I would like to state for the record that I suck at repressing my memories, am unable to deceive myself for more than a week, and only if drunk and unconscious, and I am constantly appalled at just how petty and shallow my initial reactions to things are.
As such, I tend to have to deal with my crap pretty quickly and effectively because it is humiliating not to have gotten the victory over some pretty stupid sins. If I ignore problem emotions, they party in my sub-conscience like it’s 1999, and they begin to pop up unexpectedly, and become harder to recognize and harder to root out.
Here’s what happened.
For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been a bit depressed, somewhat moody, and generally feeling anxious. I’ve found myself remembering painful things about Chef and our horrible break-up. I normally avoid the subject of Chef altogether these days, so this was a bit concerning. What made this all SUCK so much more was that I knew pretty much just what had launched this latest trip through my memory’s painful past, and it was something just plain retarded.
I found out that Chef is living with a young woman and her two year-old daughter. I found out from a third-party, and my first reaction to hearing this was to feel jealous. Jealous!!
What the hell is wrong with me?
I carefully schooled my features so no one could see that I was jealous, and thankfully, this little surge of jealous emotion doesn’t even begin to compare with what I felt when he was cheating on me with Tanya. Still, I was annoyed with my own reaction. I quickly blew it off though, thinking it was just one of those things people who divorce each other go through. I gave myself one of those pep talks designed to make you feel powerful and in control, and assured everyone around me that I could not possible care less about Chef and his new family.
I am bothered by being bothered by this news. It’s so high school and 90210-ish!
Since that little tidbit about Chef’s new life came to my attention, I have found myself being more resentful about things that I consider hardships I’ve incurred because Chef decided he wanted a young girl for a mate instead of me…. so he could stay young….. and make something better out of the rest of his life. Not one of his decisions benefited anyone but himself, but they all still changed my life.
I am angry that I can’t pay all my bills, and still have enough to buy food. This has been my situation for a
long time now, but lately, I feel a tinge of anger instead of endurance. The same goes with other things, like Jake’s up-coming appointment to be put down, or the fact that I still can’t afford furniture, and the million other regular things that we all deal with in life. Yet lately, I feel resentful.
I am pissed that he lost every single material thing I had collected throughout my life either because he gave them away to strangers, or because he destroyed them while building drug-induced masterpieces, but he now lives in a fully furnished home in the country, with a dual income from his new girlfriend. He has the audacity to rant at me about his embarrassment during a court hearing that was about other people we didn’t even know existed two months ago who read my blog and threatened to use it in court, but doesn’t want to even talk about anything that he did or said that hurt me, choosing to leave the past in the past, and live for the future.
I am envious that he seems to be enjoying the same level of financial well-being and committed relationship we once had together, and experiencing none of the hardships I’m going through these days. I know. He was actually homeless for a few months, but somehow that seems so trivial at the moment.
It is so easy to look at someone else’s life and think they are having a better time of it than we are. On the surface, it does look like Chef ripped up my life and still arrived into his present day reality without a scratch, smelling like roses, and well on his way toward a happy future with a beautiful young woman and new little girl to raise as his own.
But what does any of that have to do with me? The reality of life is that the sun shines down on both the good man and the evil man as well. Despite what Chef’s choices cost me, watching for God to strike him down in the name of Justice isn’t going to benefit anyone. It simply does not matter what roads Chef travels from here on out, whether they be a path of joy and peace, or trails laced with inconsolable sadness and painful regret. They are his paths down his life, and they don’t make anything I’m experiencing better or worse. My life is where it is right now, and the hardships, fears, and anxieties would not be lightened by Chef’s life being equally hard, or infinitely miserable. If I spend time worrying about Chef getting what I think he deserves, however, my life will become infinitely miserable for me. Forgiveness isn’t for those we forgive; it is for our benefit.
As for Chef’s new girlfriend, I accept that I had a pang of jealousy, as embarrassing as it is to admit to it. I have no reason to compare myself with this new girl. I know Chef in such a way that I chose to end our relationship rather than to try to repair so much damage. This time, Chef did not leave me for someone else. He just found someone else while he was out there alone. She is nothing to me unless I make her something to compete against. And since the reward would be Chef, I decline to participate.
When it is all said and done, I do not want my life to be lived in constant comparisons with Chef’s, nor do I want to be the kind of person that would enjoy his misery either. I want to be better than that. I hope someday I won’t always react in such shallow, selfish ways when I hear about Chef’s successes.
