Jealousy Eats Up a Lot of My Time and Energy

I've always felt insecure about myself. I don't like the way I look, the way I talk, the way I sound, the way I am. I could blame my mum for growing up like this because she always told me I'm ugly, that she wishes she never had me, that I'm useless, I'm timid, I'm incapable of anything good, I can't cut it, I can't do this, can't do that. The list is endless. She was a stay-at-home mum and she made sure I was grounded most of the time. She would use force if I tried to go out or stay out. I have to say, if all she'd wanted was to break down her daughter into a sad lump who felt she deserved nothing good in this world, she absolutely succeeded.

I ended up not finishing school, unqualified, but I always wore a happy face in front of friends and family. I avoid talking to my mum as much as possible, and whenever that happened, I still stand my ground (and risk getting hit or getting into another quarrel with her again). When I got too old and strong for her to hit, she stopped hitting me but her tongue never stopped wagging at me. She kept saying how I would never do anything good.  I never told them how **** I felt about my life and myself inside. I refused to admit defeat even though my mum never stopped saying things which could break my self esteem down.

I thought I had escaped all that by moving out of her home 10 years ago at the age of 20. But without her financial help and support, I crumbled in society. I met really mean people who looked down on me. I also met nice people but somehow I think there's something wrong with my personality somewhere which makes them not become my best friends. I yearn for a good close friendship with someone I can trust, but I never  find that person despite going out to meet people and partying all the time. I make a lot of nice friends, but they are not very close to me. Sometimes some of them learn of my troubles (perhaps if I decide to tell them about a problem, but I don't always do because I'm afraid of looking like an idiot). Some people are really nice and they try to give me good advice. However they don't have the time or inkling to be close friends with me. They are busy, or they already have a family to take care of, etc. Its sad but because of this I think there's either something about me which repels good people away, or I'm just a very jinxed, cursed person who just doesn't have the luck to meet even one good person in life who will be my true friend. I am normally an extremely loyal person to the ones I love, but that is no use.

People can be really unkind. They avoid me after they learn about my problems. They don't want to know. It reinforces my belief that people just don't want to know you if they know you have big problems. They only want to know people who are sorted. Which makes me put on a brave face instead and refrain from truly being myself in front of most people on most days.

Anyways, I got married when I was 24, and now I am 30 and have 3 beautiful children. My husband probably regrets marrying me, now that I think about it. I do get so depressed sometimes, and I do get jealous so easily. He isn't all that bad though, because he hates to see me all depressed and feeling ****** about myself.  I am so afraid my children will grow up hating me because I'm not a confident, happy person. I do like jokes and can have a laugh with anyone, but when I do sink into one of those moods, I know they must dread it. But perhaps I shouldn't go on about this too much. It takes too much time and energy. I fight this tirade of sadness and low-feelings every week. I keep a diary, to contain all the nasty thoughts. Its a form of relief... albeit a very temporary one, because those thoughts return again soon after I write a diary entry. But its the only help I have. I'm not sure if I have the strength to face what people have to say about my condition.

I look at my kids and I feel sorry for them. What have they done to deserve such a lousy mum? Yet I try my best to do my best for them. Sometimes that means I have to fight back feelings of sadness and tears to face them with smiles and encouraging words. I'd never want them to grow up feeling bad about themselves cos they had a lousy mum. Especially because I had a mum whom I often wished was never my mother. But I'm always afraid that one day my kids will find out what a pathetic sorry loser I really am, and hate me for it. The day they do that, I think I will finally consider killing myself - its not like its a whimsical thing. I've wanted to kill myself since I was a teenager. But I live on for the sake of people around me - my little sister and brother who needed me to keep them hopeful and happy when they had to grow up under the same horrible mother I had to grow up with. Now its my 3 children I have to take care of, so I shall stay alive for them. My husband keeps asking me why I keep having more children, if I really want to go out and enjoy myself more. I don't know. I do love having kids, and perhaps somewhere deep inside, having kids serve as a meaningful way to live my life, for if my kids didn't need me, or if no one needed me in this life, I'd find no more purpose to live on.


rachelv rachelv
2 Responses Mar 19, 2009

I would agree with LawRaJayne on the comment to have an online friend or set of friends who would read your life story and provide comments or feedback that might help.<br />
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In general, most people would be sympathetic with your plight. It is not easy to deal with the insecurities and jealousy, as it has to do with your own image of yourself.<br />
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If you start with a belief that you deserve to live a good and fulfilling life, maybe it becomes a commitment on your part to pursue actions or activities that can raise your own satisfaction.<br />
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Your husband can have a very important role in working with you so you both get the best experience from your lives together. Maybe start small, in opening up the conversation with him. And if needed, find some books or articles on how to develop good conversation skills, both listening and talking. This may be key to the steps to making life better . . . small steps first, then increase later.

