Sociopathic Behavior

Jessica L

New Member
I have a question for anyone who knows anything about sociopathic behavior.

I have a 13 yr old step-daughter, she is a liar.. she's been caught stealing.. she has no emotion about hurting anyones feelings as long as she is getting things out of it. For example:

About 6 months ago, she decided she wanted to move in with her father and i, we met up with her mother and her step-dad and she talked to us all and said she wanted to move in with us. Her mother agreed, a few hours later we get a text from step-father saying that she decided she was going to stay at her mothers house. Come to find out, she only wanted to dye her hair and get new clothing and she knew I let my daughter dye her hair so that wouldn't be an issue at our house. But with us not having custody, I would not allow step-daughter to dye hair. When she got home from the "meeting" she went and talked to her mom and said she wanted to move due to her mother not letting her dye her hair, so she agreed to let her. So that was the first time she ripped out my husbands heart.

The second time.. her sister (who is 12) said she wanted to move in, so she said she wanted to move in with her also.. So, we told the children if they really wanted to do that, they can go home and talk to their mother about it. A few hours after I dropped them off, I get a phone call from both children stating that they told their mother and their mother was freaking out on them. So we called our lawyer and got an emergency custody written up within 5 hours. Took a notary and witness and went and picked up the children. They were so excited that we then had custody.

This was all two weeks before school started, they had no supplies/clothes/shoes/socks/bras/panties.... nothing! So i took my rent money and went and spent $1000 on them everything they needed for school! As soon as my step-daughter got everything she needed, she went to her mothers for the weekend and would not come back to our house. She told her sister she got what she wanted and she will never come back to our house again. She had her mother call the police and she made (3) police reports against us saying that she does not want to be at our house.. she wants to be at her moms and go to school there (different county and different school). We went to her mothers house, with our court ordered papers signed by the judge to pick her up.. she went inside and locked us and the police outside and wouldn't open the door. We ultimately had to leave without her. She blocked us on facebook. Blocked our phones.. we have no contact with her. Her sister (whom still lives with us now) went to visit her mothers last weekend and when she came home she told us that her sister said she hates us and hopes to never see us again. Said that she knows plenty of people without fathers and they get along just fine in life... and said she got her school clothes and supplies like she wanted and that was all she needed to begin with..

The thing about this is, we don't know where all of this hatred came from... She has no remorse for hurting her father the way she has. He has loved her with his whole being. I've never seen him raise his voice at her.. everytime she comes around, he will hug her and tell her how much he loves her. We gave her allowance for helping to keep the house straight.. we got her a cell phone... everything we could've done to make her happy, we did it.

She has been caught (4) times now stealing, she has lied about the stealing, she has ruined her relationship with her father and she feels no guilt or remorse for treating him the way she has. Nothing bothers her emotionally. Her mother moved them to the next town over two years ago, and since then.. she's been in this "Gothic" type mode, but when she moved back in with us for the couple weeks she was here.. she was happy and smiling, she was mud bogging, she went from being Gothic there to a redneck at my house. While she's been in that Gothic mode, we did notice the last time we seen her that she had cut scars all over her upper thighs, she was in a bathing suit and kept trying to hide it.

I do apoligize for this extremely long post, however I had to explain a few of the things she's done and how she has no emotions... no guilt... it's all about "what can i get" and it doesn't matter who she hurts to get what she wants, she will do it. Is may not be sociopathic behavior, but I do definitely believe there are some issues. And sociopaths have all the same tendencies.


Well-Known Member
I do know some things about sociopathetic behavior because I did a lot of research regarding one of my kids. I also had a foster/adopt child who definitely fit that label, although he left our house at age 13. Some children who do not have stability and love from one caretaker from 0-3 years old and who have chaos in their lives become antisocial leaning at very young ages. This is common in older adopted children. Our foster/adopt son killed animals and molested our two younger kids...we had to make him leave. He was too young to be diagnosed as antisocial disorder but he was labeled as severe attachment disorder. That could be going on with your stepdaughters or else it could make sense. We don't know the whole story. Did their father leave them? Did he keep up on his visitation or ignore them until now? That would make them resentful. It doesn't work to jump into two lives late into their childhoods and expect love and gratitude. And it could have also contributed to any attachment issues they might have. Attachment disordered children are extremely difficult and some are actually dangerous. They are hard to treat.

