From a reader:
I've been reading your blog about six months and I must say it is most refreshing to discover a page that does not villify sociopaths, painting them as these evil people whom want nothing more than to roam the Earth manipulating, raping and killing. Your blog has confirmed for me what textbooks could not. Reading through many of the self-reflective posts I find myself identifying with them. I came to your blog unsure as to what exactly I was, I knew I was different and I certainly matched up with a lot of the traits that are succinct in ASPD, however I did not believe myself to be one as I can have emotions such as happiness, anger, sadness. I was what society considers normal up until about the age of 12 (I even distinctly remember feeling guilty for ruining something that belonged to someone else and seeing their reaction), following a rather traumatic incident, coupled that with constant bullying through both primary and secondary school my ability to feel guilt ceased, (I can't ever recall feeling empathy).
I learnt very quickly how to manipulate those around me. I did however have to learn how to be socially graceful as those around me and I grew up. The best way I can describe it is, "it's like performing a group dance that you don't know. You watch those around you and attempt to emulate them, however you'll always be one or two steps behind." There is one particular incident that sticks out in my mind. I was 18 and in my final year of school, one morning a friends dad had died, the school gathered our year together, told us and then told us to take all the time we needed and to go to class whenever. I sat down with my group of friends, all looking miserable and pensive. I did not understand how they could feel this way, it was not their dad who had died, it would not directly affect them. However I knew that I must follow suit, so I sat there looking miserable and pensive like the rest, the foremost thought in my mind being "I can't be the first to leave, I hope someone goes soon, after the first person leaves I'll wait a couple of minutes then head off, the ground is really uncomfortable."
I'm 20 years old now, studying psychology at university with the original intention of gaining a PhD in Forensic psychology, however after seeing first hand what's involved in the research side of the profession I've switched my focus to that of a medical degree. The reason for this partly being as I see it as the ultimate challenge, when I was much younger doctors appeared to be these omnipotent beings that us mere mortals could only hope to be like. Which brings me to my next conclusion, I am not just a sociopath, I am sociopath with narcisstic tendencies (not something I'm proud of). I do part-time work in the bar/gaming industry, I excelled at that, not because I wanted the satisfaction of having done a good job (that concept is laughable to me), but because I wanted to move up. I'm the youngest person working for that business and I have more responsibiltes than people twice my age.
I'll end this with an anecdote that shall lead into a question. In class we were studying, ASPD and the question of Nature Vs. Nurture was raised, loving a good argument I decided to throw my two cents in and suggested a hypothesis that no-one else was considering, as members of the class were either on the side of nature OR nurture, but never considering that the answer could be both, which led to an interesting ten minute discussion. I used the knowledge I have of my own personality to come up with the idea. Having NEVER felt empathy, but having felt guilt at one point could it be possible that people possess certain genes/characteristcs (whatever you wish to call them) at birth, that give them the potential to become sociopathic, however only when placed in certain situations does the sociopathy present itself, if for example I hadn't gone through the traumatic event, if I'd had a normal schooling life as opposed to one rife with bullying would I be "normal" now?
Food for thought!