I’ve Got Your Crazy Right Here (Or Maybe Not)

Within the past two weeks I’ve had three men refer to me as “one of the sanest women” they’d ever met. I’ve recently hung out with a man whom I dated for a few months last year (while desperately trying to get over D).and he actually said: “Thank you so much for being sane!” In light of my recent struggles with grief and some depression, the comment made me step back and reassess. You know what I’ve discovered? I actually am one of the more mentally healthy people you’ll meet in the dating pool.

It got me to thinking (which I’m sure is a shocker to my regular readers!): What is sanity? What would most people describe well-adjusted as being?

It’s probably not the woman who decides to throw all of her new husband’s clothing and possessions off the balcony of their honeymoon suite, when she sees him talking to another woman for two minutes at the bar. (Ex-wife of a former date). It’s not getting in a huff when a man declines your invitation to a hotel room after a first date and tells him “You obviously aren’t interested in a relationship and you’re just looking to toy with people!” (Story from the trenches). It’s definitely not setting up a New Year’s Eve date, with hotel room included, then bringing your child with you! (Former lover’s experience). It’s not texting or calling your ex-husband 15-20 times a day, even times when you know he’s on a date. (An ex’s ex-wife). It doesn’t scream sanity to go completely whacko and call your mother-in-law, raving like a lunatic and talking divorce, if your husband goes out for a rare evening with his friends. Nor is it dropping off a 5 foot tall painting of a dead tree, complete with symbolic vulva image, on the doorstep of someone you dated briefly, who told you it wasn’t working. (My former dating partner!).

Want to know what the craziest thing I’ve ever done to an ex is? After having him break my heart in November, I went ahead and purchased the very expensive rare beer club membership I had planned for his Christmas gift (Over $300) and sent it to him, making it look like I’d purchased it before he broke up with me. Upon relaying my shameful actions to a different ex (the same ex  to whom I dropped off his things after our tumultuous relationship ended, carefully wrapped so it wouldn’t get damaged), he exclaimed: “Wait! We broke up! I wish you’d sent me a “get even” rare beer club membership.”

Uhm…I think I need to work on my revenge strategies.

So, what do men consider “crazy”? A woman who hopes for more in the relationship and starts behaving like a “cling-on” (my father’s term for needy women)? A woman who allows her emotions to show too much? Drama? A woman who is too controlling?

I have three elements of “crazy”, all connected: 1.) A difficult time letting go, 2.) Intense grief and emotions surrounding transitions, that last longer than is typical for the average person, and 3.) A tendency toward “emotional cutting” connected with the situation (i.e., looking at old emails/texts/perusing their facebook page/etc.).

Who does this hurt? Oh right…me.

No doubt many men would prefer my brand of crazy to the drama/diva/shrew crazy they encounter in the dating/relationship world, because it doesn’t affect them too much. If anything, I sometimes think I appear too low-drama and sane in relationships; it might improve my life a bit if I added in a smidgeon of crazy bitch once in awhile. Or learned to fall in love with men who won’t abuse the fact that I don’t cling, rarely attempt to manipulate and don’t indulge in tantrums or crying jags over minor issues. As noted, I have my own brand of crazy, but I tend to be the one most affected by it, not my partners.

Still, it’s nice to know that to the outside world (and the men I date), I come across as pulled together and well-adjusted. Despite feeling emotionally fragile for awhile now, I’m managing my life pretty damned well. When I need to cry (which may be more often than I’d prefer), I mostly do it in private. When I need to rage, I listen to angry music on my elliptical. Inbetween…I live my life in a sane and well-adjusted way. Men…you’d better grab the opportunity to have a sane, reasonable woman while you can! I’ve seen what’s out there and it’s not pretty…

Now, I feel some crazy coming on. Shall tonight be a cry in the bath, while drinking wine, night? Or a loud, angry music, elliptical night? Perhaps I could pull up all the old emails from my ex and read them obsessively, hoping to find some deeper smidgeon of meaning behind the demise of our relationship…then cry. Oh wait, I deleted those so I couldn’t do that (in a stupid bid for MORE sanity). Hmmm….

Fine. I’ll stick with laundry, walking the dog, a meeting for my child’s class and a dinner date. But one of these days, watch out!

 

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