Psychological Profile Series

A creative interpretation of mental illness, using fictional characters. 

Disclaimer/ Trigger Warning: This story fictional/ artistic work, which depicts a narrative reflecting mental illness.  This can be triggering for some people, so caution is advised. In addition: This is strictly art and is not meant to act as professional advice. Seek emergency assistance and professional help for mental health concerns.

Victor

 

[psychopathy, with traits of narcissistic personality disorder] 

I was 9 when I first realized I wasn't like other people. Standing in front of my younger sister and brother, one of our [dead] pet hamsters curdled in my hands, I watched as their horror imploded. My sister cried uncontrollably, while my brother dry heaved. We had far too many hamsters already. Most of the time, they gave birth to dead babies anyway, so I simply didn’t see why my killing this one was such a big deal. 

 

Still, their reactions taught me a lesson- a powerful one at that. I couldn't make these mistakes anymore. If I didn't care, I had to pretend to care. If I didn't pretend, everyone else would know I was different too. 

 

Three years later, at my uncle's funeral, I watched as my father anguished. I forced a few tears, trying to appear solemn.  Truth be told, I was obsessed with my new Pokemon video game. I wanted to go back to playing it as soon as possible. My mind wandered, while everyone around me cried and carried on. 

 

"He loved you very much Victor" my father sobbed. I looked up at him, shaking my head. "I know dad- I know." 

 

Now, 33 years old, sitting at this meeting, everyone is consoling my coworker. Her son just died. We have so much work to do- I cannot afford this spectacle. I clear my throat, mimicking the sad phases around me. "Why don't you take the day off, Greta?" I suggest, keeping my voice gentle and even. She looks up at me with a tearstained face. 

"Really?" she replies. 

"Yes- I cannot even imagine what you're going through. Allow me to walk you to your car." 

AIMEE

I am seemingly trapped in two time periods as I make my way through the door to the office. In one reality, I am a teenage track star again, feeling the last surge of agony of one of my 5k races. In this reality, I am pushing through just as hard. The day has barely started, and I have not the energy to push open the heavy door. 

 My body, which has always been naturally lithe, seems to drown in my clothes. If you weren’t asking for an invitation, my bones don't seem to care. They’e out to say hello. The last time I ate was 12 hours ago. I had some rice cakes and a half of a banana. 

As I catch my bearings and my breath, I see Victor, one of my coworkers, escorting an extremely troubled Greta out of the building. He and I make eye contact, and for a moment, I am disarmed. Instinctively, I feel the need to walk with them. It feels as though  I somehow need to protect Greta from him.  There is this coldness to Victor that's hard to explain. Even when he laughs, it is as though his breath is made of ice. His eyes, though handsomely large and dark, hold no warmth. Despite this, he is one of the most popular guys in the office.  

 

Victor shakes his head,  and I nod to him, trying to ignore the surge of anxiety coursing through me. 

  

 I will check on Greta later. This is Viktor. I've been working with him for 2 years. She's safe.

My own thoughts feel surreal and distant to me. For a moment, I am caught yet again in an inability to press forward. My mind is foggy.  Things are harder to process, and I close my eyes, as if to will energy into my body. Then, I remember, we have security everywhere. It's a biotech company, after all. Greta is okay. She's okay. 

 I make my way towards the main conference room, where we have our daily team meetings. Every part of me wants food, except, I am not hungry anymore. See, more often than not, your hunger fades away after about a week.  Then, you only know if you're hungry when you're lightheaded. 

Still, as though I am running another race, I force myself forward. I am soon greeted by Jeremy; always cheery, usually hungover. He offers me a coffee. I try to keep my hands from shaking as I gladly accept it. Coffee is not off limits, whatsoever. 

"Good morning. Would you happen to know what's going on with Greta? I just saw her with Viktor.Sheseemedupset."

EMMA

Jeremy is cheerfully speaking to me about his boyfriend, their latest vacation, the usual. His words sound far away, but I nod, trying to be engaged. This room is always so loud. Bad acoustics. And the light? It's bright. Hot, even. 

