As I’m sure since the subsequent publication of your book you receive these types of emails and attempts at correspondence daily, I will attempt to make this little stab at conversation short and sweet. Just a footnote here, I have no desire to exploit you and this is not an attempt to parallel our experiences. I suppose I am contacting you to relay some experiences of mine and perhaps receive some feedback.
My friend recently proposed the term, “sociopath” to me in passing conversation. I laughed off his name calling because I reasoned with myself: I grew up in a loving, stable environment, I have always had friends and significant others and I’ve always been keenly aware of my significance to them. I am not some brooding psychopath. I will admit here that I was unaware of the difference between “psycho” and “socio” and incorrectly found them mutually exclusive. However, the term “sociopath” sizzled in my brain for quite some time and I decided to delve into studying this alleged “disorder” and try to either self-diagnose or abandon the subject completely if it wasn't applicable to me. I reevaluated nearly every memory I can tap into and here’s just a sample of the conclusions I've come to:
By the age of 18, I had been arrested for assault, theft, and possession of criminal tools, vandalism, and a negligible complicity charge. At the various times of these altercations, I always was able to weasel my way out of the worst possible consequences. In my family’s eyes, I was a merely a victim of circumstance of hanging around the “wrong crowd” or being “scared, anxious” to be going away to college. At the time I think I believed those explanations myself. I have been in several altercations and what I refer to as “battles” with my family members often resulting in periods of estrangement with them.
Each one of my relationships throughout high school and my young adult life ended with a bang. The first ended in me cheating and spreading a rumor that my boyfriend had essentially taken advantage of me sexually. The second ended in cheating on my part as well and in a fiery battle with her parents that ended in a restraining order against me. The third was almost identical to the second. During these relationships, I would always befriend my significant other’s circle of friends and more often than not they all ended up liking me more than my girlfriend/boyfriend. I never felt particularly attached to my boyfriends or girlfriends, I always felt like, “well, I’m young, I don’t have to care about them or take these relationships seriously.” I have always identified as a bisexual. I like the differences between sexes and have never been able to adequately identify with one or the other. I am sexually fluid. This has always stirred confusion with those who have been in relationships with me and I've often heard they feel threatened by everyone around me, male or female.
Throughout my childhood and adolescence, I was considered above average. I was and still am an avid reader and consider myself to be fluent in many musical instruments. I excelled in every activity I tried, guitar, drums, English, horseback riding, swimming, and softball. Music became somewhat of an obsession for me and I have become integrated in an underground community of musicians. I won several awards in academics and was able to attain a generous scholarship to a school I couldn’t otherwise afford. My family is exceedingly proud of me and I have always known I was the “favorite” to my various grandparents, aunts, and uncles.
I began waitressing at a small diner at the age of 16. I charmed my way into the hearts of many customers who still contact me after transferring to a different store several hours away. I consider myself to be the ideal employee, by befriending upper management and kissing a little ass I am mostly free to do as I please without consequence. However, I have managed to get approximately 5 people fired and dozens written up.
You’re probably wondering why I failed to pick up on these things earlier or even realize how “abnormal” I am. The only explanation I can come up with is that maybe that’s just how the emotional and physical world naturally occurs in my mind. My “normal” is just maybe a variance on the society’s perceived notion of normalcy. I could go on forever but again, I am lazy. I realized rather quickly how much I assume the role of “sociopath” by textbook definition and although I have statistically come into contact with many sociopaths, you are the only one I have found to be formally diagnosed and have a way to contact.