Convo with thunderball (my responses in bold):
I sometimes post as thunderball, george cromwell III and anonymously on your blog. I find what you write on there very intriguing. I am still very much trying to find myself or even decide 100% if I am a sociopath. I'm at the 80% point but still am trying to finalize my thoughts. Sorry to try and corner you on your blog, but I found it odd you didn't respond to anyone. It became a challenge to try and get you to comment. As you can see from my comments I've been very extroverted and narcissistic in my actions on your blog and in life over the last few years. That's interesting because the traditional wisdom is that sociopaths mellow with age.
I was far more introverted in my teenage years, perhaps more thoughtful in my actions. Mind you, I was violent as a teenager, as I felt I could get away with it. I also stole quite a bit and was very manipulative. To the point now I don't have any contact with people I was friends with at that time. Dare I say they don't want any contact with me. I've tried to get in contact due to curiosity, but most didn't respond through facebook, and the ones that did kept their distance even then. Yeah, I have a lot of old friends who I know would hate to be back in contact with me. I don't even bother trying. I know some of them have very specific reasons, and I suspect others just get a general bad vibe.
Sorry for the rambling, this is as much me trying to organize my thoughts as give you some background. I find myself very manipulative at work. In the past I've had a strong push to pit people against each other and after years of doing this I think I have a reputation for this among some of the employees. Ever since then and because of this I've become much more open about my dislike and manipulativeness, ultimately to my detriment. I haven't lost my job or anything, but I've become ineffective in going anywhere in the company and ineffective in controlling what those around me do. I feel like I've lost a lot of the subtlety and well thought out thinking processes I used to have. To be honest I feel ineffective and not very bright. I've pushed the limits without regard to consequence. Yeah, one of my most tempting impulses is to disclose who I really am to people. Bad idea. I used to be very reckless with my identity. Luckily I was able to learn vicariously through work experiences what a bad idea that is, and how much harm can come from that. Instead I try to provide myself relatively safe outlets for self disclosure, like this blog.
Anything I've written here is really just a summation of what I feel are failures and poignant examples of how ineffective I have been so far in my life. I guess I want some stability to some degree so I will be more enabled to do what I want.
Have you found this to be true of yourself? Have you gone through a period where you pushed the boundaries and let everything fall apart? Yes, when I was younger especially, particularly when i felt very conflicted about my identity. I couldn't distinguish well between the mask and who I really was. Either I would overestimate the power of my mask to conceal my actions, or I got so disgusted with the mask that I threw it away and just indulged my every evil impulse in plain sight. To avoid this, there needs to be balance. There needs to be a certain amount of honesty with even strangers, like half masks, otherwise the stress of deception is too great -- you lose touch with who you are. The key is finding the outlets for self-expression that are the least destructive to your chosen lifestyle.
I even feel like what I have written above lacks a certain subtlety and sharpness. I am doubting myself right now in a big way. Hence the 20% of me questioning who I really am. Wouldn't a sociopath not care? Sociopaths probably care more than most. We pretend so much, we have to wonder what is true and what is fake.
I feel like I lack a certain confidence. When put into the mix of people I exude confidence, but when I think about things later I pick conversations apart. I try to improve on my interactions but ultimately I see all the little and big flaws in myself and actions. Have you experienced this? Yes. Professional performers are the same way. When you are up on stage you have to stay very in the moment, being a showman. Afterward you can self-criticize, but not during. If you play a wrong note, sing a wrong lyric, trip over a joke, you have to keep going -- push it immediately out of your mind. You'll just make it worse if you think about it. That doesn't mean you have or don't have confidence. What is confidence anyway? It seems like it is just an ability to compartmentalize, to say to yourself, there is a time and a place for questioning, and it is not now. Arrogance is when people never take the time to self-question. Timidity is when people never take the time to act.
People tell me I come across as extremely bright and communicate well. I don't really feel that way. Don't get me wrong, I don't feel depressed about this, just agitated more so. I used to feel deep depression years ago, but it all just disappeared at one point. Poof, gone. Has this happened to you? Yeah, I can get blue, particularly seasonly. I used to get depressed all the time around my birthday. Birthdays used to be reminders of the horrible person I thought I was. Once I confronted myself, and was able to acknowledge there are good and bad parts about me, and that mostly I just "am," I got over the depression. I know I have to reset in a way, but don't really know how. I don't want to quit my job because I get good medical and pay, but it's going no where. I would love to cast off all the people I know now and dissappear into a new life, become someone different. I just can't bring myself to do it. Too costly, too many sacrifices.
A shift in focus can go both macro and micro. If you feel like you're not seeing the forest for the trees, sometimes the answer is to take a step back and focus on forest. But sometimes it is better give up on seeing forests and instead take a step forward and focus on the bark or leave structure of a particular tree. Do you know what I am saying? Big changes are very risky (which is why they are overly appealing to sociopaths). And there is little guarantee that they will make you happier. It is much more likely that picking up an additional hobby that you enjoy or otherwise making small improvements to the quality of your life will increase your overall sense of well-being.
From what I've written here and on your blog what is your view of me? Do you need more info to come to a conclusion? Feel free to ask any questions. I'll answer honestly because I am really looking for some answers. I think that you mainly sound bored. Not surprisingly, boredom is a constant plague of the sociopath. A lot of sociopaths self-medicate for boredom by resorting to quick fixes -- creating chaos, destroying people. These tactics don't work as well when you have become as established in the normalcies of life as you have. Posting comments on the blog can be entertaining, or at least you seem to enjoy engaging people in relatively meaningless altercations, enjoy provoking people, and enjoy trying to manipulate people. It's also relatively harmless since no one knows who you are. I guess that is the magic of the internet. But in regards to your claim that you are searching for answers -- to what questions? From what you have written here, writings that you have described yourself as "rambling," "lacking sharpness, " characterized by "doubt" and "questioning," it seems like your first priority is to really think exactly what questions you are trying to answer. Once you do that, I think you will find that the answers will soon follow.
Thanks ahead of time for your response and I do really appreciate your blog. Its helped a lot. Of course feel free to post this on your blog and any other interactions we may have.