This realization is how I healed Myself From feeling extremely jealous and insecure.
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You’re either going to laugh or judge me when you learn about how ridiculously jealous and insecure I used to be. Maybe you’ll relate but I dunno… I’ve had some pretty extreme emotions in my day.
It’s like there were two different people inside of me. One of them always saw and appreciated the beauty of others. That person happily supported other women in doing whatever brought them joy.
And the other person inside of me was a real bitch who got annoyed when another woman posted a provocative photo online or undressed on camera. That person wanted to stab my husband’s eyes out if he so much as blinked at another woman.
Thankfully that crazy bitch rarely surfaces anymore, but I wanted to tell you about her. It’s important that you know I understand how you feel if you’re dealing with rage or jealousy and insecurity.
And more importantly than that, if I can overcome those intense feelings of being jealous and insecure, so can you!
I aim to always be honest and authentic when writing about my experiences. That said, my style is not for everyone. My delivery can be a little raw and uncomfortable for some readers. This article in particular mentions self-harm, which may be triggering for some.
Blaming my partner for my jealousy and insecurity was unfair.
I used to resent men for being visual creatures. I would get angry at whatever man I was dating (or married to) if he was so much in the room with a sexy woman.
True story, I once had a complete meltdown and accused my ex-husband of choosing a movie solely because there was a topless scene in it. A movie neither one of us had ever seen before, might I add. So unless he looked it up online in advance like a horny teenager or something, I’m not sure how he would’ve known in advance.
Ah yes, on that note, I went through a whole phase where I did google movies in advance. I wanted to know if there was any nudity. If so, then it was fine for me to watch it on my own, as long as my husband wasn’t around.
I was a lot of fun back then. I bet you wish you were married to me.
It makes me laugh now because I was so young and jealous and insecure and over-the-top. But at the time, I know I was also experiencing a lot of pain. So much so that I started regularly c—tting myself with a utility kn—fe. It was easier to distract myself with physical pain than to deal with my inner turmoil.
Ever had your kids ask you about your self-inflicted scars? That’ll fuck you up, if you weren’t damaged already.
Not to mention it must have been a nightmare for all of my love interests.
But what about infidelity?
There were times when it felt easy to blame my ex for my insecurity. I could justify some of his actions as being the reason I had trust issues, but the truth is that I'm no longer willing to give him or anyone else that kind of power.
I get it. Once you've been cheated on, it's natural to look at that person and say you made me this way. But ideally, even though infidelity could still hurt you, you would recognize it only as an error made by the other person and not see it as a reflection of who you are.
Unfortunately, infidelity often triggers those negative feelings like insecurity and jealousy that already exist within us. It's like a doctor cutting you open for a procedure wouldn't give you a tumor, but it might reveal one.
Also, I know that I personally projected my insecurities onto men who never cheated on me, which is unfair on a whole other level.
What's the real reason for all that rage?
Interestingly enough, the rage that I often felt was really just self-preservation. If I was angry at men for being “shallow” and “disgusting” then I didn’t have to deal with my own feelings of inferiority. If I was annoyed with other women for having the audacity to be comfortable in their own bodies, then I didn’t have to deal with more uncomfortable feelings like the insecurity that was eating away at me.
If I was angry then I wasn’t physically hurting myself.
It was only when I leaned into the sadness and unworthiness that I reached for sharp objects.
See, while I would get pissed at men because of my jealousy, I also noticed something else. My knee-jerk reaction was always to cover myself up. In those moments it didn’t matter how much I loved or was attracted to my partner. I felt like I never wanted to have sex again. I never wanted to be seen naked. I wanted to break up with the guy and go live celibate in some mountain cave where no one could ever witness my hideous appearance ever again.
Figuring that out was pivotal to helping me heal.
A lot of it is directly tied to my perfectionism issues, but that’s an article for another day. What’s important here is that it was never about the men or their sex drives or what they found visually appealing. And it was never really about the other women.
Here's a helpful metaphor for jealousy and insecurity.
Let’s say you have a car that you really love. It’s a gorgeous color with a solid paint job. It has comfortable seats that warm up in the winter. They even have the option of giving you a back massage! It’s reliable and modern. It’s got fun technology and fantastic safety features. It’s a great car!
Or maybe you've got a car that's not in perfect condition, but it's been through some shit with you and you're quite fond of it. You've had opportunities to upgrade, but you've decided to hold on to it, because it keeps you happy enough.
