Sunday, July 10, 2011

Psychopath vs Normal: Being Startled. (Part 3)

In Part 2 I mentioned having witnessed car crashes a couple of times. I'll tell you about my first experience of this nature. The very first time it happened was when I was 19 yrs old, I remember it clearly. A car had driven off the street and into a building in the middle of town just as I was walking by. There were two people in the car, both soldiers, and the one at the passenger seat opened the door and came out, looking slightly dazed and confused. A crowd was gathering quickly, standing around us in a tight ring. But nobody made a move to come closer and investigate., so I decided to do it myself.

I went over to the driver's seat and pulled the unconscious guy out, softly placing him on the ground. I loosened his collar and positioned him at his side, using his cap as a pillow, and kept talking to the other guy who was still standing at the rear of the car and making no move to help. He didn't answer me, so I took the unconscious guy's pulse which was weak but not absent.

I then looked over the people in the crowd and chose a young teenage boy who looked alert and intelligent. I waved him over and then told him to go and call 911 and make sure they send an ambulance and some paramedics and told him to remember street address too. Then I send him on his way, but I actually had to tell the crowd to make room for him so he could go and make the call.

Then the unconscious soldier suddenly went into seizure. I had no way of knowing if he was epileptic, so I once again tried to get some information from his pal. I eventually managed to get him to tell me their names and where they were stationed. At that point I heard the sirens in the distance, so I motioned for the crowd to make room for the ambulance. They didn't move at first, I had to walk over and tell them directly to give way, and then I had to almost shove them apart to make a path for the ambulance to get through. As the ambulance pulled slowly through the crowd I told the conscious soldier to tell the paramedics what he had told me. He nodded, and that was it. I retreated back and away from the scene, made my way through the crowd and left.

Did I feel 'jaggedy, prickly, and jangly'? No. Did I feel weak? Hell no, I felt slightly empowered. I wouldn't say it was exciting - it takes a bit more than that to get excited - but it was slightly refreshing, and I liked to be in control and to lead and to do it well.

What has always seemed strange to me is the way people become very slow, as if they get transfixed by the exciting scene that unfolds. It's as if they can't pull themselves away from it, they want it to continue, but they apparently can also not kick themselves into action even when it must be obvious also to them that action is needed.

At the time I was sure they'd all be having excited conversations in the days to come, being the center of attention as they described what they had witnessed.

But with the description by Ronson above, and other descriptions by neuro-psychologists that suggests some of the same, I am no longer quite as certain that most people feel exhilarated in the same way that I do when something really extreme and dangerous happen in front of me. And it obviously takes a lot less to make an impact upon neurotypical people than it does with me - which is something I think to be a benefit and an asset if it gets acknowledged and I am allowed to use it "correct".

The human psyche and neurological reactive patterns are certainly more varied than I had ever thought. And to me it is a wondrous thing, it makes the world much more interesting and much more full of potential for new and great things and ways in the future.

*

11 comments:

DasAmebas said...

I have never had any sort physical reaction to being startled as described by Hare in your earlier post. I can only ever remember being irritated or amused(depending on what I was doing) at being caught of guard.

I just discovered your blog earlier today, it is very interesting. I have a lot to read through.

Anonymous said...

"What has always seemed strange to me is the way people become very slow, as if they get transfixed by the exciting scene that unfolds. It's as if they can't pull themselves away from it, they want it to continue, but they apparently can also not kick themselves into action even when it must be obvious also to them that action is needed"

"which is something I think to be a benefit and an asset if it gets acknowledged and I am allowed to use it "correct"."

- I recall an incident my ex's mother relayed to me when I first met him: Apparently, he was always able to react with a 'cool' head. (quoting her). She had been cooking in the kitchen and using a countertop mixer. Back in the day, those machines were heavy duty pieces of equipment. Somehow, while trying to use a spatula to free a dough formation between the beaters, her hand got sucked inbetween the spinning beater blades. All her 5 kids were in the kitchen at the time. As she recalls, the 3 girls started screaming out of fear and horror. Her oldest son stood frozen, clearly shocked with fear. My ex? He was only 8 years old at the time. Amidst all the ruckus, he got up from the kitchen table, walked over and jumped up on the counter and unplugged the mixer. He then began to assist removal of his mother's hand by gently ejecting the beaters. Afterwards, he said he was going to watch TV and left the room - as if nothing much happened at all. His mother is able to recount stories easily of events that he always remained calm and level headed during an emergency. She could never understand though, why he seemed to CAUSE such chaos otherwise in the home . . . before he was sent away at age 13.

Last year, we (my sons and I) were tasked to come up with a list of all the 'gifts' he brought to our lives. We three sat at a table for two hours and had 5 items on our list (lmao) - at that time, we were all pretty raw. One thing I did give him credit for was his ability to be calm and do what was necessary during emergencies. Having 2 ADHD boys, we've had our share of accidents requiring emergency surgeries, broken bones, etc. . . . He was the BEST at responding at these times.

So I'd have to agree that this trait in you guys is definitely a 'good' trait. :)

Actually, I think you all have many. I now believe that my experiences with him are in all likelihood, what helped me overcome the limitations I might have had coming from the childhood I did. I learned, through him, the absurdity of expectations of others and how to be more true to myself. For me, finding the balance between their and his viewpoints was key. And thankfully, I did.

