He May Be Related to James


And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.’"

George Orwell, 1984, Book 1, Chapter 3


A few Decembers ago I was in Florida visiting my mom with GF and the Wee One. As it happened, my ex-wife,  Daughter’s mother, was also spending the holiday season in Florida, visiting her parents. So she was down there with her new husband, a rather nice fellow who looks a little like Jesse Ventura, and Daughter.

Usually, when she’s in Florida for more than a few days, because there isn’t a lot of physical distance involved, Daughter gets to spend a night with the opposite grandparents. So there were plans afoot for her to spend a day with my mother and then she’d go back to Spring Hill after supper. My mother decided to invite the ex and her husband down for the supper; we’d all eat together and then they’d head back.

Then it occurred to her that this might bother me somehow.

So she took me aside, away from everyone else, and said to me, "Listen. I’ve invited (Ex and Husband) down for dinner before they get Daughter."

"Okay," I said. What do I care? I’ve got no argument with anyone here.

"But if that’s going to be uncomfortable for you, I’ll change the plan. They can just come later and I’ll take them out to dinner some other night or something."

"What are you going to do, un-invite them? I’ve got no problem with them. I know you get along with Ex. So what?" And this part was the clincher. "Look. You told me something a long time ago: ‘Always do the right thing. This way nobody can say anything against you.’ This is a right thing to do." My mom actually cried a little at this, gave me a hug and so forth. And we had a decent evening.

It takes a lot of energy to hate someone. It’s incredibly wearing and it’s consuming. It starts to take over your whole being and it poisons your attitude and that of the people around you. Negative attitudes can really suck the life out of you. I try to avoid people like this, but the toughest part about them is that they don’t usually recognize themselves as such. These are the Crazymakers in our lives.

Julia Cameron describes them thus:

Crazymakers are those personalities that create storm centers. Charismatic, out of control, long on problems, short on solutions. They draw you in and the way they can suck the life right out of you would make Dracula jealous. They are a mess. They want attention, they like thriving on drama, and they want help with those problems, but they never listen to you. They don’t care about what is going on with YOU. It’s all ME ME ME. They pit people against each other. They are often late, make dramatic entrances. They are manipulators. They make sure your sense of well being is snuffed before it ever gets going. They are always in one crisis or another. And being the sensitive soul you are, you probably try with all your might to solve their problems, make them happy. In a way, when you do this, you are making them happy because they have all your attention, they are in the spotlight. It gives them POWER, which is a heady thing. We have to have the power to say "no." NO! At first you might feel guilty, like you aren’t being a good friend. Well, you are. To yourself. REMEMBER: Crazymakers:

  • break deals and destroy schedules.
  • expect special treatment
  • discount your reality
  • spend your time and money
  • triangulate those they deal with (create drama, pit against each other)
  • are expert blamers (nothing is EVER their fault, have you noticed?)
  • create dramas
  • are seldom where they belong
  • hate schedules
  • hate order
  • deny they are crazy makers

Another quotation before I go, from Pulp Fiction:

Jules: There’s a passage I got memorized. Ezekiel 25:17. The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you.

I been sayin’ that shit for years. And if you ever heard it, it meant your ass. I never really questioned what it meant. I thought it was just a cold-blooded thing to say to a motherfucker before you popped a cap in his ass. But I saw some shit this mornin’ made me think twice. Now I’m thinkin’: it could mean you’re the evil man. And I’m the righteous man. And Mr. 9mm here, he’s the shepherd protecting my righteous ass in the valley of darkness. Or it could be you’re the righteous man and I’m the shepherd and it’s the world that’s evil and selfish. I’d like that. But that shit ain’t the truth. The truth is you’re the weak. And I’m the tyranny of evil men. But I’m tryin’, Ringo. I’m tryin’ real hard to be a shepherd.

I’m trying very hard, some days.

4 thoughts on “He May Be Related to James”

  1. I overheard my divorced boss telling a married coworker “Remember, you liked them well enough once to marry them.”
    It’s all perspective.

  2. Are you trying to say you work with some interesting personalities or have some family issies? Ha ha ha I suppose everyone feels this way at one time or another…

  3. I hear you, C. The crazymakers you mention above I call toxic people. They never know they are; I’ve run across quite a few. Your mom was right on, buddy. Good for you, I’m glad the story with Daughter above all worked out. The best thing to tell toxic people is this, learned from my teaching days: No thank you, I don’t like that, please stop. Gets ’em every time.

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