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#10700 - 02/18/11 07:07 AM The female psychopath
skybluepaint Offline
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Registered: 02/05/11
Posts: 100
I am interested in knowing those with experiences with the female psychopath. My understanding is they still have the lack of empathy, guilt, remorse, genuine feelings, but not necessarily have high self-esteem,glib/superficial charm. They often use the pity play to draw others in. I cannot say for certain I was involved with a female psychopath, but most certainly something was off with this girl.

My story:
We met at work. She was 24, educated, hadn't had many friends, no boy/girl friend. Her biggest "heartbreak" was when she had a crush on her high school teacher, but he had rejected her(sexually). 7 years after this crush, she could still barely articulate her feelings about it! I said the teacher had done the right thing. As I listened to her problems, an intense, emotional connection developed fast. I was in a 10yr. lesbian relationship, and told her we'd stepped over the line when she tried to hug and kiss me. She cried all night, called the next day begging for a "chance". I came over, held her, figured it was innocent,gave her her first real kiss. She pressed for more, and attempted sex. I regretted it, stopped it. A month later I drove her home, and she kissed me again. Finally, I acknowledge to my partner, I had feelings for the girl and wanted to break up. The partner didn't want to move out of our shared house, so we continued to live together while I saw the girl. Obviously, a mistake on my part. The girl expressed resentment, but never seemed genuinely hurt, more like mocking. She wrote an upbeat cheerful song, "She fell in love with a woman.. but now the girl is here and she wants her bad, what a dilemma, oh what to do? Is this a passing phase or is it true love?", as if the whole thing was a joke.

I saw the girl for a year. During that year, my cat died. As I wailed in grief, she stared at me blankly and said something bizarre like, "I wish I could feel what you feel." My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, father with Alzheimers. At each announcement, when I was clearly distraught, she just sat and stared blankly at me, and mustered up a pat on the shoulder.

She left to take a job overseas for 2 years. In the weeks before she left, I begged her to stay. I'd fallen totally in love with her, but she just said something like, "Well, if we have to part, we have to part." Yet, after leaving, she sent romantic love songs and letters and we continued to stay in touch weekly,seeing each other twice a year. By then, I had moved into an apt. of my own, and was waiting for her to return. On her last visit, she made a dramatic display crying and shaking, "I love you." It seemed weird to be crying while saying those words. Around the same time, she was writing me, "Well, when we break up," as if it were matter of fact. I guess I wrongly believed the "I love you."

Ten days before she returned for good, she wrote a cold letter, "I don't want to write, call, see you again,". I still surprised her at the airport when she returned. She said she'd "met someone", a 50yo man (she was 28), and they'd had sex in the last week. But she quickly acknowledged, "Well, it probably won't work out," knowing she wasn't going to be returning overseas. She justified it saying snidely, "Well, you always knew I was interested in men." When I asked for "how" it happened, she merely gave me the "what" happened. In other words, she could coldly report sexual details, but couldn't explain how she felt. The situation in which she got involved with him was eerily the same as with me. He, a coworker, served as her "counselor" as she unleashed all her problems on him. When pushed for an explanation, she simply said, "You don't know my dark side."

She was still technically a "virgin" before being with the man. When I explained how her body changed (she didn't understand the hymen!), she cried for 3 days straight! We made a few attempts at reconciliation. She saw how badly I was hurt by the betrayal, but she never seemed to feel my pain. She just said, "You shouldn't have to be so depressed." I was also angry. When I brought up the guy, she got annoyed and ended up kicking me repeatedly on a public street. Finally, she retreated and sat in a chair bawling and shaking for an hour. Ultimately, any attempt at reconciliation hasn't worked. I ended up so hurt by the betrayal, and unable to forgive her. It has destroyed my self-esteem, and I turned to alcohol to drown my own sorrows. I still miss her and some part of me wants her back, but I don't know who the heck she is and wonder if so much of who I thought she was, was an act. She wasn't glib or superficial and wasn't a very social person, but she knew how to zero in and target and use someone. When I asked how she could be writing, "I can't wait to see you," mere weeks before she cut me off, she said, "I knew it'd make you happy." When I asked why she'd continue to see me all these years, she said, "I had nothing better to do."