In either of those scenarios, if someone else pulls up next to you in a different-but-equally-awesome car, you’re probably not fazed. Even if it’s a different color or style, you don’t feel anything negative toward the car or the owner of the car. If you even notice it, you’re just like cool car and move on with your life.
Why? Because you love your car and the fact that other great cars exist has no affect on you.
But what if you don’t have a car? Or what if the vehicle you do have is faded or it’s a color you don’t like or it’s always breaking down or the AC doesn’t work…
In that case, when a person pulls up next to you in a nice, fancy, shiny car, it just might annoy you. And if you happen to be broken down on the side of the road and some expensive car goes zooming past you, you just might hate that motherfucker for a minute.
Now, why is that?
It’s not because of what someone else has. It’s because of what you feel like you don’t have.
If that other person suddenly didn’t have their shiny cool car, would it actually improve your life at all? Nope. But if you went from a shitty car to a really nice one, that’s a game-changer.
Jealousy is a light shining down, illuminating what you feel like you don’t have.
Sometimes it feels easier to take away or destroy someone else’s nice car than to take the time to fix-up your own or find a way to buy a nicer one for yourself. You don’t want them to drive around reminding you of what you don’t have. But is that really fair to either of you?
Plot twist - it's not a competition.
When I was getting jealous, it was because I automatically saw myself as inferior.
If this woman is sexy and she has a double-D’s and I only have a B-cup, then I must not be as sexy as she is. If this woman is beautiful and tall, but I am short, then I must not be beautiful. If she is stunning with her golden skin and full lips, and I am pale as a fucking marshmallow in a snowstorm with average lips, then I must not be attractive at all.
These women were not doing anything wrong by existing and showing off their beauty. I wanted them to cover up. I wanted them to hunch over, to not brush their hair, to have a flesh-eating disease or something. I wanted them to make it easier for me to be attractive by comparison.
Aha! But that’s the thing, isn’t it? That’s the damn thing. We're not supposed to be comparing ourselves.
It’s not a goddamn competition.
Show me a field full of red tulips and I bet it’s beautiful. But show me a field full of tulips that are red and yellow and pink and orange and white and purple — now that’s a sight to behold. Show me a world full of tulips and roses and sunflowers and daffodils and orchids — well, hot damn I’ve got chills just typing that.
The variety enhances the beauty.
Do we all have preferences? Of course! And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s okay to prefer orchids over roses or tulips over sunflowers. But to assume that one is ugly because the other exists is ridiculous.
(Now apply that to humans.)
You know that you have truly healed your jealousy and insecurity when you can look at another woman in all her glory and see her for the beautiful creature she is without negating your own beauty and value.
This may be hard to hear but it’s important.
It is never about them. It is always about you. Always.
I don’t care if there is a supermodel who strips off her clothes and tries to seduce your husband. The way you feel, that jealousy or anger, is always about you. It's about how you view yourself.
That may seem annoying, but it’s actually empowering.
No matter the circumstances, you always have the power to feel better and no one can take that from you. Even in an extreme situation like the seductive supermodel, you have the ability to not be threatened.
Can you feel that? Can you feel that power? You can love yourself so fiercely and see yourself with such unwavering love, that no one can ever make you feel inferior.
So often we think we have to build a wall around ourselves for protection, but the attacker is already inside the gate. (Ahem, it's you. You are the attacker.)
You don't have to grow a thick skin or build walls to protect yourself. Just learn to love yourself so deeply that no one else, no matter their words or actions, can penetrate past it.
Easier said than done? That's okay. You're reading posts like this, aren't you? That means some part of yourself already recognizes your value. You love yourself enough to seek healing, and that's a pretty fucking great start.
Self love is the antidote to jealousy and insecurity.
As with most of my posts, this one really comes down to one thing: self love. Overcoming jealousy and insecurity isn’t about your partner changing his or her behavior. It’s not about other women looking or behaving differently to make you feel better.
It’s just about you caring about yourself more and seeing your own value.
It’s about choosing to love yourself the way you’ve always wanted other people to love you, to look at yourself the way you want other people to see you.
I look back on the younger me and see her as she actually was. She was so jealous and insecure, but how ridiculous! Because she was so pretty. She was sexy. Funny. Intelligent. Talented.
She just didn’t love herself.
But that’s okay, because I love her now and it's enough.
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