Back again from the great beyond

Okay, was in California for the last week. Not so great beyond. We went to visit family and friends and had a lot of fun. A lot. And ate a ton plus did a lot of cooking. Long drive both ways, but we are home again and so happy to be so. The dogs especially. They are now collapsed on the couch acting like they’ve been run ragged. Yeah. Not so much. We came home with a bunch of mandarin oranges fresh out of the orchard. So yum.

I had a thought though. When I was researching a sociopath character for Blood Winter, I read that 1 in 25 people are sociopaths and fewer are psychopaths. A lot of researchers say they are the same, and others argue there are differences). I’m in the differences camp. That doesn’t mean they have to be serial killers or criminals. Just people who lack conscience, empathy, or remorse, to put it in shorthand. Apparently, a lot more people are psychopaths or sociopaths than we think. The question is, which ones? The thing about these people is that they are very good at disguising themselves and mimicking real life, particularly psychopaths. I think I know one. Rather, I think I’ve identified one in my life. I didn’t realize it until this week. Lack of empathy, lack of remorse, manipulative, charismatic, and totally self-centered. They often lie, have superficial charm, and tend toward impulsiveness. This person fits the bill. I just never realized the lies before, or the manipulation. S/he also mimics real emotion well. If this is true, it means that I have to reevaluate how I deal with this person.

It’s fascinating on one level and really disturbing on another. Read this:

Imagine – if you can – not having a conscience, none at all, no feelings of guilt or remorse no matter what you do, no limiting sense of concern for the well-being of strangers, friends, or even family members. Imagine no struggles with shame, not a single one in your whole life, no matter what kind of selfish, lazy, harmful, or immoral action you had taken.

And pretend that the concept of responsibility is unknown to you, except as a burden others seem to accept without question, like gullible fools.

Now add to this strange fantasy the ability to conceal from other people that your psychological makeup is radically different from theirs. Since everyone simply assumes that conscience is universal among human beings, hiding the fact that you are conscience-free is nearly effortless.

You are not held back from any of your desires by guilt or shame, and you are never confronted by others for your cold-bloodedness. The ice water in your veins is so bizarre, so completely outside of their personal experience, that they seldom even guess at your condition.

In other words, you are completely free of internal restraints, and your unhampered liberty to do just as you please, with no pangs of conscience, is conveniently invisible to the world.

You can do anything at all, and still your strange advantage over the majority of people, who are kept in line by their consciences will most likely remain undiscovered. From The Psychopath, the Mask of Sanity.

Do you know anyone like this? And are you sure? Because remember, they conceal and mimic. I’ll have to go back to my research and investigate how to interact with a psychopath. See what happens.

Did you have a fabulous Thanksgiving? I hope so.

%d bloggers like this: