Many life lessons are learned through one bad decision. Don’t open the baked potato with your fingers. Don’t run your finger along the edge of the knife to see how sharp it is. Don’t put your hand on the stove when the light is on. So on and so forth. Maybe the neurotypical makes a bad decision, such as drinking and driving or spending money they didn’t have, and they vow never to do it again because of the consequences. Maybe it takes a few times for the supposed lesson to sink in. However, I’ve noticed something troubling in my life. I seem never to learn from my mistakes. No matter what consequences I’ve faced in the past, I simply cannot visualize them in the present. I do not learn from my past.
Specifically, my impulsivity seems to land me in a load of trouble … constantly. Whether it is losing pay and a shitload of money for a wild-haired idea to return to school for additional degrees (ended terribly), or blowing thousands of dollars on the latest and greatest toy (grew bored within minutes), I simply cannot learn to delay major decisions. A creature of habitual impulse, a psychopath, I am constantly destitute and putting out one or more fires caused by my own two hands. Every time I tell myself that it will not happen again. Then, sometimes within mere hours, it comes around once more.
Delayed gratification is not a strong suit for psychopaths. We want what we want now, not later. Combined with a desire to feel anything beyond a numb boredom, we seek out anything that will stimulate in the present. If I cannot visualize the consequences that have come before for similar actions and I am convinced that maybe this time will yield some modicum of satisfaction, how can I ever truly learn from the past?
I don’t believe that I can. I don’t believe the psychopath can.
Neurotypicals look at me like I am crazed. They see the destruction I bring upon myself through impulse and they do not understand what draws me back to the self-destruct button once more. I wish I knew. I want my cake and to eat it too. What I want, I want now, not later. What I want is grand. What I need is a true memento of past desolation; a desolation that others would learn from but that I cannot. I’m six feet under with only a small air hole left and I keep calling for more dirt. Such is the sentence for the psychopath.