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My mother is a genuine psychopath - what to do?

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    Hello people
    So my mother is a diagnosed psychopath
    (here, http://www.cassiopaea.com/cassiopaea/psychopath_2.htm, if you don't know much about it)

    I am 18 now, and I have cut contact with her completely. She mentally and physically abused me until about age 13, in which I was able to move in with my father after their divorce. The only time she ever shows affection towards me is when she knows other people can see her. I had been feeding and doing the majority of care tasks by myself since about 6 years old. I was wholly neglected.
    I've even been chased with knives and have had the phone cord cut when trying to call for help (cliche film much??)!

    She is manipulative and bullied me throughout my childhood, calling me ugly, worthless etc. She even used to (age 5) force me to collect stones so she could "put them in her pockets so when she jumped in the river she would never resurface". She would wait until I cried, and then act like my saviour from the situation, even though she instigated it. Every time.

    She checks every criterion of a traditional psychopath without fail.
    My problem is this: Since I never formed a bond with her, I feel no love for her. She claims to adore and 'love' me, and is persists on getting back into my life. I feel no more affection towards her than I do to a passing stranger. I can't decided whether her attempts are yet another grasp for power, and to cease the humiliation of being rejected by her daughter, or whether she genuinely feels these emotions.

    I don't know whether to keep giving her chances if I know she will never change. Or whether to believe her when she claims to love her daughter. I don't know if she's even capable. If she is, I feel obliged to stay with her to avoid hurting her. If she isn't (more likely), I'll leave her be. The tricky part is determining whether she is lying or not! (Her motives for affection are usually based around how others may perceive her) It's an awful vicious circle.

    I believe very much in forgiveness and second chances, especially with someone of whom I share half my DNA with...but it's hard - psychologically speaking, she doesn't feel deep emotion or real love. However, she is my biological mother and must have some attachment to me, right? I pity her and I don't know what to do. I don't want to cause her any pain.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated; I believe opinions from someone with a less-vested interest on the matter would be insightful! Thanks
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    I am just going to bump this as it took a while to be approved
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    Well.. my mother isn't a psychopath... but I've dealt with my fair share of abuse in my time. I'm 19 and depressingly reliant on my parents still... I can't do university without them. But I've always fantasised about cutting ties.

    I'm much the same.. I'm very quick to forgiveness, though I never forget.

    No one can answer this question but you. You know what she's like, so if you were to see her every now and again, you would be able to prepare yourself, protect yourself from what she might do/say.

    The woman abused you. You are in no way obligated to make sure she is fine or anything, you do not need to please her or worry that she will be hurt - clearly she won't be hurt by your rejection.

    What does your father think? Does he no longer talk to her either?
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    She's a psychopath, so no, she will never genuinely feel any emotion, she will only pretend to. Think of her as disabled, like somebody with Alzheimer's, her brain (if she is a true psychopath) is literally physically different from a normal persons, she is not capable of feeling emotions. It's not her fault either, so don't hate her

    I suggest that you cut yourself off from her completely, that's how you should deal with a psychopath and is the traditional advice. Any contact will just give her the opportunity to manipulate or harm you

    But that does not mean you cannot have sympathy for her. If she urgently needs help one day and manages to contact you, do consider helping her, as long as she's not faking it. And by help I don't mean something like emotional support, she doesn't need that.
    • Thread Starter
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    (Original post by Snikle)
    Well.. my mother isn't a psychopath... but I've dealt with my fair share of abuse in my time. I'm 19 and depressingly reliant on my parents still... I can't do university without them. But I've always fantasised about cutting ties.

    I'm much the same.. I'm very quick to forgiveness, though I never forget.

    No one can answer this question but you. You know what she's like, so if you were to see her every now and again, you would be able to prepare yourself, protect yourself from what she might do/say.

    The woman abused you. You are in no way obligated to make sure she is fine or anything, you do not need to please her or worry that she will be hurt - clearly she won't be hurt by your rejection.

    What does your father think? Does he no longer talk to her either?
    Haha, he certainly does not. He is a rich businessman/vet, and in her eyes gave her the social standing she desired - she tried everything she could to stop him divorcing her. When she realised she couldn't stop him, she took to badmouthing him about how little money he gave her (He gave her over a million!) and made up malicious lies. When he found someone new, she used to wait outside our house in the night calling on the phone, and holding her car horn down, and flashing her lights. He now has a restraining order in place :P

    That's the thing though, she's so convincing that my rejection is hurting her. Obviously her diagnosis dictates she doesn't really feel 'love', but there are varying degrees of psychopathy, and I suppose no one but the actual person in question knows how they really feel. I'd feel so awful if her emotions were true but everyone dismissed them as being farce, and she died depressed and alone (she's an alcoholic and often injures herself). I guess I'll never know!

    I'll always have a soft spot to forgive her because she's my mother, probably because I am just hoping she'll turn out alright. Even though I know it's a lost cause.

    Another issue I have is my brother, who still lives with her...he has Asperger's, but is remarkably similar to her. Probably because he is exposed to a shared environment with her 24/7, and also because those with autism tend to compensate for their social deficits through mimicry. She is possibly the worst role model ever! He is also a pathological liar and has low morality like her.

    I've heard Asperger's being referred to as 'autistic psychopathy' due to a lack of empathy, but I don't feel as if his is as extreme - it is a more innocent version; less manipulation and cunning, more a sort of social blindness to his own egocentrism and consequences of his actions. Seeing as psychopathy is thought to be about 50% hereditary, I wonder if trying to 'save' him is in vain...?

    Best. Family. Ever!
    Thank you for your advice. Often it's easier to know what to do in theory than it is to carry it out Sorry for my rambling - I don't seem to have an argument here, just lots of confusion!
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    No, no. Been in mental confusion before! Talking helps, even if it's talking to oneself!

    Another thing I would suggest.. because although your father can empathise.. he can't sympathise exactly... you need to talk to someone... properly. I would suggest you consider seeing a counsellor or something. Just that will help you organise your own thoughts and come to a better conclusion... for what would help you the most.

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