Saturday, January 29, 2011

Music and Emotions.

Today I'm going to shamelessly upload a video I first encountered on another blog about people of the Psychopathy spectrum:

 

Today's blog is about emotions.

People have asked me why I do not consider myself a Psychopath, even as I've been diagnosed as such and by clinical psychiatrists in relation to a criminal investigation at that.
When I listen to music I too can almost forget things around me, and it doesn't really matter what the lyrics are about, the 'emotions' I feel - if that's truly what they are - are triggered by the sound itself.

There's more to it though. I do have the choice of taking a more intellectual approach to music, which I do sometimes. But 'letting myself hang loose', giving it all in to displaying the emotions I contract from the audio qualities in the music is such a joy.
I think it's almost like what I do when I take on a certain 'role' with my surroundings, but with music I don't need to have the outwards directed alertness to the reactions I receive ... the alertness I always engage in order to aptly attune small discrepancies in my performance ... that alertness is completely gone when I listen to music, and that's what I mean by 'letting it all hand loose' and just giving myself completely in to 'being' or 'feeling' whatever it is the music entails.
If someone asks me to describe the feelings I am "mediating" through music when I 'let it all hang loose', I can't give an answer. I am incapable of describing the emotions of f.ex. the video I've uploaded in today's article.
I wonder, is that how we imagine psychopaths?... As deeply emotionally involved when listening to music?
Is my description about my own relationship with music the descriptions of a psychopath?


The following excerpt of the preparing of an interview article with a reader gives an idea of what it is I am getting at.

P: I was diagnosed with psychopathy when I was 19 and again when I was 21, and people have always thought I was psychopathic and dangerous and all that kind of thing. Sure, I have done a variety of crimes, had very early signs of conduct disorder, have been in prison for murder, bank robbery, breaking and entry, theft, forgery, and so on. But I've never seen myself as a psychopath, not at all. I always felt - and feel - that others just don't understand me.
In my eyes it is the normal people who are cold and unfeeling, not me! For example, when I was a kid, in 1.st grade, there was a feature in our school where they'd show movies every Saturday. I loved watching those movies, they were children's movies kind of like the 'Flipper' or 'Lassie', and I would become so involved I'd actually cry when one of the main characters, usually an animal, was about to die. Those movies really got to me. But the other kids would then tease me when the lights were turned on so they could see I'd been crying. - After that day I vowed to never cry in public again, and I never did. Now, or since then, I only cry when I get really angry and there's nothing I can do about a situation. It's the only time I cry.
But there's another kind of emotions that I feel very strongly ... and, in my eyes, stronger than most normal people, except for the artists themselves ... and that's when I listen to music.
I saw your (Zhawq's) comment at Sociopath World the day the video 'The Thrill is Gone', with B.B. King and Tracy Chapman, was posted which is why I wrote you, for I think maybe you understand what I'm talking about... You know, it's like ... when I listen to music like that, I forget everything around me, and I really almost do get to the point where I almost start crying. It's so beautiful!, even if it's sad, or about love ... that weird emotional thing the normal people always talk about, but which I never experience, so it just seems like it's not real, like it's ... what's the word you used...?


Zhawq: A Postulate...


P: Yeah, a Postulate, that's it. It's like a postulate, not real. But I think that when I listen to music, love may be what I feel, actually... I'm not sure. But I most definitely DO feel, I feel a LOT! And with music I can almost get into a state of ecstasy! ... How many normal people can claim they feel THAT!?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Interview with B. - Part I

The following is the first part of an interview with one of my readers. He suggested we call him 'B'...

 Zhawq: Thank you for taking the time to let me interview you.

B: Not at all, I have no problem with sharing, there's nothing about me I don't want others to know - except for my private data, (chuckles).

Zhawq: Is that you in the picture?

B: It could be me, but it isn't. It resembles me as I looked a few years back, (chuckles). Add ten years and it's me.



Zhawq: Okay, let's begin. You have been diagnosed with psychopathy?

B: Indeed I have and on more than one occasion. Not that I care, it's fine with me. I did care to find out if it was correct, when they diagnosed me the second time, but in my understanding it all fits, so I'll agree, I'm a psychopath.


Zhawq: There's much dispute about psychopathy in relation to 'nature versus nurture'. What are your thoughts about this, and why?

B: I believe it's a combination, not either one or the other, but in my own case nature is dominant, for absolutely certain.


Zhawq: I'll ask you about your understanding of psychopathy and your diagnosis in more detail, but you've told me you wouldn't mind telling me about your childhood, and I think it would be a good place to start.

B: Sure.

My mother died while giving birth to me so I never knew her. My father was in jail at the time for murder, so I was put in an institution but was adopted when I was 2 months old by a normal middle class family.

I grew up in this family with a brother and a sister both of whom are not my biological siblings. My brother is 3 months older than me.

