What not to say/do to a blind person (in no order)

Today, we are going to list out some things that can be simply annoying, rude or insensitive to say to or ask a blind person. The idea of this post is to educate people and not shame or offend anyone. (I apologise in advance for my sarcastic tone in this post)

“It’s over there” – I have no clue as to where that is, if you are giving directions please be specific, left right, forwards backwards.

“How many fingers am I holding up?” –  I’ll tell you what finger I will be holding up to you if you ask me this question. I know my response may be rude or aggressive but so is that question. 

“You can’t be blind; you are using a phone” – Am I? Thanks for telling me. Firstly, visual impairment is a spectrum some people may be able to see their phones by using built in magnification software. Also, phones are now fully accessible so even those of us that are blind can use them. Mostly through voice/talk back functions. The same way we can use computers and laptops and other smart devices. 

Please don’t grab me thinking I am lost or that I need assistance. It is rude and disorientating. Someone recently did this to me in a pandemic – you should not be touching anyway. If I need help or assistance I will ask and show how you can best help me.  

“You don’t look blind” – I did not realise all blind had to look the same. Like everywhere else in life there is a diversity of blind people and we all look different. I recently had someone accuse me of faking my blindness because I dressed well. Firstly, I lost my sight relatively recently so I have clothes from before and secondly, I can have help and ask friends and family for outfit suggestions. 

Do not leave a conversation with me and not tell me – I will not know and will continue to talk as I can’t see that you have left. Have some common courtesy and politeness and let me know that you are leaving. 

Do not be afraid to strike up a conversation – I am not a scary person and have many hobbies and interests. I love meeting new people. However, do not revolve the conversation around my blindness, making it like an interrogation. Don’t ask intrusive questions and please please don’t list cures or what you have heard. For example, “can’t you wear glasses” (Oh gosh hadn’t thought of that) Or “what about Laser treatment”. Or “I hear of this person who went on this diet and her sight loss was cured.” 

Don’t tell me I am inspiring, or you can’t imagine life without sight or it’s God’s will – Being blind sucks, and it’s due to bad luck. I am normal and not inspiring because of my disability. And I hope you never have to go through what I have to, but I am managing just fine.

I am sure there are many other things, but these are the ones that spring to mind, if you are disabled in any way let me know what pisses you off… 

A Psychopath’s Guide TO Making Friends (Part 3)

Here we go with the final instalment on my guide to making friends. In this post I will cover ‘How to never run out of things to say’. 

Consider a microscope (I know you may have to go back to schooling days to envisage this!) Conversations can either be ‘Zoomed in’ or ‘Zoomed out’. When we are zoomed in, we see magnified the details, for example in the microscope the inner bits of a cell (cell wall, nucleus etc…) when we are zoomed out, we see the whole and not the specific details (A bunch of cells together making a fly for example)

Say you are having a conversation about Marvel films and you do not know anything about them, you are going to run out of things to say. What are your options? Some people like to zoom out; They think and talk about things in a generalized fashion – they focus on ideas and concepts. Others zoom in; They think and talk about specifics – they like details and examples

You may have had conversations with people where you just did not seem to click, it feels like you are on different levels. It could be because you prefer to zoom in and they zoom out (or vice versa). 

For example, meeting a new colleague in a breakroom; (Mary): “Hi, how was your day?”

(John): It was good, very productive in fact, I managed to get heaps done. How was yours?”

(Mary): Get this, I woke up super early, made a really healthy breakfast. Well, I attempted it bits of fruit, and cereal and you know I can’t get by without coffee, it must have sugar and milk. And as I’m trying to be healthy, I walked to work, it takes twenty minutes, it would be so much quicker if I drove. And when I got to work, I saw my morning meetings had been rescheduled so I didn’t have much to do, so I made a hair appointment for Thursday at 5, thought I might finish early and treat myself. Then spent the rest of the day on Facebook chatting to my best friend, who has just given birth recently, to a lovely boy named James. And now here I am chatting to you.

(John): So, would you say your day was good or not?”

(Mary): “I want to know what you did all day?”

