Sorry if this is a long post. I’m making a long quote I thought was interesting for our subject in this forum and am being long-winded.
I’m just prompted to copy you guys on the following conversation that happened on Reddit. It’s initially posted by the parent of an allegedly psychopathic kid. The second part is most interesting as it is an answer from a grown-up who identifies as a psychopath. The man answering had thought of going on a killing spree at his high school when he was a teenager. He didn’t do it in the end because he got distracted by his love for a girl (well, well…) and then, learned to change his hate into something else through a series of ‘’epiphanies’’.
Thought it was pretty illuminating to hear how he could transform his hate and do something else with it than hurt others and himself. Actually, he seems rather miserable in his life, from what he writes. The father of the kid who wrote initially sounds like the mother in Lionel Shriver’s novel ‘’We need to talk about Kevin’’. He is desperate, tries to get his kid help and is just overwhelmed by his child’s actions, as any parent probably would.
Here’s the conversation:
''I hate my own child. He is literally down right evil. He killed my dog with a brick and crushed a kittens windpipe at 4 years old. I asked him why and he told me it feels good. He stabbed a kid in school twice, tripped his teacher and she broke her ankle now she is suing me. He beats up kids every day because he said it doesn't hurt him. Therapy hasn't worked and I have spent thousands of dollars on that. He is only 6 and in kindergarten. Outlook is bleak.
Edit: By the way, I'm the father not the mother. She left us to pursue a life of making meth and prison. ''
be VERY public about his problems
are you a licensed professional? because i feel like that would make the father a target for aggression.
i used to torture animals like mad. i did some fucked up shit. I admitted to wanting to kill classmates in kindergarten. i used to stab people with pens in middle school. i would routinely draw shit that looked like it came out of a horror movie to the point that my mom was genuinely concerned. People in highschool thought i was crazy. i cut myself not because i was super depressed, but because it actually felt good. even today, cats scratching my arm or getting cut by accident still feel amazingly fucking good. I still, today, lack normal human responses. but over the years i have been hit with some hard epiphanies that have made me healthier psychologically, or at least id like to think.
A dirtiest secret of mine is that i would have gladly went on a murdering spree in highschool, but i would have chosen a blade in lieu of guns. I would have enjoyed the crap out of it. i wanted it to be personal. the only reason i didnt is because of a girl- no love story developed- she didnt care. but being distracted from darker thoughts helped me to an extent. maybe it was the (illusion) of being connected to another person that helped. that lead to other epiphanies in which the hole i was digging myself became evident.
even now, reading responses on this thread piss me off because they remind me of certain aspects of life i have missed out on and will not experience ...ever. it awakens old feelings that must be shrugged off.
im saying that shaming doesnt work. it further disconnects the person from society. and its sad, because we are totally a part of society. im a nut case, in all honesty we have a tendency to shape certain aspects of society. im not saying hide it- i dont know what to do. the kid sounds more far gone than i was. i just feel like your advice is wrong.
i dont know what is wrong with us types of people, but i know we can exist in society. im sure of it. we might have to spend our lives alone and bitter, but im sure we can exist and integrate with others.
I dont think his son is a lost cause. i learned not to hate. i learned to be generally friendly towards others.
i think your son just needs some help. help him. i never told a soul, so no one has ever helped me, and i am totally less of a (hu)man because of it. (i left out a lot of my sociopathic behavior in this comment. i dont really want to even think about them because it makes me feel shitty)
i am useless, broken, going nowhere in life, and its remarkable that i dont off myself when i get even the slightest bad news. please help your son. honestly, he seems like he would get far in this world. he clearly has balls, even though he uses them for the wrong reasons.
im sorry you are being sued, lifesuxandyouknowit, but i dont think you should give up on him yet. teach him, educate him- get him help, because no one is a lost cause. if you honestly feel he is, i still think there are steps that can be taken.
just because he seems heartless, does not mean that he does not love
Granted, E & D were not torturing animals from what we know but, there has been talk of Eric being a psychopath and possibly narcissistic and/or antisocial and/or sadistic. Antisocial and narcissistic personality disorder correlates highly with psychopathy but is technically not the same at all.
