Today is Independence Day in the United States. What does being independent mean to a psychopath?
The idea of being independent is a central concept in Western culture, and nowhere is it more apparent than in the mythology that surrounds the outlaw, the criminal rebel. We all know the Gunslinger and Outlaws in old (and new) Western movies. Independence was also a central theme in the Counterculture movement of the 1960s.
And it seems that the modern definition of the psychopath is intricately connected with the idea of Independence. It is not for nothing that some experts calls us Rebels without a Cause.
But what does independency mean to the psychopaths themselves? What does it mean to me?
First of all it should be said that whereas the idea of independence is indeed associated with being antisocial, this has most meaning for those who do not have a genetically inherent flat affect, and that means all of the antisocial minorities… except the psychopaths.
Being independent to me means that I can do as I like, I do not have anybody to answer to, I don’t owe anybody my loyalty, my love or my compassion, it simply means I don’t have any responsibilities.
Perhaps this is why I’ve always been very, very good at this.
I know how it is to be independent, because I’ve always been independent, though I think perhaps that most people would not appreciate being quite as independent as I am, because it involves being ‘independent’ from certain emotions too – and, according to the professionals and my tests & brain scans results, it involves so called ‘shallow affect’ as well, which means the emotions I do have supposedly are “vague” and not very pronounced. That is why they say we (psychopaths) have both few, and shallow emotions. – I’m not sure I agree (I don’t, not in my own case), but that’s a subject for another article.
I guess it is one of the many funny and very contradictory aspects that seem to be one of the central phenomena in psychopathy: That we can be the very thing that other associate with one of the fundamental concepts of our culture, and yet we don’t have any real connection with this very aspect of what we indirectly represent.
I think I can say that being independent is my natural position in life. As an idea I understand and embrace it, like I can understand and embrace ideas such as sympathy, friendliness, loyalty and being supportive or helping. But I do not have the emotional attachment to the idea of independence itself, or to the holiday, nor do I have any emotional attachment to how I spend and celebrate the holiday or with whom I spend and celebrate it, I don’t have any emotional attachment to whether I celebrate it at all. The holiday, and the concept of Independence as such, are to me emotional only in the cognitive sense, like f.x. relief.
But don’t get me wrong, I do like the idea of the holiday, and it is so absolutely a very nice experience.
I wish you all a Happy Independence Day… every Day!… ‘^L^,