victimized? That’s how I feel. Like being raped twice… you hear that sometimes from rape victims. They say that the court system was a secondary assault. Yes, I was warned that lawyers cannot be trusted, but I’m such a fool. I thought it can’t really be that bad. But it is that bad. I wish I would have asked the domestic shelter folks to help me with a referral but I avoided them because my ex is a psychologist in this small town and he’s well known by the people at the shelter. It was a lousy situation with him being a doctor in a very small town. Oh, well. I survived. I’m broke, bankrupt really, but I have my kids so I have nothing to complain about. I’m sorry to even complain about such things with all you’ve gone through, but I do hope that something I say here will help someone else. I wish I had better advice to follow when I was going through it all. Thanks for often responding to me and my troubles. It’s awfully kind of you. I sense how much you want to help others and you are so kind to do so.

          • cappuccinoqueen says:

            Christine, yes…I do feel like I have been taken advantage of or “raped” twice. I think Legal Abuse syndrome gets worse when you encounter bad attorneys. The verbal abuse that I suffered through by several attorneys is disgusting. And don’t worry about complaining. What you have been through is terrible. I have said many times. Pain is pain. It is impossible to quantify pain. When Prince was still living, I was so thankful to have him…but I was still in a lot of pain because of what was happening to me. At the time, even though I WAS very lucky to have Prince and be spending that time with him…I thought I had forever with him. Even though I knew there were people who had lost their children, and I thought that would most certainly be terrible and worse…that didn’t make what I was doing through at the time any better…to think that it could be worse. In fact, I had an attorney try to tell me that I needed to stop complaining because nobody was dead. Well, now my son is dead and I look back on those times and I had every right to complain then as I do now. Hang in there Mama. What you are going through will certainly cause some battle wounds, but you will be one strong Mama when you come out of this on top.

  6. Dear capp I read every blog u put out. I’m a mother of 2 girls.. I get a felling my boyfriend dose not like my older daughter… he is all ways yelling @ her. I want to leave but scared of what the out come of this will be. Any advice

    • cappuccinoqueen says:

      C, from what you just said…it sounds like your gut is telling you to get the hell out. Is this man the father of your daughters? Whether he is or not, abuse is abuse. If you believe you are in an abusive situation and you are scared, you need to do what is best for your girls. My suggestion is that you find a domestic violence organization. If this man is dangerous, you are going to need support. Also, make sure that you talk to friends and family (only those you trust) and let them know of your plan so they can help keep you safe. Finally, if he is the children’s father…get an attorney because you are going to be in for a fight. Please feel free to email me at cappuccinoqueen@rocketmail.com if you would like to share more specifics anonymously. Take care Mama and stay strong!

    • Christine says:

      C says,

      There should be no fear in a love relationship. If you fear him, you are not safe with him and you need to find a safe way out. I agree with CQ. See if there is a safe shelter in your community and go talk to them. They will be able to give you sound advice about how to get out of the relationship safely. Your girls need you to be strong and to protect them. If he’s yelling at her now, that abuse will probably escalate over time, especially if you get married. Now’s the time to get out safely.

  7. Cappy, I wish you had had a dog. The dog would have warned you, and the way he would have treated a dog would have shown you the kind of man he was or wasn’t. I hope you will consider a furry companion in your life to halp you with those gut feelings. There are shelters all over that have beautiful animals needing loving homes. My dogs have never been wrong about people. I have heard cats are much the same way. My dogs are Pit Bull … a smaller verson of a pit is a Boston or Frendch Bull… they are very in tune with who is good and bad too.

    • cappuccinoqueen says:

      I do have dogs! LOL And my dogs used to growl at Luc. That was another sign I clearly didn’t pick up on.

  8. Christine says:

    C says,

    I forgot to say this… Early in my marriage I confided in a wise friend. I told her that I felt unsafe with my husband. He had never physically assaulted me, but he was emotionally abusive. I was very confused. She told me that the reason I felt unsafe with him is because I WAS UNSAFE WITH HIM. Those were very wise words but it took years of abuse before I really understood what she meant. If you are afraid of him, you have good reason to be afraid of him. Your gut is telling you that you are not safe, and neither are your children.

