Friday, January 15, 2010

Another sociopath story (part 2)

As for empathy, I used to have traces of it as a teenager but now it seems to have faded into oblivion. (Hence I always wondered if you can turn narcissist/sociopath after the age of 15, yet I've read many times that the onset of both conditions is usually during early childhood.) I do sometimes wonder, however, whether what I now remember as "moments of empathy" was mere self-manipulation. For one, I cannot remember ever crying about anything, besides a single major personal defeat. I never lost my sleep or got anxious about another person, though I've experienced both in relation to my own problems. I have felt anger and even gratitude (or chivalry, if you prefer), I have felt regret and embarrassment, but I haven't felt guilt or remorse to any meaningful degree.

Another awkward thing is... I have never, EVER been depressed in my life. Not a single day. I believe I can evade depression forever because I have a very helpful, well-developed skill: the ability to manipulate myself in erasing memories. I have read many times in your blog that our flexible identities can create fake memories, so I suppose all of us can easily erase memories as well. For example, if I experience a rejection in the context of dating, I can totally "forget" about it, not just dehumanize or attack the credibility and worthiness of my rejector. Complete and utter removal of the unpleasant event from history. Maybe this explains our rumored lack of ability to learn from past mistakes and punishment strategies... maybe we just erase the mistake/punishment from our textbooks and just move on.

Yet, although I do not feel depression/melancholy, I often used to experience emptiness and a lack of identity. "Normal" people seem to have a very static self-image, even when they're not fully aware of it. Their lives have structure and coherence, and they can track their progress over time. (On the flip side, they can get pretty morose if their progress has stalled because of this.) I, on the other hand, can never "settle." I feel I want to be everything and everyone. (And I can!) But very often I have NO IDEA who I really am. Your blog has been extremely helpful in this respect. I now define myself more accurately as the "mask bearer." I am perfectly fine not being "something in particular," but "something that can turn into anything." The only real problem for me now is keeping track of my actual preferences, my real wants, and not overly assimilate the preferences of the persona I'm pretending to be. But I'm getting better at it.


  1. Beautifully written. I can identify all too well. It was once suggested when I was only 16, that I could possibly be ASPD. But there has always been such strict criteria for what qualifies, and so I have resisted the idea.

    The older I get; the more possible this idea seems to me. And if it be true, than I have wasted a great many years pealing my skin off layer by layer, trying understand the mechanics of what was underneath.

    That ever proclaimed feeling of knowing that you are "different' inside. I keep reading that... and it has been my own from childhood.

    It wasn't till I ended a year long relationship last year that supposedly I invested my heart in, but walked away with no symptoms of regret, sadness, remorse, or sympathy... did I finally ask myself that question... could I be?

    The truth I have found at the end of this question rears its ugly head:
    That the only pain I have ever really experienced, is for myself... and nothing or no one else. There was no defeat on my side when this relationship ended, and so there was nothing to suffer over. I don't even miss him. It is like a whole year of my life... never even happened.

  2. Perhaps you do not have 'any' personality disorder . . . and you're just kind of a whore?

  3. From the first commenter's profile page: "I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2002." Furthermore: "I'm a whole, sane, and morally sound human, trapped in the body of a total wreck!" Plus "I also aim to maybe help people who have to cope with a loved one with this illness."

    It seems evident that the commenter is not antisocial. As a matter of fact, many people suffering from (periods of) depression seem to cling on to the sociopath label, because they feel they can thus be less sensitive and therefore less depressed. The catch is, you cannot really become a sociopath because you'd like to. And even if you could, you wouldn't like it, because it's not how you imagine it to be.

  4. Anon said: "It seems evident that the commenter is not antisocial."

    I already told you she was a whore.

  5. Did I state that I was a sociopath?

    I state that I can relate to the blog. That it was suggested at one time that I showed signs, but I would not even consider it in the past, and that as I get older a great deal of my behavior has forced me to pose the question. Behavior you won't hear me confessing to much on my blog that is strictly for Bipolar Disorder.

