The following comment was posted a while back and I wanted to wait until after the holiday to address it.
What if you can’t be in control, and others are able to have control? What feeling s are evoked in your at the idea of this hypothetical situation?
I experience this quite often as I am a control freak. I am my most destructive in this scenario. If someone has control, and I do not, I want to take from them that control with a vicious ferocity that is disproportionate to the control that they exert. I will turn to any means necessary in order to regain my place on top, even if their control is not remotely related to my own state at the time.
I’ve spent a lot of time away from writing and discussing issues of psychopathy lately. I wanted to see what a post-realization state looked like in the absence of surrounding myself with the latest accounts and anecdotes of psychopathy. I’ve still got much growing to do and maturing to seek, but I am at peace with the unexpected diagnosis and implications at this point. Had someone never admonished me for my parasitic and ruthless ways, I would have both neither appreciated the power that I hold nor the freedom of showing relative restraint. You cannot treat pain if you cannot identify the source. My pain, the ruin that I inflict on others and myself, needed a name. Someone had to tell me that name.
I don’t want it to seem that I am an angel these days. Far from it. However, there are degrees of most anything. To live in the grey areas of life rather than in direct discordance with the mandates society places on me is an improvement. Diagnosis (more accurately assessment or confirmation) of the condition was the first step. Learning how to live authentically with the mind that I have been given while staying in the good graces of those around me is the next. This next step will take my entire life and I am certain that I will never be free of shadow.
Yes, I’ve been bad (again) on updating daily.
Interpersonal relationships (professional, romantic, platonic, or otherwise) seem doomed for the psychopath. Either we get bored and let the relationship die, or our irritability will eventually cause the relationship to go nuclear. It seems inevitable that just as life itself dies, so will any relationship we engage in. Lord knows, I have left more acquaintances in the dust than I’ve kept by my side.
Yesterday I visited a friend that I have not seen in several months. We had the usual small talk and then moved on to other topics. In my current age of solitude, it was pleasant to interact with someone that I actually respect.
The conversation turned toward our endeavors as of late. She remarked about major life changes that she had chosen as well as other anecdotes that I can no longer remember. She and I were very close when we lived together as roommates a while back and she knows of my sordid past. Out of curiosity, she asked what foolishness I have engaged in as of late.
I’m sorry, I really don’t have any stories right now. Things have been fairly quiet. New job, solitude, and side projects take up my time.
That’s good! Your stories often … concern … me.
I never learn. Just when I think that I’ve conquered Borderline tendencies of splitting – that is, elevation and devaluation of others to a magnitude not justified – my proclivities manifest in full force and destroy everything around me. While extreme elevation is not realistic or healthy, the devaluation (and the interactions with my psychopathy that make such devaluation especially cruel) that I impart is devastating. I send those around me to the guillotine and then wonder why my kingdom has only one citizen.
I’ve been dealing these cycles of destruction to others for all of my life. Whether it was the person in high school that rejected my advances but was a friend until I tore them down mercilessly or, more recently, my greatest advocate and champion that I attacked, I always lose those closest to me when I submit to Borderline rage. The pattern is well established by now. They either wrong, or I perceive them as wronging, me, I explode, and then I ask for forgiveness – promising that such a reaction on my end will never happen again. Of course it does. It is automatic, unconscious, and brutal.
Shortly before I was married, during my final year of university studies, my betrothed and I lived with several other people in a house adjacent to the university we studied at. The university town was a small one in the middle of the great plains of the Midwest and there was nothing but cornfield or forest in the area around the town. One day, my ex nearly hit a dog while driving on one of the innumerable country roads in the area. Feeling extreme empathy for this lost animal – he had determined that the dog was collared and, thus, presumably lost – he pulled over, put the dog in the car, and brought it back to our house in order to contact the owner. I was less than pleased.
When he arrived home with the animal, I unleashed a verbally abusive torrent at him. How dare he bring home an animal without the consent of others living in the house? Was he unable to think? Why risk the ire and damage the respect we had from those we lived with over the inconsequential dog that he picked up?
Out of the many traits that define psychopathy, the “strongest” for me is my parasitism. Whether it is stretching the rules with obligations, showing up late and leaving early, or taking resources from those that won’t do anything (but maybe complain), I always seek actions that lead to maximum reward without anything but minimal effort on my part.
Without directly justifying my actions, I wish to present the case as merely being logical. If someone is going to let you mooch off of them, taking either their energy or a physical resource, then why wouldn’t you? In many instances, their thoughts directed toward you won’t even change out of failed notions of loyalty, as is the case when I misrepresent financial need to my close family (even though I make more than all of them combined). It is as if there is a sign that says “free money” in front of them; why wouldn’t I take them up on their “generous” offer?
Earlier today, I was driving down a busy city street when the following all-too-usual and ill-advised scenario played out. Traffic was backed up in the lane that I was in and the car behind me left a gap so that someone could make a left turn. However, the lane (going the same direction as mine) to the right of me was clear and traffic was moving smoothly there. Needless to say, someone attempts a left turn given that gap that I mentioned and gets T-boned by a car heading down the lane to the right of me. Debris flew everywhere and it briefly looked like my truck would become part of the accident. It did not and I went on my way, without my heart quickening even ever so slightly.
I’ve decided to open up the reach of my writing. Word of mouth among antisocials is nearly non-existent, so my writings face a unique challenge in terms of organic growth. For many, placing themselves out there in such a naked way would be terrifying. Many who suffer from mental illness would be petrified to put their experiences out there in a way in which anyone can fuel the flames. However, just with the car accident that I was nearly part of, I feel no fear. Maybe this dance is simply a tired one; six years ago I faced a similar period of risk and reward when I came out as transgender to friends and family. I know the steps and the tempo now, but I also wonder to which extent my psychopathy dulls my senses. Everything is tired, yet everything may yet be new. Only by plunging headfirst into the waters, will I find out.
I did not wake up one day and decide to become a callous being that possesses neither conscience nor empathy. My genetics and upbringing certainly dictated that for me. I had no free will regarding the existence of my condition, but I have all of the free will world in the world when it comes to acting the part. Psychopaths need not be bloodthirsty lunatics. Intelligence and introspection may go a long way in controlling our primal urges, but, nevertheless, we all possess free will when it comes to deciding whether to act in an antisocial fashion.
Yes, the temptations of blackmail, manipulation, and subterfuge are always present in my life. If there is a goal in mind or an object to be had, my mind will scope out all available options in order to attain that which I want. Before I started therapy and, specifically, before diagnosis I may have not had the insight in order to avoid acting on my antisocial thoughts and impulses, but I realize now that I can’t act out like a two-year old at all times. Isn’t that the best that can be hoped for by society? Anything more seems … unfair.
Earlier this evening, a grandmother figure in my life passed away. When I was younger, my mother and father would often take my brother and I to visit her. She was always kind and welcoming and was extremely sharp for her elder age. This relative is one of the few that I do not have anything ill to say about.
The news broke while I was in therapy; I received a text message from my brother letting me know that the relative had died a few hours earlier. As a result, my therapist was able to see my raw, unmasked reaction. What she saw was a picture of pure indifference.