Female Psychopath-A Case Study

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.


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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.

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  • Graham Hawcroft

    You think you can trust your own Mother and son, but cannot. I have just come to realise that i have a psychopath for a Mother and now my son is displaying the same Narcissistic signs.
    I always thought there was something “wrong” with my mother, but it wasn’t till my father died that her “mask” was seen. This sickens me to the core and makes me realise the torment my father must have gone through while he was alive.

    I would like to see my mother sectioned under the 1983 Mental health act section 4, if anyone can advise me further. My mother has cut me off (as i am no use to her) so getting her GP is going to be difficult.

  • elle

    I recently had the epiphany that my sister is a psychopath. I think some similar signs are lack of emotion and empathy (she has no care in the world for her 5 year old daughter), grandiose sense of self worth, needing to be the center of attention, sensation seeking, manipulative behaviour, distrust/hatred of authority. Female psychopaths may be less violent then male psychopaths, but they wouldn’t hesitate to hurt anyone in the way of what they want. I’m glad I’ve recognized the truth so that I don’t waste any more energy on her, but I feel bad for her daughter It will be hard for her that her mother never loved her, at least she is not around her much and has a daddy and other family that love her.

    • NSFtimes2

      Ok so … people that have been targeted by crooked cops for abuse and violations – distrust/hatred of authority – are psychopaths ?

  • Anders Panders

    I have a psychopathic mother, younger brother and older sister in a family of 7 that (falsely) framed me for assaulting our mother with her posing as victim and my brother and sister backing her up as a way to scapegoat me – she just uses the whole situation to get attention from people and as a way to socially alienate me from other people – women that are psychopaths are pretty common and probably the cause of different unhealthy psychological conditions since they are very stealthy and use psychological abuse to take control over people while the consensus says women are ‘caring’ so society actually assists them in their endevaours thinking they are victims.

  • Genghis’ Bastard

    From what you’ve described I’m getting a perfect idea of the monster this woman really is; it must’ve been a living nightmare for you and your sister – no need to second guess yourself or start explaining yourself. I do it all the time too, and it screams, “potential target” to these Cunts.

  • Josie Mariello

    This sounds far more like a sociopath, which is different. Neither is a good deal for anyone nearby, but she was able to at least pretend to have human connections, which a true psychopath is unable to do.

    • sniktawekim

      Sociopath isn’t a real thing, and is just another word for psychopath.

  • veronicawelldon

    plse read professor hare’s famous book without conscience – the disturbing world of psychopaths among us and the sociopath next door by dr martha stout, you will see that your step-mother fits all the criteria of a sociopath/psychopath

  • Baxter

    Kate jean melbourne psychopath + centrelink fraud cash in hand over 5 years disgusting*

  • Heather_7

    She sounds more like Borderline or Histrionic, rather than psychopathic. Psychopaths typically don’t go “over the top” with emotions–they will fake emotions, but they like to really cause physical and mental anguish to other people. They can be immature, for sure–but I bet you’re dealing with something different than psychopathy, or scarier–something more than just psychopathy. (I know because I had a psychopathic person removed from my life years ago…)

    • Object

      Perhaps she is APD comorbid with BPD and HPD and NPD or is comorbid with a nervous disorder and BPD/NPD/APD. These all seem a way to label a Psychopathic female with something else. The traits are so similar it is astonishing. BPD seems to have abandonment issues that are brought about by their own behaviours, HPD seems more about attention.

      Perhaps the difference in diagnosis between gender (BPD 75% female, NPD 75%) is that psychopathic females use their gender as just another tool to manipulate the psychologists .

      No one wants to be called a psychopath so they call female psychopaths other labels.

      The term psychopath has a known predatory meaning for people, what does Borderline mean to normal people…not much. Borderlines are just as predatory.

      • Heather_7

        Of course the traits are familiar. In the DSM IV, the axis personality disorders all follow one right after another, borderline, histrionic and psychopathic, avoidant etc… so there can be co-morbidity at all levels.

        It seems rather sexist to say that psychopathic females use their gender as another tool to manipulate psychologists, and is typically something a male would say if he has been manipulated by a female, or if he is misogynistic. Because there are distinct cases of female psychopathy exclusive of borderline or histrionic issues. See Eileen Wuornos and Gertrude Baniszewski, for some examples.

        Saying that “no one wants to be called a psychopath, so they call female psychopaths other labels,” is also inherent of someone who has suffered abuse at the hands of another person of the opposite gender, such that you, yourself, want to label them, cast them as “other,” yet not appear as if you are labeling them. Interesting pathology of your own self revealed through your response.

        While it is true that many individuals do not want to be called a psychopath, both pschopaths themselves, and others who aren’t psychopathic (I mean, would you, the misogynist, want to be called a psychopath?) you will find that the labels still exist in the DSM IV, and are utilized by professionals on both males and females, when necessary and appropriate diagnoses are made. Just as are histrionic and avoidant etc… So there is no bias in true scientific evaluation by a certified doctor, unless, a therapist or doctor is manipulated by someone, without having the ability to discern the manipulation, and therefore mis-labels individuals. This can be due to human error, but unless a therapist has the “hots” for a woman and doesn’t want to label her appropriately out of his own mental illness, clinginess, sickness, then appropriate diagnoses are typically made. And there are many professionals out there who will make appropriate diagnoses in order to either treat the patient, or incarcerate them, when able/necessary.

