Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Thoughts on Crazy-Makers Part 1

Image courtesy of Anne Taintor.

We all have one (or more) in our lives. We may work with some, live with them, or even love them. Our crazy-makers. These are the folks that, although they may not mean for it, they create chaos around them wherever they go.  Their inner turmoil spills out and attaches itself to the nearest living things.

I've had many. From fair-weather friends to roommates; from relatives to boyfriends to bosses. In fact, not too long ago I had an encounter with a former crazy-maker whom I removed from my life many years ago. Long gone was my anger toward this person. I attempted civility, this person was genuinely trying to be nice. I kind of ruined that one, but it wasn't on purpose. You see, when this friend and I "broke up", so to speak, I fell into that big (and complicated) depression I've mentioned to you all before. That isn't the point though. The point is that when this person and I dispersed, I was overwhelmed with a phenomenally visceral rush of emotions. I had to leave where I was. I felt like I had to run. I couldn't control my sadness. It was bizarre. My body and spirit were trying to cope with things my brain hadn't caught up to yet. What does this have to do with crazy-makers? I'm getting there, hold your horses.

You see, in my case (many times past and present), I was very close to my crazy-maker. I loved this person. I laughed with them. We shared secrets and dreams. We were great friends. I trusted them deeply. When things went lopsided, I felt ripped apart. Like a little kid whose Christmas morning was burning down all around her. In my romantic life, things were better than ever. I'd just met and married the love of my life. However, every single other aspect of my life felt appallingly out of order and it felt like it was because of this person's single-handed ability to destroy everything around them.  I felt like I was collateral damage because of the decisions they made. It was a characteristic of their's we had discussed in varying degrees over the course of our friendship. A "center of the Universe" way of existing that could be harmful to others, almost always unintentionally. And I spent years being angry for the things directly corresponding to that crazy-maker of mine's actions. And in true victim mentally, attributed things to them that were not at all their fault. However I was sad and angry. I was struggling to find a job and was generally just pissed off at the selfish actions of this person that so deeply affected my life, my happiness. At that point, I'm pretty sure I was my mother's crazy-maker (sorry Mom!).

The point is, when I became overwhelmed that day, I cried. I cried in my car, I cried in a parking lot and tried to hold it together in the checkout line at the grocery store. I finally sat my pathetic ass down to write. That's how I figure out what's going on with me. I literally wrote "What is making me so upset?" I answered myself in bullet points. Why this visit brought up so much pain and anger and sadness and I realized that I was simply grieving. I was grieving a future I had imagined for myself. One that made me happier than I am now. I was grieving how happy I was before things went sour. I was young and hopeful and independent. I was taking care of business and feeling confident for the first time as an "adult". I had hope. Hope that I could make something of myself and be a partner with that person possibly in a career move. Bah. It's embarrassing to even write it down, it's sounds whiny!

I looked at this list. I examined it. I forced myself to look at it for a good, long time. Then turned the paper over and asked myself another question..."What can I do to make my life more of what I want?" The things that poured out from me after that, made me happy just to write them. Go to concerts, for example. Something I did regularly (I'm a music nut) back in the day. Something that brought me tremendous happiness and release. It's been years since I've procured tickets for myself to a show that I really really wanted to see. Other simple things came out too. Different activities I can do instead of holing up for a Netflix marathon like I have been during my darker days because I just need an escape from reality. The answers were so simple and again, I was embarrassed that depression put such a veil over my eyes. I couldn't fathom doing any of the things on this list even a few months before and now that I was beginning to crawl out of it and take responsibility for my own nonsense, it all flowed.

I laughed to (perhaps at) myself then. This crazy-maker was one not only because of their own personal and poisonous stuff, but also because I let them be. I let this person wreak havoc because I loved them and allowed them too. That shit's on me. Ooh, not a fun pill to take. But I learned that I can love someone but not allow them to have power over me. I learned (and am still learning) what their individual tornado sirens sound like and am working on building my own little spiritual and emotional storm shelter. I realized that sometimes I am my own worst crazy-maker. That's a big one. But what I'm most thrilled that I learned is that my personal peace is not dictated by anyone else but me. My body is a temple, not only physically but emotionally and spiritually; and you have got to keep that shit tight. Sweep up the dirt, push the boulders out of the way, pull the weeds, plant seeds of change, play some good damn music, clean the windows and let the sunshine in. Deep forgiveness is a big part of that. Forgive them, and forgive yourself.

We are our own peace-makers.

I hope you have a truly wonderful day.

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