This blog article was written by a former member of PCCD specifically for use in my blog. The story below is not mine, but shares the persepctive of a mother of a girl with Conduct Disorder.
Roughly 30% of the membership for Parents of Children with Conduct Disorder (PCCD) are GIRLS.
Conduct Disorder and Psychopathy do not only exist in males. It is time we stopped pretending that is the case.
“You have such a lovely daughter.”
“She is so well behaved.”
“What a sweet girl. You must be so proud.”
These are quotes from strangers about my daughter. I want to tell them my daughter is none of these things. I want to say she doesn’t know you so she hides who she truly is behind a mask of shy deference. I want to explain that if she gets too familiar with you, she will use you to get what she wants; she will harm you. She does not care about you or your feelings.
Society wants to believe that children are innocent angels. Girls generally are never thought to even have the potential for anything other than sweetness and light. Remember the nursery rhyme, “Sugar and spice and everything nice. That’s what little girls are made of”?
After all, it is the girls who grow up to be mothers. We all know that mothers are awesome creatures, full of love and devotion to the nth degree. Society doesn’t want to imagine that little girls could ever be anything horrible. The typical benefit of the doubt children normally receive is over the top for our daughters. While most children deserve that sheltering belief, a significant percentage do not.
I am here to tell you a different version of a daughter. My daughter is now in her mid-teens. She has Conduct Disorder.
In the last three years, she has torn apart a solid oak table, destroyed windows and doors. She has punched holes in walls, broken dishes, and appliances. She has attempted to make her brother with autism have a seizure because she thinks it would be funny. She has attempted to poison her family and the family pets. Her brother took the last Pop-Tart so she poured drain cleaner on his dog. She choked my little dog to the point where his trachea collapsed because he wanted to sit on my lap instead of hers. She tried to set our elderly cat’s tail on fire because she wanted to hear him screech in pain. She has tried to murder me six times, the last attempt almost a success. She has a plan; one she constantly refines. One she whispers to me when she demands a hug in a public place, knowing I will cave to pressure and will allow her to touch me.
I can feel your derision. We must have done something to make her this way. She cannot think of these things on her own. She’s a child, for goodness sake. Children can’t be evil.
I hear your whispers and see the sideways glances when you see the bruises she has left on my body from her most recent rage-fest over something inconsequential. Why don’t I take this poor innocent child and leave my dreadful husband, your stares and whispers ask.
This “poor innocent” child is the one who did this to me and my so-called dreadful husband had his teeth knocked loose or broken trying to protect me.
Her father and I struggle to understand. We fight to obtain mental health care, only to watch her manipulate the staff into believing her to be a victim. We lock up all potential weapons and common household items out of fear that she will make good on her threats. We installed surveillance cameras in the common areas of the house. We lock our bedroom doors at night because we have woken to find her standing over us as we sleep.
My daughter’s lies have created chaos in our lives. We have been investigated multiple times by Child Protective Services, the local police department, and the Office of Internal Affairs at my husband’s place of employment. The lies have been small and large, and everything in between. She lies just because she wants to manipulate or gaslight. She thinks it is all hilariously funny. She enjoys creating havoc in the lives of those around her. She thrives on our anxiety and fear. She has filed false police reports that have led to Child Advocacy interviews. Each and every time we have been cleared of the allegations made against us. Seasoned police officers and investigators have said she is a threat to us. Every time we ask for help from the investigators. Every time we are told there is nothing they can do.
You see, there are no services available for people like us. There are no hotlines for a mother who is being beaten to a pulp by her underage child. The police will rarely get involved, even when called. I am not elderly so I do not qualify for the adult abuse line. My child is a minor so she gets away with it. The stern lecture from the officer who arrives on the scene only serves to make her more angry with me. It is not my husband who is beating me so I do not qualify for assistance from domestic violence groups.
My daughter is still classified as a child and so she cannot be given the diagnosis of Antisocial Personality Disorder, the politically correct term used by psychiatrists for psychopathy. We have been told by some psychiatric professionals that there are no female psychopaths but we beg to differ. Her doctors tell us she is callous and unemotional, she does not have a conscience, and she has the hallmarks of full-blown Narcissistic Personality Disorder. We are told that she will only become better at hiding what she is and will ultimately kill someone. We are told that we must go no contact as soon as possible once she reaches adulthood, for our own safety and sanity.
In the support group, Parents of Children with Conduct Disorder, that I help admin, we have conducted an informal poll. The parents of girls in the group runs close to 37%. At last count, there were 744 members. Six of the members are husband and wife. The group effectively represents 741 children and of that number approximately 274 children are female. Most of those female children are every bit as violent as my own. Those parents hear the same thing that we do, day after day. We read the opinions that girls with CD are not as violent as the boys with the same diagnosis. Well, I call malarkey! My kid is more violent than many of the boys we see with CD. My daughter is just very good at putting on that instant mask. My daughter plays a great victim with the appropriate audience.
We must overcome the misconception that girls are not violent and that all children are innocent. We need domestic violence programs for parents of children with Conduct Disorder because it is domestic violence no matter whom the perpetrator. Parents are put into this horrific situation where we must protect ourselves, and oftentimes our other children, without the resources to do so. There are no consequences for the kids who abuse siblings and caregivers. We are forced into a situation where the violence levied against us is not recognized as being illegal or an offense. It is often overlooked due to society’s presumption that children are incapable of atrocity.
There is only one treatment facility in the United States with any success rate, as of the writing of this blog article. There is such a minimal chance of her getting into that facility that the odds are more favorable for me to win the Powerball. I fear it may be too late for my daughter but I have hope for those parents and daughters who come after me. We must have treatment facilities for children like my daughter before the internal violence in our homes explodes outside to harm the children who really are innocent. Haven’t we lost enough of our children to prison or the grave due to the rage of another child? This must STOP.
My position as co-founder of the Society for Treatment Options for Potential Psychopaths has given me a unique perspective of what is possible when we all work together for the benefit of our families. It is completely possible to build an advocacy program for parents, build treatment programs for our children, and preschool programs for children exhibiting symptoms as early as two years old. But in order to do any of this, we have to make it a priority in our society.
My passion for STOPP was born out of necessity. I want parents who are lost and overwhelmed to have solid programs such as those we are designing. We cannot do it without your help. Please consider donating to our startup campaign.