Client Journal: Jealousy

The earliest time that I can remember being jealous of someone was when I was 6 or 7 years old. My best friend, her dad and I were playing at the park. She tripped on something and hurt her knee pretty bad. After that, we went home and during the car ride I was being a passive-aggressive asshole. I didn’t really talk to her, and when I asked her if she was ok, it was in a cold, curt way. I remember feeling angry with her for getting hurt and having us go home. But what I think I was really jealous of was the fact that she was getting attention from her father. Her father is a pretty caring and supportive man. When she got hurt, he acted like a good father would: he cleaned her knee, got her a band-aid, comforted her, and put everyone in the car so that he could take her home so she would feel better. I was angry and jealous that she had a father who obviously cared about her and loved her and I didn’t. Around the time that I was 6 or 7 was about the time my father started to disappear. I started to not see him as much, and he stopped talking to me. I felt lonely and hurt because he was starting to be cold with me, and I didn’t know to express that.

I do have a lot of jealousy in me. But it feels good to start talking about it instead of trying to hide it or pretend like it’s not there. Another time I remember being jealous was when I was about 10 years old. I was jealous again of my best friend from back then. Her name was J. J was pretty, outgoing and popular with boys. There were two boys I liked back then, K and B. Both of them really liked J. I even did B’s homework one time because he had a learning disability and I thought that if I did his homework, he would like me better than J. All it did was free up his time to try to talk to J more.

Actually, the more I think about it, a lot of pain and rejection for me comes up in a bunch of different areas that stemmed from this incident. I felt sad and unworthy because the boys that I liked didn’t like me back. During that age, I was also pretty expressive with my feelings when it came to telling a boy how I felt about him. At one point, I think I somehow found K’s number, called him and told him that I liked him. He laughed, said “thanks”, made fun of me. I think he called me a dog and told me he liked my friend J instead. Up until that point, I didn’t have a complex about how I looked, yet after this boy said he thought I was ugly, I thought I was ugly. I wished I was taller like my friend J and pretty like her. That was when I started to become cold and distant with boys that I liked. Because back then, that was what seemed to work. My friend was cold with these boys, and that seemed to make them work harder to win her affection. I thought, “If I do that, that will work for me. They will like me more than her.” I now realize she was cold with them because she really didn’t like them. But now, I still do that when I like a man. I come off a little warm and then I back off so that they will chase me. And I still do something for the man I like out of desperation, like I did back then to get them to like me better.

Around that age was the first time I asked my mom for guy advice. I told her that there were these two boys that I liked and I wanted to know what I should to get them interested in me. I also wanted to know what a boy does in general when he is interested in a girl. The first thing my mom said was, “Are these boys black or white?” I told her that they were both white. She became upset, and asked me why I only liked white boys and what was wrong with me that I didn’t like black boys. I have since learned that she has had her own traumatic experiences associated with white people, (i.e. her friends getting lynched, crosses being burned on her front lawn, her father getting death threats from the KKK) but as a little girl, I didn’t know all of that, and I felt like once again, I messed up and disappointed my mom. I felt hurt, confused, rejected and unworthy and like something was wrong with me for not liking black boys. I also felt ashamed, like I was being a traitor to my race. After that, I stopped talking to my mom about boys that I liked. Even now I don’t discuss my love life with her because I don’t feel safe talking about that type of thing with her.

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