During the relationship, her cold reactions to things seemed strange, but I just thought she was a bit off. The sex seemed incredibly connected and intense, but there was little snuggling or holding. Now I wonder if the intensity was 1-sided. After the relationship abruptly ended, I am puzzled as to who she was:

1. a psychopath (or at least having some of those traits)?
2. an emotionally immature girl with questionable morals?

If she were just a slutty girl, she would've done that long ago, although I don't know that she had many opportunities. It seems like she needs the act of getting emotionally close to someone, luring them in, unleashing all her problems, almost in a predatorial way, sucking out their empathy, drawing them in, and then having sex with them.

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#10703 - 02/18/11 02:59 PM Re: The female psychopath [Re: skybluepaint]
Dianne E. Offline

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Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 2788
Loc: United States
Hi skybluepaint,

Welcome to our community.

I don't mean to ask anything that you are uncomfortable answering, that is one our things, if someone asks something you aren't ready or comfortable we understand.

I was wondering where you got this nformation regading a female psychopath:

Quote:
not necessarily have high self-esteem,glib/superficial charm
she seems by your description to be just those things

Typically a psychopath has an ego larger than the room and if they act like they don't have self esteem it is just that, an act.

If she were a psychopath, every word out of her mouth would be a complete lie or a distortion of the truth, the truth as they see it.

For example, saying she had never been with a man may have been a lure to you. No way to find out if that is true, could have been part of her plot.

What do you think you had that she wanted, money, someone to pay attention to her?

Did she have family that she ever spoke about?

Do you think it could be possible the sex felt incredible to you and she may have been acting.

There are certainly many fishy things bout her. Did she ever tell you she was gay?

General curiosity what did you feel when she just stared or mustered up a pat on the shoulder with all the grief and pain you were going through, did you feel there was something wrong by her reaction? What you went through is a whole lot to deal with in a year.

Can you verbalize the reasons you still might want her back?

Di

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#10706 - 02/18/11 08:58 PM Re: The female psychopath [Re: Dianne E.]
skybluepaint Offline
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Registered: 02/05/11
Posts: 100
Thanks for welcoming me to the forum. This is where I got the information about the difference in self-esteem between men and women psychopaths.

"Among men, psychopathy was associated with high self- (and other) rated attractiveness, low appearance anxiety, and low body shame, whereas psychopathy in women was associated with low self-esteem and high body shame."

Source: "Psychopathy, sexual behavior, and esteem: Itís different for girls" from Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 48, Issue 7, May 2010, Pages 833-838

To answer your questions:
She wouldn't say she is gay, because that implies an orientation. She said she likes "being gay", but it is almost seen as a role she plays, just like being straight is a role she played. From what I understand, bisexuality is not uncommon in psychopaths. They are like chameleons.

She has family I've met. No abuse, but a rather strict upbringing and little displays of emotion in the family.

When she didn't show much feeling during times of crisis or said things that were insensitive, I would get upset about it because I did feel something was wrong with her reaction, as in there was none. She would respond by saying I was abusive for getting angry, and that I expected some specific reaction from her. The only reaction I expected was a human one.

After she'd been with the guy, which only lasted for a couple of weeks, she asked me, "What is love?" She'd been saying she loved me for 3.5 years!! I realized, she was infatuated or enamored with me, not in love. In the end, she said, "You lost your hold on me," almost as if she'd been in a fixated trance and broke free of it. I was so convinced we were "in love" that it is hard to let go of that love. I liked many things about her, but I also think I was addicted to kind of mothering her or taking care of her (I am 9 yrs. older). I guess that is how I got lured in, by her "damsel in distress" ploy and I fell for it.