As you can see from the example John likes ideas and concepts (zoomed or magnified in) whereas Mary likes details and examples (zoomed or magnified out). John would become bored and frustrated whilst conversing with Mary and all her daily details. Whereas Mary believes John does not want to share anything with her and might consider him aloof. 

John is interested in the big picture. He wants to understand the point and purpose of what Mary is telling him. What does it mean? Did Mary have a good or bad day? Mary is interested in the specifics, the intricacies. She wants to know what made John’s day good or bad. What does he mean by ‘productive’? What did he get done? 

If you find yourself in a conversation that just is not working and you feel like you are not ‘getting’ the other person, you might be speaking to someone who has a different zoom preference. All you have to do to connect with them is ‘zoom in or out’ to match their preference. If they prefer to zoom in, give them details and examples. If they prefer to zoom out, give them the meaning behind your details and examples.

A Psychopath’s Guide TO Making Friends (Part 2)

The second instalment to my three-part series, a guide to making friends and how to be more sociable, much needed skills for a psychopath to blend in but I believe necessary skills for all. 

Skill Number 2 – How to quickly find common interests with the person you are speaking to. 

The best way is to get stuck in with it, approach the conversation with the intention to be invested in it, and that means showing some vulnerability – I know that sounds risky and unappealing. 

Research shows people have in essence a set of basic emotions between four and eight depending on the study. They are loosely centred around, anger, anticipation, disgust, fear, joy, sadness, surprise and trust. Everything we ever experience triggers a combination of these emotions or falls on one of these emotional spectrums. 

We have not and can never experience every single situation or activity, but we can experience the same (or roughly similar) emotions. Earlier when I mentioned the key skill is to find the common interest what I really mean is you need to find something that sparks or triggers similar emotions in both of you. 

Here is an example; two students meet on campus one is studying to be a lawyer and the other an Engineer. Now the engineering student may not care about the law and the Law Student may not care about engineering. Normal people may engage in small talk and ask one another simple polite questions:

(Engineering student) “I hear you have been studying a while to be able to practise law, how long do you have left?”

(Law student) “I have another year left before I have to take a vocational Legal Practise Course, although in the legal profession you always have to keep learning to stay up to date. What area of engineering would you like to go into once you graduate?”

(ES): “I really want to build Aeroplanes, but anything would do in the current climate”.

(LS): “I know exactly what you mean, I am currently just focused on graduating”.

As you can see this is a fairly ordinary and mundane exchange, quite boring but one I am sure we have all experienced. What you will notice is this conversation lacks emotion. You need to make an effort to really understand them. This surface level small talk just will not be enough. You are going to have to constantly come up with new topics of conversation and you will run out, leaving awkward silences and both of you thinking the other as uninteresting and trying to escape. This is why small talk feels like such an effort. You will find it much easier to pause, take a breath and explore one topic for a while and in detail; Here is what you have to do…

Do not listen to respond, listen to learn and understand – as instructed in the first key skill. Dig deeper.

  • Offer your own emotional information (Scary I know but worth it)
  • And dig for their emotional information.

Keep going at it until you understand their way of thinking. Keep going until you feel the emotions they are talking about and then show them that you understand and empathise by sharing a similar emotional experience of your own. 

Do this by asking open questions (questions that don’t have ‘yes’ or ‘no’ responses), ask questions such as:

  • What do you like about that?
  • What made you want that?
  • What scares you about that? 

 Essentially any question that uncovers emotions “What makes you feel that way?” or a thought pattern “What makes you think that way?”

‘What’ questions are far more effective than ‘Why’ ones. ‘What’ conjures curiosity and ‘Why’ can at times feel confrontational. Back to our example conversation, this time they are listing to understand; 

(ES): “I really want to build Aeroplanes, but anything would do in the current climate”.

(LS): “What makes building aeroplanes attractive to you specifically?”

(ES): “Well I haven’t actually built one yet, but I always picture myself standing in front of a completed plane, knowing I was integral to building it. It makes me feel alive”.