    On the subject of depression:
    I don't suffer from depression the way you make it sound. In fact I stay in hypomania, or mania... most of the time. It gets so out of control, it ends up in psychotic episode. My "depression" is more dysphoric, and very aggressive. The only way depression effects me, is like the crash after being spun. It's physical, and at least I get sleep. Depression doesn't bother me the way it probably should. In fact I used to be addicted to my darker moods. The thing that I mind about being bipolar, is that my impulses and lack of realistic goals... has kept me in near poverty even though I'm quite capable of so much more.

    Never once did I claim to absolutely be a sociopath; you are making assumptions for one, and for two; you should probably focus on commenting on the blog, and not other people's comments, unless you are the person who wrote it. I am the kind of person who poses many questions about my psyche and the reasons for the things I can't explain in myself and others; but especially myself.

    Do I wish I had a personality disorder? No. Why? Because being disordered in any way to me; means that we are genetically inferior.
    Why would I want to be inferior in any way? No... I would much rather find a way to evolve past the human condition all together.

    This is why I keep taking the machine apart. I want to one day find all those inferior parts; remove them, and be what I was supposed to have been, had my parents not ruined the formula with their poisonous bloodline.

    Lastly; I just LOVE the part where you say I probably wouldn't like it if I were!!! This cracks me up... did you read your comment back to yourself before you posted it? :D

  6. “I believe I can evade depression forever because I have a very helpful, well-developed skill: the ability to manipulate myself in erasing memories. I have read many times in your blog that our flexible identities can create fake memories, so I suppose all of us can easily erase memories as well.”

    Yeah, I have developed that ability too. There is a downside (or upside depending on your views) which is that when you alter a memory you risk setting yourself up for trying to create the perfect one, where you continue to change it as time goes by until it eventually doesn’t resemble anything even remotely possible in real life. The logic factor will likely cause you to reveal this lie you created because it’s so perfect that it is highly unlikely it ever happened.

  7. How do you know you can erase memories? Don't you forget having erased them once you've done so, and thus also forget ever having used the ability?

    Do you know of this ability because, as you mention, you catch your false memories later? But then, how do you know that you deliberately changed your memory, rather than that the memory got gradually distorted (which happens to most everyone)?

  8. I alter my memories, not erase them and I do it because I can and only when it works
    me. It can create an angle that might not be there otherwise.

  9. From a storyteller’s perspective—altering memories allows us the narrative freedom to change something horrible that was done to us or to polish something great to make it even more unforgettable. The reason for doing it might be to better yourself by creating a lie to cope or it might be for the simple fact that the company picnic where you met the love of your life might be the perfect memory if it wasn’t fucking raining.

    A tweak here, an alteration there and you have something you want to remember that makes a good story.

  10. Why would you try to pass this off as a strength? Your psyche is too weak to face negative experiences, so you suppress them. Instead of strengthening your tolerance and learning from these situations, you're maintaining an essential weakness that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Whenever you run into unexpected hardship, you're likely to be far less able to cope than your average Joe, until you have a chance to purge it all from your mind, never having learned a thing. So while everyone around you is slowly gaining real strength, you remain essentially frozen in a state of childlike weakness--behind whatever mask you wear, of course.

    It's actually a bit sad, in an emotional way, not a derogatory way. The bad things in life really aren't that bad when you think about them rationally. It's really too bad you have to suppress the memory of spilling your milk to keep yourself from crying over it.

  11. "The only real problem for me now is keeping track of my actual preferences, my real wants"

    is this true? is that really your only real problem?

  12. Eden,
    The fact that you could even wonder something along the lines of "What causes me not to feel empathy?" indicates that you cannot be a sociopath. A true sociopath will never consider that he is missing something, because it is not in his cognitive arsenal, so to speak. It is a bit like asking a man who has been blind his entire life to come up with an idea of what the sky looks like.

  13. Can strongly relate to this post

  14. Very well said Peter thoughts exactly.


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