More than anything, she wanted the emotional and sexual attention I gave her. When I had difficulty giving her the same level of attention from afar, she quickly picked up and used someone else for that, knowing he'd only be around for a month and I was waiting for her to come home. She liked the self-esteem boost of a guy liking her. She may have also been hoping I'd give her a job where I work as a supervisor when she returned home, but I couldn't ethically do that.

For years, I dealt with the banal, sophomoric language. It was almost like I had to constantly explain things to her, or fill in the blanks. I gave her the benefit of the doubt, because she is bilingual and I thought that was part of the reason for her language oddities. I think she has intense emotions which are more like needs, but doesn't have feelings and can't understand genuine sadness, anger, hurt, joy, in others. She would always write in a diary where she said she had to "process" her feelings. The idea of "processing" seemed really weird to me. I assumed it was because she was ranalytical, that she was analyzing how she felt. Now, I realize it is because feelings are a foreign language to her.

The "crocodile tears" is perhaps the thing that really strikes me, now. I saw her cry at odd times during our relationship. Normally, when someone cries, you feel the genuineness of their pain or sadness, but with her it felt like crying for the sake of crying. That became even more apparent afterward. She would say words of remorse, but they would sound cold, rehearsed. Then, she would have a crying fit. None of it ever seemed real. Maybe it was, but it just seemed so bizarre.

I guess that is the thing about the psychopath and what makes us all question for years... who was this person I was with? How can something that seemed so real have all been an act, a charade?

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#10723 - 02/20/11 05:53 AM Re: The female psychopath [Re: skybluepaint]
mouton22 Offline
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Registered: 12/03/10
Posts: 35

Hi Skybluepaint!

The source you cited that described a female psychopath having low self-esteem and high body shame is completely opposite of what I have found to be true with the women psychopaths I've had the misfortune of encountering.

A female psychopath in Arkansas, who is a landlord, thinks she is superior in every way possible. She literally "lords" it over everyone. She blurts out how she is every man's dream woman and uses her body as bait to lure in the unsuspecting suckers. In reality, she is an old, wrinkled, wino with a big jelly belly and an even bigger ego!

She boasts of being a godly woman and yet steals, cheats, lies, and connives. She shows no remorse for purposely hurting other people and destroying lives. This woman is fully conscious of her cruelty and goes confidently about seeking whom she may devour.

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#10725 - 02/20/11 02:11 PM Re: The female psychopath [Re: mouton22]
Dianne E. Offline

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Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 2788
Loc: United States
Hi, I did a quick read on that information and will look at it more closely. I agree with mouton. Although we don't get as many men with P women in their lives, the characteristics are the same as for the men.

One idea. because everything is a lie, perhaps the low self esteem persona was to draw you in as her protector? It could very well have been a trick and lie. She seems to be highly sure of herself to make such bold statements. Did you notice when she had these crying fits how she looked, real tears, real pain etc? They will use every lie and trick they can to always be in the victim role. If she got the reaction she was seeking by having these fits then naturally they would be part of her bag of deception.

The world evolves around them and them only. Anyone with low self esteem woulnd't put themselves in such a superior position.

Di

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#10737 - 02/22/11 07:57 PM Re: The female psychopath [Re: Dianne E.]
skybluepaint Offline
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Registered: 02/05/11
Posts: 100
I like your quote, "Anyone with low self-esteem wouldn't put themselves in a superior position." I agree in many ways. There are two modes in her life. Either, she seems to be in total admiration, adoration of a person and dependent on them, or chastising them and looking down on them. I used to tell her she is a cross between a child and a strict grandmother. Maybe that is the psychopath... a childlike innocent victim we feel sorry for and want to help, only so that they can exact their cruel vengeance?

