My Almost Love Affair with Death **trigger for SI**

I don’t remember the first time I had suicidal ideation but I remember the first and only time I made an attempt to end my life. It was the morning of December 5th of 2016. It’s hard to remember the exact events of that day but I do remember the triggers before that day which led me down that dark path. Some people might think that by writing about this I’m sharing too much of my personal life but I stopped caring about other people’s opinions this year. While it is hard for me to revisit that day and tell my story; it is important for me to share my story in hopes that someone somewhere struggling doesn’t feel so alone or that loved ones look for signs if someone near them is in trouble. Talking about suicide and its possible causes is an important conversation to have that should be normalize. 

To friends, family, and coworkers, I’ve always tried to maintain this image of having an almost perfect life of suburban bliss. Relatives from Peru, the country I immigrated from have told me that I’m the American Dream. Looking at my social media, this image is perfectly crafted with pictures of me with my family and friends.I specialize in posting those candid family shots at some event in town #momlife, me  with friends downtown #girlsnightout,  and me at work #bestjobever. You get the point. I’ve crafted this image of being this perfectly put together woman who has it all and does great at balancing all of the expectations and responsibilities thrusted upon her by society. People close to me call me strong, amazing, and awesome. They see this confident woman that manages to handle life and almost every obstacle thrown at her with grace. I remember being 17 after announcing my unplanned pregnancy to friends and one of them telling me, “ I can’t believe how calm you are and how well you’re handling it, I would be freaking out”.I smiled at her and told her, “Well, it’s done now. I just have to deal with it the best way I can”. Even at the tender age of 17, it was ingrained in me to suppress my emotions and show others this facade of being a strong woman. Needless to say, there’s always been a lot of pressure on me to maintain this image. This pressure almost killed me. 

#girlsnight
#family time
#momlife
#worklife

In the winter of 2016, my life looked perfect from the outside. I worked from home as a Bilingual Child Support Agent making more money than ever, I’m married to a doting husband, I have 3 wonderful and amazing sons. I even lived in a quaint but nice 3 bedroom house on a street named Candy Ct in a relatively quiet neighborhood. And don’t forget, I still had time to have the occasional girls night. So hashtag perfect life right? What people didn’t know at the time was the following:

My oldest son, who was a senior in high school at the time and an excellent student, was struggling with one of his classes and I was starting to get calls and emails from the school about it.#failingasmom

I realized my marriage was unsalvageable and there was nothing either of us could do to save it. #mymarriageisafailure

-I was gaining weight because I was stress eating. #lowselfesteem

I hated my job as a Child Support Agent and it was taking a major toll on my mental health. I did not handle being yelled at all day with clients well.#Ifuckinghatemyjob

Also, the political climate was changing for the worst for immigrants and people of color after Trump was elected. #fuckAmerica

And, I was binge drinking at night with my prescribed xanax to deal with all of it. I was also taking Lexapro in the mornings. #selfmedicatingtocope

In November of that year, I was starting to fall into the pit of despair that is depression and while I knew it was happening; I was in denial. I had been here before having PPD with all four of my pregnancies. I kept telling myself that I could keep a handle on it, I didn’t have the time or the luxury of having a mental breakdown. Even though I was making more at my new job, we were still a low income family since I was the only main provider. I had no family to call on or fall back at all if I was to go to a psychiatric institution. Plus, my children needed their mother to be there for them. So I tried to bury any feelings of despair deep within me with the help of alcohol and Xanax.

