I’m Back on Quora

I took a long break from Quora. While I enjoyed answering questions, they began to become ridiculously repetitive and the sheer number of obvious frauds pretending to be psychopaths was annoying. I’ve decided to return for a while to see how things go.

You can find me there at username J. Sparrow.

Since logging back in, I’ve noticed that I have 48 followers. Judging by usernames alone, at least 30 are female. One wonders why females are attracted, in one way or another, to psychopaths.

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I’m Back on Quora

Updates, Bateman, Eureka Moments, and a Call for Questions

I just logged in to my blog to find that I had a comment from Willem Martens from the Kahn Institute of Theoretical Psychiatry and Neuroscience. I have admired his work for quite some time because he is willing to explicitly question the status quo as regards the true nature of psychopathy vs how mostly North American psychologists/psychiatrists view it. In short, Dr. Martens is a true scientist and not merely a speculator. I especially enjoy his refutations of some of Dr. Hare’s work. Not that I completely dismiss Dr. Hare, but he has made quite a few mistakes that science cannot forgive.

I had a few other comments from anonymous folks who stated that they enjoyed reading my blog. For me it is more of a personal experience, a way for me to put into print what weighs on my mind. I do not find it very interesting, but some people do which is satisfying, to a degree.

I’m not particularly in a writing mood at the moment. In fact, I haven’t been for quite some time as is demonstrated in the time between my last post and this one. I have been in a slump for quite some time. In my last post I talked about quitting alcohol. This did not pan out as I had hoped it would. As a matter of fact, my drinking got worse at the prospect of giving it up altogether. There was a stretch of about 21 days that I did not drink at all. This was in part due to my wanting to see how I felt by not drinking at all, to see if perhaps I would come out of my slump, maybe feel better and more energized in the morning and throughout the day.

Another part is due to an attempted commitment to Lent. I am “technically” Catholic and my grandmother asked me to take her to Ash Wednesday Mass. There I sat and listened to a Polish priest talk about Lent and what it means. I remember him saying something to the effect of “Lent is a time for you to find out who you are.” This statement stuck with me. It took me a little while to figure out why, though, and it was after watching the some-what accurate film “American Psycho” for the hundredth time that I realized why that priest’s words struck me so.

In a certain scene of the film Patrick is going through his strictly regimented morning routine. As he is pulling off his pore-cleansing facial peel (symbolizing the mask he wears as a psychopath), he says,

“There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman, some kind of abstraction, but there is no real me, only an entity, something illusory, and though I can hide my cold gaze and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable: I simply am not there.”

After hearing this statement from Bateman, something I had heard many times before yet never really assigned any meaning to, I understood why I was fixated on the priest’s words. I do not know who I am. I know who I think I am. I know what other people think I am. I know what I am supposed to be, how I’m supposed or expected to act or behave, but I don’t know who I am in the slightest. There is an idea of me, but it is defined by others, not myself. I only exist in relation to others, and that person they believe I am can change in an instant in new environments and different groups. It reminds me of another film I watched years ago – the name of it escapes me – and perhaps this is why I remember the one scene so fondly, in which a young man and woman are dating. He is an amateur impressionist, doing impressions of famous actors and celebrities. He has an impression for every situation, no matter where he is or who he is speaking to. However, his girlfriend grows tired of hearing these impressions all the time and asks to speak to the real person behind them. He is suddenly struck dumb. He has been doing these impressions for so long that they have become his life, they have replaced whoever he was before and he realizes that he cannot remember who he is. The similarities between this character and I are striking. He lived his entire life thus far as an abstraction, through the eyes of others, through the laughter, sadness, and myriad other emotions he evoked through his art. But he never developed a true sense of self.  The difference between he and I is that I don’t know that I have ever really known who I am. At one point, he did, but he lost it.

Anyway, I have to get back to work. Lots to do and so little time.

