Thursday, January 15, 2009

A peek at my crazy

Beth's post today at Nutwood Junction (http://nutwoodjunction.blogspot.com/) got me thinking about the person I used to be. The person that only those extremely close to me "really" got to witness. I was needy, clingy and unstable. I had always had issues with being a little too... leach-like with boyfriends but my poor husband got the worst of it all. I'm sure some of it was hormonal, I was only 16 when we started dating but the rest of it was pure crazy. The first year or two, he was almost as obsessed (also known as in love) with me as I was with him. He didn't seem to mind that I would always be calling him and it was particularly evident for when I wasn't the one calling, he was. We were always together... always. The first several years we were together, we never spent a single full day apart from each other. At the time I thought it was romantic, now I realize, it was unhealthy, for both of us. I couldn't stand to be away from him for any period of time, to the point that I became truant at school and eventually, expelled. I was allowed to return for the second semester but chose to drop out rather than be away from my beloved. He didn't want me to but he didn't exactly push the issue either. As I said, at that time, the obsession was pretty mutual. As the years went on however, and the newness of the relationship wore off, he wanted what any normal person wants. Some time to think, relax and just be themselves without that other person constantly there. There were numerous threats that if I didn't change, he didn't know if he could handle it and that he might leave. I didn't change and to be honest, I wasn't really trying at that time. If he wanted to go out with his friends, I would sob uncontrollably and say he didn't want me anymore or he wanted to be with his friends more than with me, etc. He would almost always cancel his plans with his friends, usually at the last minute. I could control the crazy until it was within hours of being without him and then it would all come out, hence many last minute cancellations. I didn't have many of my own friends by the second year. I only wanted to be with him and if I was without him, I was a miserable mess that no one wanted to be around. I remember the first time I left the house and he stayed behind. It was on a trip with my mom to Walmart. I cried almost the entire way there. I was absolutely pathetic. That first outing however, showed me that I would not, in fact die, as I felt I would without him by my side. There were other times I would leave with my mom and go out. A day came when my husband got a job that would take him away from me for a full 30 days. It was 30 days of training and there was no way I could go with him. I thought I would be ok and I told myself over and over that everything would be fine. The morning we drove him to the bus station however, I was worse than I'd ever been. I threatened everything in the book to try to get him to stay. I told him I would hurt myself if he left, that I would stop eating, that I couldn't be without him. Knowing all along that I was hurting him, I continued on with it, begging, crying and pleading. He left anyway. I'm sure it was one of the harder things he's had to do. I survived. I found that I was ok after the first night. The second night, even better. I missed him, of course but I didn't feel that weight crushing down on me, the impending doom, that I feared would always be there if he wasn't. He called at least once a night, when he could. He was miserable. I knew he wanted to come home. I don't know if I made it harder or easier on him by not being a complete mess as I'm sure he assumed I would be each and every time he called. I think it was day seven that he called me and said that he was coming home. Not only did he miss home but he was quickly finding out that all the promises they had made to him beforehand, were more maybe's than would be's. By that time he was in Kentucky. It was the middle of the night and we had no money to send him back via the bus again. Luckily, we have friends literally all over the country. A friend in Louisville drove him to the Indiana border and then a friend that lives near Indianapolis picked him up and drove him back to their house. We drove the rest of the way and brought him home. I was happy to have him home but even happier that it had all happened. It was the beginning of a huge change for me. That's not to say I immediately was a normal girlfriend who wasn't afraid to let her boyfriend out of her sight for more than a few minutes but I was loosening up, little by little. It's taken a really long time, many years but now I think I'm the wife that my husband wished I would've been back then. I frequently tell him I don't know how he did it. I don't know if I could've put up with that for so long. (it was at least four years of full blown crazy) During those years, I also had horrible mood swings. (later diagnosed as depression) I would get extremely angry for no reason based on little comments made to me. My husband wasn't the only one getting the brunt of that however, my mom and brother suffered my angry tirades as well. I don't know how anyone put up with me. Nowadays, my husband asks to go out with his friends but to be considerate, not to get the type of permission he was asking for back then. And so long as it doesn't interfere with something we had already planned, my answer is 'ok when will you be home?' It's a change that I think some are still getting used to. But good god is it nice not to have that weight on me all the time. The fear of him leaving, of not being good enough. It completely consumed my every thought. It was like having a fear of breathing, of your heart beating because it was always there. To be free of that... is like being given a second chance to really live your life. To really be happy without those boundaries.

6 comments:

cw2smom said...

Jamie...You are growing up my dear! How wonderful that you recognize how crazy making that was and that you are each becoming more comfortable with alone time. Keep on growing Sweetie! It sounds like the two of you are settling in to what will be an awesome journey of growth and love in your marriage and family life! Stay warm Sweet Girl! Love, Lisa

Lisa said...

I'm glad you've come around and realize how silly it was to be so clingy. There will be more twists & turns as the years go by but you will settle in each one and the love will be stronger than ever...without neediness on either part.

I've always been the opposite. I could never stand a needy man and was gone at the first sign. Even with Doug, he knows better than to be clingy or smother me but it's all good since I don't do that either.
xx

Indigo said...

I was always swinging from devoted beyond measure, to pushing as hard away as possible. Paul gets it. That's the biggest hurdle we had to face was my temperment. These days it's a grand dance. I deal with his OCPD, he deals with me. It's reaching that place of saying It's ok, I know that's part of who you are. It makes it easier to trust, to allow the freedom of growth needed.

I think your learning to appreciate the differences in you both. That my dear is indeed a milestone. (Hugs)Indigo

Beth said...

Jamie, thank you for writing about this. It seems like it might have been kind of hard to write, but I'm glad you did, and I hope my entry was more helpful than harmful!

As I wrote to you, I think much of that must have been immaturity. As you both grew, you both learned that it wasn't necessary (or even good) to be joined at the hip. I think it's great that you weathered that storm together, and I'm sure you're both stronger (both individually and as a couple) because of it.

Love, Beth

Robin said...

I'm so glad, for both of you. AND, that you both stuck it out. To have that faith and trust, not so much with each other, but in general, and sometimes, with ourselves.

It's polite to run plans by each other, when a married or committed couple, for a few reasons. But, yes, your life then was not so healthy. I'm glad it's so much better now, even if I'm still awaiting on news on that baby........

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Self awareness is a powerful tool. Glad you have added it to your tool-pouch :o)