I think we'd have to know the father's history with his children before we can make too many suggestions. I do think therapy is a good start...for you alone and for all of you too. For whatever reason he left, if Dad did not see them regularly until now, it is not their faults if they don't see him in a warm and fuzzy light. Can you give us more information on his relationship with the girls? What about yours? Are you willing to put in a lot of time with them to help make it better? Do you have any younger children? Has she been dangerous to them or to any pets you have?

Jessica L

New Member
Yes, he's been in their life consistently. Actually we've gotten them every single weekend (against court papers saying every OTHER weekend) plus some during the week (for years now). She use to be on the swim team and we would take her to and from practices and go to her swim meets. As soon as her mother moved her to the other town, she turned into this Gothic child who will not involve herself in anything to do with school, as for before she was in science club, swim team, band and art club. Now she does nothing but sit in her room in the dark on the computer. So, he has been more then just a father to them, he has been more involved then the mother actually have. (Also, the mother left for awhile due to her "grandmother passing".. she said she needed time to grieve. So for awhile he was actually mom AND dad.

My relationship with the kids, i would consider to be one of the best relationships a step parent could have with their step-child. The one who still lives with us, we do everything together. I go to her school meetings, her club meetings, i fix her hair, take her shopping. It's more of a mom/daughter relationship then it is step-mom/stepdaughter. My relationship with "socio" daughter, it has always been great as well up until this hatred built inside of her. She hasn't said one thing to me out of the way, ever. I always treated her as one of my own, she would come talk to me with any issues she ever had, as of now though she will not look at me, speak to me.. nothing. She has the same hatred for me as she does for her father.

Their mother will not let us see her or talk to her. She claims the daughter does not want to see/talk to us and that it is best for us to just stay away from her.

I have a daughter, whom my husband adopted some years ago. And my husband and I also have a 2 yr old son. All of the kids have gotten along great, never been any type of selfishness going on.

She actually loves animals. She has stated that she loves animals more then she loves people.

I've suggested therapy to the mother before, she refuses and says there is nothing wrong with her daughter. I suggested to pay for it, she said she will not involve her daughter in something like that and she will not take her to therapy.


Well-Known Member
Hi Jessica,
I agree with-MWM, that it sounds more like attachment disorder. And she is totally, absolutely manipulative and immature. Maybe someday she'll understand how much she hurt you all, but right now, don't sit on the edge of your chair waiting for it.
This must be pure torture for your husband. Sigh.
I am so sorry you've been "had" with-the rent money going to back-to-school shopping. I hope you kept all the receipts and documented everything. Keep track of phone calls, etc. You said that court is involved so you can't be too careful.
So, who has custody now? I'm confused in regard to all the back-and-forth? Sounds like you share custody.

As an aside ... I would keep her away from your kids. No sense in getting frustrated and having them feel the bad vibes. You have two "regular" children and should spend time with them. Just my two cents.

Jessica L

New Member
Well, we actually have full custody over her. But she threatened suicide to the police if we made her come back home. So, we very well couldn't force her to come under that circumstance. There is no reason for her to not want to come back to our house other then selfish wants/needs that she gets from being babied by her mother. She is very manipulative apparently. Neither my husband nor myself have ever seen this side of her. For years now she's been a very happy child, then all of a sudden it's like she has snapped.

She has not been back to our house since and probably won't be for a long time. My husband did get one chance to speak to her and he told her that he is appalled by how she has acted and that he's so upset she made (3) police reports against us/our house saying she's hurt herself if shes made to come back. She just basically sat there, then got up while he was talking to her and left.