For example, she was totally dependent on me for emotional, physical support and clung to my every word. Plus, she would woo me with complimentary words, songs, presents. I came to believe she loved me. The second someone else came along to give her emotional support and physical attention, she abruptly, coldly cut me off. She said he gave her bad advice by telling her to cut me off. Yet, the things he said, "You can use me (to get away from your girlfriend)" or "You are in denial (you must be straight)", any normal woman would have realized the guy was a creep and run! Either she was truly young & naive, or the idea of "using" someone appealed to her. Unfortunately, I think it is the latter. She even said, "He was a good boy. He did as he was told." Her first report of the guy was, "He liked me. I liked him." Later, she said she didn't really like him that much and he was an ass. As for me, the person she'd been telling she loved for years, she said, "I liked your body." When I asked why she continued to see me for years, she said, "I had nothing better to do."

As an example of the cold, commandeering strict disciplinarian... once during a walk, it began to rain and I told her to hand me the umbrella, assuming I'd open it and we'd share it. She thought I was going to take it away from her, so she said, "You have a jacket!". As we walked further, past a hotel, it continued to rain. I slowed down and asked for the umbrella. She stared at me, annoyed I was disturbing her walk, and said, "go sit down in the lobby and wait for 20 minutes". I'd never had anyone bark commands at me like that before. Stunned, I sat down and waited. When she came to pick me up, and head home, I asked her to give me the umbrella, that I wanted to take a walk on my own. She stopped me and said she didn't want me going without her, and blocked my path. I tried to walk another way, she blocked my path again and again. As I tried to get away from her, I tripped on a rock, fell and hurt my knee. Exasperated, I got up, threw her umbrella on the ground, stomped on it, and walked away. Later, she called me abusive!

Maybe I just have to accept that the sweet, innocent, child-like person who seemed totally in love with me, never was that sweet. Her gifts and words of love were done to "make me happy". It was simply a game to her. She doesn't know what it is to love another person, and sadly never will. She will see people as objects to use, and ultimately looks down on them all.

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#13067 - 04/16/12 05:20 AM Re: The female psychopath [Re: skybluepaint]
nath Offline
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Registered: 04/14/12
Posts: 3
Hello,

I am curious, is there is a good source of information on female psychopathy?? Most of what I've read seems primarily geared toward male psychopathy (presumably because the preponderance of sampling is done from prison populations and men are much more likely to be sentenced/incarcerated by western prison systems than are women; furthermore Hare's instruments tend to weight dilinquency and criminality more heavily than I would generally find appropriate for more run-of-the-mill concerns).

I see no reason why sex differences with respect to psychopathy wouldn't be large enough to be generalizable, since sex differences in 'normal' individuals certainly are, however I have yet to find substantive information on such likely differences.

It's really interesting, but the description of an ex-GF by 'skybluepaint' resembles very closely a brush that I had in the form of a former relationship. It was in hindsight that I've pursued the hypothesis that she may have been (and obviously, still would be) a psychopath. She fits all of Hare's criteria very well (as near as I can figure), save for the criminality bit, but this is one of the aspects that I would conjecture differ between male and female psychopathy. After all, males are incarcerated generally at frequencies that are hundreds or thousands fold that of females.

A lot of the stories on this forum are about people who robbed their families blind, stole cars, caused deaths, etc. My experience was much more like skybluepaint's where everything was much more.... subtle. subtle and calculated. It's a lot easier to write someone off if they drain your accounts and then lie about it, it's much more difficult when the currency is other forms of control. I suspect that not everyone plays the same games, nor covets the same commodities.



-n


Edited by nath (04/16/12 05:29 AM)

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#13070 - 04/16/12 10:38 AM Re: The female psychopath [Re: nath]
Dianne E. Offline

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Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 2788
Loc: United States
Hi nath, welcome to our community.

I am very interested in the aspect of Female Psychopaths. I have a hard time grasping that they are as rare as the experts say. Besides the fact there is no current data on Psychopaths in general.

I think that until some decent gene discoveries are done I have to agree that it is indeed a question of how many. Why would there be more males than females, perhaps there aren't. On the true stories that I have read and watched on TV and more and more shows are popping up about those that kill, I have to say it is an equal mix.

