Envy means "to bear a grudge toward someone due to coveting what that person has or enjoys." In a milder sense, it means "the longing for something someone else has without any ill will intended toward that person."
I'm intimately familiar with the emotion of envy. I've felt it for as long as I can remember. I've longed for so many things other people have that I don't.
A mother. A father. A childhood free of fear and the iron grip of an alcoholic, mentally ill father. A parent who shows up occasionally for a school function. A brother or sister.
And now, I also feel it when I see couples. Happy couples, unhappy couples, young couples, old couples, couples discussing their everyday lives over dinner or arguing over groceries, couples who text each other and touch each other and look at each other longingly.
I don't want anyone else to be alone or miserable just because I am. I don't even want to be in a relationship right now. I don't think I'd be any good for anyone, anyway.
Before I find myself involved with anyone else again, I have a lot to do on my own. You know, a few little things like healing, learning to do everything on my own when I used to be spoiled rotten by Dave, confronting the trauma I've experienced and my fear of losing again, learning to be okay with being with myself, alone, which should all take, oh...forever.
It's not that I think that having what others have will fix my problems or take away my pain. Instead, seeing couples makes me long for what I lost and want back so badly. My love. The love of my life.
I was so very, very loved and that man was my everything. All that I see reminds me of the loss of that.
I can think thoughts like The love you had wasn't lost, it's with you, inside of you and Comparing your situation to others' is pointless and Be grateful for what you DO have, but feeling them deeply is something very different.
It feels like the love we had is gone. He is not here to hold me or touch me or tell me how lucky he feels to have found me. I have my memories, but even they are painful, still because they're all I have.
It feels like I'm alone in a sea of couples.
Statements of gratitude still feel empty when I miss him so much and face a life without him.
My biggest concern right now is that on top of just missing someone I so adored, I also don't know how to value or love myself unless I'm wanted and loved by Dave.
Why do I feel so meaningless when I don't get a check-in text or a declaration of love from him? Why do I feel worthless when he's not there to pick me up at the airport? Why does it feel less meaningful to cook for just me than to cook for him? Why do I feel ugly unless he's telling me I'm beautiful? Why do feel stupid unless he's telling me I'm smart? Why do I feel terrified unless he's taking care of me? Why do I feel so lost unless he's telling me where we're headed together? Why do I feel lonely unless he's there, even when I'm surrounded by people? Why do I feel misunderstood and left out unless he's taking an interest in me?
Scariest of all, how will I ever feel okay without him and is it possible to feel okay again without the love of a man, without being a part of a couple? Can I value myself even when no one loves me like that?
Will there come a time when I can see couples and feel okay with my single status? Will I be able to look at families and not feel like I'm missing out on everything? Will hearing someone say "We've been married for 40 years," not turn my heart inside out and leave it barely beating?
In the meantime, I miss the man who made me feel complete and gave me a sense of true belonging for the first time in my life. I miss my family and I feel very alone even when surrounded by people.
In the meantime I hope for the strength it takes to learn self love and acceptance.
I hope for the ability to appreciate myself without any outside reassurance that I'm worth appreciating, and I'm going to do whatever it takes to get there.