Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sociopathic monsters?

I thought about doing a special Halloween post about sociopathic Halloween monsters, but couldn't really think of any. Maybe Predator? Jason? Freddy? Dracula? Frankenstein (either the Dr. or the Creation)? The closest might be Hannibal Lecter or that guy from the Saw movie franchise, and of course Dexter, but I don't know how you could dress up as an immediately recognizable Dexter. Maybe I don't read/watch enough monster literature/film. Or maybe we're not so monstrous after all...

Am I missing some?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Midnight in the garden of good and evil

From TheNotablePath:
I'm a fellow empathy challenged sadist, and have found your blog to be both entertaining, and informative. I'm not sure what my proper label is, but I don't think that matters so much as something else, getting rid of this damn stigma.

I guess that although we share similarities in that which we crave and indulge upon at the cost of others, I think I might be some weird off-beat do-gooder. I do mean do-gooder, too, not good.

In some strange sense, I think that we as emotionally challenged individuals have the rare gift of emotional detachment to the social themes of Good and Evil, and in this, when we commit an act of Good, we're in fact doing something more profound than say, someone compelled into being good through morals, social norms or emotions. There's no guilt or shame factored into our actions, in general, so when we decide to not be a self-centered bastard for a moment, and help someone or something out, it should mean something more, especially since we tend to gravitate towards the easier choices that best serve us.

We get a bad rap for only doing good things that benefit us somehow. So what? If an empath's claim to fame in the society-perpetuated Holy War raging between Good and Evil is that they feel that they need to be good, then who is being the bigger hypocrite? Are our actions not in some twisted way more genuine than theirs? At least ours are our own, not affected and forced upon us by some strange, emotional pull or man-made moral code.

A lot of people don't seem to realize that there's more empathy challenged people on the other side of the prison bars than what the media and probably a fair amount of self-righteous crusaders would like the masses to believe.

So, because of this, I've taken it upon myself to help add to our community with my own blog, to erect a banner that proudly displays that yeah, we might be inter-species predators, but we're not all a bunch of loony criminals that eat people and kill dogs for kicks. This is who we are, love it or hate it, you silly, irrational empaths. We're everywhere, and although you're easy prey, you're not all on the menu, and even if you were, it doesn't mean we're interested in specifically you.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Detection, prevention, isolation of the threat

I thought this had fun parallels. Under the headline, "Scientists Find 'Liberal Gene,'" studies done by the University of California at San Diego and Harvard indicate that if a person has a certain gene (DRD4, a seratonin receptor gene associated with novelty seeking) AND if one that person had many friends in adolescence, that person will become politically liberal/left leaning.

This means a couple things. First that leftists/liberals cannot be blamed for any of their more extreme actions. Unfortunately for them and for society, there is no hope of curing them. By the time they have reached adolescence, the damage has already been done.

Second, what should we be doing about prevention? Society cannot tolerate a significant portion of the population being genetically predisposed to hate and persecute half the rest of the population. An extreme situation such as this one requires extreme measures to correct it. The first step would be to start screening and aborting fetuses that test positive for DRD4. For the existing children with the DRD4 gene, they should immediately be shipped off to camps where they are kept in solitary confinement. In the alternative, they should be given really bad haircuts, bad taste in music, a dead tooth or other facial disfigurement, and be force fed junk food until they become morbidly obese and incur skin problems. Either that or be home schooled. Anything to prevent them from having that threshold number of friends. It may sound horrifying to some, but the payoff would be big. And after they have suffered a humiliating adolescence, we can consider them "reclaimed" and integrate them back into society under a careful, watchful eye.

As for the adults who test positive for DRD4, we should institutionalize them indefinitely until they become to burdensome on society at which point we should start talking "final solution."

Just a thought.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sociopaths in the media: Mark Zuckerberg, Lisbeth Salander

One "non-fictional" sort of, the other fictional.

I haven't seen it yet, but my friend says that the protagonist in The Social Network is "clearly some sort of path." This guy agrees:

"Punk. Genius. Traitor. Billionaire." So says the ubiquitous poster for The Social Network (aka the Facebook film) of the service's founder. There's one more word they don't use but should have: Sociopath.
The Mark Zuckerberg of David Fincher's masterful film is angry, lonely, vindictive and vengeful. He's the classic outsider looking in, an unlikable anti-hero with only one redeeming feature – a superb brain. He's a variation on Tyler Durden, the central character of Fincher's Fight Club, with just a shade of Kevin Spacey's John Doe from Fincher's earlier Se7en. As played so brilliantly by Jesse Eisenberg, this Zuckerberg simply doesn't like people much. How ironic, then, that he should end up, as another poster for the film puts it, with 500 million friends.
I actually had an idea for my own social networking site. It involved spying on other people's IM conversations. It never got funding, unfortunately, but it's not that much of a stretch to believe that Mark Zuckerberg leans socio. Moving target privacy policy, anyone? But what about his charitable works? I think you can file those under "maintaining image" right next to Angelina Jolie.

