We’re going to have a look at a perspective of a diagnosed psychopath and see things from his point of view.
“I always felt strange, but I didn’t even believe the name sociopath applied to me until law school,” novelist M.E. Thomas explains.
“Because I was an intern and we shared an office, I felt comfortable chatting openly with my coworker. I was about to continue talking when she suddenly interrupted me and said, “You may want to consider the potential that you’re a psychopath.”
According to the results of the psychiatric evaluation conducted on Thomas, he exemplified the classic psychopathic personality and had classic symptoms of what is now called antisocial personality disorder.
Even after counseling, she still has a hard time handling sharp objects, such as knives. Does she have any thoughts of murder?
“Yes, but it’s not useful to me, so I’ve never done anything about it.”
However, psychopathy has several facets and is sometimes misinterpreted because of this. Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight, Thomas’s book and YouTube channel, address some of these myths.
Thomas has been labeled as having a number of problematic personality characteristics, including an inability to empathize with others, a cold and calculated approach to interpersonal interactions, and a high level of emotional resilience. Egotism, sensation-seeking behavior, interpersonal dominance, verbal hostility, and an inflated sense of self-worth were the most glaring traits.
This might be interpreted as Thomas, like other high-scoring psychopaths, having a bloated ego and may resort to violent behavior if her feeling of self-importance is threatened. Contrary to popular belief, however, the opposite is true. “Identity issues” are at the heart of all personality disorders, says Thomas.
“Generally speaking, I believe a sociopath to be someone with a severely compromised sense of identity. This is why you blend in so well with your surroundings; you are a chameleon. For that reason alone, you exude such endearing qualities. This is why you deceive and manipulate others. Because of this, you have lost touch with your own feelings.”
“There is no room for guilt when you have no emotions. You lack the context that comes with knowing who you are, and that’s what makes you so alienated.”
As for a lack of empathy, it follows that one cannot expect to feel such feelings for other people if one does not experience them for oneself. There’s a good aspect to this, for sure. In a humorous tone, Thomas asks, “Have you ever heard of the phrase butthurt (overly or unjustifiably outraged or resentful)? True, but it’s not something I ever notice.
“Since I can’t pinpoint who I am, I have no fragile ego to be humiliated, and consequently, no anxieties. Just think how helpful that superpower would have been in junior high and high school!
A Patrick Bateman-like person, an incurable criminal who belongs in prison, may come to mind if you think of a “psycho” in the classic sense.
However, psychopaths comprise at least one percent of the general population. There’s a good chance you saw one today, and if you’re lucky, you may even be dating one.
Many incarcerated psychopaths go on to have normal, productive, and satisfying lives, despite the fact that a disproportionate number of them end up in jail; nonetheless, getting it isn’t always easy.
Thomas acknowledges that after doing some cursory study in response to her coworker’s remark, she didn’t come back to the issue until her life began to unravel. She was finally compelled to face her illness, a destructive pattern of thinking and behavior that had contributed to the breakdown of her relationships and the loss of yet another prominent position.
Thomas has settled into what the rest of us would call a “normal” existence. During the week, she works as a successful lawyer and law professor; on the weekends, she spends time with her partner and runs errands, and she gives a large percentage of her earnings to charity.
She is surrounded by supportive friends and family who genuinely care about her. Thomas’s claim that her Mormonism provides her with “moral guidance” is perhaps the most shocking aspect of her identity.
Thomas writes in her book that people with her ailment have a “predator look,” a characteristic shared by others with the condition. Since psychopaths don’t show signs of fear or anxiety, they blink substantially less than the ordinary person does while under stress.
She confidently claims, “They’re pretty much capable of anything.” This means that “if you need them to do something for you, like relocate you to another nation for your employment,” they will.
For the same reason that psychopaths excel in the medical, firefighting, and military fields, they also excel in times of crisis because they are not influenced by their emotions.
When most people would run away from a threatening situation, Thomas throws caution to the wind and dives headfirst into it, even if it means putting her own life at risk.
She explains why she doesn’t use knives: “The possibility of damage never occurs to me.” “I have to resort to plastic ones.”
Thomas’s transactional perspective has been detrimental to these partnerships up until now.
Her book uses the story of a close friend whose father was diagnosed with cancer as an example. Thomas recalled feeling “exhausted trying to accommodate her,” leading her to “decide to stop all communication,” before admitting that she subsequently came to miss the person.
Since psychopaths lack feelings of guilt and are skilled manipulators, romantic partnerships with them can be difficult.
“Love was kind of like novelty-seeking” for Thomas before he started counseling. I have met several sociopaths, and one thing that we all have in common is extreme boredom, which is often accompanied by a feeling of emptiness.
“It’s like reaching a new level in a video game when you’re in a new love relationship; it’s exciting and interesting. It’s interesting, and it takes the edge off of being bored for a while, but it doesn’t ever seem like it’s connecting you with someone.”
Thomas decided to explore her friend’s informal diagnosis that she may be a sociopath when everything in her life came to a head and she became weary of the broken relationships and the meaningless behind them all.
The extent of prejudice in scientific analysis and the media astonished Thomas, but he did his investigation.
According to her, a person’s psychopathy is not what makes them unique, and in certain cases, it may be treatable.
Thomas has concluded, based on her research, that psychopaths’ behavior is significantly impacted by their immediate environment.
Around the age of two, newborns begin to build the rudiments of an identity that will grow and evolve over the course of their lives. She explains, “I simply think that something got disturbed in my family.
“I believe my father was a narcissist, but he was never officially labeled as such. My limits were not respected since he suffers from narcissism, a personality trait in which sufferers regard others as extensions of themselves.”
A narcissistic parent is “the perfect prescription for the condition to emerge” because it causes the kid to have their identity violated so often that they “detach from it all together” while they are young, as has been said of psychopaths.
Thomas has developed a sense of self and an inner world because of her time in treatment, and she now recognizes the need to give other people space.
In addition to the work she’s done on herself, Thomas uses her blog, Sociopath World, to aid others with the disease who are also working to make changes.
Thomas says, “I keep away from that,” in response to a question about whether or not she would ever control another person again. Identity is so stunning in its uniqueness, and now I see it for what it is.
“Having seen what it’s like to be without it, I value it greatly and would never again knowingly do anything to compromise the dignity of another human being.”
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