Lois' Writings

The Very Real, Very Sad Lives of (Some) Others

Over a year ago I joined a chat room for those with disabilities hoping to connect with others who were in a similar situation.  And as much as I belabor the point about how technically challenged I am, not to mention how I do not get along too well with any of the latest whatever-is-out-there, I will say that if not for technology many of the people I have come to know would be even more isolated than they are now.  Myself included.

For the most part, the people I have met through the chat room are intelligent, caring, thoughtful, and funny.  But like any group of people there are always some who are anything but; especially in regards to being caring or thoughtful.

So I wonder why someone would go out of their way to alienate those with whom they so desperately want, or need to connect.  It all seems so counter productive to me. 

Which then leads me to this question: Just what is the payoff?  Humans behave a certain way because of what we get out of it; be it positive or negative, so maybe someone behaves in a toxic manner because they enjoy doing so.  That is their payoff.  Thankfully, these people are easy to avoid, especially when in a chat room.

But avoidance becomes a little more difficult when there is more personal interaction, such as email, phone calls, or meeting face to face. 

So back to my original question: Is there a valid reason why someone behaves like a total jerk, and if so, could there be a physical reason, such as a head trauma, that causes this person to behave so badly?  Or how about a mental illness that causes such behavior?These I can forgive.

But if neither of those are the reason, then why would someone act like a total asshole?  I can only come up with two outside factors as to why someone would behave in such a negative way: Drugs and/or alcohol. 

Sadly, I have come across a few people in the chat room who are under the influence, and it saddens me.  I do try to stay connected with some, but there comes a time when my own well-being is more important than that of others.

You see, I have never abused drugs or alcohol because I have never wanted to put myself in a position where anyone could take complete advantage of me, so sometimes it puzzles me when I know someone who does.  But I can also see why some would.  Loneliness.  Sadness.  Anger.  Fear.  Envy.  Despair.  The list goes on.

So maybe we all should try to help this person.  I am not saying that we should try to be armchair psychiatrists, but sometimes, if you keep asking, the person will open up and admit that they have a problem, And in some cases this person will seek help.  Sometimes all it takes is knowing that there is at least one person who will be there for you.  Can you imagine the power in knowing that it is several people who care?

Or maybe it is just that some people were born an asshole, and whether or not they have a disability is irrelevant since they would be this way regardless.  So I say to hell with them, and if they get kicked out of the chat room all the better for the rest of us.