After weeks of feeling this way, on Sunday, December 4th, I felt a new low that night. I don’t know why  I  didn’t reach out to friends. I had isolated myself from everyone in a lot of ways. I kept in contact with people close to me but it’s easy to keep a facade of being “okay” when I’m not. I’ve been doing it since I can remember. Gotta love that Quiet BPD. I remember feeling like a complete failure because I was raised by my mother to always be strong or at least keep that façade of strength on the surface to show everyone that you’re not weak or crazy. There had been a couple of “weak women” with mental illness in my mother’s family who were looked down upon because of this. I grew up with this stigma that those with mental illness were “weak” or “not right in the head”. Also, I felt very privileged compared to my mother and aunts who came to this country and had way more hardships than I ever did. I remember thinking that night how nice it would be nice to fall asleep and never wake up. Waking up meant facing my reality that I was a failure at everything in my life that defined me: a mother, a wife, and a worker. The next morning, I woke up around 6:30 am and I felt numb and dead inside. I didn’t want to face my depressing and horrible reality and I made a decision. There was no point in living if I was a failure at everything. Feeling like a failure is worse than death to me.  I texted my supervisor and told her I was sick and couldn’t sign in to work, I wrote love letters to my sons, my husband, my parents, and my closest friends trying to explain what I was doing, and I got the coffee from the kitchen counter that my husband had prepared for me and took the xanax bottle that was on the kitchen table to my son’s bedroom where I had been working at. I sat down on the recliner in that room and swallowed each of the 15 pills one at a time. I remember that right after, I got a call from my oldest son’s counselor concerned about him. I vaguely remember the conversation. Right after, something in me made me send a text to my friend Janet from college that lived 10 minutes from me. I honestly don’t remember what I texted her, all I know is that I finally fell asleep. I was woken up from my sleep as my husband shook my shoulders, he  was telling me something and I vaguely remember that it had to do with my friend calling him. He wanted me to go to the living room but my legs felt like lead. So he half carried me to the couch in the living room and forced me to drink coffee. I fell asleep shortly after. I remember waking up and talking to my husband but I can’t remember what I said, all I know is that we both made a decision that I needed to quit my job and that afternoon, I emailed my two weeks notice letter to my supervisor. And my friend Janet came in the afternoon and took me to a Mexican restaurant to eat tacos, my favorite comfort food and we talked for a long time about what had happened. I also remember my friend Janet talking to my husband about me. Since I was a legal resident permanent alien at the time, going to a psychiatric hospital was not an option for me. The application for citizenship specifically asks about whether you have been in a psychiatric hospital. Me, my friend, and husband knew that I couldn’t take a chance on my future petition of naturalization being denied. You see, that famous poem on the Statue of Liberty by  Emma Lazarus “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore” is really a lie in this case. What America really wants are these almost perfect and model immigrants but that’s another blog post

 After this happened, I fell into a deep depression. It didn’t help that I had also withdrawn from my mental health meds without the advice of my doctor. If it wasn’t for the fact that I kept a journal after this event, I wouldn’t know half of what happened during  what happened during that time. I call this time period of my life, “The Great Depression” of 2016 and 2017 that lasted until November of 2017. During “the Great Depression”, I kept my journal religiously, and I gave myself a month before looking for another job, and reached out to a former coworker and friend who referred me to her ex husband for marriage counseling. I also completed and filed my paperwork for naturalization. I also eventually found a job with the school district as a parapro. I even got a tattoo of semi-colon in February to remind myself that my story isn’t over.  Even during the great depression, I still tried to be as productive as possible. I also kept this list with me-It was a list of important events (birthday, anniversaries, graduation) that I needed to be alive for. I also kept a list of reasons why I needed to be alive (my kids, parents, husband, friends).  I kept these lists with me at all times because that’s how bad my depression was at the time. It was a really dark period of my life.

I reflect on this 5 years later and I feel like this was a lifetime ago. Since that time, I’ve been diagnosed with Bipolar 2 and Borderline Personality Disorder.  I’m also on three different kinds of mental health meds and am going to therapy. Depression still visits me from time to time, especially when life gets overwhelming or something drastic happens in my life but I have way better skills to cope with it now and not let it get to an extremely bad place again. I would never tell anyone that I’m cured of depression because that would be a lie but I will say I’m much, much better at not letting it take over my life like it has in the past. Writing my story and sharing it with world may seem excessive to some but I’m sharing my story in the hopes that someone reading this comes to an understanding that people that die by suicide or attempt it are not selfish or cowards; we are people that feel this immense and excruciating pain and we want to escape from it by any means necessary. I also write my story in hopes that if there is someone out there struggling with suicidal ideation and depression; I want them to know that they are not alone and it is possible to get to a better place  #youareworthit. 

me in November of 2021 with another fighter, Frida Kahlo

Here are a few helpful links related to this story:

Suicide Prevention:

Therapist locator: 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists

Depression and Suicidal Ideation:

https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-recognizing-signs-of-suicide

Bipolar 2: 

https://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/guide/bipolar-2-disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/borderline-personality-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20370237

Quiet BPD: 

https://www.healthline.com/health/quiet-bpd

Poetry: Letter to My Former Lover

I wrote this in January of 2003 about Lucas. I was doing what I normally do, obsessing over past love because I was lonely. At least I wrote this poem instead of trying to track him down.

damn…a hard truth

My dear Luke
I Still miss you
Even after your unexpected departure
My heart feels a terrible torture
Of not having you by my side
I wonder if for me, you ever cried
Why couldn’t you stay?
Instead of leaving on that dreary day
Why did you have to go?
Nobody else could’ve loved you more
I know my letter may seem strange to you
But my heart finds it hard to replace you
I have tried so hard to move on
But it’s impossible to go on
I guess I should say goodbye
Before I start to cry
But before I do this
I gotta tell you my wish
that you find what you need
Even if it’s without me
And if you ever find yourself in love
Understand that you’re enough
and that you fight for it
Don’t run away from it
So now I say goodbye my friend
Maybe one day I’ll see you again

Poetry: Thirty-Nine

I wrote this poem on February 22, 2021. I wrote this while I still in a relationship with my most recent ex. I really thought he would be the one to stay but it wasn’t meant to be and that’s okay. I look at year 39 that in spite of facing constant depression and craziness because of COVID, I still had something important in life and that was love even if at the end it didn’t work out. It was a year full of magical moments that I will never regret.