Curiously, the game platform that hopes to be Facebook's biggest competitor is actually named SocioPath.

I love Scandanavian film, for obvious reasons. I haven't read the books, but I love Noomi Rapace's rendition of the very sociopathic Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. She's bisexual, she just does things, not necessarily good, not necessarily bad, she makes her living as a fringe criminal, outside the box thinker, and a seductress. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but a victim using rape as an offensive weapon? Very creative! Worth seeing.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sociopaths in the news: Russell Williams

Colonel David Russell Williams of the Canadian Air Force recently pled guilty to various crimes, including murder. As reported by The Star:
By day, Russell Williams was the commander of Canada’s biggest air force base, CFB Trenton. By night, he broke into homes, taking pictures of himself modeling the bras and panties of little girls.

He escalated quickly, from fetish break-ins, to sex assaults with no penetration to rape and murder. He logged his crimes, kept track of police reports of his crimes and left notes and messages for his victims. “Merci,” he thanked a 12-year-old in a typed message on her computer.

“Merci beaucoup,” he captioned a souvenir photo he took of his penis strapped to a sex toy he stole from a 24-year-old Ottawa victim in June 2008.

We learned that Williams made a video of his brutal beating and asphyxiation of Comeau after breaking into her home Nov. 24, 2009. He also made sex tapes of Lloyd after kidnapping her the night of Jan. 28, taking her to his cottage in Tweed, raping and torturing her for at least a day before dumping her corpse in a field.
Although sociopaths are notoriously difficult to diagnose even for a trained psychological professional,the Col. David Russell Williams case has several hallmarks of sociopathic behavior. To friends, families, and co-workers, he seemed to be a successful leader in the community. He was outwardly admired for his strengths and his commitment to community and service were almost too perfect. Given his arrest for a string of crimes including two murders, however, it seems clear that his public persona was nothing more than a mask to hide his true identity. This is protypical behavior of a murderous sociopath.

Even more confirming of such a diagnosis would be his actions subsequent to his arrest. You would expect sociopaths when cornered to deny all allegations made against them, scrambling to come up with any plausible explanation for their behavior. A trapped sociopath will seem unflappable, confidently asserting his innocence. He is only half pretending. Ever an optimist, he will have deluded himself into believing that he may still skate away unharmed. In contrast, a truly innocent man would be apprehensive upon his arrest and prosecution because even an innocent man would understand the true danger of his predicament and the possibility of wrongful prosecution. If Col. Williams has seemed largely unshaken by his turn of fortune and confident of his imminent release, this would also be a strong indicator of sociopathic behavior.

What I don't really understand is why he pled guilty. Maybe he realized that the jig was up. Maybe they had such strong evidence against him that he realized it was better to just plead out and get a lesser sentence. Or maybe he realized that he had become a monster and lost all ability to control his impulses. If so, this is yet another cautionary tale of why you should not indulge urges to the point that they get out of control.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sociopaths in science

Some articles related to sociopathy:

A "Wired" study of monkey's brains implying a possibly physical basis for empathy:
Our brain divides space into at least two major sectors — one in which we can do things, in which we can act, and one in which we can’t," explained Marco Iacoboni, who studies the human mirror neuron system at the University of California at Los Angeles. "Our cognition, even fairly complex stuff like empathy, seems grounded in our body.
From a recent NYT article on the death of biologist George C. Williams:

Dr. Williams pursued his ideas even to results that he found disturbing. “He concluded that anything shaped by natural selection was inevitably evil because selfish organisms outproduced those that weren’t selfish,” Dr. Nesse said.

Dr. Williams acknowledged that people had moral instincts that overcome evil. But he had no patience with biologists who argue that these instincts could have been brought into being by natural selection.

“I account for morality as an accidental capability produced, in its boundless stupidity, by a biological process that is normally opposed to the expression of such a capability,” Dr. Williams wrote starkly in 1988.
Dr. Williams sounds like he was a sensible man.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sociopath quote: the other side of the coin

Strangers can pretty much go right into any old persons' house without any permission and take them and no one really cares, which is probably terrifying if you are an old person who can barely walk. And yet probably great if you need an old person who can barely walk.

