Despite how I may come across at times in this column, in reality I am a very quiet person. I’m soft spoken and I keep to myself. I’m the type of person that listens instead of waiting to speak. I sit and read in a park on nice weather days and I watch cartoons in my underwear on rainy days. And though I have been described as being blunt to a fault, one thing I have never been described as is dramatic.
That being said, I am the unfortunate owner of what is commonly referred to as a “Crazy Magnet.” So much so that a great portion of my adult life has been consumed in the hysteria of other people’s lives. And you know what? It’s completely my fault.
The role you play while drowning in the lives of others is exciting. Though physically and emotionally exhausted, you’re life becomes very interesting and the chaos becomes a compulsion. You become so used to a dysfunctional, intense lifestyle that when it ends you feel restless and bored when normalcy returns.
In the first months of a job I spent many years at in my late twenties, I was befriended by a coworker whose life was so far removed from mine that I couldn’t help but be fascinated by the tales she told me during coffee breaks at work. She was a submissive in the BDSM world and was exploring her options after becoming newly single. She would come to work covered in fresh bruises, glowing with contentment, and debate at length the positivity of a life so far different than mine, with my innate need for a sense of control.
Now in an ideal world, like in Fifty Shades of Grey, you meet a potential dominate with the purest of intentions who loves and respects his submissive. Many BDSM partners fill this role to a tee in the real world, but in some instances you meet a sadistic asshole who just wants to legally manipulate and beat the shit out of a girl. To cope with the aftermath of experiences, my friend encountered with less than respectable intentions, she lied. One day she would be gloating over a late night encounter with a suitor and the next tell me a tale of being wronged followed up with “I’m so glad I never played with him!” while covering the black and blue proof with long sleeve shirts in the summer heat.
Having realized how easily she lied, I soon started paying attention to other factors of her life she lied about and realized well, she lied a lot actually. So much so I don’t even think she could distinguish the truth anymore. I started to notice how often she made up stories about our mutual friends, and how she would tell others things I said that weren’t true. I reached a breaking point and stopped all contact, which was a difficult feat since our desks were about 15 feet away from each other. Ever the drama queen, she would speak loudly about me to others in attempts to ignite an angry fight of which she prepped herself to be the victim of. She quit a year later without ever being given the privilege.
Slightly earlier in my adult life, I lived with a girl who suffered from a Borderline Personality disorder. For those unaware of the condition, the A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia describes it as “a condition in which people have long-term patterns of unstable or turbulent emotions, such as feelings about themselves and others.These inner experiences often cause them to take impulsive actions and have chaotic relationships.” I was not aware of her condition prior to moving in with her. Late at night she would have violent fits of screaming where she flung herself around the apartment.
Once I woke up in the morning and she was crying on the bathroom floor. She would scream and yell at her friends on the phone in the middle of the night, and even once yelled very loudly to her mother while crying that life was a lot easier for me than it was for her. She typically surrounded herself with others that were as loud and dramatic as she was and on one occasion while down the Jersey Shore a girl we were staying with was arrested at a night club. In another instance she got drunk and told everyone at a table that I would listen to her having sex at night.
Stuck in a lease, I often stayed in my room ignoring her taunts, fits and need for constant reassurance. Towards the end of our lease due to stress with the management office of our complex she would often wait for me at the door for me to come home from work to yell at me. A few months after we moved and went our separate ways, I sent her an email attempting to make amends, only to have been met with a psychotic response that could be summarized as “How dare I ever had added to her stress in life?”
For the last few years, I had experience with a man in which can be best described as an attempt to be close friends with a young Charles Bukowski if Charles Bukowski happened to be very ridiculously good looking. He was most likely a genius and super fun to drink with, but occasionally I would have him knocking on my door drunk and locked out in the middle of the night. Or I would have to bail him out of jail in the morning. There is at times an unspoken side effect to being very attractive. which makes them spoiled rotten people.
A great analogy for this behavior is a young child throwing a tantrum in a toy aisle screaming and kicking until he gets a new toy. Or a child who doesn’t have to take care or cherish their toys because they know they will be given a new one. A large population of adults act just like this in relationships. They yell, lie and scream until they get what they want or replace it because they can. A new partner will come along any minute.
I had another friend. He would often send me nasty text messages explaining how he didn’t need me and that I never mattered. I would often tell him he wasn’t as good looking as he thought he was, but what I actually meant is that his looks counted for a lot less than he thought they did. At last interaction he was publicly blaming me for an incident in which he harassed another ex incognito and was called out on it. Instead of taking accountability, he’s lying, yelling and screaming like a child and blaming others for his actions.
And you know why I put up with these people for so long? Because it’s so goddamn entertaining. You get such a rush from feeling anger and excitement that it’s hard to let it go and live a normal life.
I don’t want that type of life anymore. I want to be boring. I want to be a loser who spends her evenings watching cartoons in her underwear. I want to take my dogs on long walks in the park looking at everything as we walk by.
I’ve spent the last couple of years learning to get excited and inspired by a simple life. There are so many extraordinary subtle moments in life that you miss with the clouded head of a complex existence fueled by anger and adrenaline. I’ve learned to love the simple moments in life when a boy shows up at my door with flowers just before having a nice conversation over dinner. Or being able to go down the shore with a friend who sits on the beach looking for dolphins or paddle boarding in the bay.
Life has never been better.
Nicole Alexandria is off doing cool things like a boss that you probably never heard of while not giving a single fuck all day every day. You can contact her through Facebook.