Prolific Prose

It is a constant surprise to me how some people manage to post an article every day.  I struggle to construct a coherent paragraph during the day and yet these people just write on as if it was as natural as breathing.  How on earth do they do it?

I have been busy reading through the articles of people I have subscribed to and I am barely able to keep up!  Some are humorous, some are serious and some have religious undertones.  All of them are interesting in their own way and sometimes I even have time to write a comment (although I struggle with throwing some words together just for a comment!!).  Each and every article has been crafted by its author and I am beginning to think that they must be cheating!  There is a secret, mystical book which they all share that is full of interesting and humorous articles which they can copy onto their own respective blogs!  There must be!!  I’m convinced of it (although, with my drugs, you could easily convince me that dragons exist and that Elvis isn’t dead and is doing a concert with Michael Jackson!).

What is worse is that they have crafted their unique articles and all I have to offer is an article complaining about how they can manage to maintain their prolific writing!  Ok, I may throw in a joke here and there, but basically all I am doing is complaining about the fact that I can’t keep up with my peers.  It’s so depressing I think I’ll go curl up in a corner and cry for a bit.

At least I posted something today!

Unrequited?

This post has been sitting, unpublished for some time.  I recently had another look at it and tweeked it a little because of some spelling errors, but it is one I never intended to publish.  It is a very personal article that I didn’t want to share and, even now, I wonder about the decision.  It was written when I was very depressed and in pain.  I was thinking about past events and wrote this.  I may remove it as I have done to other posts that were written while I was depressed.  It may sound strange, but these were my thoughts while I was in a dark place…. Thank you.

Have you ever regretted something that has happened to you?

Have you ever sat and dwelt on someone?  Someone from your past that you never quite got over?  A certain someone that is always in the back of your mind?

Recently, I have.  I never was one for introspection.  I never had the time.  My life was a constant roller-coaster of events and deployments.  I didn’t have time to think about things that had happened to me, unless it was work related.  I never really thought about anything, seriously, unless it was work.  For me, my work was everything.  It defined my life, it defined who I was and my attitude toward anything personal.  In short, I didn’t really have time for a personal life.  It got in the way.

I was thinking about someone I had met.  To this day, I have no idea how the events that lead to our meeting were set in motion.  It was a flook.  Our own personal situations happened to coincide and we were thrown toward the inevitable meeting.  That’s not to say that either one of us could have changed our minds and our paths would never have crossed.  But we didn’t and they did.  It was something unique and yet sublime.

Although I try not to dwell too much in my past, this woman keeps popping up.  I think the reason is because there was no proper conclusion to our brief relationship.  The actual relationship wasn’t brief, but the time we spent together was.  As I sit here and type this, I keep thinking that it was too brief.  We didn’t have time to get to know each other on a deeply personal level but what I did learn is that I wanted to spend more time with her.  Time I didn’t have and, to my regret, time that was more important to my job.  My work came first, everything else was subject to availability!

It’s easy to sit back and think, ‘Well, I should have done it differently’.  Life doesn’t work like that.  That would be far too easy and, to be honest, far too boring.  One of the things that makes our lives interesting is the fact that we cannot predict what will happen and how our choices will affect our lives.  Sometimes (or as it appears to me, more often than not) our choices lead to life changing events that have a permanent and negative impact on our lives.  Sometimes people are fortunate in that their choices have lead to happiness and contentment (and sometimes the lottery!).  We just don’t know how our own choices will affect our lives in the years that follow.

I can still picture the first meeting.  To say I was nervous would be an understatement.  Sitting in a cafe, drinking our tea or coffee, our conversation was slightly forced.  I was shocked by how young she looked and how beautiful she was.  Never one to be vain, for the first time I became very conscious of my own appearance.  I haven’t looked young since I was about nineteen.  To any passer-by, I must have looked like a dirty old man!  Our conversation was non-consequential, it was small talk but what was taking place in the background was deeper.  The way she looked at me and her seemingly harmless touches on my hand are still vivid in my memory and my hands still feel the cool caress of her fingers.  For the first time in my life, my brain went into neutral and my heart took over.

