Sadomasochism and Jealousy

The ‘jealous type’ lays claim to people.

It is not about the wounded heart…

It is about territorial identity.

I am what I have.


And running up a flag,

followed by rifle drill,

and razorwire.

The jealous type looks like they are full of feelings, wounded and hard done by.

No, that’s adrenalin. Its different. And its internally derived. Like having your dealer living in your neo-cortex. People just doing their own thing is experienced as something not going according to plan. Things happening in their own time must be a conspiracy and it must be that you’re just trying to piss me off….

The intensity behind the thing that you said or did that was wrong….

or the thing that you didn’t say or do….right,

looks like a feeling….

but its more like the biochemical goop in your limbic system surging at the sound of an intruder in the cave or moose hackles bellowing up the glen.

Jealousybags doesn’t do feelings.

that’s the problem..

though useful in the short term given that JB must actively depersonalise others to constitute going-on-being, which you might not actually want to have feelings about.

JB is not friends with Conscience.

and prefers to cast a blind eye to the projections s/he must resort to in order to justify all this adrenalin production.

No matter how ridiculous.

I just took my dog out. Man in the lane with wife and their own dog. Loads of space, middle of nowhere. The man starts shouting at his dog, yelling and emoting. He barks and barks. The dog is just friendly and curious. ‘He barks,’ explains the barker, barking.

No, he doesn’t you prat…

He really couldn’t see that it was himself making all of the racket. His big beef had nothing to do with the dog. The dog was an accessory required to carry a projection that kept sliding off, so he had to keep barking at the dog about its non-existant barking.

He was all gold and bling an’ wha’ever, carrying his arms out to the side like a bear, all barrelling along and aggrieved he had to share the lane and have an encounter with something unscripted.

No eye contact.

Jaw and near-side shoulder lowered.

Barking and barking.

Narcissisitic jealousy depersonalises in order to creat a semblance of subjectivity, some experience of self, in what is effectively a very rocky inner world.  Because s/he has been maternally deprived in some profound way, ego structure is makeshift at best. Like a raft on the beach all cobbled together with whatever flotsam you can find.

So, what we’ll do is this,  tie you and me together at the hip and then I will feast on your essence.

And all my feelings of not quite being real can become yours. The secret sense of being a third class citizen will be added to your prize as can all the unworthiness of love and affection kept neatly in place by dint of contempt and scorn’s regime.

And so I will deride you, but keep you, so that my hate of you can keep me alive.

JB needs to hate. Hate is the added glue necessary for what Quinodoz calls ‘adhesive attachment’, bonding that didn’t quite do what it said on the tin and needs another trip down to the hardware store for backup.

Without it JB gets twitchy, couple of cracks showing now, mortar crumbling, need that shot of jealous drama to keep things turning…

Hate and adrenalin are great confirmation of who you are in an uncertain, shaky world. And so, irrespective of any belief system that would otherwise be aghast at the moody outburst that’s coming,  it will have its say regardless because the principles of egoic survival, internal co-hesion, are more important than the values of polite society.

Aldous Huxley (Crome Yellow) talks about the rivalries and incipient warring of central American states as a search for national identity in an uncertain world. Tribal identity had been smashed by the Spanish who left a cultural vaccuum when they handed those nations back their independence. They didn’t know who they were. So they went to war to find out.

This way of being is more common than you might think. JP Sartre felt that relationships were inherantly sado-masochistic, which is why..

”Hell is other people.”

And its hell because..

‘’The other is first the being for whom I am an object’’ (Being and Time).

We are depersonalised to the point that it seems intrinsic to being, or at least to Sartre’s being.

He may not be right but he must speak for many or he wouldn’t be so popular.

What he misses is that Jealousybags needs to foment and pace and froth, wondering who the other is with and what they are doing now.

It sticks I to me like mad.

Not to mention the added bonus that all this riteous hard done-by posturing is great for shmeering over the underlying belief that no-one could ever love me.

And your behaviour, as if you had a life, is proof that you don’t love me.

And though I may not actually have a set of thumb screws…

its gonna feel like I have.

watch my mood settle over everything, seep into the furnishings, your clothes, your hair,

silent accusation,

witheld interrogation…

belittling triumph!

Which is why sadomasochism begins and ends with jealousy and that extra bit of glue needed to cement self-construct. Either having or having not, doing to and being done to by – all these are faithful servants of going-on-being with definite roles and parameters.

Everyone knows what to do.


And the big surprise is not that it works like this for so many but that its not more prevelant. For centuries, mothering in the west has been deprived of its numinous container. How can baby not be a little unstuck when mummy has been stripped of her sacred context?


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Psychotherapist/writer/artist/ author of, 'Going Mad to Stay Sane', a psychology of self-destructiveness, about to come into its third edition. Soon to be printed for the first time, 'Abundant Delicious.. the Secret and the Mystery', described by activist Satish Kumar as, ' A Tao of the Soul'. This book documents the archetypal country through which the process of individuation occurs and looks at the trials and tribulations we might expect on the way. In the meantime..... Narcissisim is the issue of our age. This blog looks at how it operates, how it can damage and how we may still fruit despite it.

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