Since interpersonal conflict and self centered, abusive behaviors are two of the criteria seen in parents with narcissistic/borderline personality disorder traits, it’s not surprising that when people with these traits divorce, their custody cases dominate family court dockets. Parents with this high conflict personality are abusive and unable to resolve conflict in a healthy way. They cannot collaborate, co-parent or mediate. They also do NOT follow court orders. These parents do not come to court to get help in making decisions that are in the children’s’ best interests; these parents come to family court to win custody at all costs. The children are trophies to be taken away from the other parent to “prove” to the world that they are the better parent.
High conflict parents know how to win in family court and it has nothing to do with parenting, children or doing the right thing. They keep the court focused on the other parent, casting him or her as the “bad” parent; the unstable parent and the abusive parent. They blame the other parent for the family’s problems, while blatantly sabotaging efforts for the children to have a relationship with the other parent.
One would think that Family Court Judges would impose consequences on a parent in their courtroom that repeatedly violate court orders and teaches their children to do the same. In addition, one would think that Family Court Judges would not be influenced by the “he said, she said” of a parent who accuses the other parent of everything they can think of but never has any evidence to back up those accusations. But that is not the case. Family Court Judges consistently ignore the abusive parent’s lawlessness and dishonesty and then gives that parent placement, often because of the Silver Bullet.
High conflict parents with narcissistic/borderline patterns
of behavior will do anything to win custody
including using the Silver Bullet.
The Silver Bullet is when a parent or child makes false allegations of abuse about the other parent. These parents know that as long as they “claim” the other parent is abusing the children, the courts will suspend custody or visitation with the other parent until the claims have been investigated. They also know that the public will pay for the investigations and even if the accusations are unsubstantiated, just the accusation had caused skepticism about the other parent.
The abusive parent uses the suspended custody time to psychologically abuse the children into aligning with their story (if they haven’t already). Abused children are helpless to get away from their abusive situation and will “bond” with an abusive parent because they are afraid of him or her. Sometimes children are afraid that they will be punished if they don’t do what the that parent wants and sometimes children are afraid that the parent will abandon them if they do something that he or she would not like. In either case, Judges consistently read this fear driven connection between the abuser and his or her children as a “healthy bond.” Their mistaken perception is further reinforced by assuming that if a child rejects a parent then that parent must have done something to deserve it.
When I was still in family court, my children brazenly told me exactly what they were doing. My daughter, who really did NOT want to be breaking the law, confessed to me that she “had to lie in court” because if she didn’t, “dad would go to jail.” In addition, my son explained if he didn’t reject me and treat me bad, “his father would abandon him.” Falsely accusing a parent of abuse may be called the Silver Bullet, but it is deadly when a child pulls the trigger. The supposed children’s “voice” is what ultimately sways Family Court Judges to leave or place the children with the abusive parent.
When abusive parents use their children to lie in court to hurt the other parent and get placement, it wounds all of us; the children, the fit parent, the justice system and society. But, based on the high profile cases of Tsimhoni and Worlfers, it is obvious that very few people understand this type of abusive scenario. The general public have been dangerously misled by the media on both of these cases. The media has only explained the situation from a very superficial level and they generously omit pertinent information and thus have come to the wrong conclusions.
The saddest part of this whole charade is that as a mother who lost her children to their abusive father, I can clearly see that my ex-husband and both women have the same abusive patterns of behaviors. It’s just creepy that 3 parents with no connection can act in such predictable ways. None of them could collaborate, co-parent, mediate, or follow court orders. All of them deprived their children of normal developing lives; to play, go to school, attend dances and develop their own personalities. They all disobey placement orders so the children were only exposed to their view of reality. All three exercised rigid psychological control so that the children will think that their first priority is to “protect” their mother (or in my case father) by lying under oath, hiding in secrecy, breaking laws, and accusing us (the other parent) of doing things we never did. None of the three parents could accept the evidence that the other parent was NOT abusive. Worst of all, these two mothers drove their children’s father out of their lives, just as my ex-husband drove me out of the lives of my children. The pain almost killed me, the complex grief and PTSD still linger behind every corner, as I am sure it does for the other fathers.
It was hard for me to accept that mothers could be as heartless and abusive as my children’s father. I use to think that only men could be so cruel and callous as to hurt their own children. But the two high profile cases have proven that women can induce their children to shoot the Silver Bullet, just as easily as a man.