Screaming, I reached down and grabbed the axe I kept stashed under the mattress, intended for intruders. Swinging it wildly I couldn’t believe how light it was and how easily it sliced off her limbs, then his, although I’m not sure you can call fingers ‘limbs’ but his were longing to go into places I didn’t want them to. Weirdly there was no blood. Then I lay my own head down on the bed, raised the axe up behind me and waited for them to protest but when they didn’t I brought it down hard on my long locks. My roughly chopped haircut forever a reminder to him to never betray me again.
And then I woke, sweating.
If only horrid feelings likes jealousy existed in nightmares. What peace.
Jealousy is a feeling I have tried to control yet often it controls me like a monster slipping under my skin. It has purple eyes this monster and moss all over its back and huge hands the size of baseball mitts that want to smash things, and its teeth (also black except for the front ones which are green) are sharp. The monster’s role is to make everything go away by hating whatever is making me jealous however it doesn’t get it that fuming and giving the problem energy doesn’t make it go away, it makes it worse. My monster is not that clever.
Did I mention my eyes are green?
I hate my jealous monster.
It is my weakest link.
Not long after meeting the Dimple we went to Iceland where I sensed some pixie girls fancied him and instead of marvelling at the new specimen I was with – what a catch, look at him ladies, meow – I wanted to stomp those pixie faces into the dance floor however I didn’t tell him how I felt, I sulked which is another way of telling someone something but not so elegant. And then I felt ashamed and promised myself I would never think like that again.
But jealous monsters don’t care about what we think. They laugh at the mere thought of thought, ‘oh ha ha, think what you like, I am going to lob an emotion like RAGE at you. Think your way out of that sunshine!’
Recently the jealous monster reared its green teeth again and I stewed about something so minor I’m too embarrassed to tell you. The more I ignored the feelings the more they hounded me, conjuring up images of severed fingers. So I promised myself I would confess because I am 44 and meant to be more focused on world peace but it took a couple of attempts and a glass of red wine before I was ready.
We were out on the deck looking at the ocean and the evening in question came up.
“That hurt me,” I told the Dimple.
Not looking him in the eye I told him, “When you danced with [thingamy] on our song.”
I hated saying that second part – it wasn’t like I was jealous of a wild afternoon shag in a hotel room or even a passionate kiss. It was a dance, actually just a song and it sounded ridiculous (and now I’ve told you about the ridiculousness darn it)
The Dimple gave me a glance sideways and for a brief moment I unfolded my arms and let him see me. I let him see that even though it was only a song it was our song and I was quite protective over that song because it reminded me of when I first met him and I didn’t want to see him sharing that song with somebody else. He could pick another song, Yellow Brick Road, any old song and dance with Foxy Brown or Pussy Galore or Katy Perry, but not during our song because that made me feel like he was forgetting all the marvellous times we had when we first met and that made me feel, well, forgettable, and I am not forgettable. No way. I am not at all forgettable!
He agreed (I am many other things…. tardy, forgetful even) but never forgettable. We hugged and then, just like that it was OK.
Love scares the hateful monster away.
Other people probably know this already but I am a terribly slow learner when it comes to matters of the heart.
For anyone who also has an unwelcome monster here are my tips.
- The monster is powerful. It has unlimited access to your storage box of PAST HURTS and it will hurl them at you as more evidence of why you should be feeling jealous especially if you are sulking. Monsters love it when you sulk as they have you all to themselves.
- It gets bigger the more you fight it. All fears shrink when you face them so the more you ignore the monster the louder it becomes as it is trying to get your attention. Look the monster in the eye, and listen to it and it should calm down. If not, then that’s when I try getting the monster drunk. This is not a great strategy. Always face your monster, don’t run.
- It’s often never about them (the other person). Don’t let your monster start accusing, pointing gnarly fingers and showing its sharp teeth. Be honest, say how you feel, and you’ll get a much better reaction.
- It’s about us (annoying but true). Don’t apologize for your jealous feelings because they are your feelings but it’s up to us to deal with them, our monster is not somebody else’s problem. Feeling vulnerable is not weak, it’s letting somebody see your truth and not being afraid to do so.
- And it’s about fear. Deep in the monster’s heart is a fear of not being loved or abandoned. Solve this and you’re free of it for good.
- Push PAST HURTS off a cliff. In order to do this you have to look at each one, forgive and let go (and it’s very satisfying doing this somewhere high up, like a cliff, or overlooking the ocean and shouting GOODBYE very loudly)
- It’s a choice. Knowing what the monster feeds off (chocolate, wailing and watching romcoms on TV) you can choose to let the monster go. Even if you accidentally sulk, you can still choose to let that bastard go.
- Lastly, remember the monster is strong. Best not to keep an axe under the mattress.