Sarah Silverman

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sociopaths and sex

A reader wrote asking about sex with sociopaths:
I have a question about sociopaths and sex? Do sociopaths feel emotions when you have sex? I mean obviously you feel the physical part but to what extent if any, do you feel emotionally? My ex, who I am certain is a sociopath, didn't ever make love. I mean it was what it was and I didn't realize it until right before I dumped him. We had that one last romp and I realized it. He acted like he was making love and the sex was great but when I asked him the next day out of curiosty if he left anything, he said it was great. I chuckled and said, "Sex for you is a function like using the toilet, eating, showering or sleeping." He looked at me like "why was I bringing up the obvious" and it hit me. I think for him sex was a way to conquer and exude power and that the chase of luring a hot chick in was more exciting than the act itself. He tried to use sex for manipulation. I have heard of women doing that but never a man.
For someone like me, a normal (whatever the fuck normal is) I can just fuck, but when in love sex is emotional for me and I can't just go fuck all of the time. I am very passionate and I'll leave it at that but I noticed that they were really good at one thing but not so much all of it -- they were either good at oral or good at fucking but not really both. And I am not saying all sociopaths are like this. I hate putting even sociopaths into one category. One thing that sticks out that he was NEVER vocal, not even during climax. Not all men are, but both socios I've been with were that way. They were also VERY concerned about pleasing me which sometimes got to be old. I thought it was insecurity at the time but maybe it was trying to learn how fake emotions. He would say, "does that feel good?" too often. Uh yeah shut up, can't you tell???
He loved the way I can orgasm and that's probably the attraction between socios and others; the energy.
I guess, hell I don't know. I guess that's what I'm trying to figure out.In no way am I bashing sociopaths but I really wonder if most of you feel emotions during sex or about sex. I'd love some feedback on the subject if possible. Your site is great and I learned a lot. Thanks.
It's an interesting question, and I imagine that although there are commonalities, a lot of the sexual experience will depend on the individual sociopath. For instance, here is how a socio reader described sex:
Pain is integral to my sexual experience. When with my ex, there was never any violent sexual encounters. She wouldn't have fought me, and that's part of my pleasure, so with her it would have been pointless. I need unwanted pain or domination in any sexual encounter I have. With men, and women, there has to be some sort of pain or humiliation in order for me to be interested, or to get off. Sex with men can be boring. I control it more than half the time, and they get emotional and lovey dovey somewhere in it. If I am with a freak, the challenge to dominate him is what gets me off, not the actual act. I have gone after freaks, but in the end they get boring. With women, to dominate them is easy, they seem to want it. Even the head strung females I go after turn into droids of mushy nothingness.
When I state I am never there, that means mentally, and emotionally, and sometimes physically, figuratively speaking. I can do what I need to to seem like I am interested, but when the act happens, if normal sex, I am a programmed robot doing the same routine with different people. I would touch human skin, but feel no warmth, I would kiss lips, but feel no softness, I would smell them, but only pick up the scent of air and dirt. My experience with people in regular sex is as if I am alone. I don't connect at all. I see them either above or below me, and think about what they could possibly be feeling, and why. I get nothing from connecting with a human, so what does everyone else get?

I often have this reoccurring fantasy that I have met my sexually violent match, and that we were roughing it to the point where I "lost" the control. I was the one being dominated, and it gets out of hand. I turn the violent sex into a fight for my life, testing my lover to anger and fury to where they would want to hurt me. I would then use this imagined victimization as an excuse to get unorthodox-ed, and do anything in my power to protect myself, including kill. In this fantasy I never use guns, or anything quick. It's always blunt force, where I have to use almost all of my strength to destroy them. Never a knife, always something blunt. In the end I kill my lover, and use the violent sex as an excuse to get away with a planned murder, play Lizzy Borden, and hope my femininity gets me out free. Never went through with this because I doubt the escape would be that easy, heh, hence fantasy. That's one serious impulse I always fight to keep under control, to set up my victimization to kill. Though I would love to experience that high, it isn't worth taking the chance at losing my freedom.
To answer the original question, emotions aren't a strong part of it for me. When I am being intimate with someone, I have a running monologue in my mind of what's going on and my reactions to it, as if I am merely observing the festivities rather than being a very active participant. I rarely get "lost" in the experience, except at the actual point of climax. But again, I've never had normal sex, so I wouldn't know how and to what extent it differs. Does this seem to comport with everyone else's experiences?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Keeping/getting out of the system

From time to time we get readers who have gotten caught up in the "system," institutionalized for one reason or another by government agencies trying to "help" them. Sociopaths need to prepare for such a contingency. Here's how one reader got off the psychological hook after being raped:
To get out of counselling, I convinced everyone I had PTSD. After they put a label on me, they felt okay to "release" me. After I got out, life went back to "normal". I never pressed charges or filed a formal report because it felt unnecessary to do so, so I didn't have to act like I had PTSD at school (the event occurred during secondary school). The only glitch in the whole plan was my parents; they were concerned with my lack of... reaction, I guess. Everyone in my family is quite aware of my APD and sociopathy. (We have kind of a Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy when it comes to what I do with my, what I like to call, skills.) I guess they thought we were more vulnerable, haha, that a rape would break me or something. What a riot.

