Back in the Sixties, my wife of five years, had a complete mental breakdown, and ordered me out of her life. I left her in Los Angeles, and went to my new job in Denver – and had practically no contact with her. Two years later, she killed herself.
When my mother, of all people, telephoned me the news – on a telephone line used only for agency business – I went into shock and spent the rest of the day in an open field, looking at the new wildflowers that had appeared in the prairie.
Then I started to ask myself “What did I do wrong?”
This was completely crazy – I hadn’t done anything wrong. I wasn’t the perfect husband, no one is – but I put up with Beth’s craziness more than most husbands would have. If I did anything wrong, it was that – I should have insisted that we had broken up much earlier. She would have agreed with that readily – and saved both of us a lot of pain.
Instead, I became part of Beth’s craziness, and made it even worse, trying to help her. That’s why she had to get rid of me – so she could be a crazy as she wanted – so she could destroy herself – which was really what she wanted.
She was the child of successful parents (in every way, believe me) – and she was determined to destroy their success. That was what brought us together (we had similar families). We had a common objective – and we acted it out together.
We didn’t realize we were part of a larger drama – the destruction of America – and indeed, the destruction of the entire world.