Friday, June 19, 2015

Dealing with loss

From a reader:

I was wondering if you've written anything about how sociopaths deal with the loss of a love one.  I looked through the list of posts on the blog but didn't notice anything.

Recently my dad died and the funeral was the other day.  He had health problems that would eventually kill him but it's a surprise when it actually does.  I seem to be of 2 parts on the whole thing.  One part loved him and misses him and is depressed.  The other part is like this is just something I will get over in a week or 2.  I think I was more emotional when my pet bird died when I was a kid than this part is.

I teared up at the wake and funeral when other people offered me their condolences but otherwise I kind of wanted the whole thing to be over.  I don't know if that was due to depression or me simply not wanting to be there.


  1. It doesn't matter how profoundly you for mourn someone, nor how long. It matters only that you loved them.

  2. There is no "proper" way to mourn. You are under no obligation to
    mourn in the "expected" way.
    If someone is ripped from you in an unexpected way, you don't have to put on a
    composed front, because that would be draining and false.
    You CAN show emotion, but keep in mind it is your own reaction to the loss that
    you mourn, and the emptiness that the death leaves you with, NOT the person
    who died. You don't know whether the person is in a better place or any place
    at all. And there's no doubt that if they wanted what's best for YOU, they wouldn't want prolonged grieving.

  3. Psychopaths hate people that "expect" that they weep on funerals, this is not natural for a socio. Folks making scenes at such events are seen as weak, making fools of themselves. Socios/Scorpios act "worthy" at funerals, realizing that life has an end and its called death. The death of a pet can affect these far worse than human "departures"..

  4. I cried at my grandma's funeral despite not being sad she'd died. i guess it was the context - at the funeral it came over me.

    i didn't go to my grandfather's memorial, despite him being my most favorite person. I was busy working overseas. he was a stoic former war criminal (never charged - he'd coldly discussed how they'd shot surrendering enemy soldiers in order to teach the enemy that when told "surrender now" it meant "surrender now or die later").

    i missed him terribly in a totally selfish way; i gave almost no thought to the suffering of his other friends and family that missed him too.

    with the grandma, i can recall wondering why anyone cared all that much. she had been nice enough, but she was so scatterbrained and self deceptive, she wasn't that useful, except for cooking.

    So there you have it - selfish loss for the relative that mattered (a high functioning sociopath, perhaps) and incomprehensio/frustration at the responses of the others to the loss of the other relative - but i still cried a bit at her ceremony, for no reason that makes sense to me. self-pity i guess.

  5. Honestly, the answer to the initial question from the OP is 'Yes, within the scope of what my empathy allows, but you won't know it for at least a year.'

    As usual, this comment is open to interpretation (and misinterpretation) due to my talent for mis-communicating and the chasm that separates us all.

    Knowing things that other people don't want to acknowledge about the deceased and about yourself is an obstacle to pure honesty. Where do you draw the line? (It's up to you. And you can love the good things you learned while hating the harsh lessons, or feel remote from the whole thing as if it's a figment of their imagination that you don't quite feel enough friction against to tear down - and can you honestly say your reality is the truth?) If you trample on another person's illusions of the deceased, they will probably rail against you for it (it's a lose-lose situation even years after the fact).

    Perhaps (and I fully acknowledge I could be wrong) the differentiating factor is you chose your pet (insert friend/lover/mentor as necessary) over the biological factor over which you had no control. Doesn't invalidate any feelings any more than it validates society's pressure for feelings to exist and linger when perhaps you don't sense them - there is no set time-frame.

    What I believe about death has only a tentative relationship to what I perceive as grief in others. Grief can at least be perceived (even if fleeting or even pretended, for whatever reason); death will be a mystery I can only solve at one point. I can empathize with someone's grief, in whatever form, even if I don't agree with their view on death or the deceased.

    To summarize: perhaps empaths too feel divided upon this issue. I am sorry for your loss; I am grateful for any release you feel. My personal feeling is that neither is right or wrong. They just are.

  6. My grandmother died last year, and I was just relieved that I wouldn't have to keep visiting her in the nursing home or pretending I cared. I put on a caring facade for the sake of my family, but I didn't like her and I wasn't sad when she died.

    A few weeks after that, a family member that I was closer to died, and even then I couldn't work up any grief. I thought it was a shame he died, because I liked him, but even so I didn't shed any tears over him. I used to think my reaction to people dying was weird, now I guess I realize its just part of how I'm wired.

  7. What I've seen in my own life is that I feel and can express loss just as deeply as empaths, if it's for the right person. What differs is that my emotional state ends within hours or at most a day, instead of the whole complex grieving process others go through. I can cry my heart out about even just a breakup (which for me was the prospect of never seeing someone I love dearly again) and the next day go to work like nothing has happened.

    As I said though it has to be for the right person. When I was a little younger a couple relatives died within the same month and I had very little reaction to it. I just felt bored, like I had to go and deal with it because other people expected me to.

