Reader Question: Letting the Mask Slip

This is a very brief post featuring a question I received over on Tumblr.  I should be back to full posts tomorrow.

The question:

Now I know the answer “don’t be stupid” probably applies here, but from your own perspective, how would you keep people from finding out that you’re a psychopath if you’ve allowed yourself to be maskless for a period of time that has caused it to be ill-fitting?

My response:

It’s tricky.  Yes, every time you take the mask off, it becomes harder to put on.  I think the key is to play off people’s naivety.  People assume that they are surrounded by “good” people and – honestly – most do not even think of the term ‘psychopath’ at any point in their lives unless it has been brought up.  They might think you are off, but I highly doubt, unless they are trained in psychology, that they’ll consider ASPD, much less psychopathy.

I suppose that it is better not to let the mask slip in the first place, but as a relatively open psychopath, I’d be hypocritical to suggest that you *must* do so.

How do my readers deal with such a situation?

Selflessness and Discourse … Contradictory?

I’ve been reading a lot lately.  Most of the books have been on psychopathy (and the neuroscience of psychopathy, in particular), but I’ve also been reading books on how to be a better blogger and social media user.  While these latter books are focused on businesses and corporations, their teachings extend to the up and coming blogger and writer as well.  An interesting trend with these books is that they champion the use of altruism as a means for outreach.  The authors of these books – such as The Tao of Twitter – argue that being selfless is the key to the hearts of others.  The implication is clear, however.  Do for others so that others will do for you.  However, does not this violate the core definition of altruism?  That actions are to be made solely for their own sake and without an expectation of personal gain as a result?

As I’ve written before regarding altruism, I believe the concept is inherently flawed.  Short of throwing oneself on a grenade to save one’s comrades at the expense of their own life, I fail to see how the overwhelming majority of actions that are considered “altruistic” are truly such.  Whether altruistic actions are born from hopes of quid pro quo behavior or even as a means of inflating one’s own sense of self, nearly all actions have a benefit to the one performing them – unless one is just self-destructive and performs only actions that harm themselves.  So how can one be purely selfless with discourse?  I don’t believe that it is possible.

Continue reading Selflessness and Discourse … Contradictory?


A very respected reader asked me the following question over on Tumblr:

How would you describe your experiences with enmity?

My relationship with spite, anger, and a feeling of being wronged is very straightforward.  I rarely take things personally. (I suppose because my actions themselves tend to be impersonal?)  However, when I do feel wronged and the perception reaches a point where I do take it personally, things tend to escalate quickly, though the magnitude of my “revenge” is usually within the realms of reason.  For instance, I can differentiate between the impersonal slight (such as an acquaintance forgetting to bring me an item that I require at a time we agreed upon) with the very personal offense (a former friend neglecting to invite me to his wedding solely because I am transgender).  Sometimes the distinction becomes fuzzy (as with the missiles launched by both sides when I turned in my resignation with a former employer) and it becomes harder to articulate the line between “playing along” and full-scale retribution.

Continue reading Enmity

Reader Question: Sociopath or Psychopath?

A reader sent me the following question:

In your opinion, what is the difference between a psychopath and a sociopath? Do you believe there is one?

I responded with the following:

This is a question with a million different answers it seems.  In the earlier part of the 20th century when psychologists believed that environment played the biggest role in the personalities of others, the term ‘sociopath’ was born.  As genetic-based personality studies took root, academia quickly abandoned the term in favor of the original term used (coined in the late 1800s) – ‘psychopath.’

Continue reading Reader Question: Sociopath or Psychopath?

Night and Day – The Diversity of Psychopaths

I finished Kent Kiehl’s The Psychopath Whisperer last night and am nearly finished with James Fallon’s The Psychopath Inside as I write this.  Their views on psychopaths and their “complexity” differ greater than night and day.  As I read Kiehl’s book, I felt an existential crisis trying to reconcile my own complexity with the simplicity of the criminal psychopaths that he studied.  His psychopaths did not show comorbidity with any other disorders (so we are led to believe) and were cookie cutter copies of one another.  I, meanwhile, am Bipolar and Borderline in addition to psychopathic.  Did the PCL-R get my diagnosis wrong?  Was I really not psychopathic?  Given his focus on criminal psychopaths and the way that the information was presented, it certainly seemed possible.  Was all of my work this past year for nothing?

I brought my concerns to my therapist last night.  We noted that there is still little research on the 23% of adult psychopaths that are not incarcerated.  Also we noted that the focus of Kiehl’s book was with psychopathy and the studies presented had little interest in comorbid disorders anyway.  There is simply too many unknowns.  The PCL-R had assessed me as psychopathic and ASPD (and Borderline for that matter) did not explain as much complexity as psychopathy certainly did.  There needed to be more research.

