One of the greatest gifts of psychopathy is the ability to not take things personally. Life is one big game with winners and losers and the psychopath realizes that she may lose at times. She may inflict a whirlwind of destruction on those around her, but she realizes that may be the recipient of such actions as well. This is not to say that we are apathetic robots, immune to feelings of grandiosity or of vengeance, but I find that we are less apt to get wrapped up in arbitrary feelings of morality in our interactions with others. We do not judge and we realize that just as we may wrong others, we ourselves may be wronged. [Read more…]
Author’s note: This was originally scheduled for 7/26/2013 but was bumped as a much better blog beat me to the punch. Oh well, scrape the mold off and read.
A new study suggests that psychopaths can turn on or off empathic ability and may not completely lack empathic ability in its entirety. By and large, the common consensus regarding psychopaths is that we are inherently callous and could care less about the pain and suffering of most people around us; that we simply do not possess the ability to get inside another person and feel what they are feeling. I’ve ever so briefly touched on my own experiences regarding this. What would the implication be if we could get inside other people’s feelings? Could it be used for rehabilitation? Would it be just another outlet of information to use for exploitation? I think the answer is much more the latter than the former.
A few weeks ago I witnessed a horrific accident. A person was driving in an unwise manner and ended up taking a concrete wall head on at 110 km/hr. I suspect he did not survive as the front of his auto looked worse than a folk accordion and his steering column appeared to be displaced in the person’s chest. I was driving behind this person when it happened. My heart raced a little bit as I swerved through the minefield of debris, but once I was clear of the debris field, my heart quickly slowed back to normal and I smiled. [Read more…]
I was raised in an extremely conservative sect of Christianity. I remember the Sundays of learning about God’s love and God’s mood-swings and God’s destructive impulses, but mostly of God’s love (Remember Job, it was just a test, nothing personal!). To get my bias out of the way: I no longer believe in God. Okay, that said … church had a very interesting effect on me growing up. As a budding transgenderist and psychopath, church did very little to quell my tendencies. Much like the restraint I show these days, all church did was make me worry about the punishment of actions, not the actions themselves. Restated, I tend not to be violent and not to get my steal on because of the possible punishment for such, not because I am immune to immorality. As a teenager, I would pray and pray that the budding transgender feelings would go away due to the fear of hell. There is not some guiding conversation that stops me from doing such solely on whether an action is good or bad, merely the fear of punishment. Conservative sects of Christianity do love our fears of eternal damnation as a way to shape how we think. By the time I ate my last cracker and drank my last sip of wine, I realized that I alone should dictate how my life goes. [Read more…]
Over the coming weeks and months I hope to address each of the twenty traits that the modern psychopath is defined by. Not all psychopaths exhibit all of these traits, and a person that exhibits all of them is rare. If you want to get ahead of the game and read about what these entail, go for it. For obvious legal reasons, I cannot talk too directly about my experience with the PCL-R, but let’s just say that it felt like the Meyer-Briggs for psychopaths. You are interviewed and based off the answers to the interview questions and your history you are diagnosed as a psychopath or not. There are twenty traits that make up psychopathy according to this checklist and you are assigned zero, one, or two points for each based off the interview and your history. A score of 30 or above leads to a diagnosis of psychopathy.
Lack of realistic long-term goals / Revocation of conditional release
These are two separate traits, but they really, to my eye, get at a single core component: the inability to consult past or future when making decisions in the present. Many psychopaths actually have limited, or no, criminal history. Your author is one of these psychopaths. Now, this isn’t to say that I have not done things that would land me in the pokey, but I have, more or less, been free of actually being a resident. Which is fortuitous considering the tragedy of being transgender and imprisoned (a post for a different day). As such, your ‘smart’ or law-abiding psychopath may test lower on the PCL-R than the unlucky or dim-witted sap that has his mail sent to jail. Such does not make us any less psychopathic, but it is interesting how many border cases may fail to test positive due to some luck or wits. However, I digress. The first trait suggests that we have a poor eye toward the future. The second suggests that we ignore the past. And, I would say, that is largely true. [Read more…]