Flying too Close to the Sun

I get it.  It is painful to get close to someone only to realize that they do not differentiate between you and a pile of dirt.  It shakes the soul to know that someone that you care about not only does not reciprocate your feelings but led you on under false pretense.  It hurts to know that another person could take all of your energy and give none back.  However, I am still convinced that these problems are not endemic to any one demographic, even if they may be more common in those without affective empathy.  At some point you have to take responsibility for flying too close to the sun.

I am not immune from the desires for company, and I too have been burned by inequalities in the energy given to  interpersonal relationships.  However, I do not feel any need to blame a diagnosis or subdemographic for what is ultimately a failure on my part – the failure to ensure that I am surrounding myself with healthy interpersonal relationships rather than unhealthy ones.  I have been treated just as I treat others: my hopes, worries, dreams, and insecurities have all been sucked beyond the event horizon.  But, I still do not feel any reason to generalize the treatment that I have received.  Maybe the person I was interacting with simply wasn’t as good a person as I thought them to be, and that’s okay.

To live is to be surrounded by all types.  There will be those that care too much and those that care too little and our minds and hearts rarely have rational say in whom we gravitate towards.  We owe it to ourselves to make those uncomfortable choices as to whom to keep in our lives and whom to let go.  I can’t say that I’m necessarily perfect on this front, either.  Desire will often trump reason.  But we cannot blame others when our wings melt because we chose to fly too close to the sun, knowing full and well what the sun is capable of.

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Comments

  1. Anon Still says

    ‘I get it. It is painful to get close to someone only to realize that they do not differentiate between you and a pile of dirt. It shakes the soul to know that someone that you care about not only does not reciprocate your feelings but led you on under false pretense. It hurts to know that another person could take all of your energy and give none back. ‘

    Spot on. Yes, you get that part. Hopefully (as in, hopefully it’s not too much of a mask).

    ‘However, I am still convinced that these problems are not endemic to any one demographic, even if they may be more common in those without affective empathy. At some point you have to take responsibility for flying too close to the sun.’

    There are sh*ts everywhere. But let’s break this statement down.

    ‘… these problems …’

    The problems you describe are horrendous BUT P’s take it to a whole different level. What you missed out is the GAME part – the desire to control, to slowly undermine, to ultimately destroy, to destroy relationships all around (isolation), to create the weirdest reality (gaslighting, projection, smear campaigns, put-downs etc. etc.), to present one brilliantly crafted face to the world and another to the target (the mask), to suck out all resources (love, hope, money, time etc.) and the refusal to let go but to come back at any time (hoovering). THOSE are some of the problems that other demographics don’t get involved in. Narcs – yes, to a certain extent, but Ns have emotions. A P will eat an N for breakfast. Ns are very dangerous but Ps are WAY more dangerous and hurtful for nuerotypicals.

    ‘ ….more common …’
    As in, 100%? I think you’re getting tricky already, trying to minimise how common the problems you stated are in Ps.

    ‘… at some point you have to take more responsibility …’
    People do. Once they realise what’s going on, once they’ve come through the cognitive dissonance they try and escape even though it HURTS because a relationship is such a central component to a neurotypical’s life. But of course the P tries to suck us back in by presenting the ‘nice’ mask again. Neurotypicals are WEAK. We give other people the benefit of the doubt all the time because we know that WE are weak. We know how badly we fail at life. We expect other people to fail at life. So for a long time we give the P the benefit of the doubt. But once we realise what’s going on and we try to escape the P actively tries to sabotage us. It’s not just a question of taking responsibility – it’s a question of accepting that P’s exist (we have to spend a ton of time learning about them e.g. on forums, books, having the same conversations and variations on those conversations over and over again before our brains can process that people like Ps exist) AND trying to figure out how to get away / actually getting away. Meanwhile the P has drained our energy, has isolated us and is actively trying to sabotage / destroy us as we try to get away. So there’s actually a lot more things going on than just simply ‘taking responsibility’.

    ‘… or flying too close to the sun ….’
    You’re equating Ps with big, beautiful, life-giving but dangerous objects that are obvious to everyone. Disingenuous. How about reframing it like this:

    ‘At some point you have to take responsibility for walking down a perfectly normal street and then falling down a giant invisible hole that was suddenly and deliberately put there even though you didn’t know giant invisible holes existed.’

    ‘However, I do not feel any need to blame a diagnosis or subdemographic for what is ultimately a failure on my part – the failure to ensure that I am surrounding myself with healthy interpersonal relationships rather than unhealthy ones. ‘

    As a P you can probably recognise other Ps. Neurotypicals have great difficulty recognising Ps. P’s wear a mask in order to fool us and they do it brilliantly. And then they groom us step by step into the illusion of a healthy relationship. That’s why we blame them.

    ‘But, I still do not feel any reason to generalize the treatment that I have received. Maybe the person I was interacting with simply wasn’t as good a person as I thought them to be, and that’s okay.’