Just then, Aimee, our HR consultant approaches. I feel tension sweeping over me. She does not look well. Her pale skin emphasizes each dark circle and protruding bone.  I  will never think this thought again, but the state of her health is akin to the hell that comes from war.  Perhaps she is waging a war against herself. 

War. It always comes back to this. 

I was 16, soon to be 17 on September 11th, 2001. I remember sitting in horror with my other classmates as we watched the chaos that day.  What was always certain, even before 9/11, was that I was going to be a solider. Coming from a military family, I had my plan: Get great grades. Join the swim team. Ace the tests. I’d already began studying for my ASVABs. 

What was even more apparent to me, especially after 9/11was that I was going to enlist as soon as possible. I was swept away with our country- our shared anger. As young as I was, I just knew that I felt this intrinsic, deep motivation to fight. As naive as I was, I didn't put all the pieces together. Frankly, I still haven't.

 

Just then, I feel a thud behind me. I lurch to look, seeing that it's just Viktor,  closing the door behind him. Jeremy and Aimee continue to chat away. It must feel so great to be oblivious…to not have seen or know the horrors I somehow lived through.

 

As these anxious thoughts accumulate, I now feel the urgency to leave. I swallow, hard, starting to feel hot.

There aren't enough exits in this room.This room is flawed, unless it's a death trap. Then, it does well. 

The room just gets worse from there. We have to undergo these stupid team meetings. Someone is going to get a promotion today, at least. That's what Jeremy said. A makeshift ceremony of sorts begins,  my thoughts drifting back to Aimee. It's not my business. Not at all.  I have no right to visit this in my thoughts.

My mind wanders to my newborn daughter. I imagine what I would do if she was sick this way. Last night I had a dream- I was running with her through the dessert, dodging the sun, which was growing brighter and brighter. Then, I see the boy- what's left of his face. 

I lose all time and space, watching as Jeremy bounds, nearly skipping, down the center aisle. He shakes the hand of our executive Vice President. It's time to leave now, before people gather in front of the only two ways out.

JEREMY

 

Coke dripping down my throat, and booze, unlimited power. I am on top of the world  and no one can stop me. Not even Kyle. I love the man, but not everything is a manic episode. Tonight sure as hell isn't. It's to celebrate my move up the chain, so to speak. Even Victor, who's a great dude [but super serious] wanted to take me out. 

“You don’t sound right, Jer-Bear.

Have you been taking your meds?”

 

 I  shrug it off. Nothing’s wrong. In fact, everything’s right. I am a God tonight. The bar is packed, I’m on my fourth drink, and no, I haven’t taken my meds. I don’t always need them, I try to remind Kyle. Sometimes. I am just fine without them. Beyond fine. I feel like I can do anything, or be anyone. The air is filled with electricity as my ability to give a damn slips and slides into another drink.

As the room grows hazier and hazier, I can see the excitement in Victor’s eyes as he hands me another drink. I have to admit, dead eyes aside, he’s a beautiful man. He has large, brown eyes, and dark thick, brown hair. His skin is always perfectly tan, as if he’d been on  But he’s straight as a doornail. 

VIKTOR

Jeremy, despite having none of the intellect or skillset to warrant it, is blessed with the sort of privilege that guarantees his odds of success. He is also, exceptionally good looking, with the sort of smile that could charm nearly anyone. Women fall all over him, even though he’s gay,[ which is arguably the only likable or genuine thing about him].  

 

Sometimes, the urge to kill him takes over me, until l need to nearly beat myself into a state of rational thought.

 

Today, he took something which was rightfully mine. The dolt sitting in front of me is now my superior. Ha! The thought if it nearly makes me choke on my beer with disgust.

 

Tonight, I am feeling less controlled than usual. I am on to my second drink. I watch him, with his designer clothes and luxury life he did nothing to deserve. I pretend to nod and smile as he goes on and onabout this stupid fucking boat. 

 

He is a waste of life and space, especially, for getting in my way.

