I have a much beloved friend, one who inspires me daily, who refers to the kind of behavior I was dealing with last night, on the eve of the full moon, as “copper poisoning”. Copper poisoning refers to people who behave irrationally, express themselves in inexplicable explosions and cling to the most negative things they can find (or make up in their own minds.) And like my friend, I have wrestled for some time with how to deal with it, while avoiding falling victim of its effects.
You see, neither my friend nor I actually believe that people actually think of themselves as poisonous or toxic. Personally, I believe that some people (because of whatever has come before in their life) believe they are well served by swirling in perpetual drama. They live in a world where the only real form of exercise is jumping to conclusions (and they are frequently ready to believe the worst in people.) But by my choosing to believe that the best exists in all of us – it is sometimes difficult for me to let go of people in my life who consistently cast themselves as the victims in drama they’ve scripted for themselves. Bear in mind, that if they cast themselves as victim – they must consistently have a cast of villains to play off of. And when the illusion of their victimization begins to crumble, and reality starts peeking through, they sometimes lash out.
A shrink friend of mine theorized that some people have an over-sized need/desire for attention. He noted how easily we as humans learn (and from a very young age) that if we’re hurt or are injured we usually illicit an almost instantaneous, warm, caring and sympathetic response in others. But he followed that with a caveat: some become addicted to that “positive response” and find the most negative ways of perpetuating it. They allow themselves to be or simply appear to be victimized by even the smallest, most innocent of gestures. In other words, one wrong word or one misstep can put you in emotional harms way. And it has nothing to do with you or me.
Last night, on the advice of a friend, I reached out to someone I know in an effort to try to clear the air between us (air that I had guessed was polluted – but had no real idea why). Others seemed to know what was up but none were saying. My gesture was met with attacks on my character, accusations of things I had supposedly said or done, and ultimately a lot that had more to do with person I was communicating with and less to do with me.
In the end, after calmly pointing out that if “your friends are telling you someone who has been friendly, supportive and enthusiastic about you/your work etc. has said vile/hurtful things” you might want to see for yourself if there’s truth in it. Scratch the surface of it and you’ll see it doesn’t make sense. You might also want to question the filters you’ve “been told” things through – meaning examine the motivation of someone telling you things that they believe are intended to hurt you.
I eventually came to discover that apparently the bulk of this nonsense stemmed from am aspiring actor/model I had brought into the circle of people that included the aforementioned “victim.” This was someone I had helped, listened to, coached and tried to steer towards positive and valuable experiences upon which they might grow their career. I had no idea what was going on behind my back for what I now know to be months on end. Both chose to ignore truth and good intention in favor of perpetuating drama. That is unfortunate for them. Bottom line, they’re out of my life and it truly is their loss.
As I’ve said many times recently, “2013 for me is becoming all about reassessing goals as well as personal relationships and professional associations. Change is good.” It’s not always comfortable, but it’s good.
There is an amazing capacity for each of us to be a light-bearer to family, friends, neighbors and the world-at-large. I strive to continue to do so as does the inspirational friend I mentioned in the very first sentence of this post. And I wish the same for all of you.