Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The dandelions and the orchids

A reader writes:
I thought this David Dobbs article in The Atlantic was fascinating and I will add, personally gratifying. It’s saying in effect that personality traits that are so often deemed deleterious by society can indeed be not only adaptive but advantageous in certain environments. It specifically mentions “antisocial” behavior several times. I found it gratifying because it’s something that I’ve thought and voiced in my own way several times, only I didn’t have any research to back me up. My opinion was based on deduction rather than science. Now thanks to this article, I’ve got some scientific findings to turn to support my observations. Of course, the research is still young, but it’s promising. Actually, it’s commonsensical and even obvious when you think about it. There isn’t anything particularly revolutionary about it. Well, it’s radical only if you believed the myth that so called bad traits had no redeeming value whatsoever.

So all those people who are so certain that traits associated with sociopathy, psychopathy and antisocial behavior and thinking are nothing more than a curse on society that must be eradicated as soon as possible can go suck it! LOL.

Anyway, here's the link to the article: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200912/dobbs-orchid-gene


  1. I would add that environment plays a big role in whether these traits, which are thought of as “universally” maladaptive by so many, become useful or not. And not just the environment a child grows up in, but also the one in which an adult decides to make a life in. Even if you grow up in less than desirable circumstances, you might be able to find a niche for yourself that allows you to use the “gifts” the good lord gave ya without going to jail or ending up dead. This may or may not entail pro-sociality, but that's hardly relevant is it? :)

    What I also like about the article is that it point blank states that the traits that some normals decry as pure evil are not only adaptive but have been useful to the succss of the species and not just the individual. Otherwise those traits would not have survived in small pockets of the population to this day.

  2. Genes are genes. And then there's the environment. I don't think anything in the article suggested that ODD or anti-social behavior was desirable, simply that it arises in a less-than-desirable environment, and is useful during war-time. The focus of the article was that the same individuals who are most at risk in a "bad" environment are the most spectacular successes in a "good" environment.

    There is the whole matter of defining success, failure, and "good" and "bad" environment. Still. You think you carry the s/s alleles? Do your self-interventions bring you amazing results?

    If this research pans out, it may be discovered many genetically "at risk" children, raised in nurturing environments, have grown up to be spectacularly compassionate, pro-social people, who never displayed traits anyone would call evil.


  3. lurker:

    My take on the article is that traits are neither desirable nor undesirable in and of themselves outside of the context of environment and that the attitude that certain ones are always undesirable should be augmented with a more nuanced interpretation. Some normals who come here have left comments about the horrors of sociopathic traits and how science is on the steady march to wipe out them of the human genome forever and ever and so on with all the fury that comes from ignorance fueled by self righteousness. My own take has been, and this article reflects it, that instead of looking at the “bad” outcomes that seem to be correlated to certain traits to the exclusion of the “good” outcomes (and there are some outside of war), is needlessly shortsighted. Those same traits that people condemn have always been an essential part of the success story that is the human race. I’m saying, along with the article, that normals shouldn’t pretend otherwise if accuracy is their goal.

    And I don’t think the point of the article is to suggest that people born with certain traits who are also raised in “good” environments will turn out to be compassionate and pro-social per se, merely that those traits will manifest in ways that society finds useful, like say, business success. In other words, a conscienceless child will probably never be a conscience bound child due to his genetic inheritance. What might happen however is that this same child won’t necessarily turn to illegal behavior to accomplish his goals.

    1. Birdick said: "I’m saying, along with the article, that normals shouldn’t pretend otherwise if accuracy is their goal." Yes.
      I think the SUCCESS about which the author speaks in the article above is Darwinian success, that is, survival of the fittest.
      It seems that the article points to a diplomatically favorable combination of sociopathic and socio-loving (what's the word for that?) folks - I was hoping he'd have a combo perfect for my fam but no!..) I appreciate that the article lifts up what society ofttimes sees as deficits as benefits, setting off the status quo, ho-ho!

  4. Ah. Inherent bias in the reader. Here I am, reading "nurturing parents help ODD toddlers to act out less" to mean "the kids are now happier, more compassionate, more complete human beings, certain to grow up to be model citizens". Whereas you are reading it to mean "the nurturing parents have enabled these conscience-free kids to grow up to achieve their conscience-free goals without breaking the law."

    Of ccourse, the article said nothing about whether these kids did or did not have the ability to develop a conscience or compassion (two traits we don't expect to see well-developed in toddlers anyway).



