Jealousy is a bitch. A raging, hormonal, unyielding, giant-mace-wielding bitch. As much as she fucks up your insides and twists your guts and makes you lash out and freak out and scream out, the hardest part of dealing with her is when you realize that she is just a symptom of pain – The Big Pain.
Most everyone has a Big Pain – a scar inside us inflicted early and deeply; a black abysmal void that only rarely ever gets filled. For some it is the early loss of parents; for some it is the pain of dealing with issues of sexuality or gender and the rejection that can come with all of that. For some it is struggles with eating disorders, poverty, a struggle against what is perceived as a cruel and fickle Higher Power. I have yet to meet many people who don’t have their very own personal and private and hellish Big Pain to deal with; if they don’t have it yet, I pity them, for it is coming.
But this is my blog, and you already know I’m writing about myself. My Big Pain is rearing its ugly head lately in the form of jealousy. I have begun a new relationship (and really, that’s a big enough deal that I feel like maybe that should be capitalized also), and I’m scared, and confused while also giddy and joyful. My brain right now is like this jumbled stewpot of emotions and things are floating to the surface to be dealt with that have spoiled the soup in the past. Things like Jealousy.
“Jealousy is an unusual emotion, in that it’s a feeling that’s often built out of other feelings, such as fear or anger or insecurity.” Well, hell. Delve into it, Kim. Feel the Big Pain and see that jealousy, as much as you would like it too, has nothing whatsoever to do with another person’s actions, but everything to do with your brain soup.
I grew up being abused and unloved. I was shown in every way possible that I was worthless. Every gesture, word and deed imaginable, both overt and occult, was employed to drill into my head that I was nothing. I wasn’t ____________________ enough to be loved. (Fill in the blank with pretty, smart, nice, likable, social, good….you get the idea.) I won’t delve into the child abuse part of this; just take a selfish/ oblivious/ neglectful mother and an alcoholic/ mentally ill stepfather and stir and you’ve got the idea. It’s relationships I’m talking about here; love relationships.
My first was entered into when I was too young and inexperienced to really know anything about the matter. A w good months morphed into years of him berating me, ignoring me, cheating on me, mocking me, comparing me to other girls, lying to me, using me for sex and money….I can not say that I was innocent in all of this; I can only say that I wanted someone to love me and make me feel special and wanted so badly that I allowed it. People only treat you the way that you let them treat you, the way you think you deserve to be treated. Oh, that word – deserve. That word to me appears red-hot and flaming and feels like grasping a glowing brand in your closed fist would feel. That word has only ever denoted being given what I’m due based on my worth; you see the problem, naturally, when your sense of ‘worth’ is non-existent for so long.
When I was finally able to get away from #1, did I do it because I had grown a big old set of balls and finally realized that I deserved better? Hell. No. I ran from the arms of one emotional death-stomp to the next just a few days after the break-up. Long story mercifully short, the 8 years I spent with #2 finished the complete demolition job of any remaining trace of self-worth I may have had left. Years of crying, grabbing, reaching, just wanting and needing desperately to be enough for someone, anyone to love. Now don’t get me wrong, the birth of my daughter was mind-blowing in that she loved me for me, unconditionally. But there is something about someone loving you not because it’s born in them, but because they choose to – because they choose YOU – that is one of the best things ever. That never came though; only doubt, fear, hate, pettiness….never enough. Never, never, never enough.
My marriage ended, #2 a done deal, I had no one left to love me but me. Could I do it? Could I find enough inside myself to deem worthy – deserving – enough? I began working with the goddess Hestia right around my divorce, and spent a couple of years with that glorious One-In-Herself goddess. She of the eternal flame, guardian of home and hearth, who gave away all she could have had to hold her duty and maintain the flame that was ever-linked to her spirit. She taught me reliance on myself, the depths of my own emotional strength, and most importantly that I WAS ENOUGH. That’s what One-In-Herself came to mean to me – that even if and especially if I was all I had, that was enough. Hestia helped me to fill that gaping void.
