My whole life, I had struggled with patterns of behaviour and emotion that I knew were “bad,” but couldn’t seem to control. I lied compulsively about things that didn’t make sense. I was terrified of being abandoned, to the point that I became furiously, sometimes abusively, upset if I thought that my friends were hanging out without me. I was full of self-loathing and anger that I bottled up, and then released by self-injuring.
And, of course, I had grown up as a closeted trans girl of colour in a cis, white supremacist society.
So far, so humdrum.
Ever since I could remember, I had been filled with rage and fear and self-loathing as a result of the constant messages that society, friends, and family sent me that said I was deviant, bad, wrong to the core.
A chronic rage that, we’re told, prompted some introspection, of a sort, and a peek inside a textbook on abnormal psychology:
My “symptoms” fit the profile of a mental disorder called Borderline Personality Disorder, a condition closely associated with psychopathy. It was, the textbook said, historically considered untreatable.
Oh, I’m sure lashings of strident feminism and identitarian seething will put that right in no time. No? The author of this cheerless tale, Ms Kai Cheng Thom, a “trans woman writer, poet and performance artist based in Montreal,” then goes on to bemoan the fact that “disorders like violent psychopathy” are “generally considered unlikeable,” possibly hazardous, “even in social circles that consider themselves progressive.” And that, while the public at large may be sympathetic towards people suffering clinical depression, “compassion for psychopaths, pathological liars, or narcissists” is, inexplicably, harder to come by. It’s all terribly unfair. Because incorrigible monsters bent on the manipulation and harm of others have feelings too: