Every day I touch the center line. Every day I wonder if this is the day that I’ll finally cross it. I swerve and I return to the side I belong in, but some day I may not catch myself in time. Of course, the danger of crossing the center line totally depends on the traffic coming the opposite direction and the vehicle you are driving. However, it is a boundary to be respected and kept on the right side of.
Crossing the center line is a metaphor for going past the boundary into dangerous territory. The danger could be to one’s self or to another. Most days, someone strikes a nerve in such a fashion where I just want to ruin them. Now, ruining or violating a person always comes with risk. It could damage the reputation, it could land you in jail (depending on how far you take things), and it could ruin your future. Just like crossing the center line can result in a head-on collision, crossing the boundary into vindictive action can result in damage. Yet, no matter how I hard I try, I always find myself pushing that line.
If I cannot understand what sends me into a vindictive rage, how can I ever learn to back off this edge? It is not that I am concerned for those I ruin; it is that I don’t want to jeopardize my own status. Do other psychopaths have this problem? Do others try to better understand themselves as a result? I suspect few of us particularly feel for the targets, but the more intelligent psychopath must realize that there are boundaries that must be respected in order to remain a free and “social” being.
If we lock eyes after you have wronged me and I walk away, I am still thinking about the damage I can do to you. I just realize that I’m heading toward the wrong lane, that I am heading to the point of no return, and that I realize that for my own self-interest it is not worth pursuing vengeance. Your well-being does not enter the picture. The reaction is simply too risky to exact on you. If I cross that center line, however, we will collide and I will survive.