Neither of us suffered any abuse and my brother and sister have both turned out 'normal'. They have jobs and families.

Our parents are of Scandinavian European descend, so is my sister. My brother and I are both of mixed descend. Our parents always did their best to treat us all equally and fair.

I'm the only one in the family who has a 'deviant' personality and it showed very early on.

The father - my step father - wasn't much around, he was working in a small business he'd started up with an uncle and his brother. When he was around he rarely yelled or hit anybody, he only ever hit me twice. The last time it happened was when I was 8.

I had stolen chainsaw from our neighbor's garage two days before and set a small shed on fire on a farm two miles outside from town. Another kid that was with me snitched, so my mother knew it, and when my neighbor told her about the chainsaw she told me father, and when he came home he had a 'serious talk' with me. I was rude to him during the 'talk', more than I'd been before perhaps. Either way he actually slapped me so I lost balance and fell back into the chair. - I know it confused him that I didn't react the way he'd expected, but the truth is it didn't really hurt, and apart from a small shock I didn't become frightened either like I'd seen other kids do when their parents hit them. After the incident, when I went to the bathroom afterwards I saw my cheek was red and it made me furious.

I decided to retaliate, so that night I went to his and my mother's bed and stabbed him in one of his foot soles with a small ice pick I'd taken from their bar in the living room and yelled as loud as I could: "If you ever touch me again I'll kill you!!". The family was in shock (no wonder, I guess), and that night they almost acted as if I wasn't there because my father was bleeding and my mother and sister took him to the hospital.
The following day my mother made an appointment to take me to a psychiatrist and that was my first experience with that kind of thing.

My father never hit me again. He tried to treat me as he always had, I know he thought I perhaps needed more 'love' and more boundaries, but he didn't dare enforce them on me after what happened that night. The psychiatrist advised them to commit me for further evaluation but they decided to give parenting another try, so nothing more happened at the time, except they took a part of my allowances every week until I had paid for the shed and for cleaning up the damage I'd caused there. They'd done this with all the windows I'd broken in the neighboring area too, so in that regard I'd say they were indeed good parents.

I didn't care about the loss in allowances though, for I had other incomes no one knew about at the time. They did find out later that I had a small 'trading' business where I had kids get me things that I could sell to the bigger kids. I had several kids give me various pills they stole from their parent's medicine cabinets, f.ex., though in the beginning it often took some 'convincing' to get them to do it. Later there were no problems, I was a 'big shot' among the more 'deviant' kids in the area.

___

Sunday, January 23, 2011

LoveGame.




Do you like games? How about a good game of love?

Or maybe it's just about sex?.. What do you think?

___

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Give yourself up to me!





I am sometimes told I have a demanding presence, and people who get close to me say that in my presence they feel as if I'm saying: "Giv it up to me!", as if I demand them to "Give yourself up to me!".
It is consoling to know that only my enemies seem to find this quality about me unsettling. Those who like me, or who love me, tend to find it charming or to think it is merely fair that I should have what they can give me.


The song in this video is about another kind of demand.

Or is it?...


Are the lyrics in this video propagating a psychopathic or sociopathic way of thinking? Is this how psychopaths and sociopaths think? Is it an antisocial way of thinking? Is it perhaps how kings and winners think?

Or is it just the common way of thinking in a modern society where people live the equivalent life style of spoiled children?


Personally I think this is a great little tune, but I heard it was banned in several countries.

___

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Empaths in Psychopath Clothing?


The author of the blog Sociopath World, M.E., posted today an entry about an article from Scientific American about the overall level of empathy in the population estimated to having drastically declined over the last three decades according to the result of a research project that has been running during the same period.
...In the last sentence of his article M.E. writes:

"Hopefully this new generation forces empathy out of style finally"


I disagree.

Normal people (empaths) can no more become like us and learn to not feel empathy, than we can become like them and learn to feel empathy. They can fake it, mimic us, like we mimic them, but they will never thrive that way like we thrive when acting different roles, mimicking various kinds of personalities.

It is not for them, it is not in their nature to do these things. They are not like us, and they shouldn't be, or try to be, like us. Human variety is about different types of character and personality with different kinds of preferences and different things making different kinds of people happy.

People like M.E., myself and others of our kind, should of all know this, for we have gone through centuries with being attempted forced into being like the empathic majority.

What would make us think they can become like us? ... Even more: Why would we want them to become like us?


I think that M.E., while writing that last line, perhaps habitually were thinking along the same lines that normal people do when they believe everybody must, should, and can be like them, that everybody shall be the same.


