“Outwardly he was all confidence and openness; inwardly he was spiteful and lonely and unaware of how to relate to the world. He wanted so much to be good but only knew how to appear that way by being bad.”
How I wish that my heart wasn’t so darn inconvenient sometimes….
For ease of reference, Lion is a man who is a suspected sociopath/anti-social personality disorder/ Asperger’s syndrome. And I am lady Kitty (the bipolar empath).
I recently met a man that is undoubtedly the most fascinating, complex, sad, somewhat haunted soul that I have ever encountered. He labelled himself as having sociopathic tendencies, which I did not beg to differ initially… But as I spent a week in magical spring weather, I was afforded a chance to unravel this fascinating and highly misunderstood soul. On the very day that I met Lion, I wanted to grasp the entirety of this enigmatic man. The bi-polar in me, was drawn to his Asperger/ socio-tendencies. Although we were two very different people, we literally were effortlessly drawn to each other. Lion was fascinated by my bipolar complexities and unpredictability, whilst I was comforted by the simplicity of Lion’s rules and stability.
Tom, also known as my “Lion”, has shown me more understanding, attentiveness and has truly listened to my every word. He reminds me even of what I said when I forget (typical of my ADHD) what I had told him. I am fascinated by this indifferent, complex, perhaps cold at times, troubled man. He is 6 years my junior, still at University and all the way in London (whilst I am working and in South Africa), so I accept that there is certainly no hope for us to pursue anything romantic right now. But he is literally etched on my heart. Not quite yet feelings of love yet, but certainly fire of overwhelming emotions that have shaken my core more than any man has even remotely achieved.
I hope I illustrate these feelings as accurately as they reside in me, since I hope to share this one day with you my Lion, when the time is right.
This blog is dedicated to my Lion, the first man to truly see through my soul, to float incoherently throughout my thoughts, to listen, accept and embrace the inner Kitten that I have supressed for so very long. This is not a declaration of love, but rather a token of appreciation…. for helping me to re-fashion my soul in its own intricate style….. And for being my friend when I needed it most….
To be honest, I’m not quite sure whether Lion has Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), is a mild sociopath or Asperger’s Syndrome/ Autism. He avoided discussions of this sort overall and joked once that he had sociopathic tendencies. It made sense initially to me, since in the first 2 days of our “spring romance” he was very volatile and cold at times, sometimes outright rude and made several really hurtful comments. He had a strange lack of social empathy and often said “I don’t care”. I had never met someone that was so aloof.
I felt quite offended initially and honestly wanted to go home, since he made me feel insignificant and somewhat clumsy/awkward with his intimidating presence. He made me uncomfortable and stared at me in a delusional and unnerving way. I honestly got scared of him. He was so detached and unwavering in his peculiar mannerisms. He told me that he found it “funny” to invoke feelings of arousal followed by rejection in women to see their reactions. I was mortified at that statement and was disgusted at his honey-sweet words that I had easily absorbed the previous night. His verbose vocabulary also amused me, since it was much too advanced for his age and was sometimes completely out of context and irrelevant/ obscure. He was so charming, vigorous, romantic and happy last night?
What I learnt with my narcissistic (severely) ex, was that they have a genius for adoring and wooing affections. I immediately collaborated all of these flashing red lights. I realised that Lion was mimicking these behaviours, out of mere amusement, boredom and pure sport. He was merely a parodist, mastered in perceiving a woman’s wants and needs, showering them with charm and effectively moulding his personality. It was just a game for him!! I mean he was seriously going so far as to literally personify becoming the man of my dreams! All that, just due to his boredom?! I finally recognised the reason for all of his questioning of me on our first meet. He was gathering as much information as possible about every aspect of my life in order to more closely resemble my ideal mate! Oh my god. Kitten just got played!!!
Now I was ready to go home…. Just my luck with men as per usual right?… But then it dawned on me… Every single time that I complimented or admired him in any way, he got so uncomfortable and could not engage with my eyes (as he usually did so unnervingly through my soul). I slowly began to see an insecure and vulnerable side to him; a soft and receptive version of my Lion heart. I gradually added the puzzle pieces together and concluded that he did in fact feel emotions, despite his vehement denial, yet he simply shut them down when he “felt necessary”. He did in fact harness feelings of empathy, yet deliberately chose to bury them… under perhaps his fears, hurt or insecurities. I could clearly see that he yearned to be a part of normal social discourse, but had not yet harnessed or cultivated that ability.
My heart swelled with a new fondness and compassion for this Lion. His eyes darting away in a moment of being extolled, showed that he was completely foreign to being nurtured, cared for, celebrated, understood. It made my heart so sore, to see that someone who paid so much attention to MY persona was so sorely neglected.
There must be overlap between autism and “psychopathy/sociopathy” where you get medical label, while if you are outside of that overlap you either get labeled as autistic, or a “normal person”. Perhaps from the outside it could be, but the manifestation of psychopathy and Asperger’s is very different in key traits. The main one being the fact that Asperger’s have a deep emotional structure, whereas psychopaths are devoid of development in the empathetic systems of the brain. I firmly still believe that Lion has a deep capacity to love…. It is just untapped and unexplored.
