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I think my BF's daughter is a sociopath

cam11's picture

Really I just need a place to vent. Some validation and/or any tips are always welcome and useful... That said, I think my boyfriend's daughter is a sociopath or may be a personality with sociopathic tendencies. He and I love each other dearly and are going to spend the rest of our lives together. Currently we live separately and it will remain that way until she has graduated from high school (currently in 8th grade). This is working out well as I am also a part-time student and enjoy my space and time to myself. Back to her - this child has always had problems. Her mother is a 2x diagnosed bi-polar, paranoid schizophrenic with a long history of addiction, theft and mental instability. Apparently all this was hidden until after giving birth and sinking into a deep post-partum depression.

Fast-forward to now (once in the Spring, a few weeks ago, and just today) the kid is cutting herself and openly talking about it. She has just begun an intensive 4-week outpatient program at a very good Child Psych center. She loves talking about this to whoever will listen. She claims to be suicidal, but makes jokes in passing about her not having access to O-T-C medications because "it's not like I'm gonna OD or something". Basically I have a birds-eye view of this craziness, and believe me it is pure craziness. There are so many stories I could share, but this is a forum not a novel. We tried living together at one point. The best thing for my sanity and my relationship was to get as far away from this kid as possible.

I feel helpless, nervous about any interaction with her, sad for her father (who is at a complete loss) and creeped out about the whole thing in general. Remember the movie "The Good Son"? Or better yet, the old film "The Bad Seed"? She is that kid!! What do you even do with this?!?!? Anybody?

kathc's picture

You do realize that when she graduates it doesn't mean she's going to disappear, right? Chances are she won't even move out. So what will you do then? The kid clearly has issues. He's not going to toss her out into the street. If she's really that bad he needs to look into a residential facility for her, where she will LIVE not just be 'getting treatment'. As in, permanantly move her to a group home. Is he willing to do that? You seem to be banking an awful lot on "four years from now it'll all be sunshine and candy" and that's just NOT the reality you're about to face whether you want to admit it or not.

ybarra357's picture

"You do realize that when she graduates it doesn't mean she's going to disappear, right? Chances are she won't even move out"

Aint that the truth! OP go and take a peek over at the adult sk forum, having SK's living at home well into their 20's. And 30's and 40's isn't unheard of either.

thinkthrice's picture

I love that site:

Being a SM is the biggest bait and switch scheme in the history of mankind.

emotionaly beat up's picture

This does not sound like a personality disorder at all. More is going on here.

What will be so magical about her finishing high school that will change things and make it good to move in worse still marry into this.

Your partner has a very sick child. One who more than likely may never recover. Sure on her meds she may have times of being okay. Then when she decides she is okay she may go off her meds and all hell will resume. What do you think your partner will do. Cut her out. If he did, would you want a man like that to father your children. A man who could abandon a sick child.

Suppose you were pregnant, In labour and about to give birth when he gets a call she is about to jump off a bridge. He will go, he is her father, she is ill and in danger. You will be angry and resentful. But, same scenario, only you are her biological mother you as her mother would be telling him to go, his leaving to save your daughter would bring you a sense of comfort and relief, no anger, no resentment. There are going to be a many, many incidents in your life together where this child's needs are going to trump yours. They have to, she is mentally ill

You need to get your head around that. This is the life you are choosing. It's not getting better when she finishes high school, college,or when she turns 50. If you are holding out hope that it will get better you are dilusional. You need to find out all about her illness, exactly what she has been diagnosed with, what is the prognosis. From your opening post, it doesn't seem, you know anything about her illness. Your guessing a PD. Your partner should be totally honest with you. You shouldn't be thinking anything. You should know everything about this. He should have told you. If he plans to marry you and therefore make this part of your life, which will impact on you and you having a family of your own with him, then her behaviour will impact on your children, THEN YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH. It sounds like you could be being very naive here. This is long term stuff with long term consequences.

christinen's picture

Has the skid actually been diagnosed with bipolar and if so, is she taking medication? I ask because my father was bipolar and never had any of these issues. He took medication and was perfectly fine. Now, I did see him a couple times when he did not take his meds and his moods were extreme but he never hurt himself or committed crimes or anything like that. So it seems like there may be something else going on besides bipolar disorder.

Also, I agree with the others- the skid is not going to go away just because she turns 18. She could very well still be living with her father for many years after that, especially if she has mental issues- she may not be able to hold down a job and have her own place.

