Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Just finished (literally, 2 seconds ago) Laurie Fox's novel/memoir, My Sister from the Black Lagoon. For anyone wondering what it's like to live in a family with mental illness, this is the book for you. When one member of the family is "crazy", the whole family becomes crazy. If you imagine the family unit being a mobile, the crazy person hanging from that mobile is constantly upsetting the delicate balance, and everyone else hanging from the mobile is constantly re-adjusting. Constantly.

OK, now imagine that there's a mobile and three out of four people hanging from it are crazy. It is even possible for the fourth to stay sane? How can they possibly? And then there's the chicken and the egg question. Which came first?

It's been my experience that when dealing with crazies, the ones that are really good, make you think you're the crazy one. Oldest trick in the book.

Having lived with more insane people than I can shake a stick at, I consider myself somewhat of an expert. That is to say, I'm an expert at living WITH insanity. What I am no good at all, is living with SANITY. Not so helpful, as I have come to find out, such people really exist!

I was talking about all of this with my sweet, sweet friend yesterday. She said she recently had an "Aha!" moment when dealing with her daughter that is managing OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).

"I get what you've been trying to tell me all these years," she said. "The circular thinking. The DRAGGING you into their OCD head and insisting you go around and around and around with them, stopping briefly, then starting the whole routiine again. It's crazy-making!"

I'm saying.

Another friend and I rely upon a visual demonstration when talking about the nuts in our lives.

"I love you... over THERE," we say, as we hold our arms in front of us, forming a circle. With the words, "over there," we fling our pointer finger dramatically, way, way, way far away.

Am I mean? Intolerant? Crazier than all of them combined? Ruthless and politically incorrect for even talking about this with words like "crazy" and "nuts"? I don't have the foggiest, all this talk is making me, well, you know...


Anonymous said...

We all have a little crazy in us, but for those of us who live around people who are mentally ill, it is definitely difficult to keep one's balance. I love that you're able to recognize that and laugh about it. Being resentful and frustrated only makes it harder for everyone, but it's really difficult to not get sucked in to another person's reality - especially when you truly care for them.

Love you, Carrie!

Terry Whitaker said...

Agreed! You have so much fortitude--and your love for the "crazies" does get through--and helps!

jennifer said...

Great courage to write this and share it, so close to home. Thank you! I have a saying...I am crazy...but on MY TERMS!

Suzy said...

I like to say "I'm crazy" but can usually rein it in, although some friends disagree.
Love the mobile get it, they don't or do they get it and you don't?

Great writing Miss Carrie.
Love you, love you, love you.

Anonymous said...

the word crazy is as insulting as the word retarded

Jerri said...

I love you right here: <> (Insert image of me pointing straight to your heart and to mine.)

PsychoBabble said...

I know crazy and I would rather be crazy with you then some of the other crazies out there! So keep being you, you are doing great.

PsychoBabble said...

anonymous must be crazy or they wouldn't have gotten insulted. : )