Zhawq: Thank you for taking the time to let me interview you.
B: Not at all, I have no problem with sharing, there’s nothing about me I don’t want others to know – except for my private data, (chuckles).
Zhawq: Is that you in the picture?
B: It could be me, but it isn’t. It resembles me as I looked a few years back, (chuckles). Add ten years and it’s me.
Zhawq: Okay, let’s begin. You have been diagnosed with psychopathy?
B: Indeed I have and on more than one occasion. Not that I care, it’s fine with me. I did care to find out if it was correct, when they diagnosed me the second time, but in my understanding it all fits, so I’ll agree, I’m a psychopath.
Zhawq: There’s much dispute about psychopathy in relation to ‘nature versus nurture’. What are your thoughts about this, and why?
B: I believe it’s a combination, not either one or the other, but in my own case nature is dominant, for absolutely certain.
Zhawq: I’ll ask you about your understanding of psychopathy and your diagnosis in more detail, but you’ve told me you wouldn’t mind telling me about your childhood, and I think it would be a good place to start.
My mother died while giving birth to me so I never knew her. My father was in jail at the time for murder, so I was put in an institution but was adopted when I was 2 months old by a normal middle class family.
I grew up in this family with a brother and a sister both of whom are not my biological siblings. My brother is 3 months older than me.
Neither of us suffered any abuse and my brother and sister have both turned out ‘normal’. They have jobs and families.
Our parents are of Scandinavian European descend, so is my sister. My brother and I are both of mixed descend. Our parents always did their best to treat us all equally and fair.
I’m the only one in the family who has a ‘deviant’ personality and it showed very early on.
The father – my step father – wasn’t much around, he was working in a small business he’d started up with an uncle and his brother. When he was around he rarely yelled or hit anybody, he only ever hit me twice. The last time it happened was when I was 8.
I had stolen chainsaw from our neighbor’s garage two days before and set a small shed on fire on a farm two miles outside from town. Another kid that was with me snitched, so my mother knew it, and when my neighbor told her about the chainsaw she told me father, and when he came home he had a ‘serious talk’ with me. I was rude to him during the ‘talk’, more than I’d been before perhaps. Either way he actually slapped me so I lost balance and fell back into the chair. – I know it confused him that I didn’t react the way he’d expected, but the truth is it didn’t really hurt, and apart from a small shock I didn’t become frightened either like I’d seen other kids do when their parents hit them. After the incident, when I went to the bathroom afterwards I saw my cheek was red and it made me furious.
I decided to retaliate, so that night I went to his and my mother’s bed and stabbed him in one of his foot soles with a small ice pick I’d taken from their bar in the living room and yelled as loud as I could: “If you ever touch me again I’ll kill you!!”. The family was in shock (no wonder, I guess), and that night they almost acted as if I wasn’t there because my father was bleeding and my mother and sister took him to the hospital.
The following day my mother made an appointment to take me to a psychiatrist and that was my first experience with that kind of thing.
My father never hit me again. He tried to treat me as he always had, I know he thought I perhaps needed more ‘love’ and more boundaries, but he didn’t dare enforce them on me after what happened that night. The psychiatrist advised them to commit me for further evaluation but they decided to give parenting another try, so nothing more happened at the time, except they took a part of my allowances every week until I had paid for the shed and for cleaning up the damage I’d caused there. They’d done this with all the windows I’d broken in the neighboring area too, so in that regard I’d say they were indeed good parents.
I didn’t care about the loss in allowances though, for I had other incomes no one knew about at the time. They did find out later that I had a small ‘trading’ business where I had kids get me things that I could sell to the bigger kids. I had several kids give me various pills they stole from their parent’s medicine cabinets, f.ex., though in the beginning it often took some ‘convincing’ to get them to do it. Later there were no problems, I was a ‘big shot’ among the more ‘deviant’ kids in the area.