I think your DH needs to look into a residential facility for her. No, he can't make her stay when she is 18 but she is young enough now that he can make her stay.

TooOldForThis11's picture

notasm....I loved reading the following that you wrote:

"The magic of 18 is not that they stop asking is that in most places you legally are no longer responsible for them."

My thoughts exactly! Reading what you said made my day, it really did! I am 57 and I have a 12 year old SS who is a spoiled rotten brat, in addition to being bipolar. He does not live with DH and I, thank God, and I pray that day never comes!!! In any event, I have stated that I have six more years to deal with this, and have been told by others that is not the case, I will always have to deal with it. But it is like you said, once he is 18, DH is no longer legally responsible for him. DH and I have talked about this, and I can guarantee you that SS will NOT be living with us when he is an adult, DH and I are in total agreement about this. So yes, I am counting down until this child is 18! I will be 63 by then. It's just like my username, I am too old for this!! If he were a normally behaved child, I could deal with it. I love kids! Have four grown children of my own and four grandchildren. But I do not like my SS at all, he has so many issue and then there is the pain in the butt BM to deal with as well. I don't have the patience or stamina for all this. I can't do it...I just can't.

emotionaly beat up's picture

The magic of 18 she is waiting for, may well turn out to be her biggest nightmare. Right now things are hell and her father still has control. At 18, he will not have any say in her mental health care, no control. At 18 cam11, you more than likely look back at this time and realise, these were the GOOD YEARS.

cam11's picture

Wow. Thank you all for your replies.

Well, I guess you could say that I asked for this. I am an intelligent, educated person. I realize that 18 doesn't mean we snap our fingers and, poof!, out she goes to never return again unless she is spewing rainbows from both ends.

Here's what I can tell you, currently she is in a hospital, because again, she decided that the attention at the outpatient program wasn't enough, so a suicide threat would probably do the job. NOTE: All medical personnel have informed her father that she is fine, and that they "know sick kids and she's not one of them."

Yes, we are looking into residential treatment boarding school type places. She is not a case for 6 weeks in the wilderness to wake her up. She is a MASTER MANIPULATOR. Her earlier therapist instructed us this talent of hers will only continue to develop. She could win Oscar's for the performance's she gives on a regular basis.

If you do any research, you'll find that the majority of doctor's and psychiatrists do not diagnose children under the age of 16-17 for disorders such as bi-polar or schizophrenia because their brains are still developing. There is a reason there is a multi-series show around that poor girl, "January" who was born schizophrenic - it's practically unheard of!

Last but not least, whether it be right or wrong, her father will not live with her once she is 18. He has been fighting for her to have a "normal" life since her birth, and he's basically fed-up and exhausted. There is no doubt in my mind, IF she is still home when she is 18 it will be a matter of seconds before she finds herself in an empty apartment, because he moved out. Mental illness or not. For the record, I am a-okay with that and I would not think any less of him for doing that BECAUSE I know what he is doing now. Also because, she knows exactly what she is doing. Don't doubt for one second, this kid loves every second of attention, good or bad, this is getting her. She has no conscience. When her father was watching her climb into the hospital bed the other night with tears streaming down his face, as they had been for the past 3 hours, she said, "I like this bed. It's comfortable!"

At emotionally beat up - I am not naive. In fact I've been the only one willing to openly acknowledge how screwed up this kid is. That's one of the big problems. Her family has coddled, and "protected" her for so long that just in the past year when her behavior has gotten really out of hand, have they actually admitted she has problems. My biggest concern is unleashing her onto the public someday. As is, she will cause misery to anyone attempting to be in any sort of relationship with her; and yes, that is a medical opinion. This is based on how poorly and miserably she treats everyone around her now and in the past.

She needs deep, long-term, 24 hour a day intensive care. Believe me when I tell you - I'm working on it. The goal is for her to be 'average'. To be able to be a productive part of society one day. We have already been instructed that with intense therapy, there's a possibility of her growing a conscience and finding some sense of normalcy around the age of 30. She is truly a unique case. Thank you all for your opinions - maybe I should have given a little bit more detail to avoid the backlash.

thinkthrice's picture

RUN! At the very least NEVER move in with him. I moved in with a guy who has a vindictive ex-wife and three bottom feeder children. Actually I was stupid enough to let him move in with me over ten years ago. I regret it every day.