Sunday, June 21, 2009

When the crazy comes knocking don't answer the door

I've been thinking some lately about the nature of the crazy and how it comes for all of us. In fact, I love how so many people refer to it as "the crazy" which I first thought was one writer's tag phrase and have now seen it so widely I know that I need not give attribution, and it indicates our collective recognition of the thing we all battle. What I noticed this week was a variety of forms of the crazy rearing up at the people in my life, some near and some afar. What I am thinking of is not just the full on different view of reality wherein eyes are circling independently and voices in one's mind make with the head messing (I work some with the seriously mentally ill and can attest that the voices are never supportive but always derogatory, no schizophrenic has ever been told that the dress makes her bum look small or that women like him, ever) but also the head patterns that those of us who are well sink into, wherein we think the types of thoughts that should never be thunk, as no good can possibly come from those types of thoughts.

I'm skipping the tales of those of my people who are dealing with divorce, burying a parent who was not expected to die, and those about to rock (for you guys, well, I salute you. This week I saw a friend of a friend, somebody's old ex, standing on a street corner looking completely bonkers. I once, in a very vague sort of way, saw him at a party and thought, ooh kinda appealing in a skinny bookish man sort of way. I thought he probably made literary jokes and was gentle and kind. I had a conversation with him and thought he was sort of skittish and jumpy, maybe in a literary sort of way but my interest had waned, bookishness or no. I like men who don't skit or twitch, if you know what I mean. He turned out to be an old high school friend of a friend and I now hear something of him every few years. He went on to marry a drop dead gorgeous woman who is quite delightful as I recall from meeting her once at a wedding. He (ahem) went to work at my local public library. See, remember how I knew he was literary? See? Well, he just mighta got lost in the stacks of books for just a little too long. I heard a few years ago that he had dropped into the depths of paranoia, as in believing in black helicopters hovering and CIA operative creeping around behind him and so on. This part would be sad if it were not so funny - I saw him this week wearing one of those captain hats, a military shirt, sunglasses, and holding a corn cob pipe. If he is hiding from the helicopters he isn't very good at going incognito. A day later I watched a woman in a motorized scooter chair fall completely asleep in a public place, to the point where her entire upper body was slumped sideways and her head and arm lolled down like a rag doll. I saw this acquiescence to the pull of the power of the nasty, and it might be the medications or the lack of rest or the general state of unwellbeingness but just for a moment I wanted to be able to be so floppy. I wanted to check out that level of surrender to the forces of gray and rest a while so things didn't seem so big.

My friends and I have bemoaned this problem before - we want to wait for the real grown ups to step in and help us make choices. Where is the person in charge? I am waiting for direction. I don't want to decide that Hannah needs tubes in her ears, since it means for her an actual hospital admission overnight to be on a glucose IV while fasting before the general anesthetic, and then while there we might get an MRI if I play Mama Bear ahead of time and make a zillion phone calls to get the gods of scheduling to put the stars in alignment so we can do that test on the same day and save ourselves a hospital admission. I don't want to have to spend the night there with her but wouldn't dream of leaving her alone there or with her Dad, who will actually sleep on the pull out bed provided and not keep neurotic vigil, like I would. I don't want to keep discussing with my husband if she needs the tubes at all, since he is so laid back he would wait until the roof fell in to think it needed fixing. Who will step in? Who will make the call and make it happen? Me. This is crazy making for me. Most of the time I just step right up but now and then I have an urge to surrender to the pull of do nothingness. And while I am there I might drift away to the land of I am not in charge. But I won't.

So you, my e-peeps, what is giving you the crazy? Are you winning?


  1. Being in the total limbo of separated-but-not-filing (yet), don't-know-if-we-can-salvage-this-relationship, kids-know-things-aren't-right-and-are-acting-out weirdness is giving me the crazy. It goes day by day, battle by battle. I'm trying, today, to take some necessary steps to win out over the crazy. I have no idea how to win out in saving the marriage, or if it's even possible. And that breaks my heart.

  2. when i first read your post tittle i thought crap i cant not answer because my self always nows i am home , and tells the family and then they know and i know they know and well then im just screwed. it becomes much more easier to open the dam door and put on my ipod.

  3. TeacherMommy: I am so sorry this has happened in your life. Take every step you can to keep your crap together.

    Mistress Pink: I thought of this comment while I baked my pale self in a tanning bed today, burning off my psoriasis while I listened to my iPod and smelled my burning flesh. Me, crazy?