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  • James 19:15 on November 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Crna Gora, , Kotor, Montenegro, , , , , , through the eyes of a sociopath,   

    Postcard to myself 

    20181120_200645

    There are venomous snakes in this box. You think it’s chocolates and that I’m sorry, but I’m not and it’s snakes.

    I have been going through some cards, letters and postcards from my life up until now. My old room is getting ripped out and replaced with something new, to cater to my parents’ obsession with decorating and modernising their house, so all these forgotten bits and pieces have been coming to light for the first time in 10, 15, in some cases 20, years. What can I say? I’m a magpie.

    And there’s this stash of old post, which has given me a new perspective on my upbringing. Because I was relatively late to become aware of psychopathy and specifically that it pertained to who I am (this I discovered at the age of 18; I’m now 25), I have been under the impression that other people in my life were similarly clueless about my nature. Not so.

    There’s the card in the picture, sent to me one Christmas by a school friend, who wrote that it “reminded me of you… happy Xmas, you weirdo.” There’s another card, sent by family friends, with reference to an atlas they bought me: “You always said you wanted to take over the world. Let this inspire you.” Rereading that today reminded me that, yes, I was a megalomaniacal motormouth at one stage of my childhood, and had evidently revealed some or all of my plans to this family – rookie Bond villain mistake. And that is why I will never get the chance to be tried for war crimes in The Hague.

    Then there was this bizarre Wallace and Gromit birthday card, sent to my grandad from all of my family, which read inside, in my mother’s spiky handwriting: “Happy birthday, Dad. This card was chosen by Jamie on the understanding that you’ll post it back to him.” It was dated 1997; I was three. Little control freak.

    Sure, so there’s no smoking gun. No “Ohhh my God, my baby’s a psycho, what do I dooo?” letter. But there’s knowledge – and acceptance – of my personality. I’m lucky to have parents who have never tried to deny who I am, and who have supported me from the start. It just goes to show that sometimes close friends and family know you better than you do yourself.


    Image result for kotor postcard

    In the same pile, I also came across a postcard from Montenegro, sent in 2008 by me… to me. It was postmarked and everything, sent par avion across Europe from the tiny Balkan state to my home in England. This is it, folks – peak narcissism:

    Dear future self,

    Ha! Ha! I’m on holiday, you’re not!

    Classy.

    It goes on –

    Hope the ol’ ear has cleared up by the time I get this.

    Oh, that’s right. I got an ear infection from the poorly-chlorinated swimming pool. I had to get some strange ear potion from the apothecary in Kotor. Yes, apothecary;  Montenegro’s a hell of a place.

    I am sitting on my apartment’s balcony. Jealous?

    Yes. Fuck you.

    Anyway, fuck you.

    Be you later,

    James

    Great, well thanks for that, 15-year old James.

    The moral of the story? Never meet your heroes, because they’re sure to disappoint.

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    • nowve666 20:53 on November 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      This is the weirdest post of yours I’ve seen. So you wrote a postcard to your “future self” and taunted your future self that you were on vacation and he (you) were not?

      Like

    • 1jaded1 21:42 on November 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I laughed and I’m not ashamed. The first card with the snakes is just too funny.

      Liked by 1 person

  • James 21:10 on January 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: aura, , crying, Discard - the final frontier, , , , , , , No Psychos - now with more boobs, , , , , , , tears, through the eyes of a sociopath   

    No need to cry about it 

    What is your problem?

    I’ve always found it odd that very young children cry. I think “What have you got to cry about? You have no responsibilities. You can play all day. You’re intellectually a simpleton, so there’s little chance of getting bored and the littlest things can keep you entertained. You have no concept of morality, and the normals haven’t even infected you with the misery they live with yet, so you can quite literally do whatever you want. Compared to this, the rest of your life is going to be a disaster zone. Wait until high school! Wait until mortgages and bill repayments and supermarkets and annoying coworkers. Wait until you’re mopping up the sick and poo of your own child, and wondering why they’re always fucking crying. Wait until you’re old, and your body and mind both start decaying before you’ve finished using them, and you keep putting baking soda in your tea and your cat in the dishwasher. These, your carefree days of childhood, are the good times. It’s all down hill from here. And yet, there you are – bawling like a, well, like a baby.”

    Then someone was kind enough to point out: “they have no other way of communicating.” Of course! It’s obvious. Silly me. But that is true primarily of babies, and it does beg the question as to why psychopathic babies (God, is that even a thing? A little cherub from hell come to devour your life savings and personal freedom.) don’t cry. Psychopaths are good communicators, or at least they’re good at communicating their needs to others and getting those others to provide for them, so why don’t they cry? That’s not rhetorical. Hey, I don’t have all the answers!

