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May

Why Women “Go Psycho”

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I’ve heard guys say “She was a total psycho” countless times.  When I told a guy I was writing an article on why women go psycho, he said “because they’re women?” and then made the accompanying drum/joke sound effect. Yet when I ask a guy ‘what exactly did you do to make her “go psycho,” these same men shrug their shoulders, look shocked and claim complete innocence.

I’m not putting all the blame on men, and by no means are all women innocent. And men seem to constantly forget that women tend to be more emotional than they are (just listen to Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats”), so often times ‘going psycho’ could be the guy slant on ‘having emotions’. Yes, sometimes women go out of line in a super crazy way. But I do believe that a lot of these so-called crazy women probably had a guy do or say a lot of contradicting things, and when you add this confusing behavior with some youth, inexperience, insecurity, and/or alcohol, before you know it, you’ve got a ‘psycho.’

I bet most women would cop to some bad, if not totally embarrassing, semi-psychotic behavior in their past. Most women don’t own up to being a psycho, but get them talking about an ex, or someone who cheated on them, or just some guy they got really hung up on, and you’ll hear a “yeah, I went a little crazy.”

This is how I explain myself when I end up telling someone how I once ended up hunting down a guy at his house at  5am on New Year’s morning with a drunk friend and a battered hitchhiker, to see if he was with another woman. Yes, this sounds crazy… but let me explain.

It was New Year’s Eve, and I had been seeing Todd for about two months. Though the Claudia/Todd ‘relationship’ had already started to sour, I didn’t think I was being cheated on.  I’d talked to Todd earlier in the evening, hoping he’d meet up with me. I was bartending that night, and I thought he might come by. I don’t know, usually people spend New Year’s Eve with the guy they are seeing, right?

“Hey sweetie. I’m here. It’s nuts and parking is ridiculous, but I’d love to see you tonight,”  I said.

“Yeah, let me see.  I’m still at my mom’s.  I don’t know if we’ll make it out there or not.”  He replied.

Todd was fairly non-commital, he lived near his family and his grandmother was in the hospital, so I knew he had a lot on his plate. Not wanting to be the difficult girl, I let it go.  I hadn’t planned to see him that night anyway, but I hoped I would. Cut to 3am. I was off work and walking to my car when I spotted what looked like Todd getting into his ex-girlfriend’s car. They were exiting a parking garage, and while I was practically positive it was them, I wasn’t 100% sure.

My first instinct was to follow them – I don’t know why, since I had never followed anyone before. When following someone, what do you do once they get somewhere?  But I was caught behind a sea of parking attendants, valets and drunks which made any type of Bullit-style car chase impossible.  But I couldn’t do nothing. I had to find out for sure.I was stunned.  I hadn’t seen this coming (although there had been a fair amount of drama with the ex), but I didn’t know what to do. What if that wasn’t him? What if I had made a mistake?  Why wasn’t he at home, like he’d said?

These were the thoughts racing through my head, so I called Melissa.  Melissa is one of my best friends – a comedian and who I consider to be my partner in crime.  If there are wacky shenanigans – a dance off, boys, or alcohol involved – Melissa is down. Melissa was just getting home from her New Year’s party and was drunk.  Not falling down drunk, just good times drunk.  It was Melissa who suggested we drive by Todd’s house in her car (knowing he would recognize my car if he happened to be standing by his window at 4am after screwing his ex). I was dubious because I thought I’d given up driving by guys’ houses in high school. Okay, college.  Apparently not.  We knew if the ex-girlfriend’s car was there at 4am in the morning, then Todd was definitely sleeping with her.

Now the hitchhiker.  Since Melissa wasn’t in any shape to drive, I got us on the on-ramp for the freeway  as we discussed the past two months of Todd’s bizarre behavior. We almost didn’t see the woman stumbling along the side of the road.  I slowed the car down and Melissa rolled down her window.

“Hey girl! Hey girl!”  Melissa yelled as if calling a dog.  The woman looked up, but didn’t seem too interested in Melissa, and kept walking.  I backed the car up slowly praying no one else was speeding onto the onramp.  That’s when her drunken, crying story came out.

“He just pushed me out of the car…He got so mad…I don’t understand…” The palms of her hands and down the length of her arms were scratched and bleeding. She was limping, her makeup ranning down her face.  She looked awful. As bad as my night seemed to be going, this poor girl’s night seemed much worse.

“Do you need a ride?”  Melissa asked, looking at me apologetically.  Helping a stranded girl wasn’t really on my agenda – I was still on a mission to discover if Todd was, in fact, a lying asshole, but what else could I say?

