Chasing Identity

This is the final post of my backstory. See the preceding five posts for the rest of the story.

In the first post of this series I mentioned the inescapable genetic depression that I had inherited.  I mentioned that I had considered the ultimate option for treating such: electroconvulsive therapy.  I finished the post by saying that I could have never imagined where the conclusion of that treatment would take me.  That was, and still is, true.

I had been in therapy for nearly two years trying to battle that depression.  Electroshock worked wonderfully and I was able to finally concentrate on life for the first time in my life.  In my communication with other sociopathic, either diagnosed or identifying, individuals, I’ve noticed a trend.  Self-identity seems to be weak at best and a conflicting mess at worst.  Such is true for myself.  I quickly realized, having developed a strong rapport with my therapist, that then was the time to ask hard questions about myself and determine my identity – or at least the “facts” of my personality.

She had noticed antisocial and other traits that did not seem to line up with our working diagnoses of depression and Borderline Personality Disorder.  She had nearly two years and close to 200 sessions worth of case history.  She had all of the anecdotes that I have since related in my writing.  I had no reason to doubt her when she said that there was a side of me to explore.

She had me read a book.  A book that had just reached the shelves.  That book was M.E. Thomas’ Confessions of a Sociopath.  I was highly skeptical as to why she thought such a book was relevant.  Weren’t all psychopaths batterers and murderers?  Wasn’t the psychopath limited to the constant criminal or death row inmate?  The therapist had done much for me and I was genuinely curious in learning more about myself, however, so I took her up on her suggestion.  What I read was an account of someone eerily similar to me.  What I read reminded me of myself.  I was still skeptical.  Another therapist, with much less case history, had misdiagnosed me once with Asperger’s.  How could I be certain that we weren’t going down the same path?

She explained the condition to me.  It seemed to make sense and our discussions from there only seemed to reinforce the possibility rather than refute it.  We met two to three times a week to nail down any other possibilities and any other leads into my identity.  There simply seemed to be no other answer.  The question was proposed as to whether the PCL-R should be administered; whether I would rather not know or face the possibility of a life-changing diagnosis.  My curiosity was massive.  I had not known who I was for nearly thirty years.  A diagnosis or lack thereof, while not identity itself, would shed light on a darkness that had consumed me.

Many weeks and dollars later, we would know.  The assessment and the case history would show that there simply was no doubt.  I am a psychopath.

Image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.  Use of this image should not imply endorsement by the image author, Jonathan Thorne.


Marriage Without Love


  1. says

    That was dumb, diagnosing you with Asperger’s. If you had any autism spectrum disorder you wouldn’t be manipulative because you’d lack basic social skills, never mind the advanced social skills needed for manipulation. And Asperger’s/high-functioning autists find it difficult to lie. They also have special interests, so they don’t get really bored or see hobbies just as a way of killing time like you do.

    • J. Kelly says

      I totally agree. However, they never asked about my antisocial behavior and I always considered such behavior “normal”, so I suppose they got fixated on my lack of empathy. I’m very glad to have met my current therapist who was willing to challenge the “safe” assumptions too many make of themselves. I’d rather know my true self than hide behind a false label that offers comfort.

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