No emotion, no care of hurting her father, no care of hurting her siblings, no guilt at all and no remorse. I've never seen anyone so emotionless!

Jessica L

New Member
Never, not once! She has always been so sweet. Gives her father a hug everytime she walks in the door. We can be sitting down watching tv and she'd go sit and cuddle up next to him. They've always been close due to her being his first born.

Jessica L

New Member
He's so hurt, mainly because he doesn't know what happened in her. He's literally balled his eyes out to me, trying to figure out what has happened to his little girl and what caused her to turn so cold-hearted all of a sudden.


Well-Known Member
If this is sudden, I'd think about drugs.

No, she isn't too young. Has your husband had her evaluated by a psychiatrist or a neuropsychologist?



I'm so sorry you've had to go through all of that. I agree that it sounds like drugs are worth considering, but I also wonder, given the cutting, if there wasn't some semi-recent trauma (which certainly doesn't disclude drugs). If you have custody you should be able to voice your concerns to a social worker at her school and be heard-- especially if you make sure they know about the cutting.

I hear you citing her father's anguish, but it must also be difficult for you.

Jessica L

New Member
It's very difficult for me as well. I try to keep it together for my husband because I know he's in such pain over it all. When the mother wouldn't make the daughter come back home, she actually went to school here where I had her registered and took her out and transferred her to another school (in her town, where she went last year).

The only thing I can think of that could've caused her any anguish is that she had her "first boyfriend" (against our consent). And they were "together" all year last year, then this year he broke up with her and came out that he is full blown gay. literally dyed his hair pink, started wearing tons of makeup.. etc. He's part of that little gothic group she has over there. It was such a better environment for her over here.


Well-Known Member
Goths use drugs. My daughter was sort of goth (shudder) in high school and started using drugs at twelve. Of course, I had no idea and it started out as pot, but after she quit she told us the entire story. It escalated quickly and, thankfully, she quit young.

If this girl is bent on being goth, she will find them in your neighborhood as well...or they will find her. My daughter was known as taking drugs. The times she wanted to quit, the "straight" kids wouldn't let her in and she seemed to be a magnet for the drug addicts and those who didn't agree with society and refused to fit in. She made new loser friends even after she was yanked from school and homeschooled. She had to move out of state and decide to change her life before it changed. The black eye makeup and lipstick and clothes were shed and she didn't attract the malcontents anymore. And don't think you can monitor dress from home. I did, but Daughter would change in the gas station restroom on the way to school with the help of a "friend." And then she changed back after she got home.

Was this child sexually active? That could play a part too. No, she is not too young.

I will remind you once more. Drug use is the most logical reason for a sudden change in behavior.

Also, Mom may be causing some of the alienation. Did Mom get angry when Dad met you? This is often a time when the ex's get mad and the kids, especially girls, do tend to side with Mom. It is not uncommon.

The teen years are hard. Children of divorce, like your stepdaughter and my daughter, have an even harder time searching for their true identity. And they can play one parent off the other too. I don't know what this child saw or experienced, but I know my daughter had to live through a divorce and that it affected her a lot as a teenager and even before that.

I'm really sorry your husband is sad, but he needs to step up and help his children and put himself in the background right now. Most of us have done that, at least until they reach age eighteen. These are the only years he has to help them. If he has full legal custody, then he would be the one to make psychiatric decisions, not the mother. Also, it is up to him where they live. Getting his daughters help may not work, but, hey, we all gotta try :) . Adults take care of themselves, but these are still children and they depend on your husband. Good luck!
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Jessica L

New Member
I don't think I elaborated enough on how much he has tried with them. We literally went to their house with the law, we had signed papers by the judge, the law officer cursed us out and told us to get out of his town that we just came there to start trouble. I was on the phone with my lawyer at the time we were getting cursed out, so she filed a complaint on the police department of her town. The chief of police is standing behind the office 100% and will not hand over the child to us. We have to go to court in order to have her forced back over here, we do not have the money to do that. We called Dfcs, had to leave them messages due to them not answering the phone. They still have not called. A friend of the mothers has called my husband and told him she tried to call dfcs on her. Nothing has been done on any part besides my husbands.