Fast forward a bit; Aphrodite in all of her stubborn, mulish, barrier-breaking, cocksure glory came crashing into my life. (pretty sure i posted about Her earlier…) Guiding me, at times by the hand with a gentle, loving word and at times by the hair brooking no argument, she gave me #3 to learn from, the ending of which nearly broke me. but somehow, i got through it, and that’s led me to where I am now – at the start of a new journey, single, alone but not lonely, learning each day about what real love is – and that is what i still want someday, what i am still silly enough to hope for – something real enough either to last and be a steady source of comfort and joy, someone who makes me feel safe, cared for; regardless of labels just someone who can give and receive love and trust, someone who knows that people and love both aren’t perfect…. Scary shit.
“Since jealousy usually has its roots in some other emotion, such as fear of loss or feelings of rejection or insecurity or whatever, then often the only way to cope with the jealousy is to deal with the underlying emotions.”
Jealousy is fear. Fear of loss. Fear of rejection, and for me, of not being enough. It is one thing to finally learn that you are enough for yourself. To hope that you are truly enough for someone else…..protect myself and I’ll have surety, lay my heart out on the line and i may be utterly destroyed…..
internal rules vs external rules, thoughts from ‘on high’
BPD is, to me:
constantly running from that long-nagging fear of being abandoned while at the same time hating yourself so much that you don’t believe anyone will EVER love you enough to stay. you are truly your own worst enemy, you act rashly to earn and keep love that you know you’re not good enough for. when you get it, its a fairy tale for a space of time where you idealize/idolize them, your world revolves around them and you contort your actions and thoughts into what you think will please them. you shower them with your own soul, leave it all exposed and at their mercy.
and when they injure it, as they will because people offend each other, they say things they don’t mean or only mean at the time in anger, they put their feelings before yours when you’ve given your all to them…when they do injure your fragile soul, you cut yourself off from them, little by little or all at once. having tarnished their pedestal you forcibly remove them from it, reminding them at every turn exactly how they failed you, how they killed your hope…they go from idol to absolute villain in your story. demonized, they are left wondering how things could have gone from amazing to terrifying so quickly. they ask themselves and others for feedback, they try and ask you but you’re so wrapped up in your own pain, a pain forged from the accumulation of loss after loss from the time of the Original Pain…
you are so lost in your Darkness, that you fail to hear their attempts to apologize, make amends and retry. all you hear are your own demons screaming at you as someone you used to love stands with their pleading eyes wondering why you’re throwing it all away over an honest mistake or angry word. and you can see it all happening, see and hear yourself crossing the line into that territory of uncontrollable emotion, but you can do nothing to stop it because its all you’ve ever known. it is the cycle of your life and you wouldn’t know how to break it any more than a newborn could do geometry.
you don’t know because no one ever showed you how to be normal and feel normal feelings that don’t tear your world down around you. either no one ever showed you, or no one ever stayed around long enough to help you figure it out…..or, if they really have hurt you and its not just you blowing things out of proportion again, it doubles the validation of the fact that you have carried around with you for years, that you are worthless, you only exist to absorb pain, you are unlovable. your entire past history of close relationships of any kind mirrors your first loss – whatever that first abandonment was that broke your virgin heart, whoever or whatever it was that faded or disappeared in the blink of a young and tear-filled eye, you keep re-enacting it, you poor crazy fool, hoping that this time around the stage directions you give will result in that original hurt being erased.
you think that if you can just do this one thing, be this one thing, then they will stay and love you and you will finally be enough, you will be worth something to someone and that will validate FINALLY that tiny pulsing hope that has always lived inside you….you see, its been there all along, that faith in yourself and belief that you are good enough, that you are lovable. It’s just been the light kept under the bushel. Small, flickering, at every moment in danger of extinguishing…. But still there somehow. Part of you believes it. Now if only most, or all of you. If only someone else, anyone else could… toed from hanging on you slip further away….
