Wow, Where Do I Begin?
I am a 49 year old woman with two beautiful almost adult children. I find myself very jealous with my boyfriend, who tells me he loves me very much.
He was not the first and only boyfriend I felt this way with. I hate watching TV, sometimes hate even going out with him as I dread running into some gorgeous woman. For some reason I think he would rather be with them or even make love to them.
He is 9 years younger than me, but treats me well and I truly believe he loves me. I have been married twice to two men, who as far as I know, never were unfaithful.
I was raped when I was 16, taking my virginity, and having a child from the experience, who I gave up for adoption as I was too young to take care of him. My first husband was very abusive, beating me up every 2-3 days for stupidity. My second husband, who I had both children with, thought it was more important to never be home then spend time with his family.
My mom separated from my Dad when I was two years old, after he broke my arm on purpose. He was a very mean and heartless man who I had to look out for all my younger years as he said he would return and take me with him. My mom warned me continuously during my childhood, "Watch out for Dad!"
I lived like that until he passed away many years ago.
I am a very good looking woman, so people tell me, who really takes care of herself. I find myself thinking bad thoughts almost on a daily basis about my boyfriend. It's the first time I truly feel like a man loves me, he is so good to me! How can I stop thinking these stupid thoughts that he wants someone else, that he would sleep with anyone? That I truly don't want him to even watch TV as there are naked women "everywhere."
Any help would be appreciated.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello Dyan, and thanks for telling your story here. It is good that you are with someone who truly loves you. You are ready to heal and have good relationships and a good life, and that's why you chose him.
The thing is, I don't think you love yourself--that's usually the cause of the jealous feelings you describe. It goes like this...if you knew how wonderful you really are, and how much he really loves you, you would not be jealous. You would be calm, confident and content.
Your personal history is fairly complex, but you can sort it out. I suggest you do the "Trauma Writing" journaling process described on this page. Go as far back as you can remember, and write about everything that happened. As you write, focus on having compassion and empathy for that little girl, Dyan. She is the heart of your story, and who you are--and she is very, very good.
Nothing that went wrong in your childhood was your fault. The rape was not your fault. And yet at some level, you probably blame yourself, and feel shame. (For example, you said your ex husband beat you up "for stupidity." That's not why he beat you up--he beat you up because he was a sick, abusive man.) It is normal to blame yourself for abuse done to you by others, but not necessary.
These imagery processes for emotional healing will guide you through a process where you can actually revisit your traumatic memories, and rescue that wounded, confused and abandoned child, and that 16 year old Dyan who was raped.
This is a lot to do all on your own. I strongly encourage you to consider getting a copy of Nurturing Your Inner Child, an audio CD program that guides you through an emotional healing program designed to help you to love yourself for who you are. This will make it easier for you to do the visualization exercises.
Also, Dyan, jealousy is a form of anxiety in a way. Anxiety is fear, and you are afraid that your boyfriend is cheating on you or going to.
I recommend you get a copy of these CDs on self esteem, and listen to them regularly. These are professionally designed programs, and I use them both personally and professionally. I am an affiliate with ThinkRightNow, the producer of the CDs, that's how much I believe in them.
The most important thing here, Dyan, is that you 1) work to heal your past emotional wounds, and 2) learn to love and appreciate the good person you are and always have been.
You can do this, Dyan. Believe in yourself and the goodness in your heart.
My very best to you,