Cold As Ice

It is difficult to hide my indifference toward those around me.  For some, I’m willing to wear that mask that will make them feel loved and cherished.  However, I only will don that disguise should they require it.  There are many in life that accept others with few conditions.  There is no point in wearing an uncomfortable mask with those.  It would be a waste of energy.  These people know that there is something fundamentally different between us, but they will not cast me out.  They are perfect for feeding on.

My relationship with my family is tumultuous at best.  When I first came out as transgender, I was disowned and we did not speak for several years.  Little did I know that such separation would be infinitely to my advantage.  Others let the heart warm due to separation; I write them off as dead and useless to me.  These people, my family, became deeply upset at the lack of communication between us and ended up accepting me back into their lives.  However, they did more than that.  Fearing another separation, they overcompensated.  They vowed to accept me as I was, warts and all.  This meant that I could drop the mask and be my true self around them.  It meant that I could give nothing and receive a lot.  And, nothing made me happier than such an opportunity.

Because of their overcompensation, they fell into the group of people I described in the opening paragraph.  I could take their food, their companionship, and their money.  I could be a complete parasite, giving nothing in return.  No warmth.  No love.  They had not earned my respect, so I felt no reason not to engage in manipulative and parasitic tactics.  Such required the least energy and gave the biggest reward.

They know that I am not one to show affection. They know that I must be coerced into helping the family unit, usually via some tangible reward in exchange for my services.  During that time of separation, I felt no longing for them.  Their longing for me led them to this current state.  I can be cold as ice and, although they do not know why, they show no sign of deeming such unacceptable.   They are puppets and sources of benefit.   They are blind and dumb, letting me in for full effect.  Why on earth would I wear my mask when they have seemingly unconditional acceptance for me?

Do not misunderstand me.  For those that I respect, they will receive my services and companionship with little strings attached.  For those that I do not, they will be used and bled dry.  Whether I wear my mask of compassion depends on whether they demand it.  Why would I want to be struck pale by wearing a mask at all times and receiving no sun?  My mask of compassion is an uncomfortable one, I’d much rather wear no mask at all.

Image is icensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.  Use of this image should not imply endorsement by the image author, Wikimedia Commons user Dingske.



  1. says

    Really an interesting post. I am not a psychopath, although I considered this possibility seriously in the past (including NPD, co-dep,…), together with considerations about some other people in my life. The reason for this kind of self-inquiries was a fact that has started to dawn on me for quite a while, but has exploded in the last year or so. And that is the unrelenting toxicity of my close family. The funny thing is that the problems all seemed to start (and end) with my older brother who seemed like the perfect candidate for a diagnosis – psychopath. My younger brother even claimed it was so. He covered many points on the psychopatic checklist, with partying, drugs, and continuous financial (very manipulative) draining, which all brought much grief to my family and me. During a long period of years he was also explicitly without empathy. But behold the twist – after an extremely long and excruciating period that my girlfriend (which I unfortunately completely exposed to my family) and I endured with my family, I came to a realisation that my older brother might be the only one who is not a “pathological narc/opath”. Eventually I concluded that firstly, my father has an extreme narcissistic personality disorder (NPD); my younger brother is probably a psychopath (or a sociopath, I am not sure about any sensible distinction in definitions, it’s all ASPD now); and my mother is becoming something like a secondary narcissist, probably from years of emotional abuse. My mother was the main reason why I was so intensely and enduringly by my family’s side in everything, because I believed that she would not last long in that emotional and financial pressure where no one else could or would help her. This help included my savings, which were over full two years worth of average pay in my country, and which went down the family drain and left me without a cent in my pocket, and without a job, and if it weren’t for my girlfriend I don’t know what would have happened with me. Still, I persevered with my family (like the fool that I am). I haven’t received any of my money back, even though I was promised continuously, and it has been almost a decade (time flies when your having fun). After some recent developments, suddenly all floodgates opened, it got literally unbearable for me, and I finally realised the truth about my family.
    Regarding my older brother, his total lack of empathy was probably the effect of drug addiction, especially cocaine. Some other psychological problems as well. He still has a lot of other problems, even though he is relatively “clean”. But even though he dissappointed and betrayed me so many times in my life, I can see that he does not have these pathologies, and empathises in his own inadept way. But my younger brother, who was off the radar for a long time, went too the top of the list of these cluster B pathologies. And he is much of what you describe in your other posts, especially this one. The biggest hint about his condition is a complete lack of remorse or empathy, combined with an incredibly succesfully hidden but total parasitic life.

    This was a lot longer post than I planned, and I haven’t even touched on my father, who I see as the core of toxicity in my family. Maybe in some other comment I will. But what I wanted to address here is the relationship with my younger brother. I feel his mind is functioning almost exactly like you described in your post. And I was exactly like the people you describe as free game, for whom you do not have to wear any kind of mask, but just squeeze them. He got maximum respect and caring from my girlfriend and me when he came to college, and also complete acceptance, without pressuring him in any way. I did see that something was amiss with him, but for some time hoped that time and caring, and the right example would have a positive effect. For a while we were almost like best friend, with similar interests, especially intelectual. But the truth kept pushing against this false situation, and it became more and more clear that his interest was mostly in himself and not much else. The main thing he got from us was the basic parasitic supply, including financial and material support, as well as someone to fall back to. I saw this extreme selfishness in him quite clearly, and still I remained by his side. I think it was not because of some intrinsic weakness, like co-dependents have, but more because of some twisted and overblown morality to always be by my family. I wanted so much to be free from it but felt an overwhelming responsibility. And no wonder, for now I know that it was a simultaneous asymetrical war, that was fought all my life against my psyche, preparing me to be the ultimate patsy. But what I want to point out here is that all this suffering, especially in the more recent, more conscious part of my life, achieved exactly the opposite of what was intended. Exactly because I suffered without controlling my narco/paths, I gained a clear insight about how they really are. They didn’t wear masks, at least some of the time, and this allowed me to observe them without false charity and compassion. Of course, I did try to reason with them about many things, but it was like talking with spoiled brats who just want to be left alone to do what they want without any sense of responsibility. Because of this the truth slowly dawned on me, and then suddenly shone a bright light on everything. I admit it is still painful, and I struggle a lot with these realizations, but it is also very freeing. After the initial anger which still creeps up from time to time, it is slowly becoming a real fact for me, and I feel I could have compassion for all of them. I can say that if they were as sincere as you to admit to themselves the problems they have and cause for others, and if they would be as dedicated to improving themselves, going to therapy, I think I could be by their side, even though I know what I know about them. But unfortunately, they are so far from this possibility, and are more interested in gaslighting, that I am not sure they are even remotely aware of their real problems. Maybe the younger brother is, but he wouldn’t care in the least.
    So from your posts, at least I know that some with the psychopatic tendencies seriously try to better themselves. I want you the very best in your quest and remember, the more you are sincere with yourself the more people you will find that will surprise your in a positive way. And all this without any calculating, controlling behaviour.

    Thank you…

    • FNP says

      Let’s try this commenting thing again and hope the site doesn’t eat my comments today…

      “That seemed like a meh effort. 3/10.”

Leave a Reply