Sunday, June 28, 2015

Imperfect World

Once Rob wanted to introduce a new member to our little play group. "What's he like?" I asked, "How messed up is he?"
"Oh, he's broken," Rob replied, "but he's broken our way."

My world is full of beautiful but imperfect and even broken people. Rephrase. They are perfect, but they are perfect at being themselves, not perfect compared to some imaginary, objective outside benchmark. They are perfect, not flawless

People are amazing to me. One friend is tough, brilliant, hilarious... but the toughness in a product of nurture not nature. He survived an amazingly brutal early life. And it has left some deep insecurities, including places where his wit and intelligence are unavailable to him. People who hear him on these subjects say, "How can you be friends with..." It's easy.

Since leaving the SO, a fair number of the newer friends I've made have been former criminals. They have the criminal mannerisms and speech patterns that set my teeth on edge. But who they were is not who they are, and when people are working that hard to change their lives, it works for me to marvel at the possibility of redemption. And it would be cowardly and counter-productive if you were to find a bad man you were unable to take down when he was a bad man and try to take him out after he had become better and safer.

Experienced bad-asses with self-destructive streaks annoy me, but several are fast friends. Two of the people I most trust to watch my back are full-blown sociopaths. Almost all of the best teachers I've had had some very deep insecurities. Too many of the most innovative people in this field have never become successful because of stupid pride. I like them as they are, flaws, warts and all.

And all of them have blindspots. So do I, of course, but I can't see mine.


God's Bastard said...

"Two of the people I most trust to watch my back are full-blown sociopaths." Can you explain a bit more?
My best job to date was PAing for a socialised psychopath, but that was a business-only relationship and, after a false start, I made damn sure that it was kept nice and contained.

shugyosha said...

Ditto. My question is a bit on those lines: Why should a sociopath even WANT to watch your back?

Take care.

CathyD said...

I am picking because if they identify with you as an individual or with the group, they can do whatever needs to be done without hesitation or getting caught up moral or social quandaries.

keithw said...

The 2 sociopaths he's refering to could very well be inmates and not CO's.

God's Bastard said...

Hmm. Cathy D, but if they can identify with you as an individual or with the group AND be "proper" sociopaths?
The ones I know treat you perfectly well while they need you, or until they can afford to stab you in the back. So while I trust them absolutely when the balance of need is skewed to my advantage (i.e. they need me more than I need them), I'm aware that as soon as I cease to be useful to them I'll be discarded, like any broken tool.

God's Bastard said...

(Please forgive the absence of grammar in the previous comment, I was precaffeinated.)

CathyD said...

The ones I know are very similar as you describe... I have worked with one for 15 years, him being my boss, makes for interesting times (I really need to leave) :P
However he does have one person who he relates to and will do anything for... and when they get together and particular mood comes up it is dynamite destruction in one form or another for everyone else. Its been described as the most toxic workplace one of the psychologists has come across.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rory,

Could you recommend a good place to start on learning about the speech patterns and criminal mannerisms of sociopaths, abusers, process criminals etc. etc. I feel as though I'm groping in the dark on this subject.

ben c said...

How can stupid pride keep them from being successful

Unknown said...

My best friend is a sociopath. He's always had my back and literally saved my life once.

There are a lot of broken people in the world, what matters is knowing /how/ they are broken and therefore when they can be trusted... and when they need you.