Awakening for many psychopaths comes at the time of realization.  Either through formal clinical assessment (which was my route) or through self-assessment, the time in which the psychopath discovers who she believes herself to be is an important time.  From what I have seen — and through my own experience — many psychopaths become especially dangerous and reckless during this critical juncture.  “This is who I am.  This is what I do” mentality, if you will.

Such a period of self-realization is important, but it is more important that the psychopath quickly enter a second state of awakening and quickly: maturation.  Psychopaths have the human ability of free will and should exercise it.  To be left in that first, crucial stage of awakening is to engage in unnecessary risks for your own freedom and status within society.  Lashing out because your assessment results or internal belief seems to dictate that you have to honor yourself in a certain way is foolish.  It should be acceptable to exist in a state without empathy.  Criminality, however, is quickly abhorred by those around you.

There is no quick and easy path to the awakening of maturation.  For me, the realization that I was gambling with my freedom and well-being was enough to spur growth.  For others, this is not nearly enough of a carrot.  As I grow older and more distant temporally from receiving my fateful PCL-R scores from my psychotherapist, I can be grateful that I chose restraint and the question of behaving antisocially becomes moot as I have trained myself to not let thoughts become actions.  During the early days of my “new” life as a psychopath, it was much harder.  I wanted to affirm who I was and I thought that acting out was the only way to do so.

It is possible to be true to yourself and remain in the good graces of society.  Recognizing your own thoughts and your lack of empathy is a start.  Many of us will never find identity, but we will always be able to map certain traits to ourselves.  We just need not be walking caricatures of destruction.  We need awaken twice.

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