Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tricking Oneself to Self Loath.


I was reading a post citing a mail from a Reader to the author of the website blog SociopathWorld.com.


In the mail the reader tells us about how he taught himself to mimic emotions and behavior, and that he thought everybody do the same, until - at a church, while still a kid - he was told that Masturbation is a sin.


Writing A Perfect Piece of Emotional Fiction.


After that point he seems to have been in constant Battle with Himself, Feeling Shame. A battle which - upon finding the SociopathWorld Blog - he realizes had all along also been him Mimicking Emotions that he didn't really have.
In a sense, he has been writing a piece of fiction so perfect that even he was taken in by it. He has convinced himself that the emotion he mimics is genuine to the extent where fiction and reality became one and he has been living his life in this strange land - not quite the Twilight Zone, and yet a country that seems to be located between two countries sharing the border.


The reader writes:

I made it my entire goal in life to control my urges as much as I can.

Another reader left a comment at the blog's comment board, asking other readers if any of us could relate to this.
My personal Answer is No.
I cannot relate to those words, as I made it my entire goal in life to see to it I got my urges satisfied!
The opposite of what this blog's reader have done. And I still do it to this day... seeing to it that my needs and urges are met! ...even with this blog.


To make it one's Goal to NOT fulfill one's urges seems a little backwards to me. But if I view those words from a fundamental Christian perspective I can see the ultimate goal being to achieve a position of being 'good'.
After all, the person who wrote those words also told us (or told the person he wrote it to) - in the same mail - that his local church, in his childhood, had set standards for him.

Indeed Standards which made him suffer years of Self Loathing, but the Moral Values were established then, so the wish to 'become good' can be a motivator that might make it possible for most people to control their urges.

Another possibility - the more obvious one in my view - would be the motivation springing from not wanting to go to prison. But whether or not that perspective is relevant depends on the nature of his urges and of how strong Antisocial traits he harbor.

To a Psychopath everything is about Control and Power, because those two things are direct keys to Gratification - whatever the individual kinds of gratification may consist of.

We are not Moral Beings, and we do not set our goals based on Ethical Long Term Goals of one day being acknowledged as a 'good' person. The very notion of Self Loathing is alien to someone like myself. But then, this reader wrote to the Owner of a Blog that also discusses Sociopathy and other Psychopathy Related Aspects.



The reader's last passage:

Thanks to this web site and what you have posted, I found the courage to openly admit to my family and friends what I was. I feel so much better. Not treating myself as an enemy has done wonders on so many other facets of my life.

Is he a Sociopath? Who knows...; but I do know he is not a Psychopath.
Sociopathy seems to encompass a lot of Gray Area facets. Learning about, and getting to know, yourself requires learning about, and getting to know, others. It shall be Interesting to learn more.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Op from Sociopaths world:


I am finding the words you say very insightful. There is a huge gray area the sociopaths fall under. Trying to make an attempt to understand myself has been the most important goal not lumping myself into a category just because it suits me. I admit the quick fix would be just hanging my hat on the socio banner and being done. I actually don’t care what the rest of the world knows me as I know what I am and what my urges are. I can admit that I am not one thing fully. It’s like the curse of the horoscope: you find 13 key markers that allow you to “be a sign” and ignore the other 7 that don’t fit.
I wrote the letter to M.E. with the intention of thanking him. For my whole life controlling my urges’ was the only option. I teetered on Self-deprecating and self-destruction. When I was enlightened to the fact that there are others similar to me and they function quite well, it was no longer something you imagine but a reality. Anyone who hides who he is from himself is a coward and I have been able to come to grips with what I am. I feel powerful.
I know I have been lying to myself my whole life and now I need to confront those lies. To me it’s a band aid that I left on my skin for too long and now the skin has grown back over it. I know its still there but the skin has grown over. What would the point be to just dig it out? Do I make the effort just because knowing I will cause another wound?
I am not a complete 100% sociopath I know and I know I am not a psychopath either. I am what I am. Thank you as well.

Zhawq said...

Anonymous, welcome. :)


"I am finding the words you say very insightful."

Thank you.


"There is a huge gray area the sociopaths fall under."

Yes, I am beginning to understand this. As a diagnosed Psychopath at the age of 18 I never did research related conditions until recently. It's a very interesting journey.


"Trying to make an attempt to understand myself has been the most important goal not lumping myself into a category just because it suits me."

Yes. I understand and can only agree.

Understanding oneself is key to understanding how to assert oneself in the reality around us.

It's ridiculous to attempt mental self mutilation in order to fit any specific category. Yet, we see people do this all the time. Especially the so called lower functioning young ones tend to be completely lost and victimized in that sense.


