I’m not a jealous person when it comes to houses or clothes or cars. The things that make me jealous do not include other people’s beauty or status. I don’t get all green over relationships, either.

What makes me jealous?

What will keep me up at night hating myself for wanting something someone else has?



When others get to do things I can’t.

I don’t have the fear of missing out. I have the knowledge.

I know that there are things that people my age are doing that I could if I wasn’t sick. Finish school, travel, stay out past eleven o’clock, work rewarding jobs, and most recently, act.

It hadn’t really hit me before. Of course I was jealous of famous actors. Not being able to perform gnaws away at me on more than one level. But the friends I had who have experienced success I was proud of. I couldn’t be angry because I was too excited for them. But what I was ill prepared for was seeing someone succeed at something by accident. To see a person stumble into what I would love to spend the rest of my life doing was too much.

Having un-integrated Dissociative Identity Disorder means that I lack the stamina and the psychological wholeness required to act. Chronic fatigue ushers me out of long rehearsals and weekends of shows. DiD keeps me from being able to pretend to be a different person without harmful consequences. It is just something that I simply cannot do right now.

This brand of jealousy is difficult for most of the current people in my life to understand. They have never seen me act so they haven’t seen that part of me. They simply have nothing to use to qualify what I have to say about how I feel. Maybe it would be easier if I suddenly couldn’t sing or write, but it is what it is.

When I came across a picture of a high school acquaintance receiving an award for a film I was acutely aware of how jealous I was. Reading his humble words about how this is nothing he ever expected and that GOD was working in his life slapped me in the face. For the first time, I couldn’t be happy for another person’s success. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m getting older and that women have a shorter career life than men do (Check out Amy Schumer’s video to see what I mean. NSFW). Maybe it’s because GOD was using someone else to do something He knows I want. Maybe I’m just a jerk. Regardless, it kept me up.

But what I understand in a tangible way is what it’s like to have your illness take something from you. There are little kids with cancer who are doing chemo instead of preschool, adults with Lupus and other autoimmune disorders that can’t get out of bed or keep a meal down, there are people everywhere who are seeing things they dreamed about coming true in other’s lives and not theirs. Girls and guys who have fought their diseases and it left them sterile. Men and women who went to war and came back missing limbs and healthy parts of their brain.

Did you know if you scanned my brain and compared it to a healthy one it would look different? Did you know that trauma actually induces premature aging? Did you know that my medications make my womb hostile? That my diagnosis could be used against me with respect to adopting children?

Do you know what it is like to lay something down over and over and over again because you want it that badly that you can’t seem to really let go?

That’s what it’s like. Those feelings are what drive chronically ill people to be depressed and anxious. Our lives are informed by our diseases in ways that someone who isn’t chronically ill can’t begin to understand. Even what is normally not considered a dream or aspiration can be for us. Walking, talking, avoiding seizures, getting enough sleep; these are things that most people don’t think about but my niece Kaya will be lucky to achieve and maintain.

I have friends with incurable diseases. Their illness could take their lives from them.

And here we all are, under this umbrella of chronic illness knowing that the fact that we are alive is a big deal. But it doesn’t make the relatively small things easier. Maintaining healthy perspective is a job unto itself.

When everything comes to light, it can trigger a terrible cycle of feeling jealous, getting angry, realizing it’s awesome that you’re even alive, feeling guilty for all the things that you can do that others can’t, beating yourself up for being selfish, getting depressed, being vulnerable to getting jealous, rinse and repeat.

Like the second image says, “Jealousy–Most cruel pain“.

It is cruel and it is painful. It isn’t just the spiteful thing we make it out to be. It can come out of nowhere and be debilitating. When you are chronically ill it is hard to keep your head up the way everyone tells you to. And the same way that compliments can be ruined by one insult, 100 things that you can do can be overshadowed by the one thing you can’t. So for those of us with multiple things we can’t do, it really really really sucks.

When someone who is chronically ill is hurting from missing out, don’t remind them of how far they’ve come or how much they have achieved, just admit that it blows and eventually, it won’t.

That’s all we really need.







PHOTO 1 photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/48220291@N04/14650042212″>Iscenesatt situasjon, 1900</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/commons/usage/”>(license)</a>


PHOTO 2 photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/42274165@N00/4027376826″>Winsor McCay, 1930</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>

advice, anxiety, Boundaries, but you don’t look sick, C-PTSD, care giving, caregivers, chronic fatigue, chronic illness, comfort, complex trauma, courage, depression, dreams, Faith, healing, hope, In and Out, invisible illness, jealousy, Life, living, love, mental health, mental illness, PTSD, rethink trauma, special needs, spoonie, therapy