Finding Mocha Mocha Diaries

Mocha Diaries: The Envy Monster

I’m not a person with super lofty dreams. I’m not a planner which when you want things doesn’t help them appear in your life. The last 6 years of my life have been more of a rough patch than I would like to admit. I’ve grown a lot as a person and I felt that it was important to finally give praise to myself for the world to know I’m also facing my demon: the envy monster.

The envy monster for me rears its ugly head around the presence of pregnancies, births, newborns and toddlers. If your kid is like 10 it doesn’t bother me in the least, if you had a kid when we were like 20 or 21 it didn’t bother me. As I got older it started to rear its ugly head, and I was beyond words with how to feel about my reaction to others. Who is this other side of me? Why do they get uglier and more evil with time?

I got married when I was 25 and I thought for sure that I’d have a kid soon after, even though I knew for various reasons it wouldn’t happen. The first thing that pained me was to see how quickly my cousin was able to get pregnant and begin a happy family, and believe me when I say this now I am over the moon for her to find the kind of happiness she has found in her husband and with her children. However, once in a blue moon I’ll over think and say I could have had a kid the same age as hers and my heart drops a little.

The second time it reared its ugly head a bit stronger was with a very good friend of mine who had just gotten married while I was going through my divorce. Although I was excited for her and the good news, I was not a good friend to her at the time. I even wrote her a note apologizing that I was sorry for not being a better friend to her during her pregnancy. It hurt me a lot to see that evil envy monster be filled with such horrible emotions. She has since had her second kid and they are cute and I tell her that, she’s done well and is happy with the kids.

The third time was with my best friend back home and though there was envy, I wouldn’t trade situations as I know how tough her life is and the obstacles she has overcome. She is a great mom and I too hope that I can view other pregnancies as I have with hers, that it’s a normal part of life, my emotions are normal, and its okay to want what others have. She has been a staunch supporter of my mental health and really understands my crazy envy monster, so thank you.

The fourth time it reared its ugly head it was my first year in Korea when I found out my sister was pregnant. I cried. This was the first time I cried about someone else being pregnant, maybe it’s because as siblings we think life will go in chronological order and it didn’t. I wouldn’t say we are close enough to share details of what is going on but I cried when my niece, Gabby, was born as well. I cried out of pity for myself, sadness that I couldn’t support my sister the way she should be especially since I lived so far overseas. All I could do was message and check in with her. My sister has been doing an amazing job and I’m really proud of her. At first it was hard seeing all the photos and videos, but now I enjoy seeing them and seeing her grow. I feel like a real aunty even if I haven’t been able to smother her with enough love.

The fifth time my close friend here in Korea gave birth the other day. I haven’t been the most supportive friend, though I have tried in many ways to listen and be supportive, more than I have to others in the past. At times its been at a detriment to my own well-being because it is nonstop pregnancy and baby talk without a word from my side. But I try to tell myself that it should ease up and that I know here at the moment I’m considered to be like family away from family. I was surprised when I didn’t cry at the news. I even went to the hospital today and spent most of the time there rocking the baby, without a tear, there were a few comments said for my benefit that I wish weren’t said, but I left in one piece.

If you have never been hit by the envy monster it is a very strong feeling of achievement to make it through something you didn’t think you would handle that well. If I told you I wanted to avoid the hospital like the plague and fall off the face of the earth you might have an idea of how I’m processing my emotions. But I was proud that I did the right thing by going even if it was hard for me. Even though I broke down inside my apartment as soon as I got home, the first thing I said to myself crying was, “Good job, Nina. You did really well today, Nina. I’m proud of you, Nina. I’m so so proud of you.”

I know a lot of people reading this may say you are too emotional. You shouldn’t even be acting like this, you should just be happy for the people in your life and their happiness. In many ways those sentiments are correct and it is why as much pity as I feel for myself at the change in relationships in the widening gap between our lives, I also feel angry at myself for being consumed by that envy. It is a hard emotion to swallow and as I get older it hasn’t gotten any easier. No, I’ve begun to learn how to handle it with tact even though it has gotten harder and it will continue to do so as I age.

