Good morning, Rebels, and welcome back to my life.
Something happened in my household recently that I feel the need to share with you for some reason, even though it’s going to completely gross you out.
My son’s name is Luke, and he’s the cutest boy in the world, but every so often he’ll do something that…well, is just a dick move.
The other day my wife and my son were in my bedroom, and Luke took his diaper off, and it was filled with poop.
My wife, quite reasonably, decided to give him a bath instead of trying to wipe down his whole body, which was now walking around…covered with poop.
Turned out once she put him in the bath, he wasn’t done. He pooped in the bath water.
So my wife drained the bath.
Unfortunately, this made his poop go into the drain, where it stuck on that piece of metal right under the rim.
My wife took a bobby pin and shoved the poop further down the drain to get rid of it.
Hearing about it later, this was a mystery to me. Up to now, my wife’s actions seemed perfectly reasonable, but why would you…why not…I don’t know. Anyway, it’s not important.
My wife is pregnant right now, and her stomach is very delicate, so this action made her need to vomit.
She ran to the toilet to throw up, only to discover that my son had taken an entire roll of toilet paper, unspooled it, and shoved it into the toilet, making flushing completely impossible.
With only seconds to spare, she ran to the nearest receptacle capable of receiving her, shall we say, payload.
That receptacle was MY sink.
She then had to clean up her own vomit, my son’s poop and the toilet before telling me the entire story.
BABIES CAN BE THE MOST DISGUSTING THINGS IN THE WORLD.
But it’s not just poop and vomit and other bodily fluids that are a challenge with babies. Babies also have personality problems.
They don’t know how to communicate yet, so if they want something, if they’re sad, if they need to go to the restroom or eat or sleep, their default reaction is to scream.
If they’re in a really bad mood, they’ll scream, they’ll throw their body down at the floor, they might even hit you — not intending to cause you harm, but just because they’re flinging their body around to get attention and THEY’RE NOT YET COGNIZANT OF THEIR ABILITY TO HURT OTHER PEOPLE.
And that one little thing gets at the meat of what I want to talk to you about today.
A sociopath, by definition, cannot recognize the feelings, pain or even reality of others.
Does this mean that all babies are sociopaths? Well, in the very early stages, to some degree…YES.
But that’s okay because they’re BABIES. They’re here on this earth and in this society to learn how NOT to be sociopaths and to help all of us create a better world together.
The problem comes when these little sociopaths grow up and never learn how NOT to be sociopaths, OR — as also sometimes happens — they learn HOW TO BE a sociopath.
The abuser in a relationship is someone with the motor skills of an adult, the physical stature and strength of an adult, the verbalization and vocabulary of an adult, and yet they’ve never grown up in terms of their sociopathy.
Let me repeat that slowly and clearly — the abuser in a relationship is a child whose mind and empathy have not developed beyond the infant level.
What is okay for them to do as a baby is absolutely not okay for them to do as an adult.
Take this sentence as an example: “He ran into the room screaming at the top of his lungs. Then he thrashed around and flailed his limbs. He hit me in the chest and stomach and I had to cover my face while I tried to calm him down.”
If that’s a parent describing their child’s tantrum, that’s maybe a funny story, or maybe just exhausting.
If that’s a woman describing her boyfriend, she is in an abusive relationship and her life is in very real danger.
If you’re the other person in the relationship, you need to realize that this is simply a fact.
Maybe, maybe, one day, this person can be rehabilitated, but it’s extremely difficult because the developmental phase of his life has already passed, and he’s set in all kinds of routines and patterns that are NOT your fault and you should NOT be trying to “fix.”
This person has already failed, or has been failed by his parents or the environment he was brought up in. But no matter if it was his fault or not, IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT AND YOU NEED TO NOT BE ROMANTICALLY INVOLVED WITH THEM.
To a sociopath, you are a toy. A plaything. You are not a real person. No matter how much they fawn over you, if there’s an argument, a disagreement, or any situation in which they don’t get their own way, they’ll throw a tantrum.
Only it’s not the tantrum of a two year old child who might throw himself down on the floor and kick, it’s the tantrum of a twenty-plus adult who can very badly injure you, or worse.
It’s not that they don’t love you. In their own way, they do. But you are not REAL to them. You are not a PERSON, because deep down they have no concept that there ARE other people.
My child loves me and he loves his toys. Does that stop him from screaming at me when he’s angry, or throwing his toys against the wall or the floor?
What if your partner acts like that, and YOU are the toy?
There are very few things in life that are absolutely certain, and as John Green has taught us all, the truth resists simplicity.
But there is one thing I will tell you with absolute certainty: if you are in a relationship with someone who still treats you like a child treats its toys, you need to get the hell out of there.
It will probably be hard. You might think it is impossible.
And yet you have to do it.
Because when a child is done with its toys, it breaks them and it throws them away.
One last thing: when you make that decision and are ready to take that step, the one thing you MUST NOT DO is tell your partner. Not until you are ALREADY safely away and beyond their reach.
Because the surest way to instigate a child’s tantrum is to tell him or her that you’re taking their toy away.
Sorry that this is heavy. But even if you don’t talk about heavy things, they still happen.
And they shouldn’t happen. Not ever.
Here are some links for places to get help if you or someone you know needs it:
And if you need it, take it.
I love my children more than life itself. I love all children, with their limitless potential for being amazing people when they grow up.
But that doesn’t mean I love the people who have grown up to be tiny, weak little children in adult bodies.