  5. SociopathWorld the TV series:

    Storm & Stress logs on...who the hell is she, wonders "ME", thinking she's awful like his ex. She surely can't actually be "[name withheld]" can she? 'Course, she could be some reader playin' him using stuff he said before, but if not...what a crazy coincidence that would be. Do you laugh or cry?

    ME logs on as "Father Dearest" with the secondary intentions of sprucing up the chat a bit, sexy things up a bit. But mainly - to find out if S&S is [name withheld].

    So the question really has to be, has FD given anything away about ME? The truth about lying is that you interweave it with the truth, so on that basis, what was true and what was false? For a full analytical treatment we hand you over to our very own lucy

    Hi, I'm Lucy, and I'm going to take you through the true/false analytics :o)

    Detained: False
    Bisexuality: True
    Attractive: True
    Age 29: True
    Stuff about father: Lies and truth intertwined...this one's a long term thing
    Friend has betrayed him: True
    Four close knit friends True, was five
    relationship with bpd girl like S&S: True, obviously.
    doesn't have violent impulses: true

    OK that's all folks. If you want to know what happens next you'll have to catch the next episode of SociopathWorld - the miniseries lololllolollolll

    luv lucyx

  6. lurker:

    I used that busines man thing as an example. I subscribe to the belief that personality traits and intelligence are genetically inherited and that outside of extreme abuse or malnutrition, there’s little a parent can do to drastically alter them or add traits that aren’t there to begin with. At most, I believe the environment can shape how what’s there shows up, not whether what’s there is there or not. Conscientiousness is one of those heritable traits. You either have high levels of it, or you don’t. Environment shapes how that level of conscientiousness in turn plays out later, that’s all. There's still much that remains unknown about all of this though.

    Having said that, I did see the part where interventions were performed which resulted in certain “problem” behaviors. I thought that was interesting too.

    Tis true though. We all look at the world thru our own glasses. The only difference being some of us at least try to clean the glasses as best we can, always knowing we’ll never see everything clearly, while most of us don’t even know we’re wearing glasses to begin with.

  7. Wow lucy..pretty interesting drama you made up there.. I give you an A+ for creativity...

  8. p.s Lucy.. I read the comments now I can see your perspective.. Very odd interaction between those two......WEIRD...You could be very right on that..None of those two have EVER posted here..
    Funny how daft disappeared suddenly too after all the random jibberish about radar....
    You ppl are freaking nuts.

  9. Now this intrigues me.

    Funny, I had this idea that father dearest might be M.E., too, but I brushed it off as the usual paranoia this place inspires. I'm still trying to, but hey, you never know. Let the drama unfold, I say. It'll be a hoot either way.

    I have to admit, the evidence presented is quite compelling.

  10. STORM (in) and STRESS (him out)>
    FATHER (controlling) DEAREST (fake when necessary)..................

  11. Oh my God haha this is amazing.
    If you're playing us, Kudos.
    If you're not, Kudos!

    I can't help but go along with it!

    You've got me cross-referencing my old research, sir or madam. So far, the only thing that stands out is one deleted blog that belonged to a couple who had a very young baby boy.

    Very strange indeed.
    They seemed so happy.
    With such a loving and "perfect" family.

    Fact or fiction, please don't make us wait too long for the next episode. :)

  12. I have a feeling you're all M.E.

    Can't prove anything, though ;)

  13. I am M.E.!

    I'm just posting this to throw you off. After all, nobody takes Peter Pan seriously. :-)

  14. No, Im with ya in this one PP. Sounds like a likely conspiracy to me..;) Hi, Im anonymous. Not ME. lol

  15. This is article brought to memory a poem called "The Rose that Grew from Concrete”

    The poem’s theme is about having ambitions and goals and reaching them despite the circumstances. The rose symbolizes a child and the concrete symbolizes a bad environment—but in this case the rose is substituted with an orchid.

    The rose defied the odds and proved itself to the world all by itself.

    The poem is as follows:

    Did you hear about the rose that grew
    from a crack in the concrete?
    Proving nature's law is wrong it
    learned to walk with out having feet.
    Funny it seems, but by keeping it's dreams,
    it learned to breathe fresh air.
    Long live the rose that grew from concrete
    when no one else ever cared.

    The article reminded me of it.

  16. I remember that poem.

  17. personally, i find the whole concept of ...

    "So all those people who are so certain that traits associated with sociopathy, psychopathy and antisocial behavior and thinking are nothing more than a curse on society that must be eradicated as soon as possible"... disturbing.

    who exactly will be making these diagnoses, at what age of the "patient",and by what means will these curses of society be eradicated?

    i mean, shouldn't they keep a few around to be the "naked lunchesque" trench coated exterminators???
    it's obviously not a job for us "normals".

    which brings us back to the idea that maybe lil dexter can channel his disability into a more socially acceptable form.

    so, kinda off topic, but kinda not, i've read research about mercury in the childhood vaccines and how they link it to the increase in autism, and some researchers claim the children exhibit a "hive mentality". (no, no link, i heard some cat talking about it on the "coast to coast" radio show some years ago.)
    it seems to me, abet somewhat diabolical, that to allow sociopaths, psychopaths, and anti socials to flourish, may lead them to become the new radicals or revolutionary leaders of a movement to overcome those who are dosing the children with mercury that causes them to become "worker drones".
    and who better to think up some kooky scheme to control society than an attention whoring, control freaking sociopath, psychopath or anti social...
    (and i say that with no disrespect to all the sociopath, psychopath, or anti social attention whore control freaks on this site...) lol.

  18. anon, daft didn't vanish, he is probably using a new name, a lot of them appeared after he left.

  19. --lurker's doppelganger

  20. --maybe ME, maybe not

  21. What's with the obsession of who M.E. is? How is it relevant to the topics he brings up?

  22. Oh bravo Lucy! You are a lovely little woman, aren't you?
    No, I'm not ME. I don't know where this ridiculous notion came from. Perhaps your life is so incredibly boring that you have to escape to your Dream Place which is where you spin these little yarns.
    Well done, though. Ten out of ten for effort, etc.

    You're right. I had a hunch that I knew Storm and Stress. My ex-girlfriend's first initials are S and S too, and she's a fan of Romanticism so I had my suspicions. But, she'd have no cause to come here, and I think my over-medicated and bored mind was coming up with its own conclusions.
    I'm called Father Dearest because - as I said before - I have a son, and I am the son of someone who I would call a dangerous psychopath.

    I found this post because I had (and I'm ashamed to say it) googled something about sociopathy and relationships. I saw that woman had posted something and she reminded me of my ex. You could call it a coincidence, if you were a clever person. Or, you could create an exciting conspiracy, either way - it's all so terribly exciting!

    Oh, and Lucy - I DO have violent impulses. Not abhorrent or disgusting impulses, but when someone has fucked me off, I want to be violent towards them. Hence my detainment.

    I'm going to be sticking around awhile, i think. And I do miss S&S. I don't believe for a second she is my ex, I was just playing with her to see if she would crack. She didn't seem to, she seemed to just run away, so I'll brush that one off. *Shame*.

  23. And I never said my ex was awful. If anything, she was hugely exciting.

  24. FD I'm glad you want to stay and brazen it out, this was my prediction, and it tells me your level. You really do have a problem quiting while you're ahead, another truthful thing you said lol lol lol
    Your problem though, is that the more people read what you originally said, the more obvious it becomes that it's you. Not to mention the other thing, shall we say stimulus, that prompted your hasty intervention?
    Really, you should have dropped this potato and moved on to the next wheeze, but now I guess you are locked in for the ride.

    Everyone has violence in them ND, but we were talking about basic nature...do you get off on the idea of violence. No is the answer to that. You've already told us what you like (both here, and there). You like drawing people in close then hurting them emotionally.

    You do it. You've done it. You do it, you do it again. But for a long time now you wonder how much is habit and whether you really get
    anything from it. Do you even have a choice in the matter?

    So of course the answer is discipline and doing work on yourself. But then....when you've done that work the thing you really discover in a big way, is not about yourself, but other people...just HOW MANY buttons people have.

    So that sends you off into another spiral of playing the same old tunes, doing the same old things. I can eympathise with that you know...I'm only quite young still but I worry life seems terribly dull and recurring.

    luv lucyx

  25. You can empathise, can you? How nice for you.

    Yeah, I'm going to brazen it out, as you put it. I find it quite cute and a little silly how you are reading my old posts (I only joined here yesterday, maybe the day before) and you are convinced "it's [me]". So now you've got yourself in your own little predicament. First of all - Fine, I'm ME. Think that. Go on, carry on thinking that. You've worked me out, that's it, it's over.

    Second - It's not ME. You've misread the situation and are now making a fool of yourself, but entertaining me greatly.

    Third - You simply don't know what to think any more.

    I'm compelled - tell me more. Why do you know.. oops, I mean *think* it's me? ;) Also, tell me - what is your purpose here. You're certainly not a sociopath, are you the spurned ex-lover of one? A friend is one, perhaps? Or you're a psych student with a curiosity?
    I'm fascinated, and on the very edge of my seat. Enthrall me.