    Funerals themselves though, those are interesting. I've actually gone out of my way to attend some that I wasn't really needed at. There's always an atmosphere that I can't quite describe and I feel like I want to figure out.

    1. I must admit, although it's probably a result of my personal beliefs and observations, I find the atmosphere of funerals puzzling. I can't quite reconcile it with the stated beliefs I hear at these ceremonies. I attend such events when the person who died meant something to me (unless they're a family member, in which case I might attend for the sake of someone else who means something to me), as a gesture of acknowledgement.

      I am, supposedly, an empath but I don't really like labels. Death is one issue over which I notice a marked discrepancy between what other supposed empaths profess to feel and what I feel. So far I can find no logical reason for it. Never stops me trying to figure it out though ;)

  8. A "dear friend of mine" (with a certain suspected mental condition) told me that death of humans does not bother him because "its a race" he does not appreciate, even if he liked that particular person. Humans have "bothered him" so much during his life that he just sees it as good that another one gets quiet, pale & still. And I don´t think that person has been "assaulted" by other people, I think he just sees mankind as no good. "-Devious, unreliable scum who dont ask for any silver to betray; EVERYONE will let you down in the end, perhaps with the exception of your sweet mama" he once told me with a dry hateful voice.

  9. I have never mourned. I was more emotional when my dog died in my arms than when I lost my grandmother or grandfather, but my grief short-lived. I saw my father's mother on her death bed in the hospital, but it didn't really impact me, even though I grew up seeing her frequently. An uncle I spent a lot of time with as a child also passed away. I had no real emotional reaction any of their deaths, because these were not people with whom I had formed a strong bond. I don't connect with people easily that way. But I haven't lost a parent, so I am not sure how I will react to that.

    I think I might understand what you mean by "parts" of yourself. I experience something similar whenever I am going through a difficult time. If something bad has happened, a part of me will be genuinely concerned, down, angry, etc. The other part of me, which is predominant, just flatlines, so that I'm fine, functional and neutral. I experience feelings in waves, but even then, they always seem so ill-defined. I have trouble describing them, and I certainly don't carry them with me all the time.

    The best anyone can do, I think, is to accept one's personal process as valid, whatever it may be, and remember that it is the love you had for someone that ultimately reverberates in your life, not how you experienced their loss.

  10. Could someone explain the meaning of a couple of strange telephone calls
    I got many years ago? I was telephoned (I had no caller I.D. in those days)
    There was a constant hum in the back round like the operation of machines.
    This man with a very unusual tone to his voice, had a strange "he-he-he"
    laugh. I never heard anything more wicked. "Who do you think this is? "He-he-he." It was the tone of the voice that was so unnerving. The wicked laugh.
    Not long after that, I got another telephone call. It was the same drone of machines in the back round. The caller had a Spanish accent. "Who you think
    this is?" "He, he, he,"
    I had a theory about who it MIGHT be. I was once subscribed to the local
    Newspaper. I let the perscription lapse because I didn't like the paper's political
    viewpoints. It is a disingenious, Marxist rag. Ocassionally, someone from the
    paper would phone my house to get me to resubscribe. Liberalism is a letheal
    poison. I would shriek obsenities into the phone, when these Marxist bloodsuckers would try to sell me their rag. I was rude, rude, rude. Maybe a
    sales person comitted sucide because of my harsh comments. The mechainical
    drone was from the headquaters where the paper was published.
    It's true that when I returned to a juinor colledge later on, there was a student
    who was empolyed at that building. He must have been briefed about me,
    because he hated me, and insulted me in front of the other students. Marxist

  11. I think it is a function of how much you love your own life. Partly, a function.
    A ...paths are living very close to their own deaths. Or maybe has done. Another one's may be considered as just the way of life. The more normalized mind, takes someone's death also as a reminder of one owns inevitable ending. The past plays in the back of the head. Good and bad times. Through out the years. That will never return. It is pretty tough. But of course, if someone has a "warzone" mentality, there really isn't that much time and space for contemplation. The very extreme case, would be a solider in a literally war zone. Would he be a sociopath ? Probably to some quite high degree under his current situation. Forever ? Neh.. Most people land. Some even land very hard. That is called PTSD. But again, they probably never return completely either. They have witnessed parts of the world and human nature, that would be better not existing at all.
    My opinion is that "sociopathy" can be related to some kind of similar "war zone" mentality. Dog eats dog thing. A situation, in which one to some level cannot be too worried and preoccupied about one owns life. In contrast to the very "normal" mentality.


  12. I love my life more and more, for each year. I have def. also become more conflict shy. I try to avoid dangerous situations and I no longer just give a fuck about it all. To some degree, it is a bit like returning to one's early childhood. Very strange. Not necessarily better for one's heart and health. But more joyfully, it is.


    1. Your grammar is atrocious.

    2. language is merely a simple tool to express a more complex idea or thought. I know narcissists look at it the other way around. "It isn't what you say, but how you say it". Can you beat me ? I got 45: :)


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