Allison Patton, family lawyer, wrote an eye opening article for The Huffington Post that goes beyond simply describing Donald Trump as an NPD poster boy, which many have already done.
In family law, individuals with NPD are known a HCPs-high-conflict persons. Here, Ms. Patton describes the way Trump’s blatant narcissism has not only alienated him from the Republican Party, but how he could potentially serve as a public example of a serious disorder that family lawyers, judges, and the courts are surprisingly ignorant about–and often unwittingly reward the narcissistic spouse and punish the real victim, due to the narcissist’s glibness and ability to lie convincingly.
Unfortunately, Trump has succeeded in pulling the wool over the eyes of millions of Americans who continue to support him–even though it’s no secret he has been publicly diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Many of these Americans tell themselves, “well aren’t all politicians narcissists anyway?”
Well, most probably have some narcissistic traits, but most are not full-blown NPD like Donald Trump either.
Divorcing The Donald: Cutting Ties With The Narcissist
By Allison Patton, for The Huffington Post
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Wednesday, April 6, 2016, in Bethpage, N.Y. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Narcissistic Personality Disorder
A “Cluster B” personality disorder in which a person is excessively preoccupied with personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity, mentally unable to see the damage they are causing to themselves and often others.
While the Republican Party is desperately trying to cut ties with Donald Trump, the world watches in disbelief. All, that is, but a particular group of women and men with one thing in common: each of them has divorced a narcissist, and some still share child custody with one.
They know the story and could write the script. The successful, gregarious person who swept them off their feet. The promises that followed. Gradually the realization that it was all a façade. There could never be a “we” because narcissists care only about themselves. Then the real nightmare began, the battle to remove this toxic person from their lives. . . . and for those with children, the misery of trying to co-parent with an ex who acts and thinks like The Donald.
As a divorce lawyer, these cases are the most difficult and disturbing. In my family law circle, we refer to someone with a narcissistic personality disorder as “an NPD” (or the more general term “HCP” — which stands for “high conflict person”). The legal battle is always the same: the unaffected spouse tries to explain to the attorneys, judge and appointed psychological expert (if there is one) the narcissist’s behavioral pattern: control, emotional abuse, manipulation, duplicity and the damaging impact on the children. The NPD denies it all and mounts a legal response that consists of blame laying, factual distortions, outright lies and a character assassination of the other spouse.
The experts and the judge are sometimes able to weed through the chaos and confusion, identify the personality disorder at play and make decisions that protect the children and unaffected spouse. Often, however, the legal system gets it wrong. Just as we’ve seen with Donald Trump, the NPD can be very convincing and manipulative. And the court system – like the general public – either gets conned by the NPD or isn’t equipped to manage the level of conflict created by a Donald. Often the court assumes both parties are equally to blame for creating and maintaining a high conflict case, so the innocent parent who is fighting to protect the kids is treated as skeptically as the narcissistic parent.
For decades, there has been little understanding of how to spot and handle personality disorders in family law. As recently as 2011, when I blogged on Huffington Post about high conflict people in divorce court, I received emails from out-of-state divorce professionals indicating the information was new to them and they hadn’t heard the term “high conflict people” used in their family court.
Thanks to Donald Trump and his campaign, the entire world now gets daily lessons on NPD behavior. As disturbed as I am by what the Donald has pulled off, the divorce lawyer in me sees the opportunity here. The Donald is our new high conflict poster child. Those of us who want change in the family law system couldn’t hope for a better example. The common traits and behaviors of this personality disorder are being revealed, in their full horrific glory.
Read the rest of this article here.
Bonus article: Donald Trump’s Amazing Answer to “Do You Cry?” (Washington Post)