Socio Street was an interesting experiment that was doomed from the beginning. Intended to be a quality and “community”-driven hub of information, it quite never took off the way that we hoped.
That is not to say that the endeavor was completely worthless. There is good information on the forums that covers many of the introductory questions that many new to the diagnosis have. I’m sure that everyone involved learned some insight that they would have otherwise not realized.
However, it is clear that the site is abandoned at this point and that the admins do not have the time to continue to monitor it. The site will remain up for near-future as the bills have already been paid and will serve as a limited source of information for those that want it.
Some of the contributors of this site, including myself, remain active in other channels and we hope that those seeking additional information will seek out their works. The Writers’ Corner has a listing of where to find these people.
There is no shame with such a failed endeavor; some discourse is always better than none. Maybe the time will be right in the future to revisit what we have here, but that time is not now.
I’ve written many times, over at my blog, regarding whether individuals who suspect they have ASPD/sociopathy should seek diagnosis. There is a thread devoted to it in the forums. However, the message cannot be stated often enough. Diagnosis can be both the ultimate tool in self-realization and a damning scarlet letter on one’s chest. A decision to seek diagnosis should not be taken lightly.
I do believe that having an understanding of the mental processes that goes on inside a person is very important. Whether the goal is simply academic in nature, a means to seek maturation, or a process to understand and refine one’s “skills”, diagnosis can certainly help with such. Those ASPD individuals that are also sociopathic may find it extraordinarily difficult to establish any sense of self. The masks worn cause the afflicted to become a perpetual actor, and the constant shift in roles can lead to an inability to determine where one begins and ends. Along those lines, when so many masks are employed, the possibility of having ASPD/sociopathy can be seen as yet another possible mask. It becomes difficult, if not impossible, to know whether the antisocial behaviors that one employs reflect a natural state or are merely another mask being worn.
The two of you sit across from each other, and betwixt is a chess set. The pieces on the board aren’t meaningless bits of glass or plastic or wood- rather, they are secrets, truths, half-truths, lies… What do you have to hide, and how well can you hide it?
We’ve been here, playing the information game with strangers, friends, and family alike. We all have our strategies- our methods. Some of us treat insignificant details like huge weak spots to distract people. Some of us prefer to throw the secrets of others on the table to protect our own. Some of us choose to lie and remove the weak spots entirely, and some of us mix strategies because taking a calculated risk is more fun than relying on old standbys. Continue reading
A version of this post was originally published on Anathema’s blog back in September 2013.
One of the most maddening misconceptions of sociopathy is that we are unhinged lunatics waiting to slice up the first person we meet or that generally we are ready to lie and steal and assault and kill anyone at any moment. For most sociopaths, this is simply not true. We may have a different, and disturbing to some, mindset – but we are capable of keeping our destructive tendencies in check. It just may be remarkably difficult at times, akin to the compulsive gambler resisting the urge to go to the casino. We need not run free with our desires and it is insulting to hear over and over again that the only true sociopath are those committing heinous crime on a daily basis.
No one wants to confront their own demons – they want to place their own state relative to a much more extreme group. The neurotypical with a slight violent bent may excuse their actions as acceptable because they are not a sociopath. The successful sociopath may do the same, placing unnecessary value on their own restraint since they are no Ted Bundy. The problem is inherently the same. There is a false equivalence between sociopathy and unhinged destruction. There are members of every strata on this earth that have done heinous things. However, we don’t generally think of most of these groups as being extremely dangerous as a whole because of the actions of a few. With sociopathy, though, many are willing to make that leap. Yes, we may have a higher incidence of violent and immoral action, but each individual must be evaluated for their own worth and restraint. Most of us are not in prison. Most of us are not violent monsters. We just may have a proclivity to act selfishly and immorally, but once again – we are in control of our own actions. It is not like the moon rose and we lost our collective sanity.
A common trend among the recently diagnosed or those that have otherwise come to an identity involving ASPD or sociopathy is to lash out. ”This is what I am good at, therefore this is what I will do.” I know that I went through a, thankfully, brief stage involving such a mindset. Some people never outgrow that thought process. Some want to use an identity or diagnosis of ASPD / sociopathy as a means to justify poor behavior. I argue that the true power of either condition comes from strategic use of the tools that we have. Ending up dead, behind bars, or destitute does not make for a productive life now does it?