Continue reading Night and Day – The Diversity of Psychopaths

Harbinger of Destruction … The Impulsive Psychopath

Psychopaths are creatures of impulse.  We act without thinking things through and the consequences can be dire for the psychopath.  For instance, I have all of my mail sent to a family member’s residence given the fact that I move so often – most times without properly analyzing the cost and benefit of such moves.  If I live at a place for more than a few months, I’ve done an impeccable job of keeping my wanderlust in check.  However, the downside of having my mail sent to one central location (namely, with family) is that they can often see from the envelopes’ outsides what is contained therein.  They’ve been on my case lately about my debt as the loan sharks are after me wanting to offer me a deal too good to pass up.  Why?  Because I’ve spent close to 50,000 dollars on items using credit over the past couple of years and I have nothing to show for it.  I see.  I consume.  I purchase.

I’ve nearly quit jobs on a whim without another to fall back on.  The idea of planning out a fail-safe solution does not register as do any goals in my life.  Drugs and random other substance abuse were not entirely uncommon in my early to mid twenties regardless of the damage I intellectually knew they would cause.  I got married after knowing my ex-spouse for only a couple of months.  I transitioned without thinking through the consequences.  Combined with the psychopath’s need for stimulation, impulsivity can cause real problems.

Continue reading Harbinger of Destruction … The Impulsive Psychopath

Wind Walker – Psychopaths and Long Term Goals

The psychopath, should she have goals, finds that many of her goals never come to fruition.  In line with her self-grandiosity, many goals made are simply unattainable by anyone with such a position in life.  In Kent Kiehl’s The Psychopath Whisperer, for instance, we hear of the assassin of James Garfield, Charles Guiteau had “plans” to become an ambassador to foreign countries as well has a strong desire to marry rich.  The fact that he had little worth in life, was disbarred as a lawyer in one state, and was an unfocused mess did not deter him from trying, although his plans never reached maturity.

It is also common for the psychopath simply to lack long-term goals.  This more closely resembles my own life experience.  I drift from residence to residence, never settling down or even imagining what it could be like to settle down, start a family, plan a career, or any number of “goals” that the neurotypical seeks day in and day out.  I am a nomad in more than the literal sense of the word.   The first goals I can ever remember truly setting for myself are quite recent and may or may not be realistic.  I want to create further discourse on ASPD and psychopathy if only to understand myself better.  Whether one person, a psychopath at that, can do that is uncertain at this point.

Continue reading Wind Walker – Psychopaths and Long Term Goals

Reflection … Without Emotion, Without Care

Many neurotypical readers over the past year have pointed out how emotionless my written words are.  My life has been a sordid one at times and, of course, my writing focuses on the nature of psychopathy.  That said, I do not wish to mislead the reader.  Maybe it is my shallow affect or maybe it is my inability to feel guilt or remorse, but I simply do not have an emotional state when reflecting upon my life and the role that psychopathy has played in it.

Yes, the occasional antisocial act will bring a smile to my face for a brief moment, but as I distance myself temporally from the event, I lose all sense of “pride” in my actions.  I especially do not feel sadness nor remorse regarding my sins.  I am simply stoic regarding it all.  We will see later that many psychopaths can exhibit a sort of smugness regarding criminality, but in general, it seems that many or most of us simply cannot dredge the waters for emotion regarding that which we’ve done.

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The Promiscuous Psychopath

I met him at the local coffee shop.  He had just been released from the local prison and was then residing in a halfway house for those transitioning back into society.  Before I knew it, I had seduced him and was giving him oral back at my place while my roommate and her kid were downstairs watching kids’ movies.  After sex, I dropped him back off at the coffee shop and never contacted him again.  He was simply a toy to play with and a relatively rare treat for one that does not have sex unless I can break down the other into a state of pure submission.

Psychopaths are notorious for their sexual promiscuity.  Cheating is common as is rampant fathering of children of which the psychopaths will never know their names.  Sexual coercement is not uncommon either.  One of the more straightforward traits of psychopathy, the psychopath’s sexual desire is often unmatched and often runs counter to rules of equality between partners.

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Landmine … Psychopathic Behavioral Controls

I have no filter between my brain and words or my brain and my hands.  I act instinctually and often to the dismay of others.  I am a landmine in plain sight, just waiting for someone to step on my detonator.  In the written world, where I spend most of my time, I find that I can often catch myself before doing something rash.  In the real world though, all bets are off – though if you should bet, always bet on red.

Irritability and poor behavioral controls are common in psychopaths.  Essentially this means that our lack of a filter causes the antisocial thoughts in our minds to become antisocial actions.  Everyone thinks antisocial thoughts from time to time, but most do not translate such thoughts into actions as they realize both the consequences to be had and the abnormality with respect to the personality that they project.  The psychopath is a mental four year-old in many respects.  We think, we act, we move on.

Continue reading Landmine … Psychopathic Behavioral Controls