We know today that genetics and neurology plays a fundamental part in determining whether someone becomes a psychopath or a normal, empathic person. In the latest few years normal people have also begun to realize that we (the psychopaths, sociopaths and, to some extent, antisocials) can't be treated into becoming normal, like the empathic people are, no therapy works, and all research indicates that no kind of upbringing - however perfect - can make a psychopath develop empathy or fearfulness, i.e. (though a good upbringing can make us have a less negative influence upon our surroundings when we grow up, but it can't change the character traits we were born with).

Furthermore, we also know that it is variety that makes the human species strong and capable of surviving and adapting to the most extreme variations of circumstances throughout our presence on the planet. The fact that a few individuals are different in ways that allow them to think outside the box, allow them to explore what otherwise fear would keep them away from, allow them to fight for freedom and new knowledge and understanding where otherwise distaste for violence would keep them from that too, are what makes our species so successful.

And it is the same variations in uncommon or rare traits which allow some of us to do these 'unspeakable' things that we hear about ... it is they alone which at certain times can, and did, ensure humanity's continued existence and freedom to pursue progress and happiness.

If we want everybody to be the same those special and rare qualities will be gone forever, and with them our ability to survive.


A world of psychopaths or people living like psychopaths will not be able to function or survive, anymore than a world where everybody are empathic and fearful, peace loving, and dislikes blood and violence, etc., will be able to survive. The human race depends to a large extent upon the general happiness within a society. A depressed, frustrated and stressed, fearful population who spends their daily living on trying to cultivate personality traits they don't really have, are not apt to survive when circumstances become extreme ...And believe me, circumstances WILL become extreme, perhaps sooner than we realize.


The simple truth in my opinion is: Psychopaths and normal empaths need each other!

...and no, I'm not talking about harmful people who's whole character, life and thinking has become a broken mishmash of malfunctioning and destructiveness. I'm talking about a personality type that fits the description of what we call Psychopaths or Sociopaths, and Antisocial Personalities.(1*)


M.E.'s statement express the same mentality that has led to sociopaths and psychopaths being labeled as bad, disordered, evil, and even demonic. It is the same mentality that schemes our undoing by chemical and - in the future - genetic means. And it will be the undoing not only of us - psychopaths and sociopaths - but of all of humanity.


I am writing this especially for those of my kind, for I know the normal, empathic masses, the majority, will not listen.



(1*) = And there is scientific evidence that backs up my thesis. I will write about that in a later article.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Psychopaths and Sadism.


Are Psychopathy and Sadism linked?

I never thought of myself as being a sadist until recently when I read some statements made by self proclaimed sociopaths describing various activities of theirs, mainly of manipulative - but also some of physically violent - nature, which they thought of as being sadistic because the outcome is meant to be and often is harmful. I could relate to some of these descriptions and had to admit that I've sometimes found myself joyfully 'getting back' at certain individuals whom I thought 'had it coming' for one reason or another.

But having thought through it some more I realize that what I do is not really sadism. A sadist will go out of their way to inflict pain, simply because that is what gives them pleasure.

To me inflicting pain in itself - though I can do that, and when I do, I find it pleasurable too - this is not what it's about. To be frank, I couldn't care less if people are happy or unhappy, what matters and what decides my line of action is what serves the purpose of what I'm working on to achieve at the moment. And it just seems to me that people who are happy are generally also much more likely to comply and act according to my wishes. Of course, initially it may be necessary to instigate a certain amount of pain in order to create the basic anxiety related to the idea of not meeting my wishes, to not do what I want the person to do. But once the knowledge among those around me is applied and ingrained so that they are aware that pain MIGHT become reality IF they do not comply, then there is usually no longer any good reason to inflict it. On the contrary, I find that then it is a much more productive idea to make people happy, to make them see and feel that 'happy' comes with being Zhawq's friend, with doing what Zhawq wants.

This is what I do, and if you ask me directly I might even wish that the basic anxiety that most regard me with wasn't necessary, which is why I do not consider myself a sadist. A sadist prefers to be feared, whereas I will at times become quite annoyed when people fear me, because too much fear paralyzes and makes the individual incapable of being effective in their activities and sometimes even in their ability to go through a conversation with me.

Another thing that makes fear impractical is the fact that it is sometimes hard to control, meaning that some people become more afraid of you than you need or want them to be. In my point of view it is often more satisfying to make people happy to do your bidding than it is to make them afraid.

Fear is useful as a tool, and that is all there is to it... Or at least almost all there is to it.


Ergo: I conclude that I am not a sadist.

I thought this was good, that it helped my case when I claim to not be a psychopath, because we have all heard about psychopaths and sadism, we all know how the two things are linked together - at least in the common mind. But it turned out that I was dead wrong in this assumption, and I may have dug myself an even bigger hole, because, as it turns out, psychopaths are NOT sadistic in the traditional sense. Instead, the description of Sadism as it relates to psychopaths goes as this:

[quote & citation needed:] Whereas the Sadist inflict pain on others because it feels good, the Psychopath inflicts pain on others only when it's convenient for him.