"I admit the quick fix would be just hanging my hat on the socio banner and being done."

Yes, I understand this as well.
I am presently corresponding someone who really is a sociopath and who also encompass some of the antisocial traits that I myself harbor.

Yet, they make it seem as if they want to rid themselves of the Sociopath label - but only to apply the Psychopathy label instead.

Of course, knowing that Sociopath is the hot word in our day, I do suspect this individual (whom I actually like) is rubbing it in my face that they're a Sociopath and I am not.

But that isn't quite the same thing, of course... I mean, using one's label to mock someone else for their label isn't the same as a frantic attempt to apply a fashionable standard unto oneself.

Yet, I guess I can understand the lure of it all. There's a certain romantic air to the word Sociopath.

We live in a time where individualism is highly regarded and boldness is a mark of honor. In our culture - as rule and formalistic it is in everyday life - has understood the value in rebellion. Our most highly estimated Anti Heroes are those who take matters into their own hands. Take also a TV series such as 'Dexter'.

But it's a shame, really. I do think young people - and especially Sociopaths - are lacking good guidance. Even normal empathic teens don't enjoy much real help from their family in that respect.

This is why blogs such as M.E.'s - and, hopefully, mine - are filling a void that has been screaming for somebody to take up the task for decades.

And yes, I can tell you are not such an individual who would search for a label and a fancy identity to show off to the world. I knew you were looking for the real thing. That was obvious to me - perhaps I see such a thing better than most because it's an ambition I share. :)


"I actually don’t care what the rest of the world knows me as I know what I am and what my urges are."

Yes. Most of my life I knew, of course, that others see me as a psychopath (I've even been diagnosed several times with years in between and with the same result). It wasn't because I didn't care, it was because I didn't believe it. I thought it was thoughtless prejudice that made them label me in this manner.

So I guess that should make me ashamed, for being so late in realizing 'knowing what you are' really DOES matter; not because what you are could be something fancy, but because it is a key to how others see you, and thus also a key to even more and better 'gains' (gratification) on our part.

Well seen! ;)

Zhawq said...

"I wrote the letter to M.E. with the intention of thanking him."

I am going to do the same thing (thanking M.E.).


"For my whole life controlling my urges’ was the only option. I teetered on Self-deprecating and self-destruction."

That is exactly what happens in these situations.

For me it's a little different: There has never been an option of controlling my urges, and I've been somewhat envious of those who seem to be able to do so.

But I have realized what comes with it, and that isn't a nice picture either. In that regard you have been helpful as well. I think you're a brave individual that you choose to face issues so head on!


"When I was enlightened to the fact that there are others similar to me and they function quite well, it was no longer something you imagine but a reality. Anyone who hides who he is from himself is a coward and I have been able to come to grips with what I am. I feel powerful."

And you certainly should, for you have quite a pool of potential, my friend!

I can only say that I wish I had had the opportunity to learn earlier. It's funny really. You know what they say about Psychopaths: "Don't teach them, don't guide them, for they will only get better at manipulating and abusing us!"

In the area where I grew up nobody had ever heard about this, but everybody executed this very notion!

And so I really was in a state of ignorance for many years. I'm not saying I didn't have satisfaction, I certainly did.

So when I eventually took the time to find out what the diagnosis Psychopath really means, it was quite a revelation. It has taught me things, not so much about myself, but about the rest of the world! About the majority of people, the normal empathic ones, that I didn't understand quite so well before.

And as always, it's a two-way thing. You learn about others = you learn about yourself, and vice versa. :)


"I know I have been lying to myself my whole life and now I need to confront those lies."

Even more power to you, my friend!

I like to think I am doing the same thing. And I really believe I am. Again, I may carry a label, but should I let that alone define me? Not in a million years will that ever happen. Knowing what it says is one thing, but there is so much more to a person.

Zhawq said...

"To me it’s a band aid that I left on my skin for too long and now the skin has grown back over it."

Ahh, that's an interesting expression. Yes, I can see what you mean by that. A kind of self defense, maybe. I often used that 'reality version' afterwards, if others confronted me as a youngster after I had abused and victimized others. I would say it was self defense, and ... maybe 'believe it' is not the correct phrasing, but 'live myself' into the role I was portraying enough for it to seem plausible to me, and that was enough.

It's a form of what they call Magical Thinking.


"I know its still there but the skin has grown over. What would the point be to just dig it out?"

There would only be a point if you had a personal wish strong enough to drive you to pursue and complete such a task.

However, the prospects are usually not the best (that is what I have found so far anyway). So if you don't have the inclination at this point, I'd say: Why try? There is such variety in life, make it your own. In many ways it seems it is better to be what you are (and what I am) than to be hurled around in an emotional carousel, always bound to sit with feelings of hurt and suffering.

