Green Eyed Monster

Envy (noun): A feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities or luck

(verb): Desire to have a quality, possession, or other desirable attribute belonging to (someone else)

I’m sure this is a behavior we’ve all exhibited at some point in life even if it was an isolated moment in time, usually during childhood before we learn better. For instance, not being picked for the team or perhaps not being one of the teacher’s favorites, therefore becoming envious of those who are choosen and become the teacher’s pet. I recall myself being envious of two distinct scenarios. As a teen I remember the feeling of envy towards certain people who died. My stepfather was my first experience with the death of someone close to me. I wasn’t sad when I heard the news, more in shock, disbelief and anger. I somehow got the impression that bad people were fortunate to die and leave this world, no longer forced to face the pain, struggles or chaos in society as a whole. I can’t believe I actually thought good people were left here to suffer. Thankfully, I soon realized how ridiculous my thought process was. As an adult I then grew envy of drag queens. I know, call me crazy but the skill and patience it takes to apply makeup and wigs so flawlessly is a work of art in my opinion, also a skill , at one time I wished I possessed. On a much more serious note, unfortunately “envy” can be destructive, destroying families as well as friendships. I used to wonder why the word is refferenced to the phrase “green eyed monster”. Although the term was first coined by Shakespeare in his play Othello in 1604, jealousy is universal in human nature and can even lead the nicest people to do awful things.

I’m writing this post from a place of sadness. Recently I had to make a tough decision on whether or not I should end a nine year friendship or actually what I thought had blossomed into a sisterhood. Due to my health and medical issues I decided that because of the constant stress it was causeing me, it no longer felt like a friendship and wasn’t worth it. This particular young lady who I didn’t want to befriend initially only because it’s always been hard allowing myself to get close to people in the first place, eventually became someone I grew to love. She was a witness to all my latest storms. When my seizures began out of nowhere, my husband disappearing, homelessness along with everything else that tried to weigh me down. While watching me struggle my way through, I can’t say she didn’t help to an extent; however it didn’t go without notice, help was offered when it benefited her which was fine because I also noticed areas where she struggled, figuring we could help each other.

What many jealous people don’t realize is that someone can appear to have it all together in life from the outside, but often we don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors. Just because a person lives in a big house in an upscale neighborhood, driving a fancy car doesn’t mean they’re happy. People struggle with weight and other insecurities. Some have hidden addictions, issues with self worth and burried trauma. Loneliness is a huge factor for many. Having money and people around you constantly doesn’t mean you’re not lonely when those people don’t actually give a damn about you and are only there to help spend your money. In my case, it became clear that this person desired certain qualities I possess when she’d repeatedly say ” I wish I could ??? like that”, referring to how I’d do/handle certain tasks. I was confused at first because she’d seen me at my weakest most vulnerable moments where I was contemplating suicide or just on the verdge of giving up, but my faith nor who I am won’t allow it. Often it’s offensive when people tell me how strong I am. I think to myself, if only they knew. She would ask me questions like “your weight doesn’t bother you”, “how come you have so much confidence?” Or she’d say, “I’ve never seen you cry about your husband leaving, aren’t you sad”, “why not call him and find out why he left?” Truth be told, it wasn’t that sad of an occassion. I miss her way more than I could ever miss him. The question that always gets me is “why are you always smiling and so bubbly with everything you’re going through?”

I constantly tried to explain that my actions were simply a choice. To be angry would not bring good results if any. When realizing that regardless of what I had to face wasn’t going to break me, she then began to sabotage the friendship. I desperately wanted not to believe what was happening, but soon became too obvious. Every time we were together which was suddenly rare, she would intentionally try starting an argument or push my buttons by making up things that simply didn’t make sense. Because of her I felt forced to start keeping “receipts” (not necessarily in the literal sense). Knowing I struggle with memory and minor details due to the seizures, she would say and accuse me of things that didn’t make sense and weren’t even close to my nature. So I began checking those receipts (text messages etc.) for the facts. As a friend, I’d talk to her about it giving her an opportunity to account for her actions and/or apologize, but she’d shut down claiming to either not remember (eventhough her memory was just fine all the years before) or try convincing me that I was making it all up eventhough the proof was right there in front of us. Once she was caught and as delicate as I was trying to be for the sake of the friendship, she stopped calling. She may answer if I call, but her entire demeanor had changed. I believe she was avoiding me due to shame and for some it’s too hard to admit when your wrong. It’s ok though because I’m not angry at all just sad that she doesn’t see the beauty in herself like I do. Like I prayed in making this decision, I pray for her that she learns to love herself and gain confidence in all aspects of her life. I will continue to pray for her always, we share some great memories. I have to take care of my health first and don’t want or need people in my life who don’t support my dreams or dismiss and belittle the work I’m passionate about or cause more trouble and stress on top of what the world already throws at us on a regular. If we are not careful envy/jealousy can also end in tragedy just like in Othello. I can’t help but wonder why someone would even name their child after one of the seven deadly sins. Was it coincidence or motivated by character?

Published by 5thgenerationgirl

Tammy Wynette is a mother of three and a “G-MA” (grandma). Born in Warren, Arkansas, she currently resides in Sacramento, CA and is pursuing an AA degree in English at American River College, with plans to transfer to California State University, Sacramento (Sac State). She is an active leader and role model in her community, she works with teens sharing and teaching poetry, as well as providing insight for young parents to prosper. She has certificate from NAMI (The National Alliance on Mental Illness) and is a trailblazer & Griot, keeper of stories/traditions passed down from her ancestors. As an Author and motivational speaker it’d be an honor to present at your events to inspire, encourage & let our VOICES be heard! She has short stories and poems published in Our Black Mothers Brave, Bold and Beautiful!

