I’ve been facing another identity crisis as of late. Two and a half years ago, when confirmation of psychopathy was made by my psychotherapist, I thought that I had finally found insight into my inner workings and core self. A Cluster B storm, the combination of ASPD, NPD, and BPD seemed to shed light on my callous and uncaring self that required limitless supply from others in order to function. Fast forward to today and I am not sure that the picture is so clear anymore. It is well documented that many psychopaths mellow as they grow older and as my hair starts to grey, I can certainly relate. Two separate mechanisms, the head and the heart, are starting to grow closer together than they ever have, and it makes me deeply uncomfortable. I am not uncomfortable because of the thought that I am drifting further and further away from the prototypical state of the psychopath (not that I was ever prototypical). I am uncomfortable because I cannot reconcile the fact that my cognitive self is thawing and is in opposition to the cold person that I thought was my identity and my core.
These are strange times. My shallow affect never implied a complete dearth of emotions, just that they were shallow and fleeting. I am getting in touch with those emotions that I do have and I find that they are slowly, but surely, growing less egocentric in nature. I am not yet able to determine what is organic and what is simply the result of years of cognitive training, but the separation of head and heart is becoming murkier to say the least. Throw in the fact that I am growing older, and it is all clouded. I find myself bound to codes of honor and respect that I never thought I’d imagine. I find myself caring – even if the emotional component of this care is suspect – about others, though not everyone receives my care equally. I don’t fully understand what is happening, and to an extent, it is distressing.
All I ever wanted to know is who I am. Every time that I think I am closer to the answer, I drift further away from truth, or at least closer to ambiguity. For disorders that are supposed to be set in stone and for life, there is a fluidity present in me that I cannot explain. Yes, I have resources that most do not. Yes, I am far more self-aware and intelligent than most. None of this explains the newfound struggle between head and heart. While I cannot argue that my maturation and evolution will do anything but set me up for interpersonal success, I feel that I am losing myself in the process. I don’t know that I want to pay such a price. However, I don’t know that I have a choice.