Nowadays, while I no longer miss his presence in our lives, I am able to look back and appreciate the gifts he brought to our lives. **chuckle** and there are now more than 5 I can recognize. This is where I believe we, NT's can learn from those such as yourself: i.e. Can WE learn some of those strengths you have - to bolster the weaknesses we have that compromise our existences?

?
-Ma'am

Anonymous said...

Few questions to you-
-why do psychopaths hurt innocent people - why can't you pray on people who are bad and deserve to pu punished?
-i'am dealing with a psychopath right now and I am amazed that he is so devoid of any masculinity. I've worked with him, I am a woman, so it is not about romantic involvement - but what he does now (showing to other people, pieces of emails out of context and attaching the most probable stories to it, etc)
Stupid stuff, well beneath me, but what I find quite buffling is that he behaves more like an old whore (pardon my language) and not a man, let alone a classy man he tried to fake. Masculinity is a tricky construct but I've been used to dealing with quite respectable men, where gossiping, lying and weaving stupid stories from pieces of emails taken together seems just unthinkable. I think the worse part for me is seeing complete degradation in this man (if it is a man...) and disbelief - what is it that he wanted?

Anonymous said...

POWER!

DasAmebas said...

"Anonymous Anonymous said...

Few questions to you- -why do psychopaths hurt innocent people - why can't you pray on people who are bad and deserve to pu punished?"

Whether a person is good or bad is irrelevant.
Who's definition of good and bad are we using?
I don't see people as good or bad, People just are.

If I think I can effectively get what I want from someone, then I will.

What YOU want, think, or feel doesn't even enter into the equation.

Zhawq said...

DasAmebas,

I hope you'll enjoy the read. There're a few less fortunate articles around, it's quite a mix, I dare say. lol


Ma'am,

what an endearing story about your X's childhood. When I reached the line "She could never understand though, why he seemed to CAUSE such chaos otherwise in the home" it made me laugh. It's exactly how it was in the homes where I grew up. lol.

What you say about the 'gifts' psychopaths bring, and the 'gifts' you ex brought especially, is probably very natural. We do tend to remember good things better in retrospect.

What you say about him having helped you process some ingrained shit through your upbringing fits precisely what I am told again and again by people I've been close to. Especially my spouses over the years have all said this.
Okay, a few didn't say this once they felt I'd outlived my usefulness - of course they call it They have had enough of my abuse, etc. etc., but at the time they were plenty grateful.

I'm happy to say that these are in minority, they now spend their time sitting around 'victims' fora talking about how victimized they've become.

But that's the way it goes. Some people do learn even though some lessons can hurt, and I'll not claim that those who help are always 'good' and never can be assholes as well. Often it's a mixture of the two, and there's no blame from me when it has become a little more than some could take.

But I digress. I love your story and how you tell it. - If even your kids had trouble finding their dad's 'gifts', he must've been rather annoying at the time. Having you sit there for 2 hours seems a tad silly too, but again, I'll not claim I haven't done things like that myself. I do like to think I've become less prone to that sort of thing, though. :)

Can NTs learn some of the strengths that psychopaths encompass?

I'm sure it is possible. It's one half of the central reason why I'm keeping this website. I'd say more, but it'd fill up too much of the space here. It is a matter that concerns me, so I will write more about it eventually.

One more thing, ma'am, if I may... ;)

I've had problems finding the articles where I found a way to contact you, so I'm a bit at a loss here. Would you consider sending me a line via mail? It's just a suggestion, of course, but it would be nice!... '^L^,

Zhawq said...

Anon 6:59,

It's a good question you pose, and it has an answer. I'm wondering if perhaps it wouldn't be better if I write a genuine article about it. I think i'll do that, I know it's a question that many have been wondering about.

You touch on a central topic when you say "I wonder about how un-masculine he is". That's a whole topic all in itself, and one that deserves more attention as well.

It ties into your question about his undignified actions. The reason is that we don't have the same deep attachment to what is dignified and what fits our gender, etc. What matters to us is that we get what we want, and we'll ditch the normal notion of dignity in a split second if we realize being 'undignified' will get us more.

In order to know what he wanted I would need to know a little more about his likes and dislikes and so on. But it seems that whatever it was he was after, you somehow didn't comply and now he's frustrated, maybe he feels he's been investing energy in getting something from you and now he's been cheated of his prize.
Maybe there's more to it, but that I cannot know.

I'll publish an article on this subject one of the coming days. I hope you'll hang around and read it, I'll do my best to explain this in more detail.

Anonymous said...

All manipulative behavior by s/p is learned from Eve from the bible. That is why they seem feminine.

Anonymous said...

^To the Anon (er, idiot) above,
My s/p never met Eve, so doubt he 'learned' anything from her. Furthermore, feminine is not quite the same as un-masculine.

Please do try to find your mind or a brain cell or two prior to posting. Or lay of the spirits.

Anonymous said...

hehe

Anonymous said...

When I was 14 I stole a bike from a bike gang member - a week later after they had beat up all other parties involved, they got to my house and tried to kidnap me, the guys who's bike it was plus a big stand over man. My Dad fought the big one and took him down, I did my best to cope with the other one, managed not to get a scratch, they left threatening to kill my family and burn our house down if we didn't give up the other last kid involved..... I went back inside and finished buttering my toast.