(LS): “That does sound pretty cool, what do you mean by feeling ‘alive’?”

(ES): “Well the plane starts off as a design, but I get to make it a reality, I am by my creation and I feel like I have complete control”.

(LS): “Oh I know that feeling, that’s how I feel when I win a case, the courtroom is under my control, in that moment I feel like I can do anything”.

(ES): Haha, “is that what made you want to become a lawyer? That feeling of control”

(LS): “Yeah I guess it is”.

(ES): “Really, that is the exact reason I decided to become an engineer. Does that mean you hate it when other people boss you around and instruct you to do stuff rather than leaving you to it?”

(LS): “Yes, that is the most frustrating thing, I can’t stand it”.

It turns out both like to be in control, that is their common interest, now they can continue the conversation along those lines and feel closer, a shared experience of emotion. 

In the next instalment we will look at skill number 3 – How to never run out of things to say…

A Psychopath’s Guide To Making Friends (part 1)

A psychopath must be good at making friends, being sociable and blending in. We need people to trust us, like us and want to be around us. Here I will go through (with examples) on how to become more sociable and how to make friends. I am training to be a counsellor so you may recognise some of the techniques used are replicated from the therapy room but nevertheless are excellent social skills to develop. I will be splitting these into three posts to make it easily digestible: each post being a different skill. All three need to be employed together to be most effective. 

Skill number 1 – A good listener does not listen to respond. They listen to ‘hear’ and ‘learn’.

Listening is not a singular act, more than just ‘hearing’. It is about asking good and relevant questions that help you understand the other person getting to know them at a deeper and more intimate level. 

For example, someone says to me (e.g. girlfriend) “I don’t like it when you tell me how to do things. I feel like you’re judging me.”

“I’m not judging you.” I respond. “It was just a suggestion.”

In this exchange I was not listening. Regardless of how I perceived and experienced the conversation, it was not hers. Her experience was that I was passing judgment.

A bad listener will rely only on their own experience, explaining it from that frame of reference. A good listener will focus on learning about the other person’s experience.

If we look at the above example a better response would be “Which part makes you feel like I am judging you?” You can go further and say, “Was it what I said or how I said it?” or “How would you like me to make suggestions in future? Or would you prefer it if I didn’t make suggestions?”

An effective listener improves the way they relate with the other person by learning how they think, learning about what is important to them and adapting themselves to that. A bad listener learns nothing and only concentrates on what they may say next. 

Another example that we have all come across and will come across in the future; Let us take a job interview; You are asked how you will bring more clients to the firm? A bad listener takes this question at face value and will list the usual ways of reaching out to new potential clients. A fruitless generic answer. You are not listening. What the interviewer wanted to know was “Does this person know what they are doing?” A good listener would unpack and explore the question in detail, learning in the process of that unpacking what the interviewer was actually looking for. You could approach the question a little like “I haven’t thought about specific strategies, what do you see as your biggest issue in attracting new clients?” An effective listener aims to understand deeply. A bad listener misses the point. By asking questions you also turn the interview into a conversation, which is the best sort of interview!

Next week we look at skill number 2 – How to quickly find common interests…

A Blind Psychopath

Losing my sight is easily the worst part about going blind for me.

The actual process of losing your sight is terrible. You know what’s happening, but maybe not when and not how bad it might end up. What if I’m one of the lucky cases? Or what if it fully deteriorates and I’m still not ready?

You find out you are losing your sight, and it’s gotten to the point where you can’t do things exactly the way you used to. You start to integrate these “low vision” things into your life, you hope it’ll give you a little more time. They become less and less useful, and you’re left going “fuck”, I don’t actually know how to be blind.”

You become a little (or a lot) convinced that at some point, if these tools fail you, you’re not going to be able to keep doing the things you love.

You start to fall out of love with things you enjoy because it’s hard to keep up. You’re so angry about it all because it feels like everything about the only world you’ve ever known, an intensely visual world, is being torn from you in piece by piece and you don’t feel like you have any control over the process.

