By Patia Braithwaite
I went through an epic breakup last year. I mean like catastrophic. I was in a long distance relationship for 2 years, and thought I’d found my husband. We discussed engagement and relocation, but he was lying and cheating on me the entire time. I estimate he told me 1-3 lies every day.
I don’t believe in victims; I’m not one. I was complicit in the deception: I ignored my gut, blindly trusted, and developed this bizarre habit of asking him questions while making excuses. For example:
ME: Why didn’t you call me for the last three days? Was your phone dead, your charger broken and your landline attacked by pygmies?
Him: Uhh…yeah. That’s exactly what happened.
So, I was essentially lying to myself. When my suspicions mounted and the evidence became unavoidable, the “crazy chick” emerged. She crept in slowly at first, squelched by my better judgment. She’d eye his cell phone on the table. The answers are in there, she’d whisper. I’d silence her. Even when her whispers became shouts and nightmares, I refused to look through his shit.
Until…I eventually went through his shit.
I found [peter] pictures, emails to random women about vacation plans, and other things that are too effed up to mention. This dude had skeletons and demons all rolled into one. It was scary, but what scared me the most was my willingness to anchor my life to a dude I clearly didn’t know. For the first time in my life, I felt I couldn’t trust myself.
It is uncomfortable to admit this in public. This story, after all, doesn’t make me look good: I fell for the wrong guy, stayed in a relationship well beyond the expiration date, AND instead of trusting my gut, I went thru a man’s personal belongings. My mother always told me: if you have the urge to snoop, you already know the answer.
She was right, but sometimes you have to do hood rat things…
Needless to say, we ended our relationship, and I’ve recovered with no visible scars. For the most part, you wouldn’t know that this crazy thing happened to me.
Except… that the “crazy chick” lingers.
I’m at the beginning of a new relationship, and the “crazy chick” whispers more often than I’d like. I find I am fearful that New Boo will end up like the old one, that he’s always lying to me, and that he doesn’t really love me. Intuitively, I understand that I have to make peace with the “crazy chick” inside. She represents both the strongest and most broken parts of me.
And, I’ll be honest, I kind of love her.
The “crazy chick” got me out of horrible situations and held me together (with gum and shoelaces). In times of conflict she gets shit done. Her tactics are explosive and her weapons cause mass destruction, but if she didn’t exist, I’d still be in denial — somewhere in the Midwest miserable and engaged.
The “crazy chick” saved my life.
It is a daily struggle not to go thru New Boo’s belongings, and to trust that he is who he says he is. It’s a struggle to determine which part of my gut to trust: the part that thinks everyone is lying, or the part that believes in love? If we have any future, I have to make peace with my personal history. And I should probably understand that all men aren’t the same.
Still, the “crazy chick” lives in the bunker of my mind, with a helmet, some fatigues and a semi-automatic weapon.
I’m working out a way to tell her war is over, and that, no matter what happens, I’ll be okay.
Ladies, what about you? Do you have a “crazy chick” that you must make peace with? If you have already done so, give me some tips? Dudes, is it possible to aid in healing a woman’s “inner crazy”? What does a man’s crazy look like?
Patia Braithwaite is a Brooklyn-based relationship writer. Her work has been featured in The Coral Gables Gazette, Florida Inside Out Magazine, Yahoo Shine, and BounceBack.com. She’s currently working on a non-fiction book that explores the various ways men see God and how these views impact their romantic relationships. Check out her musings and more at: www.menmyselfandgod.com