In Her Shell
Sunday, January 28, 2007

At some point in any relationship, I am visited by my alter ego: Insane Girlfriend. I don’t like Insane Girlfriend and she doesn’t like me. I hate how needy she is and she can’t stand my self-control. For the purposes of this essay, I am going to call her IG, or Iggy. She hates that.

Sometimes Iggy has a point: she deserves a phone call when a phone call was promised. Especially when Unsuspecting Boyfriend is away for the weekend having a good time without her. But the depth and intensity of Iggy’s emotional reactions are too much for me. I scold her—'this might be inconsiderate but it does not necessarily point to an essential character flaw or the ultimate doom of the relationship'—and she ignores me. I hate being ignored.

Iggy’s primary states of mind are Anger, Panic, and Tears, in that order of priority. She is so consumed by her Anger that it is impossible for me to get anything done. Last night she would have dropped her toothbrush and darted into the other room to see if it was, indeed, her cell phone ringing, had I not through an effort of will prevented her.

And it wasn’t. My cell phone ringing.

A cell phone is a particularly bad thing for Iggy to have. As much as I hate the umbilical cord that it has become, tying me to anyone with the number at any time, Iggy cannot be without it. Sometimes I force her to leave it in another room, out of earshot, but I have not as yet convinced her to leave the house without it, or to turn it off.

I used to keep my cell phone off all the time. Then my roommates and I decided that it would be simpler and cheaper to cancel the land line, switch to cable Internet, and use the cells as our primary phones.

And that’s what they are—cells. I’m sitting in one right now, with Insane Girlfriend. She is rattling the bars and alternately shouting obscenities at UB and sighing over pictures of him. I’m over here, wishing for once that I had papers to grade or a punching bag to punch. I don’t know whose picture I want on it: his, hers, or mine.

Because as much as I try to sit over here in the opposite corner, Insane Girlfriend is me. I am the one who needs the attention, the reassurance, the time spent. I am the one who overreacts when I don’t get it. I am the one who gets angry, who panics, who cries. That Girl for whom most of her weekend plans revolve around her boyfriend? It’s me. Ouch.

Last night Iggy and I called UB and left a nasty message on his voicemail. This is his own fault, we told ourselves. It helped us sleep, to get all that off of our chest. But today I’m still fighting with her, not him. It’s myself I’m angry with, for needing so much, for being so sensitive, for acting so insane.

Ugh. But the consolation of knowing you have to deal with your internal craziness is that you have once again demonstrated the brilliance that is Wonderturtle by naming and creating this persona, "Iggy." I don't know why I never had the idea to name my internal lunatic(s). Probably because I'm not Wonderturtle.

Should we call Unsuspecting Boyfriend "Ubby?" I like it. Iggy & Ubby.

I think acknowledging Iggy is the first step in diminishing her power over you. Bravo.
Oh I know Iggy. Boy do I know Iggy. We are all Iggy.

I think CP is right, acknowledging her is the first step in conquering her.

Do you know the Veruca Salt song Seether? I totally have an inner Seether.
CP: Thank you. I do think, though, that the reason you have not named your inner demons is that it is a sign of multiple personality disorder. However, it did make me feel better to write about it.

Lu: Thanks babe; you are so good at making me feel not alone. I will go look at song up right now.
I'm no stranger to Iggy myself. I, however, do not have an inner kick-ass writer chick like the lovely Wonderturtle does.
No, you have an outer one!
I've experienced it too. And even though I realize that it's a part of me and I don't want it to be, it doesn't make it any easier.

Nice post.
how 'bout you call me and we have tea at mola?
Update: Iggy JUST visited me last night! That bitch.
TAB: Thanks for the commiseration, and for stopping by!

HB: I would love to! I'm glad to report that Iggy has passed (for now) and things are good, but I would always love to have tea and hand-sized pie with you!

Megan: I'm so sorry; she's like a succubus and can't live without a host. Writing and actually turning my phone off helped to exorcise her...
Cell as cell. You're brilliant. And that's apt right? Anger/Panic/Tears.
Aw, thanks man!
Iggy...I am not insane...its HER!
Sounds like something she would say...
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