There’s one word– jealousy–but it can feel very different for me, like there should be multiple words.

sad, scared jealousy

Sad, scared jealousy makes me want comfort.  It makes me want a hug, and to be told I’m loved and special.  Rationally I know I’m probably ok, but my body is having a hard time believing it.

This type can can be a range, from a small pang, all the way to full on terror.  I can feel very destabilized, like the rug is pulled out from under me, and everything I knew to be true is false.  I can lose my sense of security with a particular person, or I can lose my sense of security with myself or the whole world.

angry jealousy

Angry jealousy can feel like rage–wordless, violent.  My panic turns outer, rather my usual grief or panic turned inner.  Like the sad, scared jealousy, it’s bodily.  I feel like a howling, injured animal stuck in a trap.  I’m trapped in a situation that’s intolerable to me, and I can’t see a way out.

Something deeply painful, it makes me want to destroy shit, burn it all to the ground, and leave society.  I feel this when I’m intentionally deceived, or something that I badly needed was promised to me is taken away.  I met the requirements, but there’s been a bait and switch, or the person was not real to begin with.

Never do I actually destroy property or physically attack people, but I have verbally attacked people, yelled, and even screamed.  It’s not common, but that potential is inside me.


Then there’s more logistical jealousy, like I’m going to be left out and lose resources I need.  I can be weird about that, if my spouse is loving someone other than me–not necessarily even sexual love.  If he’s caring for someone else, and my spidey sense is activated–it’s like the hair on the back of my neck stands up.

I feel a sense of spooked scarcity.  If he gives her the ________, what if I need it one day?  How could he put her before me?  It’s a disrespected feeling, and it’s creepy.  It’s entitlement, like my spouse owes me something, so how dare he give it to her, or even consider it.

A small part of me does want to be queen, at least of my spouse’s heart and resources.  I feel slighted if he gives money to someone else, if I see that person as a threat.  Really, I don’t want to live in the world this way.  I wish I felt an abundance, that there’s more than enough resources to go around, and I can relax.


I have a jealousy workbook.  The work is really not fun.  I wish I could ignore jealousy and it would just go away, or if my spouse would conform his behavior so I never need to feel it.  But that’s not in keeping with my values.  I need freedom, and he does too.  To form close relationships with other people, to have physical pleasure with other people in multiple ways, and to have a life without me.

We’re inter-dependent, with true love, family feelings, and care for one another as disabled people.  But he’s his own person, and I’m my own person too.  Part of me would like to glom onto him.  But most of me understands that to have a happy family, we need our own identifies and own minds.  A little space goes a long way.

I need to rest and have time not caring for him.  I love the person I am when I’m with him, but I need time off too, to hear my own mind by itself.

I’ve never had a profile pic on a social media that was me and him, or me and anyone.  It’s really important to me, to be seen as an individual.  I’m so cozy and loving that some people might not notice my strong need to be differentiated.  When a friend writes a letter to both of us, I’ll bristle.  My spouse and I share so much–I resent being asked to share what I don’t want to share.


I used to hate sharing food with my spouse.  Growing up poor, neglected, and abused, I was in competition with my brother for food.  I was like a dog who growls if anyone comes near her food bowl.  My spouse had no idea I had this issue, and he was surprised early in our relationship, when I freaked out when he took some food off my plate or even near my plate.

Or when he wanted to buy something from a food truck and split it–I was like, uh, why would we do that?  To him it was easy and cozy.  To me it was very scary.  How would I be sure I had enough?  Some weird idea of justice was hurting me, from having my boundaries violated over and over as a kid.  My brother was favored and given more resources than I was, as the baby and the boy and the non-disabled one.

I feel sorry for little Nest who needed space.  I needed quiet, sensory needs met, enough food, medical care, to be heard, to be respected.


When the man I loved visited, his lips were sunburned and chapped from this desert.  I found some lip balm I’d been given as a party favor, and I gave it to him.  He smelled it and couldn’t identify the scent.

“It’s vanilla,” I said.

“Oh yeah,” he said.  “It takes me back to my first girlfriend.  She wore Vanilla Fields.”  He got a nostalgic look on his face, and my body filled with revolted fear.

I was jealous of this first girlfriend because she was a person long ago who deserved to be close to him, honored, cared for, kissed, loved, chosen, and called a girlfriend.  I’d wanted all of that, from his man, and got none of it.

Immediately I judged my feeling.  Wow, how pathetic am I, to be jealous of a 14 year old girl 25 years ago?  There must be something really wrong with me, I thought.


Of course there’s nothing wrong with me.  I just was being harmed by this man who was visiting.  He wasn’t communicating, and he’d used me sexually two nights before.

I needed to be cherished as I was cherishing, to feel safe with this man I adored.  I was making myself extremely vulnerable to him, welcoming him into my home and family.  Feeding him, connecting with him, offering him my body, supporting him, and trying to build a strong in-person relationship.

There’s nothing wrong with me, that I know how to love and will show up to do that, while this man is not able / interested in doing that for me.  The feelings surged through as jealousy, but I won’t hate myself.  I’ll make better choices, say no to harm, and be close to people who respect me, are capable of love, and care enough to tell the truth.

under feelings

Yes, jealousy can be jealousy, but it can also have other feelings under it.  Feeling secure is a struggle.  I refuse to hate myself for anything.  Jealousy is vilified, especially among people who are poly or relationship anarchist.  But I’m going to show up with compassion for everyone I love, even me.

By Nest

Curious, disabled Earth Goddess, telling the truth.

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