It was nearly a decade ago. My aunt was battling stage III ovarian cancer and was in the borderlands between life and death. Her hair gone, her voice weakened, she continued to soldier on, driven solely by the love of those around her – a love that I did not partake in. My aunt was my mother figure growing up. She and my grandparents were responsible for showing me the love and care that my parents never did. While I faced abuse at home, I received only the tenderest of emotional support at my grandparents’. It was around this time, nearly a decade ago, that I began transitioning from male to female. I had few allies at home and my efforts to soften the blow by outing my brother (as gay) seemed to do little. While my aunt was fighting for her life, I demanded that she begin the conversation at home that I would not. She would be the messenger of bad news for me. 10 years later, I am still unsure to the extent that I love her. She has bent over backwards at every step to ensure that I live a fruitful life, but I simply cannot muster the emotional bond for her that I have for select others. No emotional bond, no affective empathy. One day she will pass and I wonder: will I care then those things that I do not care now?
I’ve written frequently of emotional bonds as of late. To date, I’ve experienced only two of these to my knowledge. Both of them were reduced to ash as either the interpersonal relationship came to an end or distance reduced the temperature at which my heart burned. I am unsure whether psychopaths in general can tap into such emotional bonds. I did not have a single emotional bond until the time near my fourth year in therapy. Restated, I had been conditioned to be more prosocial and connected with the world for sufficient time before I began to feel any emotional bonds. And, we all know that the overwhelming majority of psychopaths do not enter therapy or are not receptive to such. Why was I? Check the ‘therapy’ tag for more information there.
I know that in order to form an emotional bond, the other person must see me for whom I truly am. I cannot mask and I cannot hide. I must be fully exposed and I must know that the other person is completely comfortable with me, warts and all. However, this is not sufficient. I have a handful of acquaintances that are “in the know” with my true self and I do not have the remotest bond with them. I suppose there must be a level of intimacy involved, either physically or intellectually. Even then, the bonds are destined to be broken and I am left always as I was before: a lone wolf with no company to be found.
My jury is still out regarding whether it is better to be connected with others or not. Others are always doomed to failure and to inadequacy. I see brief flashes of color in my interactions with others, but they always manage to turn out the lights on me. I am certainly stretched to my breaking point when trying to develop these emotional and empathic bonds that I write of. I must contort and displace myself in order to feel the slightest investment in another person, and it certainly is true that it takes immeasurable amounts of time and energy to organically develop those bonds that cannot be created otherwise. My narcissism dictates that I focus on myself first. My antisocial bent dictates that I view others as tools for a given purpose. It should be evident as a result, that for those like me, that asphyxiation will set it if we hold our breath waiting for most, if any, emotional bonds. If they happen, they happen out of time and sheer will: two things that the overwhelming majority of psychopaths are simply unable to provide.