I tried desperately to understand the family interactions in the house. Her mother insistently lived downstairs, despite her obvious and harsh disdain for the woman. Once they had gone to buy vegetables, something had angered her and a fight resulted while her mother was driving them back from the greengrocer. A fight which turned violent, she had begun to beat her mother while she was driving and couldn’t defend herself. Her mother managed to pull the car over at a busy intersection and the beating continued, until her mother threw her out of the car and left her to walk the rest of the way home. She was thirty two years old at this time, and her mother was well into her sixties, and this was not the only incidence of violence toward her mother I was aware of. Having been left a few kilometers from the house she took some time to complete the walk home, and when she finally did arrive the fight continued, but this time it was instigated by her mother. She had gone upstairs to the bedroom and locked the door behind her, her mother had forced her way in by going through the laundry room, across the small balcony and into the bedroom window.
By herself she would not have been able to afford the house, and she and her mother had at some point partnered to be able to bring the house into their reach. I always thought that this was the primary reason that her mother had continued to stay, but her mother had at a number of points offered to move out and she had objected, so there was definitely more to her staying than just a financial agreement. I wasn’t at the house at the time of this fight, but she had told me about it later. I assumed that she was telling me because she felt I would need some explanation for the clear animosity between them. While she told me she was contemptuous, I thought she was just still angry about whatever it was they had fought about. I don’t recall her ever telling me what the fight was about.
Some days later, when the dust had settled the knitting circle was reformed and the smear campaigns against me, her father and her now absent sister, receiving permission to be cruel in return, by way of being told she was right and we were wrong and that her punishment was justified. Their discussion of our infringements, which were all fabricated I should add, seemed a way that each of them would contract with the other to not judge whatever retribution was to be handed out. Her father owed her money, at some point on the distant past he had borrowed money from her but hadn’t yet paid back the loan. Whether or not they had agreed on a payment date I didn’t know, and when I asked she simply changed the subject. Each time she became aware of something her father had bought, this would be discussed in the Knitting circle, regardless of the cost of the item. once he had bought a gift, a small gift, for his new significant other, and this was currency for her mother and she to condemn him to “not being invited to Christmas, especially not with that girlfriend”. I was often guilty of the “crime” of not having said something I should have said, for which I would also be punished at some point and in some way. As I said, often these infringements and offenses were entirely fabricated, and any of us, her father, her sister or I would be accused of having said something offensive, which would also be used as currency.
Since her sister was now absent and I, and indeed her ex, were not involved with the knitting circle, it had occurred to me that this was one of the reasons that her mother chose to stay, and that she had chosen for her mother to stay. If her mother left she no longer had somebody with whom to write contracts. She would often manipulate, if I suggested that we either go out to see my friends or invite them to come see us she would at first agree, but when the time that the visit would take place came close she would break the agreement. She would use her bulimia as a reason not to go at meal times, or sometimes just say “I’m not going, I don’t feel up to it”. If I had anything to say about this then she would simply start a fight, and often had to be very determined to even get a rise out of me. If I did get angry she would just shut down the conversation anyway or begin to play the victim, I quickly gave up on having these arguments, not realizing that the result would be that I would be isolated from my friends. Only later did I realize the co-dependency in the knitting circle.
On one occasion she had filled her car’s petrol tank with petrol and had left the filling station without paying the bill. This incident bothered me for a number of reasons. The filling station owner had opened a criminal case against her, and eventually the police phoned her mother to get in contact with her. The first thing that bothered me is that they didn’t appear to have contacted her directly, she certainly hadn’t mentioned it if they did. This mean that the police had had to go to the trouble of finding out who her mother was, which also made me curious, I had wondered precisely how they did that?. They had indeed managed to contact her mother, who let her know a few days later. This too bothered me, a few days later, but they live in the same house, and even if they didn’t it would have been fairly easy for her mother to let her know right away, either by text message or phone call. Her mother seemed to have waited for a time that I was present to hear first hand the imparting of this information. When she did inform her daughter that the police were looking for her, she was quite calm about it, as though she wasn’t terribly worried about what the next step of the process would be. “They said you need to come to the police station” she said. Her mother explained it away as “I’m sure it’s just a misunderstanding and will be quite easy to clear up”. I thought I must have understood the situation quite differently to the way her mother had. If one has a criminal charge laid against you and the police say please come in to discuss the matter, and one is guilty of the crime, the logical conclusion would be that the police would perform an arrest. I understood that “driving away from a petrol station without paying” was more commonly referred to, especially by the police, as theft. A charge of theft would most likely lead to an arrest. As far as her mothers apparent lack of concern was concerned, a lack of understanding of the situation was the only explanation which made sense to me at the time. She too wasn’t terribly concerned, which I also found really strange.
If I had driven off without paying, and the police were no longer still looking for me I would have been quite stressed about it. “I’ll come with you to the police station” I said “no, don’t worry, I’ll sort it out” she said. About an hour and a half later I get the phone call. “I’ve been arrested” she said. “They’re going to put me in a cell, they have confiscated my handbag, but I have managed to keep my phone”. “Ok, I’m on my way” I said. “I’m really just worried about my medication” she said, “If I’m going to be here for the night I’ll need my medication”. I found this very odd, to me it seemed she had resigned herself to spending at least the night in a prison cell, but I found even that prospect horrifying. To be locked in a cell with other criminals for the night didn’t seem like a good idea to me. The call had come in at around one in the afternoon, I rushed down to the police station and after standing in queues and going from office to office speaking to one police official after the other I finally managed to agree with them that if the filling station owner was willing to drop the charges then she may be released, but that she would still need to appear in court on the court date. I rushed down to the holding cell she was in, let her know what the plan was, then rushed over to the filling station, asked the filling station owner if he would agree to drop the charges if I paid the outstanding amount, paid the outstanding amount, asked him to call the police station and speak with the warrant officer. He did so while I was still at the filling station. Then I went back to the police station, stood in queues again and managed to get to the warrant officer just before four o’clock, the time at which he signs off for the day. He acknowledged the call from the filling station owner and said he would need to fill in some paperwork, and that I should wait while he did so. He handed the paperwork to me and I went back down to the cells and get her released. At this point she was crying, which actually made a lot more sense to me. The cell guard released her, gave her back her handbag and we left the police station, each driving our own car. When we were both back at the house she went to the kitchen and began to binge and read her book, as though nothing had happened.
While this certainly wasn’t a violent crime, I later found out that it was one of many “small” crimes. Her mother also simply went on as though nothing had happened.
ANTISOCIAL PERSONALITY DISORDER – Antisocial Personality Disorder – National Library of Medicine – PubMed Health
This guideline is concerned with the treatment and management of people with antisocial personality disorder in primary, secondary and tertiary care. Various terms have been used to describe those who consistently exploit others and infringe society’s rules for personal gain as a consequence of their personality traits, including antisocial personality disorder, sociopathy and psychopathy. Both the current editions of the major classificatory systems—the International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision (ICD-10; World Health Organization [WHO], 1992) and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association [APA], 1994)—include antisocial personality disorder as a diagnosis, although ICD-10 describes it as dissocial personality disorder (WHO, 1992).