As a child I quickly learned that most of the time, in most situations – be they common interaction or situations where I had been caught for doing something wrong and was questioned about my motives – it was never a good idea to show how I really felt. One had to put a lot of effort into displaying the right kind of emotions, the ones I saw expressed by others again and again.
Come to think of it, “to show how I really felt” in most cases is not exactly the right way to say it, for most of the time I don’t know what my real emotions were. I do recall times where I know exactly what my emotions were, of course. Those are situations where I felt angry (oh, so angry!), wronged, misunderstood, frustrated, annoyed and irritated, and sheer rage. There were also times where I felt pride, I felt superior, and there was a lot of contempt too. There were times where I had a lot of fun, there was excitement, and curiosity, lots of curiosity. A few times I would admire something that somebody could do, I don’t quite recall who or what, but I know it happened. Maybe I’ll recall later.
So I’ve had plenty of emotions, but there’re a number of emotions that either were never there, or that were there only in a more fleeting and not very dramatic manner. These were usually the emotions that my surroundings expected me to show much, much more of. And I did learn to do exactly that, express exaggerated emotionality.
I use the word ‘exaggerated’ because that is how it’s always seemed to me. And throughout my childhood and youth – and I guess, into my adulthood too – I was convinced that all the dramatic displays of emotions I see around me were exaggerations, that they were people showing off as if saying: “Look how emotional I am! I am good and right!”.
To be honest, I still think this is what people do, and this is why they do it, to be sure their surroundings think well of them. I used to feel a lot of contempt toward people who seemed to be very emotional, because I knew I could do it much better than they did. Even as a young teen I was better at displaying emotionality in a convincing manner than most adults I saw, and I scoffed at their lack of insight and skill, that they couldn’t do better than me, a mere child.
However, I did eventually learn that some people really are that emotional, and I also found that those were the people I could best… how to say it, best… uhm, impress, intimidate, dominate and control, and… yes, sometimes even abuse.
A paradox, to find you do best among the very people you have contempt for, is it not?
But I don’t always have contempt for them. It seems that when I get to know these people intimately, my contempt will grow, but another feeling will come in as well: I begin to find them cute! – Yes, that means I actually like them!… And there have been times where I actually thought it was really sad that it had to be them that I would exploit, because in many ways I thought they were real nice people, and I would’ve liked them to be just as happy as me!…
Ergo: Exit the idea that Zhawq can’t feel empathy!…
I wonder if my Readers agree?
I still frequently experience the emotions I’ve listed here. And while they’re also rather representative for the emotions that I’ve recognized in other psychopathy diagnosed people, as well as found described – expressively or indirectly – in books about psychopathy, it does seems to me that it’s quite a nice long list of emotions for someone who’s supposed to be shallow and have flat affect.
Feel free to comment, I value your opinions.