“Can you take me home?” Hitchhiker girl pleaded.

Now I’m not a total bitch, but I watch a lot of “Law and Order: SVU” and horror movies.  This seemed like the exact scenario where helpful, law-abiding citizens get murdered and left for dead on the side of the road while an audience yells “Don’t pick up the hitchhiker!”

“I can take you into Pasadena.  There are a ton of cops there because of the Rose Parade tomorrow, or we can drop you at a hospital.”  I said.

“No, please just take me home.  He hasn’t called yet, but he’s not normally like this.”   I will admit, I was shocked that after being pushed out of a car,  bleeding, scratched, and left on the side of a highway in the wee hours of the morning,  Hitchhiker girl was still defending her man.

“Okay, if I take you home, I need to put your purse in the trunk.”  I said thinking the large purse held a murder weapon or maybe a handkerchief with cholorform.

“What? I’m not giving you my purse.”  She began to focus once her purse came into the equation, but bartering on the side of the highway with this strange woman only fueled my anger at Todd and this entire situation.

“Look lady.  I don’t know you.  I don’t know where you live, and my main concern is for my friend and I.  We can put your purse safely in the trunk that you’ll get back when I drop you off.  And you will sit in the backseat with your hands always visible, or I’m afraid I can’t help you.” I snapped.  Melissa looked at me like I’d just kicked a dog, but it got Hitchhiker girl’s attention.

“Okay,” she said a little scared, realizing I was not in the mood for generosity or trust. We popped the trunk and I drove with one eye on the road and one eye on the rearview mirror.  She kept trying to call her boyfriend and then pathetically said “He won’t pick up.”  Cut and bleeding, she still felt the need to talk to the guy that did this.  And I thought I was in a crappy relationship! After some horrible and backwards directions to her house, an attempt to write me a check as a thank you (I declined),  bizarre details about her night, and more attempts to get ahold of her douchebag/abusive boyfriend, we got her safely home.  The minute she got out of the car Melissa said, “I was just praying the whole time she didn’t shoot me in the back of the head.”   Melissa’s thoughts of possible death seemed to have sobered her up, and now our silly drive-by seemed unimportant and ridiculous. I may have been cheated on, but I had not been pushed out of a moving car.  This helped put my relationship problems in focus.

Still, we thought we couldn’t give up.  So we got back on the highway and headed for Todd’s house.  It occurred to me that our stranded hitchhiker tangent had probably given Todd time enough time to fuck around and for Kelly to go home.  By this point, I actually wanted to catch them, just to confirm my suspicions.  If she wasn’t there, that meant I was crazy or jealous or both. I knew I wasn’t crazy.  I also knew dating Todd had been a mistake and this gave me an easy reason to get out of the whole mess. Fifteen minutes later, my suspicions were confirmed.  Kelly’s car was parked in front of Todd’s house at 5am. Cheating was the obvious conclusion.

When I told friends about our driving across town with drunked Melissa, dealing with hitchhikers, racing to Todd’s house,  I knew I sounded crazy.  Am I normally distrustful? No.  Do I normally call my friends for escapades in the wee hours of the morning? No.  But when you date someone who slowly erodes your trust, tells you one thing while secretly doing another, and just misrepresents themselves and their feelings for you, rational behavior is hard to come by.  I knew I’d gotten to this point by previously going through his facebook posts, reviewing old photos for hidden meanings and reading texts. Am I proud of this? Hell no. I’m mortified that I ever even dated this guy.  I like to tell people I was drunk the entire time we dated to absolve myself from dating such a liar.  Apparantly I’d rather be a sad woman with a drinking problem, than in a bad relationship.  But from someone who has visited crazy and psycho-town a few times in my life, it’s not just the women.  Yes, mine was not the most mature of actions. But if he had just told me , “Hey, I don’t really want to date you anymore”, I would have been okay with that. Instead, even though I knew there was something wrong, he kept assuring me everything was fine. So yes, women occasionally “go psycho”. But there is usually a fair amount of blame on both sides.

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3 Responses to “Why Women “Go Psycho””

  1. November 27, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Woot, I just admire Carrie Underwood! Carrie is so funny!

  2. August 24, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Wow this is amazing. I have been in a similar situation and I can relate to almost every piece of that, but orginally I came on the Internet to find about the psyco men and the men who don’t take no for an answer, the obsessive turn out to be stalker-ish. The ones who talk so much soppy-mess and tell you how much they love you 24/7 that it becomes sickening and weird. Do you have any of those stories? I would love to hear.

    Louise

  3. September 19, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    i will just stay away from them since they are Very Extremely Dangerous today.

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