Because I am in such a writing slump these days, I do not know exactly what to write about anymore. I have poured a lot, though certainly not all, of my past into this blog. If you have any questions for me, feel free to ask. If you have a topic of some sort related to psychopathy and you would like me to give you my two cents on it, let me know.

Until later…

 

Updates, Bateman, Eureka Moments, and a Call for Questions

Still Here (boring post) 

It has been roughly six months, give or take, since my last post stating that I was going to take a little break. I feel that break time is coming  to an end and I’ll be posting more in the next few weeks. 

A lot has been going on in life, lately.

Just to catch you up on some recent events and stream-of-consciousness thoughts:

My maternal grandmother passed away last week from cancer caused by a lifetime of smoking. I hardly knew her as she was a drug addled alcoholic living in self-induced poverty on the bad side of town and never had the time nor inclination to see her family. Often times I find myself incredulous as to how I didn’t end up like my many of my family members. 
I’m the only white-collar worker out of five children. My mother has a degree but lives in near squalor near where my grandmother did because she’d rather drink, smoke, and hang out/party with the wrong crowd. She had a great mind once, but her addictions slowly eroded it to where she is now a shell of her former self. 

I have reached a new low in my life, as well. I’m battling with trying to quit drinking. I wouldn’t say I’m an alcoholic, but I do enjoy a drink or two each night. Alcohol takes my mind off the boring family life I have. My kids are old enough to see it, and although I know I’m supposed to care, I truly don’t. I know I should be an example to them, someone to model themselves after. I can remember a point in my younger years wanting to be a shining role model for my kids. I can’t find that feeling anymore and I’m close to giving up the search. I think it’s too late anyway, at least in regard to my oldest two children.

Psychopathy is great in many respects. The biggest downside for me is boredom. I have mentioned before that I can start a new project but eventually, depending on my enthusiasm levels, I will burn out and grow tired of it. It feels as if my family project is suffering the same fate. Don’t get me wrong. I love my family. I’d kill or die for them if necessary. But at the same time I feel bothered and inconvenienced by them. I spend most nights reading, mainly on political or philosophical topics. The kids run around the house getting themselves into trouble while my wife goes nuts trying to keep them from hurting themselves or each other. All the while I sit and spiral farther into boredom watching the world go by. However, lately I’ve gotten back into lifting. My oldest son has been bench-pressing with me, as well, so we’re bonding a bit. My oldest daughter hates me, but I won’t get into that. Suffice it to say that she is me made-over in female form. Our character traits and personalities are nearly indistinguishable. Our similarities are what drive us apart, similar to the like poles of a magnet. 

My two youngest are still in their innocent years, still toddlers, so they still believe that daddy hung the moon. It’s nice because it strokes my ego, albeit slightly. 

My wife, on the other hand, I can feel is growing tired of dealing with me. We rarely do anything together anymore. All my old tricks to warm her back up to me don’t work on her anymore and I’ve grown tired of devising new ones. It’s not that she isn’t worth it, it’s because I’ve been in a slump. Perhaps a good detox is necessary to get my brain back on track. No more alcohol, no more nicotine… or maybe just cutting it down to weekends only. Hell, I don’t know anymore. I’m practically indifferent to everything now. 

Well, after glancing at the clock, I see it’s quittin’ time. 

Until later… 

Still Here (boring post) 

Without the Mask – 3 Questions Answered

Another set of interesting questions was asked on Quora, which I answered.

1. What are you like without the mask? 

My short answer? Free. 

The mask is merely a facade constructed from my ability to observe what behaviors are socially acceptable and which are not. The mask is in a constant state of flux, changing as new behaviors are observed and new situations are encountered. 

No matter what, though, the mask is a restraint, or at the least, a one way mirror. I can see you, but you can’t see me. 