  26. "I'm fascinated, and on the very edge of my seat. Enthrall me."

    Good, because you fascinate me as well

  27. Fascinating is your fascination with one another, like two dogs sniffing each other get a better sense of the other. No disrespect by that of course, humans are animalistic by nature.

  28. You're right, SM. I do like how humans fascinate other humans, more so humans with these "disorders", because we at times really can't understand eachother. Fascinating.

  29. How's the investigation coming, little Lucy?

  30. You've gone away!

    Aw, I was having fun, too! First S&S fucks off and now you?
    *sigh*. Well, cheerio, I'm going to go and do a spot of reading I think.

  31. I'm not fascinated by humans so much as I am by their fascination of others. Humans in general are dull, tailored socially and what have you like mental Ken and Barbie dolls.

  32. i think i have found out who S&S is, from what FD has told us about her already.

    in her twenties
    initials of name are S and S

    i'm listening to a girl on spotify who has a song similar to the one you described. i'd say she's about 20, she has dark hair, and her singing accent is "classically english".

    FD - this sound familiar to you?

  33. Could it be that your animated expression of disappointment suggests that you have some kind of underlying abandonment issues which are being masked by childish sarcasm?

  34. Who, me? I just love sarcasm. I am becoming sarcastic because that Lucy girl got on my nerves, that's all.

    I can be quite hostile.

    Anon - you could be talking about anybody, and my ex-girlfriend is of no concern to you.

  35. You’re basing an identification attempt on a combination of what someone else thinks of this person and an online music station?

    There is no logic in that, even if the comparisons made are similar, there are likely more then a dozen amounts of twenty something dark haired English singers.

  36. I was also being sarcastic. Sadly, most of the time people don’t catch it and I come off somewhat condescending instead.

  37. Bunch of high schoolers, maybe go watch some CSI or something. Were not solving anything interesting here (no offense ME). I thought the article was interesting. Apparently nurture has a bigger influence than I thought. Another reason for FD to clean up his act and be a dear father to his son.

  38. Thankyou Disney. This was all getting a bit Nancy Drew for my liking.

    I often thought it was more of a nurture than nature debate. I agree that one can have a genetic predisposition, but as was stated before - it's how you are brought up, your environmental stressors etc that state how you're going to be when you're older. My father brought me up in a very militant way. I didn't call him Dad, I called him Sir, or Father at a push. He was quite terrifying at times. I don't want my son to look at me like that.
    I think a lot of it certainly does have a lot with that.
    In fact, my irresponsible ex (not the one I've mentioned before, but the mother of my child) took off and left me literally holding the baby a few months ago. I had him for about 4 weeks. I felt myself soften a little bit whilst looking after him. I was a very good example, I think. Nothing went wrong, I just took care of him, looked after him.

    I was doing so well at cleaning up my act until recently, too. I wasn't drinking so much, I had given up taking drugs, everything.
    Fortunately my son is still young enough that he won't remember this. I have no idea how I will go about ever seeing him again after this debacle though. I always wonder if he's going to grow up to be something of a Holden Caulfield. Hopefully not a full-blown Heathcliff. I am mixing my metaphors...

    I figure if I just treat my son in the exact opposite way that my father treat me, then we'll have nothing to worry about.

  39. FD

    Why focus on Holden and Heathcliff ( quite incomparable aswell btw). Kids pick up what they see and they are very in tune. There is little fooling to kids. Do you think you know what it will take you to be a caring dad on the long run? Do you think you'll be up for it? Everything always and always boils down to knowing yourself and than having discipline, in my opinion. Would like to read your ( realistic) views on this.

  40. Disney, you can be such a fun sucker sometimes, you know that?

    -2 points. :(

  41. PP

    Oh Peter. I feel bad now that you have to get your thrills some place else...:(

  42. Father Dearest said, “I figure if I just treat my son in the exact opposite way that my father treat me, then we'll have nothing to worry about.”

    But what if you do have something to worry about? What if you notice some of the same traits in him that you see in yourself? How do you intend to respond to that?

