1. a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.
“She has sociopathic tendencies” is what my psychologist told my grandmother.
At the time, I was around 13 years old I already had 4 years of steady weekly to bi-weekly therapy sessions under my belt. I lived with my mother’s parents at this point, and their brand of parenting could be defined by how often they brought me to therapy rather than speak with me. My grandmother also suspected a certain amount of sadism, which had some merit. On the other hand, I wasn’t the easiest kid to deal with. Sociopathic and all of that rubbish; or at least a “tendency” towards such things.
The issues at hand were my lack of remorse or feeling about various indiscretions and inclination to get in fights. My grandmother thought something was very very wrong with me. I think she was also afraid I may turn into some kind of monster, or perhaps that I was already.
By 16, I was emancipated and in my own place with a full time job. I was also knocked up by the end of that year, so I’m still going back and forth on whether I came out ahead of expectations or not on that one. I realized a few things that gave me comfort, I was totally capable of taking better care of myself than any of my previous custodians (most of the time), I could finally have a pet, and I wasn’t without emotions I was just not very comfortable with them.
I gave birth to my first child at the age of 17. I never doubted giving him up or thought to try to take him back. I never regretted giving him a better chance than I could possibly offer. He was perfect and whole and the first thing I ever thought I did right. I still thank my disconnect with my emotions for allowing me to make the best decision I could for him. Yet like any dam, there is always something that can come along and be bigger and stronger than it can hold up to.
The boy was what finally toppled everything I had holding me upright and separated from the proceedings of life in general.
I envisioned my internal self as something like hand-made glazed pottery with many hues swirling upon it’s imperfect surface. Cracks and chips decorate it. Each event, pain or triumph, changing the whole, building, breaking, filling, emptying. I came home and the shoddy patch job fell apart.
I remember nothing but pain. Falling into myself and feeling as if I could never make myself whole again. My body felt battered and broken and my mind could not fathom what I had just done, the decision I couldn’t regret but also couldn’t forgive or even truly comprehend. I had not cried this whole time, not when he was born, never in front of Gwynn and Gretchen . I would not even allow it when I was alone.
Now I could not stop, my stomach felt as if the muscles might seize, or tear, my head held stabbing knives captive and I soaked my face, clothes and the floor I couldn’t get up from in my mourning tears. I didn’t know that I could even feel this much.
I had always felt that emotional people were weak, constantly at the whim of this or that fleeting feeling. How did they live like that? How could they stay focused? Why couldn’t they just see the given situation as it was instead of piled under all of their superfluous blubbering? I had learned to mimic sympathy and to pretend I didn’t just get annoyed when people cried or made illogical arguments. I had learned to give the expected reactions to other people’s trials and tribulations but I had never learned to feel and react “naturally”.
Right after the boy was born it was if a lifetimes’ worth of repression and superfluous emotional insanity crashed upon me and drowned out any vestige of my much-loved logic.
I think that if it were not for Lucas. I would have let myself die, or helped it along at this point, simply because I had no tools to swim through my own despair. He bundled me up, expected me to pull myself up by my bootstraps, and come on the vacation he had planned for us. Which seems absurd, even as I write this detail down, but I am pretty sure it saved my life.