Can Psychopaths Feel Attachment? (Part 2)

In this previous post, I mentioned some confusing emotions that I was having regarding moving away from a respected acquaintance as part of much needed new start for my life.  I wondered if I was seeing a glimpse of humanity that my mother expressed with her own tears upon my announcement that I am, at age twenty-nine, going to be moving out of her and many others’ lives.  I wondered if I was attached to this acquaintance much in the same way, expressing sadness that they – the person – would no longer be in my life.  After discussing with my therapist, I can now see much more clearly.  No, I will not miss the person; I will be missing what they represent in terms of the games that I play on a daily basis.  It is as if I will be losing a prized tool, knowing that I can do a similar job with another, but also knowing that no other tool will reach the level of craftsmanship that this one did.

That is an important distinction.  Neurotypicals feel sadness upon losing others because of their value of the person themselves.  I feel sadness because of my longing for what they represent – the person themselves means little.  I suppose this is a realization that confirms what I’ve always believed – that a true connection between myself and another will always remain elusive.  I have few acquaintances and even fewer friends and care not about what their lives entail, except for those details that impact my life.  Attachment is to their efforts not to their minds nor bodies.

It is a strange feeling that I do not quite comprehend yet.  I am very charismatic but care not for those that I enthrall.  I could surround myself with many, but let them die as my attention turns elsewhere.  I suspect that I will never have anything more than the most superficial bonds with another person and with so many years left to go in this life (I hope), that is a most damning realization.  Mutual parasitism – symbiosis – may be the best that I can hope for.  A respect built on a shared understanding of impersonalization is all that I can hope to strive for.

Eye of the Storm


  1. ash says

    Hi! I read the 1st part of this post and thought about what *I* would feel, I realized that I do also “miss” people that leave my life.. but not because I miss the person itself, but because I miss what they brought to my life, for instance, a dear friend of mine moved recently, and I do miss her a lot but because she would come over, help me with my work, distract me, and bring treats. I knew exactly how to handle her, it was easy and familiar, now I have to find another person as easily maleable as her, if you get my drift. Then I read this one and saw that what I feel is what you feel; only you thought it was the empaths’ missing you were feeling.

    • Anathema says

      Yes, it becomes very complicated for the psychopath. Whereas most people are in touch with their feelings of loss or moving on, we have are hard time articulating those feelings if we have them.

      Ultimately, you are right, we miss what the person represents, not the person themselves and this differentiates from neurotypicals.

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