Don’t Believe the Hype
The Isla Vista killings dominated the headlines in May 2014. Elliot Rodger slayed six people and injured fourteen others after posting his YouTube video about a day of retribution. He was lonely and sexually frustrated. This was the worst tragedy everyone witnessed since the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in December 2012. Adam Lanza, who committed the latter, was another social misfit. Both perpetrators had one thing in common. If you’ve read the past eight blogs, I’m sure you can already guess – Asperger’s. They also suffered from anxiety and depression both of which are common among people from Asperger’s. I know what some of you are already thinking. But how come you’re so normal, and they’re crazy? Do you suffer from those, too, Dustin? I’m functional because I have a conscience. Yes, I’ve also been affected by those other ailments. I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD and clinical paranoia. No, they’re not symptoms of Asperger’s. They’re environmental responses from being blackballed throughout my life. Social isolation will do that to anybody autistic or not. The PTSD is from living a double life in the Coast Guard.
What do We Care?
The media has since done a fine job pigeonholing people on the spectrum as sociopaths and narcissists. Some pseudo-experts tried inferring Jeffrey Dahmer, who murdered and ate 17 men and boys, may have had Asperger’s. It makes no difference that half the computer programmers and IT technicians on Earth are on the spectrum. The news outlets need to find something to blame and boost their ratings and keep the viewers glued. It never occurred to anyone to ask questions and deduce what were the catalysts to prevent further catastrophes. Nevermind the fact that they’re making life more challenging for folks on the spectrum. Scratch the idea that potential employers started asking personal questions about my medical history and second-guessing my competence. Disregard that any chance I ever had of dating someone now was infinitesimal at best or that I had to withdraw my application from the Peace Corps because the whole country was on high alert like they were on 9/11. What did FOX News, CNN, and every other networks care as long as they got what they wanted? Why would the NRA or the geniuses on Capital Hill be concerned as long as they were reaping profits?
No Compassion, No Remorse
One time I had a neuropsychiatrist from the VA tell me there’s no possible way I could have PTSD and Asperger’s because people on the spectrum are incapable of empathy. While I was relieved he bought my story about PTSD, I was insulted by his analysis. The man not only had terrible bedside manner; it was clear he had no idea what he was talking about. Just because folks with autism don’t wear our hearts on our sleeves or get sentimental over the most trivial things doesn’t mean we lack compassion. Our emotions don’t have as wide a range as that of the average NT. Ask me how I felt when I saw a young lady jump off the Bay Bridge in San Francisco or when I saw a man killed in Saigon when his motorbike crashed and his head was run over by a utility truck and crushed like a melon. I can promise you the answer won’t be apathy. It’s the sounds that traumatized me the most. I’ll spare you the gory details. Let’s just say I wouldn’t eat sushi for the longest time after the first incident and pizza or lasagna awhile after the second.
The Unadulterated Truth
What these charlatans fail to realize is sociopaths are cognizant of what they’re doing. They just don’t care. First and foremost, the average person with Asperger’s has way too much integrity to qualify as a sociopath. If there’s anything auties and Aspies are known for it’s our bluntness and struggles telling white lies and distorting the truth. Sociopaths are experts at this. They’re notorious for being pathological liars. That’s one thing that makes them so dangerous. Sociopaths know how to manipulate people, withhold information, deceive the public, and win their victims over with superficial charm. They’re skilled at invoking emotional responses. I mentioned the other day that’s how Ted Bundy became America’s most prolific serial killer. He didn’t look like Charles Manson or behave like a street thug. Bundy was articulate, clean-cut, and well-mannered. He fit into his community like a glove. Bundy was the last person on Earth everyone suspected as being a serial killer. Their ability to schmooze children, fool old ladies, and seduce people of the opposite gender is what gives sociopaths sustenance. When was the last time you heard of someone with autism having illustrious affairs here and there? Never? I didn’t think so.
We Don’t Need no Validation; We Don’t Need no Full Control
Awhile back, I read which professions attract the most sociopaths. The top ten were CEO’s, journalists, sales, lawyers, TV/radio personalities, surgeons, police officers, clergy, chefs, and civil servants. You know what those jobs have in common? They all have high-volume interaction with the public which discounts any possibility of Aspies being sociopaths. Most careers that autism experts recommend for us entail limited social contact. Sociopaths thrive on attention and validation. They need groupies around to stroke their fragile egos. They show little to no empathy or remorse. What sociopaths are most interested in is getting whatever they desire even if it’s at the expense of others. Sadly, most sociopaths remain undetected in modern America. We live in a capitalist society overwhelmed with superficiality and materialism. We’ve devolved into a culture where one’s worthiness is valued by what one owns and one’s charisma rather than one’s honor and practicality. That said, I have no doubt half those media moguls who try to stipulate people’s fears and inhibitions about Asperger’s and autism are sociopaths.