Narcissists evoke our anger and ire. Why? Because they refuse to enter into relationship with us. They place themselves high above and so oppress. This oppression leads to abuse, and in my case, the family court is used as a proxy of abuse.
Am I unreasonable and therefore need the intervention of the court into my daily parenting affairs and decisions affecting my children? Am I incapable of seeing their lives as a whole and doing what is best for them? Oh hell no. But I am triggered by lies and gaslighting. I learned a long time ago that being obsequious and accommodating did not work to make anything better and in fact, it just made me hate myself. A one-sided relationship is going to be one-sided. Better to use it to learn to set boundaries.
My ex has filed a total of six motions in the past month. Yesterday, he saw me and “benevolently” asked how I was doing. He feigned concern of course. He always pulled for contradiction. When we went to marriage counseling, he wanted to work on our marriage while preparing for our divorce. He absolutely realizes that filing motions is a dick move, is abusive on his part since he has all the money. So for him to ask how I am doing is worthy of ignoring. It just highlights his disorder.
But it got me thinking about family court. I read that oppression “enables those in charge to have access to control resources and choices, while making those labeled as inferior vulnerable to poverty, violence, and early death. It is a set of processes, actions, and ideas that hinder the oppressed from exercising their full freedom of choice and having access to resources. These systems of inequity operate at internalized, institutional, Credit: Wikimedia Commons 7 and interpersonal levels to distribute advantages to some and to disadvantage others. Oppression is the tool that preserves existing unjust social relations and protects existing monopolies of power/privilege. It responds with violence when those with lesser power and privilege try to challenge these inequalities.”
In family court, the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. I sat in multiple therapists’ offices, still unable to believe my ex was a narcissist. They’d get out their DSM and run through the criteria with me. “Exaggerates own importance”. Check. “Has unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment from others.” Check. “Disregards the feelings of others, lacks empathy” Double check. “Takes advantage of others to reach his or her own goals” Check. “Shows arrogant behaviors and attitudes” Oh my lord yes. Check. “Is often envious of others or believes other people are envious of him or her” Check. The other traits are there to a lesser extent but they are still there. And he lacks remorse. Even though I had physical proof in the form of his list, I took a long time unraveling what that meant for my life. And my dad was one too, albeit a different flavor. And my ex’s whole family was basically a den of them, puppeted by the one who holds the pure strings. Even among narcissists, there is a power hierarchy.
But when I get into family court, no one cares that he is disordered. They treat him as someone equal to me in capacity to make decisions for our children, even though he is disordered. Then, because he is a man, it becomes a preference for his demands and the courts give in. Everyone in his life enables him to be disordered, including family court. My heart has hurt and cried out over this injustice over and over. I feel for my kids for whom this will be normal, and who don’t completely get it. I do not lie to them, but I will not speak ill of their disordered parent.
Part of me doesn’t blame them- my children or the courts. I mean, I married him. Clearly something is wrong with me to end up with someone that disordered, right? No. Part of the disorder is being able to charm and present well. I was, in every way, given a sales job. That’s what they do. They can snow anyone.
However, it doesn’t make it right. To me, this is the crux of the oppression in the world. #Metoo is awesome but it covers up the fact that there are no support systems in place to receive women who are triggered by #metoo, to adequately punish and demand restitution and restoration from abusers. In fact, it becomes re-traumatizing for some as they watch the women be doubted and the men get off relatively scot-free.
I live this reality every day. The sexual abuse is abuse of my capacities as a woman. I am seen by one man and his family to be someone of lesser value and capacity, and so they take resources from me even though they are rich. They pull the woman card, while simultaneously making themselves out to be a victim of me. It is the most dysfunctional, fucked up situation. And I still get triggered that the therapist and deacon in the group do not see their own hypocrisy in their support of harm.
It pisses me off.