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Letter to A Sociopath
A letter to a sociopath,
I remember when you told me you were a sociopath. It wasn’t a surprise; you showed most of the signs overtly, so it was really just a matter of you labeling it. Almost like putting a name tag on that said, “Hello, my name is: SOCIOPATH,” but for a while, I just hadn’t cared to look at it. I assumed I already knew it, and I did. Maybe I was pronouncing it wrong, or I would forget it more often than not, but I knew. So, I’m not really sure why I acted like I didn’t, because by virtue of the fact, you wouldn’t have cared regardless.
And I didn’t care either. For a long, long time, I shared your same attitude over the subject: Generally accepting, and unbothered by the fact. I tried to brush it off like a mere nusance. A pet peeve that permeated our relationship dynamic that, if I wanted to be a “good girlfriend” I would just ignore it and let you be you. Although, while I tried to push back my own need for emotional understanding, so I could understand you and your lack thereof, I was damaging my own psyche and testing my patience more than I really should have. But my own overemotional tendencies get in the way and little things that bother me don't come through to you. That might have been the first sign, I think.
Through my own explanations and paranoia, I try to get through to you. The attempts to make you understand why the things you say hurt me seem pointless because no matter how many times I tell you something hurts me, you do it again and again and again.
That might have been the second sign.
Yet, I wish I could understand you. I wish I understood how your mind worked, past textbook definitions and chemicals in your head. You speak with reckless abandon and no regard for the immediate consequences, and how you feel no embarrassment or remorse because of this escapes me entirely. I whisper your name with a laugh and mocking disapproval, trying to get you to stop as a pathetic half assed attempt to seem like both the carefree fun girlfriend and simultaneously express my discomfort in your actions.
And you explain to me, while you don’t feel bad for your actions, you feel bad for making me feel bad. You don’t do things for my sake.You don’t forgive with genuineness. You ask for forgiveness, hoping I assume that it’s forgiveness for being a jerk, but really you’re saying sorry because you have to, not because you mean it. Then, when I catch you in the lie, (because weather you like it or not your incessant honesty and complete transparency are your own worst enemies) you concede and ask for forgiveness again. This time, not for the act or for making me cry, but for the fact that I feel bad. No matter how frivolous or positively stupid the reason, you’d never actually apologize to me.
… I think that was the third one.
The words that come from your mouth feel shallow and hollow, like those plastic kiddie pools we would wade in during the summer as kids. Fake, but in their own right, comforting if you find them to give you a feeling of content. Every apology you’ve given, big or not, feels like a plastic polka-dot kiddie pool. Past the surface, what you say has no real affect on the problem, just like those plastic puddle holders don’t actually cool you off on the Fourth of July. You wouldn’t mean it.
I’d be reaching for the unreachable. I look at myself trying to decipher meaning in your actions, but I feel like a teacher making their students read too far into Fahrenheit 451: Pointless and tedious, and ultimately coming to the realization that there's never been any deeper meaning there in the first place. Wash, rinse, repeat the cycle. I’ll keep doing it over and over, conveniently forgetting my past mistakes with you, until one day it’ll cement into my brain that everything you say is just a shallow kiddie pool of meaning. The transparency of your words betrays you, and the meaning is all too clear as you speak them.
And you don’t say things you don’t mean, do you?
Here I am pained and angry, flipping between texts, and instant messages, and Skype calls whose call times far exceed any reasonable amount of time, and I press back a sob behind closed lips and shut eyes, because no matter how many times I try and lie to myself, I’m constantly reminded of the fact that you don’t care.
You don’t care.
I say it almost like a mantra, or a prayer, now. Something that I’ve repeated to others and myself, begrudgingly, far too many times in explanation of your actions or in your undeserving defense. And the sheer fact that I do care, and you don’t, is the only reason I do it. I say it like the nighttime prayers force-fed to me by the church I’ve stopped going to: without thinking, I can recite the phrase, and I’ve done it so many times it’s completely devoid of any meaning it’s ever had.
But now I feel as if the sentiment is rejuvenated, a reawakening of the phrase. I’ve been reminded of the meaning of each of the words individually and reminded of the phrasing. I look at your messages and remember your words, and I can hear your voice in my head, and every time I do it’s a punch in the face because you don’t care. And as I’m reminded of this fact, the feelings of discomfort well up in a hot boil of thick black tar in the base of my chest, uncomfortable and nauseating.
I sit here with you as my greatest source of inspiration. I write you love letters in your favorite colors at the latest hours of the night, when every thought is of you. I make you mix tapes and playlists so you can listen to the songs I dance to alone late at night, wishing you were there. I regret every part of loving you, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
And maybe I’ll forgive you one day, probably, but until then we’ll suffer apart and in silence. For our own goods— for my own good mostly. I’d say I’m sorry but I’m not sure if I would mean it any more than you do.