“You were always a law unto yourself!”
There’s one in every family, I’m told. The scapegoat, the child who is blamed for everything that goes wrong in the family. In the family known as society, the psychopath is blamed for just about everything that goes wrong in the world. The old movie, The Bad Seed, starring Patty McCormick, tells the tale of an eight-year-old child who is completely psychopathic. She is charming, manipulative, and a serial killer. The mother, who finds out she, herself, was adopted and that her real mother was a serial killer worries that her child might have inherited something from her killer granny. She gets more and more suspicious of things Rhoda might have done and finally becomes convinced that a murder-suicide is the only way out.
“You always were a law unto yourself,” my mother told me. She was not trying to give a compliment. I could tell my her tone of voice and the context in which the statement. Thereby, she was exempting herself from having any part in my “problems” (I was in a nuthouse where a standard question from one patient to another was, “Do you hate your mother yet?” But my mom would have none of that. My problems. My fault.)
I obtained the files from my nuthouse, I read, “Patient was threatening to mother, and mother’s rejection of patient seemed to serve further the purpose of eliminating any pathology within herself. It appeared at the clinic that, by isolating patient, the mother attempted to isolate her own emotional problem.”
After I attempted murder, Mother “once remarked to her assigned social worker that her reputation had been ruined by the patient, and she could no longer accept her back in the household. By February, 1958, the mother had arranged to move into a more expensive apartment with fewer rooms, with the idea that the patient would not be allowed to return home. She also stated tearfully, ‘I no longer consider Frances my daughter.'” Despite her brave words, I was “allowed” to return home after I was misdiagnosed and discharged. The last words of the nuthouse were that my condition was “improved” and my prognosis was “guarded,” Nevertheless, I finished high school and immediately entered college. My mother died and my father remarried. I got my own place. When I disclosed (over dinner during a visit) that I was a masochist, my father took his turn to disown me. He recanted a couple of days later. Both my parents disowned me and both relented, They may have been able to pretend nothing happened but I remember both of these incidents.
While in the nuthouse, my best friend, another patient my age, informed me that she had described me to some professional person who ventured to diagnose me a “psychopath.” This “diagnosis,” as inappropriate as it was, hit home. It explained my detachment, my awareness of separation from others and my sense that they were all pretty crazy in my opinion. As years went on, my certainty deepened. It also explained why I was seen by my own mother as a “bad seed.”
- Crybaby. I had a First Grade teacher named Mrs. Morse. She was mean too.
- Random musings of a psychopath, Part I, by James.
- Random Musings of a Psychopath, Part II, by James.
- A Man of Wealth and Taste, by James.
- Infiltration by Psychopath, by James. How does a psychopath ingratiate himself into your life? Read on to find out…
- What makes a successful psychopath, by James and Tina.
- We need to talk about Kevin about a psychopathic child who shoots up his high school.
- Can a Child be a Psychopath? by Tiffany McLain, M.S., Parental fantasies, expectations can influence a child’s personality development.
- Can You Call a 9-Year-Old a Psychopath?