By the time many of you read this, my anonymity will be no more.
A few weeks ago, I gave a presentation on sociopathy (from now on I will be interchanging the words ‘sociopath’ and ‘psychopath’ to stress the non-difference) to a sold out crowd at a venue in the metropolitan area that I currently reside in. I gave it under the condition of anonymity and intending it to be a one-and-done.
Via various recon channels, I had determined that a member of the press would be in the audience for the talk. Seeking to avoid complications, I struck a preemptive deal: he would keep the presentation off the record and I would be willing to give an anonymous interview after the fact for his purposes. The audience would get what they wanted, the journalist would get what he wanted, and I would get what I wanted.
As the format of the interview came into focus, I had a candid talk with my closest confidant: my psychotherapist. There seemed that there could be possible doors opened or closed if I shed my anonymity. If I remained in the shadows, the message would be much weaker and nothing more would certainly come of anything. I thought long and hard about making a decision whether to reveal myself. Ultimately, there were two factors that made me decide to put a name with that interview and my writings as well.
My writing has greatly matured as have I since that fateful diagnosis six months ago. I do believe that it is possible to be on the ASPD spectrum and to act in a pro-social manner. I also believe that there is a great deal of hysteria and misinformation regarding ASPD and sociopathy. I’ve never wanted to candy coat the conditions and I never will, but I believe what I’ve said all along: judge a person by their actions, not their wiring. I may be in the minority of those with sociopathy (and ASPD) to seek maturation – especially under the guidance of a mental health professional – but that still suggests that the great fear of either condition is overblown. To reiterate, I am not saying that all ASPD or sociopathic individuals are moral or amoral. There are many of us that are consumed by bloodlust, literal and metaphorical. For proper discourse, however, must not we consider that the conditions, in general, are far removed from the serial killers and rapists of the world? Should we not consider that there are individuals that are trying to stay on the straight and narrow?
In order to convey such a message for maximum effect, I felt it was absolutely necessary to put a name and a face with the condition. I do not wish to discount the work of any of my sociopathic brothers and sisters that write and contribute from the shadows. That said, there simply cannot be proper discourse when the only ones not in the shadows are the ones locked up in jail. The vast majority of us are free men and women that live our lives under the radar of the stigmatizing gaze of society, living, working, and playing just as any “neurotypical” would. How can that point be driven home if very few will step out and acknowledge that the condition exists in such a manner?
For full disclosure, I must mention the other motivation. I greatly enjoy writing on the subject during my personal time. I love the communication I have with other ASPD individuals and sociopaths. I have learned more about myself in these past six months about myself than I had in 28 years prior. By stepping out and giving my story, I am not only bolstering credentials for such writing and communication, I am exploring a market that has no face. I have absolutely no idea what, if anything, will come from stepping out of the shadows. I do know that nothing will if I do not.
I will continue to use the pseudonym that I have chosen while writing on this blog or via any social media outlets that I use. I will do such to emphasize the distinction between my personal life and my professional life.
I have not received an advance copy of the article and it will be published online sometime on 12/17/2013 12/18/2013. Ultimately, the portrayal means little to me. It is widely understood that the press will spin their own story with the words spun by yourself. If there is ambiguity, ask me. If it seems to contradict the message that I have been presenting – one of self-discovery and maturation while acknowledging the warts present – ask me for clarification. I will read it at the same time you all will and I will update this post to link to the article when it is published.