For years now I have wondered why we don't get more members of our community talking about them and pretty much wonder if in fact their acts while devious may be more subtle and possibly men are more reluctant to speak out about it.

As an example in a domestic abuse case if the police get called (a primarily male force) and the woman may well have been the one at cause it is probably the male who gets hauled off to jail. There is an assumption that the "little" lady would be the victim against a large size man. We know that Psychopaths are the biggest victims in their own minds so I think this plays a larger role than society can grasp.

I got taken down by a female Psychopath, I recently had a major run in with one here. I know the one I was slammed by was a very crafty, devious type.

I think you are right to question the validity of the testing being done on prisoners from many years ago. I would suspect the studies were done at a male prison. At least here we have different prisons depending on gender.

Di

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#13079 - 04/17/12 05:29 AM Re: The female psychopath [Re: Dianne E.]
nath Offline
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Registered: 04/14/12
Posts: 3
Originally Posted By: Dianne E.
Hi nath, welcome to our community.


Thank you Dianne. It's in interesting forum with some interesting (!) stories....

Originally Posted By: Dianne E.

I am very interested in the aspect of Female Psychopaths. I have a hard time grasping that they are as rare as the experts say. Besides the fact there is no current data on Psychopaths in general.

I think that until some decent gene discoveries are done I have to agree that it is indeed a question of how many. Why would there be more males than females, perhaps there aren't. On the true stories that I have read and watched on TV and more and more shows are popping up about those that kill, I have to say it is an equal mix.

For years now I have wondered why we don't get more members of our community talking about them and pretty much wonder if in fact their acts while devious may be more subtle and possibly men are more reluctant to speak out about it.



First of all, I'll say that I am not a psychologist by training, although I tend to be a quick read. But here's my take on your stated and unstated argument.

I agree that genetics will likely turn out to be upwards of 75% of the answer, however I suspect that the whole story will involve some environmental factors as well. I would guess that it would be similar to schizophrenia which is somewhere around 80% genetic (thoroughly validated by twin studies), but there will probably remain some magic touch that will remain elusive for a while, thus keeping the diagnosis of psychopathy purely behavioral rather than being physiologically diagnosable. Similar to schizophrenia you have it if you meet the DSM criteria for schizophrenia, not if you have some measurable excess of dopamine in your niagral stratal nervous bundles; being a psychopath means being a psychopath - not possessing some physical characteristic of one.

While I seriously question the male-skew presently claimed for psychopathy I think that the jury is likely out until there are better data on the matter. Part of this (as you point out below) is likely that the diagnostic criteria tends to favor behaviors that are predominantly male. However, I wouldn't disbelieve that a lot of this is actually a real skew toward the male population.

I can think of several disorders that have very different prevalences between the sexes irrespective of known behaviors. Autoimmune diseases, for instance overwhelmingly favor women. Lupus, RA, Schleroderma, MS to name some off the top of my head. Most (but not all) autoimmune diseases tend to favor women and their onset/remission/etc are highly correlated with sex hormones (eg during pregnancy, before/after menopause, etc). At one time we didn't think that hormones would or should have anything to do with immunology - we now know that this is entirely not the case. Taking the opposite tack, many serious mental disorders tend to favor males. Schizophrenia, is a good example as it's difficult to misdiagnose. Disorders where there is much more leeway in diagnosing (and thus for diagnostic bias) are autism, learning disabilities, and various childhood psychological disorders such as ODD. Whether these are hard-wired or sociological is difficult to say. One can point to corresponding mental disorders in women such as eating disorders as probably being a manifestation channeled into a behavior by sociological factors whereas these pathways simply do not bear out into social pathologies in males (I'm merely conjecturing here), or perhaps manifest as alternative compulsions (doing steroids and playing football?).

Where is psychopathy in all of this? Hard to say. But if there turned out to be a gender skew, it wouldn't surprise me at all (besides, if there is a 3% male, 2% female prevalence - that's still a lot of psychopaths)...

