Dita Basu - <!-- -->Hurts and Crazymakers

Hurts and Crazymakers



Hurts and Crazymakers

What do you do when toxic crazymakers enter your world?

A writing prompt came when I was drowning in a melancholic state. I was so hurt it made me numb and I couldn’t write for a while. Yes, you guessed it right. A crazy maker in contact. And we all know how powerful, manipulative they can be.

Like crepuscular monsters, they show up when I am most vulnerable and turn my world upside down into total darkness. Like the kids in Pied Piper of Hamelin, I follow them, mesmerized, knowing I am taken to a deep pit, yet I can’t escape.

When the light is on and I am in senses, I wonder why can’t I just dump them?. There is no room for toxic people in my life. But you know what I found ? I just can’t shove them so easily and today that is what I’m going to probe. Why and why not? Crazymakers show up in our lives as spouses -(the lover for whom you have left everything and) when they hurt you can’t just dust it off. You remember their breath, the warmth of the embrace, the fun days you had with them .

The crazymaker could come as a sibling with whom you have shared your childhood.

He is the only living person who can revisit those precious moments with all its vividness when you say, “Remember when …?’ No one in the entire world knows about those naughty, innocent secrets.

Crazymaker could be the child who tugged your skirt when he was little and you were his universe and now who has drifted away and gets irritated when you call to know if he’s well.

It hurts. You can’t just move on and not let them bother you. That’s where I am stuck. I read blogs and books about how to recognize the toxic people in life and strike them off like annoying bugs. In that process, I came across a new phrase —‘Toxic positivity.

It’s when they ask us to be happy. Happy all the time, don’t worry, be happy. ‘How to be happy’ is a big thing now. A multi-million dollar business.

But I can’t be happy all the time. It is important to feel sadness sometimes. Without darkness, there is no light. And when people say, ‘Oh don’t bother, dust it off…it happened for some good reason’, it sounds fake to me. It does not acknowledge the feeling of hurt which is so real. Sometimes you can dust off and sometimes you have to let it bleed and heal. With time it will dry and then you take off the scab and some might even leave scars. That’s a reality.

I feel hurt and can’t dust off because I valued those people in my life. I loved them.

Maybe they change.

Yes, there is the answer.

This life changes all the time. I have changed too. See, if we accept that death is a change of state (yes, I come from a background where we believe that) it makes sense to accept that the lover your spouse had been one day might have changed. Or the brother, whose dirt stricken face, the big smile holding a living tadpole in palms you loved so much has changed. The toddler son who followed you everywhere and now wants to get rid of you have changed. That’s the biggest truth. And I have to understand that.

It’s only the memories that are eternal that don’t die, even when loved ones die, even when people go through transition and become unrecognizable, still the sweet memories they leave are the only gifts.

I came across a poem by the wonderful Buddhist monk, peace activist and poet Thich Nhat Hanh (1926 - 2022) which made me think. The name of the poem is ‘Please Call Me By My True Names’ where he is imagining himself as different life forms — a bird, a frog, a young girl.

Thay, (as he was known to his students) wrote this poem in 1979 when he came to know about a rape of a twelve-year-old girl. He wrote this poem in response to this.

Thay was deeply disturbed but took the whole thing to a different level, where he unfolded the truth that nothing is permanent and tried to understand the rapist pirate as well. The historical perspective of the Vietnamese people who were fleeing the country to save their lives may come into this context.

Thay writes— …. “I am the twelve-year-old girl, refugee on a small boat, who throws herself into the ocean after being raped by a sea pirate. And I am the pirate, my heart not yet capable of seeing and loving…. My joy is like Spring…. My pain is like a river of tears so vast it fills the four oceans. …. Please call me by my true names, so I can wake up, and so the doors of my heart can be left open, the door of compassion.

I was taken aback. How could he empathize with the rapist pirate? It took me a couple of days to understand what he meant and the profound depth in this beautiful poem revealed. It gave me some hope for my individual problem.