Home > Grief & Loss, relationships > “The One Who Looks the Least Crazy Wins”

“The One Who Looks the Least Crazy Wins”

This seems to be the week for crazy, divorced blondes in the news. I think it’s perfectly fair to take both Christie Brinkley and the YouTube lady, Trisha Walsh-Smith, to task for their public airing of certain marital details.

Personally, it makes perfect sense that someone who has been treated unfairly or otherwise wronged wants people on her side. There’s something about a break up that makes you want others to believe your side, to retain your credibility, to keep your friends.

In college, I spent over a year with a guy I shouldn’t have. He was abusive, mean, distant, unavailable, and this extended to our break up, which he did on my 21st birthday. He broke up with me, saying, “Happy Birthday. I don’t love you.” After a while he said, “I’m so relieved! I’ve been wanting to do that for weeks! Hey, do you still want to go to dinner?”

I was angry–both at how I’d been treated and, of course, of this horrible memory he created for me. Not to mention, my father was killed just a few months prior. This somehow gave him ammunition–he spread rumors about me and told everyone that I had become psychotic because of my father’s death. He played on the sympathy of his friends (and mine) and claimed he’d waited to break up with me because he thought I would die, unable to live without him. Walking through the halls, to our classes, his friends stared and whispered, no doubt believing everything he’d said.

I had the most intense impulses to try and right this wrong, to tell everyone the truth and clear my name. But I decided silence would be my best weapon. I still had to see him several days a week (torture!) and endure the strange looks from people, but I just tried to appear well adjusted–I showed no outward signs of falling apart and found lots of good friends, and devoted myself to my studies. When people dared to ask for my side, I refrained from any comment.

Over time, people came to see who he really was–a jerk. It didn’t take any help from me; his own behavior betrayed his insanity to his friends. I worked hard, defied expectations and graduated with honors, while he barely scraped by and ended up with no friends, an expensive degree and a $5-an-hour job. He was furious and bewildered by my outward success. And, yes, in the end, he was sorry. But by then I was too re-invested in my own life to be concerned about it.

Like many unfairly wronged women, I’m sure Christie Brinkley wasn’t intending to drag her children through the mud and further destroy an already broken family. But no one will remember his despicable behavior; we’ll just remember that Ms. Brinkley’s pain & desire for vengeance superseded her good judgment and her desire to protect her children.

As for the title of this post, I read the quote from a divorce lawyer somewhere online. No matter what either party has done, in front of the judge, the one who looks the least crazy usually wins.

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