I have always maintained that my battle was not with my ex-husband…it was with his entire family. Left to his own, my ex would have probably faded away because the reality was, he never wanted to be a dad and when afforded the opportunity to step up to the plate, he failed at every turn. I find this is the case with the majority of parents that I speak to – the battle is about winning, control and going for the healthy parent’s jugular (their children). Just today, I’ve spoken to two women who are battling not one personality-disordered individual but their ex’s entire family. It shouldn’t be shocking that the very people who produced these disordered individuals would be driving the high-conflict bus. Is it that they want a second chance to raise a child and get it right this time? Is it that they too think of the child as nothing but a possession…an extension of themselves. Is it an opportunity to hurt someone (you) who is now on the outside of the dysfunction and is a threat to the family unit? Probably all of the above.
One thing that I know for sure: I will never allow myself to stop being shocked by the lengths that these families will go to. I believe that if you are not stunned by the dysfunctional behavior, that you have probably become calloused to it and that my friends, it what is wrong with the majority of family court professionals. I will never allow myself to be calloused to dysfunctional behavior. I am continuously shocked by the stories I hear and the one I am personally living.
My ex-brother-in-law, Jason Robert Porter, was arrested on June 23, 2016 in Paso Robles, California. On June 24, 2016 around 11am, the family transferred their home into a “family trust.” He was bailed out two hours later (he was re-arrested weeks later and remains in jail). If one of my family members had been arrested for molesting a child, you would find me sedated and in the fetal position. The last thing I would be worried about is protecting my assets. I recently, I discovered that my ex-in-laws are down in Central America with plans to relocate there – 3,000 miles away is far enough for me and definitely helps them to remain in denial about the reality of their son given that the case has now made the national news. While I may continually be shocked by this family, I will never be surprised because I expect nothing less from them.
Love, light and lemonade — Tina
Tina Swithin is an author (Divorcing a Narcissist series and The Narc Decoder: Understanding the Language of the Narcissist) and founder of One Mom’s Battle, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to providing support to survivors and educating the family court professionals on Cluster B personality disorders. Tina has dedicated her life to empowering those on the battlefield of the family court system through her many resources such as her books, The Lemonade Club, her annual retreats, and her coaching practice.