Thursday, January 5, 2012

Looks Like a Disorder, Sounds Like a Disorder, Acts Like a Disorder

When I was first considering the possibility the my ex was a psychopath/sociopath I often would doubt myself and question myself. I would think "Naaaaaa.......he isn't a psychopath. He really does have great capacity and feelings of love toward me and others. He is just an emotionally broken man who has been emotionally crippled by his upbringing." I'd often reflect on conversations we've had. The ways I've seen him with his children. The things he'd SAY to me and the way I felt he tried to keep from hurting me. Surely these things aren't that of a psychopath. Are they?

I write "SAY" all in caps because he would say a lot of things. Make a lot of promises. None of which ever came to fruition, or were fulfilled in any way. Nor do I believe he ever had any intention of fulfilling them. They were words as bait to keep me hooked as long as he could manage. Actions speak much louder than words my friend.

For a long while, I believed that despite his best efforts not to, he did hurt me; Unintentionally I would tell myself.   I assume that because of how emotionally damaged he was, he just couldn't help but to hurt me. I believed he was so lost in trying to save himself, that I was an innocent victim as much as he was to his own pain and suffering. It is this thinking that allowed me to justify the mean, hurtful behavior he so often exhibited. It is this thinking that kept me and us, in that cycle of "I must save and protect him," "Someone must save and protect me," codependence. He needed saving, I needed someone to save. We were a perfect match. A match that ignited fire leaving charcoal, and ashes in its wake. Not a beautiful perfect match. But a perfect match for disaster, pain and suffering on my side. A perfect match for thrills, drama and what is known as "victim supply" for him.

Victim supply is a term used to describe the manner in which disordered personalities feed off of their victim. They need to have something, someone to fill the emtpy void that is w/in them. Because the soul, the heart, the mind of a human animal require love, bonding, joy, empathy and conscience to care for one another in order to survive, the disordered personality needs to, in essence, drain their victim dry of those very traits. The disordered person is unable to fill his/her own soul, heart and mind with these very real human traits that are at the core of the"human condition." Therefor the disordered personality will seek out a victim to drain and feed off to meet these human needs - much like a leech feeds from it's host. We who experience them take for granted these very real aspects of the human animal as being inherint to the human spirit. We don't ever entertain the thought that perhapas this other person is operating from a seperate realm of consciesness than we are. It isn't a natural thought process to make the assumtion that a person in our life has no conscience, no capacity to empathize with us, or bond with us the way we are bonded with them. As I type those words it is still a difficult concept to wrap my brain around. In my world, when you hurt I hurt. I simply don't have the capacity NOT to care.

Think how empty your life would be without the capacity to bond with other human beings. How empty one must feel w/out the ability to feel empathy, or compassion for other humans.  It is my belief that the great void that is within the vessel of this human body, mind and spirit unable to fully experience itself, is what creates the tremendous desperation w/in a disordered person. Disordered human beings are intensely empty and lonely. They are grasping for you (victim supply) to provide what they are so lacking. The inability to provide it for themselves is the driving force propelling the victimization of you. I equate it to a drowning victim that will take down his/her rescuer in an attempt to save his/her own self. Unfortunately, they both end up sinking to the bottom. Much like what happens within a relationship with a disordered person.

I no longer question if I am right or wrong in my labeling my ex a psychopath, or sociopath. I no longer question it because it doesn't matter what the label is. It doesn't matter what title I assign to him. What does matter is the actions and behavior meant to drain me of all decent emotions. The immense void w/in this disordered person was like an engine revving at full speed blasting through my life trying to take from me all that is human. I now fully understand his great fear of being alone. The intense loneliness he feels is because w/out the supply of a victim to drain there is a dry empty capsule. I now completely understand his desperation to find the "special love." that shall fill his empty cup. Unfortunately, his cup has no bottom. He'll keep seeking and draining victims of all they have to give. Yet his cup will forever be empty.

Not only that, but no one person can fill another persons cup if you have no cup to fill. A person who is full within themselves, who has molded for themselves a unique, special holding place for all life has to offer, good or bad, is a person who has a cup that will be filled again and again. In order to empty this cup for the next filling, this type of person will pour whatever they have into another's cup. This giving and transferring of resources is what connects all of us human beings and feeds our souls. I am not saying we need to look outside ourselves for fulfillment. I do not believe we should look to others for what sustains us. I do believe that we (all humans) are in a constant balance of filling ones cup and/or draining ones cup. It takes both filling and emptying for the cycle of relationships to continue. I help you by providing what you need when you run low, and you in turn either use that same resource when I'm feeling low or, transfer it to another holding their cup out in need of a bit of sustenance. The disordered person has no such ability to return the favor, nor pass it along.

Therefor I come to the conclusion that it doesn't matter what label you assign to the person in your life that is draining you w/out offering to replenish you when you run dry. It doesn't matter if this person has an empty cup w/nothing to give. It doesn't matter if this person has a whole in the bottom of his/her cup because of previous trauma. It doesn't matter if he/she has a cup 1/2 full but is too stingy to share. What matters is if this person is willing and able to take part in the balance of giving, sharing and receiving. It takes both the giving and receiving to create a harmonious relationship. Harmony w/one another is the greatest gift of all that we can offer one another. So, if you are in doubt whether the disordered person in your life has meant to hurt you, hurt you to release his/her own pain, or hurt you because he/she is trying to drain your blood in order to fill his/her void, none of that matters.  What matters is if you are being honored, valued and loved. If the answer is no. Move on. You will find love at the other end of your journey. But, only if you are willing to get off of the trail that leads to nowhere.

Looks like a, sounds like a, acts like a disorder. It most likely is. If it isn't, does it even matter?  The important thing is to get away from whatever is looking, sounding, or acting like a drain on your most treasured resource. The resource of your human spirit. Care for it well and it'll return the favor. Deplete it and it'll return the favor. Live well!