Thursday, June 15, 2017


"Crazymakers are those personalities that create storm centers. They are often charismatic, frequently charming, highly inventive, and powerfully persuasive. And, for the creative person in their vicinity, they are enormously destructive. You know the type: charismatic but out of control, long on problems and short on solutions. Crazymakers are the kind of people who can take over your whole life. To fixer-uppers, they are irresistible: so much to change, so many distractions....

If you are involved with a crazymaker, you probably know it already, and you certainly recognize the thumbnail description in the paragraph above. Crazymakers like drama. If they can swing it, they are the star. Everyone around them functions as supporting cast, picking up their cues, their entrances and exits, from the crazymaker’s (crazy) whims.

Some of the most profoundly destructive crazymakers I have ever encountered are themselves famous artists. They are the kind of artists that give the rest of us bad names. Often larger than life, they acquire that status by feeding on the life energies of those around them. For this reason, many of the most crazy artists in America are found surrounded by a cadre of supporters as talented as they are but determined to subvert their own talent in the service of the Crazymaking King. Learn to get in touch with the silence within

Crazymakers break deals and destroy schedules. They show up two days early for your wedding and expect to be waited on hand and foot. They rent a vacation cabin larger and more expensive than the one agreed upon, and then they expect you to foot the bill.

Crazymakers expect special treatment. They suffer a wide panoply of mysterious ailments that require care and attention whenever you have a deadline looming—or anything else that draws your attention from the crazymaker’s demands.

The crazymaker cooks her own special meal in a house full of hungry children—and does nothing to feed the kids. The crazymaker is too upset to drive right after he has vented enormous verbal abuse on the heads of those around him. “I am afraid Daddy will have a heart attack,” the victim starts thinking, instead of, “How do I get this monster out of my house?”

Crazymakers discount your reality. No matter how important your deadline or how critical your work trajectory at the moment, crazymakers will violate your needs. They may act as though they hear your boundaries and will respect them, but in practice act is the operative word. Crazymakers are the people who call you at midnight or 6:00 A.M. saying, “I know you asked me not to call you at this time, but ...”

Crazymakers are the people who drop by unexpectedly to borrow something you can’t find or don’t want to lend them. Even better, they call and ask you to locate something they need, then
fail to pick it up. “I know you’re on a deadline,” they say, “but this will only take a minute.” Your minute.

Crazymakers spend your time and money. If they borrow your car, they return it late, with an empty tank. Their travel arrangements always cost you time or money. They demand to be met in the middle of your workday at an airport miles from town. “I didn’t bring taxi money,” they say when confronted with, “But I’m working.”

Crazymakers triangulate those they deal with. Because crazymakers thrive on energy (your energy),energy), they set people against one another in order to maintain their own power position dead center. (That’s where they can feed most directly on the negative energies they stir up.) “So-and-so was telling me you didn’t get to work on time today,” a crazymaker may relay. You obligingly get mad at so-and-so and miss the fact that the crazymaker has used hearsay to set you off kilter emotionally.

Crazymakers are expert blamers. Nothing that goes wrong is ever their fault, and to hear them tell it, the fault is usually yours. “If you hadn’t cashed that child-support check it would never have bounced,” one crazymaking ex-husband told his struggling-for-serenity former spouse.

Crazymakers create dramas—but seldom where they belong.

Crazymakers are often blocked creatives themselves. Afraid to effectively tap their own creativity, they are loath to allow that same creativity in others. It makes them jealous. It makes them threatened. It makes them dramatic—at your expense.

Devoted to their own agendas, crazymakers impose these agendas on others. In dealing with a crazymaker, you are dealing always with the famous issue of figure and ground. In other words, whatever matters to you becomes trivialized into mere backdrop for the crazymaker’s personal plight. “Do you think he/she loves me?” they call you to ask when you are trying to pass the bar exam or get your husband home from the hospital.

Crazymakers hate schedules—except their own. In the hands of a crazymaker, time is a primary tool for abuse. If you claim a certain block of time as your own, your crazymaker will find a way to fight you for that time, to mysteriously need things (meaning you) just when you need to be alone and focused on the task at hand. “I stayed up until three last night. I can’t drive the kids to school,” the crazymaker will spring on you the morning you yourself must leave early for a business breakfast with your boss.

Crazymakers hate order. Chaos serves their purposes. When you begin to establish a place that serves you and your creativity, your crazymaker will abruptly invade that space with projects of his/her own. “What are all these papers, all this laundry on top of my work table?” you ask. “I decided to sort my college papers ... to start looking for the matches for my socks...”

Crazymakers deny that they are crazymakers. They go for the jugular. “I am not what’s making you crazy,” your crazymaker may say when you point out a broken promise or a piece of sabotage. “It’s just that we have such a rotten sex life.”

If crazymakers are that destructive, what are we doing involved with them? The answer, to be brief but brutal, is that we’re that crazy ourselves and we are that self-destructive. Really? Yes. As blocked creatives, we are willing to go to almost any lengths to remain blocked.

As frightening and abusive as life with a crazymaker is, we find it far less threatening than the challenge of a creative life of our own. What would happen then? What would we be like? Very often, we fear that if we let ourselves be creative, we will become crazymakers ourselves and abuse those around us. Using this fear as our excuse, we continue to allow others to abuse us.

If you are involved now with a crazymaker, it is very important that you admit this fact. Admit that you are being used—and admit that you are using your own abuser. Your crazymaker is a block you chose yourself, to deter you from your own trajectory. As much as you are being exploited by your crazymaker, you, too, are using that person to block your creative flow.

If you are involved in a tortured tango with a crazymaker, stop dancing to his/her tune. Pick up a book on codependency or get yourself to a twelve-step program for relationship addiction. (Al-Anon and Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous are two excellent programs for stopping the crazymaker’s dance.) The next time you catch yourself saying or thinking, “He/ she is driving me crazy!” ask yourself what creative work you are trying to block by your involvement.

(excerpt from Cameron, Julia. The Artist's Way (Kindle Locations 1187-1192). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

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