Anyway, it was probably the most frustrating and best learning experience I've ever had. I have since built a mental repertoire of how to react in certain (mostly traumatic) situations, should they ever arise. I'm prepared now. (;
I think for most situations it's easiest to actually concentrate on feeling an emotion that is in the ballpark of "appropriate" rather than faking it. For instance, another socio reader recently suffered a miscarriage. I advised her to respond to people's inquiries by just repeating that she "feels loss." That's my go to response when something bad has happened to me, because I really can feel loss, and if I just keep focusing on the loss I feel, if any, I think I give sufficiently legitimate emotional responses approximating grief.

If you don't have a good "reaction," it can mean trouble. One small example is when I went 10 days with a ruptured appendix. I didn't have any satisfactory answer for why I hadn't come in sooner. People kept asking me questions about my pain threshold, tolerance for pain, etc., but I didn't have answers that jived with my medical history for that either. I think the truth was that I was just very good at compartmentalizing the pain -- mind over matter stuff like walking over coals? I don't know. I obviously still don't have a good enough explanation for it. Once they have you in some sort of "care," though, it's all about playing the game to get out before they have time to observe you for too long. The last day I was in the hospital, I was flushing food down the toilet because they said I couldn't leave until I had eaten. Luckily I wasn't in there with something suspicious like a knife wound, otherwise I might never have been able to leave.

Figure out the "right answer" they are looking for if you can and give it to them -- I know that's the goal, but it's easier said than done. How do you know what the right answer is for having been assaulted? Or having lost a child? The cops and doctors have seen it a hundred times before, so they know how you should act. That's the worst part about it! They sit there all smug, staring at you and comparing it to their wealth of experience while you try to verbally tap dance your way out of custody, sometimes tap dancing your way into even more trouble. It's enough to make you want to run whenever the cops or other authorities get involved, but of course that looks quite suspicious if you do and they later catch you.

As I'm writing this, I realize that maybe I'm a bad person to give advice on this subject. I tend to give people a confused look that makes them want to detain me. My internal dialogue goes something like this: "Is this a situation where less is more? Or where more is less? Do those phrases even make sense? Why are they whispering into that two-way radio while staring at me?"

I've been held on suspicion of all sorts of things, like drug use, cheating, concussions, and smuggling. Once I have triggered more than one red flag, I better hope I am innocent because I can't talk my way out of a paper bag at that point. Cops are the worst. I can't ever give them the reaction they're looking for. I guess that's why I think having a contingency plan is so important, because I have had so many problems with it in the past. It's certainly not because I have any talent for it.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Another (female) sociopath story