  9. Olga Rodriguez says:

    Hera,
    Great article! I recall a quote from the movie “The girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” Martin Vanger (the villain) Says to Mikael (the investigator) “It’s funny how the fear of offending is greater than the fear of pain. You knew something was wrong. You knew you would end up strung up in the basement. Yet you came back. And all I had to do was…offer you a drink.”

    Young girls are often told to be nice and polite; we seriously need to touch up with them on “Gut Feeling and Intuition.” Of course every person needs to be aware of this but I specify young girls because I work with young girls.
    The key is to follow that initial gut feeling. If we overrule the first one then we are in for a big heartache and a maze where we can’t find a way out!
    In my situation with the guy I used to date; I definitely had that gut feeling and oh how I wish I would have saved myself the heartache! Even his own friends would warn me about him!
    I love your articles Hera!
    Hugs,
    Olga
    Olga

  10. A growl or slinking away from the person but maintaining constant observation of the person is their way of letting you know not to trust the person. Yes, I have ignored my dogs too. One woman had her way with my husband, a man broke into my home and stole my jewelry. I now live in a bad situation and my dog wants to attack the other person who lives in the house. I HAVE to get OUT of here, but am disabled and am trying to survive on $400 a month. The really bad part is my dog is a Pit Bull and trying to find a place where I can take him is going to be rough. The good thing is, if anyone tries to hurt me they will be seriously injured.

  11. Prince's Grandma (Damma) says:

    I think our guts were working just fine after you left that creature. The correction I would make here is that the legal system (judge, lawyers, police) TRIED to make us ignore our instincts on what we thought about Luc and what he would do to the baby. I remember being told by your lawyers that I was the problem that things weren’t going well with the visits. They gave me a psychologists name and told me to have family therapy with this psychopath. Since we are law abiding, we were given no other choice than to be under constant fear for Prince. I remember being on high alert for almost 2 years. We knew how bad this could get, noone would listen.

    • cappuccinoqueen says:

      Well, and in “Damma’s” defense…she hated Luc from the beginning. I remember the first time you met him. We were in an elevator in my building. Luc was making his best attempts not to catch your eye. You were staring him down. Almost immediately, you told me that he looked like he was trying to hide something.

  12. It’s the “LAW”… I feel like we have made so many LAWS that we have become a lawless society in a sense.
    As “Captain Jack Sparrow” said…. “The problem is not the problem, the problem is your attitude toward the problem”. THAT is how I see our laws… When a Judge chooses t allow his common sense to rule because “the law is the law” It makes me sick of our system. Where kids are concerned, it seems to me that decisions should be made based on law, common sense and logic.

  13. I think some adults, many children, and a lot of animals are more sensitive and intuitive than the rest of us to the evil that these psychopaths keep hidden from plain view. I have two friends whose young children were terrified of my ex husband. One used to call him “that big bad daddy” and he’d run and hide the minute my ex walked into the house, even though my ex had never been alone with this child and had almost no interaction with him. Another one of my friend’s told me that her child was uncomfortable around my ex and would not come to the house if he was home. Another of my friends told me that her husband was afraid of my ex and would not allow her to come to the house to visit me anymore because my ex “scared the sh*t out of him” even though there had been almost no interaction between them. It was just a gut feeling that this guy had. A babysitter of mine also quit abruptly after her father found out who my ex was (they worked together). After I finally got out of the relationship no less than half a dozen people came to me and told me that they had a “bad feeling” about him, or that they were afraid of him. These people were listening to their intuition, and it served them well, because he is in fact dangerous. I just hope the new girlfriend I’ve heard he is seeing listens to her own gut and doesn’t become his next victim.

  14. Stillhere says:

    CappyQ,
    You are so blessed to have Damma. She is exactly correct about those involved in these cases. I remember your posts when you were being abused by your lawyers and nobody could believe the things they said to you but I experienced the same from mine almost verbatim at times. You wanted to believe all would be ok and had faith that the system would work.