    We feel the same about most people – that the person we were interacting with wasn’t as good a person as we thought them to be, and that’s okay for us too (though I am wondering how much of this you actually feel/understand and how much is the mask) BUT P’s are a quantum leap different from anything neurotypicals have experienced before.
    I’m not sure what ‘generalize the treatment that I have received’ means. If you mean all Ps aren’t the same then individually they’re not but as a broad category they all operate from the same playbook. If you mean neurotypicals blame all P-like behaviour onto Ps then yes, if it’s P-like behaviour (as sketched above with the games, the hoovering, the destruction etc.) it probably IS a P.

    ‘But we cannot blame others when our wings melt because we chose to fly too close to the sun, knowing full and well what the sun is capable of.’
    No, it’s NOT our fault that we didn’t see the invisible P hunting us. And no, society at large is still ignorant of Ps so most people don’t know what Ps are capable of. Disingenuous. We CAN blame others when a giant invisible hole is suddenly and deliberately put in our path and we fall down it.

    • MA32 says

      Sometimes people just don’t know what’s going on in other people’s head and there’s always that thing: “But he/she loves me and we all make mistakes”, until people realize that isn’t what is going on, which can be prolonged by being willfully oblivious as some sort of defense.
      However this anon says “P’s” are invisible. So, I would like to know how someone over the internet can “diagnose” another (a complete stranger in this case) just by reading a few comments?

      • FNP says

        The anon doesn’t actually realize that, for the most part, most of us psychopaths can act just like a neurotypical would expect us to act, as long as the situation doesn’t require actual emotional involvement.

  2. Anon says

    If you read Anon’s post, MA32, you’ll see a comment to the effect that Ps all use the same playbook. They do. Once you’ve experienced the behavioural patterns they ALL follow, you recognise them very easily. And let’s face it, no normal person lures another into a relationship with a false mask, just so they can destroy them emotionally from the inside out. Ps have a particular energy and way of being in the world…..and very similar histories over time. Met one? You’ve met them all.

    • MA32 says

      And if you bother to look through the comments you’ll see what I’m talking about… lol… He said I was one, but the thing is: I’m not. And I’ve been to therapists and I wasn’t diagnosed with anything, you know why? Because I don’t have it. I don’t even have any risk factors to develop the disorder (unless I have the gene(s) – I haven’t sequenced my genome – however it is thought that it’s not enough to have the genetic basis).

    • FNP says

      “Very similar histories over time” would seem to indicate that you think all psychopaths will go through life exactly like PG does.

      Nothing could be further from the truth. For example, I have never had enough alcohol in me to get even to the point of tipsy, as I can’t stand the taste.

      In regards to this mythical playbook that everyone seems to think we have… I act the way I do because it’s the way people in TV shows and such act in response to things. If people are used to seeing it on TV all the time, they won’t suspect anything when I act the same way in the same situations as their favorite character.

  3. Anon says

    I wasn’t referring to mimicry of ‘normal’ behavior, but to standard psychopathic behaviors: as examples, triangulation, pathological lying, stealing, cheating, promiscuous/violent/abusive sex, gas lighting, word salad, pathological self interest, black and white thinking, sabotage, chaos, drama and the rest of the psychopathic playbook.

    • FNP says

      You know what’s funny about you, anon?

      You act like nobody except psychopaths ever lies, cheats, steals, has self-interest, thinks in terms of absolutes, or has drama.

      In reality, the difference is that with normies, it’s immediately clear that they’re lying. With us psychopaths, it’s impossible to tell without serious, long-term research into the individual’s life.

  4. Anon says

    Hi FNP

    It’s all a question of degree, isn’t it? Pathological lying/cheating/, compulsive stealing and a permanent compulsion to harm others – acted upon or not – versus ‘normal’ moral relativism. You’re right, in that ‘normals’ lie, cheat, steal, but that’s never WHO a ‘normal’ is. It doesn’t define them: they are capable of genuine altruism, of feeling guilt, compassion, love, an appreciation of beauty, an ability to sacrifice themselves for a bigger principle.

    Comparing an individual whose only compass is permanently oriented towards extreme self interest, always and at all time with someone who is occasionally cowardly, dishonest and/or selfish, is a little like comparing a toddler to a serial killer. Both are capable of behaving badly: one can be educated out of it. The other……not so much.

    I’d also disagree that it’s impossible to identify a psychopath without serious, long-term research into an individual’s life. Some, you need to be around for 3-6 months to be sure. Others….you look into their eyes….listen to their voices….watch the way they move…observe the incongruity between word and action….hear their stories about their past. Anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour, is all it takes.

    Psychopaths may be great observers of human behavior and acutely aware of others’ emotions.

    Psychopathy – or any other Cluster B disorder – is not a prerequisite for acutely developed social skills or intelligence.

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