Crazy as a Road Lizard (with apologies to lizards) 33


In the past couple of weeks I’ve had some close encounters with some folks I know that fit the category of being “crazy as a road lizard.”  My sister coined this phrase and it describes  a particular type of person we’ve observed.


I’m not talking here about the people I know who genuinely have mental illness.  I’m talking about people who have decided to act crazy rather than be well. They have jumped off the grid, preferring to use and wear out the people around them (most often their mothers, but not always), rather than take responsibility for themselves.  The people around them support them in this foolishness.


I guess the relatives of these folks are enablers, still, I recognize that it must be difficult to turn your back on a child who is just plain trifling.  Trifling – not bi-polarlaZy (with a capital Z) – not crazy.  These slackers prey on their families with their non-contribution.  One of these folks is pushing her mom into an early grave and sliding her marriage into oblivion.  Another is jeopardizing his mother’s subsidized apartment.  These folks take long naps, plays computer games, and watch TV as their past-times.  They don’t take meds, don’t do chores, and don’t volunteer.  They do nothing.


What would it be like if everybody in a family pulled their weight as in contributed to the bottom line and participated in the daily chores of living?  Imagine what the family could accomplish and how unburdened the caretakers of these parasites would be.  In looking back, there seems to be a critical time in a child, teen and young adult’s development when their parents, caretakers and friends need to call them on their lies, laziness, and inconsistencies.  When this isn’t done – they embrace their nonsense and don’t self-correct and learn to stand on their own two feet.


Parents of grown-up children who could do for themselves, you are doing your children a disservice when you perpetuate their limbo thereby allowing them to remain in arrested development.


About Candelaria Silva

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a marketing, community outreach and programming consultant; writer; and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has designed and facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics including communication, facilitation, job search skills, team building, and parenting issues. She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Candelaria’s children’s stories, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in local and national publications and she is an active blogger. Her publications include the booklets, Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips when You’re Shy, Slow to Warm Up or Just don’t Feel you Belong; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents. She has served on the boards of Goddard College, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, and Discover Roxbury. She is currently Chair, Designators of the Henderson Foundation.


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