I have never been a romantic.  I don’t think I could be even if I tried.  My brother is the lady-killer in our family, his good looks and charm have stood him in good stead in that department.  My mother once commented that I didn’t have a heart, just a lump of ice.  Admittedly, I brought that on myself, as I said, I never had time for romance.  However, with this woman everything felt different.  I don’t believe in fate or whatever, but I couldn’t help wondering how this wonderful thing had happened to me.

As the moments passed and events progressed, I became more enthralled in the spell she had apparently woven around me.  Our every moment was magical,  The time we spent together will forever be etched on my soul.  Our passion was unbound yet delicate.  I remember once, as she was sleeping and breathing gently that I had this crazy notion of wanting part of her.  I changed the rhythm of my breath so that as she breathed out, I breathed in.  The sensation was indescribable.  That simple act had the same effect as alcohol and I became giddy by the sensation.  As I think back on it, it does sound a little weird but at the time it was something beyond words.

No good thing lasts forever.  Not in my life.  In the end, I left her.  Work called and as ever, I was it’s loyal hound.  I will admit, that for the first time I actually resisted the call, not wanting the break the spell that was woven around us.  I failed and went back to my comfort zone.  That’s not to say that I didn’t think about her.  To the contrary, she occupied my mind making it very difficult for me to concentrate on work.  Eventually, though, with the enchantment of being near her broken, my life returned to normal.  Time passes and memories fade and with them, the emotions that come with them.  It’s a natural reaction otherwise the world would be populated by people who would not be able to concentrate on anything.  For me it wasn’t easy.  It took time but, maybe fortunately, that time was shortened by the work I did.

A long time has passed now.  We still keep in touch, to some degree.  She has moved on with her life and my life has all but ended.  She is vibrant and still full of life.  I am broken and old, my life drained by my injury.  I do have the memories, though and I can still feel her cool touch on my skin.

Father – Part Two

As much as I love my father, he has his faults, like anyone.  Unfortunately, his faults have had profound affects on the lives of others.

For as long as I can remember, my father has been an alcoholic.  It’s something that he denies but it is clear to everyone that knows him.  He’s not as bad as he used to be, but alcoholism is not something that you can have one day and not another.  His refusal to admit that he has a problem with alcohol has lead to numerous arguments in our house and the looser tends to be my long suffering mother.

He is also a bully.  In his prime, he was a big man and strong.  Now he is older and no longer as robust as he used to be, he uses words to bully people into thinking his way.  I don’t think being a Yorkshireman helps as they are known for being stubborn.  After he has had a drink or three, he occasionally reverts to his bullying persona, resulting in my mother being upset or doing anything in order to calm him down.  It usually ends with my father getting into a sulk and going to bed.  It’s been something my mother has had to live with for nearly 45 years and recently lead to her heart failing.  She nearly died because of the stress my father had constantly heaped upon her.

So, my father has his faults, but so does everyone.  His faults shaped the way I am.  I do not drink alcohol.  Something that was a constant item of amusement during my time in the army.  All soldiers drink.  Well, I didn’t and it just didn’t seem right.  I hate drunks.  I hate being around someone who is drunk.  Many years ago, my girlfriend turned up at my room, drunk after a night out.  I kicked her out, showing no sympathy at all for her delicate condition and the fact that she felt sick.  I just didn’t want the stink in my room.  Harsh, isn’t it.

After he kicked me out, I didn’t speak to him for several years.  I just didn’t want to know him.  I was free of him at last.  It wasn’t until I had completed my training in the Army that we began to speak to each other again, but it was guarded and just cordial.  I still felt the resentment for what he had done, but time had blunted it enough for me to re-establish contact.  Not only that, my mother had pleaded with me, asking me to speak to my father as he was making her life miserable.  I relented but it wouldn’t be for too long.

