A reader asks:
I was wondering whether you knew of any information available on female Sociopaths. I would love to try and find at least some small amount of collected data out there. I read a few articles written in the past on the subject and thought the content was very interesting. My interest is that I'm a Male to Female Transwoman who is of the belief and "diagnosis" that I am Sociopathic. I exhibit typically female sociopathic traits whilst still harboring some male traits and am lately trying to define or examine myself more, and in doing so I would like to take reference to "classic" cases of the past and present. My questions would simply be what do you usually see? are they murderous? are the power hungry? do they have children? how have they been "caught/discovered"? and what was the consequence if they were?Another reader had asked a similar question recently about the relationship between sociopathy and BPD.
I ran across your blog during one of my researches, and was pleased with what I found. For once, something doesn't seem so foreign. I think I may be a sociopath. Not that it bothers me- it doesn't. But, I'd recently taken an interest in criminology and after doing so much research and what not on these 'disorders', I seem to have an uncanny similarity that meets the criteria. Before that, however, my guess is I probably would have never even realized my 'condition'. So, perhaps these studies were an outlet of some kind; maybe even a way to better understand. Myself, particularly.
They say that adolescents before the age of 18 don't qualify for the diagnosis criteria, but instead, those that hold potential are usually at some point diagnosed with O.D.D, AD/HD assuming they were forced in to therapy. Key word: forced. I, too, was diagnosed with O.D.D (and AD/HD) before the age of 18, most of which started at the age of 15- though I won't go so far as to say I didn't have those behaviours before then. I very much did. I was also forced in to therapy. I never complied, and the manic episodes I do have of convincing myself I'm in need of it are quickly dismissed. I go through a spell of, "I'm pretty sure I may need help", and once everything's over, I'm back to the mind set of, "I don't need nor want anyone's help." So, I never get it.
I have tortured animals (no, I'm not trying to sound like some serial killer-in-the-making here, I'm just getting everything off of my chest. Trust me, it's long over due), given I've never actually killed any bigger than your average domestic house cat, but I'm pretty sure it started somewhere around the age of 6 or 7. It started off as frogs, baby birds, to the point where I was- in my mind- harmlessly sneaking fish out of my best friend's fish tank, and my neighbor's, and 'experimenting' with them. Frogs, lizards, rodents, birds... baby birds I'd find in nests around the yard. Basically, what ever creature was around. It gradually escalated to even my own cat at the time, and then one of the puppies of my neighbour's dog. I never felt bad about it- no shame, guilt, etc. And still to this day do not. I grew up fatherless, and around the age these 'symptoms' started becoming more and more apparent, I spent majority of my teenage years in and out of lock up for mostly truancy, with a few cases of assult and even fewer cases of vandalism. However, the time spent in these facilities, I constantly lied and manipulated my way through therapy- from exaggerating my 'conditions' to actually acting out the 'good behaviour' that was expected of me, in which case, I knew I'd get an early release. If not an early release, I most certainly knew I wouldn't have to spend any more time in these facilities than what I was initially set to do. As hard as it was to keep my temper in check- which has been described on several occasions as a 'ticking time bomb'- I passed with flying colours for the sole purpose I simply wanted to return back to the comforts and freedom of my own home.
My mother, however, would always be able to see through this, of course. She was always there to witness my behaviour where as these therapists, these doctors, they only saw the facade I put off to get myself out. So, when ever I was confronted with these issues- what ever they may be regarding my behaviour at home- I'd either lie, talk my way out of it, or admit to it and follow it up with the whole "I genuinely want help, I don't want to feel like this anymore" sentiment. After wards, I'd continue my 'good girl' act and voila, all was well.
I haven't 'grown out' of this stage, if growing out of it were genetically even possible. It wasn't too terribly long ago I was doing other 'misdeeds' that would most certainly qualify as grounds for arrest. Again, it feels like a normal, every day part of my life, even though, no, I don't go out every day and commit acts that, if I were caught, would land me some time. It just feels that way. On another note, it's impossible- for me at least- to get attached to someone, or anything for that matter. The one time I thought I was in love was powered more so by greed than true feelings, and while at the time I thought I felt so strongly about this guy, I took an intense satisfaction out of hurting him. Whether that was cheating, lying, or just harmlessly flirting with an enemy or a close friend of his just to hear him cry later on the phone. Of course, I never admitted that to him. He'd have left me high and dry had he known the true motive behind it. It was a very violent romance. He shared a lot of 'sociopathic' traits, as well, so that only added to the turbulence.
Inevitably, I become mildly sadistic to those friends I do keep close, but I charm them, I flatter them and you'd be quite surprised; my personality is award winning, though feigned. I have an intense desire to be loved, and though I don't and will never go out of my way to intentionally please someone, I get one of the biggest satisfactions out of hearing those three words; "I love you", and knowing that on my behalf, the feelings will never be reciprocated. And then, once I do hear them, I almost immediately become bored. The spark fades, the challenge dies. There's no thrill. I go clubbing on a weekend basis, sometimes on weekdays. Every time I'm out, I make a note to drink, even those days I say beforehand, "I'm not going to drink tonight." I mostly blame a very poor impulse control, and the alcohol makes it easier to mingle because otherwise, I become disinterested and aggravated with the people around me. My drunk personality is quite the opposite; I'm usually very relaxed, I get along and my sense of humour is not of your typical females. I'll crack jokes about subjects that commonly, you'd only hear from men. People down here aren't used to that, so it gets me in 'good' with everyone, including the staff members. Which, ultimately benefits me. I can't complain about that. Alternatively, I'm very prone to bouts of an insatiable aggression; I'll jump at the opportunity to kick someone's head in, even if they're minuscule by someone elses standards. But, I reason and rationalize, twist and misconstrue the story just because if people actually knew what was really going on, that'd defeat my entire image.
They say sociopaths very seldomly feel embarrassment, which in my case, is true. I very seldomly feel it, but when I do, it isn't in drastic measures where I'll run out of the room and go cry about it at night and wallow in self-hatred. It's more along the lines of, "Goddamnit, I can't believe that just happened... oh well." Only temporary. By the time I wake up from my drunken stupor, my 'embarrassments' are actually rather funny and I'm ready for a round two. It's just a setback.
So, all in all, that's me in a nutshell. Granted, I was never actually diagnosed with anti-social personality disorder, but instead, borderline personality disorder. Now, this brings me to another conclusion; BPD's live in remorse (at least from what I know of), their entire psyche is a clusterfuck of emotion. I, however, feel the exact opposite- like an emotional vacancy. It's so easy to walk out and put on a smile for everyone, but the minute I'm home and the door is closed, that smile quickly fades. Yes, I also know sociopaths, apparently, aren't introverted, and though I may do a lot of analyzing in general, I never actually analyze myself; I KNOW what I'm doing, I KNOW what I'm saying, I just don't give a fuck. But, while I know what I'm doing, I haven't the slightest clue who I am. I've always just thought of myself as 'here', as if I were looking down from the sky, watching the world beneath me. Like some sort of celestial entity, though I'm not delusional enough to actually believe I AM some kind of celestial entity. That's just silly. Though, now that I mention it, I don't actually believe sociopaths can't be at least somewhat introspective. After all, Edmund Kemper knew exactly what he was. ;)