by MONTY DIMOND
Isn’t feeling jealous a real bitch? What a foul emotion it is. It manages to rear its ugly head when you least expect it.
I remember the first time I felt jealous. I was about four. I called up my best friend Lauren, to see if she wanted to come over for the afternoon. Her mum answered the phone and told me she couldn’t because she was already playing at someone else’s place. I vividly remember feeling sad, angry and annoyed. A cocktail of emotions screamed ‘welcome to the land of jealousy little lady’. And that was it, that one day back in 1985 introduced a brand new feeling to me, a feeling that still manages to creep into my life a little too regularly.
I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve felt jealous on many occasions, usually for ludicrous reasons. There was a girl at school I was jealous of because she was a faster swimmer than me. Another girl had a super hot bod that I wished was mine. I also felt pangs of jealousy because a girl at my school had been on Double Dare (I loved that show!).
Unfortunately, jealousy doesn’t disappear when we arrive in adult land. I was speaking to a female friend of mine the other night that has a fairly senior role in the corporate world. She often complains about her colleagues, but it’s only ever the female ones. When I pointed this out to her she acknowledged that there is a lot of unhealthy competition between the women. Even though there are more men than women that work there, she has only ever felt jealous of the other ladies.
I don’t remember ever being jealous of the male species, maybe a little envious here and there, but not that vicious ‘I want you to faaaaaail!’ jealousy that I have felt for other girls. I have never heard my boyfriend or other male friends being truly jealous. I wonder if this yucky emotion grips ladies far more than gents? Is it in the nature of women to be competitive with each other? I really don’t want this to be true.
I fly the pro women flag so high but then feel like such a fraud when I get jealous of a fellow dame. It’s confronting to think of all the times I have felt this way and lately it has been even more prevalent making me feel especially uneasy.
When I had my son 10 months ago it appeared that I also managed to give birth to a green monster. Like most women, my career took a back seat once my child no longer resided in my womb. The career that I had worked my ass off for, felt like it was slipping through my fingers. I had gone from being work obsessed and super busy, to sitting on a couch with a kid hanging off my teat. At times I found this confronting and overwhelming.
As I was at home caring for my baby, I found myself getting really jealous of other women’s careers. Instead of celebrating their success, I would feel angry that the same opportunities weren’t being offered to me.
The fact that I have so many supportive women in my life, that have helped my career progress in leaps and bounds made these feeling so much uglier. On top of the jealousy, I felt guilty for being jealous of women who were so deserving of success. Such a vicious cycle that has been bloody hard to break.
Over time, and a sprinkling of therapy, I’ve started facing the jealousy demons head on. I’m now more aware of when I’m feeling jealous and get great pleasure in not paying it much attention. I have a great girlfriend who is one of the only women I know who has rarely felt jealousy. I’m totally jealous of her for that. Hmmm, still a little way to go.
Katie “Monty” Dimond is a broadcaster and media personality. She has appeared on Channel Ten, Channel Nine, and Nova FM. She is currently busy being a full time Mum and loving it!
When have you ever found yourself feeling jealous of other people? Do you tend to feel jealous of women rather than men?