First of all, let me say thank you to Tami for inviting me to guest blog today. And a little apology to Tami, because I was severely delinquent in sending her this post. You see, I had a lot of trouble figuring out what to write, and besides that I’m a writer and therefore I’m inherently a procrastinator.
Merriam Webster defines “jealousy”
: an unhappy or angry feeling of wanting to have what someone else has
: an unhappy or angry feeling caused by the belief that someone you love (such as your husband or wife) likes or is liked by someone else
When Tami asked me to write on jealousy, I was ecstatic. She asked me way back in March or April, because she’s a planner (of which I’m jealous). I thought I would write about a character or do a short story. But none came. This morning, July 10th, I woke up and thought I’d write about sibling rivalry which is a form of jealousy. I have the most experience in my own life with this, because I’m a baby sister, and I have three kids, so I’ve experienced sibling jealousy. Then I thought I’d write about my jealousy of other people’s hair. I don’t have hair (due to alopecia areata), and while it’s nice sometimes, when I see long, flowing hair, jealousy runs through my blood stream until I want to rip it from someone’s head and implant it on mine. Okay—not really. I mean, they do make some great wigs and all. I hemmed and hawed to some writer friends that I don’t normally write about jealousy and felt at a loss, and then I remembered Gideon.
Who is Gideon? Gideon is a character in my not-yet-edited work-in-progress who is jealous of anyone who is close to his girlfriend, Lana. At seventeen years old, he is already a sociopath struggling with normal teenage issues, as well as issues of conscience. In Little Birdhouses his jealousy leads to one bad decision after another until he has committed a crime he can’t undo. Gideon, in essence, is destroyed by his jealousy and destroys someone else’s life because of it.
When I wrote Little Birdhouses, I didn’t strive to make Gideon a jealous guy. I wanted him to be a sociopath. I wanted Lana to be so enthralled with him that she doesn’t even notice his flaws. (This is also called limerence, and boy do I have experience in that department!) And fell for Gideon is what Lana did. She fell for his Southern charm, his cocky smile, his boyish good lucks and she missed his jealous signs despite warnings from people she was close to. He separated her from her friends, slowly but surely, pulling her closer to him as she alienated her family and her other friends. She fell for him without realizing the tether holding her to him and pulling her further away from her loved ones.
And this is the way with jealousy, isn’t it? It makes one blind to reality. The jealous person is blind to their beholder’s desires, personal goals, and wishes and often acts only as a result of their jealousy. The object of the jealousy is objectified and becomes more of a dream than a goal. The object has to be obtained at all costs, despite the repercussions. People are killed in jealous rages all the time, and the line is, “I loved her so much that I couldn’t stand the thought of her with someone else.” Jealousy is an insecurity that rips a hole and pulls the trust and security out of a relationship, vein by vein.
In the end of Little Birdhouses, Gideon doesn’t get over his jealousy. He is wracked with mental illness and the jealous-streak remains engrained in who he is as a character. Jealousy destroys Gideon, but it also picks apart at Lana’s world and shows this teenager that love isn’t always comfortable and warm. Lana realizes at the end that Gideon may not even have loved her, that he was driven by mental illness and a blinding jealousy that almost leaves her dead.
Jealousy doesn’t have to destroy. It can be overcome with diligent work in a relationship. Communication is the key to get a relationship on track again, and trust. Because after all, jealousy indicates a lack of trust on the part of one or both of the partners in the relationship.
To hear more about Little Birdhouses, and the characters check out my blog below. I’ll be releasing excerpts of the book, teasers, and eventually a cover, as I prepare it for publication!
The Greene Pen (Newsletter Signup): http://eepurl.com/bo4ILP — sign up before July 31st, and you will be automatically entered into a drawing for a signed copy of my new book, The Devil Within.
My daughter is learning the different behaviors of jealousy in dealing with kids from her school. We talk about how jealousy ruins people and and friendships, and how to identify manipulative behaviors. She’s only 13, and she’s aware of it in her school friends and in some of the neighborhood kids. It’s crazy how it can go to far. She’s very much into the psychology of people, so I think she will love his book.