For years I’ve been reading about psychopathy, learning as much as I could about the disorder and trying to master identifying psychopaths, and I had no idea that my own step mother, the person who brought soap-opera chaos into my life six years ago when she married my father, was one of them. I realized that only recently and it put a lot of things into perspective.
How could I not see it before? Well, because there are some major differences between male and female psychopaths that a lot of people don’t know about. You don’t read about it almost anywhere. Most psychiatrist studied male psychopaths, including famous Dr. Hare, who based his Psychopathy Checklist on working with male inmates.
For me, experience was the teacher. I took everything I knew about psychopathy and drew my own conclusions. Later I found proof that I could be right. I will try to help you recognize a female psychopath when you see one, so that you don’t have to go through everything I went through and you can save yourself time, energy and some sanity.
Considering that I am an empathetic person and a female myself, I always tried to side with the women, even when there was not a single thing that we had in common other then the gender. Prostitutes I pitied because I thought they were sexual victims or addicts or mentally challenged, really superficial girls I felt bad for because I thought they just want love but don’t know how to go about it, etc.
I was also sexually abused as a girl so that played a part too. I never liked girly things but you could say that I was character-wise what people would consider “girly” : idealistic, gullible, empathetic people-lover. It’s funny how people, including myself, stereotype women like that. I was never afraid that a woman might attack and rob me. I would run to a woman for safety. When I think of women, I think of mothers, teachers, nurturers.
Now, I love my father very much, but he has his share of competitive and narcissistic traits. He is very empathetic, but he is also very insecure and needs attention from women in order to feel good about himself. Although he is a wonderful father, he was a terrible husband to my mom, always cheating on her and wanting to have his cake and eat it too (meaning, he didn’t want to divorce her). But in the 15 years after my parent’s divorce, he has dated all kinds of women and girls (one of them was my age) and my older sister and I were used to all kinds of weirdos and gold-diggers that he usually fell for. But nothing could prepare us for the psychopath that became his second wife.
We first met her in my fathers office. He owned the company where my sister also worked and I was helping at the time because the firm was in major financial problems. She walked in with her daughter who played the violin and basically asked for sponsorship. I can’t remember if she made the poor kid actually play in front of my father but the story went something like that the girl is very talented and needs to go to a competition, blah, blah. We all rolled our eyes during that visit, because it looked like she was exploiting the kid and just begging, plus we were in no position to help anyone.
Fast forward a year or two later, my father is in financial problems up to his nose and he is no longer making rational decisions. We are trying to help him but we don’t know how-at the same time, we are trying to tell him that a lot of people are taking advantage of him. He is still maintaining the facade of a successful businessman. In the middle of all the drama, he tells us that “the beggar-lady” will help him resolve problems, she has some really good connections! What? Oh no, we thought. We new immediately that it meant trouble. Now, in retrospect, I can see how, being in that situation, he was a perfect victim for a female psychopath.
Another year or so goes by, the money problems he partially solved (without her help) and we now find out that he is engaged to this women. We never got the wedding invitation and it caused a major fight between my sister and my father. He was not going to tell us until after the wedding.
There were a lot of dramatic twists and turns around this time, but I try not to remember and I don’t think it would be very interesting to read, b/c it’s like a really bad movie. There were just some black magic astrologists, my grandma completely turned against us, her only grandchildren, and accused us of going after my father’s money. It is unbelievable how the Psychopath managed to convince my poor grandma, the woman who raised us, that we are after what she is actually after. Very manipulative. Buy hey, how could an 80 year old lady who spent her whole life living simply in a village know anything about such manipulators. She was an easy target. And every phone call ended in tears between us. Until one day, my grandma opened her eyes. It was another lie, another random evil act from my step mother (it had nothing to do with us). And it turned my grandma into her no 1. enemy. She was on a mission to get rid of her to get her away from my father. Well, the feeling was mutual and my father ended up in the middle of that crazy fight.
Now for my “step mother” (I keep calling her that, which is funny, but I don’t want to use her real name). The minute she took my father’s last name, she transformed into the boss-in the house and in the office. No female was allowed around my father, all the phone calls that we had she had to listen to..There was a real physical fight between one of my sister’s friends and her when the friend refused to leave the office b/c she could not comprehend why she was getting kicked out. A true soap opera, I am telling you.
Fast-forward to now, a few years later. My father has no friends left and people are laughing at him. He goes nowhere without her. They work together, they live together, they go to business meetings together, they go shopping together, they travel together, they go out together. They are never apart. My father does not speak to my grandma and my sister. I didn’t speak to him for a long time, but now I am the only one that keeps contact with him. Why we didn’t speak? Because all I asked for years is for us to have a conversation on the phone without her listening and auditing our every word. And for him to sometimes come over without her and play with his grandchildren. Impossible.
Doesn’t she sound like a true psycho?
My dad is a different person now and I feel sorry for him. They drink a lot, they fight a lot, and their relationship is not a healthy one. She is so possessive, so jealous, so dominant. But how is it possible that he fell so much under her influence? For someone who was always the dominant one, how is it possible that he obeys her every word?
There is a side of her that I did not mention to you. The side that some female psychopaths possess and that can totally puzzle people.