You lose the magnificent sky and the lush grass and the blossoming trees. The beautiful details on your loved one’s faces, the special looks that were just for you, mundane normal things like being able to read a menu or a street sign. You can see just enough and are still so attached to the visual world that what you can’t see tempts you all the time. 

It is not a grieving of the past but for the future,  the acute loss of opportunity. Losing what you had quite literally envisaged.

Therapy because you need help digging yourself out of the emotional hole you were stuck in where it felt like nothing would ever get better and life would never be normal. (A good thing I am already in therapy)

And maybe you lose more vision quickly, or maybe it happens slowly, but something really remarkable happens over time: you start to forget some of the visual details, sometimes a lot of them. That’s terrifying and triggers it’s own crisis, you don’t want to forget your loved one’s smile or the way the beautiful landscapes and views look. You don’t want to be THAT blind! You want to remember all those intricate details!

You start to build these new pictures of the world with everyone and everything around you, and your loved ones are going to be this great big picture of touch and smell and sound and experiences, and sure you will always want to see them but it doesn’t matter because you will still have them and love them.

To me, going blind is a process with somewhat distinct stages: Before, when I was sighted. During, where I am, partially sighted and stuck in between clinging to the sighted parts and scared. And hopefully a third one of full acceptance, embracing a different yet still fulfilling life.

It sucks. But I am getting better, learning to let go of the emotional baggage that came with having “low vision” and that damn it all, I am going to figure it out.

Sometimes it really is dreadful. Sometimes you hit enough roadblocks in a world that’s built for sighted people that you hate it, feeling alone and lost. 

I am trying to shift perspective which will come with time, experience and distance. and what I am feeling about losing my sight now probably isn’t going to be what I will feel about being blind in the future.

A few months ago I lost my eyesight, many friends and family were asking how I feel, as a psychopath I don’t but I can’t say that without causing problems. I reached out to a acquaintance of mine who is a fiction writer. I wrote the above piece and they edited it to make it feel ‘normal’.

I am the psychopath next door

What images flash through your mind when I mention the word psychopath? Are they dictators you may have studied in history? Hitler, Mussolini and Mao. Are they Hollywood villains? Hannibal, Patrick Bateman or Mr Blonde or are they infamous killers? Bundy, Shipman or Jack the ripper. Maybe you don’t picture a person but have an emotive reaction? Evil, Fear and a sense of darkness. The reality is far from what you may envisage. We are ‘normal’ people. We do not go around murdering, harming or stalking. In this post I am going to share a more realistic side to show I am just a person – this may provoke fear as the perspective is that you can spot us, and we are monstrous. The reality is we may be your neighbour, colleague or friend. To demystify myself and others like me I am going to share my current interests; Music that I listen to, TV series I am watching and books I am reading. 

Music: 

Psychodrama by Dave (album), Favourite tracks; Psycho and Lesley.

Dave has an unusual style; It is basically therapy through rap, each track is rich with a real mix of words and metaphors. A raw and at times angry expression – a no bars held. An album you have to dedicate time to listen to gain a real experience. 

Manic by Halsey (album), Favourite tracks; 3am and 929.

Halsey’s album is similar in that I would describe it as pop-therapy. A very real insight into her emotional state. It is a bit like reading her diary, popified. A mixture of pure confidence of expression and characterful production. 

Cop car by Keith Urban/Sam Hunt (single)

Country music has been a new interest of mine after a recommendation from a friend, this was one of the first songs I came across. I enjoyed the easy listening vibe and catchy lyrics. 

Movies:

Wonder (Netflix)

An inspiring film based on a boys transition from homeschooling to public school whilst having a birth face disfigurement. I like the way each character’s perspective on the same situation was explored. Watch on a day you want a good cry!

Mulan – live action (Disney+) 

I must confess I have never watched the original, so I don’t know how they compare. It’s a basic film with a classic storyline, easy to watch and not too interesting. Watch if you feel like it is not a ‘must see’. 

TV Series:

Bridgeton (Netflix)

I jumped on the bandwagon and started watching it – it is terrible, I got through the first episode and begrudgingly started the second. Boring and unimaginative – although the cast are pleasant to look at. It relies too much on that rather than plot substance. 

