Thursday, March 13, 2014

"When the Ether Stares Back" (part 2)

My response:

I really like the passage about people recognizing their emotions through the physical manifestations. I have said before that I feel emotions, but I have difficult identifying them (alexithymia) or contextualizing them in any meaningful way (or if I do, it's erratic). Only in the past five years or so have I spent any great effort in trying to identify my emotional reactions. Before I wouldn't even label them, e.g. I wouldn't know if I was feeling betrayed or incensed or jealous or whatever, I just knew that I really wanted to hurt a particular person. Now I really do try to play detective with my emotions, using certain clues in my own reactions and what prompted them to figure out what exactly I am feeling (as opposed to just being aware of what I am thinking). It's a lot (I imagine) like how a doctor will use certain physical symptoms to diagnose. Thanks for the heads up on "The Growth of the Mind and the Endangered Origins of Intelligence". I'll have to check it out.

About the relationship, I'm not sure if you will be able to stop the chain reaction of apathy. I think the pull might be too strong. I feel that way sometimes when I am around other sociopaths, even the ones that like me and want what's best for me. There is just not enough social/emotional glue sticking us together, really.

The reader responds:

And you're right. It lasted about forty five days. Today we occasionally call one another when we want/need something.  But otherwise it didn't last.  Overall, a lack of either partner ACTUALLY caring, drove the "relationship" to the brink of the abyss, and plummeted over the edge and into the black.  


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50 comments:

  1. Oh dear, what a surprise.

    Looks as if the so-called relationship was only a temporary source of narcissistic supply.

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  2. Hello it's me from yesterday.

    I've committed burglary about 5 times in my teens to fund a weed addiction. As an adult I've tortured 2 cats and one of them died. I've also done some other minor stuff but nothing serious.

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    1. And I'm currently a law student.

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    2. I have your diagnosis then. You're a fucking wanker. And loser :)

      If you had been a kid when you tortured the cats, it would be "oh well, he's just a kid". But an adult? What the fuck did you do that for?

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    3. How many Marijuanas did you inject per day?

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    4. The cats were annoying me and one thing lead to another.

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    5. And then I started to enjoy doing it. But i actually really loved one of those cats, the female one.

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    6. Come on, Moriarty, share the full story.
      It's bound to be more interesting than today's article, which after fully analysing my feelings, I conclude left me bored and disappointed :)

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    7. This is the most hilarious thread I've read on this blog in while!

      Lol @ Bite me for saying "wanker", that word just gives me the giggles.

      Lol @ "How many Marijuanas did you inject per day".

      And lol @ having a weed addiction because no one has a weed addiction.

      MelissaR

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    8. You people entertain me

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  3. "Overall, a lack of either partner ACTUALLY caring, drove the "relationship" to the brink of the abyss, and plummeted over the edge and into the black. "

    You wouldnt write something so emotionally descriptive as "plummeted over the edge and into the black." about someone you didnt care about!!!!

    You dont describe the mailman in that way. OR DO YOU?! LOL

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    1. You can use words and appreciate their aesthetic appeal without giving a fuck about their meaning.

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    2. Maybe she was having a relationship with the mailman! Ha!

      MelissaR

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    3. Anon (reply from Erik): That happens a lot in language. Since language is about communicating intent, when used in speaking (and sometimes writing) it is more about what you intend to say instead of what you spoke/wrote. Sometimes, what you say and what you write come out differently than what you meant to communicate, since everyone uses a slightly different "mental dictionary". This is compounded in writing, because you lack the visual and auditory cues (facial expression, body language, tone of voice, etc.) to get the intent the sender was trying to express.

      It happens all the time.

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    4. Bob, now I know that deep, deep down under all that...tweed, is a sense of humour :)
      May I ask for a favour?
      Tell me a joke or a funny story. Please.

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    5. I don't hold onto prepared jokes or stories. Usually I play something witty off a situation or statement in real life conversation. That being said, text is more tricky without a face or tone of voice to deliver with, so I usually don't. I have no idea what I said that could be funny in this thread.

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    6. Oooh, oops. I meant to say that I have yet to see you share anything remotely funny. Except for that one time, but I was kinda laughing at you, not with you :)

      That's why I say that you make me think of tweed. Like those professors that take everything seriously and try to use it as an excuse to lecture...

      Show us that humour, Bob. It makes reading your posts so much nicer. Especially for people with attention deficit issues, of which I assure you, there are plenty here.

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  4. I love M.E. very much. But it could never be. Can't you help
    her Bob?

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    1. Why? What is there to help, and why would I want to? There is nothing to fix, nor do I care to fix anyways.

      The desires you want to fulfill are on you.

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    2. You wouldn't like her anymore if they "fixed" her.

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  5. It's an interesting experience to have a partner with high emotional and general intelligence. She can see through my bullshit, straight to the core of my personality. She's pointed out that I don't seem to care about anything at all. I share the profound apathy that other people have described. In truth, there is nothing in existence with inherent properties that causes me to care about it.

