Warning: This is an unusually deep post for my blog. Normal service will resume shortly.
I’m not a jealous person
I’ve never felt hard done by for things I don’t have that my friends do.
Yes, thoughts have crossed my mind that stemmed from some kind of jealous emotion, but I’ve never acted in a way perceived to be jealous behaviour. I’ve just tried to be happy for them.
Besides, if there’s something I have really wanted, I’ve usually gone out and made it happen for myself.
There’s one thing recently though that has made me rethink the idea of jealousy.
So why might I be jealous now?
I don’t want to bang on about it over and over again, but as a bit of context, I suffered a miscarriage last year.
Shortly after, I had to handle baby news when a friend told me she was expecting again.
Since then, it’s been a case of juggling really difficult times with very happy ones.
I’ve been coming to terms with the loss, being happy for friends, and feeling guilty for wanting to be pregnant again. I have been appreciating every second of Lady P at such a fun and engaging age, but feeling sad that she doesn’t have a baby brother or sister on the way. I’ve been making plans that do not involve being ‘knocked up’ and feeling sad that I can.
I’ve also started to think that it might not happen quite how I thought and maybe we need a plan B.
So yeah, it’s been a pretty hard few months. My head feels like the footfall of Waterloo station.
Time is a healer
Everyone tells you that it gets easier with time. Of course it does. After a while, you can stop yourself from crying every second you think about it.
But what happens when you keep being reminded that you are no closer to having it all again?
In the period between losing my baby to writing this article, 2 people I know have had stillbirths, a close friend has had a 2nd daughter, there’s been 1 more NCT baby with 2 due soon, and one of my best friends has recently told me that she is expecting another.
That’s almost twice a month that I have thought about birthing, expecting or losing a child.
It’s not all about you
I know that all of those things are not about me. They are about those people and their families, and really and truly, I am happy (or terribly sad in the case of loss) for them.
The thing is though, it’s like watching Children In Need when you have a child; you relate it back to your own situation and those thoughts stick with you.
It feels like when you just get yourself back up onto ice skates having fallen over 8 times already. Then some agile little kid flies past you and knocks you down again.
You realise that you can’t skate like that kid, probably won’t ever be able to, and try as you might, there’s not much you can do about it.
So you feel a level of jealousy and disappointment. And you can’t just go out and make it happen this time because it’s out of your control.
So what are you going to do?
This jealousy is not going to make you track that kid down and burn his boots. There’s a good chance you won’t want to keep being knocked over by him though.
Ergo, when my friends are sharing their happy news about new babies or those on the way, a part of me can’t help but want to distance myself.
I don’t want to be a spiteful or jealous person. I also can’t, hand on heart, feel like it’s rubbing salt into the wound.
So for now, for those on the periphery, I’ll do the right thing and send them my congratulations, cards and gifts. Then I’ll drop off the face of the earth for a while. For those I can’t imagine ever not being close to, I’ll just get over it and be a good friend.
But my question to you is, is it OK to be jealous?