Supernatural Season 4 (Amazon) 

I can’t find a promo or official trailer. It is an old series and I have only started on the recommendation of a friend. I have made it to season 4 and paused for a while. Like similar series each episode is basically the same with an overarching storyline. Easy to watch but basic. I give it a neutral. 

Books:

Shoot the Damn Dog: A Memoir of Depression by Sally Brampton

I am a counselling student, so it makes sense to study mental health issues. A moving book with real depth. There is hope. A must read and I will recommend this wholeheartedly. 

Wild Power: Discover the Magic of Your Menstrual Cycle and Awaken the Feminine Path to Power by Alexandra Pope and Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer

A book on the topic of the menstrual cycle. New age and spiritual. A combination of science and pseudoscience. Some parts are a must read and somewhat informative others can be dismissed as whoha. 

Me in a snapshot, as you can see, I have normal interests and may even like some of the things you do. I do change my tastes and likes with regularity depending on who I am talking to and I also like to learn and experience as much as possible. Feel free to recommend things to me or ask any questions you want!

Do psychopaths get lonely?

Paradoxically I have always felt it better be alone yet at the same time I have longed for deep meaningful connection. Even when I am surrounded by people, family and friends, I feel alien and lonely. I suppose at its core the question is why would anyone want and love the true me when I don’t even love myself? 

I have become so good at wearing masks and pretending and acting that it is my primary nature to be hidden. For connection to happen one needs to be vulnerable – to be raw and exposed, to decloak myself and allow others to enter my world, without me harming them, manipulating them or using them But as I have said that seems my default, so it is an impossible task. Psychopaths are calculating and apt at understanding risks. We are, despite being impulsive at times, very good at managing any potential threats. To allow someone in would fly in the face of that management, like normal people we do not want to suffer rejection – or in our case hate, suspicion and being exposed to others as we are seen as cruel. By revealing ourselves we risk being ostracized, a mass exodus of friends and family and being even more alone than we already are. How would you feel if you found out someone you cared about led an alternative life and weren’t who you thought they were? Betrayed would be my best bet. 

We have evolved as social creatures, and being an outcast is unhealthy. Those that suffer from loneliness and isolation suffer mental deterioration and exacerbated mental health conditions. Anyone who has suffered from depression or anxiety will tell you how isolating the conditions are, I suppose if we are to view psychopathy as another illness then it is the same. 

Psychopaths, like everyone else, gain satisfaction from sharing our world, a great part in me starting this blog. I sometimes wish I could meet someone who sees through the charm and the acting and wants to know me, for me. Not that I even know what that may be, but it could be to find someone to explore it together would be fun. Now this is not a sympathy post. I know some of you have been hurt by people like me, suffered greatly and lost a lot. However just because we are deemed ‘anti-social’ does not mean we do not crave to be social. As I have said I am in therapy, learning more about myself and changing. By being true and continuing this journey I hope to come full terms about myself and with myself… and you will all be accompanying me on my travels.

A psychopath’s experiment with love

After my diagnosis came treatment; It was recommended I go into therapy at least three times a week to start the process of changing my behaviour patterns and to dismantle my negative traits. This was several years ago, and I am still in therapy to this day – not much has changed but that maybe my fault. I like who I am, I do not see myself as a bad person and I have embraced my diagnosis – it gives me permission and liberty to be free without having to accept responsibility or face consequences; I can hide behind it.  

My first therapist proposed an experiment: Find someone, befriend them, love them for who they are and expect nothing from them. Do not use them, play with their feelings or manipulate or harm them for fun and entertainment. The hypothesis was if I could do that with a single individual, I could replicate it with others. Lowering my defences and allowing me to see healthy relationships are possible – that there was no need for subterfuge or ulterior motive.

The experiment was posed to me as a challenge, I was certain that it wouldn’t be successful, and I was adamant in proving it. So I threw myself into the game. The first step was in finding a victim, my therapist reminded me it was not a victim but a potential genuine friend… Enter ‘Bee’.

