Imagine for a moment what life would be like had you been born without a conscience. ¬†No feelings of guilt or remorse, no regard for the safety or well being of others. No shame regardless of what kind of horrifying repulsive thing you had done. The concept of responsibility is completely unknown to you. ¬†Now add to this fantasy the ability to conceal that your true psychological makeup is radically different from those who are considered “normal”. ¬†Everyone considers conscience to be universal amongst human beings, and hiding the fact that you have no conscience is effortless. You can do anything and will most likely remain undiscovered. You’re no longer a prisoner to human restraint. You can give in to the darkness, the nagging needling urges and desires that reside in the deepest and darkest part of your psyche.
Welcome to the mind of a psychopath.
The only person I couldn’t hide from was my mother. She always seemed to have some inkling of what I was. When I was 13, ¬†she took me to see a psychologist¬†who specialized in Juvenile Psychopathy Assessment using the PCL-YV. As luck would have it, her intuition had been right. I was a full blown psychopath, but much to everyone’s surprise, I was also a genius. The therapist made sure to explain to my mother that this made me much more dangerous than your average uneducated, slack jawed psychopath. Not only did I have the propensity to truly become a monster but, I had the tools to get away with it.
My mother believed she could save me. That with her help I could fight the dark demons that resided within in me. And in a way, she did. She became my moral compass. When I didn’t understand empathy, she explained it to me in a way that helped me not to feel it but to be able to recognize it within others. When I was 15 my best friend’s dog died and I couldn’t understand why she was so upset. My mother explained love to me that day. With my mother’s guidance, I was able to graduate high school and college never once having given in to any of my urges, and I had become a well respected Clinical Psychiatrist, specializing in Personality Disorders.
You may wonder how someone afflicted with a personality disorder such as mine could possibly be capable of helping individuals suffering from the same disorder. It’s quite simple really. While I may not be able to feel normal human emotions, I’m quite capable of recognizing them in others. I find it rather easy to spot those who operate on the fringes of society, hiding their true nature from everyone around them. To put it bluntly, I don’t have any problem telling someone that they’re nuttier than a squirrel turd. I don’t feel bad about it, because sympathy is alien to me.
Recently I had taken on a new client by the name of Clyde Davis. He had been referred to me by a colleague who found it difficult to deal with his abusive language and frightening presence. She was disturbed by the fact that Clyde had no qualms expressing his homicidal fantasies and his penchant for young boys. Up until this point, I had been what most would consider apathetic toward the plight of the many individuals I had treated. But Clyde incited a foreign emotion in me. ANGER. I discovered that he had raped and killed four young boys and due to some legal loophole, had managed to avoid any jail time for his crimes.
I had dealt with rapists, serial killers, even the occasional pedophile but, I had never met anyone like Clyde. He was utterly devoid of even the smallest shred of humanity. The man was proud of what he had done. He was quite glib about what he had put these children through…and for whatever reason, something about him resonated within in me. Suddenly my darkness refused to be ignored. It wanted Clyde dead. It wanted him to suffer. Each day that passed only made the voices louder, suddenly they were ¬†demanding my full attention and no matter how hard I tried, I coulnd’t quiet them. Finally it became clear and I knew what I must do.
And so my journey began. For the last week I had lay in bed at night devising a plan to rid the world of this demonic child killer. I knew that in order to do this, I had to be careful, exact, precise. I could no longer view the situation objectively, my anger had become all consuming and I found myself thinking constantly of the plethora of ways I could make Clyde suffer. Really and truly suffer. The punishment needed to fit the crime, and the end result needed to be permanent. I refused to accept that this monster would be free in society. I knew that would only lead to more children dying, and my darkness made it clear that this wasn’t an option.
Finally at the end of the week I was ready to put my plan into action. My first hurdle was Clyde’s strength and size. I need a way to control him but I didn’t want him to lose consciousness and I didn’t want him to be anesthetized . He needed to feel everything and he needed to be aware of why it was happening. That morning I wrote a prescription for the drug Vecuronium, it would cause paralysis but Clyde would be absolutely lucid after it’s injestion. I had scheduled Clyde’s therapy session for after hours when everyone else had left the office, citing a conflict of schedule in order to change his regular arrival time.
Upon Clyde’s arrival I directed him to the couch and asked him to lay down and close his eyes. I told him I would like to try an exercise that would require him to recall each episode in which he had harmed someone, and I explained that in order for it to be most effective, we needed to start with the most serious of his crimes, the murders he had committed. He seemed quite excited at the prospect of potentially horrifying me with the brutal details of his actions and I waited patiently as he he described each atrocity. When he was nearing the end of his tale of the fourth and final murder, I quietly removed the syringe I had taped underneath my desk. Slowly I walked across the floor towards Clyde making sure not to make any noise or risk his eyes opening and the possible thwarting of my plan. As soon as I reached him I aimed the syringe at the exposed area of his neck. His eyes opened at the moment of impact but his reflexes were slower than mine and I managed to inject him before he had time to realize what I had done. His eyes grew wider as he realized he no longer had the ability to move. His eyes quickly darted around the room, trying to find a way out of his sudden predicament. I couldn’t help but laugh at this.
“No point in thinking of escaping Clyde.” I said calmly. “You’ll find that it’s physically impossible.”
His eyes turned towards me and he mustered the strength to ask “why” in a low whisper.
“You’d like to know why this is happening to you, eh? Okay, I’ll explain.” I walked over to my desk and opened the drawer, pulling out a file I had prepared for this occasion.
I held up four photos in front of his face and suddenly I could see realization in his eyes.
“This is why Clyde. For Jesse. For Tyler. For Ronnie. For Liam. Now let’s not waste anymore time, Clyde. It’s over. You’ll never hurt anyone again.”
After the subsequent torture, dismemberment and disposal of one Clyde Davis I found myself exhausted and for the first night in weeks, I found sleep came easily. As I drifted off, I thought about what I had just done, and into the darkness I whispered a near silent thank you. Because of Clyde, I now knew what happiness meant, and I didn’t need my mother to explain it to me. I felt it.