    The supervisor of drop offs sounded so much like the woman I was ordered to take my daughter to for her first meetings with a stranger at 10 almost 11 years old, her father. He was meeting her for the first time straight out of prison! Because he behaved in prison I had absolutely NO rights to protect her. I fought hard and she, well, she has had her heart broken in ways no child should ever experience. Our lives went from helping others and karate 3 times per week while working as a team full of hope and joy to multiple court ordered reunification therapists and psychologists we previously had not needed in our lives and complete chaos. They messed with our minds our hearts and our guts. All that I taught her is a jumbled mess now.

    I look forward to your posts and always hope to hear you have inspiration in your words even if it is for justice. You are an amazing woman and a wonderful mom and person. I can imagine you doing the same for your children as Damma did, in the future when someone sketchy is hanging around.

    Thank you for sharing your struggles with us and your wisdom.

    • cappuccinoqueen says:

      Stllhere, its cases like yours and mine that makes me wonder if this system IS fixable. Fresh out of prison?!?! Oh good lord… I really think that Judges should be forced to think about whether or not they would leave their children or grandchildren with these people. My lawyers would always say, “well I would never have to make that choice because my daughter didn’t decide to have a baby with this man.” That is the cop out of the century. Whether or not they agree with my choices, that didn’t mean crap for Prince.

      I really think the court needs to stop lumping parents together. For example, in your case…I bet the judge looked at your child’s father having just come from Prison and said, “well, the mom can’t be that great either so who cares.” I say “NO!” You were doing a great job for ten years and then all of a sudden the court felt the need to introduce a jail bird into your child’s life because he had a genetic match. I’m so sorry. I hope that your situation has gotten better since the beginning of the visits.

  15. Until the day my Mom died at age 88, she still had that radar. Ppl she warned me about and I thought she was just being “Old and silly” have since proven that Mom was right.

  16. Being a felon should be like a giant alarm bell going off in the minds of psychologists. They are only ones with the power to diagnose these people, but they do not. Judges are the only ones with the power to stop these people, but they do not.

    Its not like Luc was the first psychopath to walk into Court for a crime or a divorce. Am I the only one thinking the legal system and the psychologists ‘appointed’ by the Court are protecting themselves instead of the public? Isn’t that the purpose of the Court? They order psychological evaluations all the time, but the diagnosis of psychopathy creates no kind of modification of ANY kind? Its bizzare how neither the Courts nor the psychological professionals will take this problem.

    A felony is a real easy way to screen for psychopaths and it creates no red flags with the Court because felons become fathers. According to the research, 24% of the inmate population can be diagnosed as psychopaths. Where is that Database? How do I find out who those people are?

    The Gun Debate also is calling for better mental health screening. Gee, do you think psychopaths might make that list? Dr. Hervey Cleckley, who wrote the first book of psychopathy called it a ‘conspiracy of silence’.

    • cappuccinoqueen says:

      Madmacks, the hard part about this is that by the time people become Felons…they have usually committed many terrible acts already. Luc wasn’t a felon because he had never been caught. He was suspected to have killed people and had been arrested for several terrible crimes, but he had never been convicted. Some of the worst crimes he committed, he had never even been arrested for. So yes, its easier to pin being a felon as a reason to question a persons mental status….but what about all the people who are stealthy criminals?

      • Not only that, but these psychopaths are master manipulators and often can pull the wool over the eyes of the doctors and social workers who examine and test them. My ex used to tell me, “I can beat any psych test out there.” I think many of them can.

        • cappuccinoqueen says:

          Christine, you are totally right. Mine just charmed the therapist and she just ended up doing and saying whatever she wanted. She is probably still waiting to be paid the money he promised her to come into court and lie for him.

  17. Cappucinoqueen,

    The stealthy criminals are the worst because they abuse, lie, manipulate and actually are allowed to get away with it because no one will stand up to their ‘bad behavior’ or reports it.

    The thing about psychopathy is that it can actually be diagnosed without actually meeting the person ‘if there is sufficient collateral data’, according to the creator of the PCL-R checklist.

