A Decision to Be Whoever I Am

Exerpt from "M.E. Thomas on 'Confessions of a Sociopath'" with Anne Stranchamps, To The Best of Our Knowledge, August 11, 2013: 

I think one of the primary characteristics of sociopaths, what it feels like to be a sociopath, is to have a very weak sense of self. There's sort of no there there. I don't think of myself in these terms, female, or part of a particular political party, or even my age, my ethnicity. Even Mormonism, to a certain extent. I've never really felt Mormon.

So people see me and see all these different characteristics and treat me that way, but I never really think of myself in those terms. I think of myself more in terms of how I process things, how I think, rather than the results. So more like the formula, rather than the particular inputs or outputs of the formula...

...Not having a sense of self. What does it feel like? It sort of feels like I am a mirror or a camera. I am just capturing other things. I think the figuring out that I didn't have a sense of self was experiencing things ...where people had very strong opinions. And I always felt like the opinions I had were largely convenient. I had them for that particular context, or for that particular moment, or maybe even just to portray a particular role in society, whatever I was doing. And I always thought I can change my mind the very next minute.

So I think in my personal relationships is where it felt most obvious. Because I felt that way, and I say this all the time, that tomorrow I could be out of a relationship if I happen to be in a relationship.

I make a decision to be whoever I am, or whatever role that I have, every day. I make a decision to keep my job every day, I feel like I could quit every day. Same thing with relationships, same thing with everything that I participate in. I think I can move tomorrow. I'm [constantly] deciding these things. It's not something that's rigid or solid and I think that really scares people when they're in a relationship with me because it doesn't seem secure.