This post is in response to this new PF article, based on the idea that healing from a hurtful relationship is all that matters, combined with dealing with your own demons – which would normally be true, except for the situations detailed below. Here is the conclusion of the article:
The question “What if they’re not really a sociopath?” loses all of its significance when we come to love ourselves regardless of the answer.
To start with, the article conveys a warm, fluffy and appeasing feeling, detailing doubts which might arise and nuancing an individual’s response to a failed relationship – an introspection which would undoubtedly be positive … were the website not called Psychopath Free, claiming to teach people how to identify and deal with monsters. Not people who at one point in time displayed toxic behaviours. Soulless, irredeemable monsters.
It matters when you have publicly labelled said person a sociopath
This label is far from a private matter, at one’s discretion to keep or discard, when it was turned into a public accusation, ranging from a circle of friends to the presumed sociopath’s own family. Where exactly does the hipsterism fit in once you’ve damaged that person’s life?
Of course, one might argue that they’ve also damaged yours in ways which are difficult to repair. But still, does that absolve someone of the wrongdoing of tarnishing another’s reputation?
When you broke up with a significant other specifically because you applied this label
Which I’m sure has been the case on PF time and time again – confused people coming across the “life-saving” information which raises their adrenaline, feeling self-righteous beyond the shadow of doubt and making crucial decisions based on it.
The sheer thought that a loved one is impossible to deal with by default has been breaking marriages and relationships apart. At times, had it not been for this black and white thinking, many people would’ve surely reconsidered.
While I believe that education about narcissism and sociopathy are essential to healing and sanity restoration (especially in the early stages as we break the chemical bond and learn to go No Contact), I think there is something very powerful about eventually releasing this duality.
That’s just it – they are essential to those who are genuinely involved with these types, not to the rest, who might think they are in a moment of desolation, to later brood over their assessment and find it impulsive and inaccurate. People can heal from heartache without resorting to this demonisation, which is anything but sanity when untrue.
He is basically saying that this “education”, as well as going no contact, is essential even to those who later question their judgement. In the vein of act now, think later.
With the risk of emphasising this for the hundredth time: even when a lot of heartache was involved, on one or both sides, it doesn’t mean one has to give up on the relationship, as if this were the only beneficial route. Assuming that ending it was for the best regardless, even if the label is later questioned, and that reading about disordered people was just a prop towards the “liberating” break-up even when said person was not necessarily disordered, is absolutely ridiculous.
When you claim to be an expert on sociopathy and coach others on the subject
Basing your entire expertise on your experience, “educating” others with fanatical dedication, influencing their lives (sometimes irreversibly) and suddenly turning around to say that it doesn’t really matter if your judgement was correct regarding said experience just doesn’t fly.
It is basically stating that your cut-in-stone perspective on human interaction just might be based on a murky, questionable situation, in which you just might’ve been wrong. In this case, the smallest of doubts matters a great deal. Because you might’ve – just might’ve – fed lorry loads of horse manure to all the people who regarded your approach as the absolute truth.
One of the most common questions asked during recovery is: “Was he/she really a sociopath?” Survivors ask this question over and over again, because for most of us, the alternative is the sociopath’s reality: “You are crazy, jealous, sensitive, paranoid, unattractive, unwanted.” And so we oscillate back and forth between these two realities: bad other, or bad self.
This binary excludes the middle ground – actual rationality and sanity, which admits the possibility of both individuals being wrong at the same time, to various degrees. One for saying hurtful things and the second for taking them as the absolute reality of the other’s thinking, prompting them to label the other as a merciless sociopath.
There is no need for this radicalism, as if one were completely incapable of analysing matters beyond “I was right” versus “this person was right”.
This is not a healthy way to look at life and people who tend to think in black and white should not be teaching others how to handle their problems.
The post is followed by quite a few which are glorifying an empath’s ability to love, regardless of their presumed sociopath’s behaviour. I know this will sound cruel on my part, but in this context it seems like a self-gratifying exercise which does not address the real question – what if the people they labelled as such were not actually sociopaths?
This article not only implies but states it is beyond the issue for anyone “recovering” from a hurtful relationship. Is it really though? Is loving yourself enough to obliterate any damage you might’ve done to someone and any afterthoughts about what might’ve been in the absence of this label? And is loving yourself enough to give you confidence to keep “spreading the word” about disordered people, even in the absence of certainty that you have even met one? And regardless of the damage you might do to others who believe you know what you’re preaching?
The answer is logical.