Without the mask, I am free. The monstrum in animo is set loose, able to manifest itself, without boundaries, in thought, speech, or action. Yet, unless I am alone, this rarely happens. In public settings, or even in the company of a single person, the mask is automatic. The only way it slips in the company of others is if I’ve had a bit to much to drink, if I become very angry, or otherwise somehow lose control of my mental faculties. This is rare for me.

On the few occasions that it has happened, I have been seen for who I am. A person lacking any semblance of morality, wholly indifferent to the problems of others. 

2. Do you really have no real identity? 

Your personal identity is the combination of traits and characteristics, shaped by your genetic makeup, environment, and life experiences. As Mr. Midgley stated, personal identity is a construct formed in your mind by the foregoing. 

This is very reminiscent of Buddhist thought. There is no single thing you can point to and say “this is me”. There is no “I”. That which you call “I” or “me” is made up of, and dependent upon, a multitude of different components. You and everyone else are always changing, never remaining permanent (much like the mask of the psychopath). 

For neurotypicals, your identity is your mask. Though it changes with time and experience, yours is permanently fixed. 

Psychopaths have an identity behind the mask because we are human beings. We had childhoods, attended school, we talk to people, and have many of the same life experiences as neurotypicals that have all helped shape our identities. The difference is that our identity was formed without certain ingredients such as empathy, morality, and conscience. The identity of the psychopath is filtered by our mask when we must wear it and is expressed with only a cognitive understanding of the lacking ingredients. 

3. What do you benefit from answering questions on Quora?

This will differ from person to person. First, I believe that the true psychopaths here that answer questions are doing it for fun, relaxation, and to help themselves more so than to help others. They are maximizing their utility, as some have mentioned. 

Some of us may actually be making a genuine attempt at educating the curious on what a psychopath is, and what they are like firsthand. This is demonstrated by the numerous answers I have seen that denounce certain infamous clinical psychologists that try to paint psychopathy with a broad brush, making us all seem like sinister, sub-human beings. 

I answer questions for all of these reasons.

Without the Mask – 3 Questions Answered

Do Psychopaths Fantasize About Murder

This was a question asked by an anonymous person on Quora. I answered with the following.

***********

I have written a little about this in my blog. I often do fantasize about murder but for more reasons than “just because”. 

For me it is a way to gain control over someone in my mind. It’s about power. I fantasize about how I would kill nearly everyone I meet. The method differs from person to person based on gender and how I size them up. However, the reason I do it remains the same, to gain control, to assert my will to power over you in my mind.

These fantasies, and that is all they are, help to quell or diminish the urges that I often feel. If I try to fight my urges, they only come back stronger so I let the fantasy play out in my head. So far it has worked every time and I believe it always will because I also have a high level of Narcissism. I’m too important and intelligent to put myself in a real life situation that would either end in my imprisonment or a death sentence. No one is worth it. 

In the interest of being completely honest, I admit that on occasion if I see someone walking alone down a sidewalk while I’m driving by, I will think to myself, “If I I had to kill this person, how would I do it?” Or, “I wonder if I could get away with killing this person. No one is around, no one would know.”

Again, it is an assertion of dominance. Weakness and vulnerability seem to attract psychopaths like moths to a flame. We can see it, smell it, taste it. Ted Bundy, for instance, stated in an interview that he could pick out his next victim simply by the way she walked. What’s funny is that when I heard him say this, I knew exactly what he meant. I knew precisely the kind of walk he was talking about.

Those like me, though, who are smart enough, will devise ways to deal with their urges without getting into trouble. 

My own customized method works for me for a few reasons. For one, I’m already a physically intimidating person. I stand 6’3″, I lift weights every day, and weigh 240 lbs. I also have extensive combat and weapons training provided by a stint in the Marine Corps. So physically I know that I can most likely manhandle most people. All I have to do is size a person up and work things out in my head so that I know what I need to do if I ever had to act. I let the scenario play out in my mind and I feel comfortable knowing that I have control.

Do Psychopaths Fantasize About Murder