Tatti Ribeiro
June 18, 2014 12:43 pm

When you are acting crazy, there is nothing more offensive than someone telling you you’re acting crazy, and there is nothing more craze-inducing than someone telling you you’re a psycho. First of all, I KNOW I’M ACTING CRAZY. Second of all, I may deserve to be acting this way. But most of all, I don’t want to be acting this way. . . it’s just coming out and I can’t totally control it, and I feel like I’m watching myself out of my own body (which sounds less “omg ur so crazy” and more like, “you need to see a psychiatrist”) but it’s happening, and I’m upset, and there’s probably some sort of root cause for this, and you telling me I’m crazy is going to do NOTHING to tame this situation. So please, refrain from calling me crazy and I’ll refrain from ruining whatever friendship we have.

A lot of things make us crazy. Family, work, lack of sleep, stress, dating (trying to date), being a living breathing human being is really HARD. It’s a wonder people aren’t crazy all of the time. Usually we manage to keep our sh** together. Then something in the world finally sets us off and we lose it (probably at the wrong people and definitely at the most embarrassing place).

We’re at the DMV and we wait and wait and wait, and then, we reach the window. WOO! We reach the window and we think “YES! WE MADE IT”—only to be corrected by the teller, “No, you didn’t make it, you don’t have all the paperwork you need, and you have to pay more money than you thought, come back tomorrow and wait again.” WHAT!?

We’re visiting our families for Christmas. We’ve been listening to fighting and whining and complaining for three days. We’ve been stifling our real opinions around certain family members. We’ve been hearing mean things about politicians we love. We’ve been defending our choice to study art. We’ve been explaining our perpetual singleness. We’ve been waking up too early to take kids to school, or to swimming, or to the dentist. We’ve been smiling and eating food that makes us feel terrible. But we’ve also been enjoying every moment because it’s family and they’re all really lovely people actually. But then someone asks us what our plans are for tomorrow and we LOSE IT, “what’s your plan tomorrow?”, “I DON’T KNOW, WHY? DO YOU NEED TO KNOW? DO YOU NEED ME FOR SOMETHING? CAN I HAVE A DAY TO MYSELF? SOME PEACE AND QUIET?”

These one-off temper tantrums are embarrassing but ultimately easy to handle. You can forgive yourself quickly for those.

The other sort of crazy—the slow burning sort—is harder to let go of. The embarrassment of acting a certain way that’s not at all aligned with your true personality for an extended period of time can take years to let go of.

This sort of insanity is usually associated with dating. There is nothing like a little rejection to make anyone (not just girls) freak out. It’s the only human response. When you can feel someone not like you, you react. First you wonder why they don’t like you and then you try to make them like you. There’s nothing attractive about this. It feels awful to do. It’s horrible to watch. It’s just an all around bad situation, and it’s an impossible task. It immediately makes you an inauthentic version of yourself. You behave how you think they want you to, you start making jokes you think they’ll like, you start hanging around conversations that you’re not wanted in. All the while never behaving how you would normally behave. Never speaking how you would normally speak. And it’s awful. Everyone can feel it, most importantly you.

I’ve been so outside of my own body, so aware of everything I was saying, and for what? To try and impress a boy who never liked me to begin with. To try and impress a boy I didn’t even know. I didn’t fall in love with my best friend, who then didn’t like me back. I just decided I needed someone to like me purely because they didn’t. I needed to prove myself because I wasn’t good enough, I wasn’t pretty enough, or smart enough, or cool enough. . . even though I was (I’m mad cool, yo). They never knew I was cool or smart or had any thoughts at all, and they’ll never know (that’s the worst part but you got to let it go, bb’s) because I acted like a crazy DESPERATE.

I can’t change it and neither can you. Sorry!

The only thing I (or any of us) want to do when I see the person I was insane around is to gently, sanely, calmly let them know I’m normal, that that was just a weird phase I was in, totally won’t happen again—except wait, no it’s happening again right now! Just walk away. Let those people go. It’s a lost cause.

So fine, there are like, 6 people in the world who think I’m a psycho. Okay. What. Who cares. I can live with that.

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