Being self-aware, I sometimes seriously wonder how I have any friends left at all and want to call each one and thank them for sticking it out with me. I actually did that not too long ago with my best friend.
I asked her why she remained friends with me when so many others didn’t. She had to think about it for a really long time. She didn’t have an answer for me for a few weeks.
She said deep down she knew I was genuinely a good person. I think it also helped that her mom is NPD too – but not high enough up on the spectrum so that my friend became disordered herself or has a really bad relationship with her. So, she kind of gets it.
She is kind of low empathy too though. I think that helped us bond. She can say stuff to me that she can’t say to anyone else, like how she secretly wishes her cat would die already. I can relate. I’ve had my own cat for nearly 10 years and it’s getting tedious.
Ten years ago, a cat was a great idea for me! And I “loved” that cat! Until I had kids. Then the cat became another chore – one that woke up the baby I worked so hard to put down. So now, not so much. Also, I felt like I only had so much room in my heart for love and now that I had a child, the cat didn’t cut it anymore. This was a big fear of mine when my second child was born too. How would I divide what little love I had between the two of them? I can see now how some narcs unwittingly scapegoat one child and overvalue the other.
But alas, I’m stuck. The kids would wonder what happened if the cat disappeared one day or we gave her away. That can’t be a good lesson to teach them: when those we “love” get boring or require too much back from us, we just dump them. I’m supposed to love my cat.
As I’m writing this, I literally just realized I idealized and devalued the cat, now I’m ready for the discard. Didn’t really think I did that. Wow, guess I do.
No, I pretty much have to keep faking it until she naturally dies. Damn it.
Not only that, but I really do need to be nicer to her. The kids have picked up on my disdain and I really want them to develop true feelings of love for animals. I really don’t want my kids to end up like me.
The good thing is that the more I try to be empathetic toward the cat the easier it gets. I’m not joking! I think, how does it make her feel that no one ever pets her? That every time she tries to get close to us we push her away and tell her she’s annoying? I put myself in the cat’s proverbial shoes. Then I feel more compelled to give her some affection. Baby steps.
I asked my therapist about this too. Sometimes I have to do that – get a reality check from someone else: exactly how abnormal is this thought?
She said her cat annoys her too and they kind of also just tolerate it (relief), but she doesn’t necessarily want it to die (oops). I guess I took that one a step too far.
My deeper concern is, why don’t I love my cat? It scares me. I sometimes wonder if I actually love anyone or anything at all. This is what low empathy feels like.
That’s why I sometimes visit r/sociopath. That group attracts lots of low empathy types, not just those with ASPD, but people with autism, etc. I never knew this was a problem for them too.
Sociopaths also really understand what makes people tick. People generally really like them because they know how to make others feel good (when they want to). And being as clueless as I have been about that, I learn a lot from them about human nature and how to fit in better socially.
Anyway, these folks recognize they have no or low empathy, whereas most narcissists don’t. It can be kind of refreshing just to talk to other people who understand that feeling.
At least until my empathy grows to a point where I don’t feel this way anymore. And it is growing. It’s just taking time.