When you cannot lose as a mother


Breaking up with a highly toxic ex is no walk in the rose garden. That much is certain.

Every now and then, mothers who find me only after they have already gone through a veritable odyssey in court write to me saying, “I wish I had found you right at the beginning! Then I would have been spared a lot.”

And then they describe to me the sequence of events of the inconceivable. If I draw up a flowchart across such narratives, it looks something like this:

  • The breakup is peppered with hateful threats from the ex à la “I will destroy you!”
  • There are very quickly in rapid succession traumatizing court cases, in which all others do not recognize how pathological-toxic the child father ticks, no matter what the mother says and describes;
  • The fathers quickly create facts by separating the infants from their primary caregiver – the mother – and making it difficult for outsiders to get a clear view of the situation with brazen lies;
  • Several changes of counsel take place, the first characterized by indifference, muteness, missing of important deadlines and, above all, a naiveté in the assessment as to the toxicity of the adversary, the results of which continue to trouble the mother for years afterwards;
  • There are several expert reports, often with biased experts, that give harebrained examples of methodologically questionable explorations;
  • The involved guardians ad litem do not keep to their mandate and influence the judiciary on what they think is in the best interest of the child instead of reporting on the will of the child and often behave in an overbearing and presumptuous manner in expressing their opinions;
  • There are rotating youth ministry staff, gladly younger fresh out of college; • Over time, these mothers had to go to -zig neutral mediators and parenting counselors who still believe in the good in people, which, when you have a devil for an ex, is hard to take;
  • Several trips to the higher court including cashing in on bad rulings at a higher level;
  • In addition to the psychological damage, the mother is left with an enormous debt burden due to attorney, procedural and expert witness fees.

And the worst thing is that the child lives with the ex and is thoroughly manipulated and raised with lies about the mother.

Now she has already done so much – and nothing has been successful.

She fought until she couldn’t go any further, she went beyond her limits sixty times, and even further and even further.

It was always her last straw. Then, one more.

But deep down, she didn’t really believe that she could do it.

He was right. His threat came true.

She knew it when she moved out.

When the first court hearing took place, in which she had still hoped that the experts and psychologists would quickly recognize what kind of guy was sitting on the other side, the first, big disillusionment already spread.

The judge, who has to investigate the lies of the other side in order to get a comprehensive picture, quickly gave the impression of believing the lies.

The ex goes into the full. She was mentally ill, had talked of suicide, therefore the child could no longer be left to her.

Clearly she is psychologically burdened and “through” after a relationship of many years with a pathological narcissist! Who can blame her?

She therefore answers in a weak voice, slips up, seems untrustworthy and anything but confident.

She had already lost. At least she thinks so.

And feels paralyzed afterwards. Helplessly at the mercy of the wheels of the system. But she has to go through it – for the child!

This first trial has set a marker. For the second, she expects the worst and is trembling all over. And so it happens.

So it goes on, from hearing to hearing, from year to year. The ex does the most unbelievable things with the child during this time.

He does not keep the agreements from the tough mediation talks. He breaks into the mother’s house. Or he quickly dismantles an outside staircase. He bombards the wife with meter-long emails and text messages. He mounts hidden cameras to film the strangling child at the handover, whom he has previously told that there is a bad wolf in the mother’s car. He steals money from joint accounts or assets. He leaves the child alone or with strangers for hours.

The list of perfidious evidence of his cold indifference seems endless.

No reaction from the parties involved in the proceedings. At least that is how it seems to the mother.

Sweetheart, I know this is tough stuff, and even if these are a few extreme cases – there are actually mothers who have experienced this. And still do.

Who then write to me: “You can’t help me anyway. Nobody can help me anymore.”

What should I say to that? That they are right?

With those beliefs firmly etched into the mother’s brain and soul over the years, that’s certainly true.

Because that’s exactly the crux of it, sweetheart. Your current reality has been created on the basis of your beliefs. And when you subsequently live in exactly such a reality, you see these beliefs confirmed.

You then think:

Yes – these diabolical narcissists will get away with anything in family court! The fathers’ lobby is so powerful!

My ex can wrap everyone around his fingers. Nobody believes me.

My case is so bad that no one can – and will – help me anymore. Society has become so hostile to mothers.

Invitation to the FeelBold Friday

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What beliefs do you think the mother in my example had at the very beginning of her separation?

My ex is so powerful. He gets everything he wants.

He can do what he wants with me – he already did before. He can destroy my life if he wants to.

He is always right.

And what do toxic ex-partners think?

I can do everything.

I am allowed to do everything.

I get everything I want. No one leaves me unpunished. I am invincible.

I am a successful man.

Is the result still surprising when both pull the strings in the same direction? Such extreme cases as described above certainly depend on the particular pathological level of the ex.

But let’s imagine imagine that the mother had different beliefs right at the beginning of their separation:

I am a loving and strong mother, even though this relationship shook me to my foundations at first.

I can find my strength again at any time. I am indestructible.

I believe in myself and my child. I believe that everyone in this room has the best interests of the child in mind. I help them do that.

I have already survived many difficult phases in my life – I will also master these.

I may accept help.

I support others and others support me. I live in a wonderful world.

Now imagine a mother going into the first negotiation with these beliefs inside.

Can you imagine how that negotiation might have gone?

Certainly not with a weak voice and a feeling of being in the dock himself.

But matter-of-factly, calmly and firmly, such a woman would reject lies from the toxic ex out of hand and take a clear, strong stance that would impress a judge.

Litigation is an incredibly dynamic process that is influenced by many, many factors.

Your attitude and confident clarity are the most important factors.

And then, sweetheart, you are never a loser!

Can you actually help a mother who is already through with everything?

Yes, I can.

If she wants to.

Because it takes a lot more inner mental work and self-discipline to mentally peel yourself out of it than when you are still at the very beginning.

After all, these fatal beliefs have been nurtured over many years, and very likely such mothers subsequently go into politics to call attention to the monstrosities of the family law system rather than consider being able to change their reality by thinking differently.

“How are you supposed to do that, Heidi?”

Only by reprogramming your habitual thinking pattern and replacing your beliefs with new ones, Sweetheart.

Because just as your terrible beliefs brought you to this reality, good beliefs bring you to another, better reality!

I want to support you to stop the negative momentum right from the beginning – or at least as early as possible! – to stop the negative momentum before you manifest a future together with your ex that you never want to have.

Because you deserve a good life, sweetheart. Let me help you find your way there.

Invitation to the FeelBold Friday

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