    The problem is that the public does not know what to report and there is no central ‘mental health’ database to report any mental health issues to. The lawyers all have attorney-client privilege so they don’ t report anything they see and the doctors are also protected by HIPPA laws and confidentiality,so they can’t report either. The two groups of people that have the highest probability of crossing paths with a psychopath are legally prohibited from communicating behaviors that could be used to identify psychopathy. Ooh, that just made my head hurt.

    So, in order to identify the stealthy psychopaths the public would need to be educated on what to report or not report and there would need to be someone to collect the reports, independent of the legal and medical system. Ideally, there would be a privately run, national mental health database that collects private reports by victims/targets and cross references criminal databases and court records. A private company would simply collect data and let the patterns speak for themselves.

    Even if there was a database that collected and profiled the data and these people were actually identified, what should be done next? Take away their gun rights? Lock them up?

  18. CQ, you’re exactly right about the stealth factor. Of course that’s inherent in psychopathy. That’s what makes them so hard to identify.

    And Madmacks, I love your idea of a private company with a mental health database, combined with educating the general public about what to look for and – more importantly – what to report.

    Unfortunately, we all know the ACLU would all over that as violating individual rights. Even worse, they’d be correct to some extent. It may not be violating an individual’s rights to report his/her psychopathic behavior, but the collector of that information would be violating rights when they reported a pattern. And as you asked, even if all this *could* be done, what happens next? SOOOOO frustrating!

    So. Back to the “family” court system. There has to be a way to identify & document this dangerous behavior to at LEAST protect children from dangerous family members. There HAS to be. A process which validates dangerous traits and rules out the retaliatory accusations of “scorned” parents (the ones who *aren’t* dangerous, haven’t and never would hurt their children or anyone else, but who have been falsely accused of terrible things by their exes, by manipulating non-custodial parents’ rights to their children). (And I believe that children should be protected from parents or other family members who wrongly accuse the other parent of wrong-doing – just as much as our children need to be protected from those who *do* abuse their children, whether it’s physically, emotionally or mentally.) Somehow or another there must be a way to sort this out. But how many more precious souls do we have to lose in the meantime? It’s downright sickening.

    • cappuccinoqueen says:

      Peg, see this is where I feel we are failing as a country. I am all about individual rights, but not when it comes to an extreme price on society and the rights of those around the person. For example, should sex offenders be able to say that disclosing their location in a database is violating their civil liberties? One might argue that it does, but who cares….its for the greater good right?

      I think if someone is coming into family court and the judge needs to entrust them with a child’s care – the safety of that child comes before the parent’s perceived civil rights.

      Psychopaths are a danger to society. If someone is identified as being a violent psychopath (though if they are good at it they probably will escape this label), they should be on the same sort of registry as a sex offender so that people can keep themselves and their children safe.

      Luc had been profiled by the police department before Prince died. The results of this profiling were kept secret. The police knew how dangerous he was and while they waited and tried to collect more information to charge him with two previous murders, he went on to murder his own son.

      What good was that stupid profile? How many people would have been offended if the rights of a serial killer were harmed? Prince certainly wouldn’t have cared. In fact, he would have grown up to be thankful for a system that was able to protect him from his criminal father. Instead, Prince is in the ground and Luc’s civil liberties are intact.

      • The police department profiled him??? How did you find out about that? Profiling is a great idea, if the persons doing the profiling are superbly trained and possess impeccable character. Too bad we can’t have profilers in the family court system.

        • cappuccinoqueen says:

          Yes, they profiled him. I found out about it after the fact. And even if I had known while I was in family court, they wouldn’t have shared their concerns with the judge. That being said, we did have an officer come to the court…all the way from another jurisdiction to tell the court about her concerns about Prince’s safety while with Luc. Judge Algeo in his infinite wisdom, however, felt as if even her presence was “smoke”.

          • Now THAT is astounding. An officer comes into the court from another jurisdiction and testifies of her concerns and the judge considers that “smoke.” Sounds like he was too mentally lazy and indifferent to sort through the facts and circumstantial evidence and instead just labeled it all “smoke” to give himself an excuse to dismiss it all. What a crying shame.

