Flea - Jealousy and ownership

  • 3 Replies

bohemian butterfly

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 692
Flea - Jealousy and ownership
« on: June 02, 2017, 11:34:20 AM »
So I'm struggling with a potential flea, jealousy.

A little background.

My mother likes to tell people that I was a jealous child (jealous of my younger brother).  My brother is 17 months younger than me, so I was still practically a baby when he was born.

What she won't tell people is that she was extremely depressed after having us.  She has told me a few times that she was extremely lonely (they lived 10 hours away from her family) and that she used to go outside and sit on the porch and cry.

OK, so she has 2 babies and was possibly suffering from postpartum depression.  She was young (22 years old) and left her 2 babies inside while she sat outside and cried.  Talk about abandonment.  I'm sure that she was totally disconnected from us.

So I probably was jealous.  I was probably desperate for attention.

Fast forward.

My brother and I are extremely close.  So any jealousy that I might have had didn't last.  I have always (and continue to) want nothing but the best for him.  I'm proud of him and I love him deeply. 

My flea. 

I have a fear of abandonment and fear that another women will steal my boyfriend away.   My boyfriend is very social and sweet and I am more private and kind.  I worry sometimes that other women will mistake his kindness for interest and try to lure him away.

I know this is absurd and he reassures me all the time, but it doesn't stop my panic attacks whenever a new female in our running or pottery group pays extra close attention to my boyfriend (he is such a likeable, intelligent and interesting person).

I have read books, I have tried distraction, I have prayed, I have talked about this in therapy and I have even gotten hypnotized, but I still find myself anxious at times.

The main issue I'm having is that I do not under any circumstances want to be my mother (enmeshed).  I hate that feeling of feeling like she controls me or has to know everything about me.  It feels yucky and I resent her for it.  I do NOT want my boyfriend feeling this way about me, so it compounds the problem (in my mind and heart and soul).  I want this gone, but I don't know how to "just get over jealousy."

Another potential cause......  my mother used to flirt with my boyfriends and hid my father's alcoholism from my brother and me (to protect us).  Point blank I am leery of women.  I also fear that a woman and man are hiding something from me, ya know, working together to keep a secret (my mother and father hiding the alcoholism together).  I always afraid I'm missing something.

Can anyone else relate?  Any ideas on how I can slay the green-eyed monster????



  • Host Member
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 4128
Re: Flea - Jealousy and ownership
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2017, 12:14:53 PM »
How about accepting : "Ouch, now I am feeling jealous again. How interesting. Where in my body does this jealousy sit? How exactly does it hurt? What exactly is my fear? That she is better, prettier, more interesting than me? That he will find her more loveable than me? That I wont survive if he leaves me for her?"
There are many reasons you might feel jealous. As there are many reasons you might find it hard to trust people. Trusting someone is taking a risk. You can decide to trust someone until proven wrong. It is a risk you take.
Do you trust your own judgement? Sounds like you are not so sure if you can trust your own judgement. Maybe you have reasons to doubt it. How can you increase your trust in your own judgement?
I can't hate my way into loving myself.


Libby 12

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 109
Re: Flea - Jealousy and ownership
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2017, 12:22:58 PM »
Hi BB.

I was so interested to read your post. Like you my sister was born when I was 15 months old.  For as long as I can remember I was accused of being jealous of her.  I agree with you that we probably were jealous of our siblings. We were so young and like you, I am sure my PDm was anxious and didn't cope well.  We were often left alone outside because house work was more important to mother than us and I was blamed for bad things that happened to us.

Thinking back to when I first met my DH,  I remember feeling the things you described,  the intense fear of abandonment  and the fear that other women would lure him away.  I was told repeatedly by NM that no one would ever want me, and I am sure this added to my fear big time.  I have never got over my problems with women,  demonstrated by the fact that at 50+, I have never had a close female friend. 

Like your boyfriend,  DH has always been really good to me and seems to take all my issues in his stride whilst, very kindly, not allowing me to behave like my mother (very enmeshed).  With time and coming Out of the FOG,  things improve all the time. Hopefully, your sense of security will increase both with time and with understanding of all these underlying issues.

I always wanted the best for my sister but when I finally stood up to my parents' abuse,  she took parents side with no discussion and no second thoughts.  I have not heard from her in five years.  I sent greetings cards at first but never any contact from her.  I think she was jealous of me as well because Nm couldn't really love either of us and set us against each other. 

I am so happy to hear you are so close to your brother and I think that this shows how well you dealt with childhood issues.
I think this bodes well for your relationship with your BF and I wish you every happiness.



bohemian butterfly

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 692
Re: Flea - Jealousy and ownership
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2017, 01:03:57 PM »
I'm always blown away by the insightful and kind responses from you all.

Thank you for your suggestions and your well wishes.

notrightinthehead:  thank you for suggesting that I question the fear.  Usually the fear hits me so quick, I am locked in utter panic.  I can think of nothing but panic, he will leave me, he will leave me, she will win, she will win, I am a fool, etc.   So the next time I see a women talking with my boyfriend, I will stop and think about your questions.  I will sit with them and really try to go through the process.

Libby12:  thank you for sharing your story.  Although I'm sorry that you too have shared my pain, I'm thankful that someone else understands it.  Your husband sounds like my boyfriend.  He is patient and willing to help me understand.  He will not enable me though.  I like how he doesn't think twice about talking to other females.  He doesn't avoid them because of my fear, but he isn't unkind and he doesn't flirt.  He just doesn't think about it because he talks to everyone.  If he avoided females I would be fearful that he was enabling me and avoiding women because there was a temptation.  By not avoiding anyone and just being him, I actually feel like he is more trustworthy because he isn't hiding anything from me.  He always talks about me and includes me in the conversation and that does help a lot.  I just wish that I had more confidence.

I will continue counseling and I will continue reading and questioning and doing the work.  On a positive note, at least I recognize the problem and it is "out there"   It isn't hiding from me, I see it, feel it loud and clear.  My mind thinks that it is helping me.  It is hypervigilant, looking for deceit and trying to prevent me from pain.  But looking and searching and preparing for abandonment is painful.  I'm torturing myself.  It's like I'm so thankful for love that I'm like Gollum from Lord of The Rings, overprotective of my "Precious."  I fear losing that love.  This is core/primal fear.  In reality, if I lose him, I will live.  I never sensed love from my parents.  I had to convince myself that they loved me, so I think that my boyfriend is also being convinced by me, that I am making him love me and that it is not out of his own choosing, that it is fake, a figment of my imagination.  I feel like I am replaceable.  I'm not special.  I have had to tell myself that I'm loved because I never felt it.  My imagination kept me alive.  Childhood coping mechanisms.