I am a very jealous person and it’s not a trait I’m overtly proud of; in fact it quite often catapults me into some rather unforgiving situations. The fact is though, I know I am a jealous person. I deplore this trait but because of recent events I’ve realised I can change, and also, control it. Recently I wound up hurt again due to the rapid extinguishing of a romantic flame. I was bitter, I was sad; and when I found out he had feelings for someone else concerns were voiced that I was going to start a nuclear war with my emotions – as I’ve been like that in the past. This time it was different though. I didn’t react how I once would have. What follows is a tale of classic jealousy and how, after a lot of emotional torture and cups of tea, I beat it back like the monster it is.
It begins the way all stories of jealousy do: being rejected and hurt by someone then subsequently having to watch as the hop onto the next guy. Anyone that knows me will tell you I’m not a chill guy; I’m not relaxed or cool. People wouldn’t talk about me and say ‘yeah, he’s super laid back’ or say that I go with the flow, no. They’d probably be like ‘what has he snorted something in the sixteen minutes?’ Or ‘Did he forget to take his medication?’ No. Nobody in the history of my friendships would ever say I was a chill guy. I tend to react to situations without first processing the information, and before I know it a volatile circus troupe of emotions have been splattered everywhere; all over the walls, my face, social media. It’s just a mess. Then I calm down and wind up hating myself for three weeks because I know I didn’t handle the situation in a favourable way.
I found out (via Instagram, the ultimate gossip medium) that he (the guy) was now with someone else. I’m sure people expcted me to freak out and like throw a bike through his window or nail an animal to his door, but I didn’t. I was weirdly calm. Sure, I had this resonating sting in my chest and a feeling that I wanted to barf pretty much stayed with me for the first few days, but I didn’t freak out or hurl abuse. Instead I just sat and looked at the picture of them together, intertwined in a way that suggests there had recently been some intimacy, noticed that he was wearing my old t-shirt, and I just sighed. I wasn’t angry, I was jealous. I hated the idea of someone else touching him. I sat there frozen, trying to work out what I feel and comparing it to what I should be feeling. How should an adult feel in this situation? I should be crying, right?
I tried to get myself over the jealous feeling by imaging them in various situations, deliberately getting myself worked up by thinking about all this heart-breaking stuff on a loop. I figured that way I could make peace with it and move on quicker. I thought about them at parties, thought about them holding hands; I thought about this new guy biting his lower lip whilst they kissed. I imagined them having sex. I basically channelled every worst-case scenario I could in order to help tackle the jealousy head on; but still it stayed, but this time no tears came. I waited and waited but I still wasn’t angry, I was just really, really sad and disappointed. I was also a little paranoid. I kept thinking ‘he’s going to be expecting me to freak out.’ I worried he’d speak about me and say that I’m probably crying so hard half of Glasgow will need a canoe to get around because it’s now fucking Waterworld. If he did think/say that then he wouldn’t have been wrong, as that’s how I normally react in these situations. Not this time though, because I worked really, really hard not to be that guy, and it wasn’t easy.
For the last week or so I’ve been looking for a way to end this story. The final nail in the coffin, or a peaceful reconciliation perhaps? I don’t know, just anything that would neatly tie this cluster-fuck of a situation up. Then I realised that it has ended; I don’t need another event to finish this off. I’m always going to feel how I feel, but I can learn from, and work on, that as time goes on. My only wish now is to move on and not be hateful or bitter; to accept what’s happened has happened and realise that I’ve escaped that madness. I’d like to say to him that I’m sorry for reacting how I did, for cutting him out. That it didn’t bother me that he said my surname wrong, because having your French last name properly pronounced is sort of low on people’s priorities cause there’s police brutality to worry about and stuff. I want to say that I forgive him for the lack of effort he put in, for leading me on, and that I honestly, from the most sincerest of places, wish him nothing but the best. Life is too short to be sad and to hold onto things that refuse to grow.