I am, in many ways, a simple person. I am highly egocentric and I do not tolerate discomfort. This has led to the burning of many bridges in which I dart into the night, never to be seen again. I am slowly learning that sometimes bridges can be rebuilt, though. I may not be apt to avoiding my arsonist ways any time soon, but I can rebuild what I destroy. I can also rebuild what simply had to collapse under its own weight.
This is a continuation of the previous post. The crux of my dilemma in last night’s post was that I was unsure whether one’s natural state can be augmented. If psychopaths are animalistic, can they evolve to be human? Restated, does one’s past dictate one’s future? Or, because of our modicum of free will, are we given the opportunity to have a future that diverges from our past? I spoke with many readers and read comments from many more as the concept seemed quite polarizing. However, I think I’ve answered my question. Because we have free will, however limited that may be, we have the opportunity to break free of whatever alignment we are born with or become. It may not be easy; it may require contortions, but we have that opportunity as humans.
Therapy fucked me up tonight. I’m starting to lose sight of the narrative I’ve constructed over the past few years. Now, challenging any narrative for validity is always a good thing, but I feel especially troubled given how correct I thought my narrative was. I used to believe that everyone born from a human mother’s womb was human, but now I’m not so sure. “We try to learn to be people, but at the end of the day we are still animals,” I said dejectedly to my therapist. She did not refute my statement.
I’ve been struggling with the concept of “humanity” as of late. What makes a person human? Are there requirements beyond merely having been born from a mother’s womb? What of those that society decries as “inhuman” due to their cruelty and amorality? In other words, is “humanity” an automatically held trait or is it one that is earned via deed or innate neurological structure?
I struggle with this question due to my psychopathy and other “inhuman” traits. I have no conscience as far as I can tell. I have fantasies that cannot ethically be acted upon. I am cruel when I want to be and my “sins” are many. At which point do I become labeled inhuman by the larger mass? Are they correct in that there are certain expectations of what constitutes humanity? Furthermore, are some people doomed from birth to be inhuman?
Those who are ASPD and/or psychopathic tend to be regarded as monsters by society. Movies portray everyone with these afflictions as being rapists and murderers. Headlines in newspapers paint fantastic pictures of destruction. Should society be wary of the antisocial? Yes, I believe that is only fair. However, we must not lose sight of the fact that the ASPD-spectrum of disorders is a reflection of the human condition, not an alien and monstrous one.
Many who have been recently diagnosed with – or have come to the conclusion that they are – ASPD and/or psychopathy often think of themselves as being monsters in a world of humanity. These people often miss the same point that I described in the first paragraph. The wiring of the brain and one’s proclivities may be different due to genetics and/or abuse, but the fact is still the same. These individuals are still human.