BPD is living constantly straddling that damned fine line between sureties – on the one hand knowing you are useless, worthless, loveless…on the other that undying hope that you are worth something if you could just find someone you can prove it to, someone who will believe. and as you dance that line, you keep remembering and forgetting the most important fact of all, the thing that could heal you: the shining truth that YOU are the one who needs to believe in you, YOU are the only one whose love will ever heal you. it’s that easy and that impossible.
“Blurring and stirring the truth and the lies
So I don’t know what’s real and what’s not
So I don’t know what’s real and what’s not
Always confusing the thoughts in my head
So I can’t trust myself anymore…” – Evanescence, ‘Going Under’
ive been told i expect too much of people. i’m naive. i have the wrong definition of trust. i have black and white thinking, when someone screws up once i never let it go.
this is almost totally true. some of it is bpd, some of it is just me.
trust has levels to me. there are people with which i will share what i did today. they can know if i slept ok, if i worked out. it is a primarily one direction sharing, a very shallow level of trust. what they do or don’t do doesn’t bother me because i don’t give any real piece of myself to them. most people, for this broken introvert, are kept at arm’s length like this.
other people advance a bit along the path to my heart. i let them in a little more. these people get to know some of my past. they can hear some of the darkness, though never all of it…and i learn some of theirs. if the first level of trust for me is like two butterflies circling each other, wings brushing, this second level would be like eels or fish swimming together, intertwining bodies, a deeper level of touching each other than the butterflies, but still kind of superficial. these people can hurt me, but if they break my trust they are still not deep enough to cause lasting harm, so i’m ok.
more rare for me is the next level of trust. you have to understand: almost from birth i was shown over and over that those closest to me will always hurt me. it’s been the path of my life, an unavoidable catastrophe. yet, knowing this, occasionally i let some people far enough in that they penetrate me. like a needle under the skin, we become adders sinking fangs into each other. we have a deeper understanding of each others strengths and weaknesses. now is when it becomes dangerous, for when someone knows these things about you they can exploit them. these people have caused me the most pain in my life. i have made the mistake several times of seeing so much good in someone, being so naive that i advance them to this level without realizing they have an ulterior motive or are too self-centered to be careful with me. my daughter’s father was like this. i give too much, i trust too much, i give people the benefit of the doubt – but when they break my trust out of malice or selfishness, it is a mark against them that lingers. it saddens me – it is an odd dichotomy – being this person who knows she can’t truly trust anyone but wanting it so badly that she does it anyway, hoping it will be different….once this level of trust is broken, i never forget and the person is downgraded to a lower level.
sometimes though, sometimes someone comes along and they get through all of those levels. i entrust them with my self, piece by piece, testing, waiting…and they treasure me. they do their very best to care for me, and i for them, good times or bad. they see the darkness and acknowledge it, they show me their own, and our darknesses greet each other and begin this lovely spirit dance of mutual comfort, sharing our joys and pain. i let them see through to the end of me and they dont leave. they love me anyway and i can truly just let go and fall back into them and love them back, knowing that when this level is reached this is someone who i will have in my life for years, that they may leave but when they appear again it will be like nothing ever changed. if these people hurt me i can see through them to their heart enough to know why they did what they did and they are never downgraded, for they are past the level of doubt of intentions. i am blessed to have a decent number of these people in my life at the moment, and they keep me going.
but the biggest hurdle to overcome is the fact that i don’t generally trust myself. i have been taught not to. i’m working on gaining the confidence to pull that off someday, and they’re the key – these ultimate level people that have done the near impossible, by showing me that my trust can be valued and well-kept. i honor them by doing the same.