My father is ill.  Having survived three heart attacks and a stroke, he is on medication that is vital for his well-being.  The doctors had said that he wouldn’t live past 10 years after his heart attacks.  That was over 30 years ago and he is still going strong.  However, in 2000, after being notified that his brother was seriously ill, he decided to drive up to Yorkshire and see his brother in hospital.  He was drunk when he decided to drive and he forgot the tablets that were vital for his health.

I received a phone call from my very distressed mother.  She had noticed that he hadn’t taken his tablets and was worrying about my father.  I decided to drive to my parents house, pick up his tablets and then drive to the hospital in Yorkshire, where my father was.  All the way up my mind was thinking about what he had done and I got angrier and angrier.  When I finally got to the hospital and found my father, I gave him his pills and rather harsh piece of my mind.  I told him, in no uncertain terms, that he was irresponsible, dangerous, selfish and a drunk.  I also told him that unless he grew up and accepted these facts and did something to change them, I didn’t want to know him anymore.  As far as I was concerned, I didn’t have a father.  I didn’t give him an opportunity to respond as I had turned away and left the hospital and preparing for my long drive home.

If I thought that my words would have any effect on my father, I was gravely mistaken.  He wasn’t going to change, even when his life depended on it.  He adopted his usual stubborn position and even blamed my mother for my behaviour and the subsequent refusal to acknowledge him.  He continued to do whatever he wanted and when he got drunk he would snipe at my mother, blaming her for all his problems.  I can’t imagine the stress my mother was under or how she continued to stay calm while her drunken husband bullied and insulted her.

Although I was ignoring my father, I would continue to visit my mother and try to calm her.  My visits were few and far between as I was constantly being deployed.  During that period I was deployed to Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and finally Iraq.  Upon my return to the UK I would visit my mother, reassure her that I was ok and listen to her while she unloaded her problems.  My deployments didn’t help matters as she was worried every time I went away.  In the end, I wouldn’t tell her about my shorter deployments in order to relieve her of some of the worry.

I think that it was upon my return from Iraq that my father apologised to me.  I had driven up (I think I was on my motorbike at the time) to see my mother after I had got back to the UK.  The tour in Iraq had been a little difficult for me, I had been injured and seen several of my friends killed in a suicide attack.  When I got to my parent’s house it was late and my father was in bed.  My mother was always happy to see me and we were sat in the lounge chatting when my father appeared.  He was standing there and crying.  I had only seen my father cry when his mother had died in 1978.  He came to me and hugged me, crying and apologising at the same time.  I was dumbfounded and confused.  I didn’t know what to do.  My anger for this man evaporated and I found myself trying to calm him down.

We have never mentioned that day since.

We got along fine for several years.  When I was about, my father would abstain from drinking as he knew my feelings on the subject and he tried to behave better.  We weren’t close but we were on speaking terms.

It wasn’t until I suffered my spinal injury that things changed.  For the first time I actually saw a man who showed genuine concern for me.  Not only had my accident affected him but my mother had suffered heart failure and then a stroke.  All of a sudden, I think he was made aware of the mortality of those he loved but had repressed the emotions.  I think that this period was a kick up the backside for my father.

He hasn’t changed but he is trying.  Maybe a little too late but better late than never.  My father and I grew closer than we had ever been.  For the first time in my life he came to visit me at home.  By this time I was barely able to move, in a lot of pain and on enough opiates to make the drug addicts in the entire country happy for days.  During these visits we would talk, compare experiences and have a laugh and joke.  We grew closer and closer.  He did have a drink in the evening during the meal that both my mother and father had prepared during the day, but it wasn’t to excess.  I accepted that he needed a drink and relaxed my rather obsessive view on alcohol.

As I mentioned in the previous post, we call each other ever day without fail.  We are close and we share a laugh and a joke, but I haven’t forgotten what he has done and what he still does.  I do still hold him in contempt because of the past.  It’s so deeply rooted that I can’t just shake it off.  Maybe in time my feelings will change, but I doubt it.