So I'm back to square one. Everything I do in my attempts to disprove my alleged (well, diagnosed) psychopathy seem to be in vain.


It is heartbreaking to find that whatever you do to cleanse yourself of wrongful stigmatizing labels, you're doomed to fail unless you encompass the most common, most ordinary personality traits. My point is, that most every person COULD be deemed a psychopath under the right circumstances and if the assessor focuses on the traits that are listed as markers for psychopathy.

Am I too self-obsessed when I work so hard to dispute that I am a psychopath? I don't think so, because I am doing it while having in mind that what has happened to me can happen to others, probably is happening to others, and not least: I fear the implications the practice of clinically categorizing people in this manner has on the individual person, that it will have on our world and the richness of human diversity.

To the normal only the highest degree of normalcy, the most normal of normal, is normal enough and thus acceptable. This is my true worry, and this is what gives me a sense of obligation, of righteousness in putting forth these thoughts and views to the public.

.....

I will follow up with more information about the aspects of Sadism and how they relate to Psychopathy in future articles. - Articles with autobiographical content on Psychopathic Writings are a work in progress, and ongoing journey of self-discovery, and thereby - hopefully - also discovery and better understanding of people around me.
*
___

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Zhawqing Perspective.


My life has not been very glamorous, nor very positive or constructive.

The one thing that can make me change living a certain lifestyle and doing certain not very constructive things, is an alternative that fascinates me! This is the only thing that works for me!

I have always had a very great and demanding need for stimulation. It has made me live life 'on the edge', so to speak, even in ways that I definitely don't agree with.

My need for Life at it's strongest has pushed me into living a destructive, non-giving, non-creative lifestyle, even though my need to do something that is really Good, and Great even, is the strongest of all. But the absence of opportunities to realize that central part of me, has turned it against myself as well as - on a few occasions - against people around me. - It is truly horrifying how a personality made for greatness can become destructive, even for other people, if it is denied an outlet for what it is 'made for'.


But I've learned that psychiatrists think of the trait in me to have it's cause in that I don't feel very strongly, that I get bored easily and have no sense of moral obligations.

I see it in a completely different way: I DO have strong feelings, stronger than 'empaths', but I also have a strong personality, one that is build for 'greater things' or for 'greatness'. I have a ... not indifference, but a ... Hunger for Life that is insatiable, it is not my 'shallow' or 'flat affect' that makes me need stronger and more frequent stimulation, it is because my personality IS great, it IS uncommon, "larger than life", and that makes the reason for my need very obvious: A greater personality will need greater stimuli, because his personality is made for great, constant, dramatic stimuli ... stimuli the likes of which normal people couldn't deal with, couldn't handle.

Seeing people getting shot, killed and even tortured, usually hasn't been enough to make me change my ways... and to my eternal agony! - But in the eyes of those who don't share this personality trait, my agony is but an empty lie.

...For they do not believe that I CAN feel agony, or feel much anything at all.


When I hear them downgrade people like me, like us, by saying we haven't much or strong feelings, etc., I see that as an attempt on their part to force everybody to shrink and belittle themselves in order to comply to their standards.

To them nothing but 'normal', 'common' and 'ordinary' is okay or sane. If you're bigger, larger than they, then you must be a psychopath! ... And this offends me!

Long enough have I lived with limiting myself, hiding like a criminal because I am different, even having to pretend to feel like they, the ordinary or normal people do. I had to, because punishment for not being 'good' according to their mediocre standards, would be lunched whenever I took the chance and was myself, if even showing just a few little honest details of my true personality.
No wonder they see the so called psychopaths 'acting normal, faking to be normal'! I mean, who wouldn't given the present situation??


Isn't it ironic how human beings, when faced with individuals who's personality is unlike our own, tend to think that those who do not feel the same way as we do don't feel anything at all? - I used to think this very same way about 'normal' people. I was convinced they didn't feel much at all and that the feelings they do have were mere pretending.

When I realized that they thought the same way about me, I began to question whether perhaps I had been wrong when I assumed they were pretty much without feelings or depth.

Today I know they do feel, and to them their feelings are probably every bit as real and potent as mine are to me. But when that is said, there's no doubt that the kind of feelings, the 'width' or 'range' of our feelings, are very much different. And in this regard I am the one who has depth and range, not the other way around. - The point is that it doesn't matter that my feelings are truly deeper than theirs, for they can't feel that their feelings aren't as deep as mine. In other words: To them their feelings are as strong as all people's feelings can possibly be.

And I respect this! I respect that people are different, personalities are different, needs and preference, abilities and drive of the soul are different! ... So then why on earth can't they - the 'normal', the 'mediocre' masses, why can't they respect me in the same way that I respect them?
- That's a topic for another article.