reading “the function of the orgasm” by Wilhelm Reich these past few weeks. it’s a book i’ve been struggling to get through for almost a year i think. not because i struggle with any of the actual content; i actually find psychology fascinating. the writing style leaves me a little restless though, it can be very academic and dry and just, i don’t know, i feel like i search for the brilliant nuggets in among all of the jargon i don’t understand…..
but in there is a lot about one of his teachers and colleagues, Freud. their differing views on the causes and cures of mental disease, neuroses…the schism between himself and the psychoanalytic groups of his time because of his belief in and work on the idea that mental disturbance stems from damaging experiences but also disruption of normal, primal sexual function…
so of course, being the overthinker i am, it got me thinking. its pretty standard stuff, and one of my own personal beliefs, that in life we repeat negative patterns in an attempt to finally get them right. we try to relive old hurts and relationships and quest to heal ourselves in the process, believing that if we do things differently this time around and break the old pattern, we will have magically healed ourselves of that wound and will never again have to experience that pain. lesson learned, karma earned, done and dusted and my past-life fairy can check that off her spreadsheet. (it used to be a list but there’s currently so much shit in there that i need mulligans for that she just gave up and went straight up Excel on that piece…)
this is faulty thinking on a couple of levels. one: magical thinking, that getting one pattern right will somehow heal all past and future versions of that same pattern. say you have a history of physical and sexual abuse from your father. then you get in a series of hookups with men of the same ilk when you’re older. you stick around for the abuse, believing that’s what your worth, while at the same time thinking that if you can just be good enough this time around these men will see your value and change and you will have healed him and yourself all in one fell swoop.
The problem with this kind of thinking is, besides being pretty silly and illogical, that it sets you up for repeated failures. If it’s true that the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over but expecting different results, then this kind of magical thinking I’d the most insidious, deeply rooted mental malaise. When we do this, we are trying to fix someone else’s mistake. We are trying to redeem ourselves by reaching out instead of llooking inside ourselves. The original blockage/ deficit/ injury is compounded until it overwhelms us into stagnation. Into just accepting what we can get instead of waiting for our working for what we actually deserve. all of our energies focused on righting that original wrong, we without fail let every new possibility pass us by.
We have to, instead, find enough in ourselves that is worth healing that we let go of old pains, stop trying to make amends for something that was never our fault to begin with, and reach a shaky hand in a new direction.
Who’s with me?
“i’m gonna change you like a remix, then i’ll raise you like a phoenix” – fall out boy, “the phoenix”
so a long, long time ago in a blog post far, far away, a piece titled “demon hunter” touched on my acknowledgement and battle with the dark voices of past traumas that ring loud and clear in my head in times of stress. those niggling little fear factors that make me throw up my hands in surrender and reduce my fearlessness and openness and trusting-ness to the very lowest common denominator.
having now been single for nigh on a year, after the dissolution of the third of three failed long-term unions, i can, now more than ever….nay, i NEED TO…come back to the demon hunter in me. i need to call out more broken pieces of myself and let her slay them as she may. they are destructive, enabling, self-diminishing vile little vermin and they need to go.
…the demon hunter stands in her battle gear with her long hair flowing and her azure eyes glowing with the power i bestow upon her. roll call, bitches:
“GUILT, I NAME THEE!”: i have what is probably the WORST case of guilt ever known in one single person. not even a case – a keg. a freakin truckload. a ton of guilt carried around with me daily – guilt that i am a burden to others because i have always been taught that i was. i need too much, i hope too much, i’m too dramatic, too hyper, too silly, too giggly, too depressed, too emo, too dark, too sensitive, too shy, too loud, too quiet…. (this isnt even counting the “toos” i’ve been told regarding my physical self mind you)….
