Over the years I have worked and socialized with what must be literally thousands of people.
The vast majority are what we would all label as normal.
Whatever normal actually is.
They have their good days and their bad days.
We all do.
We all deal with these highs and lows in life in different ways, but in general we all muddle through.
Just get from one day to the next as best we can.
Thankfully, as I have said, this has been my experience of the majority.
Sadly there are a minority of people who struggle at times, and because they are struggling they make the lives of those around them difficult.
Sometimes we can deal with it as long as there's a time frame to it.
It's easier to let their unhappiness wash over you when there's that light at the end of the tunnel.
Other times there's no light ahead and their bad days are relentless.
It's a horrible existence for them.
On paper, and in conversation, it is easy to say that these individuals need some help and we should exercise some empathy and patience.
It's true. We should.
That of course is easier said than done though.
Right now I know someone who is receiving multiple telephone calls on a daily basis from an individual who is very obviously unwell.
While this woman that I know has never given me the impression that she lacks empathy, it is apparent that she is creeping ever closer to the end of her tether with the situation.
I don't mean that she is going over the edge herself.
Just that the strain is never ending and she must just wish for it to stop.
There's been unsubstantiated allegations made about her, her business and more.
The police have been called and the matter is now in their hands as far as I can tell.
I sincerely doubt that the woman who is being harassed wished to involve the police, but her options were limited so what could she really do?
Another friend is on the receiving end of some unwanted attention from a man she knows.
No matter how often she has clearly stated that a relationship is not what she wants, and no matter how often others have told this man the same on her behalf, it isn't managing to sink in.
It's entirely possible that the police will have to be involved in this if it continues as it seems likely to.
Now once again we could rationalize this persons behaviour, and even have a degree of sympathy for him, but we aren't the ones on the receiving end of his inappropriate displays of affection, or threats of self harm if he doesn't get the attention he considers he deserves.
If we were, then can we honestly claim our cups would be runneth over with sympathy for him?
Then there's the people who can never maintain relationships with people.
I've seen two examples of that lately.
One was from a person who is a musician.
They have had many many projects on the go, and every single one ends acrimoniously with threats being issued.
Every single band member that they have worked with are touted as the best musician they have ever been professionally involved with.
Then a few weeks later they are the back stabbing spawn of Satan.
Now when it happens once then fine, when it happens twice it's less so fine.
When it happens three times, four times, every time.
After a while who is the common thread?
Who is it that really has the problem?
Then when you accept that it is the individual, and not everyone that surrounds them, you have to think about the truly awful things that have been alleged about all these ex band members and how much stress these broadsides have elicited.
It seems obvious to me that the people who the finger of blame is being pointed at are also victims in this case.
Of course we should expect that support should be provided, but who to?
It seems that the person who has the difficulty working with others needs support, but should those who have been on the receiving end of their threats and abuse be left unsupported?
Similarly there's someone else I know who displays the same sort of issues.
It's never ever their fault.
Everyone is against them and Machiavellian plots surround them.
Of course no one is actually out to get the person at all.
Most people are mature enough to make it clear that while they may well have an issue with certain actions and behaviour, that this is as far as it goes.
Sort of a hate the sin and not the sinner situation.
Yet from my point of view this individual regularly fails to accept that there may be some truth to the accusation or allegation of wrongdoing, and they would rather lash out and claim that others are conspiring their downfall than entertain that they themselves could be the problem.
Unfortunately there are some who I would say misguidedly support those who are reluctant to accept responsibility for the actions they put in motion, and these people then sort of allow the negativity that harms everyone involved to continue.
They extend the misery and put a mutually beneficial solution outwith the reach of everyone whose lives are impacted by what is going on.
It's all very dramatic isn't it?
Most of us are aware that very few people have the time or inclination to plot another persons downfall.
This is real life and not a Hollywood script.
No one should be supporting anyone in believing that they are being plotted against.
So while I would strongly advocate that anyone who has some issues should be supported.
I would add that maybe we should try hard not to pander to their issues and therefore inflame situations.
We should also at the same time reserves some empathy for the people who are often being worn down by the unwanted attention from those who are clearly having a difficult time dealing with their own lives.
After all they could be described as the collateral damage of an internal conflict inside the head of another.
Are we really giving them the support they deserve?