I only have one father.  He is old, ill and has numerous faults.  He can make my mother’s life miserable when he drinks too much, but otherwise, they are getting along better than ever.  We speak every day, comparing pain and discomfort while at the same time ridiculing each other for being so weak.  He is the man that raised me, provided for me and made me excel academically.  He never stopped loving me even though I had my falling out with him.  He was worried when I was deployed and relieved when I returned home safely.  He was the one that consoled my mother while she was worrying about me and the one praying to God when she nearly died.  He is the man that tries to make a small part of my long, boring days a little more bearable.

He is my one and only father and despite his faults I love and cherish him.  One day I may even respect him, but until then, what we have is good enough.

Father – Part One

With Father’s Day fast approaching (for another year), I started thinking about my dad.  I call him dad, not father although I will refer to him as my father throughout this post and the subsequent ones.  I thought I would break them down to manageable chunks, just so you don’t get bored.

Every morning, usually like clockwork, my father phones me to see how I am doing.  I say my father but he constantly denies it, almost as much as I tell him he can’t be my father.  We then go on to insulting each other, indispersed with comments, views and assessments of current affairs.  For an outsider listening in, it would sound like a bizarre conversation.  It certainly doesn’t sound like a conversation between a father and his son who care for each other.  The conversation lasts, on average, forty minutes, sometimes longer, sometimes shorter.  It all depends on how I am feeling that day.

The phone calls started after my accident.  My father and I never used to have this kind of rapport, it’s only recent.  I will only speak to him in the morning, never in the afternoon or evenings.  Although we have a laugh and a joke during our morning conversations and, considering our very tempestuous history, I love him as much as any son could love his father, my affection does not extend past the morning.

My father and I have a complicated relationship.

My father was in the Army, something he was proud of.  He comes from Yorkshire and is proud of that too.  As a soldier and a Yorkshireman, he was as open to new ideas as a bigot living in Bigotsville.  That is to say, he wasn’t!

As their first child, I was spoilt.  On the other end of the scale, my younger brother, although loved and cared for, was not given the same amount of attention.  There was a price for this, though.  I was expected to excel at everything I did.  If I did not get straight ‘A’s on my reports from school, I would pay the price and that price tended to be painful.  My brother, on the other hand, could get ‘D’s and ‘E’s and my parents wouldn’t bat an eyelid, commenting that he wasn’t as academic as I was.  My father was very ‘Victorian’ in his views.  I was his son, my brother was my mother’s son.  Strange, I know, but in his mind, I was the heir and my brother was someone to keep me company whilst I grew up.

Obviously this was very unfair to my brother but he didn’t seem to care.  He was what people would call a loving child.  He was generous and helpful.  He adored both my mother and father and never once begrudged the fact that I got everything I asked for and he didn’t (apart from birthdays and Christmas – he always got everything he wanted then).  It wasn’t that my parents were mean to him, not in the slightest.  He just wasn’t me.  As he grew up and became aware of this, he started to change his opinion.  Naturally.

As for me, I was considered selfish.  I wasn’t a giving child and I wonder if this was one of the consequences of being pushed too hard.  Although I found school pretty easy, I resented the fact that I had to get good grades and my brother didn’t.  I resented the way I was punished if I didn’t attain the grades he expected from me.  In the end, I resented a lot of things.  I think that my rebellious nature was to be expected and it all came to a head when I was eighteen.  My father and I had a massive argument.  He was drunk and I was itching for a reason to beat him.  In the end, he kicked me out onto the streets with only the clothes on my back.

That began the contempt I felt for him.  The contempt that still exists to this day.

Why Two?

I have to admit that I have been surprised by the number of people who actually visit my blog.  Part of that is thanks to Fr David.  After he visited my site, my numbers started to increase.  The best thing, though, is that people keep coming back and reading what I write.  I had written a post a while ago where I wondered if anyone did actually read my posts.  Well, thankfully, people do (although not many leave comments!).  There is a sense of satisfaction in knowing this.  Whether it is my rather delicate ego being stroked or something more profound, the outcome is the same.  It makes me happy, which is no mean feat nowadays!

