I don’t like admitting that I’m not all I want to be cracked up to be. I don’t like admitting that I have faults. I know they’re there, mind you, I just don’t like naming them and admitting them. I really don’t like admitting to having a faulty thought process. My mind is my most valuable possession. If it’s not working properly, or as required of me, I tend to begin to feel as if my entire being is flawed and that there is nothing worthwhile here. Yes, I am aware that this pattern is a flaw as well. Right now, I’m not liking myself much at all. I’m working on it, but damned if this was an unexpected repair job to pull on myself. I feel rather like a moron for even needing it. I hate the very word jealousy. It’s a pointless thing, you see. As I’ve said before, as other polyamorists have said before, it’s an umbrella term used to cover a lot of other emotions, thoughts and unmet/unspoken needs. I have been absolutely devoured with jealousy this past few weeks. Part of it is at least understandable, if somewhat unfounded. Most of it isn’t founded in anything but old insecurities and wounds that are popping up for me. A fair amount of it is that I had some very certain ideas of how all this was going to happen and how it would look and function; and damn it all but J and T are humans with their own thoughts, desires and ideas about how things should be. Their ideas and needs and so on have made a mess of my pretty little mantelpiece family photo! How rude and inconsiderate of them! (Right?) So, what am I being jealous about? T and J, I apologize, I know I haven’t talked to you about this very plainly. I’m a bit embarrassed and ashamed of myself for even feeling this way. I need a cute kitten picture that screams “Do Not Like!” Lately I’ve been very jealous about time. It has seemed that J spends his evenings with T actually being with her, enjoying her being with him. When he and I have time together, he falls asleep. This has been going on for about a month. So in this case, the jealousy isn’t totally unfounded, but it is there. As I know that jealousy is that umbrella term, the real responses there are that I find that when this happens, I feel unimportant and uninteresting to J. I don’t “blame” T for it, but I find myself envying her for being “more interesting” and “more fun” to be around. Then I go sit alone while they have their time and stare into space and let myself sink lower and lower until I am close to tears. When J falls asleep the instant we’re alone, I find myself becoming agitated and unhappy and even angry at times. I feel “cheated” and I’ve realized that the refrain in my mind in this situation is “again.” It whispers at me, “He’s not going to spend time with you, again,” or “He’s all energetic about seeing her, again.” Any number of configurations that seem designed to make me unhappy about the situation and that keep my mind dwelling on the things I’m not getting. I realized how bad it was getting when J spent the evening with me yesterday. We both ended up staying up until well past midnight. Most of the evening we just stretched out on my bed watching a movie. (J has been sick lately.) J rested his hand on me, occasionally kissed my shoulder, held me close to him, and all I could do was fight with myself because my mind wanted to stay focused on how he wasn’t touching me and how much time we don’t get together. I was right there, with J feeling so sick he really didn’t want to do much and still reaching out and being affectionate with me, and I couldn’t keep my mind off of all the reasons to be unhappy! That’s when I realized I needed to stop and just be honest with myself. This morning, T tells me that she and J had already talked about the sleeping schedule for the weekend. Before she could say anything I felt that sinking feeling drawing me back down into the dark and lonely places. I knew that it was the weekend and he’d be with her “again” and I’d have to figure out what to do with myself and let go of the idea of him being with me again until Monday. Bearing in mind, this isn’t some sort of “pattern” that has been established. In fact, it has only happened a couple of times where J spent an entire weekend with T. When T told me that they’d decided that since Sunday is hers, she had suggested he stay with me tonight, I couldn’t even respond. I was taken so by surprise, and not because J or T are “mean” to me, but because I’ve allowed myself to sell myself the idea that J doesn’t really want to be with me and that T doesn’t care about my relationship with J. Oh, my mind is a beautiful thing, it really is. It convinced me of all that without any real evidence to support those thoughts. The realities are, J wants to be with me. He loves me and misses having time with me when we don’t get to have time together. Yes, he falls over in a pile of roughly J-shaped clothing when he’s with me rather often. This is because he trusts me to understand the stresses he’s been facing and to be supportive of him, because I always have been. If T weren’t part of the equation, I wouldn’t be so upset about this, and that’s always a good litmus test for a poly relationship when someone starts feeling insecure. “Would this be the case if it were just the two of us?” Honestly, if it were just the two of us, it might be worse. J confides deeply in me, and trusts me to be understanding of his needs and the state of his mind. He trusts me so much, he doesn’t even question it. If he needs to have a very quiet, stress-free time, then I should at least be secure enough by this stage to provide that and to enjoy the time I have instead of worrying about what I don’t have. I have been able, in the past couple of weeks, to get over the idea that T is out to hurt me or to push me aside. The problems that led to this jealousy thing happening weren’t T’s doing. They were J’s doing, and my own doing. That helps, and seeing T as an ally instead of a threat is an infinitely better way of living in this household. But what on earth is leaving me so bound up with the idea that J doesn’t want me? I mean, these thoughts cover everything from “He doesn’t love me” to “I’m too old and ugly for him now.” I’ve had to do a lot of thinking on this. The problem stem from, I am certain, my last ex. I barely survived that one. He was deeply passive-aggressive, and would withdraw affection and hold it hostage to get me to do what he wanted. When we parted, he was not kind about it at all. I had thought those wounds were pretty well healed, but I was not correct in that assessment of the damages. Feeling unwanted isn’t about J or T in this case; it’s about that ex and the many ways he convinced me I was not worthwhile. I feel like a complete noob right now. I should know better than to let things like this take me over. Sometimes I really dislike being human. So, reality stepping in: Yes, J and I have been struggling on the intimacy front. We’re working on it. I need to accept what is and stop worrying so much about what isn’t or what I think someone else is getting that I’m not. I need to appreciate the time we’re together and find the off switch for those voices that keep telling me all about what I’m not getting. I need to stop comparing what happens with T and what happens with me when we’re with J. Reality: I have been with J for years. He’s not going to be acting like a guy who just fell face first into love with me because he didn’t. That was years ago. If the situation were reversed, I’d be as love struck with a new metamour as he is, and that’s OK because it has no bearing on his feelings for me. I need to appreciate the peace and security that has come with a long-term relationship. I’ve always wanted this. I’ve always wanted someone who was “here to stay” and who I could be comfortable in the presence of. Someone I didn’t have to be “on queue” for but who I could just sit quietly in a room with if the mood so struck us. I have that with J. I need to stop letting myself sulk (and that’s what it is) over the fact that we got here, and let myself continue to enjoy this as I have for the past few years. (On a side note, T has made comments about feeling similarly because she and J aren’t there. We girls can’t win for losing sometimes, right? I find the viewpoint amusing, honestly.) I need to just relax and not kick myself so much. I’ve seen the problem and can handle it. I just don’t like being so petty and so dissatisfied when I know, rationally, that there’s no real reason for it.