Jealousy and hatred are powerful emotions. We have all felt them, particularly as teenager when our worlds are so ravaged by hormones and emotions. If someone has found peace, they can let go of these feelings, but I think most of us harbor some weird thing that cuts to our core, past our peace, and rears its ugly head from time to time. I don’t think anyone is entirely free of this emotion because at a weak moment, something will recall painful feelings from a childhood trauma and for no rational reason, we find ourselves seething because someone has something, or is something, that we desperately wanted at some painful time in our life.
I credit Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) for teaching me how to get past most of my insecurities. When I was the most sick, I simply did not have the energy to care what people thought or did or were. Once I had tasted life, free of these insatiable fiends in my head, I realized how much more pleasant life was and how it took the teeth out of mean people. You see, when you seek validation in everyone you meet, as I did, it is like handing a light saber to those that enjoy watching you squirm when they show you disdain or condemnation. (My mother in law was a master at making me feel like shit until I figured out her game.)
It took me a long time to realize that the root of the most powerful negative feelings in my head was, in fact, jealousy. For the most part I have gotten over the things I used to be envious of because they aren’t important to me anymore (thank you again RA). However, despite my best efforts, I have one flash point. Mind you, I do not act on this flash point, I recognize it and rein it in, reducing it to more of a joke or curiosity. Unfortunately, it still lives in the back of my brain like a gremlin, waiting to be fed in a moment of weakness.
What do I hate for no reason? What makes me jealous in every aspect of its being? What is so powerful that it can make me instantly dislike someone I’ve never met and who, most often, is a mere child?
There, I said it, I HATE cheerleaders. Don’t get me wrong, I know it is stupid, ridiculous, irrational, and flat out mean, but seeing a cheerleader makes every hurtful feeling that ever assaulted my sensibilities as a vulnerable teenager rush back up like a tidal wave that engulfs me in in its madness. I really should make clear here that I CAN differentiate between this irrational feeling and real people. I know plenty of very nice cheerleaders and former cheerleaders. I was a cheerleader myself for a year and my mother was head cheerleader, homecoming queen, and married the captain of the football team (it didn’t last long, but that is another story.)
I won’t go into the long story that spawned these feelings, but suffice it to say, they stem from allowing myself to be the victim of classic Mean Girls. I would like to say these feelings are limited to current cheerleaders, but the really sad thing is, cheerleaders never go away. Some grow out of the catty clique thing, but some don’t, and continue it long past graduation. I’ve watched a group of military wives, all in their 30-40’s, make dreadful fools of themselves by putting on a “dance” routine to entertain everyone at an event, dressed like Madonna in the ’80’s, and doing a dance that I’m pretty sure was choreographed by a head cheerleader 15 years ago. What gags me the most about this is that the last thing in the world I would want to do is be up there with them, and yet, I am eaten up by jealousy. Probably it is partly the attention they were getting (even though I wouldn’t want to be viewed like that), that they were such a cohesive group (why would I even want to BE part of that shallow, silly, meaningless clique), and that their husbands were proud of their wives in their sexy outfits and doing highly suggestive moves (that I would have been embarrassed to do and would have mortified my husband!) Okay, other than wishing my husband was a bit less of a prude, there was nothing I wanted up on that stage. So why did it piss me off that they were up there?
Want to know something even more sad? While they were prancing around like 16 year old’s, I was on my way to a huge trophy that represented a far greater accomplishment than their silly dance, so I should have been feeling really good about myself. (Hmmm, maybe I’m onto something there. I am jealous of people that get recognition for stupid stuff when people that are doing amazing things go totally unnoticed, but such is the world.)
Bottom line, I don’t let this ruin my life, they are momentary feelings that I can recognize as stupid and toss away (unless I’m feeling depressed, then I might stew on it for a while). Still, the fact that I feel them at all troubles me; the fact that when I am feeling my worst/lowest, seeing two teenagers walking down the street in their over done hair and matchy-matchy purses that they obviously shopped for together, makes me cross-eyed; or the fact that I can not seem to root this ugliness out of my brain, frustrates me.
Maybe I should see a hypnotist or exorcist…