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Read Between The Lines

Mental Health and Trauma Blog | Noisy

Last week I was interviewed for an article that was published yesterday (11th October 23). The article talks about ASPD (antisocial personality disorder) and my own experience living with it since being diagnosed five years ago. If you haven't read it yet, here's the article. I’m a sociopath who feels no remorse - it's just how my brain is wired ( Before I get into my thoughts on the article, I want to quickly talk about Kasia Delgado, the woman who interviewed me. A lot of the time I refuse interviews as I know how easily your words can be twisted to make a good story, but Kasia was a pleasure to work with. She asked interesting questions, she held no judgement, and she was grateful of how in depth I was when answering her questions. She didn't push too far or try and get answers to questions I couldn't answer. I thought the article she wrote was informative to those who don't know about ASPD or who have stigmatised views. Her interview, and write up, was impressive. It's not often I say this, but I'd happily work with her again.

The headline - I'm a sociopath who feels no remorse - it's just how my brain is wired. That's an eye-catching title! When I first read the headline I did think here we go, but it is a fair one. Sociopath and psychopath are more informal terms to use when talking about ASPD, but as she explains in the article ASPD is a scale and to the left you have sociopaths and to the right you have psychopaths. The words sociopath and psychopath do have a lot of negative connotations attached to them, and understandably so.

Deceit and manipulation - Two very prominent aspects of ASPD. The article begins by explaining ways in which I've manipulated people in the past and goes onto say how convincing I can be. Again, it's a strong, eye-catching opening to the article. But I'm grateful for the fact she used the words I said, "This isn't something I'm proud of, for the record", and it isn't. Deceit and manipulation have played a huge part in my life, more so in my past, but not always with a sinister motive. Granted during my criminal years it was used to avoid being caught, but for the most part it was a survival instinct. For example in my previous violent relationships, I was forced to lie and manipulate to protect myself. I'd have to delete innocent, harmless messages from friends because I knew with their insecure, controlling mindset they'd read into something that wasn't there and as a result I'd be fighting for my life. When asked who I was on shift with at work I'd have to lie and say it was only women as I wasn't allowed to work with men. Although these character traits are natural to me, it doesn't mean I take advantage of them. It's a conscious choice whether I do or not, and that's important to remember. Just because I can convincingly lie on the spot doesn't mean I will.

Remorse - Or rather the lack of it. This is something I very rarely experience and as Kasia mentioned in the article during my criminal years "There's only one occasion I can think of when I did", I can't talk about the occasion in question, but I did feel guilt for what I'd done or rather what happened after because of my actions. Throughout those years I made a lot of enemies, it goes with the territory. So no matter what I did, in my mind they deserved it. I saw myself as the consequences to their actions, which is a blessing in disguise because in that life if you showed remorse, or so much as an ounce of guilt, you'd be seen as weak. There's no place for the weak in that world. In past arguments I've said extremely hurtful things but all of which were true, even though they caused great pain to the person on the receiving end, I wouldn't, and don't, feel remorse, the truth hurts. In those arguments (usually with my parents as I was growing up), what I'd say would be extremely hurtful, but they were never said to cause pain, they were just a harsh reality. Instances when my mum would cry as she listened to what I said, I'd feel no remorse. What I said hurt because of her guilt or associated guilt, not because of the emotions I felt. I didn't enjoy seeing her cry, I hated it, I just didn't feel guilt for the truth I spoke being the cause of it either. That good old saying the truth hurts. Noisy - By name and by nature.

The article touched on the subject of my name and why I changed it.

"Noisy, as she's known by friends and family, has stopped using the name she was given at birth as it is too associated with her dark, violent, criminal past". There are a couple of reasons for this, firstly, as mentioned, my birth name is associated with my criminal past. Although I was given a few nicknames, none of which I can publicly list, my birth given name was how I was known. With the enemies I accumulated in that time, and friends who are still involved in that lifestyle, it would be too dangerous to keep using it. It may sound hypocritical now given what I used to do, but I have a responsibility to keep my loved ones safe, changing my name was the first course of action I took to help with that. Secondly I'm no longer part of the underworld, I left, gladly I might add. I'm not the same person I used to be even though some don't believe that. I'm turning my life around, that started on the day I walked away and said, "I'm done". A new me needed a new name; I didn't want any links to my old life. My birth name is there as a reminder of who I used to be and the mistakes I made, it keeps me on the right track, prevents me from going back there, and is a necessarily painful reminder to never go back. I'm so dissociated from that name that when it's used I don't recognise it as my own. ASPD - What makes the "monster"? Kasia did well going into detail about what ASPD is, the causes, and the criteria needed to be diagnosed with the personality disorder. "ASPD is an extraordinarily complex diagnosis, but in its simplest terms, as a spectrum, it can encompass sociopaths on the left, formed by their environment, perhaps a traumatic childhood". This was the case for me, I was exposed to a great amount of violence and trauma as a child, it's what moulded me into the person I am today and was the foundation needed for my personality disorder to form. Although I am on the left side of the ASPD scale I do lean slightly towards the centre. This is more than likely due to genetics. Again, something I have no control over, just like the trauma I experienced.

Empathy - Something I'm lacking. Empathy is always a double-edged sword. It's not something I generally feel. As mentioned in the article I can sometimes feel empathy but only towards people I have bond with. It doesn't guarantee I'll always be able to though, it's just more likely. "This isn't a choice, it's how my brain is wired", this one sentence that was quoted is extremely important to remember. There have been instances friends have gone through difficult times, they've been sat in front of me pouring their heart out, crying, struggling, and I've felt nothing. Not by choice, just because I can't feel or share their emotions, I don't feel what they feel, I feel nothing. When this happens I feel almost robotic and there are times when I've almost hated myself for it. In the past when people have learned of my diagnosis they've said how they wished they could lack empathy, how easy life would be without it. I assure you; you don't want that. It's a lonely place, you don't feel a connection to those people you're close to, it's isolating. You feel numb, there's nothing inside. Be grateful that you have a human connection, that you can empathise with people.

Stigma - ASPD is by far the most stigmatised, and feared, personality disorder. I do understand why, if you look at the criteria for diagnosis, why it's so stigmatised and people fear those diagnosed with it. But please remember I didn't ask for it, I can't control genetics, nor could I get away from the environment I grew up in as a child. My personality disorder is a consequence of the actions of others, not my own. "I'm sorry that my traumatic childhood resulted in me developing a personality disorder that makes you uncomfortable, but it wasn't my doing" That one quote perfectly summarises my thoughts to those who react negatively towards me when they learn of my ASPD. Be cautious of course, be curious, but please just judge me on the letters in my medical file. As I said in the interview, a lot of the stigma comes from infamous serial killers with the same diagnosis. We may share the same personality disorder, but it does not mean we share the same morals or mindset. I am my own person, so judge me on my actions in the present, not the past. Judge me on how I treat you and others, judge me as a person, not a personality disorder. "Although I can't help the personality traits I have, I can, for the most part, choose whether I act on them or not". Most people passing me on the street or those who interact with me wouldn't know I have ASPD, I'm not the way we are portrayed in movies, I'm not those infamous individuals who committed horrific crimes. I'm Noisy, and I have ASPD. This is the fight of my life. - Noisy If you find this blog helpful and would like to support me, and the work I do, you can do so using the link below. Thank you to everyone for the continued support, helping others by talking openly helps me too, and the support I get for doing it means so much to me.


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