However, I do have another blog site.  One on Google Blogger.  It’s called the Accidental Observer.

On my other Blog I tend to write my opinions about topical subjects, the most recent being the arrest of the Bosnian-Serb, Mladic, the problems with our education system and the Royal Wedding.  My posts are (semi) objective insights based on my experience and knowledge.

But why have two site at all?

It’s a bit of a weird story and you’ll probably think I am mad.  However, seeing as I tend to be sharing more and more with the nameless and faceless readers of my blog, I will tell the story.

It’s actually the fault of ‘The Gadget Show’.  Not sure if any of you have actually watched it, I think it’s on Channel 4 or 5, anyway, I watch it over the internet.  It’s a show about the various new gadgets and widgets that are coming onto the market.  They cover everything from yachts to apps for your mobile phone.  I find it hugely interesting as I love my gadgets.  The presenters occasionally have a competition with each other and it was one of these competitions that caused me to start writing on Blogger.

On this site, WordPress may add the odd advertisement to get some revenue.  I don’t see them on my site but I see them when visiting some others.  On Blogger, I place my own advertisements and if anyone clicks on them, I get some money.  It’s very simple, in theory.  I thought I would try and earn some money by writing a contemporary blog covering news items.  The money would be rolling in because, as you all ready know, my wit and intelligence would woo hundreds of new readers who would inevitably click on the advertisements and thereby generate money for me.

Actually, it didn’t.

Although I get a fair number of people visiting this site, I very rarely get readers visiting my other site on Blogger.  Those that do pop over tend to be from America??  So, why is that?

I guess one of the reasons could be that there are enough professional news sites out there that provide the information most people need.  What I was hoping was that they would visit my site because of the added value of my views.  For example, on the arrest of Mladic, I mention that I have met the man several times during the course of my career.  That’s not something every news site can boast!  But it doesn’t work.  I get a single hit every few days.  It’s a total failure.

I’m not surprised, to be honest.  It would have been nice to generate a little income from the blog and it also felt like I was actually working again.  But getting noticed on an internet that is so massive is a huge undertaking and it requires a lot of money for advertising.  Not something I have handy at the moment.  That’s not to say that I will give it up.  It does have the advantage of being somewhere where I can write my (s0metimes) controversial views and opinions about current affairs, politics and whatever else is in the news at the time.  Not something I would do on this site.

Naturally, you are all more than welcome to check it out, but I warn you, it’s nothing like this.  I would say that it is cold and objective.

The Accidental Observer notwithstanding, I have this place where I can indulge myself in my personal pleasure in just writing.  There is no pressure here, I can be personal and write whatever is on my mind.  Hence this post!

On a final note and I know this is going to sound really weird but, I feel as if this blog is a friendlier place.  I have a sense of community.  I did say it was weird!!

An Unfair Struggle

When I was young I thought I was indestructible.  Doesn’t everyone?  I would risk life and limb to get an adrenalin rush.  Such are the joys of youth.

Upon joining the Army, I was introduced to the realities of my chosen career.  This was a job where you could die, a job in which people would intentionally try to kill me.  As I was young, I thought it would never happen to me.  I still thought I was indestructible but I wasn’t stupid!  I took out several insurance policies, ensuring that if something bad happened to me, I would be financially secure or, if I died, my next of kin would be.

For nearly twenty three years I paid my premiums, never complaining when they were increased and never once claiming against them, even when I was badly injured in Iraq.  I didn’t think my injury was serious enough to claim compensation and I wanted to hold the claim until I really needed it.

Unfortunately, I discovered that I am not indestructible.  I suffered a terrible accident that has left me paralysed, in chronic pain and depressed.  I can barely move without being in severe pain and my life has turned upside down.  The injury has resulted in me being medically discharged from the Army, something I never dreamed would happen.  As I was undergoing treatment for my injury, I was advised to see a claims adviser from one of the companies with which I had a policy.

