Friday, April 12, 2013

Why we need psychopaths (part 3)

Suitable careers for sociopaths (I'm particularly amused by the reference to morticians, as one of my sociopath friends has just started mortuary school):

There are a variety of careers that require such emotional detachment and mimicry, in addition to the corporate world. Funeral directors are not deeply saddened by every single funeral, but they pretend to be as part of the ritual of mourning and to show respect to the families they serve. People expect this treatment and would be very offended if they were not treated in such a manner. Prior to this sacred event the deceased person’s naked body is placed on a table, formaldehyde is pumped into their arteries, their blood is removed, more embalming chemicals are added to their internal body cavity and, finally, cosmetics are applied. An alternative to preservation is cremation. This occurs by burning a human body at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and then grinding up the remaining skeleton. When funeral home employees shake your hand and offer their seemingly sincere condolences it is after one of these processes has taken place. And this is repeated hundreds of times per year, often to babies and children. It has been said that the funeral services are to benefit those left behind as an avenue to mourn, to see their loved ones one last time and to say their final farewells to provide needed closure. Essentially, a human being is put through these horrifying postmortem processes because the remaining family and friends want them to.

In a separate but similar profession as embalmers, doctors and surgeons must see their patients as scientific puzzles to solve and, at the same time, express tender concern and support to their patients and their families. This sympathetic, emotional interaction even has a name: bedside manner. An oncologist who sees hundreds of cancer-ridden patients in their lifetime may show compassion for the patient while simultaneously prescribing treatments that are nothing short of agonizing. A medical examiner, or coroner, performs autopsies on deceased persons to provide closure to the families, to solve mysteries and to provide justice for those who lost their life at the hands of another. To do this means to cut open a corpse, expose organs, remove tissues, cut through bones and sometimes extract the brain from the skull. Autopsies are routinely performed on infants suspected of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Most people could not cut open an infant body without experiencing severe and long-term emotional distress.

Another disturbing experience often resulting in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and even suicide is the wartime horrors our military is currently experiencing. Soldiers leave their families behind, not knowing if they will survive the battlefields they are sent into. Witnessing mass pain and inflicting death onto other human beings is often a soldier’s very first experience with such intense violence. Veterans often report nightmares, flash backs and haunting memories of the people they killed, all in the name of defending our freedom. There is seldom a desensitization process to lessen the psychological impact of being thrust into bloody violence. And upon discharge soldiers are expected to return home and resume a normal life with only a plane ride to separate the experiences. Although the military has taken steps to rehabilitate the mental health of veterans the sad truth is, sometimes that is not enough. After spending, at a minimum, eighteen years building empathy it is expected that it be shut off and back on again like flipping a switch. Rather than learning to reduce and increase empathic feeling on demand, a more attractive option would be eliminating the need for a transition from the beginning.

The motivation for nearly all of these professions is to provide a service to people in a respectful, dignified manner but impression management hides the underlying psychological processes. Many professionals intentionally become hardened over time so as to not cause themselves distress. They do this by gradually removing their capacity for empathy. It is replaced by shallow, but visibly identical, sympathy. Their patients cannot be seen as fathers, daughters, sisters or even human beings. This is achieved through depersonalization and dehumanization. They learn to compartmentalize their work, which allows them to perform their job duties to the best of their abilities and then go home and have dinner with their families. While this is admired by the people who benefit from these highly esteemed professionals, these are the same processes found in sadistic serial killers.