 

A cool, resolute rage rises within me. I can nearly taste the bile and bitterness in my mouth. Unless you've ever felt this sort of rage, it would be difficult to understand. This rage is quieter and more . . .resolute.

As I laugh along with him, I watch the veins in his neck. I can nearly feel his tender flesh pulsating beneath my fingers as I dig in. I imagine wrapping my hands around his throat- watching his shocked face turn blue. I take this fantasy all the way down to the light dimming in his eyes. I’m nearly aroused at the thought of seeing the life drain from his body.

 

“I’m going to do another line-“ he says to me, in his bright and cheery voice. "Want to partake?" 

 

A sudden burst of glee. The bathroom is down a dimly lit staircase. I have been alone in there many times. He mistakes my silence for judgement. He winks at me, flirtatiously, tilting his head downstairs.

 

I need to contain my laughter. This idiot,has literally no idea he is leading himself to be executed. 

 

Executed. 

 

Then, excitement overtakes me in a siege of sheer blood lust.

 

He could easily have an accident down there. Granted, I couldn't prolong his suffering to the extent I would like, it's perfectly plausible that a mentally unstable man would slip, or break a vessel in his nose.

 

Or. . . 

 

The toilet.

 

Thrilled by the idea,I imagine how good it would feel to encourage him into a coke stupor, to hold his head just above the shitter- and to drown him in  it, - where he belongs. My mind races as I think of the gamble.

 

There are cameras here. But not the bathroom. . .

 

I think of potentially being caught and my life being over. But when I look up from the stool into his stupid face, the alcohol wins. I need to at least try. The odds of me having a chance like this are slim to none.

 

"Are you coming or not?" he asks in a slightly different tone. I know he wants to fuck me. I don't care, personally, but I am lucky enough to be able to use it to my advantage.

 

I get up and follow him into the dark,  my adrenaline rushing. I keep my gaze steadfast and straighten the tension from jaw. my jaw. I need to remember the act; I am casually walking with a colleague to possibly do drugs. There is no chance I will give him any indication

LACHLAN

 Lachlan shakes as he swallows the pills he was supposed to take hours ago. He cannot live with them, or without them. With them, he is no longer himself. His inner fire is gone. Without them, the voices come back, loud and clear. And they’re bastards- all of them. 

 

 Tonight, they’re front and center. Like a constant, annoying humming in the background- he cannot rid himself of them. 

 

    Look at what you did- why are you drinking scotch? Sally is right about you. You are a worthless pile of shit.

 

    “Shut up!" he demands, closing his eyes tight and placing his temples in his hands.

 

    Sally, his ex wife, is fighting for sole custody of their children. That is why, his psychiatrist thinks, he is starting to have another psychotic break. Still, what is he to do? He must go to work. Especially now.

 

    You are a perfectionist, his psychiatrist, Dr. Manning once dutifully christened him. 

 

" I suppose you could say so. "Lachlan answered furrowing his brow in thought.  Though he'd considered the possibility of being one, hearing it said aloud by another person, especially a respected one, carried weight. 

 

That's the whole problem though, isn't it? Dr. Manning replied.

 

"Well, yes and no. I think that I am a perfectionist for the same reasons most people are, perhaps- but. . ." 

 

But? the doctor probes.

 

"But for me, this inherent place of. . . of worthlessness- it drives me." 

 

Dr. Manning was silent, as though to inquire. 

 

"I have this . . this . . . desire, to - no, I have this need to prove to everyone-to myself, that I am someone or something in this world." Lachlan admits. 

 

What hinders others, helps you, am I understanding that correctly?

 

"Yes. You could say that." Lachlan says.

 

Does it ever hurt you? 

 

At the time, he hadn't known how to answer. Now, he can answer. "Yes. Yes it does hurt me. It hurst so terribly much." 

 

He hears a loud, groaning noise to his left. For a moment, every voice is silent. He sees Victor and Jeremy, staring at him, dumbfounded. 

 

"Uh. . . hello," Lachlan greets, breaking the silence.