  43. To make a return to the subject of the post:

    Looking at myself, I now believe that there was nothing anyone in my childhood could have done to create a true emotional connection with or belief in morality proper. I think what my environment did do for me was show me the end result of a life of petty crime. I grew up in a disadvantaged neighborhood, so to speak. A life of crime was a readily available option had I learned to sort with the right people. But I didn’t, in part because I was also born an introvert. I have instinctively turned inward rather than outward for as long as I can remember. Sure, I’ve broken a few laws (I’m passed the statute of limitations on the most serious ones so let’s not waste time with anymore law enforcement references please), but I didn’t turn to a life of crime per se. What’s that got to do with introversion? Well a life of crime in my neighborhood would have involved hanging out with, trying to emulate and seeking acceptance from, a group of young dudes who were into that. Since I was and am an introvert with my drive to bond button turned down, I had no need to inwardly conform to any group, including the law breaker kind. Can my parents take credit for this? Sure. They did their duty at the moment of conception. Chance took care of the particular genetic shuffle that became the blue print for yours truly. My not taking the life of petty crime option was due to the interaction of my own tendencies with themselves and they in turn with the larger environment. It was my unique brain’s particular response (output) to its immediate context (input) over a span of years.

    Also, it’s good to remember that children aren’t born blank slates. As they are shaped by their environment, they are environment shapers in turn. For instance, we talk about parents loving their kids, but we don’t talk as much about those kids who make it extremely difficult to be loved.

  44. Disney, as long as you feel genuine remorse for your actions, I suppose I can forgive you for ruining my day. Please be more considerate next time. There's more to think of than you and your stupid intellectually discussions. :(

    Coincidentally, my word verification was lames. I think M.E.'s blog agrees with me here. LAMES

  45. PP
    I agree. There is more to think of! I need to keep you engaged in this blog as much as any other, intellectual or not. Help me out. What would be a good topic?

  46. Disney,

    I zoned in on those two characters because they were the first I could think of, an all honesty. One caught in the existentialism of adolescence and a borderline sociopath, one a full-blown psychopath.
    I spend a lot of the time trying to work my son out. Not worrying - I don't attend to worry - but trying to figure things out. There is something about him that gave me a definite boost into normality, despite the suffocating, stifling family environment that his Mother Dearest tried to create for us all at first. I think it's worth noting that he was an accident - I would never have planned children. I don't love his mother, I never did. I thought we should just break up, rather than stifle the kid too. We tried the family approach, however, for a couple of months, and it was horrendous. It drove me to more extremes of mood than anything has in a long while. I didn't like her stifling me, for one, telling me what to do, what I was doing wrong, and so I couldn't handle it. Of course, we broke up.

    It's always been hard to know how I feel about fatherhood. Obviously, I hate my father, truly despise him. So I know that I don't want my son to ever feel like that about me, but I know that I won't give him a cause to.
    Unfortunately I do find myself going through phases where it feels as if I simply don't care about the fact that I have a son. Not that I don't care about him, but just the fact that he's there. I find myself slipping out of that cosy role of "Dad" and then I'm just me again - but it's a me I know is not suitable for the raising of a child.

    Daniel Birdick - I joked earlier that my son could well be carrying on the family trait, as it were; the third (as far as I know) in the line of male sociopaths / psychopaths. I won't truly know until he's able to talk, or he's old enough to interact with other kids. If he does start to show some of the destructive, aggressive traits I had as a child - I would be lax in seeking help. I wouldn't worry - I don't worry about things. I just deal with it as it happens. I wouldn't punish him - I suppose I wouldn't encourage it - but I know that if I really didn't want him to be like me (and I really don't think it's too much of a problem if he is, part of my problem is the way my father treat me, which has had a lasting impact, ergo if I'm not violent or militant with my son, which I certainly won't be, he won't be as "Severe" as me, perhaps), then I would have to rely on some intervention. His mother, perhaps, or a trusted friend.
    However, I had a very privileged upbringing. My parents were rich, I was privately schooled, I went to a very good university, I've never really wanted for anything. All that taught me was that if I wanted something, I should take it, and fuck everyone else.
    I completely agree with what you are saying, Daniel Birdick some kids make it extremely difficult to be loved - yes. And I don't buy this unconditional love thing, I don't think there is such a thing, at least not that I can experience.
    My friend's kid is a sociopath in the making and she is one nasty little kid. I quite like her, but she is a bully. She will go on to be a school bully, she's going to be cruel, all of her life. If my son starts to behave that way - and there is a chance (ironic, really, as at school I was the bullied for the first few years), then I don't know what I would do. I would teach him to be canny with it, not to use physical violence unless someone hits him first, not to pick on someone if they haven't done anything wrong, and to not be afraid of feeling sad if someone has hurt him.
    Just because I don't, doesn't mean he can't.

  47. FD

    Makes a lot of sense indeed.

  48. I have a question. When people say to you "This song makes me think of you" or "this song reminds me of the time...", what do you think of that? Because it makes no sense to me.
    I have never listened to a song and thought "OH WOW! THIS REMINDS ME OF SOMEONE!" - it's just a song to me. Does anyone else get this?

