When I left my ex-husband, he decided I was having a manic episode.  He called my parents and my best friend to tell them I was having a manic episode and ask them to check up on me and try to help me.  He thought I was crazy.

I remember my best friend telling me that my ex had called her, to warn her, and the wincing feeling inside my body.  To know he had done that hurt me, really strangely.  He was spreading fear about me–spreading around his own fear.  I felt sorry for him that he was afraid, but I was angry.

I think he really believed what he was saying and was motivated by love.  He wasn’t making it up just to defame me or make life harder for me.  But it hurt really bad, to be untrusted with my own life, mind, and decisions.

Of course, to leave him, I must have been crazy, right?  The truth is, I had been miserable with him for a long time.  We had both been stuck, and we gave that relationship lots of time and effort.  But some aspects were just not right from the beginning.

We loved each other a lot, but not in ways to sustain the difficulties of life.  The sex was weird from the beginning.


With language, we did great.  We were both writers, but he was a white man–a straight, non-disabled, cis white man, from money.  His work would always be received that way.  He was the valid person, with power by default, and what he said in his writing was respected automatically.  He didn’t have to fight to be perceived as an actual person.

Once during grad school we both entered the same contest.  He had written something I found misogynist, and I was upset he was submitting it to the contest.  And he won–he won the contest, which resulted in a fellowship worth thousands of dollars.  I got second place.

I was so furious he won with that misogynist thing he’d written, I just about hated him for that.  For days I could barely speak to him.


His entire worldview was misogynist.  That was the foundation of his life.  Any time he defied his misogynist nature was cause for celebration and praise.

He’d spent his life hating his mom for being crazy and making weird demands on him.  Hating his mom for what she did to his dad.  Loving his dad, who tried to protect him from his mom.

His mom and I had the same birthday.  What a mess.  When he took me there, to the state he came from, his family was terrible to me.  They were rich white people and shopped recreationally.  I didn’t even know how to do that.  They hated me and tried to destroy me almost immediately.


I had a penpal who said of course I was diagnosed with mental illness–the oppressor always says the oppressed is crazy.  He considered me Chicana because my mom was Mexican-American, but he had never met me.  Mama had pale skin, and so do I.

I used to claim myself as a person of color, but it was confusing.  Whatever I said felt like I was lying.  It was very uncomfortable, to be half.  I started going as white, then–I wouldn’t mention my mom’s background, unless I had to.

Then recently I was talking with a friend about a cat in the courtyard.  I said the cat had vavoso.  A string of vavoso was hanging down from her mouth, and I was worried about her.

What is vavoso?  I google it and see baboso, actually.  It means drool or drooling?  Or drooler.  Like for a person who drools and is considered not intelligent and not worthy.

Oh, no wonder we called it that.  I considered it baby Spanish.  But if it could be used as an insult, that makes sense.  Pendejo was a big word at our house too–pendejo as an insult.  My mom would call my dad pendejo sometimes, and it was funny, a mild insult, though literally it means pubic hair.

I had never seen baboso written–it sounded like v’s to me.  But my first word was in Spanish.  That’s real, and I can’t change that.


Lately I’ve been thinking about that ex and wanting to google him.  I haven’t let myself.  Part of me is afraid he’s dead.

He stopped speaking to me when his partner had a baby a few summers ago.  He emailed me a picture of their beautiful white baby and told me goodbye.

Supposedly that wasn’t to be hurtful.  But how could I read that differently.  Beautiful white baby I could never give him, smiling at me from a computer screen.  How was I supposed to feel?

“Hysterical” is a no no word for me.  I don’t appreciate being called hysterical, which is an understatement.  Hysterical like hysterectomy.  A wandering womb, making wombed people crazy.

Yeah, I’m crazy, and my ex used my diagnosis against me.  But I didn’t leave him because I’m crazy.  It was probably the clearest thing I ever did.

By Nest

Curious, disabled Earth Goddess, telling the truth.

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