Terrified one minute, giddy with hysterical bonding the next.
The crazy thing is...your response, under the circumstances, is perfectly normal. Sane. It's not you that's crazy, it's the situation.
It's a situation in which you're often being asked to trust someone who has proven himself untrustworthy. You're sometimes being asked to present a fake front to the world when inside your world has collapsed. You're frequently responding physically to trauma, which is exactly what betrayal is: trouble sleeping, easily triggered, racing heart, chronic anxiety.
We find ourselves badgering our partners with questions even though we dread the answers. One minute we're terrified they'll walk out the door, the next we're ready to literally kick them out the door ourselves.
And far far too often, we accept that we're the crazy ones. Far too often we're told we're the crazy ones. But we're not. We're often the only sane ones in a crazy situation.
It can be hard to believe that. After all, we're the ones shrieking until we grow hoarse. We're the ones throwing things. We're the ones accusing our partners of all sorts of apparently crazy things: hiding phones, faking trips, double lives.
But, like Shakespeare's fools, we're so often the ones who speak the truth, who point out the lies and the hypocrisy, who call out the crazy, even as we're the ones considered foolish.
If you're feeling crazy, by all means find a counsellor who can help you find your way back to solid ground. Especially if your behaviour is crossing a line into abuse or stalking or self-harm, then please seek help immediately. A partner's betrayal is excruciating but it isn't a licence to harm others or yourself.
What feeling crazy can remind us is that we are deeply wounded and we need gentle care. Ever tried to approach an injured animal? They hiss and spit. Their fear comes out as aggression. Betrayal takes us back to that primal state. The best thing we can do is focus on what we can control, which is ourselves. We can find support. We can nurture ourselves. We can tend to our broken heart.
And within that space where we're focussed on our sane, normal response to a crazy situation, we can recognize how toxic our partner (or our parent, or our friend, or our boss....) is. We can finally acknowledge that we are not crazy. We can place the blame squarely where it belongs: on a partner (or parent or friend or boss...) who has lied to us, manipulated us, betrayed us.
We can fight for ourselves. We can love ourselves. We'd be crazy not to.