Upon seeing me and getting all the details of the accident, the adviser convinced me to claim on my insurance, stating that I was guaranteed to get the appropriate compensation.  Until I had met this man, the thoughts of insurance and compensation were the last things on my mind.  My only concern was getting my injury seen to and getting better.  When I realised that there was no getting better, I made a claim to my insurance companies.  I was naive enough to believe the adviser and thought that there would be no problems.  I waited for the cheque to arrive in the post.

Little did I know that I had a greater chance of being cured than getting a penny from the insurance companies!

At first they stated that I couldn’t claim for at least a year, just in case I got better again.  I thought this was fair enough.  I had claimed compensation for being paralysed and, you never know, I could have gotten better.  Unfortunately for me, I got worse and once the year was up, I contacted the insurance companies and informed them that my condition had deteriorated.

Obviously, they didn’t believe me and wanted access to my medical records.  I had no problem at all with this, knowing that I was genuine, I signed all the release papers they sent me – then waited for the cheque to arrive in the post.

Guess what?  It never came.  Instead I received a letter stating that the injury wasn’t caused as an accident and therefore I had no basis for a claim.

To say I was shocked would be an understatement.  I was convinced that there was no way the insurance company would deny my claim.  I had been through the rigors of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme and had been awarded compensation because of the accident.  I thought that if the Ministry of Defence admitted liability then there was no way the insurance companies could deny it.  But they did.

I wrote a long and detailed reply.  I included dates, times, places and all the supporting documentation I could find.  Once I had sent the bulky package that was my hope for the future, I sat back and waited for the cheque to arrive in the post.

But no, it wasn’t going to happen.

By this time, months had passed.  My condition continued to get worse and my dosage of opiates increased, as well as a smorgasbord of other narcotics.  My mind no longer became mine to command and I often wandered off to some alternate reality.  I had a hard time telling what was real and what was not.  This not only caused distress to me but also my family that had to care for me.  The only times I was lucid were those short moments between taking the drugs.  I would have a window in which I could think, not clearly, but enough to understand what was happening around me.  I became depressed, not only because of what I had become but also due to the reticence of the insurance companies to honour their part of the contract.

I received another letter, in due course.  This time, their ‘Chief Medical Officer’ had ascertained that I had an injury prior to my accident that would have certainly led to the situation I was in at the moment.  To say I was stunned would be an understatement.  I was upset, angry, depressed and, most of all, confused as to how they managed to come to the conclusion they had arrived at.  I knew that I had never had any problems with my back before the accident and I wondered how you could get a preexisting neurological condition.

It transpired that an entry had been made in my medical documents that stated that I had back problems.  I only realised this once I had managed to obtain a copy of my medical notes (a lot harder to obtain than you may think).  I was shocked.  I never had this problem and wondered why it had been written in my medical notes.  I scrutinized my notes in detail and noticed numerous other errors in them.  I couldn’t believe it and there was little or nothing I could do about it.  I spoke with my doctor and asked if it was possible for her to write a letter stating that these were clearly errors.  There were no other entries to support this one damning report; it stood out alone with nothing to support it prior to or after it had been written.  The doctor agreed and wrote a letter stating that to the best of her knowledge it was an error.

I wrote back to the insurance company, with a copy of the doctors letter.  I explained that the entry was erroneous and that there was no other medical evidence to support it.  I then waited for their reply, sure that they would cling to that one damning entry and deny my claim.  Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed.  They denied the claim and told me that the case was closed.

That was that.  The insurance company that professed to support the military had turned me down flat.  It was obvious to anyone that they were wrong to do this but they had a single piece of evidence that was enough to deny my claim.  I was devastated.

Once I had calmed down and gotten my thoughts in order, I went down the only avenue left open to me.  I wrote a complaint to the Financial Ombudsmen.  They received my case and said they would investigate it.