@ LawRaJayne : Hi there. YEs actually yesterday, after publishing that message online and switching off the comp, I realised I had gotten too engrossed in my mother issues and forgotten to elaborate on the jealousy part!<br />
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About my jealousy, well... I know I've always been a really jealous person. When I was in a relationship with my exes, I never liked seeing them talking affectionately or seeming very close to other people I'm not close to. Whenever I witness things like that, I actually feel an intense competitive feeling towards that other person my exes were with. But I managed to keep my jealous feelings pretty much secret so my exes never really got to see the scale of it. I would always distract myself by talking to someone I know at the scene, so I can keep my spirits relatively good. If I didn't know anyone there to talk to however - I'd really drop strong hints to my exes like I don't want him spending all that time talking to someone I'm not interested in and leaving me feeling bored and isolated.<br />
I'm not sure if this is normal for others to feel this way when this happens though, so in the past I tended not to regard myself as being a jealous person - I thought it could be quite normal. <br />
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Also, I never liked it if someone "came between" me and a close friend of mine, say a new boyfriend or girlfriend. I felt intensely jealous, I'd hate that "third party" even, but I'd quietly back out and start going out and looking for a new person to be close friends with. The only times I'd actually accept the new boyfriend or girlfriend of a close friend is if I was always included in their outings and activities and if I naturally could get along well with that other person. Otherwise I'd just really hate him/her. I think it shows a little sometimes, like I'd look incredibly impatient and bored if my friend was waffling on too much about their new girlfriend/boyfriend whom I dislike, and then my friend would realise I don't really like that person. BUT... I always thought perhaps that was still considered within the realm of "normal" and not really extreme jealousy as such.<br />
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In the past two years I've gradually started realising the extent of my jealousy. I got on Facebook and Friendster (like most of the people I know). Some of the people I know, like my ex-classmates, when we were studying, they were sort of like me last time in the sense that we were girls who liked having a good night out, keeping up with fashion, like writing, catching good gigs, etc. But we weren't in the same social circle, so we just sort of said hi and exchange a few friendly words every time we met, but nothing more than that. <br />
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I look at their stuff on FB and Friendster and most of them are still childless, unmarried, still appearing to enjoy the partying lifestyle, but more well-off now because they never stopped furthering their studies or working. They look beautiful and slim. And then I look at the choices I've made in my life so far which had led me to becoming a stay-home mum who's permanently lost her figure due to pregnancy... besides, I stopped the partying lifestyle 6 years ago when I realised it was actually detrimental to my ability to parent well. I could not help thinking that if I had never gone down that route of settling down and having kids, I'd still be living that life and slimmer, prettier, etc. I felt really jealous when I look at those particular people's FB photos and things. My husband, well, he's not cheated on me, but I've always felt insecure about my appearance, even more so after I had children! I find myself looking at their photos on Facebook with the secret hope that I might find something negative about their current appearance, perhaps lines on their face, stumpy legs, fat, anything which I can then use to justify to myself that I'm not that ugly for my age. I look at the people they hang out with, hoping that they are ugly, sleazy, etc. Anything, to make me feel better about how I look now.<br />
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And my exes - I actually kept in touch with one or two over the years, just barely. And needless to say, once they were on Facebook/Friendster, I started looking at the pics of their current wife or girlfriend, trying to see if they are prettier than me or...<br />
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It is really really BAD. I feel ashamed of myself thinking such things and even mentioning them here. I know its so wrong, but I catch myself feeling like this all the time. I know its all down to my insecurity and jealousy, but I just don't know how to make it stop. <br />
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And needless to say, if I see my husband talking to a girl who is in my eyes, more attractive than I am, I'd start to get jealous. I'm even jealous already, if he spends too much time socialising with his friends. He knows I get upset about it. I told him it would make me feel better about it if he comes home at the time he said he would and call me if he is going to be late, but he was never able to do this. In the end, he said "okay, if this is making you so unhappy, you know what? i'll stop going over to their homes from now on. in fact, i'll just not meet up with them, how about that?" I told him there's no need to do this, I'm not stopping him from meeting friends, I just don't like the fact that he always goes out for hours on end and never lets me know when he's gonna be back. Sometimes he comes home the next day! But he refuses to do it in moderation, and so now he's stopped going to his friends' places for about a year now. And sometimes, he'd mention that he has no friends now (though he'd say it not angrily, but just as a matter of fact) because of me getting upset about it, etc. Actually he still has friends, he just doesn't go over to their houses regularly now, only does it like once or twice in 6 months, that kind of thing. I feel bad about this, and I told him there's no need to do it that way, but he's not changing.<br />
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Okay so I guess my marriage isn't perfect. I hope I have elaborated on my jealousy enough. I just wish there was some way to stop it, you know. To stop the insecurity within me as well. But its just so hard, almost impossible to do, as I've lived with this for so long its become almost a part of me.

I'll be your friend! I understand completely how you feel. My mom is terrible too. She did some pretty terrible things to me and my sister when we were kids and now she is trying to control us. I have thought about my mom and my family for a long time and I now know myself and them very well. I'll be your friend. I am a good listener and I dont judge. We can talk and share stories too. Dont worry your kids dont think bad thoughts about you. You love them and care for them. You are not your mother.

I'm sorry.. i couldn't really understand what you are jealous of. But might i suggest that you find a close internet friend? that's what i did..<br />
My friends aren't the easiest people to talk to, i therefore found an internet friend. we set times to meet online so that we could talk our problems through.<br />
people who don't know you in person have no right to judge you. and this is why i think this is such a good idea.<br />
i might only be young but i can understand what you're going through. But i don't think your children will ever picture you the way you think. i think you're a fantastic mum considering what's happened to you. And i can see this just by reading what you've said.. mainly because a lot of people would have found it really difficult to hold it together after everything, but you've stayed as strong as you possibly can. And that's something to be extremely proud of. <br />
I suffer a lot with my confidence to. i can relate to all of that. I think i'm ugly etc. but you are who you are, you're unique, there is no other you! and that's what makes you so great! remember that. i only wish i could take my own advice. if you want to add me. Do feel free. <br />
I do health and social care in college, which i've basically written a contract of confidentiality until the end of time. I can relate to some of your problems i'm sure. I would be glad to help.