In laymen’s terms this is called “cold hearted.” It would be nearly impossible to discern whether the doctor making strides in cancer research is altruistic and haunted by the patients he could not save, or whether he wants to achieve such accolades selfishly and by whatever means necessary. The family-owned funeral home may be upholding a sacred tradition honoring the deceased, or they may be solely seeking to profit off a never ending cycle. The highly educated coroner voted into position may be grateful to serve their community in a time of loss, or they may take great pleasure in desecrating dead bodies. Perhaps the disturbed loner who can’t quite get a grip on his desire to kill should be the forefront of a special operation cloaked in the name of liberty. If the end result is the same, does it make a difference to us what emotions are experienced in the process? More often than not the graphic processes themselves are explicitly ignored while we focus more on the results. It may be unfathomable to consider these respected, charismatic and driven individuals as ‘cold-hearted’ until you consider what their job descriptions truly consists of. In addition, it may be sickening to consider they repeat these processes daily for decades because they enjoy it; why else would they endure such intensive, difficult and expensive schooling if they don’t gain something positive as a result? They may come across as charming and genuinely altruistic but so did some of the most destructive serial killers in our nation’s history. What these people share is the chilling ability to inflict gruesome human torture for hours and then sit down at the dinner table before sleeping peacefully in bed.
***
This emotional detachment and presentation of a normal personality, just as previously described, is now not referred to as desensitization or “impression management.” Dr. Hervey Cleckley referred to this as the “mask of sanity.” Cleckley describes the psychopathic person as “outwardly a perfect mimic of a normally functioning person, able to mask or disguise the fundamental lack of internal personality structure, an internal chaos that results in repeatedly purposeful destructive behavior.” If the mask of sanity slips then how does one save face? Does the description “purposeful destructive behavior” describe incinerating human remains? Where is the line between an autopsy and mutilating a corpse? The distinction between murder and combat is in the fine print. Would the facilitators of those processes be exercising emotional detachment against their true nature or harnessing their true cold-hearted nature?

45 comments:

  1. Sure, hotbox parties are great fun, though the morning after makes it feel almost deadly.

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  2. Alterego
    You try so hard to be smarter than everyone that you end up dense such as thinking that Rich is not a real person. You were quick on the uptake to think that I was not asshead.

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  3. its all puppets here monica. why would anyone believe anyone is really real here after sticking around so long?

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    Replies
    1. Please stay on topic. Thank you. What is a hotbox party?

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    2. its when there is a lot of hot babes at the party and the party room is small so the room at the party swells up with their breath and no one gets out alive.

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    3. Gas chambers.

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    4. Hitler is one epic partydude

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    5. I dont believe you ;)

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  4. This place is in need of a good fight :D

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    1. It's in need of everything because it no longer succeeds in temporarily alleviating my boredom. It only contributes.

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    2. she put life in here the same way Rich did. It is boring now. Zoe gone, Haven gone. THere is no life in here. It's like a mortuary again. where are all the people who are enthusiastic? Where are the ones who use exclamation points and bold letters?

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    3. If you want entertainment fuckoff back to your Facebook page.

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    4. i dont have a facebk page. Go spank on yourself and let go some of that aggression.

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  5. "Perhaps the disturbed loner who can’t quite get a grip on his desire to kill should be the forefront of a special operation cloaked in the name of liberty." Then, i thought the author was Sociopathic. I admit the obvious. I find the statement incomprehensible in someway. Is this some kind of persuasion, falsely projecting for an impression. Let's be frank, Kindly explain to me the statement above?

    ~ You are my Sociopathic mentor :P

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  6. " Neurotypicals put emotional investment in words, the reason why persuasion, manipulation and the such is mostly effective"


    ~ You are my Sociopathic mentor :P

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    1. is anyone a child of narcissistic parents here today? Because i would like to ask something about emotions on other people's faces. It is what came to my head when i saw this right above

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    2. Anon 9:15
      "Neurotypicals put emotional investment in words, the reason why persuasion, manipulation and the such is mostly effective."

      Effective only for the naive. Not all are naive.

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    3. Thank you for your response, Anon. "is anyone a child of narcissistic parents here today?" Is this a rhetorical question, Anon? or is it a serious one? But frankly, I must admit, One of my parents might be to a "degree" a Pathological/Narcissistic personality, but i'm not so sure, please enlighten me. I won't try to divulge on details and state the obvious, I find it somewhat difficult to believe your allegations since Exhibit A, Raised me to be assertive, taught me why not to trust people, your kind of people, and knowledge about such. Empathy is apparent from such and even though i don't meet some of his expectations he does not wear me down that much ;) , despite Exhibit A having a SOMEWHAT a lack of conscience maybe from too much pragmatism or from interpersonal aggression, resources are scarce in my country it's a dog eat dog world, EVERYBODY NEEDS TO BE CUNNING TO GET AHEAD. Please enlighten me. :)