    It just struck me today. I spoke to an ASPD in here and he said he attaches no emotion to songs, and therefore they are just pieces of music. I've had a couple of songs written about me, however, and they evoked a certain something - it was mere awareness. I wonder if we're missing out on something, here? Do the empaths (as ME calls them, so I'll use the same term) enjoy music on a different, more emotional level than us?

  49. I have a question. When people say to you "This song makes me think of you" or "this song reminds me of the time...", what do you think of that? Because it makes no sense to me.
    I have never listened to a song and thought "OH WOW! THIS REMINDS ME OF SOMEONE!" - it's just a song to me. Does anyone else get this?

    It just struck me today. I spoke to an ASPD in here and he said he attaches no emotion to songs, and therefore they are just pieces of music. I've had a couple of songs written about me, however, and they evoked a certain something - it was mere awareness. I wonder if we're missing out on something, here? Do the empaths (as ME calls them, so I'll use the same term) enjoy music on a different, more emotional level than us?

  50. Peter Pan, "Disney, Let's talk about you."

    But Pete, it doesn't work that way. Disney's on a scouting mission of sorts, talking to the aliens who aren't quite aliens, people who remind her of herself in ways she still finds uncomfortable. So her scouting missions doesn't involve as many self revelations as she elicits.

    Plus, I bet she's as bored as I am, hence these long ass conversations we've all had this week.

  51. FD

    I enjoy music on many levels. I know sociopaths who do too but I dont think its the soppy emotions but more the drive/ the stimulation etc or something like that. I dont know a better way to describe it. Lets put it in FD terms, you might remember music during sex? If you hear the same song/music again, doesnt it make you remember the sex? I think for empaths this happens on a broader spectrum.

  52. DB

    Gosh DB I seriously burst out laughing when I read your comment, I love it.

  53. Every song I hear makes me think of someone, whether it's someone I hate, or someone I long for. It's one of the reasons why I love listening to music so much. It's one of the only times I can actually feel an attachment to people, other than when I'm having sex with them.

    Music kinda brings me to life.

  54. FD:

    You’ve mentioned your father several times since you started commenting. Is he still alive?

    I’ve made it no secret that I used to hate my old man. He was a fighter, not a lover. You know, the kind that definitely believes in not sparing the rod, fist or kick. That’s where I get my disdain for child and spousal abuse. I grew up swearing that I was nothing like him. That childhood belief was false. Although I’m nowhere near as violent as he was at my age, the other things, the lack of emotional affect, the penchant for mind games, the deceptiveness, the appreciation of power, the absence of genuine remorse, those are qualities of his that I understand all too well. When I really focus my mind on some of our more “happy” moments I can generate angry feelings. But when I see him now and those things aren’t in my mind, I’m fine with him. He’s just me with a lot less self control and very little self awareness. I’m no psychopath (as far as I can tell I wouldn’t score high enough on Hare’s questionnaire for instance), but when I stopped denying that the apple really did fall closer to the tree than I wanted to admit, I was also able to accept that I had more in common with real psychopaths than I thought.

  55. Music…

    Hmmm. I’ve never thought about it, but I don’t automatically think of other people when I hear certain songs either. And I really enjoy music too. It never occurred to me that this was yet another possible difference between normals and sociopaths, psychopaths and other “anormals”.

  56. PP

    In what way do you desire to be attached to others?

  57. Hmm, I don't know. With tape, or staples. Whatever I have handy.

    Honestly, I couldn't tell you. When I feel attachment, it's a longing... and as much as I hate to compare myself to the people here, it's like a longing to devour or consume them. To make them me, and make me them. It's the only way I can see myself caring about another person--as a part of myself.

  58. PP

    I get that, but why do you feel the need to feel attached in the first place?

  59. With a hammer. Repeatedly.

    Then it pokes out my eyeballs with a screwdriver.

  60. PP

    That must be hard on you. Such a void that screwdriver leaves; it MUST be filled with human attachment.

  61. That sounds like something Dirty would say. You never play along with me. :(

  62. PP

    No because youre too desperate for it. Therefore cant do it.

  63. Too desperate for Disney's good ole lovin' that's what.

    You know, I wonder if ME reading these comments and thinking, "Enough guys, get a fuckin' room. And Jesus H Christ man, go play detective someplace else!"