I like these stories from readers because I think they round out the picture of what a successful sociopath looks like. Plus they suggest, as some have alleged, that if m.e. and everyone else here like me aren't sociopaths, we do at least seem to be part of a discrete and identifiable subclass of something that is unusual enough amongst the general population to cause consternation in some and hatred in others. From a reader:
I happened along your blog by chance, I was actually searching for something completely mundane when I found it. (I can't remember what now) I didn't send you this email to confirm weather or not I am a sociopath. In fact, these labels mean nothing to me. I know what I am capable of. I know this is who I am and is an integral facet of my personality. However, this is only a single facet of my personality; it does not equal the whole of me.
Early in your blog you expressed a want to reach out to others like you; so this is me saying hi. Well I suppose I should start off by saying this; I'm a female and I can't say if I am a sociopath or not since I have never officially been diagnosed by a psychologist and I don't think my college psy1 professor counts even if she was a doctor. (she was always giving me the look) If I'm not then perhaps I'm simply an extremely cold bitch with a little bit of evil thrown in for a little extra spice.
Are sociopaths made? My childhood was spent in a middle to upper class neighborhood and my parents divorced when I was very young. I was a delinquent child but was rarely caught. My mother has socio/psychopathic tendencies. You see I never had to go out of my way to kill or torture the neighborhood animals because my mother would have me help her kill them. Her most casual method was by antifreeze; but generally she would put them in a plastic bag and shove them in the freezer while they were still alive. I was always the assistant in these small murders. Usually this is where people go, "Oh my god!" and blame her for my behavior. Looking back, I don't blame her. I think blaming her would be like blaming the parent for a gay child. Shit just happens.
In my early teens I was the odd girl out. It wasn't until I realized that certain behavior was unacceptable that I massed friends. When I 'came out of my shell', I was quite popular. This period is when I discovered I was a compulsive liar. Usually I lied for more attention or to get free stuff. I learned to manipulate everyone around me to my advantage. I even orchestrated the break up of a couple of relationships.
As a young adult I've come to a greater understanding of my powers of manipulation. College was easy because I could write most of my quirks off as 'too much partying'. During this time I also found myself to be completely lacking in grief. I don't know how to feel morose but have learned to mimic well enough. I only feel remorse if I fail at something, but not because I did something wrong. I usually know the difference between right and wrong and simply disregard the concept of wrong if it suits my purposes. This doesn't mean that I don't have bout's of altruism or go out of my way to completely ruin someones life. I only exert the effort to ruin if it will benefit me, as I am the only one that matters.
As an adult, I still find occasionally find myself on a learning curve. There are still new behaviors to learn. It doesn't happen often but I still get the 'your not right' look sometimes. This usually means that I missed something that should have been easily picked up on. In generally I keep a lose set of friends around that I have been known to drop on a whim. I don't usually keep them around if I don't need them. That said, I do have a couple of fellow socio/psychopath friends thatI remain close with. We seem to understand each other I suppose.
Murder is a topic that is broached on your blog a bit; the very thought puts a nasty taste in my mouth. Don't miss understand me here. I feel nothing for the death of another. I have my own hangups about cleanliness though. People are gross (blood borne diseases), yuk. That said, unless there is a legitimate life-or-death reason it seems pretty pointless to me. Unless you truly aspire to go to jail and marry Bubba/Bertha. Seriously, I have my 'violent' urges. They happen more frequently than I would like; but I have also learned how to constructively channel those negative energies. Anyone who is stupid enough to give into those baser instincts deserves what they get. Like curling up with Bubba/Bertha on a single cot in lock down.
Once my ex-girlfriend, with a scared look in her eye asked me, "Are you a sociopath?". I looked at her honestly for the first time and told her, "Probably." She at least attempted to understand what it was to be a void. I told her that I do experience joy, anger, lust, disappointment but they are extremely fleeting and only experienced in direct correlation to 'me'. As in MY joy, MY anger etc. I can not actually recall these emotions although I know I have had them. I can't remember what it felt like to feel that joy or sadness, only that it happened. I do know that certain activities or achievements will bring these feelings back to me. However, I do not feel at a loss without them. In fact, I truly do believe I am a 'happy' person.
I am bisexual, however I prefer women. I have been in my longest relationship for about a year and eight months now with a woman who is also 'feelings-deficient'. I don't know if I feel love so much as obsession and devotion. When I am in a relationship I adapt to what they want and expect, while at the same time manipulating and lying to suit my needs. However, much like your business analogy if I'm not getting a return on my investment I leave.
Anyway, thanks for the blog. It's been fun to go back and read the old posts. And it's always interesting to interact with others like myself. It's nice to take off the masks every once in a while and breathe.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Doppelgängers and favorites

A reader asked me about my sense of sometimes having a doppelgänger . I think at least some of these points apply equally to people that a sociopath chooses as a "favorite," i.e. someone that they play with and protect rather than play with and destroy.

Doppelgängers are a weird sensation. They can feel good or they can feel bad, I can want to absorb them into the rest of my identity, or I can want to kill them. They always feel like a part of me, though. I think the best way to describe how I feel around them is that I "recognize" them. I see something of me in them. And not just the me that most people know, but the hidden me that very few know.

I think that this is the thing about doppelgängers that provokes the strongest reaction in me, that I see my hidden self in them. It makes me a little nervous, like I have been found out. I wonder -- if I can see the real them, can they see the real me? And if their identify is so obvious to me, I wonder if my identity is obvious to others as well:
They say that you can never truly see yourself; not in mirrors, or photos, or windows, or water. All you see is a flat reflection. You go through life with only an idea of how other people see you in the three dimensions, always one step removed from every true angle. Unless you’re (un)-lucky enough to have a twin.
Typically there is just one thing I have in common with these people. Perhaps a similar reaction to a certain stimulus. Maybe they also data-mine incessantly to make predictions about other's behavior. Maybe they also are completely ambivalent about some outrageous political issue. Whatever it is, it is something that I consider unique enough to me that I am pleasantly surprised to discover it in someone else.

The raging narcissist in me is very charmed by our similarities, but the wary recluse in me thinks they are a dangerous liability. The result is that all of our interactions have a ticking time bomb urgency and intensity about them.

Although it is true that these people are objectively interesting in some ways, usually I discover to my disappointment that they are still largely unoriginal. Once I realize that they're not who I hoped they would be, I get over my obsession immediately. But it's all very exciting at first.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Emotional contagion

This is an interesting, but old, audio news piece about how fear spreads among crowds and leads to stampedes, etc. "Human beings are hardwired to respond to fear of others." "Fearful body language primes humans to flee."

Interestingly, another article suggested that bad decisions may also be contagious.

