Sunday, March 12, 2006

INSANITY

"All humans are out of their fucking minds … They're not only disturbed. They get disturbed about their disturbances." Albert Ellis, PhD

Monkey-Man and I moved in together about 14 years ago. We’d been dating for about a year and had enjoyed a very sweet and gentle courtship. There’s no doubt in my mind that we were a good match for each other at that time in our lives.

One of the things I found most endearing about Monkey-Man, was his thoughtfulness and consideration, especially when it came to me. There was never a time that I doubted his feelings. There was never a time that I was concerned about his intentions. He always had my best interests at heart. I tried very hard to be the same for him.

About two months after we moved in together, Monkey-Man was working on a very important theater project. He and the other actors decided to do an over-night jam session in order to hammer out some of the tough stuff (If I remember correctly, it was Mamet’s American Buffalo … definitely tough). He’d be gone all day and return some time the following day … late afternoon or evening. That was fine with me. I’d miss him, but I accepted and understood his passion for theater.

Around noon the following day I started wondering about him. It was very unlike him to be gone for so long without calling. Eh …I let it go and busied myself with household chores and such.

Around 3:00, I had the same thought, but I added to it the fact that all the other actors were irresponsible dumbasses who drank a lot and did who knows what else. I tried to let it go, but I wondered if Monkey-Man had gotten caught up in the party atmosphere and forgot to call or come home. I decided it was really too early in the day to start worrying about such things. He’d probably walk through the door any minute.

Around 6:00, I started doubting myself. I wondered if I’d misunderstood. Was he going to be gone one night or two nights? I was sure it was just the one night. So where was he? Why hadn’t he called? Should I wait on dinner, or eat without him? This was so unlike him not to call and check in. Was he someplace without a phone?

By 8:00, little crazy thoughts had started to work their way into my mind. Where was he? What was keeping him from calling or coming home? Why hadn’t he called? He always called. He’d never let me worry about him this way. Something bad must have happened.

By 9:00, I was in full-blown crazy mode. My Monkey-Man was in a drunken-drug-induced coma. Or more likely, he’d gotten into a car with one of those drunken fools and they were killed in a terrible accident. His mutilated broken body was mixed in with a mass of twisted car bits along Interstate 270. That was the only reasonable explanation. He'd never ever ever be thoughtless and inconsiderate … NO, NOT EVER. He never had been before, so how could he be now? What else could I conclude? My Monkey-Man was dead.


By 9:30 I was sitting in the middle of the living room floor sobbing my eyes out. It was so tragic. He was so young and beautiful. We were just beginning our life together. How on earth was I going to tell his parents that their beloved son was dead?

… and I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed.

At 10:00 Monkey-Man finally came home. He saw me crying on the floor and immediately came to me and asked what was wrong. When I told him, he felt terrible. He didn’t call me crazy (but I saw the look on his face), and he explained that he’d simply lost track of time and didn’t know that I expected a call. When he said the words out loud, they seemed so reasonable and SANE.

Since that time, I’ve vowed to avoid catastrophizing like that again. I’m usually successful in stopping myself before I get to the "mutilated broken body … along Interstate 270" part, but I can still be a crazy idiot sometimes. In fact, I did it again this weekend. There was no death, dismemberment or destruction, but I tip-toed on the edge of loopy-land for a little while.

22 Comments:

At 8:12 PM, Blogger Aisha T. said...

Whoa, Theresa, I can't imagine the heart stopping fear. Any person would be worried and then the mind starts playing tricks with you.

 
At 5:27 AM, Blogger Dick the Boomer said...

It's so easy to be foolish and hurt the ones who love us.

 
At 6:59 AM, Blogger Al said...

t-
this is serious deja-vu. Of course, I am always the one who forgets to call.
I think we allow ourselves to spin out of control we care that much about the other person/people.
but where would we be if we didn't care?

 
At 9:44 AM, Blogger Polyman2 said...

Hey Theresa-
I'm glad that story had a happy ending- don't think I could take it otherwise, with all the shit that can happen.
Mrs. Poly does the same thing if I don't call-
I'm getting better with it.

 
At 10:32 AM, Blogger ZooooM said...

