There were mutual apologies for the events that set me off to the highest levels of anger the other day. My confidant may have meant theirs, but mine was insincere. It is not that I do not realize that I was “in the wrong,” but rather it is that I simply cannot associate an emotional response with that knowledge. Since I am incapable of feeling regret or remorse, I cannot do anything but acknowledge my insincerity. I find it unfortunate that my actions had a negative effect on another, but that is simply academic knowledge – it is not a feeling state where I could do anything but say words of apology that contain no soul. In a sense, I am merely wasting breath by apologizing; my confidant knows that my words are insincere.
Apologies fascinate me. People apologize in order to articulate remorse or regret over actions that caused another distress. There is a true feeling state involved. These people want to make known how terrible they feel over their transgressions. It is understood that a heartfelt apology is a vehicle for healing for both parties. It is the natural progression from regret and remorse to forgiveness – or at least acknowledgement that the offending party did feel negative emotion over the action that occurred.
I do not feel bad over my explosive response to the poor choice of words by my confidant. Do not misunderstand me, this does not imply that I necessarily feel good either. For me, it was simply a thing that happened that had negative consequences for both parties involved. I’m not proud of my response but I literally cannot feel regret or remorse over it. I cannot be pained with the emotional pain that leads others to apology. I am hesitant to say that an apology on my part is mere gamesmanship, but it certainly is hollow and insincere.
This might be the greatest curse of being psychopathic. It reminds me of those rare individuals that cannot feel pain. At first, it sounds like a tremendous blessing. Then you learn that these people chew holes through their mouths when they are young since they do not have the warning signals to avoid a certain behavior or activity. They cannot feel that pain. I realize that there are simply emotional and empathic deficits that I have. I have to study and learn behavior that does not come automatically since I have those deficits. I am viewed as exotic and strange and, possibly, fear-worthy because of my alien state.
Something as simple as an apology becomes infinitely more complicated because I cannot partake in those automatic responses that others have. Those close to me know that I am insincere. They also know, however, that it is not that I am oblivious to the challenges I present to them. They, and I, have simply come to accept that we have what we have and that my honesty may need to rise higher than any emotion or empathy-backed action.