16 responses to “A Brush With My Old Friend Jealousy”
Bird, I could see myself feeling the same way if it was me. Thanks for your honesty that helps us to be more honest too.
You spent a lot of years with Chef, of course you still feel pangs of all sorts of emotions relating to him. Sadly, given his problems, I doubt that this stable period will last forever (reminder in advance – not your problem).
I recently admitted, to my husband’s great surprise, a hint of envy towards two friends who appeared to have perfect lives. Then one died very young after a horrible divorce and the other lost her husband very young. Perhaps they envied me? Not that my life is a bowl of cherries, but how does it look from a distance? End of ramble, sorry.
Emotions are a sticky slope and I think repression only works so long if the core issue wasn’t truly addressed. I say that because I feel the same way. Hang in there, you were with him a long time.
Cathy I love that you, called yourself out on this!! You are exceptional in this way! Keep fighting for that pure & honest heart we all strive to have! Your current path is a fairly new one you’ve embarked on but I am confident that you will be able to traverse the pitfalls and come out better, stronger & more beautiful ! Thanks again for reminding us just how fragile we humans are! Much love
Lol. You know, at some point, I hope to respond with wisdom and empathy, and not playground pettiness. I’m 46, for Pete’s sake!
Oh my, thank you for such a post. Just puts in perspective of the things I need to be doing in my life, as to not be so stuck in the ache of my break-up. Your words are medicine to the soul.
I’m sorry you are hurting! I’m glad to have been able to offer a tiny bit of help!
It is more than just a tiny bit. Thank you.
🙂 It all becomes manageable eventually. Hang in there!
Ok Reality check time. 1- feeling jealous is normal, especially when you feel like the person who brought ruin to you is now more successful than you at the moment. 2- Define Chef being more successful than you, please. So he is now living with a new sugar momma?–That’s successful? No, he is not more successful than you. What he is good at is getting people to take care of him—God only knows what sob story he told this woman and she has a child? So whatever he does not only effects her but her child as well? Bad news all around. Your jealousy is not so much at what Chef appears to have in the moment but more about you and where you thought you would be by this time. Does that make sense? You are jealous of the fact that Chef appears to have your dream which you thought you would have achieved by now. It’s like being super hungry and someone gives you Cotton Candy–it’s all pretty and fluffy but no substance and it does not satisfy your hunger. I don’t think you are jealous of this women–what she and Chef has is like cotton candy—it’s all sweet but it doesn’t last and does not satisfy. I am not jealous of the ex-husband, or his house or his 13 years younger than him wife. I am jealous of the fact that I thought I would have already gotten there. It’s my battle with myself not the ex. Any way that’s what I think is going on in my humble opinion.
Thank you for the reality check. You’re right. I guess it is left-over disappointment really. And, truthfully, I am alone at the moment by choice, not because there is no one out there for me.
I used to never feel jealous really. I hate this emotion, and it irritates me everytime it pops up in me.
And jealosuy does not have to be a bad emotion. Like anger I think it’s a sign post showing us a path. Maybe deep down you want a real relationship that is a partnership. You said you are alone because you choose to be, that means that your standards have been changed and you are waiting for that right relationship. So take that last little bit of jealousy as a sign that you are waiting for that relationship to come into your life. Here’s my spin on it. When my ex-husband got remarried–I finally felt free of him but also it meant that if God had someone for him then there certainly is someone out there for me. And since he got taken one less wrong person for me to think about. The relationship you described of Chef and his new gal sounds like the perfect little family, isn’t that what we all want deep down. So take the jealousy and turn it into an affirmation of yes, deep down I want a real connection and partnership with the right person.
I love this perspective, Ivonne! Thank you. I wish you were close enough I could hug you.:-)
Shoot, if we were closer we would be going out and raising some hell!!!!
MOVE HERE!!! I need you!!
I hear you! This is one of my worst faults… I hate it when people who have done horrid things seem to prosper in some way. It’s one of my pet peeves and one of my worst faults..
I always thought it was the Italian revenge thing too..I think it really just comes from being hurt so deeply, too many times. I finally started asking God to just take some of my burdens away, and asked other people to pray for me about these burdens.
Also, this too shall pass. Things do change, and they will for you also…
I also found that people were never as happy as I thought they were , and some were actually very unhappy it turned out. Then I had to check any little glee I might have about that at the gate, before moving on..
Peace to you – Suki