Why “Crazy” and “Jerk” are Lazy

She texted me again.

Really? That bitch is crazy. It’s been two months. She needs to move on.

Stuck between a bench and a table stacked with freshly poured beers, I felt compelled to add my two cents to a conversation between my boyfriend’s friends, regardless of whether they were equipped with an open coin-slot. Don’t get me wrong — smart guys, but emotional maturity might not have been their strong suit. The discussion was about one of their ex-girlfriends that he broke up with over a text-message he didn’t compose. Although the dump-ee seconded the emotion, he was clearly distraught by her words. Distraught might only be a small overreach. Only a small one. Perhaps it was easier to go along.

My response to him was a soft, “I have empathy for her. Maybe she should move on, but she isn’t crazy. That’s a strong word. She has feelings; she is hurt.”

They were not open to my exchange, or at least, it wasn’t accepted on the surface, and my boyfriend certainly didn’t back me up.

Said boyfriend and I broke up about a month ago. It didn’t take me long to realize I deserved better. The loss I can handle — I’m a big girl who knows how to put on her big girl panties when I have to, but it was the way he dismissed our relationship by ending it via **Facebook message!!!!** that hurt the most, diminishing what we had for six months and not allowing a final face-to-face and a goodbye. We didn’t have a bad relationship, so why the awful breakup treatment?

When this happened, I felt the only way to speak my part and find some sort of closure on my own was to write about it. He had not given me the option of speaking to him. The night he refused to see me in person to break up with me, I panicked and wanted desperately for him to say it to my face and to say goodbye. We cared for each other for six months and were a huge part of each other’s lives during that time, and I felt I deserved that respect and the peace of closure. I couldn’t wrap my brain around why he was doing it this way. I called him and texted him that night so many times without a response; I felt shame. I remembered his friends’ words, “That bitch is crazy.”

But thankfully, it wasn’t just those words that stopped me, it was the anxiety settling just enough to piece myself back together.

He wasn’t in a place where he would be able to see what was behind my actions. In other words — he was not equipped with a coin-slot. It was much easier for him to lock up his pain and ask for me to deal with it along with mine, so he didn’t have to feel those uncomfortable feelings. It would be easier for him to slap a label on me and invalidate my “crazy” feelings because it made him feel discomfort. And just to be clear, I don’t know whether or not he joined his friends on the trigger-happy-crazy-label train after my search for closure that night, but I do know it would be much easier than dealing with any pain or loss, and he hasn’t apologized for the way he handled it.

When I shared my writing that same night of the break-up, the feedback was an overwhelming and emphatic, “What a jerk!” in some form or fashion, from most people. I didn’t paint him one way or the other; I simply relayed the events of the night exactly how they unfolded. I cannot lie and say I didn’t feel an urge to echo that same sentiment, because I did. How he treated me revealed a side of his character that has now made me question the person I thought he was. As quickly as my feelings changed for him, and as repulsed as I am by his post break-up behavior, I will still not echo it. In fact, I will refute it, and it’s not because I still have feelings for him but because that is what sane people do. It’s the right thing to do.

Calling him a jerk is not much different from the “crazy” label. “Crazy” is a term that is (almost) exclusively used against women with emotions, by people who are unwilling to accept responsibility for having something to do with those feelings with which they don’t know how to deal. Likewise, “jerk” is a term that is (almost) exclusively used against men who seem unwilling or unable to deal with the responsibility of someone else’s emotions. I’m not saying the label-ers themselves are fully responsible for the other person’s actions, but the label-ers play a part, and they should be prepared to handle the consequences of their choices, albeit difficult, in a responsible manner. It’s so much easier to slap a label on someone than to deal with what is behind their actions. Dealing with it is work. The work might be painful. In fact, the pain would have eased even quicker than it did if I had labeled my ex a jerk because of his actions and said “case closed,” instead of understanding what was behind them and dealing with those reasons. Allowing fear and discomfort to take the reigns over how to deal with someone else’s emotions when you don’t quite understand your own is not necessarily a responsible choice, but it doesn’t equal “jerk.”