As a side note, being in a crowded nightclub when a fire breaks out (story from the audio link), or any similar mob type situation is the reason why I experience anxiety in crowded spaces.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Being socio and black

I am very interested in a sociopath's sense of identity (or lack of identity, as is more frequently the case). I don't really identify with my own gender, race, ethnicity, place of origin, which is why I'm so interested in hearing from the male vs. female socio perspective, socios from different countries and backgrounds, etc. I asked one of our readers to talk about how he identifies with his own readily identifiable identity markers, and it's both interesting and banal at the same time, perhaps most interesting in its banality.
I thought I would write you something about what it feels like to be black and conscienceless. I thought it would be a longish email too. Funny thing is, there is nothing to tell really. Nothing that you don't already get. Sure, there is the black culture, of which I am part by virtue of the color of my skin. I did grow up in what is euphemistically referred to as an “urban center”. I saw a couple of dead people in front of my house growing up, drug deals gone down next door to me, etc. But I am as detached from my racial identity as I am from every other identity marker.

I have a penis and I know how to use it. But I don’t feel like a man per se. I am 35, but I don’t feel like a card carrying member of Generation X. I am a natural born American citizen, yet I do not feel any emotional investment in this country. I like the capitalism and I find the Founding Fathers interesting in their mix of pragmatism and idealism, but otherwise, I would no more die for this country than I would for anything else. I am detached from all of it.

That isn’t to say I don’t enjoy some things about black culture because I do. I grew up on soul food and when done well, it is delicious. Unhealthy, but delicious. I appreciate soulful singing. Not many other groups can pull that kind of singing off. That sort of thing. But had I grown up in the Civil Rights era, for instance, I would have been more interested in how I might use that movement to advance my own agenda rather than how I can help the race as a whole, know what I mean? Sure you do!

I will say this. I do have a deep aversion to police. I hate them. Kind of. But I don’t know if that stems from some kind of racial consciousness or from my own inborn anti-sociality. Or both.
We should get Hare to add to his PCL-R "intense hatred and distrust of the police and other pseudo-enforcement related individuals."

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Blood lust 2

An update from the same reader as this previous post on blood lust:
Thought I'd give you a small update on myself.

I was at a party, a thing I do every month so people don't think I'm a complete shut-in. During this party I commented on a guys shirt, he had a tag hanging out, so I tried a joke and asked if he put his shirt backside-out.
Apparently this was how the shirt was supposed to look. So, a couple of minutes later, this girl walks up to me. She's pissed cause she thought I was making fun of the guy, apparently she was his ex-girlfriend and still had feelings for him, and she was drunk, so she was angry at me.
I tried explaining to her that I wasn't making fun of her. And out of nowhere, she punches me in the cheek. The second I got my eyes on her I, kinda snapped. My arm just kinda wrapped around her throat without my brain telling it to do it. And me and her, and a bystander kinda froze for some seconds. My brain was saying "this is a bad idea. A lot of crap is gonna happen if you dont let go". But I did not let go. I felt my insides going into some kond of euphoria. I wanted to choke her.

But, I let go. Of course the other people on the party found out about this and I was asked to leave.

Two days later I thought about this. This was the closest to happiness(I guess?) that I've been.
Never have I felt my heart beat like that.

So, I went to Oslo (the capital of Norway). Went to some bars, looking for some drunk people.
I found one guy. This obnoxious lowlife. And I picked a fight. Wasn't hard to do.

We were standing in an alley, fighting, I had been drinking so it was a fair fight. In the end, I lost the fight. But, during the fight. I felt somewhat more alive than ever. I wanted to make him bleed, I wanted TO bleed. Every punch I gave and took, I got more and more sober. My mind was buzzing, my body was getting feeling more and more like they were a single person. I felt good, for the first time in a long time, I felt home.

No loneliness, no pit, no more was I an outsider. I felt good.
This was my first real fight. I doubt it will be the last.

The days after that, I've felt good. My spirit is lifted, it seems my burden is less to bear.
Maybe I'm the only one that will feel like that after a fight. (People get the wrong idea from watch the TV-show Dexter ..)

Now, what I'm trying to say is. I have bloodlust. I know there are alot of sociopaths out there, but not many of us have bloodlust.
But, if you have it. Don't let it go out on the wrong people. I'm going to do my best and take it out on the ones that deserve it.
This idea of there being a "wrong person" to take your blood lust out on is interesting to me. I presume the main drive of blood lust is only physical violence towards another human being, i.e. inflicting some sort of physical harm. The fact that it might "hurt" the other human being, either psychically, financially, or emotionally, is merely an unintentional, and perhaps even an unfortunate consequence of acting upon the blood lust -- it's not necessarily the primary aim. Does this seem right, blood lusters?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sociopathic traits: lack of guilt

I thought that this was an interesting comment from a fairly recent post:
People that think they have traits they could use to label themselves as sociopaths. Most aren't, so sorry! Go get another label, that one is full. Having those traits, and having them in a pathological level are not the same cup of tea. Get over it! This is one of the things money won't get you.

