The “Lynn” Incident

I’ve tried to trace the roots, or at least the history, of my retroactive jealousy. Clearly, I experienced it in my relationship with TL. I clearly recall experiencing it with my long-time girlfriend prior to TL. What about before that? Perhaps the first, albeit brief, time was an incident during my senior or junior year of high school. I’ll try to recount the story here. Tell me what you think. 

Here’s the story, from my writer’s sketchbook of ideas. This is a true story. The names are changed.

Mindless focused on his work, carefully counting items on the grocery store shelves, rearranging cans that were out of place, and noting items that were running low in stock.

“Mindless,” a woman’s voice called sweetly from behind him. By the time he raised his eyes, she was standing before him.

“Mindless,” she said, looking at him temptingly. She actually looked more attractive than when he had last seen her. Something was different. She was older. Yes. But, there was something more.

“Lynn,” he said, not even trying to conceal his surprise. He stood to greet her. Suddenly, she was right up next to him, gently touching his upper arm and looking flirtatiously into his eyes. Her perfume smelled of musk and spice.

“How have you been?” she asked.

“Okay,” he said, wondering why she asked. “You?”

“I’m wonderful,” Lynn cooed.

“Why her? Why now?” Mindless asked himself. “I left her long ago because she was not ready. She was not willing to give herself to me.”

“We should get together,” she said, as though that year, when they were both sophomores, was only yesterday.

“Maybe.” Mindless was suddenly suspicious. He didn’t know why.

“I have a secret to tell you.”

He took the bait. “What secret?”

“I’m different now,” she said. “Remember that thing I wouldn’t do?”

“Uh huh.”

“Well, I did it,” she said, as though he should be happy.

“What in the hell is she talking about?” he asked himself. “Is she saying she gave herself to someone else?” He stood there, a bit dumbfounded.

“Do you want to know who it was?” she whispered, seemingly excited to share the news.

“Okay,” Mindless lied.

“It’s one of your friends,” she said.





Mindless paused, “I really have no idea.”

“Think about it,” she teased him. “He’s the brother of one of my good friends.”

Mindless thought, “That actually shows how little I know this girl. Who are her friends? I really don’t know.”

“I don’t know,” he said out loud.

“Jay Johnston,” she announced, as if he should have guessed by now.

“Huh?”Mindless asked himself. “How should I have guessed that? Who the hell is Jay Johnston? Sure, we went to school together. We know the same people. Beyond that, he is nothing to me. And, why would she tell me that? Why should I want to know that?”

“Oh,” he said aloud. “I see.”

“So,” Lynn said, seductively, “why don’t you meet me tonight when you finish here?”

“Maybe.” He knew as he said it that he would not meet her. She could go to hell.

“What a stupid girl?,” he thought. “Why would she think I would want her after another man had her? Why did she give herself to him before giving herself to me? I don’t need her. She’s not worth it.”

So, that’s the “Lynn” incident. I’ve never really understood it. Why did she think I would want sex with her after she had denied it to me, given it to someone else, and then forced me to confront the fact? Why didn’t I just cast off my pride and enjoy the chance for sex? In any case, that may be the first time in my life that I experienced that retroactive jealousy. Is it normal? Did I never recover from it? Am I missing something else here?


7 thoughts on “The “Lynn” Incident

  1. Pride?
    She did not want to then, so why would you say yes later?
    I get this from your point of view.
    The woman? Her actions to me are a bit pathetic. I can only guess why.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d welcome guesses. This really perplexes me.

      I say “pride” because I didn’t want to feel I was taking Lynn as a consolation prize, with me as the loser, after someone else had already won first prize.

      I know, by the way, that’s similar to how TL could feel about my adulterous liaisons. Again, I’m just trying to find the roots of my unhealthy thinking.

      Is it possible that this Lynn incident was traumatic for me, that I spent years subconsciously or otherwise obsessing on the feelings of inadequacy and jealousy it caused? Is it perhaps how I began my unhealthy patterns of thinking?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Maybe you perceived it as “not good enough”, but considering age, you very likely took something personal that was not (L was not rejecting YOU). She simply was not ready.

        I do not think it is the Lynn incident that led you to a path of obsessing and feeling inadequate. I think it is part of your personality to take things personally. It is the “internal locus of control” phenomenon.

        Understanding these reactions and your personality will help you to emotional withdraw from past stuff.

        As you know seeking confirmation on how you measure-up from the wrong people, only gave you grief.

        Confidence comes from tackling difficult things, going out of your comfort zone and getting recognition from those who are important to you.

        From what I read, you will not hurt TL anymore you did in the past. Listening to her, acknowledging and validating what she is communicating now will help you and her. TL will feel heard and understood and she will do the same for you.

        By the way it requires a man (read: confident person and brave person) to do all the recovery nation lesson and to discuss them on WP.


        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks. Yes, I do take things too personally. I’ve been working on reminding myself to not take specific things personally.

          Confidence, or self-esteem maybe, is my root problem, I think. I need to be able to be happy enough with myself, life, the universe, and/or God to not be bothered with comparing myself to others. I’m making progress in that regard. But, I feel I have a lot more work to do on that topic.

          My instinct is to compare myself to people in TL’s past. I’m successfully fighting that instinct. But, it’s still an instinct.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. It is also a habit and learnt behaviour, which can be unlearnt.

            People tend to compare themselves with others as that is how they understand who they are and that want to know whether they fall within the “normal” range or above or below.

            Rather than looking at specific people, you might look at the general population and rate yourself accordingly. e.g. “I am better at math and my verbal skills are better than most”. “My confidence level is shaky at times compared to others, but it depends on the situation”. Etcetera. Be aware that you cannot assume that others are better (or not), it needs to be based on observation.

            For instance, many who are single perceive that those in relationships are happy and less lonely…this is a generalisation and might not be true.

            Another one: Despite some publications that most couples have sex twice a week (based on poor research methodology due to problems with the way the sample is obtained), many couples have way less intimacy and it is often not satisfactory for both.

            When you implement this type of reasoning your life becomes easier.


            1. That makes me think. As you say, such comparisons must be based on observation rather than on assumption.

              When engaged in the unhealthy comparison of myself to others in terms of sexual performance, there is no way to observe, particularly when comparing to people from the past. In the absence of observation, I struggle with temptation to make assumptions.

              Liked by 1 person

    2. Just to give more context to this Lynn incident, I think when we were sixteen she was perhaps afraid to lose her virginity. Later, after she lost it anyway, she came to tell me she was no longer afraid to have sex with me.

      Liked by 1 person

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