The envy monster is the embodiment of my fears manifested. I’m told I am young, that I have nothing to worry about that it is okay to have kids after 35 if that is when it happens. I’ve read a lot of articles and in many ways as a single person who wants kids it is almost like I have no right to share how I feel about this evil envy monster that I am so ashamed of. It is okay for those who are in relationships with infertility problems to complain, but not me. Reading and hearing these things makes me feel like my feelings are invalid. That somehow I should keep quiet and wait my turn.

To those who spout those words I hope that you realize they cut. They sting and they sting deep. Those kind words about my future love, my possible future children hurts. You don’t know so stop spouting that shit to make me feel better and to make you feel like you are empathetic to me. You aren’t, because if you already have kids by my age then you don’t know how it feels to keep seeing it unfold before your eyes while trying to fight back the envy monster. Even if I succeed a little, I’m still a failure as a friend, as a sister, as a family member in my own eyes.

The envy monster is evil and I am trying so hard not to cave to that, because I know I deserve more and that I will get it eventually. As time passes it will get harder and I will worry more and more that my time is running out as my biological clock ticks away. I don’t want to hear about the people who use IVF or those who have kids in their 40s, the women in my family hit menopause in their early to mid forties. To me it says you have about a decade at best to start a family time is a ticking unlucky fuck.

I’m writing this because it is a very shameful part of myself that I don’t like. I don’t like this side of me at all even though I have gotten so much better with it and I am so so proud of myself today for handling it better than I thought. I can cry. I am allowed to express myself, and I want to share that with others. It is okay to be vulnerable with others so that they know what hurts you. Sometimes they may or may not understand, they may think its stupid or reasonable, but my feelings are valid because they are mine. This is my lived experience, just like no matter how you feel I can’t judge your feelings because that is your lived experience.

I just want someone else like me to know that its okay to be 31, single, and feel envious of your friends who are starting their own families if that is what you want in life too. It is okay to feel like a bad person, it doesn’ t mean you are. The envy monster enters our lives for many reasons, different for different people, but it is there to let me know that this is important to me and something I need to learn how to process and react to better. I’m not proud of my envy monster, I’m not proud of that fact that I wish I could delete every piece of social media so I don’t have to see people’s perfect lives. But then I guilt myself and say they are people you care about you shouldn’t be a stranger and this is the only way to keep in touch with others.So, just like a picture, leave a comment here or there, and keep scrolling.

The envy monster comes to me when babies enter people’s lives because I want the opportunity to be a mother at some point in my life if I can. I need to own that envy monster so that it knows that I too can handle situations in life, I just wish that at times people could read others in their lives a bit better too. Our lives change continuously and the envy monster makes us hyper aware of the shift in our friendships and relationships. So while everything maybe overwhelming, new, and a bed of roses on one side, don’t forget to glance to those you’ve decided to see less as you diverge on different paths. Sometimes even if we are filled with envy and happiness at the same time, there isn’t a soul around for miles that will comfort us. The envy monster is very aware that I was there through the good and bad times for others but very few have stood by me and most likely if I am as lucky as others to get what the envy monster enters our lives for, will those same people be by my side?

Today is one of those days I really needed a hug and there is no one  around to give that to me, but myself. So envy monster no matter how many times you come around to say hi, I’m learning how to care for myself, be a better person, and learn how to comfort myself when I’m the only one around.

P.S. If you may be consumed by an envy monster for another reason that is okay. Just remember what you are feeling is valid. Your feelings are valid and no one can take that away from you. Just do something to comfort yourself, cry it out, and look at tomorrow as a brand new day.

P.P.S. I am beyond proud of me and no one can say otherwise. Nor do I wish to be harassed about my emotions. {I’m looking at you family, don’t text or call me about it.}

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