My co-author did that a lot to himself in life. But he had no way of knowing that events triggered his unhealthy way of dealing with things. He was intelligent but in a strange way very sheltered at the same time. His ways of dealing with things struck most people as bizarre.
He (his protector personality, at any rate) was looking over my shoulder while I was doing this. When I decided to call it quits he said "so what they are saying is that I killed myself because of my fucked way of thinking?"
"Pretty much," I said.
He got extremely upset and if he were a physical being my wall would have a new hole. (I've punched a few in it in my time before I found my friend Lithium.)
"Shit!" he said.
There was something in the realization that he couldn't just be labeled "nuts." That's a bit too easy. The self hating ways of thinking aren't one's fault, they're learned through having to deal with bad situations and not having anything else to compare the thoughts to.
There are times when I've wondered why he hasn't tried to find a more charismatic co-author. He jokes that "Stephen King has wax in his ears." Then he says in all due seriousness that most mediums just try to send him to the light when he isn't ready and that while there are others who can hear him and would be willing to listen (and listen raptly and worshipfully to boot) that prolonged/repeated contact with him would actually screw them up worse than they already are and he won't be responsible for that. (What a shock--I'm not the biggest mess on the planet after all!)
He's frustrated too but the idea of posthumous fame doesn't bother him as much as it does me. Because, to quote, "In my case, what other kind is there?"
And that's a big reason why I like working with him. The wry wit sets very well with me.
Lily and the Spectral Friend