This is the second of three posts on revealing parts of myself to others. The previous post dealt with coming out as transgender. This post will explore reactions of others that now know I’m psychopathic. Finally, the last post will summarize the disclosure experience.
Fewer know that I’m psychopathic than know that I’m transgender. As bad as the stigma is for the transgendered, the stigma of being psychopathic is much, much worse. Hardly anyone sympathizes with the psychopath. We are thought of as perpetually unhinged monsters that do nothing but rape, kill, and steal. Yes, there are some of us that do that, but there are a non-zero percentage of any strata of mankind that does such actions. We just simply are considered to be behaving badly at all times regardless of our actual orientation, proclivities, and, most importantly, our actions.
Once I began writing this blog, I decided to open up with a few, very close friends. I did this mostly for the initial seeds of readership, but there was also a component in it that made me feel like they deserved to know via the mutual respect we’ve cultivated. One such friend asked me the following questions, via an instant messenger protocol:
reading your blog (lots of posts) does worry me
because you talk about being manipulative, no empathy, lying, etc…
and I know these are all things that psychopaths do
and so I worry/wonder if there times where you do that to me
It was at this moment that I realized, personally, that the world changes for people that find out that I am a psychopath. I have yet to meet anyone that does not have some thought in the back of their mind that I am actively using them for some grander scheme. In some ways, they are right. I do not toy, or play games, with those that I respect, but respect need not be eternal. So I have my own ruleset in place for how I interact with others, but they are very hesitant to believe me when I say that I am not actively using, manipulating, or deceiving them. I do believe, in general, that trusting the psychopath is unwise. We can do extraordinarily immoral things on the slightest of whims. However, it still hurt to know that such a belief means that my closest, and most respected, friends should follow the same advice once I disclose. People fear me because I am transgender. People fear me because I am a psychopath. However, does not such fear deny my individuality?
The reaction, if different (or more accurately, in addition to) than the above, from other close friends was of disbelief. Most did not see it coming. I was considered one of the nicest and most respectful people that they knew. They never saw me manipulate and maybe they saw me get irritated with someone else over trivial things or maybe they took a rush of vicariousness via my sordid stories that involved fighting boredom, but they never suspected ‘psychopath’ even if they knew, in advance, what the word meant. Some of them have admitted that they now think of me differently and one did ‘check out’ of our friendship, but overall those I have disclosed to have stuck with me. I think this is mostly due to the fact that I chose those that I disclosed to very carefully.
I still believe the hardest part of coming out as a psychopath is the required ability to assure those that you come out to that you are not a threat. At least not at that moment. I am cognizant that matters can change in the manner of hours, but at the time I disclosed, these were people that I had the utmost respect for. Those I respect I keep off limits, even if they do not believe me.