My heart pounded at what seemed miles per second as I sped down the street in my mother’s car- I could care less about the changing stop lights. The only purpose I had was to get to his house and see if he was home. I could feel my face so hot with tears as the fiery rage of jealousy coursed through my veins- I focused on the anger so I didn’t have to feel the ache of loneliness.
Jealousy was always a problem that would rear its head as often as it could- regardless of the person and whether or not it was rational. It was something I tried to control through the means of controlling others- so needless to say it took me down a long dark road for years until I was finally willing to look it in the face and see it for what it was.
The peeling of the onion layers was just as painful, if not more, than the actual jealousy itself. It forced me to see the deep insecurity within myself. It led me to discover the deeply rooted fear of abandonment from childhood and its marriage to my anxious attachment as an adult. I was petrified that the man I loved, my best friend, my parents... would all leave me. That they would rather spend their time with other people, doing other things, instead of be with me. I didn’t value myself so why would anyone else value me? And that was the belief that I constantly chased to prove right- and the Universe did not disappoint.
Every text, call, and person down the street was of higher worth than I believed myself to be- and my mind took that and ran. I would often find myself lost in time as I fantasized of the shoulda-coulda-wouldas and the what ifs. I would imagine myself finding out about there being another woman, and create an award-winning scenario that you would only see in a movie. I was so engulfed in what my brain invented that I would drag those made up feelings with me into my real life. Snapping at my loved ones because of the shit I made up in my mind.I couldn’t even watch films or shows with cheating or partying because I would immediately think that the same would happen to me- as if the experience was transmittable through tv.
I believed that if someone were to make plans with another person that it was a personal attack towards me- as if it was solely based off the fact that they didn’t want me in their life. I whined and fought to make people hang out with only me- the thought of sharing someone was torture. Would they come back?
Jealousy caused me to repel friendships because I wouldn’t allow myself to believe that good women existed. I assumed all women were here to be homewreckers and rip my relationships away from me, not noticing that I was destroying them myself. Everything was a competition, each interaction had to be catty, fuming with spite. I even found myself developing those exact same characteristics of the people I was jealous of- in order to “win.”
The loneliness I lived in was excruciating- the more I clung, begged and demanded- the more I pushed everyone away. Creating the vicious cycle that kept me hooked to the behavior for more than a decade. Sometimes, my suspicions were correct- making it even harder to stop living in paranoia. Other times, I was so overwhelmed from the imaginary that I couldn’t decipher the real.
Jealousy allowed me to stand on my own two feet, to seek solace in myself so I could finally find interdependence in my relationships. It helped lead me to the life changing work of letting go of codependency, and start the healing of my inner child. I was finally able to start grounding myself so I wasn’t lost in the infinite space of my mind- floating away in the abyss of unreality. At last, I was able to decide what I wanted and what I needed in my life once I made the decision that jealousy wasn’t part of it. Through this I was able to create boundaries in all areas of my life- with all people. It even helped me to realize that love is abundant and spending time with other people didn’t take love away from me.
I’m still working on it as I find the fine line between rampant possessiveness and a healthy dose of attachment. I think it’s normal to feel the ping of jealousy now and then as it reminds us of the work we still need to do and the behaviors we won’t tolerate. Envy can be the fuel to rising above and seeking more for yourself which then helps you enjoy the success of others. I work every day to become a happier and healthier person and though there are times when I feel the flare up of jealousy in the horizon, I allow myself the time to reflect inwardly and offer compassion and kindness as I navigate the familiar territory one last time...