Today I ran across an article I posted on Facebook 2 years ago, back when I was still trying to make sense of my abuser’s crazy-making behavior. I wanted so badly to believe he could change for good, that I would be important enough for him to start making better choices. But I gave up on trying to figure him out some time ago and have accepted the fact that I will probably NEVER understand most of the things he did (and still does).
During a recent conversation with a friend regarding a situation I’m currently dealing with, I was reminded of something my abuser once told me after I’d finally gotten up the courage to leave him. He said, “At least I take my vows seriously, especially when I said ‘until death do us part.'” That statement coming from him was neither loving, nor romantic. It sent chills down my spine. The reason I left him was because I had feared for my life at his hands. It felt like a threat. During one of our counseling sessions while we were separated before the divorce, when I thought there may still be some chance at reconciliation, the therapist asked him point-blank if he wanted me back or not. He shrugged his shoulders and said in an emotionless tone, “Only if she wants to come back, which she obviously doesn’t, so what does it matter what I want?” Somehow he had this insane ability to make me feel extremely guilty, as if all of our problems were my fault, while absolving himself of any responsiblity, just one of the many crazy-making things he was so good at.
Re-reading this article (see the link below) and thinking back to how deeply entrenched I was in the craziness just two years ago, inspired me to share it here. Today I won a major victory because I chose not to respond to one of his crazy-making emails. And I realized something…I’m free. I’m really FREE! I am no longer absolutely compelled to answer him, to try and explain myself to him. The wasted HOURS and DAYS I used to spend agonizing over how to respond in such a way that would elicit even an ounce of empathy from him. Ick! His petty, nitpicking, crazy nonsense doesn’t deserve a response.
I pray that this article will help you understand that you can never really make sense of someone else’s crazy, but that you don’t have to participate in it either. Whether the person exhibiting crazy-making behavior is a spouse, an ex-spouse, a parent, an adult child, a sibling or a friend, you can be free of their craziness without going crazy yourself.