Bee had recently entered my life, she had just graduated and moved home not too far from me. We both ended up working at the same company and seated next to each other. Now I knew she was isolated, she had no friends close to home, she was living with people who she did not like, and this job was not what she wanted to be doing for the rest of her life. In normal circumstances she would have presented an easy victim, but she had some things in her favour. She could not offer me anything I wanted or desired. She had no access to wealth, no interesting connections, she was below me in in social circles and I was not attracted to her so even sex wasn’t on my mind. 

Proximity and context are important in establishing the foundations of a relationship – it’s why dating sites can be difficult, we see people in a vacuum and have no context or detail, we approach them weary rather than trustfully. The fact we sat next to each other every single day for 8ish hours meant we had proximity and as we had both joined the company at the same time and had no ambitions to stay gave us a good springboard (providing the context). And so, the experiment began.

Old habits die hard, I turned my charm on full and as I have explained in previous articles provided a psychopath’s version of unconditional love with a slight sprinkling of gaslighting and creating situations where she would become more dependent on me and go against those who were close to her. She fell out with family and pushed away old friends and I was always there for her to turn to for support, comfort and love. And within a couple of months, I became the most important person in her life. After consultations with my therapist, we discovered I had done what I would normally do but, in this case, I had gained nothing substantive, now came the decision; Should we abandon the experiment and discard Bee or would that be cruel? Or do we continue the experiment in the hope now I had someone that maybe with time I could change and again was that ethical? Especially given that Bee had no say and was technically an unknowing participant. 

Fast forwards and several years later Bee and I are ‘best friends’. Sounds like the experiment was a success, well not entirely. She does not know of my diagnosis or the reason I am her friend was because of an experiment my therapist and I had concocted. And in all honesty, I have not developed any feeling for her and at times I think of her as extraordinarily burdensome. The question must be asked why have I remained at her side all this time? Been with her during ups and downs, deaths and births, relationships and breakups? The answer is I do not know, I have tried numerous times to break off the friendship to just let go but she does not allow it. I could be cruel, list all her faults and expose the meaning behind our relationship and I am certain that would put an end to things. Yet I cannot bring myself to. Maybe, just maybe the experiment has been a success and unconsciously I have developed feelings for her and cannot let her go…

A psychopath’s take on emotional intelligence & neglect

To have a fulfilled life and be protected from the tendrils of psychopathic behaviour you have to work on your emotional side, this can be done on yourself, with some guidance (for example from self-help books) but is best done under the guidance of a counsellor or therapist. You cannot have passion for life and be safe if your emotions are suppressed and hidden away. Doing so can lead to depression, extreme anxiety and a whole host mental illness. You may think it is not important, but psychopaths can sniff out these weaknesses with absolute ease. 

Some signs of strong emotional intelligence in a person:

  • They express their feelings on something in a respectful manner /without attacking or belittling anyone else’s feelings.
  • They respect and validate others feelings.
  • They do not try to put a positive spin on everything.
  • They can set healthy boundaries for themselves (don’t overbook, take time to self-care/recharge without much guilt and an ability to say ‘no’).
  • They apologize when they make mistakes. They work on said mistakes by identifying them and actively working to avoid making them again.
  • They can identify a wide range of emotions.
  • They are honest.
  • They are authentic.
  • They avoid judging people too harshly or based on one thing.

As you can see the above qualities take active work and constant self-assessment, it is something to practise and develop leading to personal growth. As we can be blind to our motivations and behaviours a therapist will help identify and align them to what you want to achieve. 

Here are some examples of emotional neglect, especially towards children, where the foundations of future behaviours are set. However, it is not exclusive – it can be used as a form of control and manipulation in a relationship:

  • Told to stay out of sight when you’re upset /crying.
  • Rarely hugged /cuddled.
  • Told you we are too emotional/dramatic.
  • Always cheered up with money (new toy, new clothes etc)
  • Told as a child that your problems did not matter because your parents had SO much more going on than you.
  • Being punished for having emotional reactions. (Your favourite toy broke /got lost, you’re sad, parents tell you to stop crying or you’ll get a time out etc)
  • If you weren’t happy and all smiles your parents would not want you around.

