I knew in my gut that I needed to get out of the relationship(s) that brought out my crazy, but for whatever reason that felt like ripping off a layer of skin and seemed impossible for far, far too long…
Hello, again. I’m the girl who doesn’t believe in mean people, only people who act in mean ways because they haven’t learned better yet. So, here’s my next question: What if there are no crazy people, only people who act in crazy ways because they haven’t learned better yet?
This may be a harder sell, but hear me out, please. Because I know crazy. I’ve been crazy, back when I was younger and too deep in a relationship with someone whose own stability and loyalty were on shaky ground.
Alcohol and drugs can hurl those of us with unstable moods and senses of self into deep, dark crazy fast. Splayed-out-on-the-street-and-bawling crazy. Kicking, punching, grabbing-for-the-steering-wheel crazy.
Parked across the street watching him talk to another woman, certain-he’s-going-to-leave-you-for-her crazy.
For some reason (and “Daddy issues” may describe it as well as anything else) some of us lack the sense of self and self-worth as young women (or men). We don’t know how to be anything other than crazy when struggling to grasp onto the tattered bonds that seemingly held us together in the past, desperately hoping they might somehow again.
The accumulated weight of all the screw-ups, pain and anger only fuel the insecure person’s deep-rooted fear that she really is, at the core, the horrible person she believes herself to be. And so she acts that way, reaping the rewards of pain and devastation that she thinks she deserves.
It’s a terrible thing to inflict on someone else but it’s also a terrible way to live. And, to state the obvious, it takes two to tango.
The author gives solid cautionary advice although, in my opinion, the best can be found in the comments:
Trust your instincts.
I knew in my gut that I needed to get out of the relationship(s) that brought out my crazy, but for whatever reason, that felt like ripping off a layer of skin and seemed impossible for far, far too long…many people had seen my inner beast and will doubtless remember me forever as a raving madwoman.
I did get out, though. Today, I’m happily married to a guy who made it clear early on he wasn’t going to play those kinds of games, that he deserved better and so did I.
That whatever was going on with me wasn’t about him and he wasn’t going to be my emotional punching bag.
I knew he was right and, honestly, was relieved to have someone establish healthy boundaries. My respect for him skyrocketed the day he drew that line.
How did miserable me get this chance at redemption? Call it luck, providence, who knows, but I was ready to leave behind my lesser self and step up to be the woman he believed I could be. And I think I have done that.
Still, I recognize that crazy girl. She’s a part of me. And I guess that’s why I don’t want to see her labeled and excised from the rest of us, human beings struggling to find our way in a confusing world in which too many of us get too close too fast, before we are emotionally ready to stand on our own feet.
A world where pop culture tells us our salvation can be found in the eyes of another rather than inside ourselves.
I truly believe Miss Crazy can and will be somebody’s happy, healthy partner some day. It will take maturity, probably therapy, possibly medication and a hell of a lot of hard work.
It will take someone who can see her lovely self shining through the shade of bad behavior and love her despite her baggage.
Anonymous author, that wasn’t you and that’s okay. The self-preservation instinct is a healthy and vital one. I’m sorry for your suffering and scars; true healing will come when you see that there was crazy in the behavior and choices of your former love and in your fraught relationship—not in the soul of the struggling human being whom you once found irresistible.
That diamond is as much a part of her as the demon. Forgive her, forgive yourself and move on. She needs faith, hope and healing and the world needs it, too.
I’m here to tell you it’s possible.
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Assistant Ed: Jennifer Townsend
Ed: Kate Bartolotta