Recently, I thought that the professional relationship between my therapist and I was on the brink.
We may know the story of “Grizzly Man,” a man, Timothy Treadwell, that took care of wild Grizzlies in the wilds of Alaska. He took care of many grizzlies for many years but was eventually eaten whole by those he took care of. The reader may surmise where I am going with this.
My therapist confided that she has tried to ship me out on several occasions but could never find anyone willing to work with a psychopath. Neither part of that revelation surprises me. Saddens me, but does not surprise me. I’ve been preoccupied with my position on the spectrum of morality and it was my therapist that tipped off the answer – one that neither of us were especially prepared to accept.
I am not a good person. I am not a neutral person. I am a bad person. This has repercussions. To my therapist, I was occasionally considered dangerous. To myself, I am considered contrary to the person that society wants me to be. I hold no value judgement over such a realization, but it is still uncomfortable given the long-lasting impression that societal forces have placed upon me. I was “supposed” to be a good person. I was supposed to be many things.
But, the facade is cracking. Family is starting to see what they never wanted to see. My therapist was seeing the same. I’m at a juncture. I can still be a bad person, but I can lessen the blows I make against those around me. Or, I can be a bad person, turn it up to eleven, and wreak havoc in some unknown way. I try not to think too deeply about it.
I am starting to own who I am. This means showing relative restraint, but it also means recognizing that my demons do exist and need honored. What “honored” means is open for debate. I do not wish to end up in jail, but I do not wish to be perpetually dissatisfied either. So I suppose I’ve come to embrace a “soft antisociality” that allows me a taste of what I am without causing too much destruction.
This soft alignment means that I will continue to enjoy the perversion that I revel in. It means that I will, on occasion, be an asshole. It means that I will put myself first at all times and without consideration to others. In essence, the demon and I are intertwined, and that’s okay.
Returning to the comparison I made at the beginning of this post, it should be apparent that my therapist could be the Grizzly Man, or she may not. There are no words I can give anyone anymore that would prove that I am prosocial, for I am not. However, I should have the respect of others to a degree to where they know that I am merely looking out for myself and that any antisocial behavior is a direct consequence of such. There clearly is a line that I will not cross, because that would ensure self-destruction, which runs counter to my ultimate directive: self-preservation. I have no incentive to bite the hand that feeds.
I am a bad person, but I do not have to be a caricature.