T ~ I do this all the time. In a way, we are trained to do so. We are always told "here one minute, gone the next". And while that's meant to make people appreciate life a little more, it sometimes has the adverse affect of making us assume the worst when we have no other information.

I wouldn't trade you for anything. You do what you do, and don't apologize.

 
At 10:46 AM, Blogger Ron Southern said...

It may not be evil, but it's not good to be inconsiderate.

 
At 10:53 AM, Blogger naive-no-more said...

Going there mentally definitely sucks! Take heart, the sanest of people get caught up in the "ifs". Well, coming from me, maybe that doesn't make you feel better, but at least you can rest assured that you're not alone - sane or otherwise.

 
At 11:09 AM, Blogger JayneSays said...

With my husband a helicopter pilot, I have SO been there when he is late home from work. Hang in there, sweetie.

 
At 12:56 PM, Blogger gnightgirl said...

There's a busy intersection a few blocks from our home. Many's the time I'd hear an ambulance there, and immediately mentally calculate the time my son left the house, a hypothetical crash, a 9-1-1 phone call, and the time it would take for a rescue squad to arrive. If it were at all plausible that it could have been him, I'd call and check up on him him. He must have thought me nuts, having just left the house 15 minutes ago, but he never seemed too exasperated.

 
At 1:29 PM, Blogger Bougie Black Boy said...

wow. reading this--makes me feel not-so-alone anymore. I definitely feel the emotions you wrote about in this post. So disturbingly amazing, and real.

 
At 3:44 PM, Blogger Laurie said...

We wouldn't get to that point - catastrophizing - if the people in our lives were a little more considerate. Why is it that we make excuses for them, or think that the worst happened, rather than admit that they are simply being inconsiderate?

BTDT.

 
At 4:49 PM, Blogger Ed said...

OK, I have to admit that I've been there. There was one occasion when I actually got in the car and went to search for the car crash that I was convinced Sue must have been in.

 
At 8:56 PM, Blogger theresa said...

Since so many of us have had experiences like this, does this mean I'm not crazy, or does it mean we're all a little crazy?

 
At 9:20 PM, Blogger ZooooM said...

We are all crazy as loons. But we're quite loveable. So it's a push.

 
At 8:57 AM, Blogger Polyman2 said...

WhY bE NOrMal?

 
At 12:16 PM, Blogger AndyT13 said...

Ohhhhhh...
Loopy Land is a BAD BAD PLACE.
This had to be back before cell phones. That kinda thing doesn't happen so much nowadays. Just last night I was out and my phone was in the car and Bren was doing the whole "thought you were dead in a ditch" thing. That makes me crazy. It's something my mother did incessantly. My take is "Until the police come knocking on the door with a PIECE of my mutilated body asking you to ID it, I'm FINE. Please!" It seems this is standard female behavior but no less maddening for that. Glad you reeled yourself back in.

 
At 1:39 PM, Blogger Shephard said...

You're quite normal. Or we're all quite crazy. Take your pick. Whichever makes you feel better. lol
To illustrate...B calls me when he reaches work safely. Every morning. :) I mean, it IS Los Angeles, after all. ;)

~S

 
At 2:27 PM, Blogger Blazngfyre said...

Having grown up with a firefighter/paramedic father, and then becoming one myself, my thoughts instantly go to the dead-in-the-ditch
theory.
Crazy??
Probably.
But honestly, I can handle THAT better than I can thoughtlessness.

 
At 3:19 PM, Blogger Popeye said...

Oh, I do that, too. Car crashes, plane crashed, abductions, murders, medical emergencies. . . I've imagined it all. (Oh, I hope I didn;t just add to your list of possibilities).

 
At 12:08 AM, Blogger kelebek }{ said...

I think it's people who don't care are crazy.
I live about an hour car drive away from where my parents live. I agonize everytime they come to visit me thinking they are going to die in a crash and it'll be all my fault they are dead.

 
At 5:52 AM, Blogger theresa said...

I had no idea there were so many worry-warts in the world!

Andy - you're the odd-man-out ... seemingly, the only sane one ... WAIT ... that can't be right.

 
At 12:38 AM, Blogger Maverick said...

Me sweet baby girl, you sound like a mother in this post..

I'll leave it at that.


Maverick Kumari

 

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