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S/O Narcissist Parents...


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I have a good friend who is on her way back to court AGAIN with a narcissist. Last time in court he paid a "professional" a lot of money to say that my friend has BPD (even though this "professional" never spoke to my friend at all and refused to meet with my friend when my friend caller her office).  BTW the "professional" was reported to the state board that oversee her where she lives for doing this. My friend had really qualified professionals who told her that her ex was certainly a narcissist, but since he would never meet with them they did not testify to his condition in court. 

 

Now, they are going back to court again... Does anyone know how reliable these tests are to show if someone has a personality disorder??? I would love for df to get one and her ex and his new wife to get one if they are accurate. Both he and his new wife are such super liars it is hard for me to imagine that these tests are accurate... but I have a relative who committed a crime and took a very expensive personality test to try to prove he would not reoffend, and the test showed he was a likely reoffender. No, he didn't have to show the test in court, he paid for it himself as part of his defense, it simply didn't work out the way he hoped. So, I wonder if maybe the tests are accurate even if the person taking them is a skilled liar who has a lot at stake. My relative couldn't get the results he wanted and he was trying to stay out of prison. Of course, my relative is a very smart person but does not have the extremely high level of education my friend's ex has. 

 

It would look really good in court for my friend to take the test, I would think, but what do I know? The thought of her ex having full custody of their young children makes me ill. His new wife is trying to drive their 11yo dd crazy. She hides things and tells df's dd that she lost them, she refuses to let her eat any snacks, or even as much as she wants at meals and the girl is one of those super skinny kids who is always hungry. The new wife is always telling the little girl "Your mom is crazy and so are you" when her dad isn't around. I just feel sick for the kids. I wish I had helpful advice for my friend and I thought of the tests today. Her ex said she should have them in court last time. I think it would show the judge how crazy making he is if she took the tests and did not have BPD (she doesn't) and he took the tests and it showed he did. 

 

Anyone have experience with these sort of tests?

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A personality disorder alone or any mental health issue as a diagnosis should not affect custody. A parent's inability to coparent would. And there are not really tests for personality disorders. There are psychological tests that could point in a particular direction, but it is not an exact science. It is more of an "in the vicinity of" kind of science.

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Stuff like that is hard to diagnose.  I don't think it would be worthwhile.  A diagnosis is useful for knowing where to start with treatment and it often comes down to we need to put a reason down in a file so the insurance company will pay for stuff we want to try to deal with the problems this person is having.  My mother had an illness her whole life and different doctors had different opinions regarding what exactly she had.  Even doctors she had for years changed their minds sometimes. 

 

 

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Well, this guy has proven that he WILL NOT coparent, and the judge doesn't seem to care, so I thought maybe the tests would be something the judge would care about.

 

The court is not going to stop him doing what he likes with the kids on his custody time. The best she can do is get whatever you call primary parenting (where the kids live) and sole parental responsibility (so she doesn't need his permission to put them in school, take them out, and those kinds of things.)

 

The trouble with tests is they don't really prove anything. They only show the psychiatrist's opinion. So, if he is bright enough to work out the right answers and deliver them convincingly, they won't diagnose him with anything, so he officially won't have anything even if he really does. That can work in your favour or against.

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I think it is highly unlikely a judge would accept a self-administered personality test as evidence. They generally need an expert to validate whatever is being offered as evidence.

 

Plus, personality is not the same as behavior. 

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"The tests" you are talking about are likely the MMBI. Me, my then husband, my ex and his wife all took them during the very spend "forensic psychological assessment." It *did* catch the personality disorder (ex) and my hysteria (PTSD from ex).

 

New relationships after a divorce often function in a re-written history la-la land akin to an addiction. The new "family" begins to posit themselves as a better, healthier home, and a "real family" able to provide everything they insist is missing in the other home. (and an absence of what they say is wrong with the other home.)

 

A better focus might be to get verbiage that excludes continued court proceedings; everything must be mediated, and if that doesn't work, binding arbitration. Less cost, not protracted.

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There was a lot of language in the last decision that should have prevented him from taking her back to court... But he knows he won't get in trouble so he's doing it anyway. He got caught in several HUGE lies last time and he still got 50% of the time with the kids and a reduction in child support to match. The judge said that if either party came back to court with the same tired arguments he would give the other party what they wanted in the first place. All he has is the same tired arguments. He just isn't worried he'll get in trouble. My friend has to watch her public reputation to keep her career going, he is about to retire and doesn't care how he looks. He looks terrible in court, but the judge probably will not stick to what he said and will probably give him further concessions.

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