Fic: Kurt Hummel, Heartbreaker
because allowing kurt to even step outside in the world when he’s going to meet people should be considered highly irresponsible, honestly. 1,400 words.
“Oh!” Kurt says and halts where he’s hurrying down the stairs, doing a little pirouette to keep from crashing into the woman in front of him. “So, sorry, ma’am, I didn’t see you there!” He reaches out and squeezes her arm briefly in apology.
“No worries,” she says, cuts herself off with a little gasp as she looks up at him.
Analysis of why Sherlock’s self-acclaimed title of high function sociopath is so important to his character development even though Sherlock is most definitely not a sociopath.
What can we deduce about His Heart?
I have written several different articles on why Sherlock cannot be a sociopath (Walking Nightmares for Medical Students, Dear Sherlock Stop Calling Yourself a sociopath). To sum them up:
1. There is no such thing as a sociopath; the condition is actually called psychopathic personality disorder (a sub-classification of antisocial personality disorder).
2. Sherlock definitely doesn’t have psychopathic personality disorder because he has a conscience, demonstrates true empathy and altruism. These are things that a true psychopath does not have and will never achieve.
Thus please do not confuse Sherlock with true psychopath personality disorder.
Sherlock knows he is not a high-function sociopath. A quick browse through the Hare checklist (for diagnosing psychopathic personality disorder) will have told him that and I fail to believe that Sherlock never bother to research his own self-acclaimed psychiatric condition.
So why is being known as a high-function sociopath so important to Sherlock? Why does he constantly repeat this to everyone: strangers and friends to the point that they become convince of it too?
The answer to this question gives us a fascinating insight into Sherlock’s heart.
If Not Healthy, at Least Successful
Labels can be derogatory, debasing and dehumanising. Sherlock has acquired a whole host of labels throughout his life. His elder brother labelled him stupid, the children at school no doubt labelled him as an outsider, Sally Donovan labelled him a freak .
Sherlock understands the effects of being labelled as much as any child who has ever been bullied. He has felt the pain, the isolation and hopeless generated by people’s inhuman methods of separating out “otherness” and abusing the power it brings them. I see the consequences of bullying everyday in faces of my paediatric patients. It manifests as an array of different psychiatric disorders but at the root of it all is the deep overwhelming sense of isolation that comes from being labelled as “other”.
The most interesting and, I feel, very moving aspect of Sherlock’s personality is that he did not allow this to be his downfall.
Sherlock is not a machine, he feels emotion as much as the rest of us do but he turned what could have been an utterly destructive childhood experience into an inner strength. In essence he made it his life’s mission to beat everyone who has labelled him at their own game – by turning what is used as weapon against him into an emotional shield. However Sherlock’s shield is not impenetrable, there are still plenty of things that can hurt him but the important thing is that he has a coping mechanism and it has kept him sane.
I would not say his approach was particularly healthy but it has stopped him from developing any psychiatric disorders so it was successful.
What is even more interesting is why Sherlock choose to label himself a “high function sociopath”. I really don’t believe this is just an exercise in scaring others. It is the most invaluable part of his emotional coping strategy.
Analysis of Sherlock’s parents and why their normality is vital in explaining how Sherlock became the man he is.
The moment I saw them I had the sinking feeling that Mr and Mrs Holmes are irreparably wrong.
Then I realise that this was only my own narcissism getting in the way of logical analysis because if one looks at them from an impartial perspective Sherlock’s parents are surprisingly right, in every sense of the word.
- Why the Holmes Parents fit perfectly into Sherlock and Mycroft’s background. They had to be ordinary in order to explain why Sherlock and Mycroft are extraordinary.
- How normal loving parents can produce such eccentrically maladjusted offspring
- What we can tell about the Holmes Brothers’ childhood from their parents.
Hot House Flowers
The Holmes parents’ apparently banality appears to have spoilt many deeply held fan beliefs regarding “Mummy”. The truth is I also fell into the horrific logical trap of assuming that just because Sherlock has arrested emotional development – his parents must be utterly eccentric, over medicated, psychologically unstable, adulterers who evidently neglected him something terrible.
What we all lacked was a sarcastic voice of reason to interject with a perfectly time “really?” and an elegantly raised eyebrow.
The age old belief that parents pass their problems onto their children is definitely true but the way these problems manifest in children can be surprising and counter-initiative.
For a doctor who has been surprised too many times to actually be surprised – I really should have seen the Holmes parents’ coming because actually they fit perfectly into Sherlock and Mycroft’s background.