    Caring isn't emotional at all for me, it's an act. Again, consistent with other testimonials, I have emotions, but they are absolutely selfish. I feel, and only for myself, when my personal condition changes dramatically, for better or worse. All I can do is treat certain other people well to let them know I appreciate them.

    I've never had a romantic relationship with someone like me, but I have had friendships and conversations. They are liberating in the way Artemis describes. If one person feels inclined to contact the other, they may, and whatever existed before is picked up where it left off. Neither person feels hurt that contact hasn't been consistently maintained. Neither person cares.

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    1. What motivates you to maintain a long-term relationship - if the love isn't there, what keeps you going?

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    2. EA-I can relate to how the universe lacks anything that offers inherent interest, so how do you navigate human relations? And how do you cope with day to day existence? Any tricks would be useful...

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    3. Love is a tricky thing to define for someone like me. Can it only exist bidirectionally? I don't think so. If your mother goes senile, you can still love her, though she may not be capable of reciprocating your feeling. Thus, love can exist without a shared deep emotional bond.

      I can feel my side of love just fine. My well-being and happiness can depend on another person, and I can deeply appreciate having them in my life. However, I can't share love. There are certainly people who love me, but I can't feel it. So, when I'm in a relationship with someone, the 'bond of love' cannot sustain it. They may love me, but if they do nothing to show it, we'll drift apart.

      Fortunately, I have a nearly endless supply of patience, forgiveness, and understanding for the people I love. I will sustain my end through force of will alone. Why do I do this? Because even if I can't feel someone else's love, I will believe them if they say they love me. It's like we've both got ropes tied to each other, and while they can feel mine tugging at them, I can't feel theirs. I need to be pulled close sometimes to know that their rope is still attached. So, even if someone loves me, if I'm treated poorly I'll drop my end of the rope and walk away. I've done it once, and the other person was deeply hurt.

      I guess you could call me needy, but I'm really not. I was patient with that person for years. Certainly some of the blame lies with me. She didn't understand how easy it is for me to let people go. Merely being there for her and supporting her, even if I didn't constantly buy her flowers, was an act of will for me. I understand now that she didn't see it that way.

      So, I've changed. I am being what I consider outrageously generous with my time, resources, and affection. This is on top of serving as an indomitable source of safety, comfort, stability, and support. My thinking is that if I make myself valuable, I will be treasured. In my last relationship, I was taken for granted and treated poorly.

      Pride is worthless. Doing what I do requires no great effort. I like to give, I enjoy it, perhaps too much. I think it's fun to test my limits and push boundaries. How can you assess your resources if you don't attempt to exhaust them?

      Looking at all that, I'm obviously a massive narcissist and must be incredibly annoying to deal with. I could never offer enough to counteract that!

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    4. Human relations:

      I'm introverted, but I pressed my personal boundaries and found a group of friends with shared interests through a website (Meetup). They served as a nice diversion, and I'm apparently quite likeable as they want me around a lot and include me in private parties, etc.

      I've realized that I'm terrible at attracting women if that's my aim. My current girlfriend initiated our relationship. So, if you're like me, interact with girls (or whatever, I don't know your sex/sexual orientation) without any intention of getting into their pants, and some will be attracted to you. My girlfriend has superceded any interest in hanging out with my previously described group of friends.

      Day to day:

      If you don't have friends or a girlfriend, kill time. Divert your attention from contemplating the meaninglessness of existence. I played computer games and watched entire series on Netflix. If you've got friends, hang out with them. If you've got a partner, hang out with him/her. When those needs are met, satisfy your intellectual curiosity by talking to sociopaths on the internet. I've got a massive apathetic void inside me, and those things start to fill it. Now that I've satisfied that need, I'm considering personal and professional improvement.

      I don't know how similar you are to me, but find things that pull you out of your miserable apathy, cling to them, and fill your time with them.

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    5. Thank you, that was really helpful.

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    6. You intrinsically feel love, but can't share it. Can you elaborate how that works?

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    7. I'm not sure I would articulate it the same way Erik did, but I feel like I know what he means. When I first start seeing someone, I definitely feel the surge of whatever hormones slosh around in my skull to make me feel affectionate towards them, presumably to coerce me into reproducing. But that feeling fades, and after that, what is left might best be described as fondness. That person satisfies basic needs and other things that I value, but it doesn't feel like there is any emotion in it.

      I don't mean that to suggest that I don't care about my wife- she is my favorite person. But there also isn't some deep abiding sense of love there. But she does love me, and has seen some of the worst parts of me, and still seems to tolerate me. There is a certain level of comfortableness in the relationship.

      I once told an inquisitive car dealer the tale of how I decided to marry my wife. I think he was expecting me to relate the story of some grand romantic gesture, or how much in love I was. Instead, I told him that at the time I was planning on moving out of state for grad school, I didn't want to break up with her (she was and still is extremely attractive,) and I figured that she wouldn't come with me if we weren't married, so marriage was the best option. He told me that was fucked up and suggested I not tell the story that way ever again. that seems like an overreaction to me; nonetheless I try not to tell the story that way anymore.