      ~ You are my Sociopathic mentor :P


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    4. no i had thought that were real. when tom spoke about hollowness and i saw the quote, i had thoughts come into my head about what it means to feel hollowness in the self and also in others. i related it to having narc parents.

      i think the emptiness started there, with either no expression on a parents face or not feeling like they can see me.

      maybe i just put "void" as my name, and that is how that blob of emptiness got stuck right

      inside me.

      when you create things like writing a book or composing a song, you know you are there because you know you are the one who did it. if you made it, then you cannot be void.


      the quote about neurotypicals and emotional investment in words i am not sure i understood completely, but i connected it to myself this way: because i am a person who did not feel like i had a voice. when i speak and i am strong and i am heard well, i feel very full. It is amazing.

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    5. LoL! This seems to be a big misunderstanding, Anon. What do you mean by 'Void'? I seem to have misled you with the quote by typing the word 'Emotion' as the right explanation from my understanding. Your explanation seems to have no relevance. Though, i must admit i'm trying to let you read me. Please Enlighten me!

      ~ You are my Sociopathic mentor :P

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    6. Are you trying to mirror my Ego, Anon? You are somehow misconceived. How about trying to make me gain a realistic perspective on my self, I'm trying to be self aware.

      ~ You are my Sociopathic mentor :P

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    7. no no i'm saying I named myself "Void"


      i'm saying that if i feel empty maybe it's because i was looked at like i wasn't there.

      Maybe i was using "hollowness" for "emptiness". i'm not sure there's a difference. Sometimes i zone out and see things as if they occur in a dream and respond to things according to the way my brain tells me i should respond. then i do that task and respond. appropriately. idk if i can presdict what a person needs best, but often i'm right.

      i hought this is due to high levels of empathy.. is it not?

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    8. thats crazy normal-sounding. are you high?

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    9. You're right, Anon. You are a Sociopath.

      ~ You are my Sociopathic mentor :P

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  7. Dear sw and M.E.:

    i have exhausted my usefulness and you are not useful to me in a particular way i need.
    It is time for me to go away.

    M.E. I hope you get all you want and your book is a success. Thank you to all , especially Monica, for giving me nice company for some years . i will always remember sw as my spiritual sanctuary and my friend.

    I have to be independent now and get to love myself without seeing reflection of idk...whatever i am.

    THank you. I will miss you. I hope i put a smile on anyone's face like they did me.

    I felt love here. Now to love myself is my intention. i cant ask it from a place. i have to demand it from me. I learned from beng here. I will always love my friend, sw
    xo

    I Know -this is the narcissist way, to leave. But really, i think anybody would step away smiling rather than frowning.

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  8. Thanks for your kind words. I don't know why you have to go if SW has helped you love yourself <3

    I had the malignant Narc dance with my mother last week and today. I, finally, SAW her. It was an interchange last week when and I saw her-- clear as day. She admitted how she was. I had a paradigm shift and thought it was great. I saw her whole M.O and she admitted it. What a great thing!

    I will tell you what happened. I have a garden and I am in love with it. It has changed my life because I have a good obsession instead of a bad one~

    I am so excited when I get a new plant or herb so I told my mother I had all these collard greens and was excited about them. I think I was telling her that I just bought lavender and was excited about it.

    Then, she makes a snide remark that I would have too much so I would have to go up and down my street in a snobby kind of development, giving it to people like an idiot.

    I could see that nothing you do is RIGHT. I would have to have 2.5 collard greens so I would have no waste. I am a jerk because I have too much like an extravagant ass.

    I could see the whole way her thinking was twisted and she could, too. That was the thing.

    Then, today she blames me for being angry and says she does not have to take it.

    I told her I never wanted to talk to her again for as long as she lives and I mean it!

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  9. I have to say, that family and friends, sometimes need to be limited or cut out of our lives. I generally limit their interaction with myself and my kids. I have a whole family of Narcs and PDs in my family.

    I mainly date Narcs too. Even married one, but am divorced. They are controlling, insulting and passive/ aggressive and plain aggressive.

