Brendan Yukins used to say that 1 in 10 people is a high functioning sociopath.
I think I might be one.
- Glibness and Superficial Charm
Well that sounds like me
- Manipulative and Conning
They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.
Machivelli was my favorite book. Maybe I don’t see other people as victims, but often as opportunities. Make friends, spin connections
- Grandiose Sense of Self
Feels entitled to certain things as “their right.”
- Pathological Lying
Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.
I’ve as long as I can remember, easily and coolly.
- Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt
A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.
- Shallow Emotions
When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises.
- Incapacity for Love
- Need for Stimulation
Living on the edge. Verbal outbursts and physical punishments are normal. Promiscuity and gambling are common.
- Callousness/Lack of Empathy
Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others’ feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them.
- Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature
Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. Believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others.
- Early Behavior Problems/Juvenile Delinquency
Usually has a history of behavioral and academic difficulties, yet “gets by” by conning others. Problems in making and keeping friends; aberrant behaviors such as cruelty to people or animals, stealing, etc.
Not concerned about wrecking others’ lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.
- Promiscuous Sexual Behavior/Infidelity
Promiscuity, child sexual abuse, rape and sexual acting out of all sorts.
- Lack of Realistic Life Plan/Parasitic Lifestyle
Tends to move around a lot or makes all encompassing promises for the future, poor work ethic but exploits others effectively.
- Criminal or Entrepreneurial Versatility
Changes their image as needed to avoid prosecution. Changes life story readily.
I like to write letters. They make the worlds I want to say that iota more tangible that they need to be to be marked as important. And while I’m not sure what I want to say, I know that it’s important. You’re important. Our relationship is important.
I was told I was normal today. By my psychologist. She told me the swings in my head were the everyday ups and downs of normal people. I’m not sure what to do with this information. It’s been a long time since someone told me I was normal and much longer since I’ve felt normal. There always seems to be constructs that I create where it’s me against the world. It used to be a mask. Then the mask cracked and I had to really look at myself. Then I was diagnosed as bipolar and I suddenly had a new construct. The Ups and the Downs. Two combatting forces of which I switched sides. I’m not always certain that on which axis I’m on, but I always feel like I’m rising or falling. And now I’m normal.
If I’m normal, then I should be doing normal things. I should be feeling normal things. I should be normal things. But I don’t think I would recognize normal if it reach out, grabbed me by the throat, and throttled me. Normal is something other people do, something that I can see but not comprehend. I just finished A Scanner Darkly and it’s all about how we fall out of normal and keep on falling until we no longer remember what normal is or what it felt like or even in what direction from us it might be found. That’s the way I feel. Fallen. Outside of the line, shut outside of the door, and labeled “Can Not Enter”. I don’t know, I certainly don’t feel normal.
I don’t know if I ever told you this. When I was in Intensive Outpatient Program, one of the parts of treatment was to put together a list of people. I assume that the list was simply a call list for times of intense suicidal ideation, but to me it became something so much more. These were the people with whom I felt I could be completely honest. In fact, these were the people with whom I felt obligated to be honest. Closer than friends or lovers, these were the pillars on which I decided I could rebuild my life. Of course the two women who called my parents to tell them what I had done were my first two pillars. Of course one of my oldest friends and ex-lover was another. And to me, of course my last two pillars were Brendan and you.
I know what I want from you. I want you to be one of my oldest friends. I want you to be in one of the rocking chairs next to me. I want to be able to tell you things that I can’t tell anyone else and not have to worry that it will destroy you or me or us. I want to meet for coffee in our 90s and laugh because we really haven’t changed in all that time. I want to be something beyond friends. I want you to be one of my pillars.
I’m not sure how we’ll do this, but that is what I want. And I’m willing to work for it. What do you want?