Why did you say never ever do this? I know it's not going very well, but what is the risk I am taking? Thanks.
Thanks. Given the high cost of court I was hoping mediation would work and heck, maybe it still will. I was pretty alarmed by the *never ever mediate with a narcissist* comment but given the way my lawyer has set it up and the type of mediator we have (private, very skilled), I feel like it is the best possible scenario and not too panicked that I am not on equal footing.
I also feel like the mediator is pretty sympathetic to me. He is an ex-judge and has seen it all. Also STBX has displayed some of the very traits I brought up privately to the mediator at the beginning as things I am concerned will hinder our ability to co-parent (majorly understated). Mediator is "disappointed" that after his heart-to-heart with STBX about how he is to act, he continues to push the line. It seems like every person who meets this narc has to experience that at least once for himself. Each person thinks that if they just choose the right words, he will understand. He tells them he does/he agrees. Then they are befuddled when he totally disregards them again and again. Then they wonder, didn't we just have that conversation? I could have sworn we did...
For what that's worth.
I don't think STBX is going to get the kids, nor do I think he is trying to. He admits having trouble caring for both at once. He is extremely low-functioning and unemployed. It won't be hard to make him out to be a deadbeat and possibly even someone who intentionally messes with me, but I swear from what I've seen that only goes so far. Courts don't really care, ultimately - Dad is Dad no matter how opportunistic or lazy he is. I'm just trying to build in as many controls as possible so that I have legal recourse when he pulls stuff in the future.
I should know next week or so if mediation is going to produce a settlement. And I'll make sure every little itty bitty thing discussed and "agreed" to becomes part of the final order.
The mediation meetings taking place separately and via phone and e-mail. So that helps me feel like I'm on equal footing. I have told the mediator every single one of my concerns and a lot of history (including very telling e-mails from STBX) so that he knows that there is much more to this than may initially be evident. Helping him have the info he needs to see through this narc's heavy act.
STBX has of course tried to make me look crazy (that was obvious by his response to the restraining order) and that will probably be his main tack if we go to court. He produced letters from people saying I have a temper. In the beginning I periodically got mad at STBX for very legitimate things, but mostly just suffered quietly once I realized there was no talking to him. It looks like what he did was tell these people a horribly exaggerated version of those instances and made himself out to be a victim. That is basically what the letters contained - horribly distorted descriptions by people far away whom he only talks to by phone - along with many actual blatant lies (for SOME reason one friend even said he is the primary caretaker and does everything but breastfeed!) OMFG what a hoot! I don't think anyone's gonna buy it. I have letters from people who have actually been in our home repeatedly and witnessed typical days and evenings. They speak volumes. I would probably be thinking psych eval at this point but they are so expensive and I'm not sure the final conclusions would be considered all that relevant given that he is not trying to gain full custody. Who would really care that he's narcissistic and developmentally arrested if he's just doing visits?
Ive been thru this to. He had the mediator feeling sorry for him. Remember keep your cool. If things dont go the way you want then end it. Good luck.
I ended up telling my lawyer no and I was done and I didnt like how this was going. She even said she felt it wasnt going well.
what will happen is he will play act / pretend to be ohh soo effected by this separation / divorce ... oh this is all so new to him he never wanted this and it's all your fault.
Then he will pretend to agree things in the room with the mediator and unless u get it stamped and approved by a court IT MEANS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
He will then take u for every thing u have - financially and emotionally and blame u for the whole thing.
he will say u are "UNSTABLE" and cannot be a fit mother and therefore he will get the kids... but his only reasons for wanting the kids is that he will get child support from you.
he gets the image of being the perfect father .. or at least one that has been so terrbily treated by his pshycho ex,,, he gets the money... he gets the house.
MY SUGGESTION: Do not EVER admit you are suffering PTSD to him or his solicitor or ANYONe who is on his side.
deal with the PTSD with professional help but keep it a secret to his side. he will ONLY USE IT AGAINST U.
Your kids need u and they will be better off with you.
DONT LET HIM WIN!!!!!!!
Love ... and take care of YOU
I WILL Survive.
You mentioned getting diagnosed with PTSD as a means of avoiding being in the courtroom with the narc.
But won't being diagnosed with PTSD make a person look weak or compromised (and therefore not as able to assume child custody perhaps)?
I think I probably qualify for the diagnosis but have not wanted to seek it for that reason.
For all I know, my therapist has already scribbled that on her note pad, though.
"Pathologicals only discard the best, most precious of gems of people... not the worst. They despise the strong, principled, decent & honest. Their discarding of you is then their highest commendation of your worth!" - A.V.
Thanks. I'm reading now.
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