…the demon hunter yells proudly and defiantly that i am just who the flip i am, if you don’t like it you don’t need to be in my life. i am not and will never be perfect, but i’m pretty fucking awesome and i’m really…REALLY sick of feeling i need to automatically apologize for explain/ justify everything i say or do because stupid people in the past told me i should because it bothered them (“it” being whatever expectation of theirs i didnt meet i guess). fuck that self-limiting nonsense; that is literally carrying the beliefs and issues of those unimportant and long gone from my life along with me, and who needs that? anyone worth keeping in my life will love me and accept me just being me, wackiness and gloom, all of it. the major demon GUILT struggles, but the demon hunter slips its insipid grasp and stands tall.
“DOUBT, I NAME THEE!”: i can’t. i really can’t with this one. after everything i’ve endured and survived, i doubt myself? what foolishness is this?
…the demon hunter flips her hair and turns her back, this one not even being worth her time or effort. the minor demon DOUBT wilts, as it only gains power when it is fed.
having (re)slayed these two, fully aware that she must remain ever vigilant against future insurgencies to avoid yet another coup, the demon hunter stands, exhausted but victorious. silhouetted against the inky backdrop of my subconscious, shadowed face lit by prickling pinpoints of starry hope, she waits for the next battle.
“You gotta know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, know when to run…” – Kenny Rogers, ‘The Gambler’
“…and one thought crystallizes like an icy blast, I’m never going back, the past is in the past…” – Let It Go, ‘Frozen’
So dear readers, I have thoroughly avoided posting the last few months due to an unexpected emotional holocaust, and the subsequent recovery. Now that I have some space from the trauma, here’s how it went down, long story short….
Dude I was with and thought would last, didn’t.
Wow, I should be a writer! That was so succinct, so brave and compelling! *silly cackle*
Anyway…so yeah, I could write a million words on how sad, depressed and vile I felt after. I could write about dashed hopes, empty promises and tears. (I’ve actually avoided blogging so that DIDN’T spew out!) But no, in fact, Hell No! Instead allow me to briefly mark down the biggest lesson I’ve learned from it all:
*that’s your cue Mr. Rogers! No, not YOU, the OTHER Mr. Rogers! I only call on YOU if it’s a piece about my neighbors…* Why yes, Virginia, I just might need more coffee this morning…
Okay, lesson is…KNOW WHEN TO LET IT GO! *now cue my current life anthem from ‘Frozen’ please!*
When shit like this happens, when you get all those little hints and downright slap-in-the-face obvious signs that a relationship is ending, don’t fight to hold on if you’re the only one fighting. Evidently this is a recurring issue of mine, as all three long term relationships I’ve had have ended like this, with the other person over it and me fighting for love. You know, it is TRUTH that life will keep shoving the same lessons down your throat until you learn them if you fuck them up the first time or two. Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it, is the phrase I believe?
Well, Life…I’ve learned. I’m not bitter, not sad anymore, I just GET IT now. Relationships are not supposed to be a battle fought on only one front. If what you have is worth saving, you’ll both go down swinging for it. And if not, the healing process will be easier and faster the sooner you LET IT GO.
And oh, dat healing process though!…Instead of moping about what could or ‘should’ have been, revel in what IS! Appreciate every moment, every friend, every laugh, anything and everything that is GOOD and TRUE. This is your chance to reinvent yourself, mind you nothing so dramatic as to make the people around you fear you’ve gone the way of Bald Britney…but while you’re LETTING GO why not also release anything or anyone in your life that doesn’t bring you bliss anymore? And why not also LET IT GO in the sense of truly enjoying the present; seek out and collect people and things and experiences that DO bring that bliss to you? Why not FEEL GOOD? You deserve it, and you owe it to yourself, so just do it!
My bliss, you may ask? Getting back to honoring this mind and body by restarting my journey to health…Spending time with and healing the rifts with my daughter…Getting crafty, creating little bits of fun and beauty using my Goddess-given talents…Expressing my heart in song, dance and worship…Funny, awesome moments with my best friends…and if along the way I stumble across someone that just the thought of makes me smile, I will not be jaded; I will release any unrealistic expectations, remember the lessons I’ve learned…and LET IT GO 🙂