Sure, we may loose out on Love, but if we cannot experience it we can also not experience that we don't experience it. Ergo = not sense of loss with us.


"Do I make the effort just because knowing I will cause another wound?
I am not a complete 100% sociopath I know and I know I am not a psychopath either."

I think you've nailed it pretty precisely. And I can tell you this much: Those small traits that are not completely Sociopathic just may be the one thing that'll enable you to take things even farther than you otherwise could, and farther than someone who is "completely" Sociopathic could (if there is such a thing), because they may allow you to understand (and, hence use) a few things that others cannot.

I'm trying to tell a 'friend' of mine the same thing, maybe they will hear my words eventually. One can hope. ;)


"I am what I am."

Well said!


"Thank you as well."

You are very welcome!... ^L^,

Zhawq said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ResCogitans said...

anon - check out my self examination... sounds like you are also a special snowflake ;)

zhawq - this reminds me; i was loking forward to your reply to my reply to your comment on what is a psychopath?
the pertinent bit being:
TBH i didn't think there was a widely accepted difference between sociopathy and psychopathy - where have you got your definitions from? the DSM-V due for release in 2013 separates out "APD, Psychopathic type" (no mention of sociopathy).

Anonymous said...

ResCogitans i just might very well be a special snowflake. I do notice the hodgepodge in myself. :)

tik said...

From those of us that read everyday your comments and are not S/P or have a PD is it"s very insightful to read your honest thoughts. And also to see the varying degrees of the two spectrums.

You've outted yourselve's to us even though there's still a protective shield of the internet it's still appreciated.

So thanks to all of you too.

Zhawq said...

ResCogitans,

I lean to Robert D. Hare's definition. It makes the most sense to me and it fits my own experiences.

His is the best tool because he describes fundamental and important differences between the (in his - and my - understanding) three things.


tik,

thank you for your words, they're much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Zhaqw..No. You cannot say that for sure. No where near sure!
Theoretically, what if said author was completely oblivious to how they were different from norm, and faced with mountains of religous propoganda and parental pressure. It is quite easy to end up on the wrong road and with only one set of facts, it is contemplatable that a psychopath could view themselves as bad in the world. You have acknowledged how in this day and age it is common for PS to work out what they are. There are still many who don't know or who have taken a long time to work it out.
I can relate. I too knew that the reality served to me as a child wasn't quite right but I had nothing else. I was taught at length my societies moral standards and the philosophical arguments behind them. It is now, in my mid twenties that I have found factor x as I call it, the missing number in the algabra equation that puts the pieces of the puzzle together.
I too mimicked guilt, and still, to this day, and wait for the negative appraisal, not because I feel guilty, because I have learnt punishment comes after someone doubting me. It is purely a strong negative reinforcement response.
I have only started to work out my reality, until recently, I knew what I had been served was wrong but I was unable to pin point it and lived continually in a state of subjective reality. When you have been taught the norm your whole life you assume that everybody else is applying the same meaning to the same words. When you aren't inclined to take the other persons side into account at all, you tend to only notice your immediate reality. All these things in a psychopaths make up can lead them to a staggering level of self unawareness, especially at an early age and especially if they aren't so bright emotionally.
I think your making the same mistake many foolish psychologists make in assuming you know the psychopathy beast that well you know it all. You don't relate? Shit, go figure. You know when half assed individuals say things like, actually that is very unpsychopathic, ect ect. Fucking annoying !
You are not every psychopath, what is more you don't seem to even consider a whole realm of plausible explanations as to a psychopath saying such things. Most of your work is top notch, and the author seems to have like your response. Just remember the scale of that human diversity you love so much and consider all the shades of grey. To easy to say yah or nah, unless there were important pieces to the puzzle we weren't privy to. Cheers

Anonymous said...

almost forgot..
making your job not to satisfy certain urges -
yes I know this. It is in the early stages of finding your self from said over bearing conservative childhood environment. You have learnt that the people around you react very negative when you do certain things. At first it makes no sense to you, but despite the reasons they give you, you notice the pattern underneath it all, you can't name it concisely but it relates to you acting on your impulses and doing what you want. Given said punishment, you learn to hide these things when people of consequence are around. Given the repressive environment tensions build. With the inevitable behavioural explosion comes consequences. One begins to see one's inner nature as dangerous and destructive to the self. No matter how satisfying. A catch 22 scenario can escalate, in which case, they are likely to snap BIG time. Another profound possibility is that said youth turns to drugs, say weed. They take very large amounts and develop a strong level of paranoia which plays on the moralistic attitudes of their parents and church which make experiences of guilt seem all the more real. There's 7 billion shades of grey mate...