      • I am with you 100%! It may not have sounded like it as I played devil’s advocate (pardon me while I throw up), but I am in total, complete agreement with you. What about a CHILD’S individual rights??? Why don’t THOSE count?!? Shouldn’t those be the MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE in family court? I sure Judge A-hole would argue it was in Prince’s best interest to spend quality time with his father, without prejudice, blah blah blah. And look how that turned out.

        It seems to me that in this country today, the individual rights of a few take precedence over the individual rights of the majority all too often. Rarely does it make society better. Or safer. Or even more “fair”. :-(

        • cappuccinoqueen says:

          Peg, I totally welcome devil’s advocate ;) You are right though…it is all about parents rights and the court most often completely forgets about the Child’s Civil Right to a happy and healthy life. IMHO, this is what should ALWAYS come first. The court should always imagine their own child being in the situation and think about what they would want for their child. If there are things in the parent’s lifestyle that scream that they are not healthy and not fit…the judge should not be afraid to tell that person that they don’t trust them and that they don’t care about their parental rights.

          Sure, children do have a right to know their parents…I could get on that train of thought; however, not at the expense of their safety. Had the judge forced Luc to see Prince in a safe and monitored setting, Luc would have walked away. Luc was in this for the money. He saw a payday in my son and that was that. He didn’t care about spending time, he didn’t want to teach him things….or be a good role model. He wanted money. Period.

          If the court took the time to really get to the bottom of parental motives children would be safer. It is not that hard. People show their true colors with their actions all the time. For example, Judge Algeo could have said, “So Mr. Lucifer – you are here before me crying about how much you miss your son. How come you didn’t ask to see him for the first three months of his life? How come you aren’t trying to go out and support him financially? How come you aren’t willing to stop exploiting women so that you can be a good role model for your son?” That wouldn’t have been so hard would it? Instead, Judge Algeo fell into Luc’s trap of fake tears and thought that my son really needed to spend a day at Chuck e Cheese with this man he barely knew.

  19. CQ, I could not agree more that a child’s right to be protected should come well before a parent’s civil rights to that child. To me parenting is a privilege not just a right. I don’t think the court views it that way unfortunately. I cannot understand why the court did not see what others saw in your case. What more did they want???? I remember you saying that you guessed death was the only way they would ban his visitation, guess you were right about that.

    It makes me sick to my stomach! I hope you continue on making noise and bringing light to this huge problem so many other people face.

    In my battle with my ex I have told my friends and family if I or the kids go missing they know the first place to look. But what good are words when the worst has already happened? This is why something needs to be done before another tragedy occurs like yours.

    • cappuccinoqueen says:

      D., it is incredibly sad that you have to think like that (“…if I or the kids go missing they know the first place to look.”) That being said, its reality for so many people. I said similar things like that when Luc was roaming free. I had actually written hundreds of letters to Prince while he was still alive. I was so afraid that Luc would kill ME for money and that Prince would never know me. I am sick thinking about how it is the other way around….he killed Prince for money and I will never know Prince. Prince, however, wasn’t even old enough to say “I love you Mama” let alone write me letters.

      Sadly, it is my understanding that Shawn Mason (the first woman who turned up dead around Luc) actually went to the police and said something similar (…you know where to look). She asked for a protective order (not that having one would have stopped a murderer) and instead of granting it, they told her to keep a journal of all her fears. Then, not too long after that…she was “found” in her apartment with a bullet in her…”found” by Luc….oddly.

      • I used to watch a lot of true crime stories on tv (48 hours, America’s Most Wanted, etc.) and it is simply astonishing how many women turn up dead who had told friends and relatives, “If I go missing or turn up dead it was {my husband, my ex, my boyfriend}.” I’ve said that to many friends and family members. I’m just fortunate I got out alive. I still think I could turn up dead and if I do it was him, but I think I’m safer now that the divorce is over and he got everything he wanted.

        • cappuccinoqueen says:

          Leaving Luc in July 2011 saved my life. If I had stayed, I truly believe I would have turned up dead….or Prince would have died sooner because he would have had more access. When I left, I prayed he wouldn’t come after us…the day I learned that he was going to fight for custody….I knew me and my son would never be able to live happily ever after. One of us wasn’t going to make it. I was right.

