My 10 Lessons From Being In Love With A Psychopath- Part I
We have all encountered one, or multiple (barely) people of this kind through our life.
Dealing with them is bad enough as an acquaintance or a friend, but do you know what’s worse? Being involved in a romantic capacity with one of them, ie. being in love with a psycho!
Unless, you happen to be someone like me.
Bad as they are, the convoluted minds and thoughts of a psycho fascinate me like no other. Every time I meet someone I can identify as having psychopathic tendencies, I long to break into it.
It’s difficult to explain, but, getting a psychopath, to discover their feelings and fall in love, is a bit like training an amputee to run. It’s not impossible, but it nearly is.
Psychopaths might not fall in love like, you or me, but they do. They usually tend to use love, as an escape.
What that means, for you, if you’re it, is you get to see, someone from the inside, that everyone else in their lives, don’t get to see. You’re the only privileged one.
Sadly though, they cannot sustain that behavior for too long.
However, it’s what entices me. Being raised by a sociopathic mother, and the resulting oedipal complex, has a part to play in too, probably.
I believe I have a “fix” to a “problem” that cannot be fixed. In fact, it isn’t a problem at all. It is just a characteristic. I somehow thought the psychopaths must want to feel these emotions on some level.
I want to help them, but, realize soon, it’s not what they need or want.
It’s a weird fetish, I am trying to lay off. I am probably more of them by now than I intended to be.
However, since I have been involved with manifold such people over the course of the last decade, I figure I am a bit of an expert in the field of psycho-dating!
That I read up a ton on Psychology helps. I also understand many others get coaxed by such people to get into things, they are unaware of.
Through this article, I will be pretending to give you advice, while voicing my intense regret at not just my inability to evoke emotion in these people I encountered, but also my inability to recognize to myself that some people, do in fact remain who they are, incapable of change.
Science behind the psycho
Firstly, if your notion of what a psychopath is, remains painted by mainstream glorification of characters you might have seen on screen, let me break it to you: the real world is different. There is nothing remotely hip, or cool, or bad-ass about it. Believe me!
It is a mental condition, that is often a way of being, and underline many different issues beneath the surface.
Fundamentally, a psycho defined here could be a psychopath or a sociopath, depending on circumstances and characteristics. Psychologists around the world, however, do not classify people as “psychopaths” or “sociopaths”, they simply term them as people with “anti-social disorders”.
The popular belief among most researchers is that psychopaths tend to be born as they are owing to genetic predisposition. Research shows that psychopaths have underdeveloped and reduced connections between the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC): the area of the brain responsible for emotions such as empathy and guilt, and the amygdala: the part of the brain which processes fear and anxiety.
Reduced structural integrity in the white matter fibers connecting the two areas show much-less or nil coordinated activity compared to an average human, resulting in the proverbial lack of empathy, remorse, or guilt they are famous for.
While sociopaths, reach the same degree of numbness due to their circumstances later in life, with or without the physiological defects from birth. This may be due a traumatic experience, like bad parenting, molestation, physical or mental violence endured, etc. resulting in stunted brain development.
However, there’s a range upon which each individual can be rated as to having these tendencies, namely the Hare Psychology Checklist. Most psychos in society wouldn’t fall in the serial killer range, but, it doesn’t mean, living with them is any easier.
Who is more dangerous?
First of all, dangerous? What dangerous? Lack of feelings? Bring it on! That’s the challenge, isn’t it?
Well, if you’re a bit more sane than I am, the answer to that question depends on who you are, and how well you can handle yourself around others. Most psychologists would prescribe you to NOT engage with either: the more you can fly under the radar with them, the better the chances of you not being a target for their manipulation.
Statistically, sociopaths are more prone to impulsive, emotional or violent outbursts in society when involved in criminal acts, whereas psychopaths tend to commit more thought out or detailed acts of crime.
Ergo, the probability of a psychopath getting caught in a criminal act, is much less likely than a sociopath committing the same crime, due to the worsened impulse control and lack of attention to detail.
Psychopaths tend to have better control of their limited emotions than their sociopathic counter-parts and can lead better incognito dual lives, as witnessed by numerous cases of psychopathic serial killers in the past. However, it is important to mention “violence” is not a necessary trait amongst either tribe.
How to spot a psycho?
Both classifications share almost identical traits in terms of behavior and ethical or moral standings.
Some shared characteristics of antisocial personality disorder include: disregard for laws/rules, violence towards animals, pathological lying, manipulative, lack of empathy, lack of remorse, lack of guilt, impulsive outbursts, refusal to accept responsibility for actions, disregard for others’ opinion or values, and selfishness.
Loving a psycho
So, now you know a bit more (if you didn’t already) about how to identify and understand psychos and how they are made or operate. It is deceptively easy to define a person from a third-person perspective theoretically.
However, the practical implications stretch out to be so much more than just a little list of characteristics. It’s one of those mistakes that I made in jest.
It’s difficult to get in to the psyche of a psychopath, but what’s even harder is to free yourself from the entanglement of it once you’re in. If you’ve been close to, or been attached emotionally to a psycho sometime, you will probably be able to relate to these instances.
In the next part, I list out the 10 Lessons to guide you away from the clutches of a psycho: My 10 Lessons From Being In Love With A Psychopath- Part II