But ultimately it didn’t matter… I was fascinated to find someone that shared a very common trait with me… ultimately being misunderstood. So often, due to being bipolar and ADHD, I have often felt so labelled, isolated and misunderstood. The stigma that is associated with mental illnesses (or even slight tendencies thereof), is warped and unjust. As an paranormal empath, I REFUSE to believe that there is not an element (however small) of benevolence and virtue in any human.
Bipolar vs sociopath love
There is a common misconception that sociopaths (or anti-social personality disorders / Asperger’s) cannot love. This is not true. Sociopaths can love with a selfish intensity that puts other love to shame. Their love is a devouring, consuming sort of love. When they love someone, they feel like they want to inhale them — to literally suck out their soul. When they kiss someone, they try to do just that.
I could relate to this…. Lion had showed early signs of this kind of love with me… Even in the first 2 weeks. It was all-consuming, intense and shameless.
Love may be blind for empaths (like me), but a sociopath sees your faults clearly and loves you still. The sociopath’s piercing eyes are not only unsettling because of their unwavering constancy, but because the sociopath’s eyes can pierce through to your very soul, leaving you naked before his gaze. The sociopath’s ignorance or disinterest in social norms means that he will not see you as the world sees you but how you truly are. They’re free of the rose-colored glasses empaths falling in “love” often wear.
This ability of him was particularly appealing to me, since I often feel like my role in society does not reflect my true worth…. Yet he emanated a feeling of belonging inside me; I finally felt understood, forgiven and redeemed of my obscured view of myself.
“[Sociopaths] can charm the birds out of the trees and tell you black is white, and have you believing it” (Buttafuoco, 2009).
The closest analog to a sociopath’s love is probably the love of a child: intense, accepting, selfish. One of the last nights before Lion returned home to the other side of the world, we went out dancing. Needless to say the drinks were flowing. He was at such ease and so comfortable with me. He let his guard down this night and I saw his heart of gold that I knew was there all along. We danced and kissed and in that moment he told me, “I can see myself loving someone like you… No no wait, I do love you!”. Of course I told him I loved him back. But we both knew, in that frozen frame of time where nothing else mattered, that these feelings could not be pursued (even if they were not fleeting). Distance, age, season…. They were just not aligned. We needed to wait.
And finally, like a child, the sociopath will be extremely loyal. I could gladly accept being second in his priority (second to himself), since the fact that he would readily regard me higher than all the others, was more than enough for me.
“I hope she’ll be a fool – that’s the best thing a girl in this world can be in this world, a beautiful little fool” – Daisy from The Great Gatsby.
Although I seem to be projecting myself as being a submissive, weak, frail woman, that is quite the contrary. I am extremely independent, self-sufficient and in a highly stressful corporate job. However, despite my dominant character (and perhaps sometimes narcissistic tendencies), I yearn to be dominated, controlled and guided. Just like Daisy’s remark in the quote above, I am somewhat sarcastic, since I do not challenge these views. Instead I sometimes resign to the fact that simplistic and beautiful women will be happier than those who go against society…. Am I choosing my Lion against societal norms? Or am I merely resigning to a fate that I am not cultured in? Will following this inherent desire in my soul destroy me? What will the ramifications be of surrendering my soul to my Lion? I know very well (and so does he) that we both do not run lukewarm water when it comes to bathing our souls. If I pursue this, I know very well that it could either pulverize or proliferate my soul. And the irony of it all is, although Lion does not know of this blog, he is well aware of the hold that he has over me. However, I have absolutely no reservations that I imprinted a firm impact on his soul too.
“He had one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced, or seemed to face, the whole external world for an instant and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself.” – Great Gatsby
Lion’s smile helped him create his persona, the way in which the world sees him. When I first met him, his persona seemed unbreakable. He is able to make people feel important. This is how he appears on the outside, but this is slowly deconstructing as our journey progresses… That clairvoyant smile (or smirk).
Lion had clearly invented just the sort of identity that a 20 year old man would be likely to invent, in order to combat any challenges presented by society. It was his safety net…. He had orchestrated such an incontestable countenance and persona….But it was so clear to me that most of his surface value was not authentic. And I was slowly falling into the abyss of this unknown part of his soul, and he into mine.
There’s something about the bipolar in me that compels me to magnify my partner’s positive traits (tendency to obsession?) and be absurdly forgiving. From time to time I find myself not doing the right thing despite knowing the right thing to do. Of course partly due to an ‘inability to resist instant gratification‘. But I don’t care…. I want Lion to be apart of my (Kitty’s) world.
What is it that draws Lion and Kitty so close? Do we simply understand and encourage each other’s mania? Even when I fly into rage and irrational mania/ emotions my Lion remains cool and unaffected; he is awesome at being a ‘counterpart’ or a savior. On top of all of these there’s always a general sense of being ‘different’ from the most as well as obsession with extremities being shared in common.
Despite the possible danger of such a connection being pursued, I have never felt such yearning and adoration for any man… There is not a minute that goes by that I am not in reverence of the man that helped me harness my inner self again…
And so the journey continues…. Oh boy I hope this lasts….
Please do comment on your thoughts? Open to honest advice or feedback?