When doing that trait test, reading "lack of remorse" - imagine your best at lacking remorse, the true best you can. And that's not it, is that point that you can no longer have imagination to take it to the next level. After, do the same to every other trait.

But there has to be something wrong with people that wish they were sociopaths. And here is the bullseye - maybe some people are ready to take themselves as socio's but not as anything else.

This is the kind of people I think hangs around here, in very general alineas, and they are only bringing more fuss to a matter that is allready hard to deal with or understand even from a MD's skills.
I wanted to address just one aspect of this comment -- the guiltlessness. The commentator suggests that to test whether you are a sociopath, think of your most remorseless moment, then imagine something that you can't even imagine because you're not a sociopath and that's still not even close to how sociopaths actually feel about guilt.

I wonder if this is really true. I know that a lot of people think that lack of guilt or remorse is a key identifying trait in a sociopath, but I think this is a trait that many (if not most) sociopaths would not self-identify with, but rather one that third party observers blithely claim to have observed in sociopaths with little to no evidence supporting it.

Here's how I think this myth got started. Take a typical situation you might encounter in a prison setting: convicted sociopath criminal justifies some reprehensible act he did by blaming his behavior on the victim: "she had it coming." The sociopath does not seem to feel guilt for something he should clearly be feeling remorse, does not even understand why he should feel guilt for that behavior. Ergo, sociopaths do not feel guilt.

Really? Why would a sociopath even bother to justify his behavior ("she had it coming") if he was incapable of feeling anything even resembling regret?

What is really happening? I think that sociopaths believe that they feel "guilt" or "remorse" over some things, just not for what people expect them to feel guilt or remorse. In the example above, I think the sociopath was simply expressing that the action was warranted ("she had it coming"), so there was nothing to feel guilty about. Sociopaths do not necessarily value (or are even aware of) society's rules or moral standards and they feel little to no cognitive dissonance for violating these standards. They may, however, feel cognitive dissonance, or regret, over violating one of their own beliefs about who they are, or what type of world they live in. Sociopaths may feel this cognitive dissonance less frequently than normal people because it is so easy for them to justify their own behavior ex post facto and most "successful" sociopaths would have enough control and foresight to typically avoid breaking their own rules. But feeling it at inappropriate times (and rarely), does not mean that they cannot "feel" it.

So do sociopaths feel guilt? I think a lot of sociopaths would say that they do, or at least have. Do they feel guilt every time society thinks they should? No, not necessarily. People need to understand that lack of "conscience" or "empathy" does not necessarily equate with an inability to feel remorse. But bonus points for anyone who identifies when "lack of guilt" was first used by the psychological community to demonize us further.

Sociopath quote: diversification

A prince being thus obliged to know well how to act as a beast must imitate the fox and the lion, for the lion cannot protect himself from traps, and the fox cannot defend himself from wolves. One must therefore be a fox to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten wolves.

Niccolò Machiavelli

Monday, October 4, 2010

Asexual sociopath

Sam Vaknin often describes narcissists as being essentially asexual in nature, and literary sociopath Tom Ripley is perhaps best described as also being "asexual" rather than bisexual. I have expressed my own opinions about how a sociopath's sense of sexuality can seem fuzzy, and asked a female sociopath reader to describe her own sexuality, or asexuality, as it turns out:
If I had to label myself, I'd be A-sexual (this is what I generally tell people if they ask). I am attracted to both sexes, but not because I want to have sex with them, though I do sometimes engage in the act of fornication. I adore women. They are sexy, soft, delicate, and so easy to use. But being a very feminine looker myself, it's equally easy to target men, who I happen to find attractive for their muscles, ruggedness, and animalistic tendencies. Woman are wonderful because they are the embodiment of nurturing, and when I don't feel like being a hard-ass, I can cuddle with a soft woman, and put my mind at ease, as long as they aren't constantly talking. Men are wonderful because I am pretty aggressive, and I love the power and strength that oozes out of the way they carry themselves. Sexually, they are equal really. I only want one thing, and both sexes supply it sufficiently. Relationship wise, I can tolerate women longer, but I'd more than likely venture elsewhere due to boredom, and their petty needs. They get too deep, too personal.

Though sexually perverted, I have not had sex that often. My drive in regular sex is close to non-existent, I hate the closeness in it all. If not obvious seduction, which is rare, my way of reeling them in is humor, and charisma. I am the regular funny, clever person that gets everyone around me talking. I only get cat-like in my movements when I have a specific target. I often imagined what it would be like if I were a man. I would be able to feel her insides, and drain her sexually, and emotionally as well as physically, and experience the best sexual high while sucking the life out of her. Like a parasite I want to get deep inside a woman, and spread my seeds into every orfice of her body until she deteriorates from the inside out. As a woman, I don't feel that empowerment. I don't leave anything, literal, in any of my subjects to drain them. Mentally, emotionally, of course. The deterioration is obvious. But I don't get to feel them deteriorating. I just see it. What is sex like for a male sociopath, I wonder?

