The psychopathic condition is so “normal” for me that I completely lose sight of what it actually looks like. I know what I scored on a professionally-administered instance of the PCL-R. I can match behaviors in my life with the PCL-R factors that I scored on. I can objectively say that I’ve done plenty of immoral actions in my life. When things are so engrained, however, I lose the forest for the trees. What is the bigger picture? Rather than looking at a snapshot, what does the film show?
A trusted confidant of mine seemed to answer these questions well. “No, you are not a force of destruction all of the time, but by no means is everything sparkles and confetti. You, to me, are a ball of massive potential energy, an energy that could be used for immensely destructive acts if you so chose.” This confidant knows more about my life than I will ever disclose to anyone else. They know what I have done, how I think, and the constant tightrope I walk to keep myself out of trouble and from ruining those around me. What they said really resonated. I will always be able to associate my actions and thoughts with psychopathic traits, but ultimately it is the curbing of that psychopathic hunger, that potential energy, that will keep me a free person with plenty of unaware acquaintances in my life. The alternative is to be a pariah or to be imprisoned.
Maybe their view is what encompasses the successful psychopath. We will always be with our self-centered and destructive thoughts, but we can choose whether to act on them. That potential will always be there. The rampant destruction need not. Plenty of people, psychopath and other, have destructive impulses. The psychopath just has much greater potential for having such impulses and acting on them. As such, it would be my advice to the non-psychopath to handle us with care. The socially responsible psychopath may have curbed their anti-social ways, but the right spark could ignite everything.