It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. I’ve been catching up with what I neglected while preparing for the Festival of Writing, York, last month. You can read about my experiences here http://skilbey.com/my-time-at-the-festival-of-writing-york/
It’s funny. As a writer, I love unpicking the peculiar minds of my characters and I love characters that are flawed or damaged, sometimes muttering under my breath, “There but for the grace of God…”
But in reality, I am not alone with my uneasiness in sustaining unhealthy relationships. Many, like me, would do their best to get them the heck out of their lives. I have had strange experiences with a ‘friend’ or two. When ‘Friends’ hover somewhere over the stalking spectrum, we halt these relationships on strong grounds.
How so though, if they were in a novel? The reader and the writer would take time to understand their flawed ways and why they behave the way they do. We find ourselves empathizing with the characters. We are drawn to the strange and the odd – so long as they haven’t committed murder or some other heinous crime. Reading gives us the grace to exercise compassion and understanding. More so than in our busy hectic lives when we have no time to deal with the ‘now’.
Recently, I’ve met someone who spends their time being critical and offensive to others. It’s a way for them to hold court and cling (by the fingernails) onto attention. Because, any attention – even if it turns them into a socially repulsive person – equals… attention. Desperate times.
Not a person to spend time around, then.
I am trying to observe this person with my writer’s hat on. I see someone feeling horrible rather than someone being horrible. And someone critical of themselves yet disguised as being critical of others.
And as someone who wasn’t given love and encouragement at some stage but criticism and a good old dollop of ‘you’re not good enough’.
We can’t help but pass on the end results of how we are moulded by others. Fortunately, some find the strength – it must be so hard – to break that negative cycle.
I can see what’s going on and I do feel sorry for them. Who isn’t flawed on this planet? But to be honest, I shan’t be losing any sleep on making sure they know that they are no friend of mine. Though, they have been useful in adding to my notes on character development- not wanting to waste an opportunity. But no, people intent on trying to hurt others can stay in the books I read or write, thanks.