There are also symptoms as to the effects of emotional neglect; these are the signs psychopaths will look out for in their target. Indicators to the vulnerability of their prey; 

  • Low self confidence
  • sometimes a seemingly little thing can set your anger off
  • when something bothers you, you do not say anything you’d rather avoid uncomfortable situations.
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • afraid that if you open up people will leave you.
  • poor ability to maintain or develop habits.
  • you often work until you burn out.
  • you have difficulty resting, being kind to yourself and more. Needing nurture, emotional support and unconditional love is part of being human and if that is missing it affects you deeply.

The good news is that fortunately, you can heal from this. It will take time, effort and a good therapist. You can learn how to open up and pick-up healthy habits. You can feel fulfilled and at peace with who you are. You can be happy.

I, Lucifer – Am I The Devil incarnate?

Psychopaths are amoral, hedonistic, manipulative, desire driven and have a tendency to destroy and hurt those that come within their spheres. All qualities associated with the devil…

I was reading @Thetinycouch (https://tiny-couch.com/)’s recent series on religious trauma that prompted a reflection on my upbringing and my relationship with religion.

I had what can only be described as a Victorian upbringing; a strong family structure based on strict religious values. A structure of hierarchy and my father at the head of it. An unquestioning loyalty to the firm (the family) and to God. Naturally structure and authority fly in the face of psychopathic tendencies. I do not like being tethered or controlled and I rebelled. I could have adapted and used religion as a tool, embraced it and then used it as a method of control and power and it could have led me to “greatness” ample people to manipulate right at my fingertips. However, being young I did not recognise the use of religion and in gaining power or authority. I saw it as restrictive and suffocating. 

As a result, I did everything I could to go against my parents and religious wishes; going out, drinking, sex, drugs and all the usual things people do to rid the chains of religious prohibition. This did not go down well and unbeknownst to me, my intelligent (university educated) parents, actually thought that I may be possessed by the devil himself. 

I was out with friends one summer’s day, visiting a lake near us, when I got a phone call demanding my immediate return home as an emergency had taken place, this was a ruse. On arrival I was met with by my parents and a priest right from The Vatican, my family are extremely well connected and had used their influence to have me exorcised. Obviously, I laughed and thought this was some joke, it seems far-fetched even now writing on it now several years later. However, all parties present were serious. I had no choice still being young and decided I might as well humour them. Let me stress here I have no belief in God or the paranormal and think this whole thing was ridiculous.

On a friend’s recommendation I have started watching a TV series called Supernatural – let me tell you an exorcism, in my experience, was nothing like how Hollywood portrayed it. It was a rather underwhelming affair. The priest first walked around the house visiting every room and floor. Muttering and fiddling with his rosary beads and occasionally slicking holy water whilst doing so. Once that ritual was completed, he interviewed me, asking me several questions on how I viewed life and my aspirations. I know how to charm and please and gave all the right answers. And finally, he held his hand on my forehead for several minutes whilst praying. It was too quiet for me to make out what he was saying. Nothing happened, no flickering lights, no withering in pain, no cursing and spitting. He then turned to my parents and confirmed what I already knew. I was not possessed and the house was safe from the devil or any demons. Interestingly he was sincere and really seemed to believe in the unknown. He wanted no money and did not accept any refreshments and only stayed a short while – he came across as a genuine upstanding person of true faith.  

I have always joked the reason why nothing came of the exorcism was because I am the devil, no bodily possession necessary. I find great joy in turning people away from religion and their belief systems. It leads to a vacuum, a person full of vulnerabilities, which I can fill and use to my advantage. 

Most psychopaths do have a ‘God complex’, a feeling of greatness, arrogance and superiority, a need to have control and power and if slighted a bloodthirsty vengeful approach to the perpetrator. All qualities of God in the old testament. Perhaps, I am not the devil, rather a true reflection of God – Afterall we are made in his image! 

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