I’ve spent countless hours and days over the years focusing on one thing: learning who I am. Introspection is one of the greatest gifts of life. We may stumble at times to learn ourselves and our motivations and may stumble worse when trying to apply our knowledge to the interactions we have with others. However, I firmly believe that a goal of each day is to know myself better than the day before – regardless of whether that knowledge has any immediate negative. Hell, even seeing the cracks in our foundation has merit.
This introspection can be hindered at times by going alone. The questions we ask are often more important than the answers we find. No one person knows all of the questions to ask, however. I have been blessed in recent years to have a therapist that has helped me ask those questions that I never thought of. I have been fortunate to have a voice that has been impartial and has called me out on facets of my being that many would rather ignore. “Cancer” cannot be treated if no biopsy is ever taken.
I have written numerous times that I did not seek out a diagnosis of psychopathy. My initial focus was to help mitigate mental illness that had been passed to me from an ancestry of madness. The questions I asked of myself at the time were of life and death as well as happiness and suffering. I often fought the conversation as being irrelevant, that I was in full control. Control without direction is meaningless. The questions I posed never touched upon what was so blatantly obvious personality-wise: the antisocial behavior, the lack of empathy, and a conscience that had no discernible pulse. When the proverbial gun was put to my head by the clinician, after the dark depression had abated, I acquiesced and was intrigued. I had yet to know myself; were these sets of questions the ones that needed to be asked in order to shed light on the unknown?
The journey from there was long and hard. I was skeptical and resistant at times. The pieces were in front of me: corner pieces of deceit and internal jigsaws of callousness and manipulation were laid out for the eye to see. However, the clinician withheld the completed image from me, and I had to solve the puzzle with no reference. That made it much more satisfying. I had to visualize the bigger picture rather than regurgitating it. The bigger picture was that of one I had seen but never had a name for: psychopathy.
I would have never, left to my own devices, asked the questions that needed answers so badly. I also would have never grown without that assistance. Like a flower in the thick of weeds, someone had to assist me in order to grow and reach full potential. I feel no shame over that. How can I know the answers if I have not been given the questions?