There is a saying often used in working with individuals who have been abused: “hurt people hurt people.” It is not uncommon for people who have been abused by others for extended periods of time to then act out their pain by hurting others. But before we unravel more about that process — let’s review the considerable strengths that you bring to the situation.
First, it is clear that you have persistence, a love of learning, and self-control. Feeling this recent hatred for society, but keeping yourself from acting on it, having these feelings and restraint while it “kept you thinking” and dealing with the abuse from three of the primary women in your life are all important character traits that and abilities that you’ll want to acknowledge and honor. Even you writing to us here at Psych Central and looking for answers is part of you using these character strengths.
This identification of Asperger Syndrome is good because it gives you a way of understanding the pattern of thoughts and behaviors associated with it. These typically include difficulty with social interactions and communication as noted here and the relief that can come from knowing about this diagnosis as identified here.
But the abuse and your reaction to it isn’t part of this syndrome. While the following isn’t a diagnosis meant for you (as it wouldn’t be possible to render an accurate one) many of your reactions seem related to a condition known as an antisocial personality disorder.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition ( DSM-5), which defines antisocial personality as an individual with 3 or more of the following traits:
- Regularly breaks or flouts the law
- Constantly lies and deceives others
- Is impulsive and doesn’t plan ahead
- Can be prone to fighting and aggressiveness
- Has little regard for the safety of others
- Irresponsible, can’t meet financial obligations
- Doesn’t feel remorse or guilt
To determine if your behaviors match this criteria here is a brief quiz again, that is not meant to diagnose but help you understand more about these concerns.
The place to look for understanding the origin of an antisocial personality disorder is rooted in childhood. The pattern of behavior often begins with four different categories classified as conduct disorders and include: People with these symptoms are at greater risk for antisocial personality disorder.
- Aggression to people and animals
- Destruction of property
- Deceitfulness or theft
- Serious violations of rules or laws
The best way to find out more is to talk to a professional. A clinical psychologist can conduct a series of tests along with an interview to help determine what your symptoms mean.
Finally, your email and asking these questions is an important element, perhaps, the most important, in understanding your true character. Your desire to learn more about yourself and understand who you are is the hallmark of someone who wants to grow. Of all the things you’ve mentioned this is the strongest and the most important for you to capitalize on going forward.