I didn't elaborate enough on how much he has actually done and I see that. Fathers have no rights, even with full custody. They get treated like dirt.


Well-Known Member
I agree. But have they ever seen a psychiatrist or a mental health professional? That's where the help has to come from.

My son has 50/50 custody of his son and makes sure he has rights. He won the custody battle (ex wanted 100% custody even though she ran off with another man) and my son will go to court if she tries to violate the parenting plan. She knows this, but tries to push the buttons anyway. It doesn't work.

He would never allow his ex to have his child all the time. I am not quite sure what you mean by full custody (there actually is no such thing unless she lost her rights to see the chldren, which obviously isn't true.) You don't call DCFS. They are not part of divorce court. You take the ex to court with a lawyer. That's the proper way to get your rights. The police are not a part of the legal part of custody either. They can't change anything. A Judge can. Nobody else. That's where you should be looking and your husband would get treated fairly unless there is reason for him not to.

I am guessing he may have legal custody, but mom has residential and primary custody. 50/50 means you get your child half the time. My son sees his son half of the days of the year and has joint legal and physical custody. I went through his entire nightmarish custody battle with him and learned a lot about custody and the law.

If your husband really has primary custody, and it doesn't sound like it, then he gets to decide about the girl's medical care and it sounds like both of them need help. And it sounds like there is perhaps some denial on where the issues with the girls are going. If she had a boyfriend for a think she didn't have some sort of sexual relationship with him which was not appropriate for her age? She hangs with goths, but you don't think she may be involved in drinking and drugs?

We are long time parents here (some of us) and our kids fooled us once, but they can't fool us again. We are here trying to help those who are just beginning by sharing what we have learned. I can promise you more is going on with at least the oldest girl than just a sudden big change in personality and preference. Something you don't know about. It is not her mother's fault.Or their fathers, unless you are hiding something. And it's not your fault. And since I don't know if the girls saw father leave and if you were in the picture and THEN things got worse, it is hard to judge what is going on. I do think drugs and sex could be going on. I strongly suspect it. And I KNOW that the only way to help the girls is to get them to a psychiatrist. Pronto. You can't do it yourself. None of us did.

Good luck. I hope you can straighten this out and find out what is causing this with the help of a well-educated professional who specializes in teenagers. A third party is knowledgeable about teens (especially psychiatrists) and is not emotionally involved in your issues so he/she can see things more clearly than you (or any of us). You are too emotionally involved with your husband to see this situation straight (most of us are too emotionally involved to see things straight). Your husband is too devestated. That's why you need a third party with mental health credentials. That does not mean the police. They can't help you treat what is going on with these children.

I hope you choose to go that route. It's the only way.
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Dun Haddit

I've never seen anyone more pained by their children than husband. His ex had pages and pages of diagnosis from the 730 evaluation, and passed almost everything on to my stepchildren.

Not only were they genetically raped, but she did her own special kind of damage, as well. All 4 have been impacted severely. 2 show very deliberate and distinct psychopathic behavior.

Our middle son sees a psychiatrist on a weekly basis (after copay is met, monthly until then). She said the only thing diagnosing him antisocial personality disorder is his age. He is 13; she said legally, he has to be 18. She is as worried as we are that he will have hurt someone by then and be in jail.

The youngest are twins. Day and night difference in their behaviors. At the age of 4, I already saw how manipulative she was. She would even self edit, knowing how to tailor conversations for her 'audience'.

Psychopathy is NOT a learned trait, behavior, attitude, etc. It is inane to the person born with it. Good parenting, loving home, structure, etc, all are not enough. It is possible for a sociopath to be functional in society, they can choose right over wrong. Unfortunately, those 2 may be on the wrong side.

I cut my own daughter out of my life because of drugs. It was the hardest thing I've ever done. Sometimes I can't help but be anxious for this boy to turn 18 and be out of our home.

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