Growing up it was very confusing to be me. I identified more with the boys I grew up with, rough housing, manipulating, getting in trouble, bad mouthing. I have rough exteriors, and was a serious (still am) tomboy. I joke saying I'm a male in a very obvious female body, and those who know me never describe me as dainty, or girly. My mother just wanted her daughter to be a girl, and I knew I was, but didn't like the typical girl characteristics. I tried to be girly, and felt out of place. I was masculine, but still to in touch with my femininity to deny it completely. I didn't know what gay was until I was in high school, but by then I was so awkward that my sexuality didn't seem to matter anymore. I was just trying to deal with my personality, trying to fit in, the usual story with sociopaths. I didn't know anything about personality disorders until I was diagnosed with one. I was more into the idea of sexuality before high school, and once I started school, the interest in sex just vanished. It became more of a need for domination, control, and manipulation with a side-dish of "lets see what I can get away with", than sex games teenagers usually get wrapped up in. I definitely identify more with men mentally, and physically, but not enough to want to be one permanently. Being a female definitely has its advantages though. I wouldn't change that for the world. I can turn men to putty, and take them for everything that they are worth without breaking a sweat. But to experience being one, for at least a week, would really make me happy. I would have a certain something that is mine, and not sparkly pink with a few straps and a harness.

I do envy you fellas sometimes...

Trying to find myself, what sex I identified with, who I preferred, how to look, dress, and act, came to a still once I stopped trying to give myself a label. Once I was honest with myself, and stopped trying so damn hard to fit in or hide, I became free. I heard the sociopath term before with past psychiatrists, but didn't apply it deeply into myself until going to your site. Now it's easy like Sunday morning. I fight constantly with impulses to harm, but there are stabilizing influences in my life, so I am behaving, for the most part. I want hook-ups later in exchange for good behavior.

As far as I'm concerned I am a person who is fluid with any sex as long as they give me what I want, entertainment, and of course, lots of goodies.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


This was in a refreshingly honest email by a normal person and reluctant friend of a sociopath, in response to this post on fear mongering:
I've read a lot on your site (and in general) about "normal" people being afraid of people like you, and I've got to say that I understand that fear. When someone that you thought you knew very well morphs into something unrelatable before your very eyes, it's downright terrifying. It's also a little heart-breaking, because, honestly, I can see humanity's weakness in myself when I recoil from what I don't understand. Evil, after all, is a man made concept, and I'm no one to decide what's "right". I just can't take it. I won't ever condemn him for what he is because he can't help how he was made and our differences don't imply that I'm somehow better than he is, but I can't consciously associate and be friends with someone that could so easily cast me aside to climb a few more rungs on the ladder to success.
I guess socios and normal people have more in common than people think, i.e. inclinations to do both good and evil that we either choose to indulge or fight.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Sociopath for a sister

A reader asked about yesterday's "creepy attachment to family" criteria for sociopaths. Here is a good description of what I'm talking about, from a sociopathic reader about her sister:
I guess my sister is like that constant fix that I need. She knows my faults, and doesn't judge me for it. She doesn't know everything, but with what she knows, she still cares. Even when I make her feel bad, she sticks by me. It's strange. It's like I want to push her to the edge to see how far I can take it, to see if she will leave me. I know she won't, which is why I keep on pushing. She even has enough courage at times to put me in my place when I'm being too much of an ass, and I cherish that. This love is like an obsession, a selfish engulfing obsession. Once I realize that I have a form of feeling to love I get controlling, and don't ever want to let go. I get smothering, I get frightening. I, in a way, give myself the title of master, she becomes my pet. I take care of her, but punish her if she makes me upset. I give her whatever she wants, knowing down the line, when I want something from her, she better give it. It's oddly never violent, I have never hit her. She has my respect for putting up with my shit, and staying. It's not a warm love. It's not a pleasant love, it's not a kind love. It's a soul and mind consuming love. It's a parasite, and it feeds on her kindness and love for me until she can no longer play host. Haven't gotten to that point yet...

I can say that I love my sister. Though I use her, manipulate her, and used to treat her horribly when we were younger, I do love her. It's controlling, and very selfish, empty in feeling, and always has to work out in my favor, but I do love her. I don't ever get the "warm" and "tingly" feeling around her, but there is a joy that I experience, almost the same joy I experience when I am hurting someone.

Through writing this, I realized my behavior acts out when I am not near her. Now that I am closer to her my impulses have calmed. I'm going to see my sister next coming weekend. I do miss being around her. It's nice to not have to act around someone, to let parts of my walls down. Looking forward to seeing her, and her waste of skin, air, and space husband XD.
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