Google’s a shitty dictionary. I Googled “define jealousy” (And a note: I’ve been experimenting with Neeva, an alternative to Google that’s pretty. fucking. cool. BUT… I don’t use Neeva in incognito mode, because you need an account – free – to use it. And I don’t feel like creating a second Neeva account for my incognito existence.)
Here’s Google’s (useless) definition:
Ok, ok. So I googled “jealous.”
That second definition (oddly, the first bullet) feels like a useful starting point for what I have to say here. I was thinking about “jealousy” the other day, and I came up with this working definition, in my mind, for the emotion I experience as jealousy: “Fearing that someone about whom one cares, may forget about oneself in favor of another.” Or, differently, “The fear that someone about whom one cares will replace the space one holds in their mind with another person.”
These feel like what I mean when I use the concept.
I realized that I have a related, more primitive fear: it’s the same as jealousy, but minus the requirement for another person to take one’s place in the person’s mind. Most of the time I think I feel jealousy, I think, I actually feel this other, more primitive, fear – the fear that I have simply ceased to exist for another.
I’ve written about this a million times, but I found it helpful to note this relationship between my annihilating fear of no longer existing in a woman’s mind and the more familiar, less primitive, less… annihilating… jealousy.
In my mind, if a woman (you?) aren’t thinking about me – all the time – I fear that I may literally not exist. I mean, not rationally.
I know my existence doesn’t depend on your thinking of me.
But my body doesn’t.