Have you ever known a psychopath? I have, and I’m not using the term flippantly. While I’m certainly no expert in the usual sense of the word, my experience was up close and personal, for an extended period of time. With that and several years of intense personal research, I am reasonably certain about my ‘diagnosis’.
I have attempted on several occasions to write about my experiences, but I’ve never been able to do so coherently because this person’s behavior was so utterly bizarre that it seemed impossible to convey the full impact of it with mere words.
Psychopaths have no conscience and are incapable of feeling compassion or empathy. They are smooth operators, master manipulators and liars; the one I knew lied like healthy people breathe. They live exclusively for themselves, and no-one — no-one — else matters. They are the center of the universe, and everyone else exists solely for their benefit and pleasure. They are entitled to take whatever they want, including but not limited to your sanity, often for no reason apart from their own personal amusement. Continue reading
There appears to be some confusion about the intent of my recent post, Victims Wanted, and I would like to try and clarify a few things.
First I would like to call your attention to the opening paragraph:
[…] in pondering the unrelenting claim by Feministe bloggers and readers that asking why victims and survivors of domestic violence stay is always victim-blaming, a few other why? questions occurred to me and I had to get them out of my head and on the page:
You see, Victims Wanted is really just a brainstorm that I wrote in a state of bewilderment over the unwillingness of certain feminists to even consider a perspective that doesn’t line up with most everyone else’s. But it seems the questions that were spinning around in my head that day have been mistaken for assertions and/or conclusions. So I would like to try and make a few clarifications:
I don’t usually talk about this, but I think it’s time.
I survived more than three decades of abuse at the hands of several different abusers.
Warning: The contents of this post may be disturbing and/or triggering to some readers.
In Fighting Ableist Language, Jill of Feministe makes the following statement:
I often use words like “crazy,” “insane,” and “nutbag” to describe people whose views I think I bizarre, illogical or bigoted. But as Tekanji points out, words mean things. And while words like “crazy” are pretty steeped in my vocabulary, it really isn’t all that hard to make an effort to purge them. Consider this Step 1.
Well, that’s just crazy! But I don’t mean Jill. I’m talking about the notion that we can’t say “crazy” anymore without offending someone we weren’t even talking about. It’s insane!
Look, I don’t usually set out to offend people, but my life does not revolve around avoiding it either. Sure, there are certain sensitive situations, “a time and a place”, etc. I care about other people’s feelings and take them into account whenever possible. But when I look at the Bush Administration, for instance, I think “crazy”, and that’s what I’m going to call it. When I heard McCain say that he would keep troops in Iraq for a hundred years, I thought “insane”. And it is. And that’s what I’m going to call it.
In response to someone who suggested that not being offended by the use of these words is possibly a result of privilege (i.e. never having been affected by mental illness) I posted the following comment on Feministe. It sums up my thoughts on the subject quite nicely.