It’s been debated here on this forum and many are of the opinion that Eric was no psychopath, neither was Dylan. They were just hurt kids, maybe had a whole array of psychological problems, were bullied and so on and so forth.
However, reading that conversation, I thought of E & D and their choice of going on killing. It is truly remarkable, with all their ability to think, they could not, over a year of planning this, make another choice, go down another path. The man who identifies as a psychopath believes it is entirely possible, even for something so reviled as a ''psycho’’, to choose another path, to do well in life. Ideally, with outside help but maybe of one’s own accord, as he did. I’m reminded of a theory I heard from a teacher where it was said psychopaths abound in various professions where they can channel their impulses in creative or productive ways. For example, perhaps someone who could have turned out into a serial killer can be a surgeon, a medical pathologist?
There’s a book out, ''The psychopath Inside'' that goes into that question of the functioning psychopath. In it the author of the book, James Fallon describes how one day he was looking at the cat scans of neurologically normal and psychopathic individuals. Some of these came from his family members. Suddenly he finds out he’s holding a cat scan of an obviously psychopathic brain, with some zones more illuminated or darkened than others or some other pointers of psychopathy according to neurological research. The cat scan he’s holding is from one of his own family member. Going against research ethics, he decides he wants to know to which family member that cat scan belongs and looks up the name in a separate file. Turns out it was his own cat scan. The author discovered he is a psychopath and it connected to some of his behaviour he was able to acknowledge, not very seriously deranged behaviour, however. Here’s the book, just out: http://www.amazon.com/Psychopath-Inside-Neuroscientists-Personal-Journey/dp/1591846005/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386755014&sr=1-1&keywords=psychopath+neuroscience
That takes me back to my own encounters with what could be psychopathy or whatever you want to call it. Recently, I was speaking with a teen who believes he is a psychopath (his words). It was another one of those moments where I go ‘’I feel like I’m talking with Eric ’’. (Other times it’s a ‘’I feel I’m talking with Dylan’’ moment). Same talk. ''I want to kill off my classmates’’. ''I think humans don’t deserve to live because they f..k up the planet and each others’’. ''I hate everybody except a few people’’. ''I love seeing things and people being blown up or killed, it makes me laugh’’. That kind of thing. Also, the kid is not bullied. He just hates everybody, has homicidal ideas and also holds very precise ideas about society as a whole (ideas eerily similar to Eric’s own but with no connection to any Columbine interest).
Obviously, the kid was in counselling and not talking openly about his thoughts to his counsellor or anybody. He was getting in a lot of trouble here and there with school staff and his parents for saying and doing certain things. I felt the best way to handle it was not to berate him for his thoughts or become extremely alarmed. Psychopathy may not even apply here and, in a sense, it may be most useful as a diagnostic tool only for making sure violent offenders do not come out of jail. What use could a psychopath label be to a kid? Further alienating him from society? I did try to listen to what he was saying and to have him talk about his own suffering. We talked about how the hate for others can make you self-destruct as well. And even if that kid felt completely outside of society, completely against the grain of what society stands for, we talked about how there is still a place for him somewhere and what that place could be, given his personal interests. So, I don’t know what will happen to that kid or to other kids who have these kinds of ideas, to some who think they might be psychopath.
To use a phrase Dylan apparently said in the basement tapes: ''we are and we are not psycho’’. These kids are and are not psycho. They still have emotions, they still deserve a chance. Maybe it’s not inevitable that they will kill, screw up others and in the end self-destruct, maybe they can still get down another path and do something good. ''Damn I would have been a good Marine.’’
"Is evil something you are? Or is it something you do? My pain is constant and sharp and I do not hope for a better world for anyone. In fact, I want my pain to be inflicted on others. I want no one to escape."
- American Psycho - Bret Easton Ellis (1991)