What Looks Like Crazy (Part 1)

November 26, 2012

Have you ever just let yourself go off the deep end, and then stood on the other side of the room and watched yourself go crazy? I’ve only really done it twice. The first time was when I was 22 years old, had recently graduated from college and was staying in London with my boyfriend.

He was my first true love. He was handsome and kind and had an English accent. We were together for our last two years of high school and then stumbled through the relationship in college, until it was finally over sometime at the end of our sophomore year. After pining for him for a year or two, I gave up all hope of our getting back together, graduated from college and moved to Nantucket to work and not get on with my life, and that’s when he turned up on my doorstep, wanting me back. It was an impossible dream come true, emphasis on “impossible,”  apparently.

It all seemed so romantic at the time, his invitation to move to London, live with him in a flat, find a job in a proper English pub. And it was romantic, until I actually got to London where I found letters from some college friend of his about their making love in a Louis XIV chair (which I suppose was romantic for them, if not a tad uncomfortable). This love-making must have occurred after his invitation to me and shortly before my arrival in London. Back then, you didn’t have to sneak peeks at cell phone texts or break into password-protected emails to snoop. All I had to do was open a drawer to find the evidence of his philandering, and it was not limited to a chair. I spent several weeks there, acting pathetic and demeaning myself in all sorts of ways and then escaping to “the continent” to visit my family in Belgium. Because my flight back to the States left from London, I returned there for a few nights, with the understanding that my now ex-boyfriend (Neb) would deliver me to the airport. The night before I left, I was informed that Neb would be unable to take me to the airport because he was meeting his new girlfriend at the train station. It was not at this point that I went crazy. It would take more than that. I cried, I wailed, I may have even cursed. I smashed a mug. It was all very appropriate behavior considering the situation.  And then in the middle of my sobbing, from somewhere deep within my suffering soul came a snort. I snorted. Loudly, and so fully that my nostrils vibrated. And that is when I went crazy. How can you not laugh at a snort? I started laughing – a crazy, sad, maniacal laugh and at that point, my consciousness got up from my body and went to sit in a chair on the other side of the room. I sat on the other side of the room and watched myself completely unravel. I wasn’t just laughing. I was guffawing.  As I watched myself acting like a crazy person, I felt love and understanding for that crazy girl who, now guffawing and sobbing at the same time, had just thrown a shoe at Neb. At that moment, I felt compassion for myself, compassion and love and respect that Neb would never have for me. And so if I had to step outside myself for a moment to see that, then it was well worth the trip.


19 Responses to “What Looks Like Crazy (Part 1)”

  1. Oh my–I’m dying to know how Neb responded! 🙂

  2. Forever 51 said

    Can’t wait for part 2!

  3. Yep. Been there done that! It is the most dreadful of all states and feelings…Ugh. I hope I never have to be in that place again. So glad you shared, thought I was crazy too.. Suppose I was, after all too crazy about someone that could NEVER reciprocate and clearly didn’t connect at all.

  4. This really spoke to me. I was in a very difficult relationship back in college. He was cheating on me but I was sooo in love. At least I thought so. It took all of my strength to break up with him after a year, but I did it. Months later he crawled back to me and stupidly I fell victim to his charms again. It took another year before I would leave him for good.

  5. I’ve gone really crazy three times – once when I was first married and I got so mad that I grabbed my husband’s head and pulled his hair; once when my kids were arguing about something and I took their chips and stomped the bag into my cream-coloured carpet – that one was hormones for sure; once after a trip to the mall shopping for winter coats and the kids were punching each other in the car; once at Halloween when I took the kids’ candy, screamed, and then threw it all in the garbage – hormone related as well; and once with my daughter about a year ago (she was sixteen then) when I told her to leave the house because if she didn’t I was going to strangle her. OK, that’s four times. And there could be more LOL. Those are just the ones that stand out. You are definitely not alone with that one.

    • Your comment made me laugh in recognition! I think that once you can no longer count your crazies on both hands, you get to take a vacation at a psych unit. Kind of appealing…

  6. A man can drive you insane, for sure. I think we’ve all been there. Great post.

  7. I’d say smashing mugs, snorting, and throwing shoes were all perfectly acceptable behavior. Insane? Yeah, probably, but acceptably so. Been there, done that, not brave enough to blog about it. 🙂

  8. Do you realize how lucky you were to make this discovery of self-compassion so early in life? I know about demeaning relationships, but I didn’t catch on to the self-compassion part until much later! Good for you, and thanks so much for sharing these insights with us all. – LLC

  9. I’ve lost it many times. Once, my husband dumped a bowl of cereal on my head and then I chased him to the street in my underwear!

  10. So, were you sitting on a Louis XIV chair when you were watching yourself go mad?! : ) I’ve had so many crazy episodes – full on moments of rage. I’ve blogged about some of them, but really, my fury can be epic – like a black storm blotting out the sky. I’m glad you could have some compassion for yourself at the time.

  11. haralee said

    An understanding of Rage. You hear how people say they only see red and think, oh come on, and then …well

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