  64. Daniel Birdick: My father isn't dead, no. He's part of the reason I'm in here, currently. A fight broke out, let's leave it there. He is a horrible, horrible man, and I hate to see parts of him in my personality too. The same thing - mind games, emotionally parasitic, lust for power etc... it's a real worry to me. But I get comfort knowing that I'm not like him, really.
    I was scared of him for 29 years, and then when I wasn't scared of him any more I acted out. I still fail to understand why that's a problem.

    Regarding the music thing - it's weird. I don't understand why people have such a strong connection to it. Some music stirs something in me - like, makes me want to do something like have sex or fight or sleep, but I don't find music evocative of people.
    And I understand what you mean about longing, and the desire to devour and consume someone. It's all too much for me, when I feel I love someone. I don't just love them, I need them, and I want them to be a part of me, and I want us to become a similar person.

    I'm getting so antsy in here. No drink, no sex, and only emails from The Woman to rely on.

  65. FD said, “I was scared of him for 29 years, and then when I wasn't scared of him any more I acted out. I still fail to understand why that's a problem.”

    Zackley. I often wonder what I’d do if my own daddy dearest decided he’s going to put me in my place again, for old times sake. Sure, sure, I imagine using lethal force sometimes in response. (Yeah, one of my more serious offenses from when I was teenager was a direct response to something he’d done.) Other times I figure I can hurt him best by hurting the things he does halfway give a damn about. Let’s hope for his sake we never have to find out.

    You want the other person to become you… Ok, I think PP said the same thing in one of his comments. That’s interesting. I’ve never had that desire. It doesn’t sound rational at all, more animalistic, primal even. Does the woman who evokes those feelings in you all become a kind of narcotic?

    Do you ever get to see your son now or does that have to wait till you’re out?

  66. Why dont you just chose to see your fathers as the fuck ups they are and have understanding and chose to distance yourself and wish them well. Just curious.

  67. FD
    Seriously that must suck. Having such strong urges and no outlet. I am a bit restless myself but I dont think its comparable to your situation at all. Do you ever look into ways to temper the urges apart from having a animalistic outlet?

  68. I've been told that I won't get unsupervised contact with him for a long time after I am out. I'm not allowed to see anyone at all for another couple of weeks, and no phone calls. I asked The Woman if she would come and see me but I don't think she will.
    About her - yes, I do see her as a kind of narcotic. She gives me a lot of energy and impetus to do things that might be good for her or myself. She is the only person I really truly care about that isn't myself.

    Surviving these urges is hard. They're not so bad that I can't handle them - I can, just about. I have re-arranged my room here several times, and swapped medication with a friend over the course of the month for a bit of excitement (so they extended my section).
    I'm seeing this as a bit of a holiday. I'm going to be so much stronger when I get out of here, I feel like I am growing sharper by the day in here. It's really given me a boost.

  69. FD

    What kind of medication are you getting. Are you ok with telling that.

  70. Disney:

    Actually I get along with my father now. I’m pretty confident that he doesn’t understand himself. He wraps himself in a veil of denial. In one sense I am and always have been stronger than him: I try to be as honest as I can be with myself. He’s the opposite. I think he’s afraid to face who he is. That’s his weakness and my strength. I see my parents regularly since we all live in the same city. I go to visit my mom and he’s there since they’re still married, so I visit with him also. When I talk to him there are zero problems. 97% of the time, when I see him now I feel no animosity. So despite the tone of my previous comments, I do not actively hate the old man. Sure he was an asshole when I was growing up, but I get him now, better than he does himself. Poor schmuck. And I do, in fact, wish him well.

  71. Disney, I thought you wanted to keep me engaged? I think you can fight whatever urges are preventing you from indulging my desperate desires, no?

    So many mixed signals...

    Daniel, when your father does inspire feelings of anger, what sets it off? Does he do something that reminds you of your bad experiences? Does he assume to be some kind of authority in your life, however small, which appalls you? It certainly isn't random.

  72. At first, I was on a lot. Anti-psychotics for "aggression" (perceived aggression), anti-depressants and sedatives at night. The APs were compulsory as were the sedatives. As I hated the anti-depressants and didn't think I needed them (I suppose I did when I first got here. I was a fucking wreck), I swapped them with a friend in here who is being treated with his autism and ADHD which makes him violent.
    Was a fun few days, for the both of us.

  73. FD:

    That sucks man. I have never been forcibly detained and I hope I never will. Well you live and you learn. You’ve learned to make the same point without ending up someplace you don’t want to be. When you get out you’ll be in control, you’ll take charge. That’s always a plus.

  74. I hate myself for making this mistake, but since I'm glad about what happened, I see this as a temporary measure that I'm willing to go through.
    Yeah, when I get out everything's going to be so much better. You learn a lot in these places.

