“You seem to claim that you’re changing and that you are beginning to understand your psychopathy because of your research. But I don’t think this is possible. I think no psychopath can really understand his own emotional deficits because if you could you would have to understand empathy and love and remorse and the other emotions that you don’t have. And that’s never gonna happen because if it did you’d have cured yourself. It seems like that’s what you’re trying to do, or you’re trying to make the readers believe you’re doing it, or probably most of all the clinical psychologists who are keeping you in the research program because then you might be free for real.
I think you’re deluding yourself if you think you can make them believe you’ve understood your psychopathy. I’m not just saying it because I believe it, I’ve also noticed that every now and then you write that you’ve now concluded that you’re not a psychopath at all and it was all a mistake. I think you’ll always return to that conclusion because how can you understand that you’ll never feel empathy if you’ve never felt it?
What are your thoughts on this? If you disagree can you explain how you understand your psychopathy?”
It is understandable that some will think I’m putting on a show in order to fool the research board to think I’m “cured” so they’ll let me go (some on the board thinks so too). However, I believe I’ve showed – in the way I approach the various aspects of the psychopathy diagnosis and how it makes a person different from the average non-psychopathic person as well as in the very fact that I’ve been persistent in my pursuit of knowledge and understanding – that I am sincere. That said, I can’t hope for everybody to believe me, but this is the case for everybody and not only for psychopaths.
Your thesis – that my sometimes returning scepticism towards my psychopathy diagnosis shows that I haven’t understood my condition at all – is interesting. Right off the bat I would say it’s a sign that I am processing the data I research and that I don’t take everything at face value. Indeed, this is not just about learning a new language but about learning a whole new way of understanding and seeing reality, it’s not any kind of reality. It’s a view on reality that implies your acceptance of the perhaps most stigmatized and unpopular social position in present day, you will have to accept and adopt a self view that labels you as Evil by definition, and that is something nobody should be expected to take lightly.
I can foretell what you would say here: “But you don’t really in your heart care about being evil”. And that’s true, I don’t care about ‘evil’ in itself, but I most definitely do care about the position it has put me in as relating to the rest of society. Add to this that I am not devoid of emotion. No living person is! If I had no emotions there would be nothing to entice me to get out of bed every day.
I do care about a lot of things though admittedly not always the same as most people care about. I care about my well being, I care about making a lot of money, I care about producing something that has value, I care about achieving as much as I possibly can, I care about having a lot of victories in my life, I care about always getting better at what I do, I care about having fun and about satisfying my needs and urges, and I care about having an impact upon our society. I care about proving that I can be a valuable asset to society and thereby proving one of two things: Psychopaths can be valuable assets, or I am not a psychopath after all.
As a thinking human being I also believe it’s very important to question everything that I learn during my research and not accept something merely because a prominent expert said it or because it’s what most people think they know to be true.
But you’re right, I do question the diagnosis they’ve kept giving me!
I’m going to say a little more about the misconceptions that I see in how clinicians define certain psychopathic traits. Either it must be wrong or I am not a psychopath after all but a very misunderstood sensitive person. Here goes…
There are times when I think it can’t possibly have any truth to it, that it must rely on bias and a need to “prove” they can assess anybody. I think there are many things they clearly overlooked or chose to not take into consideration when I was diagnosed the first time. What about the second and the third time? They can very well be nothing more than the easy way out: “We can’t see what makes him different, so let’s stick with what our predecessors said and save face: He’s a psychopath!”.
One of the prominent traits in the psychopathic character is an inability to tolerate what they call ‘Boredom’. I’ve always called it ‘Lack of Stimulation’.
Another prominent trait is the ‘Strong need for Excitement’. I call it ‘Strong Need for Stimulation’ and a ‘Strong Appetite for Life’.
The way they explain these traits in psychopaths goes like this: Psychopaths have a very shallow, empoverished, emotional life. They lack deep emotions and that is why they need much stronger sensations before they can feel satisfied.
In other words they say my need for lots of stimulation and my hardships with tolerating monotony stems from my lack of emotions.
But to me it seems to be the exact opposite. I am much more sensitive and talented than most people and therefore I need much more stimulation and lively input than others before my wide range of sensitivities and talents are satisfied.