    Still, once we get into late toddlerhood, most kids have been talking for a couple of years and are getting quite good at it, and especially at asking questions. And we’re still in “Everything in life is great” territory, so what’s with the crying? Note that we’re talking genuine tears here, not tantrums or other such manipulations. Why do they cry with emotion?

    Now, having met and spoken with at least one person claiming to be an “empath”, the answer to this puzzle might be teased. I am still skeptical as to the existence of empaths, i.e. people with an abnormally heightened empathy such that they can almost read minds (or certainly hearts, if hearts be the organ of emotion). To me, it all sounds a bit Star Trek, a bit Deanna Troi. But I’ve met and spoken with a self-proclaimed empath, and since I’m the one claiming to be something most people believe only exists in slasher films, who am I to judge?

    Worst counsellor ever.

    According to the empath, most people are noisy. She doesn’t mean that they’re loudmouths (although I would attest to that also being the case), but that they’re emotionally noisy. Apparently, most people give off a kind of aura of emotion and for this empath at least the aura manifests itself as noise. Maybe the ‘noise’ is just metaphorical and other empaths choose to use more visual or tactile descriptors of auras, or maybe it’s all bullshit. I don’t know, but what I do know is that I am apparently not noisy. I am very quiet. Being around me, says the empath, is calming. Being around me is like when she’s alone. She can just be who she is, and focus on her own mind and her own emotions, without a constant onslaught coming from other people.

    I have never denied that I have emotions; all humans are by their nature emotional beings. But I have noticed over the years that mine are more level and altogether less bumpy than others’. I don’t get wound up easily, I don’t jump with fright, I don’t go to pieces under stress – indeed if anything adverse circumstances excite me and get me fired up. Knowing this about myself, and have it be recognised by this empath unprompted, does give a clue as to why, even in infancy, a psychopath may be far less prone to crying than others. The frequent crying of even children old enough to speak may not be nearly as much of a puzzle to others as it is to me; and indeed, given the apparently different emotional worlds we inhabit, this, I suppose, is to be expected.

     
    • nowve666 23:15 on January 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      ROTFLMAO!!! So you didn’t cry as a baby? Do you remember? Have you asked your mother what you were like then? One reason babies cry is physical discomfort. They get things like colic. They wake up hungry with wet diapers. They get diaper rash. And they might get lonely if they are left alone in their crib. They cry when they are startled with loud sounds. And I understand they need their mothers to “mirror” their facial expressions and get upset if their mothers don’t do it. Also, I understand most babies have empathy. So if another baby outs crying, the baby who hears it can start crying out of empathy. Obviously, we didn’t do that, I guess. Why do you call babies little psychopaths?

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      • James 05:42 on January 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        I don’t remember being a baby, but there are videos of me. I didn’t call babies little psychopaths; I was referring to babies who are psychopaths later in life, and was wondering if they already were psychopaths even as a baby.

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    • nowve666 09:01 on January 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Oh. OK. I read this very late at night. I don’t blame babies for crying a lot. After all, finding themselves thrust into this world. They don’t even known where their bodies end and the world begins. They can’t coordinate their arms and legs or even see in the beginning. They suddenly depend on an outside person, the mother, usually. She controls when they eat, when they are warm or cold, when their diapers change, etc. Then they begin crawling and then walking. Everything is really difficult. Fortunately, it’s not in the nature of a baby to be a quitter. They keep trying until they succeed. As for “the normals haven’t even infected you with the misery they live with yet,” I knew at an early age that adults were full of shit. I assumed most of what they told me was a lie. One of my earliest memories was distrusting what I was told. It’s not that they were necessarily lying. But they seemed to be deceiving themselves. I distrusted even things that later turned out to be true. For example, I was told New York, my hometown, was the biggest city in the world and the Empire State Building was the tallest building in the world. I immediately thought, “I’ll bet everyone says that about the city they live in.” I was also told over and over that childhood was the best time in my life, just like you are saying. I thought, “I don’t believe it.” Guess what. I grew up and discovered that childhood was not the best time in my life. I enjoyed adulthood much more. Sure, there are hassles. But there is also more freedom.

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    • Christopher Flore 15:30 on January 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Their parents’ struggle. I’ve always been interested about them crying, i figure sometimes they are born and don’t cry and other times they cry into the world, the other part is if the birth itself isn’t smooth but the two go hand in hand sometimes. There is a need to cry when there is sometimes btw and it takes the sadness out of you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • James 10:55 on January 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Good point. Thanks for your comment, Christopher.

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    • Critter 07:51 on February 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      “…And we’re still in “Everything in life is great” territory, so what’s with the crying? Note that we’re talking genuine tears here, not tantrums or other such manipulations. Why do they cry with emotion?…”

      Crying with emotion over seemingly trivial stuff just happens to be a useful way for a developing brain to find ways to make those emotional responses be useful by the time they reach adulthood. That behavior is just a sign of impulse control and emotional regulation developing in a young brain. Good thing that process starts early isn’t it?

