Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Li'l Miss Psychopath?

Over the last few weeks i've been asking myself if i'm perhaps borderline psychopathic. The term came into common, everyday use with the episodes of Dexter (what a show, right?!?), but these days i find myself looking inward quite a bit. The thing is - i don't feel much of any emotion really. Yes, i have cried tears while watching a film - mostly about peoples' solitude and its various expressions - because somewhere it obviously touches a chord. And ofcourse i feel irritation and anger, and i find humour in situations. But it's all 'in the moment'.. as in, i don't think there's any... sentimentality?.. linked to the people or the occasion. Sometimes i think that maybe because i'm so acutely aware of my aloneness is why i may have gone to the other extreme and shut off my sensory valves.

It all came to a head one day when i decided to watch a favorite band play. I invited about 8 people to come along. ALL of them cancelled, and mostly for perfectly legitimate reasons too. One wasn't well, two were out of town, one's friend had recently died, one was at work. But there were a few who were just out of line (or maybe i felt that way because i so really wanted to go for the show and i hardly ever impose on my friends to do anything!) - one who forgot to return a phonecall to confirm his attendance and the other - Vinter - with whom the conversation went something like this:

Vinter: Just got back home

Me: Great. I'm still at my edit, So why don't i see you directly at the venue..?

Vinter: Oh.. umm.. by what time will you be done?

Me: I'm almost done, it'll just take me a really long time to get back home, pick you up and then head out...

Vinter: Oh.. you know the traffic is a nightmare..

Me: Yeah i know, i'll be facing it too

Vinter: Umm.. You've got company right? Apart from me?

Me: Nope..

(a pause)

Me: But listen, if you're not upto it, it's fine..

Vinter: Really? If you want i'll come

Me: Yes ofcourse i want you to come (that's why i invited you a week ago, right?) but if you don't want to, then that's ok..

Vinter: Umm..

Me: So..?

Vinter: Well, if you're giving me an out, i'll take it

Me: ofcourse you will.. allrighty, gotta go.

And I used to count her among my closer friends. Notice the past tense? I figure if a friend takes an out that is there, then what makes her any different from the thousand of other acquaintances i have?

Lately, i find myself referring to a few other close friends as 'acquaintances'. Sony Mony who, through her own admission, was using me for my 'talents and contacts' to further the reach of her business. Her exact words were, "Have i chosen the wrong person to ask to do something for me?" To put this in some kind of context - I was helping Sony Mony create written material for her business - ideas, presentations, workshops, etc. It was mostly as a favor. Then, when i'd forgotten to mail her something, she called me out of the blue and went on the offensive. Not good. When Baz Luhrmann said about some unexpected things coming at you at 4 pm on a tuesday afternoon - this is what he meant. After 2 weeks of the silent treatment, i finally broke and asked her if she ever wanted to discuss what had happened that afternoon of her unprovoked outburst and she said, 'Really? I hadn't even noticed that anything had happened." Well, if i haven't been missed, then i guess i'm not that important. Why make someone a priority when you're just an option, right? So, that's another "good friendship" that got tossed out.

The thing is - apart from a mild irritation (like a burr in the bonnet) and a sense of injury - i don't really miss either of them. They hail me every now and then and i'm always polite, but... it's gone. On good days i figure that it's just deadwood that's been sloughed off - people who treat you badly do not deserve the consideration that they have been receiving. On other days, i wonder if i'm a psychopath - unfeeling, untouched, destined to be alone forever - and maybe just a little too stringent in my standards of friendship.

And then i wonder, if the true mark of a fulfilled life is how you are, how you love, how you treat yourself and the people around you, then am i screwing up irredeemably?


Internally Disharmonious said...

I think everything in relationships boils down to expectations. When you have any kind of relationship with someone, you learn to expect certain behaviors. Sometimes we grow to expect that behavior to benefit us and other times we know those behaviors benefit someone else.

I think, possibly, your immunity to "emotions" are not so much a lack of apathy, as it is a protection to avoid hurt.

Just my thoughts...

Searcher said...

You're quite possibly right. I don't know if i wish to change that or, more crucially, even if i can.

Joseph E. Daniels III said...

Excellent post, very well said. I believe that relating to the world in the manner that you do allows you to see things clearly and make difficult decision without being clouded by emotion.

Paul said...

Kind of a downer. Don't worry too hard on that stuff, bro. Friends come and go. Find other, more concrete ways to make yourself happy.

A- Girl said...

Fuck Sony Mony and Vinter. All said and done this was unacceptable behavior on their part. Period. No need to introspect and ask for opinions. You are not a psychopath- they are selfish. It is really as simple as that.

I have been through similar shitty behavior by my close close friends of 15 years where I really have this "Hear yourself speak girl!" moment. I am astonished at their ungratefulness and lack of rationality and etiquette. Its like too 'bad' to be true- given that I have been such a good friend to them, loved them, and been friends for like over a decade or so. But as you rightly said, call it expectations or whatever, every relationship is a 2-way street. We are not Buddhas or Christs. We give generously without any ulterior motive, but then we 'do' have the right to expect at the very least, some 'rational behavior' , some kindness in return. And if we don't even get that bare minimum, then we should definitely discard or at least marginalize these "friends" from our lives - without feeling guilty.

A- Girl