The proverbial carrot is our freedom and our standing in society. The sociopath that leaves a wake of destruction in her path will be incarcerated or otherwise made a pariah very quickly if her behavior is not controlled. It is certainly possible to use the traits our wiring gifts us in a way that is both beneficial, to us, and relatively pro-social in terms of what society expects. Take the sociopathic surgeon for example. Her blade is a controlled one and does not shake based on the gravity of the situation in front of her. She is focused on one thing: a successful outcome in order to further her standing as a surgeon.
Introspection was not always relevant to me, and even now the act of it has been strange and somewhat foreign. Every question and challenge to my actions presents itself as an affront to my ever-inflated ego, forcing me to turn my head to look in the mirror instead of simply examining and making calculations about the things outside of me. It feels as though my existence until this point has been entirely focused on my selfish interests and how I can achieve them from the people around me- how I can manipulate and tinker with things in order to make them go my way. Why I do something and what it will accomplish are at the forefront, but what happens when you take it a level deeper? What happens when you examine why you do something at the next level- what is pushing you to want to achieve this goal, what about your brain is telling you to manipulate and calculate without the factor of empathy or consequence?
This is where it starts to get complicated. Without the aid of another to point out to me that these ever-so-crucial factors were missing, I simply might have never noticed. It’s like telling a mathematician that her life work is completely moot simply because she has left out one factor in every single calculation she has ever attempted. Her answers came out right to her, and maybe some others even agreed with her, but on the larger scale and to most eyes in the community her calculations are simply wrong. The mathematician can take one of two routes at this point. She can ignore the possibility that she is leaving something out, or she can look closely at what she’s done to this point and make the necessary changes and fit that factor in somehow. Even if she doesn’t feel like it’s necessary or even if it just doesn’t feel right to her. And this is what most of us do our entire lives without even realizing it- we add these factors of empathy and consciousness into it without really even knowing what it means. We feign these things because we see them in others- like a mathematician writing one thing down, cheating and looking at another’s paper, and then tweaking their answer to match their classmate’s. At some point it feels inevitable that it would occur to us that something is off and there might be something missing from our thought process that excludes what comes so naturally to others.
In the last 12 hours since I was asked to write a potential front page piece, I have been wondering endlessly just what the hell I could I possibly produce which is:
- About ASPD
- Non-fictional observation/contemplation
- Resonant with all of you
We have very little in common, the lot of us. For every quality we have in common, there’s just as many quirks that single us out as freaks in a funhouse full of normalized abnormals. Most of you play music on at least one instrument- and in some cases several. The last time I touched a musical instrument, it was a harmonica that people asked me to put down. Several of you find repetition irritating, but I’m notorious for repeating things twice because most people in my daily life don’t listen to me the first time. Some are diagnosed, some aren’t. Some love gore and violence while others detest it and instead enjoy “clean” things like water, fire, and disease. Some approach things in extremes, and other prefer measured, calculated responses.
I’ve been wondering for a long time how to succinctly portray the sociopathic condition to others in a condensed, 400-700 word, format. No two sociopaths are the exact same and the ways in which we experience the condition are as varied. Unlike “vanilla” ASPD, the traits we, generally, possess are also varied and may or may not be criminal or violent.
In a lot of ways, sociopaths are a mutt born from bits and pieces of various personality “disorders”. Take the callousness and impulsivity of ASPD, sprinkle on some of the borderline’s manipulative tactics, and add a splash of narcissistic personality disorder and you have something resembling sociopathy. Even then, this does not truly get at the condition. The definition of what exactly constitutes sociopathy is a moving target of sorts, but there is agreement in one area: the condition exhibits itself in many ways and with many intricacies.
Sociopath Street is designed to be a one-stop shop for ASPD-spectrum resources and “community” for those having such conditions.
This front end will be updated by our talented writers to give portrayals of the spectrum by those “living it” rather than from those that fire bullets at us from academia and the media.
Sociopath Street’s power comes from our forums, however. The forums are moderated for quality and serve as a refuge from the sensationalism and misinformation found throughout the Web.
Other features will become available over time, but, at the moment, we hope that you will find the information you are looking for and a community of articulate and intelligent ASPD-spectrum individuals whose stories are fascinating and enlightening.