Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Jealousy: That Green Eyed Monster
It started when I was a baby. My father showed me some attention, seemed to prefer me over my sister and brother and the result was a childhood of endless teasing and "getting even" on the part of my siblings. They won't admit to it and most likely do not remember what they did but boy did they make my life hell. Especially my sister. Every chance she got to "get even", to undercut and undermine me she did. Why? She felt unloved by our father and in fact, she was unloved by him. Sadly, he himself, unloved and unloving, couldn't tolerate her. Why he seemed to like me who knows? I doubt it had too much to do with me and a lot to do with his own ego. But interestingly most of the men in my life never liked my sister. She seemed doomed from day one and turned out to be, please excuse the expression, a ball buster, a castrator of men. I look at her now across from me at this funeral banquet after she buried her 70 year old beaten down, ignored and generally disrespected husband and I can't help but see the sad child behind the contorted and bloated aging face. Hard to believe as I gaze at her that she was once a beauty, likened to Natalie Wood. Hard to believe what pain and repression does to a human being. She has a vicious streak in her that she wields to get her way, to make life hell for others. She is all about getting even. About threats, subtle and veiled sometimes, other times manipulative and cunning. There are people where I have worked for the last 18 years who are a lot like my sister. One woman, a sad, chubby and angry human being, is always out to undermine me. I think she too was very unloved as a child, rejected on some deep level by her caretakers again and again and trying to make up for it by puffing up her ego. And she seems to have the same need to "get even" with me as my sister, particularly when she doesn't get what she wants. I have tried with these two women for many years to get along. To make peace. And I have failed. Maybe I am just having too good a time with my own life. I think this really pisses a lot of people I work with off. I teach pretty much what I want, courses mostly of my own design and I enjoy it very much. I make movies, win awards, have friends all over the world, get up on the stage, am told I am doing "lovely" work by a great and inspiring acting teacher, fall in love unexpectedly and I breathe it all in. It's a wonderful life I have. So what I think the problem is with these women is they just are not doing what they love on a day to day basis. My sister really wanted to be an actress and instead became a secretary, developed a false self and buried her deepest desires. And this other women should have followed the path to being a fiction writer and instead lost her way. But mostly I believe they chose those paths, they sold themselves short, because they felt they did not really deserve to be happy. Somewhere deep inside them that little child screamed out to be loved, to be special and heard nothing in return. I've done a lot of deep feeling therapy in my life to heal that little kid and she is, I am pleased to report, pretty much in love with herself. And I don't mean that in a bad way. I really do like myself as a person. So it allows me to be more forgiving, more understanding of what self hate can do to a human being. I have to smile when I look at these women now, partly because I know the struggle they have to love themselves but maybe even more so because I finally realize they can't harm me. That whatever they or anyone else thinks they can do or manages to do to "even the score" or "get what they want", they can not in any way diminish my life. My life is my own. I roll with the punches, laugh all the way to the bank and reach out to those I can most affect in a positive way. In short, I love just about every moment of every day. So my advice to you, dear reader, whoever you may be is don't sell yourself short. You really are a child of the universe. And don't spend time getting even. Because you can't. You can only get on with it.