The Legend of the ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’

Each of my former boyfriends claimed to have had at least one “crazy ex” in his repertoire. In fact, some seemed to have collected them like baseball cards.

So, I wonder: What became of all of those alleged crazy ex-girlfriends? What beholds them in their future? Are these former flames now lurking and hissing in the shadows of their normal-looking blushing bride, soccer mom and professional counterparts? Are they, perhaps, hiding out in caves – stirring a steaming pot of witch’s brew? Will they one day be granted a special type of “senior crazy lady” AARP membership?

Perhaps they will be provided their own special wing of the nursing home – secured with a straight jacket – so that all other residents remain safe during the likely event that their craziness reaches a level too dangerous to manage.

Or, maybe they will never make it so far; crashing and burning at the height of their craziest of ventures, leaving a trail of smoke or a mist of side glances and hushed whispers.

Who knows what becomes of such insanity, such madness. Such a ghastly, bone-chilling thought it is.

A Tale of Two Telling Outcomes

I once dated a guy whose mother and sister filled my ears with an array of gory details about his previous ex. From the day I entered his life, I was served a feast of tales; every bite involving a different flavor of “crazy” or “conniving.”

I later heard, from my ex-boyfriend’s most current addition to his plethora of “crazy exes” – whose time spent with him played out eerily similar to mine – that she had been force-fed equally unflattering tales and heaping servings of juicy gossip about me. Most of the tales contained a level of such blatant inaccuracy, it was as humorous as it was nauseating. And, of course, the cycle now continues.

I wonder if, as his mother continues to deliver her accounts of her son’s unfortunate events, that she will ever paint an accurate picture for her listener, informing him or her that he also chases his girlfriends for hours while dangerously swerving in and out of traffic, that he locks himself in bedrooms and rummages through personal belongings in search of incriminating information, that he punches holes in walls, that he makes extreme and sadistic attempts at relationship resuscitation, that his blatant disrespect for authority has allowed him to be fired from more jobs than most will ever have in a lifetime, that managing his paranoid outbursts is like living a life in a war zone – constantly dodging bullets and tip-toeing through tantrums – and that, most notably, he has long eloquently and publicly labeled her as his “crazy mom.”

I doubt it, though.

After departing from the role of “girlfriend” and graduating to “crazy ex-girlfriend,” my life improved exponentially; personally and professionally. I fell in love, got married and began a career. Sadly, he, on the contrary, added another alleged “crazy ex-girlfriend” and an assault charge to his repertoire, and continues to squawk in the belly of legal and personal troubles as the echoes of dysfunction can be heard for miles.

The poor guy is simply a victim of misfortune, repeatedly finding himself in unfair situations with difficult people and, worst of all… (duhn, duhn, duuuuhn… gasp!) crazy ex-girlfriends.

None of it is his fault, though, right? Nah. Can’t be.

It’s funny how that works. It’s oftentimes the one chronically labeling others as being the problem who continues to attract further problems. Man can only identify that which is awake in himself. Therefore, if anyone – male or female – has a laundry list of problematic exes, it is no coincidence. It’s isn’t bad luck. There is no external hex over his or her love life.

The problem lies within the accuser, my friend.

“I Heard My Boyfriend’s Ex Was, Like, Totally Crazy.”

I have noticed that women greatly contribute to this epidemic as well. I’ve had far too many girlfriends share their second-hand tales in regard to their current love interest’s “crazy ex.” It is seldom considered that there are, in fact, multiple dimensions to every story.

How convenient these ex-girlfriends are to label as “crazy,” aren’t they? How soothing to one’s concerns, to one’s worries. Our eradicating to one’s jealousies. If an ex is deemed as being crazy, any feelings of competition are dramatically reduced. If she is believed to be crazy, any level of beauty or greatness she may possess becomes less intimidating. One doesn’t have to worry as much about their significant other missing an ex who is so lacking in character.

Oh, and one for suuuuure doesn’t have to worry about their significant other, in the event of their own relationship’s demise, one day being labeled as “crazy” because she knows she is far superior and far more emotionally-stable that this infamous problematic ex of his. That girl was really, truly, certifiably “bat sh*t crazy AF, like, for reeeal.” Right?

Indeed.

So What Becomes of These Legendary Lunatics?

I wonder what ever became of her, you may wonder.

I’d be glad to offer a clue or two.

Maybe she was, in fact, truly “crazy,” now spending her days and nights in hiding, only departing from her cave of everlasting craziness at the height of the full moon. Or, maybe, she is busy perpetually sucking at life.

Perhaps, though, she is chauffeuring a mini-van full of kindergartners while trying to maintain a clean house, a thriving career and a sexy marriage. Or, rather, she may be a wander-lusting; her time spent back-packing in Costa Rica, with the echoes of a thousand crazy yesterdays leaving a trail in her wake.

Maybe she is preparing for her next triathlon, planning her wedding, nursing her newborn baby, caring for her sick grandmother, falling asleep atop a stack of books and half-written essays while studying for graduate school exams or carousing with a man who just so happens to remarkably think she is not the least bit crazy but, instead, quite simply amazing.

Or, most unthinkably, perhaps she is someone just like you – someone with a history made up of chapters both good and bad, and whose truth will only ever be fully known by her and her alone.

Such a novel concept, isn’t it?

The truth is this: Male or female, meek or brazen, successful or unsuccessful – we’ve all exhibited some level of perceivably erratic or puzzling behavior at one point in time or another. It may have occurred behind locked doors or on stage for a crowd’s entertainment. Regardless, at some point in our lives, each of us have been haunted by something, remained too long in something, humiliated ourselves when in the throes of something or longed to shamefully bury something. No one is immune.

So if you’ve ever been labeled as the “crazy ex,” don’t view it as The Scarlet Letter. Instead, wear it like a badge of honor. You’re in fabulous company, babe.

This article was also published to YourTango.

Lacey Johnson

Madam Wonder: Editor-in-Chief & Founder

Lacey Johnson is an award-winning editor, essayist and journalist who earned her degree from Belmont University. She has worked with a wide range of celebrities and entrepreneurs - including Betsey Johnson, Deepak Chopra, Lewis Howes and Olympic Gold Medalist Shawn Johnson. Her work can be read in a variety of print magazines and digital media sources including Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Woman’s Day, Mirabella, PopSugar and others. She has also been a featured guest on a variety of Altare Publishing's wellness-related podcasts.With a deep intrigue for human beings, and passion for smacking her readers in the face with the truth, she writes and reports boldly and introspectively about topics such as love and relationships, popular culture, grief, travel, spirituality, wellness, women’s issues and the nuances of successful living.

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