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    8. I feel lust-a ravenous hunger that could almost be described as cannibalistic-wanting to consume and merge with some hot guy on every level-like the FLY-total communion, but its always basically physical hunger and lust-and dosent really mellow out to romantic love-I guess my idea of a perfect union would be like the two kids from FUNNY GAMES-where (overlooking the sadism) there is a sympathetic acceptance of the way each other is. That to me would equate to LOVE.

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  6. I believe that all sociopaths are narcissists but not all narcissists are sociopaths. I'm wondering about one individual who is definitely a narcissist, trying to figure out if he has the additional malevolence that would make him a sociopath.

    He enjoys hurting birds so I'm inclined to think that's the clue. I don't think narcissists enjoy hurting birds or animals, rather that it's a sociopathic trait. Can any of you confirm that I'm on the right track in thinking this.

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    1. Actually animal cruelty is a psychopathic trait.

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    2. Psychopaths and sociopaths are the same thing.

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    3. They are often used interchangeably in the mainstream media, but from what I have gleaned PSYCHOPATHS are born and SOCIOPATHS are made. Not that it helps any, pretty much a chicken and egg scenario to my way of thinking...

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    4. Actually it is an amalgamation of both. Psychopaths/sociopaths are the same thing - they are both born and made. Genetics (born) and environment (made). The difference in this case, in which the word sociopath is used in preference on the site, is because it has less negative bias and connotation than the stereotyped psychopath.

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    5. It must be really hard to hurt birds. They are hard to catch since they can fly and all.

      MelissaR

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    6. shutup Melissa

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    7. Of all the things you could find insulting in the comments, it was that? Aren't you setting your standards a little high?

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  7. Being in a position where one cannot identify and process emotions is something I am familiar with, I could be feeling fear, excitement, fury or lust, maybe even love and comfort, but without any historical context to place these things one is left in a position where confusion and panic are often the immediate response to such alien and unclear states.

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    1. doesn't context help?

      i have a relative who likely has alexithymia. he is unable to describe internal states in any but very minimal and basic ways, and claims he has no imagination. i wonder if the two are somehow connected? i mean he absolutely can't go from "when this happened i did x" to "when this happens next time i might do x again" let alone " when this happens next time i will try not to do x again". he just doesn't have the concept of "x" as it relates to him whether it is a feeling, thought, illness or action. he doesn't even understand that something is lacking, although he marvels that some people possess imaginations.

      i wonder if something that's not naturally learned can be learned by practicing until the associations are formed?

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    2. psykopath-I-logical, i'm puzzled that you can be aware that you have emotions when you can't identify them. is this something you've been told by those close to you who observed your reactions? or is it later after you've had time to process it that you are able to identify the emotion?

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    3. A bit of both-when people try and initiate close emotional contact they act like I am expected to know what to do, how to process and relate, in fact how to act-all that happens is I stare at them with a puzzled baffled expression, then cue back into my normative state-regardless of what effect I have on them, Maybe some similarities to your relative, as to whether such associations can be learned, sociopaths and psychopaths are notoriously intransigent, to learn means being able to open up, and those on the spectrum are thick skinned to diamond hardness, and only willingly open up in extreme exceptional circumstances, we always keep our guard up-(maybe due to malfunctioning amygdala, anyone?), Usually only opening up in extreme rage or panic or anxiety or blind fury.

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    4. you seem to have insight, and the ability to reflect and anticipate, so i would say you could learn. but not my relative. he has very limited ability to do that, and very rudimentary "theory of mind". he's more on the autistic / alexithymic side. no ability to pretend. weird how it all overlaps.

      actually i'm not convinced psychopathy is a disorder any more than extreme empathy. it all depends how far people are allowed to be unique before saying they are "ill". but the thing that doesn't fit for me is the flexible personality. that's so opposite from a lot of personality disorders. having a mind that can adapt like that seems to me to be an indicator of a healthy and/or exceptional mind, regardless of what it's unique abilities or limitations are.

      in contrast having a very frozen personality, one that evolved willy nilly then froze in early adulthood, seems dull-normal and even stunted. that's the person who cracks and develops a personality disorder.

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    5. badly written sorry... to much writing today and just not in the mood. but i wanted to share such as it is : )

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    6. In this case, sociopathy has roots in genetics (along with environmental/"growing up"). There are specific genes which are attributable to sociopathy. fMRI scans have also shown deficient neural activity near the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala, among others, which lends a biological component to it as well. Because of this, it is not purely "mental".

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    7. I agree Bod, spot on, the question is whether the Braqin can be encouraged to re wire itself to set up strategies for channelling the chaotic data.

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  8. Most of you aren't sociopaths or narcissists. You're emotionally stunted.

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    1. i feel like this is some sort of attack on the emotionally stunted

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    2. Its funny how these broad statements often reveal more about the statement maker than the subject they seek (rather ineffectually) to coruscate.

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