On Jealousy


I keep forgetting that a relationship in its earliest stages is bound to bring out my possessive jealous side.  On this post, I speak only for myself.  I’ve read too many a literature on jealousy and found them either too generic to be bothered with or too personal to be comprehensible.  That is why this is a contextualized understanding of jealousy, MY jealousy — one of my numerous human faults.

I can’t help but think that my jealousy stems from these feelings of not getting what I deserve.  As a child and as the eldest, I was always told to give in to my younger brother’s whims.  I always felt neglected or abandoned.  I felt like an extension of my parents who were supposed to be all selfless and giving and fair to all their children. But very early on, I was trained to be responsible: to give the last piece of candy to the bratty younger brother, to hand the remote control to the uncle that wants to watch his basketball game, to keep negative comments to myself, to be very behaved, hands on my lap, feet flat on the floor, and all eyes and ears to the teacher that wants us to believe in the dichotomy of living and non-living things.  Otherwise, I was hit with a leather belt or a bamboo stick or my father’s sandals.  Crying afterwards was forbidden.  In a sense, I lived a very repressed and repressive childhood.  Not that all of it was like that! Haha! It’s just that all that hitting and giving in played a significant role to my adult psyche, one battered by inner demons.

I also can’t help but think that my jealousy stems from my insecurities.  Sometimes, if another person seems to be desired more than I am, I often look at myself with pity and say, “Why can’t I be her?”  Jealousy seems to play a huge role in that illogical connection between her pretty face or her skinny body or her beautiful hair and her level of desirability.  When my boyfriend, for example, says that Grace Park is hot, I know that Grace Park is hot, but there’s a tinge of remorse for myself because of the belief that I can never be hotter than her.  It’s really all complex, I know — a mental battle between what is, what it’s not, what it seems to be, and what it should be.

And lastly, I think my jealousy is founded on my idea of pursuit.  Again, there’s a very vague connection between pursuit and desirability here.  If I feel that I am no longer pursued, I feel less desirable.  I don’t really know why, but some women love being pursued.  In Nick Joaquin’s “Summer Solstice”, the protagonist Donya Lupeng felt that she was content being ‘loved’ by her macho, patriarchal and ultra-conservative husband, Don Paeng.  But when she participated in the pagan ritual, Tatarin, all her inner passions were unleashed, and thus being loved was no longer enough.  She wanted to be adored, and so at the end of the story, she compelled Don Paeng to kiss her feet, as if she were a goddess.  Sometimes desire feels like that.

Again, I’m not speaking for anyone.  This is my brand of jealousy.  What’s yours?  (That sounds like a campaign ad, haha!)  But let me just close this piece with this: jealousy is never a good thing.  It is selfish.  It is self-destructive.  It makes you focus on what you don’t have instead of on the things that you have.  I know that this demon of mine lurks within me in the earliest stages of my relationships.  And I have found that the best way to silence it is to dig deep into its roots and kill it from there.  In my case, these roots are a battered childhood, a sense of insecurity, and an extreme longing to be desired.


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