          • My heart aches for you and what you have been through. I think you are very brave and should be commended for keeping up this blog to help others.

            I know in my battle I sometimes feel like screaming at the top of my lungs to get the powers that be attention to please look at what is going on. I have compared divorcing a sociopath to someone diagnosed with cancer who cannot get treatment, just waiting around for something bad to happen with nobody to help stop it.

            Right now the kids and I are safe because he was arrested, then let out on bail but has an ankle monitor on. Someday that monitor will come off and who knows what he will do then.

            In the course of our divorce he was court ordered to get a psychological evaluation done. The doctor that did it came back saying he had no empathy for others, no boundaries, blows up when overwhelmed, has anger management problems and that he needs long term therapy and a psychiatrist to evaluate him to help him manage his emotional equilibrium. This man is still walking around free either plotting his revenge on me or looking for his next victim. What a scary picture.

            Even with this psychologist, who was chosen by him, he is still fighting me for custody. He has even took me to court accusing me of parental alienation after his evaluation. This is the point where I want to scream at the top of my lungs and wonder will it ever stop.

            So, if you have a report like that in the courts hand, one would think it would be an automatic custody decision, one would think it would put an end to court battles. In your case they had a profile on luc and look how it turned out for you. It is so scary. I terrifies me he will someday have access to our kids alone. In the meantime I will keep going to court to try and protect us while he drains me financially through court battles. What can you do? Just keep on doing the best you can. Now I see why sometimes women disappear rather than try to do it the legal way.

          • I’m so sorry. That’s a terrible thing to be right about, but it reflects what this blog post is all about; our intuition. It’s often spot on. I’m quite sure I got out in the nick of time. Poor little Prince. You did all you could to protect him, but it just wasn’t enough. It should have been and would have been if the family court system would wake up to the reality of psychopathy.

      • Yes Hera, I do believe he would have killed you, no question, he has killed three times. I always wondered if he ever plann to kill the older son, I wonder how much insurance he had on him?

  20. There would always be those who KNOW what to report, and would be reporting people to hurt the person’s image and create possible problems for them. Seems to me that Doctors SHOULD be made to report these people the same as they must report possible child abuse… ESPECIALLY if these people have a close relationship with children.

    • Doctors don’t want to get involved. I learned that shocking reality when I got copies of all of my medical records for the last 10 years. NOTHING was recorded in my file about the psychopathic behaviors of my husband despite numerous occasions when I had discussed it with doctors. One of my chart notes read, “patient complains of relationship issues” after I had cried my eyes out in the exam room about the emotional abuse and threats and intimidation that my ex using to control me. Relationship issues???? Seriously! She just didn’t want to EVER be called to testify so she conveniently neglected to chart what the visit was really about.

  21. I’ve been angry for years, that a child’s rights are never considered. I have known of children to become physically ill when they had to visit a parent, or had to return to the home of the custodial parent. A child should have a lawyer to speak for the child’s rights… When there are cases of abuse, or even fear of abuse, there should be someone to investigate the parents involved.. and I don’t mean what we have for social services.. those people already have a table full… We need a court system with its’ own investigative team. People who have the ability to READ what is going on. No child should ever be put in danger because THAT’S the way the LAW is written. BULLSCHIDT!

  22. I am sitting here watching the news. It amazes me how quickly the police can act with major force when one of them has been threatened or killed. I am also sure that justice is very different for someone who enters family court and has a personal connection to a judge or lawyer.

  23. In spite of what people would LIKE to BELIEVE, there are many chovenist Judges who are calling the shots while pretending to be IMPARTIAL… BULLSCHIDT. By the same token, there are female judges who like to suck up to the man… no clue if it is something sexual, or if they might be afraid of the man. GOD only knows.. What I do DO know, (well what I believe) is that there should be specific Judges well trained in handling family court. One that honestly cares about the children.

  24. April Eltringham says:

    There is a book called The Gift of Fear that talks about how women have been socialized to ignore their instincts and to be “helpful.”

  25. I’m so sorry for what you have gone through. I was also conned by a sociopath and know its horrors. You are not alone. There is nothing to be ashamed of. You did your best.

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