    I set firmer boundaries and stand up for myself a lot verbally. They insult me, I call them out on it immediately and tell them to apologize.

    If they do not apologize, understand that they hurt me, and strive to change, I don't spend time with them.

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  10. No one EVER neeeeeds a socio/psycho in their lives..not ever.

    Aw geez ME you make me gag! You always forget to mention; lyingin, cheating, stealing, and lying. Did I forget lying. When their mouths move: lying! YOU might be good at writing a blog, not 'hurting' people close to you, but you mis-represent what the socio"IS". Lie, cheat, steal. Nothing else...not ever. Please tell me how you 'feel' about that. ha..nothing.

    Hey, did you know a long time poster to your blog died? LOL

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  11. oh, hey, where is Ukan and his lovely wife? Daniel Birdick? GONE

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  12. Awe, your 'friend' started mortuary school? It's cause no one else could stand them but the dead.

    Why do you INSIST that people need socio/phsycho? The DON'T. YOU need to fit in somewhere and you don't. They are right to say
    'go to an island, all you socio/phsycho and fucking kill yourselfs'

    Hey, good luck with your book...

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    Replies
    1. The point is to look at this from a different perspective. If socios/psychopaths get banished to an island then why not all PD's? Or if someone *might* have a mental illness/disorder. Why stop there, if you're even sick then off you go so you don't infect the general population. I hardly see that as a solution.

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  13. Where is Ukan???

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  14. Monica,
    Go no contact with your charming mother. Don't EVER speak to her again and you will heal.

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  15. Borderlines are just as charming and fun for relationships.

    They just throw you away, and then pull you back, and throw you away, and pull you back.

    They are glasses that are empty, yet they have no bottom. You fill them with love and it pours right out of them. No love is enough for them.


    Banana

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  16. Rich the UBER CORPSE!!!!April 12, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    Rumors of my death have been slightly accurate!!!!

    HI MONICA!

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  17. @Anon 7:37
    Are you Literary Anon? When I read your post, I felt a peace. I blocked my phone number and told my father to contact me when she died. Maybe, I can belong to myself, finally.

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    Replies
    1. Monica,
      Yes, I'm totally serious. You cannot keep drinking from poisen and expect to feel good! Glad you are keeping no contact with her. You will feel so much better. peace.

      Delete
    2. Thanks L.A
      I feel really close to you even though I don't know you in real life <3

      Delete
    3. Sorry Monica, but that was not me.
      I've only just come on today.

      Very well said, Anon 522, I wholeheartedly agree with you.

      This woman is clearly incapable of learning from past mistakes and resisting her urges to put you down, gaslight you and hurt you in any other way she can think of. You gave her countless chances, she did nothing but kick you for your efforts.

      Ceasing all contact is painful at first. I am very glad you found the strength to do so. After a while though, you might notice, like I did, that life takes on a new light. One of the sweetest things for me was that I no longer had that anticipation of every special occasion being marred by fights and passive aggressive bullshit. I could relax and really enjoy myself.

      I realize that you are going through a dark time, with this fighting and losing Rich. But don't allow her to use this to make you feel guilty and lure you back under her control. You will find no solace with her. She really is poison. Stay strong and don't give in.

      L.A.

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  18. Thank you L.A and Anon for your kindness!

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  19. Much of what was stated is true. I work in the funeral business, but i do the behind the scenes kind of work. Before i ever entered this profession i thought that the only thing i couldn't handle, or the only problem i would have, would be to pick up kids. I was actually shocked when i did encounter this. To my surprise, i felt nothing. Then i cremated him, still nothing. Even as i picked out his fillings from the ashes, nothing. But then again, why not me? If most cant handle it and yet nothing i encounter bothers me, then why shouldn't i do it? I cut people open, burn them, and at the end of the day i go home and eat with my family, as if nothing happened. The sad thing is this, i so want to tell my friends and family of the things i see, for they are the most amazing sights i have ever gazed upon. Fucking shame that they dont share the same enthusiasm. I see the truth of reality everyday, and yet they, they being everyone i know, miss out on profound clarity.

    ReplyDelete

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