M.E.: Do you think that you have a pretty good ability to empathize?
Sister: I think so. I definitely cry when other people do.
M.E.: Was it weird for you to grow up with a narcissistic father, distant mother, and sociopathic siblings? Did you sometimes feel like a changeling?
Sister: Well, I don't exactly fit the family mold in many ways.
M.E.: So did you notice that the rest of us are emotionally void
Sister: Mmm, I think our family isn't emotionally void, but constipated. We don't tend to express emotion.
M.E.: I think that's because we don't have it. I am a sociopath. So is most of the rest of the family
Sister: I think the way our family adapts to the crap that goes on in our lives is that we put on this facade that everything is okay. We keep in the feelings of hurt and that teaches us to keep in all our feelings, to not show weakness, we don't show emotion at all.
M.E.: Yeah, that is interesting that you think that's what happens, but i think some of us just don't have emotions, or only have shallow ones.
Sister: That might be another reason why the others of us don't like to show our emotions, because it makes us different from the ones that don't have them.
M.E.: Haha, exactly. That was what I was wondering because it'd be like growing up with deaf parents--you'd be all signing with the rest of the family and maybe ashamed to let your hearing self show around the family. Read this, I’ll send it to you
Sister: Okay. ... I like it. I definitely feel like the empath you describe, because there are times when I can't control the emotions I'm feeling. Like, someone will be crying and I cry with them, even if I don't want to. I have some control over the intensity of the emotion, but not over which emotion it is.
M.E.: Hmm, so a volume dial, but not a tuner dial. Interesting.
Sister: Do you wish you weren't a sociopath? Or, do you like the control? Like, when you try to fit in by finding and focusing on the strongest signal, do you do it because you want to be in tune with people around you, or because you want to fit in? Be liked? Not stand out or be ridiculed?
M.E.: Good question. Usually it's for personal or social gain, power, control.
Sister: But only usually. What about in your closer relationships?
M.E.: For closer relationships I do it for the other person. Well, I know that they will only put up with so much sociopathic behavior so I try to mimic empath behavior for them when I can, like a dutiful husband accompanying his wife to the opera.
Sister: But is it because you want to make them happy or because you don't want to lose the happiness their friendship brings you?
M.E.: I don't want to lose the happiness their friendship brings me. And it is sort of nice to have people treat me like a normal person. Nice to feel like I belong
Sister: Naturally, that seems normal to me. So far, the only parts that seems kind of not so great about the whole sociopath thing as far as you have described it, are that it is kind of selfish as far as only working to pick out the strong signal and act "normal" for your own profit, instead of wanting to be closer to or helpful to others, that part is kind of sad, and the broadcasting a signal of your choice to control the situation, could be done out of concern for others, I suppose, to save them from hurt, but it seems like the motives are more like conceit, or entertainment, or emotional or professional gain.
M.E.: Yeah. So sort of bad, but not as bad as people think, right?
Sister: Yeah, not nearly as bad as people think. And with the proper motivation, could be good.
M.E.: I think knowing this might make people reevaluate their hate. People think that sociopaths are evolutionarily helpful, like they can be little soldiers or otherwise get things done in times of crisis. But it's also sort of scary to have them around in times of no crisis
Sister: Yeah, definitely more flexible than the empathy. But the power is intimidating, because can be for good or ill.
M.E.: Yeah, good or ill, like a super hero. We are like the X-Men. Mutants, good and bad. Do you think if you didn't have family members that were sociopaths, you would be inclined to hate on them?
Sister: The taking pleasure in the pain of others thing creeps me out
M.E.: Read the difference between narcissist and sociopaths that i just sent you.
Sister: K. I like the difference, except can't the sociopath just keep acting like a sheep? Does it have to devour?
M.E.: Ha, yeah it can. Or i mean, that is the question, yeah? Is it like X-Men or vampire? Or if vampire, the good vegetarian vampires.
Sister: It's time for me to go sleepy time. Just keep eating grass. Maybe with the occasional snack on road kill or something.
M.E.: Haha. Yeah, I will.
Sister: I love you. That's the great thing about family. You get to love each other, no matter what. You are easy for me to love.
M.E.: Ah thanks lady