Some time later, I received a letter from the insurance company asking me to sign another release document in order that they could contact the specialist that had treated me at the time of the accident.  This was the same person that had signed my insurance claim form, the same person that had stated that I had suffered a terrible accident and that there was nothing else they could do.  And my insurance company hadn’t even bothered to get his opinion!!!  I signed the release form and wrote a terse letter back to them stating that I didn’t trust them to do anything to help the military as they professed in all their literature.

It’s nearly two years now and I am still waiting.  I have since contacted a solicitor and am attempting to get my medical records sorted out.  There is little I can actually do apart from have my objections noted.  It’s too late for the records to be changed.  I can understand how errors can be made, the doctors writing down notes for numerous patients and then handing them to clerks to be inputted on the database.  Errors are bound to be made.  The errors made on my documents have resulting in making my life a misery on top of the misery of my injury.  What didn’t help is the difficulty in obtaining a copy of your own medical documents.  Had their been more transparency, maybe the error in my notes would have been discovered sooner and righted.

I haven’t heard from the insurance company although letters from the Financial Ombudsmen assure me that the investigation continues.  On the plus side, the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme has increased the award made to me.  It’s not a lot, but it helped to reassure me that the accident wasn’t my fault and that someone knows that.

I cannot believe that I am an isolated case.  I think of the amount of money I paid this company over the years in order to give me peace of mind should anything have happened to me.  Now they are causing nothing but distress to both me and my family.  I cannot believe that we, the consumer, are powerless to do anything apart from complain.  It’s unfair.  I thought I had enough to content with after the accident, the drastic change in my personal life is not easy to come to terms with and I am still in denial.  This additional struggle shouldn’t, in my opinion, be happening.  I was naive to think that an insurance company would part with money, but why should I have thought differently.

I now wait to be evicted from my house as I am no longer in the military.  All my hopes, dreams and plans have been shattered.  I wait for a response that I half dread, just in case the insurance company have managed to sweet talk their way out of paying me.  It’s unfair, but that’s life.

The Green Eyed Monster

As I sat alone one night, thinking about life, the universe and everything, I began thinking about my past.  One of the things that stuck out was jealousy.  We have all heard of the phrase, ‘Green eyed monster’ to describe envy or jealousy.  I have always thought it meant jealousy but have known about the expression ‘green with envy’.  Either way, they are two similar emotions and both can be extremely destructive, whether it be personal or international.  I am sure we have all been jealous to one degree or another, or envious of something.  It’s human nature.  Or is it?  (You just knew I was going to say that!)

I will admit that when I was a much younger man, I was very jealous several times.  I’m sure it will come as no surprise that it was over a girl!  I can even remember why I was jealous but thinking back, I cannot understand why.  I therefore thought it was due to my own immaturity and insecurity.  Although I was an extremely good catch (sic), I was insecure in my relationship.  Fortunately for me, I managed to control my emotions, however there have been numerous cases of where jealousy has erupted into a much more violent result.

Research has revealed that jealousy is not restricted to the young.  As I mentioned, I put my own jealousy down to my youth, immaturity and insecurity.  I am sure some of those reasons can be used in cases where older people are involved.  Age does not always denote maturity.  Insecurity can follow an adult throughout their lives, so add both together and you have a recipe for disaster.

Another key factor, according to trick-cyclists (psychiatrists), is that if an individual experiences insecurity at home, be it through mistreatment or because the parents have had issues, then that can follow them into adult life.  Meaning that an individual may not be able to control his or her jealousy because of deep seated problems.  I can relate to this finding as my own parents had marital issues when I was a child and it dominated a large part of my childhood.  I managed to get over it, maybe because of the work I did instilled confidence into the individual.  I don’t know, but something happened.

As to the expression ‘Green Eyed Monster’, well, it may come as no surprise that it was William Shakespeare that first coined the phrase in 1604, in the play Othello although it was also mentioned in part during the Merchant of Venice, written in 1596.  I wonder how he managed to think of that phrase?