      “According to the empath, most people are noisy. She doesn’t mean that they’re loudmouths (although I would attest to that also being the case), but that they’re emotionally noisy. Apparently, most people give off a kind of aura of emotion and for this empath at least the aura manifests itself as noise. Maybe the ‘noise’ is just metaphorical and other empaths choose to use more visual or tactile descriptors of auras, or maybe it’s all bullshit.”

      I honestly don’t belive in the whole empath consept. Although to her credit, people probably do have the neurological equivalent of both a signal amplifier and noise filter, both somewhat adjustable, otherwise it would be extremely hard for people to adapt to different social environments. If that happens to be the way the brain does works, then empaths probably has a noise filter dialed to minimum and an amplifier dialed to max. In that sense, I would have to compromise and agree to empaths being ~ 50% right, lol.

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      • James 09:59 on February 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Hi, welcome back (assuming you’re ‘Typical Critter’ from before)

        The noise filter concept definitely seems intuitively like it must exist. If you had the same level of focus in a large crowd as you did in a small group of people or in a one-to-one exchange, the stimuli would likely be overwhelming. As it is, a lot of people find large crowds stressful, but it must help a lot not having to listen to everyone’s conversations or keep track of what everyone in the crowd looks like, smells like, what they’re doing, what they’re wearing, various non-verbal cues such as body-language, expression, gait etc.The fact that we mostly don’t do this would strike me as evidence of a filter in action. Indeed, people I know who are most on edge in crowds (generally there is a past trauma behind that) report that they’re unable to tune everyone out; if they’re in a restaurant, they have to keep an eye on all the customers, staff and anyone else who comes through the door.

        “That behavior is just a sign of impulse control and emotional regulation developing in a young brain. Good thing that process starts early isn’t it?” Is that rhetorical? I don’t see much or indeed any use for crying over spilt milk or dead puppies. The emotional responses are not useful, they’re wasteful. While weak neurotypicals waste time leaking salty water out of their faces and grimacing, psychopaths (and indeed pragmatic neurotypicals) are working out how to solve the problem they’re faced with. So I would have to say that no it is not a good thing children learn how to be emotional wrecks from a very young age.

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        • Critter 17:39 on February 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply

          I have one anecdote when it comes to people who claim to be empaths, they seem to have a tendency to overinterpret things when it comes to other peoples emotional responses.

          “…While weak neurotypicals waste time leaking salty water out of their faces and grimacing, psychopaths (and indeed pragmatic neurotypicals) are working out how to solve the problem they’re faced with…”

          Most adults don’t get an emotional breakdown every time life throws shit at them, lol. Teaching children the basics for how to sort out their problems by themselves is kind of what parents are supposed to do. Kids aren’t as emotionally stable as adults because that makes it easier for their brains to develop. Pragmatic neurotypicals are just people who have figured out how to overcome fear, not give in to anger, not take themselves too seriously and especially not take everything people say too seriously either, but rather pay attention to their behavior in the longer term.

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  • James 08:00 on December 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , psychopaths in song, , reader participation, , , spotify, through the eyes of a sociopath   

    Songs about psychopaths – Spotify playlist now available! 

    Howdy, gentle readers. 
    Terrifying, dead shark eyes: Check. - THE COVER OF SWIFT'S "BAD BLOOD" SINGLE

    “Love’s a game. Want to play?”

    Long time followers of this blog may remember a post from 2015, Psychopaths in Song. It lists an ever-growing number of songs that I (and plenty of other readers) have discovered seem to be about psychopaths.  This is not, and has never been a list of my favourite songs, nor of those that others like. But there are a hell of a lot of great songs from From Frank Sinatra’s smoothly crooned promises, to Taylor Swift’s cycle of destructive relationships, each track has been picked for its illumination of one or more of the aspects of the psychopathic condition.
    Now, our humble list has been turned into a Spotify playlist! It has over 140 songs spanning practically every genre and era of the past sixty plus years of popular music, so give it a listen here.
    My thanks go to the many people who have contributed song ideas since the post was first published. The continued interest in the article means a lot to me. Of course, if there are any songs you know that really should be on the list but have been missed, do get in touch.
     
    • nowve666 10:22 on December 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      The wide range and diversity of these songs suggests that the great Dionysus needs psychopathy to be properly creative. What would people sing about if not for that?

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      • James 18:00 on December 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I’m just intrigued. What has Dionysus got to do with this?

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        • nowve666 19:40 on December 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

          Dionysus is the god of music. Ever read Nietsche’s The Birth of Tragedy?

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          • James 07:49 on December 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply

            That was supposed to be a reply to you.

            Like

    • James 07:48 on December 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Right. I knew he was the god of wine, but I guess he wouldn’t be much of a god if he couldn’t multitask. I haven’t read any Nietzsche in full.

      Liked by 1 person

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