THE BATTLE for SHARED CUSTODY of THE DIVIDED STATES OF AMERICA
by Leslie Caveny
I haven’t been the same since discovering that the man who lifted me out of my loneliness and into his arms was a sociopath conman who loathed me. The fall from cloud nine was devastating and psyche-shattering, but now that I’ve come through it, I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. Okay, that’s just bull. I would trade it for a whole bunch of things, like actually getting a happy ending, or world peace. But I learned a lot. And during my search to discover how I could have been so fooled, I heard horror story after horror story of loving parents losing custody of their kids to their con artist abuser ex-partners because the judges deciding custody were fooled by these master manipulators just like I had been. And as the midterms approached, I thought, wow, this election is kind of like one of those custody cases. Then, I thought, no it isn’t — it is one of those custody cases. Our Country is the Kid, the Democratic Party is Mom, the Republican Party is Dad, and we, the voting public, are the Judge, tasked with deciding which of these two estranged parties really has our country’s best interest at heart. And I hope we don’t mess things up like those judges did and send our kid off with the dangerous parent unprotected. Judges aren’t required to read up on malignant narcissists and sociopathic con artists, and neither is the public, but if I could get them to understand just one thing about these master manipulators, it’d be this:
LACK OF CONSCIENCE IS THEIR SUPERPOWER.
Imagine you’re playing poker, and while you have to adhere to the rules, and can only draw three unseen cards, your opponent gets to flip through the deck, plucking out the cards he needs for a Royal Flush. Clearly you’d be at a profound disadvantage, just like those of us with a conscience are at a profound disadvantage when dealing with malignant narcissists. While our consciences dictate that we live by a certain set of values, they’re free to do whatever it takes to win. So the first superpower advantage of the conscienceless? Having a gazillion options we don’t have. Great for them. Super bad for us. Because those options include everything from lying about the size of your inauguration crowd, to poisoning your husband or choking your wife, to ordering the executions of your enemies. The only thing preventing some of them from using all their options is the threat of facing consequences, which is why every day that the Republican-led Congress fails to hold Trump accountable, Trump becomes more dangerous, just like domestic abusers become more dangerous every time a judge opts to just let them go.
The second advantage of this superpower is its ability to make the guilty appear innocent. If I got caught telling even the tiniest of lies, I’d emit a ton of guilt vibes. These guys could get caught shooting somebody in the middle of 5th avenue and not emit a single one. They can’t emit what they can’t feel. So when they falsely claim their spouse is the abuser, not them; or that Hillary is the criminal, not him — we instinctively interpret their lack of guilt vibes as evidence of truthfulness or innocence. As long as they look “normal” and aren’t slashing people up, we don’t stop and think, “hmm, I wonder if the reason he isn’t emitting any guilt vibes is because he has no conscience.” Meanwhile, the actual innocent party, the one he battered, is emitting vibes that make us uncomfortable because in her desperation to be believed, she keeps leaping up screaming, “He’s lying, your honor!” or “Not my President!” So there he is, and there Trump is, calm as can be. And there she is, and there we are, looking unhinged. And while some will think “Wow, look what he’s done to her,” others will think, “Yikes, what’s her problem? Better give the kid to Dad.” And that’s just the way he planned it.
Deciding custody is hard. Even for King Solomon who proposed cutting the child in half so both could have a piece. But when one mother leapt at his offer, he knew he’d found the sociopath. Well, here we are again, and we don’t need Solomon to know if Dad would leap at this option because he already has. He’s cut our kid in half.
Two years ago, when Dad was granted full custody (the Presidency, the House, and Senate), Mom held out hope that he’d allow her visitations, but “Nope,” said Dad, “Don’t like you, don’t need you, and neither does the kid!” And while it’s been beyond painful having to watch from the sidelines as Dad turns the kid she loves into a weapon to be used against her, it’s also given Mom the opportunity to get hip to Dad’s tricks. She was never the monster Dad said she was, or the foreign-born fanatical leader of a terrorist organization, and she’s done taking the bait. So now she’s back in court asking for a role in her kid’s life, weekends and holidays, so she can protect the kid from the man she hardly recognizes anymore. Maybe Dad fell under dark influences, or maybe he was always this way and she just refused to see it, but of one thing she is certain, Dad is dangerous.