There was a time in which I was nothing but a caricature. I was completely dismissive of others, abused and neglected those in my life, and lived far beyond what this body was equipped for. I learned quickly that success in life was more probabilistic if I were to learn restraint and to be a more prosocial human being. It may not come naturally, and the benefits may seem far more intangible, but ultimately, this is what needs to happen for me. A life spent in constant pariah status is not a life worth living. One day, I hope my efforts will extend to the financial realm as well, given that my impulsivity and need for stimulation still reigns supreme. All of that said, we all have a choice with our antisocial ways. We can let realization or diagnosis be a turning point in our lives or we can succumb to tired tropes that once defined us. I know which I choose.
I’ve seen many of my brethren lose the battle against cartoonish behaviors. They end up in financial ruin, in prison, or at the very least, devoid of the human networks that so many live their life in accordance with. I do not envy them. I do not claim to be a bastion of model human behavior, but I have come to learn that those around me expect to interact with a human and not a demon. If I value their company – which I do even if I find them ultimately uninteresting – then I have no other choice than to put on my “person suit” (thanks Hannibal) and to explore the realm of the human. Even though I do not possess affective empathy, I must recall my cognitive empathy. I must be what is wanted, not what is abhorred.
I feel no shame in rejecting my wiring. There will be hours and days in which I slip and my monstrous underbelly is exposed, but I can work to make sure that this happens less and less. I want to be part of social networks and I want to be valued as a contributor to the human race rather than an unbridled monster-thing. As always, I will not feel sorrow when my kin choose to live otherwise. I will not weep at their prison sentences nor at their social isolation. I have my own battle to fight. The question is, will you take up your own similar journey or will you falter and succumb to the caricature that you once were?