Anyone Might Be Crazy: a Parable.
01/02/2014 § 1 Comment
Along the pathless path, there are incidents that prepare us for the unseen.
1987; I was living in New England. I looked for a place to rent and chanced upon a beautiful farmhouse ten minutes out of town. A bit pricey but it had 4 bedrooms and if I found 2 or 3 more renters I could afford it. Right away, a beautiful redhead with a calico cat came on board, and we ate our dinners together.
It was over a month later that we found our next roommate, who I shall call Cobb. He was a handsome young man, a graduate student at the local university. We were glad that he moved in.
To make a long story short, because I couldnt stand telling the long version, it turned out he had Bi-Polar Disorder and was crazy as a loon. He presented himself as a victim of the mental health system, forced to take completely uneccessary *chemical restraints* – lithium – by evil Nurse Ratched types.
Sometimes he was incandescently warm to me. At other times harsh and condemning. One time in his warm aspect, on the sunny roof, he approached me with a proposition to throw Redhead out of the house. This was after her relationship with me suddenly and inexplicably turned sour. I told him, no.
Then came the day that saw him alone in the house when Red and I were both out. He split a whole bin of wood by himself, then took Redheads calico cat, put it in his car, drove 300 miles to the Canadian Border, abandoned the car with the cat locked inside, and then somehow got himself arrested for creating a public nuisance.
Redhead and I werent talking to each other at that point, but I got on the phone and started making phone calls, eventually locating the abandoned car with Calico crying inside it. Red drove up the next day and had the police open the car to get her cat. They wouldnt let her see Cobb.
A few days later it snowed heavily. I was driving my van home from work when I had a disturbing thought. The van slipped on the ice and got totaled. When I got home, I asked Red if Cobb had approached her about conspiring to kick me out of the house. She said, yes, he had. He had been playing the two of us against each other since the day he moved into the house, for no reason that had anything to do with us. And he had gotten completely off his Lithium medication without telling anyone.
An isolated thought appeared in my head that grew and grew. It said, *Pay close attention to what happened; this is important. Anyone could be more than they seem. Anyone. Even people you think you know very very well.*
23 years later I found out my mother was a Narcissist. I had been warned. I remembered Cobb well. I wasnt shocked this time, but I had a lot of re-evaluating to do. Narcissists lie about everything. I had to sift over a lifetime of memories looking for lies. I found quite a few. Im still finding them.
If you find out a loved one has a mental health diagnosis, consider yourself lucky. My brother and sisters have been ignorant of our mothers affliction their whole lives, and I dont think theyll figure it out until after Mom dies. Apparently, we only learn how to avoid fire by getting burned.
May you survive your first burn!