Fight Club and I
"What you see at fight club is a generation of men raised by women . . .. I'm a thirty-year-old boy, and I'm wondering if another woman is really the answer I need." These words are from Chuck Palahniuk's novel Fight Club. Tyler Durden is the alter ego, and only known name of the fictional narrator of the novel. Tyler suffers from Dissociative Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder, Primary Insomnia, and probably a host of other disorders that I am not qualified to properly diagnose.
"Women have caused me nothing but trouble for twenty-one years. That's it, I'm swearing off women . . . at least for a little while." These words were spoken by me, about two months ago. I am Aaron Mobley, a very real former U.S. Marine. I suffer from Antisocial Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, and abnormally high testosterone levels (yes, this was all medically verified).
So what do Tyler and I have in common besides similar views on relationships? Quite a bit, actually. Tyler was raised by his mother. His father abandoned them early in his life and only had sporadic contact with his son. I, too, was raised by my mother. She divorced my father early in my life, and he made little effort to further his involvement in my life from that point forward. " If you're male . . . your father is your model for God. And if you never know your father, if your father bails out or dies or is never at home, what do you believe about God?" Also from Fight Club. As you can see, I really connected with this novel.
Let's start with the most obvious similarity: antisocial personality disorder, or APD. APD is, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood (645). Those words are straight from the book, and I have them memorized. I am writing this at 5 a.m.
So neither Tyler nor I gives a shit (I hope I can say that in this paper) about other people or how they should be treated. And not only do we not care, but we also act on that lack of empathy. Pretty sad, huh? The difference between Tyler and me is that I know I have APD, and it bothers me. It sounds odd. Hurting other people doesn't bother me, but knowing that it doesn't bother me does bother me. It's hard to understand unless you've lived it.
Tyler is an insomniac. I sleep about twelve hours a day. Well, some days. Other nights (like tonight) I don't sleep at all. I'm not sure if that qualifies as a sleep disorder. On a week-by-week basis, I get as much sleep as anyone else does. I also eat this way. I'll eat two pizzas in a sitting, and then not eat for the next 36 hours. I'm pretty sure that's not a disorder, just a quirk of biology.
Tyler has two personalities. I have a labile affect and two moods. I'm manic, or I'm depressed. Whichever I happen to be,...