        Our society values sociopathy–we value people who can rise to the top and run corporations and cull the herd, when necessary, because they have money and status and appear to be “good leaders.” If it is the case that borderlines are actually psychopaths, with complete psychopathological histories, then why don’t we see more of them running corporations and making a lot of revenue for themselves? If it is truly disproportionate, and female psychopaths are borderlines, then they should be very good in leadership positions, but we find that they are not–because they have empathy and are able to express love.

        Also, unless a therapist wants to lose their job, they should remain professional and render a true diagnosis. There are those psychopaths who actually relish being evil, but typically many psychopaths don’t like to be “outed,” that is, to anyone with whom they are playing games. Once again, borderlines can express empathy and love. NOW–is this a gender issue, for example can female psychopaths just not be as psychopathic as male psychopaths due to brain chemistry etc…? Perhaps there is an argument here, but once again, please examine cases such as Eileen Wuornos and Gertrude Baniszewski who are serial killers/killers and who exhibit solely the traits of psychopathy and not borderline.

        Can borderlines be predatory? Yes, of course they can. The man or woman who simply has an attraction for another person that they will go on to marry can be considered “predatory.” The CEO of a major company who lies, cheats and steals his way to the top is predatory too-but that is favored and applauded by our society. So what level of predatory do we consider truly evil when we let our corporate leaders, politicians, lawyers etc.. get away with it?

        It is awful what this young lady is going through with her father being married to someone who monopolizes his time, but I do believe she is more borderline than psychopathic. Understanding someone’s pathology allows you to gain a little more control in the situation by knowing how to handle someone better.

        • Object

          “It is awful what this young lady is going through with her father being married to someone who monopolizes his time, but I do believe she is more borderline than psychopathic. Understanding someone’s pathology allows you to gain a little more control in the situation by knowing how to handle someone better.”

          This is not what zzanita is talking about!

          “someone who monopolizes his time”!!!!

          You don’t even understand what she is even talking about.

          “handle someone better”

          This person has moved into the center of her family and injected poison into it, they are trying to survive the abuse. Does this sound familiar to you?

          But what do I know? I’m just a sexist, misogynistic male and you have borderline personality disorder not psychopathy. Ugh!

        • Object

          “because they (Borderlines) have empathy and are able to express love.”

          Sorry I had to correct this propaganda….

          Borderline Personality Disorder is spawned by arrested emotional growth, which renders the person incapable of impulse control, adult reasoning, capacity for empathy or ability to self-soothe. Infatuation is not love, Infatuation is fleeting, as are all the Borderline’s other feelings.

          • Kris

            Propaganda? You mean things like scientific studies? If you research psychologists, the ones that seem to have a hard on for hating on “borderline” personality disorder, seem eerily like psychopaths. It would make sense, if BPD is a case of too much emotional depth, it would explain why psychopaths go gestapo on BPD’ers, because they suffer from a lack of emotional depth(they suffer from the opposite problem psychopaths suffer from).

          • Object

            No, Kris, not too much emotion, Borderlines Split, they have up and down fake emotions, they can’t self soothe. The emotions that they feel are really smoke and mirrors. There is no compassion, love or empathy just the primitive emotions like fear, lust, envy, hate, infatuation, rage and their save me me me me me problems.
            Science is now starting to consider bpd a ‘female type’ of Psychopathy. The outcome for their victims is the same as a psychopath.

  • Sven Sivertsen

    Wow… Sounds exactly just like my father and his wife… Sounds like this was written about her…

  • freak show

    I’m actually a psycho but I try to control myself.but I’m like stuck and should I run away,kill myself,jump in frount of a moving train or vehicle!?!help me.I don’t know how medicine,therapy,I’m so scared.I’m having a hard time trying to tell someone,talk to anyone,and I fell so much sadness.if my mom found out she’d probly be mad.I’m just so mad and scared.I try to scare or hurt someone or kill myself.mostly disobey my mom I’ve already almost killed myself. I try to choke myself run away, lie to myself,AND I SEE CRAP.I’m trying TO LEAVE TO ANOTER WORLD.and I hear voices,and they fight me in my dreams,I see them run throughout the house.my mom might think I’m doing this for attention but I’m praying to god so I can sleep at night.if it’s for attention why are they here everyday.everyday I’ve seen these people someone to talk to about it with would be nice.but I don’t like communication I’VE LOST MY FREAKING MIND.my mom once said.you act like your so abused.I abuse MYSELF!and I can’t stop.bye.

    • http://signsofapschopath.com/ zzanita

      Please please tell your mom to take you to a psychiatrist. Please talk to her, I am sure she and the doctor will help you before you do something to yourself or others. You DO NOT sound like a psychopath. You sound like someone who might have a problem with psychosis, and that can easily be treated with medication. Also, you sound like you’re a teenager/adolescent and that part of life is especially difficult, but you will get through it. Trust me, you can feel better if only you reach out and seek help. Wishing you the best!!!!!

  • Kris

    Not to state the obvious, sympathizing with someone because they are the same gender as you is not empathy, it is narcissism, as well a supremacist behavior. There are all kinds of psychopaths and sociopaths in the world. It isn’t a set thing, moreso a sliding scale. Most normal people cannot spot a psychopath/sociopath. Usually, only a fellow psychopath can really spot them, and remember it is a scale.