I suspect that we don't hear much about female psychopaths principally because their antisocial behavior is more along the lines of marrying people and bleeding them dry (which happens to be, in fact, entirely legal), than murdering policemen (which tends to be illegal) and other newsworthy items. And it seems like most domestic laws that are written were grandfathered from an era where men and women could commit very different crimes. For example, in a male-dominated society (it wasn't that long ago that women couldn't own property in the US), the social structure didn't really exist where laws were required to keep women from tricking men into getting them pregnant and thereby stealing their money since the ownership of the stolen property was structurally difficult.

Laws themselves are social constructs that approximate social values, but do fail to represent them in their entirety. Thus the preponderance of relying on these legal constructs by, for example, Hare, muddles the definition of psycopathy with the failings of the law to recognize socially undesirable behavior. In fact, with Hare's PCL-R, for example, it is pretty much impossible for someone to be a psychopath until they start breaking the law. The person I had a brush with that was the reason for my interest in the area, for example does not (as best as I can figure) score particularly highly on the PCL-R, but does on the PCL-YV, since the Youth Version has all of its criminality stripped out since a youth can only commit so much crime and likely hasn't done much prison time and the like yet. Was she a psychopath? I don't know, but she was more of a psychopath than me - which might be all that matters....



Originally Posted By: Dianne E.

As an example in a domestic abuse case if the police get called (a primarily male force) and the woman may well have been the one at cause it is probably the male who gets hauled off to jail. There is an assumption that the "little" lady would be the victim against a large size man. We know that Psychopaths are the biggest victims in their own minds so I think this plays a larger role than society can grasp.


Yes, or think of the 8th grade teacher that sees nothing wrong with having sexual relationships with students - women teachers get off with a slap on the wrist by a somewhat amused (and whistful) press and legal system, whereas men get sent to prison and institutionalized rape. Same with all kinds of crimes that violate another's personhood: rape, kidnapping, extortion/blackmail, assault, stalking, etc.

Originally Posted By: Dianne E.

I got taken down by a female Psychopath, I recently had a major run in with one here. I know the one I was slammed by was a very crafty, devious type.

I think you are right to question the validity of the testing being done on prisoners from many years ago. I would suspect the studies were done at a male prison. At least here we have different prisons depending on gender.

Di


yea, I'm sorry about your bad experience. I'm still not positive if I was dealing with a bona-fide psychopath, of if I just had a really unpleasant experience, but the fact that I'm sitting here writing this might be enough of an answer to qualify as such. I doubt that anyone would ever diagnose her as a psychopath, because she's just too easy to like and get along with (and not a criminal). Which is really too bad for everyone.

cheers,

-n

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#13080 - 04/17/12 01:18 PM Re: The female psychopath [Re: nath]
marinde Offline
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Registered: 09/19/11
Posts: 58
I've noticed that, after my experiences with my ex, I find it easier to recognize male psychopaths and narcissists. I know what to look out for.

Women are harder. I can imagine you thought of psychopathy in her... but I find it difficult to tell, not knowing someone, and not having intimate experience with a woman psychopath.

I have had contact though with some women that could possibly be psychopath or socio path...but I'm not sure. I strongly felt like trusting them, but then noticed beneath the surface they enjoyed subtly playing my feelings, making me scared or upset by tiny remarks. Drawing me in and letting me down. Steering me in a certain direction while giving me the feeling they were understanding and helpful. In two cases they were women who pretended to help me, and then helped my ex. They were interested in control, but acted it out in another way...can't really explain the difference. My ex already is already quite "subtle", but he could also be openly domineering and agressive, telling me men should be strong and dominant.

I've read somewhere that female psychopaths tend to be as controlling and manipulative, but less often(openly) antisocial, violent or agressive, and possibly also less sexually abusive, because they have less testosterone AND they often put on the mask of stereotypical women roles to blend in.

I'm sorry, can't tell your whether she's a psychopath, but she doesn't sound like someone to get involved with again.. I wouldn't risk it.






Edited by marinde (04/18/12 05:24 AM)

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