I think there are times in every person's life when they tend to go a little crazy. Some have more crazy times than others, but in each and every one of us, there's a nutter just waiting to escape.
Take me, for instance. I'd like to share with you a time in my life when I went completely off my rocker, and did something that is totally outside my personality - the situation that led to this little breakdown was the #1 reason I ended up on anti-depressants.
In order to truly tell this story, however, I am going to have to give you a bit (well, maybe a lot) of background info. Some of it is painful for me to relive, but, for the sake of getting it all out in the open, well, I'm gonna do it.
Most of you know that I was engaged once before, nearly ten years ago. (Good God, has it really been that long?) For the sake of the story, I'm going to call him Jim.
I loved Jim almost to the point of obsession. He was the be all and end all of my existence (oh, to be 21 again!) I loved him with that kind of crazy, all-consuming love that only a very young person can get away with, especially since he was my first real, non-teenage relationship. We dated for about seven months before deciding to get married, and on Christmas Day 1998 I was given a ring. I won't go into details about how I knew, from the start, that something didn't feel right. I mean, I LOVED him! We had signed a year lease on an apartment together! I quashed any doubts I had in my head and happily accepted his proposal. (which is another story entirely--I wouldn't call it a proposal, per se...)
Before we moved in together, I asked Jim if he would please not give an ex-girlfriend of his, "Jenna," our contact information. They'd dated about six months before we got together, until she decided to go back with her ex-boyfriend. I always got this weird vibe from her, you know? When Jim and I would go dancing, she was almost always at the same club, so invariably our paths would cross. I tried to be cool about it, but it always bothered me. When he told Jenna that he and I were getting married, she told him, "I'll always think of you as the one who got away."
(See where this is going?)
He promised to not give her our contact information, so imagine my surprise, a couple of months later, when a card arrived from none other than Jenna. Okay, I thought. Once again, I tried to be the cool fiancee, and not be jealous, but inside, I was extremely hurt.
One day, I looked at his e-mail. I just had this feeling,
you know? I know, it was snooping, but he DID give me his password, so I felt completely justified. Guess what I found?
E-mails. Several, in fact, from Jenna, lamenting about her boyfriend moving overseas and how she wanted to be a wild woman and what a great time she had with him at the club over the weekend.
Reading that, my heart plummeted. Apparently, while I was on a school-related trip, Jim went to Houston and ended up at the club with Jenna. When I confronted him about it, he said that she was there, but nothing happened - "we talked about you the whole time." Uh huh.
This went on for a few months. Despite repeated assurances that he was not cheating on me, I still couldn't shake the fact that something was going on. Every time I pleaded with him to stop seeing her, he would reply, "She really needs a friend right now." (God, was I gullible...)
All of this doubt was causing me to pull away from him, and I was (and still am) really bad at communicating my feelings, but one night we talked and decided that maybe we should hold off on the whole engagement thing. It was pretty tense for a while afterwards, but I thought everything was going better between us. That was, until I came home from work late one Friday night (Jim had gone to Houston to the club again,) and discovered that both my ring and a box of condoms was gone.
Of course, I went ballistic, cried myself to the point of throwing up, and spent the night sleepless in bed, until he rolled in at 5 am telling me how much he loved me--that he'd had an "epiphany." Yeah, right. Of course, I wanted to believe that he was being faithful to me, but looking back on it now, I see the red flags EVERYWHERE.
And so it went. We'd get mad at each other, "break up," and Jim would call Jenna to talk about his "feelings." Then, we'd get back together. Finally, though, I realized I'd had enough. I moved out at Christmas break, but we hadn't broken up yet. Our phone number was transferred to my new place, and one night I came home to the phone ringing and about 4 voicemails from Jenna, asking Jim why he wasn't calling her back. She was acting all innocently, but she new perfectly well that she was calling me, for after her fifth call, I immediately called her back and she didn't pick up. Grr. As you can surmise, it went downhill from there.
And now I'm going to stop here for today, because it's going to be a long story. Tune in next time for part 2 of this gripping installment!