Ninety percent of the time, I am a calm and collected lover.
Other women don’t ruffle my feathers easily, because I know what I have to offer is pretty special. But, there are those times when that hot, messy, jugular-attacking vixen rises up from within me and I desire to bite the closest, sweetest thang next to me.
Oh sneaky Jealousy, you are an unsuspecting beast.
I never anticipate her arrival when she gets here. However, I always seem unable to keep the door closed to her sudden intrusions.
Jealousy comes along with a handful of stories. The kind of stories that cause me to feel crappy after listening, yet are hard to pull away from. She is like those low budget horror films that we half want to turn off, but half want to keep watching.
She is a bit of a train wreck, that hothead who likes to catch partners off guard and accuse innocent behavior as some sinful infraction. Often with no hard facts, just constructed manifestations from an unruly mind, she makes her attack.
Who is this lurking lady who pokes at us with sharp, heated prongs? I thought I knew, but recently my view has changed.
The other day, when jealousy came swooping through my door and hit me—bonk—right on the head, I did something different.
I took a spot down there on the floor and I breathed in that steamy passion of hers. In, I took her certainty that my lover had done me wrong. In, that authoritative voice she carried that formed assumptions before inquiries.
Then, I breathed out space for both her and me to stay. Me, logic, and her, the passion pit, sat side by side.
There, I found myself her equal. I had tried several times to fight it out with jealousy before, but hand-to-hand combat drew blood, and that day I was out of Band-Aids.
I faced that ill-tempered femme. I looked at her, eyes wide open, and I saw what she was made of.
When I took in her clothes, hair, makeup, posture, skin and complexion, I noticed something. She looked exactly like those women that I tried to love (but had a hard time doing so). She was wrapped up in the appearance of something shiny and almost plastic.
She looked perfect. She looked untouchable.
Well, this was actually a nice surprise. As an adult, I have learned something about perfect-looking people: they are often soft and squishy on the inside.
I could see humanness underneath her cover. The red lips and mascaraed eyes of that spicy woman now shone back at me with insecurity and pain.
She was hurting and she was afraid. I wanted to get up off that floor and ask her if she required a hug. It was obvious she could use some love.
I thought she might rebuff overt affection, so I just asked:
“Jealousy, are you okay?”
She looked back at me, and a piece obviously melted within her. I could see her right eye had gotten a little wet. She took a big breath and let go one huge heave.
Right there in my living room, Jealousy had a breakdown (breakthrough).
This was not a quiet affair. The feistiness that she usually displayed had flipped to the other side, looking like serious collapse.
Suddenly, she was down there on that floor with me. More of a heap than the tower I had thought her to be, and there she cried, and cried, and cried.
I sat beside jealousy and the held space. I witnessed her release, and when she had let it all out, she looked up at me and wiped the black charcoal streaking down her cheeks.
“Thank you,” she said. “No one ever asked me that before.”
She told me more that afternoon. She revealed bits of her heart and how hurt it had been. She told me about her ex-husband and father, how all the men she had ever loved had left. She said that was why she tried so hard to never let it happen again.
“If you push them away first, it will never hurt like it did before.”
I listened to Jealousy, but I knew she was wrong about that last part. I knew pushing love away did hurt, and her pain right now proved it.
This day, on the floor with jealousy, I understood her finally. I reached out my hand and I placed it on her bended knee.
“It’s going to be okay.”
She looked back.
“Yes. ‘Cause you just made yourself a new friend.”
And friends take care of each other.
Author: Sarah Norrad
Editor: Toby Israel
Image: Shamim Nakhai/Unsplash