Letters and Diary Non-Fiction posted February 20, 2016


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Biographical Study

Jealousy and Me-Part 1

by michaelcahill

























I never realized until today the large role jealousy has played in my love relationships with women. It's only recently I've come to understand that the choices I've made either caused jealousy to rear its fiery head, or did nothing to alleviate those painful feelings in my partner. It is clear to me I invite jealousy, at least in part.  I exhibit behavior people in my life are likely to become jealous of. I know that now. I should've known it long, long ago.

I'm a musician. I've been an actor. I'm a singer. I'm a writer and a poet. I can even draw a bit. I'll dance upon request. Do I hear any requests?

Translation: Listen to me, watch me, hear me, read me, look at what I did.

Nooooo, I don't seek attention at all. Would you believe I actually say that? Yeah, pretty deluded, I agree. Do you suppose my girlfriends might be a little insecure seeing me on a stage with women screaming for me? Really? It never occurred to me. I'm true blue, see? I don't understand why they wouldn't just accept it and watch the show. And of course, when I'm off stage I'm just as quiet as a church mouse. They called me "Grandstand" in high school. Never could figure out what they meant by that ... 

Well, moving right along. Obviously, I'll be discussing myself further as we go along. But the topic here is jealousy. I use myself as an example, because ... well, gee, I don't know ...

Many contend jealousy, at least in small doses, is a good thing.

I'm sure most would agree affection exists as a factor for jealousy to even manifest. There must be something to be jealous of for jealousy to exist. Many consider it a form of flattery.

I care about you, so of course I worry someone might be a threat. Don't you see that as a compliment? I think you're wonderful, therefore I expect others to think so as well. Doesn't that make you feel good about yourself?

It sounds rather convincing, I must admit.

I've even had the scenario reversed on me.

Why aren't you jealous? Don't you care about me? That dude is eyeing me up and down and you aren't the least bit concerned? I suppose it wouldn't matter to you if I went over and jumped in his arms!

"Uh ... I ... ah, can't help it if people look at you, you're beautiful. I'm proud to be with such a beautiful woman. What should I do, go knock him out?"

Well, you tell me, what should I do? I have yet to come up with an acceptable response. 

I'm sure these are all familiar scenarios, at least ones you've observed, and most likely experienced firsthand to some degree.

Many have experienced jealousy in a more extreme form. I have.

It does seem harmless for a wife, for instance, to question the wandering eyes of her husband in a public place. It is rude of him to be ogling the babes while she stands there looking foolish. It isn't a question without merit to inquire, "Do you want her? Am I not enough for you?" That could certainly be a factor in their relationship. She may be falling short, in some way, as a partner or, more likely, his definition of fidelity differs from hers. 

Let's take the scenario up a notch. Hubby is ogling some babe and wifey takes exception. She says, "Is that what you want?" She pulls a Smith and Wesson from her purse and blows her head off. "Anyone else catch your eye?" 

Is it the same thing taken a few or many steps further?

Am I still talking about jealousy? Certainly the component parts are still at play.

There's a perception of ownership. There's a perceived threat to that ownership. There's a reaction to the threat. Finally, there's the result of all of those factors. The object owned could be a car, an idea, or any number of things, but most usually we associate jealousy with a person.

Once you factor in people the complications are as variable as the number of people in existence. We are individuals and no two are alike. No couple is like any other. No jealous reaction is the same as any other.

Personally, I associate jealousy with mistrust. Trust is a huge issue with me. I give it freely and I expect it in return. I am worthy of it. 

I was raised in a household filled with mistrust due to mental illness. Paranoid schizophrenics are not, by the very nature of the illness, trusting individuals, nor are alcoholics or individuals with low-self-esteem. My household was rampant with all of these traits. I was mistrusted from day one. I became almost pathologically trustworthy as a defense mechanism. I was constantly accused of imagined transgressions for as long as I can remember. I saw to it that there were never real transgressions to be accused of or caught doing. I couldn't begin to imagine the consequences of being caught actually doing something wrong. The consequences of doing nothing wrong were bad enough. 

I felt guilty even though I wasn't. I still do. It isn't a good feeling. I bring this up to bring light to my perspective. What good is an opinion without knowing and having a rudimentary understanding of the author's perspective. Yes, this piece is biased by my experience. All pieces are. They are all opinions formed based on one individual's perception.

to be continued ...


 


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