We have to stop labeling each other and do the necessary work — the hard work that it takes to understand each other and heal in healthy ways. Often, the hard work is cumbersome, but it’s worth it to stop shoving that pain away only to let it creep back in from time to time.

It is forgiveness that allows us to really move forward, to learn, to grow, and to find what we’ve been seeking all along — someone who understands us, validates us, and is willing to see what is underneath the surface — someone willing to do the work. Us “crazies” and “jerks,” we are all deserving of that.


Photo on 6-13-14 at 6.02 PM - Version 2Lauren a.k.a. Darlin’ teaches prepubescents how to read, write, choose kind over wrong or right, and to laugh at her lame jokes.  She hopes to inspire her readers to make the most of what they have without settling for less than desired, all the while convincing herself to do the same.  She currently makes mistakes in Austin, TX.


If you would like to catch more from Lauren a.k.a. Darlin’ check out her weekly Monday posts at keyandarrow.com, among many other great reasons to read.

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17 thoughts on “Why “Crazy” and “Jerk” are Lazy

  1. Oh that’s a mean way via Facebook. I was dumped once via backside of a MC D. voucher what was placed behind my wiper…. the voucher was expired of course… I felt like crap that I wasn’t not even worth a milkshake for that guy :o(

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like your definition of crazy woman. Now that I think of it, I can really see it used by men for those women who they gave so much of pain and hurt that now they have just gone haywire with the grief spilling over.

    As you said forgiving is v important. We need to forgive not only the so called culprit but ourselves too for being so vulnerable and giving.

    Its all a part of Karmic debts.

    Be blessed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Allowing oneself to feel everything is healthy — sometimes difficult, but healthy — and people should more often celebrate the ability to do so! When everything is felt wholeheartedly, those blissful moments are that much better. What you say about forgiveness is the truth! If not for the other person, it has to be for the self.

      Like

  3. Dear Lauren… what a horrible way to be treated! You do deserve better than that. He obviously has some issues or he wouldn’t have done it that way. But you are the bigger person by writing about it and thinking about what that “label” means. Most people do not look past WHAT happened to the WHY it happened. I try (and fail a lot) to see the reasons behind someone’s actions. The motives help me to deal with the hurt and pain (most of the time) but sometimes you don’t know why someone did what they did. That is the ones I have the hardest time with….. like cruelty. No matter how bad something/someone is, there is never an excuse for cruelty. Not even as retaliation for something THEY did. Because then you become just like them. And as humans… we should be better than that.
    I loved your post and the mature way you see things with putting a label on someone and how detrimental it is. I hope you can move past his actions soon and find someone who is more deserving of you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for expressing your understanding and for your kind words! Yes, cruel acts are the most difficult ones to get past, especially when it’s difficult to understand why anyone would choose cruelty. I do feel like I’ve already healed and moved forward. It’s crazy how fast that can happen when we are honest with our feelings! Ha!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Lauren, welcome back! :0)

    I don’t know what happened, but I agree. I wouldn’t call him a jerk, cuz that would be lazy. I would call him a coward, because the way he depersonalized you by breaking up on Facebook is cowardly. You are very mature for viewing it how you are.

    Crazy is also a label. As someone who has been stalked by an ex, and not by text, but by drives past my house and phone calls to the point where I would turn off the ringer, I prefer to call him in need of mental health counseling.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Word. people often label others because doing so makes it easier to push away any personal anxiety about a situation on others than to deal with it ourselves. I see a lot of humanity in your message and am reminded of a college professor who said, when you label someone, all you are doing is giving them the right to behave in the way that you characterize them. Therefore, when we say someone is a jerk, all we can expect from him is to live up to the name. Certainly this is unfair, especially considering the first part when you described the girlfriend who was simply hurt. But she isnt crazy. Labels give people license to act accordingly. You are right. Deal with your personal anxieties and be accountable for them. Pushing them off on someone else is an age old defense mechanism we call…. Projection. Frued was good for some things.

    Also I admit I did call him a jerk. Probably another name too. But I will take that one for you my dear friend.

    Liked by 1 person

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