How many victims are created by the thought that neuroplasticity is out of reach for some? Restated, just how many people with personality disorders or mental illness succumb to caricature simply because they are told that they cannot improve? Anyone that has followed my journey these past four and some years should know how I feel on this subject. Sometimes, the best cure is simply to be told that one exists, and that it is worth fighting for.
These are fascinating times. Competing, and equally extreme, groups are vying for our heartstrings and lives are literally on the line in their self-inflicted wars. I propose that such animosity and blind hatred is born from a surplus of affective empathy and a dearth of cognitive empathy. As a empathetically blind observer, I have no dog in the fight between the extremists on the left and those on the right, except inasmuch it may ultimately affect me if either side should prevail. However, let’s explore in particular the atrophy of (cognitive) empathy that is fostering this current environment of dehumanization and violence.
There is a fine line between reality and caricature. If we think of reality as being the pivot point of a disorder and caricature as lying too far on either pole away from that pivot, then the picture should be clear. To lie to the left is to be cured; to lie to the right is to be lost forever in chaos. While I suspect there is some sort of Gaussian distribution to disorder, there must be some minimum criteria for disorder, and there must be a point where the individual crosses the borderlands from humanity into wanton destructionist. I’m skeptical of self-actualized beings claiming to be at these poles, for either they would be “normal” or not long for a free life in this realm of existence. And if I, a self-actualized but disordered individual, am dubious of the poles of disorder, then you should be as well.
I maintain that my current trajectory in life is not one of redemption. Redemption would imply that I have atoned for my sins of the past and am immune from their temptations in the future. My latent state will always be antisocial; that is what I am at the atomic level. But, as with chemistry, different arrangements of atoms result in different properties even if the atom, at its core, is of property ‘X’. No, my current trajectory is one of reprogramming. My unquiet mind will always be distraught with the internal monologue detailing the differences between the conscious and subconscious as well as the intentional versus the automatic. No matter how much I want to know whether I am conscious in my desires to be a better person these days, I must concede that there are certain mechanisms that are beyond my control. I am a subject of my own psychological experiment. As I consciously strive toward prosocial behaviors, my subconscious begins to morph. As the subconscious evolves, its call overwhelms the conscious mind. I am left with a Mobius Strip of a person, with no clear beginning or end. For a being without identity, this is especially distressing and terrifying. At some point, I have to let go. At some point, I have to concede that there is very real reprogramming that was once under my control but is no longer.
I know that I’m repeating myself, but it has been awhile. Whatever remnants of my antisocial spectrum disorders continue to fade as I grow older and the line between conscious and subconscious restraint blurs.
I’ve been thinking about the nature of my failed interpersonal relationships. I tend to go nuclear, causing a certain finality to occur, rather than ghosting. I suppose that it would be healthier to simply vanish rather than viciously ending those interpersonal relationships that I find irritating or otherwise unfulfilling, but no matter how many times I remind myself of this fact, I still detonate. I don’t have any answer for this self-inflicted problem. I know that many under the antisocial spectrum – especially those with comorbid Borderline Personality Disorder – act as I do.
For those of you that are more graceful with severing interpersonal relationships, please share your techniques in doing so if you once acted as I did, or if your natural proclivity is to explode as I do.
I will probably not be updating regularly, but it may be possible to write briefer, more frequent posts, since I have said nearly everything there is to say regarding the antisocial condition. I don’t wish to waste my time nor my readers’ time. If you are curious about those projects that I still engage in, in other areas, please feel free to reach out to me. I wear many hats and this blog is merely one outlet for my creativity and drive. However, I am not going to muddy the waters; this blog is for my writing, not my other endeavors. At thirty-one years of age, I am hopeful that my antisocial ghosts will only haunt me in mind and not in action. In as much, I myself have become a ghost as well, merely haunting my old arenas and letting the words of the past remain steadfast in their aegis.