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What If Your Child Was A Psychopath?

Several years ago, I met a woman who was grappling with a problem that, as a parent, I’d never even considered. I was giving her a facial, when out of the blue she confided that she was in deep despair. My client, a single mother, had a nine-year-old son and baby girl. Her son had just been institutionalized. Yes, he’d exhibited some of the signs of a psychopath, but really, whose child hasn’t? Whether bed-wetting. Teasing a pet. Threatening a sibling. Lying. Truancy. Stealing. Threatening. Behavior problems… would you think to add things up, look at your child and think, Dear God! He’s a psychopath.They thought he was a ‘problem child’ and had tried different ways to control his behavior, to no avail. In one incident, she’d become so frustrated with his obscene language, that she washed his mouth with soap (a quick swipe and a rinse.) Because of this lone act, she blames herself for his sickness. His dad blames her, too.One day, her son was particularly sullen. Upon asking him what was wrong, he replied, “I wish I could move deep into the woods and live there, forever, by myself.”“Why would you want to do that?” she asked.“Because then I wouldn’t have to worry, all the time, about wanting to kill you and baby sis.”He was taken to the doctor, who referred to a psychiatrist who eventually recommended her son be institutionalized as he was a danger to her, the baby and others as well.I’ve been through tremendous sorrow, losing a son to death. Even so, I can’t imagine the horror of looking into my child’s eyes and seeing the dark, flat emptiness of a psychopath’s eyes, reflected back.Imagine if your child–drew crayon pictures of  murder and mayhem. Or a pet kitty, found tortured, dead and hidden in your son’s playhouse. You wake up and he’s standing over you with a knife. You see no remorse, no compassion, no empathy. Imagine your child wanting to live in the woods–fearful of killing you…

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