Hiding Behind Crazy
Posted on July 25, 2011 by Deborah Cluff
Listening to lovers tell stories of their crazy exes is a tantalizing temptation!
Listening to lovers tell stories of their crazy exes is a tantalizing temptation and aside from morbid curiosity, there is some excitement to getting pulled into other peoples drama. We can listen with a comfortable cushion of distance because it’s someone else’s dysfunctional relationship we are a voyeur to. With judgment and disbelief we may wonder how anyone could stay with such a crazy partner!? Well, anyone can and anyone does find themselves entangled in emotional messes whether for a few moments or many years. When the heart is not flooding the mind with intensely strong feelings, the crazy relationship makes little sense to the somewhat rational thinker.
In considering this conundrum quite closely as of late, a veiled pay off for the non-crazy lover has revealed itself. We are not unwitting victims of crazy lovers’ crimes but willing participants in a complex web that serves to let the “sane” people hide their own insanity, fears, and inadequacies. Stepping back to look at what function the craziness serves, it becomes clear that there can be no real emotional intimacy between partners who are constantly toggling between the fusion and separation that characterizes most crazy relationships.
Fusion can be thought of as a sense of merging, a temporary loss of personal boundaries and individual identities. Separation is what happens when one or both realize that they cannot tolerate this merger and pull away, often in a dramatic manner. This may manifest as fighting and making-up or creating physical distance, etc. Then separation invokes desperate grasping to fuse again out of a profound fear of loss. Because this relationship is fueled on drama, it must be somewhat unrequited and avoid any sense of normalcy (because it may lead to reality) in order to continue the cycle.
The perceived safety lies precisely in that void of intimacy – if we are merged or separated, when are both partners present in their wholeness? If we were ready and receptive to real intimacy in love, we would not accept this dramatic fusion/separation cycle in place of an intimate relationship between two emotionally present partners. There seems to be an almost compelling unconscious desire to keep intimacy at bay. Relationships that avoid depth and connection, contrary to what we may think consciously, may be more attractive to us on a more unconscious level. Without closeness, we can hide from one another; without our partner’s presence, nobody knows we’re not there either.