56 thoughts on “Green Eyed Monster

  1. I am convinced that some of these people are sent on an assignment by the devil. We pray and ask God to choose our friends and he does and sends people who will lift us up. Relationships are important and there are many destiny helpers in the world. It’s being discerning to see who those people are and assess those people who are safe and deserve a seat at your table and those people who are unsafe and you have to love from a distance. Sounds like you make the right decision. 🙏🏾❤️

    Liked by 3 people

    1. One reason I don’t get angry is because I don’t feel she is a bad person at all, simply lost & insecure. The best way she knows how to make herself feel better is to put me down or try to belittle me based on the chapter of my life she came in on. She’s struggling within herself & I can’t be mad at that. I have to pray for her growth & that one day she realizes where she needs growth. Thank you for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It is tough to sever longstanding relationships that have been filled with many wonderful and positive memories and qualities. But you are also wise to set boundaries on a relationship that seems to bring enough toxicity and stress. Not all relationships last forever but they all teach us something.

    And I had to laugh at the drag Queen comment. In my university years, I had to write a story for the student paper about a drag Queen competition. Those queens have their act together!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m so sorry you’ve gone through so many challenges. I agree that it is best to let this woman go. I’ve had so many so called friends in my life that believe lies from others, over the truth about me, abandon and betray me and turn against me. I have no reason to keep these people in my life. I’ve let people go who never reach out, with me doing all the attempts to connect. I truly believe that when we release dysfunctional people, situations, etc from our lives, it is one more step of us moving into being sovereign and empowered…..opening the door for people and situations that do truly support our highest good. Good for you in taking those steps, choosing YOU!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It’s hard to make these choices but your well being and peace of mind matters more. I’m sure if it’s meant to be your friend will cross paths with you and hopefully be a good friend to you and realize genuine friendships like this don’t come so easily.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh Tammy, Tammy, Tammy. 🤗 I think that some of us have on some occasion found ourselves caught up in the quandary of such confused states. We tend to question “what the what” and can never come to a logical conclusion about envy and jealousy looking the way they do. A friend of mine years ago was talking to me about a few dilemmas much similar in nature to yours, and it wasn’t until I began analyzing her situation that I began to understand my own, dealing with such matters.

    When I was going through my divorce (husband #1), I didn’t walk around sulking or whining, (especially since he was cheating) which was a surprise to people who knew me. They expected me to look a hot mess, and I refused to let that happen especially in public. Some didn’t know I was going through such problems until the divorce was published in the newspapers back then (usually most public cases were published in the papers in South Carolina). But what got me back then and even as recent as ten years ago, the people who I felt the envy arrows coming from had bigger salaries, bigger houses, luxury cars, designer clothes whereas I didn’t. Then, after talking to my girlfriend, I got it! I wondered why they felt the way they did towards me when from the outside I thought they had it all. What could I possibly have that they didn’t. At the time, I hadn’t met my current husband, and I didn’t have children. So that was not the issue.

    They wanted the one thing I had that they couldn’t buy…CHARACTER! Envy navigated their character, conduct, and conversation based on superficial stuff versus what was internally divine for me. I prayed a lot and I garnered a peace beyond my understanding. Since then, I’ve dropped some people from my orbit, not that I harbor any ill-will, I just can’t and won’t deal with drama anymore where I can help it. It’s exhausting, but they are going to have to deal with their Mr. Grinch attitude and issues all by themselves. 🤢 I have other important things to focus my time on and so do you! I’m a faithful friend, but when you become a leech on my skin, sucking up my energy, etc., as my husband said they had to do with leeches when he was in the jungles of Vietnam, carefully burn them off to remove them and their blood-sucking stingers. 🔥 Then, move on. Acquaintances are many but true ride or die friendships are rare, and precious. 💎

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are so right on and that’s how I knew I was growing because I wouldn’t have recognized the issue in my 20’s & it was a professor of ours who pointed out how my ex- friend looks up to me. Eventually, I began using to much energy. I would write her affirmations of encouragement, poems specifically to motivate her, & pass on tools that helped me. I know in my heart I did my best, but I shouldn’t have had to work that hard. Thanks my love!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for sharing this experience, Tammy. I’m struggling right now to understand the strange behavior of a person I regard as a friend. Is it a case of envy since I’ve recently published my second novel? I don’t know. She never responded to my email about its release.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Very interesting examples of envy! I think you have the understanding that moving on is sometimes the only way to get to a better place for you. This is a natural process in life as everyone has their own distinct path and pace for growth..

    Liked by 2 people

  8. “It no longer felt like a friendship” really resonates with me. I’m sorry you had to end your friendship. These things can be just as traumatic as romantic relationships, but your peace is worth more than everything you’ve described.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Exactly, it doesn’t work/ help if we’re not honest. People always ask after I speak at an event, how do I share such personal stories & if I worry about what other’s think. My response is that is not my focus. My focus is first lesson’s for my kids & grandson’s so they don’t make the mistakes I did & second, simply not wanting people to feel alone like I did & know that others can relate.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. This is such a read! I’m quite young, but I do understand you deeply. Most people are stuck with envy and for no good reason. Imagine, throwing a lifetime of friendship for no good reason. It’s quite unfortunate, but the truth. I think talking about things and stamping every form of envy is a way to go. Your health is restored ma. Keep motivating us! Some friendships are not a must. If they aren’t helping us, they need to cut off. You can’t have an envious friend in your circle since she may intentionally do things to bring you down mentally, physically, financially or psychologically.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You may be young my friend, but I see you definitely understand. Thank you so much because it began to feel like that was exactly her mission-to try breaking me down. I simply feel bad for her and will pray for her.

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