    It's not the drugs I mind so much - I used to self-medicate a lot through fun. It's only relatively recently I stopped using drugs (because of my kid, mainly), I started using coke again just before I got in here. I should have known that was a predictor of my erratic behaviour - they call that a "relapse signature" - signs you're going to go a bit erratic and irrational.
    No, it's the intensive "therapy" I hate. It's like they have no idea what this is or how to treat it, so they throw all kinds of shit at it.
    The Woman has told me that as long as I have told her the truth, she will stick by me. God knows why, but I'm happy about it. It's nice to have a friend. And I have told her the truth.

  75. PP:

    Actually he hasn’t pulled anything like that in ages. That’s why I said I wondered how I would respond if he did. It’s not beyond him since he hasn’t really changed, just gotten older. I think it would be interesting though.

    Believe it or not, I’m tired of talking about myself. Lol When did this comment board become a confessional for Disney, me and FD?

  76. So what is it then, that 3% of the time, that inspires angry feelings?

  77. PP:

    Only when I remember specific events in my childhood, which isn’t very often. I practice mental hygiene to keep my mind from going places it doesn’t need to go.

  78. I was going to make that my last question, but you've peaked my interest. What do you mean by mental hygiene?

  79. And because DB is starting to bore himself with his own stories, he will bid you all adieu.

    Talk amongst yourselves. See ya tomorrow.

  80. BD
    I confessed?

    Is it hard not to lie to her, even little lies about topics that you might think dont matter or would prevent you from losing her?

  81. DB

    We really are somewhat alike ( superficially speaking). I use the term mental hygiene all the time. Have a good day.

  82. This is part of an email exchange I just received. Not mine. Now my question is, which one is the sociopath. Or both?

    i dont want to be in a relationship when you feel like that. its sad. i feel devastated but your fear of real intimacy killed what was blossoming. i wish you all the best and i will always help you with anything if there is anything you need.

    I am not afraid of intimacy, I am afraid of you constantly not backing off your aggressive belief that you know the answers to everything.

  83. first, a while back someone mentioned unconditional love. it does exist. my father loved me unconditionally, the only one who ever has and i miss him dearly.
    secondly, music and the musicians who make it have enriched my life so much that i cannot begin to think of how boring it would be with out it.
    when i am bluer than blue i get in a car and crank the music and sing as though i was someone who actually could sing. lol i've heard doves coo in a tree outside my house when playing chopin. only when i play chopin. thats when i realized that music is something more profound than i ever thought. music motivates me, brings out my teenage angst, keeps me young, makes cleaning the house fun and making love so much more enjoyable.

  84. Ofcourse unconditional love exists. Just not to everybody. Also most people love to play their music loud in their car. Peter Pan for instance cant even start the engine without Wagner blasting through his stereo.

  85. I knew someone would say Wagner at some point, or Beethoven's Ninth...

    It is hard for me to lie to her. It never used to be, when I first met her - but that was when she was dating a very close friend of mine. Over the years it's become almost impossible to tell her any kind of lie. I can do that thing that normal people do where they tell a lie to preserve someone's feelings, but sometimes I really want to fob her off with a lie to make things easier, but I can't seem to. It really pisses me off.
    She is considering seeing me soon. Hooray.

    Yes, you're quite right, whoever said it. This has become rather a therapy session. And I know what DB means about good mental hygiene that's what relapse preventions are for and things. Recognising relapses in their early stages and cutting them off, kind of thing.

  86. Critical ParanoiacApril 5, 2014 at 11:45 PM

    Fuck me right in half, I just read this. I know / knew Father Dearest, and only just remembered him telling me he used to go on this website and use this name. I can't believe for a little while he had someone tricked he might be Meredith and I also can't believe how big this site got (which is awesome). I remember this time, he was really unwell. As far as I know (unless he was living some double life, which I wouldn't have put past him), I'm the best friend he spoke about. He passed away, about a year and a half after writing all these posts, maybe even less than that. What a shame. In a weird way this website really comforted me today when I googled for his username and this site. I had never seen this before, and I've read his old emails so many times I almost know them from memory. I might comment on a different part of the site - "Losing a sociopath" - when you have lost a sociopath who "spared" you and didn't treat you like shit, it hurts like hell man. When a sociopath loves it is the most all consuming and probably selfish love I've ever known, but we sort of swallowed eachother up. I since found out I have ASPD traits along with Paranoid Personality Disorder, maybe this is why he spared me, he saw some of me in himself. Man what a nostalgia trip. Thanks, I guess.


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