February 22, 2021

Last day of thirty nine
and I look back on this decade
with love and no regrets
The decade started with my third
miracle of life
and ended with the miracle of love
The decade started with a once stable
and normal suburban life
and ended with a chaotically busy and poly life
The decade started with a half loved marriage
and ended with an almost separation
Toxicity ruled 2 and a half years of the decade
but he left
Now I’m left with a new determination
to fulfill my potential and let no on
e
or nothing stop me

The Breakup

When I first started to watch the movie “The Breakup”, I was actually expecting the formulaic Romantic Comedy but it was actually a realistic movie about the demise of a relationship. I found myself relating to Brooke, one of the main characters in the movie more than I would have liked. At the beginning of the movie, we are shown this montage of how the relationship between Gary and Brooke starts and then develops so they are at a point where they move in together when they buy a luxurious condo. Within the first 10 minutes of the movie, we are shown what conflict goes on in their relationship. As Brooke is preparing for a dinner party for both their families, she asks Gary to do things to help her prepare for the guests, Gary is full of excuses and essentially treats her like a nag. Maybe this is my biased perspective coming from a place where I’ve been treated as such. 

What is first seen here is a breakup in communication where Gary is dismissive of Brooke’s needs at that moment. I think that a lot of women I know can testify what that feels like but most of us have been conditioned to excuse that kind of behavior. Anyways, at the dinner party, Brooke and Gary act like a normal couple. Also, what can be observed from Brooke and Gary’s families is that they both come from different social classes. We can speculate that this is maybe why their relationship didn’t work but I think it is just one factor. After their families leave, a fight ensues between Brooke and Gary over a simple domestic task, washing the dishes. Brooke wants Gary to help with this task and Gary grumbles about it and when he finally says he’ll do, he has a bad attitude about it. Brooke doesn’t want his help and this resonates with me and I’m sure it does with other women ,she tells Gary, “I want you to want to do the dishes.” That line implicates both control and hopeful expectations for her partner.

 A lot of women I know (myself included) wants a partner that takes initiative in helping us and showing their appreciation for us. We feel like we shouldn’t have to remind them, they should just want to do it. If they claim to care about us and love us, why is it so damn hard for them to show it? I think the issue could lie in the cliche that we as women tend to expect “us” and how we would act from our partners. In society, women are conditioned and taught to be nurturers and to show our love and appreciation for our partners. We are also taught to believe that we have to fit into certain categories of societal expectations in order to feel like we are enough and worthy to feel loved. Men, on the other hand, well, they are just taught that they are good enough as they are for their potential partners. Also, society has conditioned men that in order for them to be “real men”, they shouldn’t show their emotions.   

                Gary and Brooke

As women, we are conditioned to believe that we will thrive and be a whole person in society if we become wives and mothers. This belief makes a lot of women settle for less than they deserve and tolerate way more than they should in a relationship. As humans we are conditioned that life is incomplete without a partner and the worst thing that can happen to us is a life of solitude. 

Even though Brooke breaks up with Gary, she later reveals that she does this in hopes that he will learn his lesson and change to become a better partner. She doesn’t actually want to break up with him. She goes so far as to bring the guys she dates to the condo they’re currently sharing so he’ll get jealous. This follows the belief of why many women stay in a relationship; because if they stick around long enough and do the hard work, their partner will change to become the partner they want them to be. It follows the belief that we as women can mold men with enough time and patience to become that partner. This infantilizes men in a way. It’s a belief in which we are treating men like another one of our children that needs to be molded. Brooke “punishes” Gary like a child by breaking up with him in hopes he’ll change into the partner she wants him to be. 

Gary finally starts to take Brooke seriously towards the end of the movie. By that time, it is too late and she’s already emotionally detached from him. There is a cliche saying “by the time the guy starts to care, it’s too late and the girl no longer cares . I’ve seen this happen many times in real life. In my own perspective, I tried everything to save my marriage with my husband and even though he tried, it was never enough in my eyes. His dismal effort kept making me feel less than, worthless even. By the time he finally saw that he was going to lose me; it was too late and I had emotionally detached myself from the relationship. Just like Brooke, I had time and time again invested so much of myself, changed so much of myself to try to salvage our relationship while he put in the most minimal effort. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment when I knew that no matter how hard he or I tried, our marriage couldn’t be saved.

At the end of the movie after Brooke leaves the apartment, she runs into Gary a few months later and they catch up in a cordial manner and glance back smiling at each other and one could say perhaps both of them got the closure they needed. Of course, in real life, me and my husband can’t afford to separate and divorced and have to continue to live together but through a mutual understanding we live together as roommates and co-parents. We actually do this successfully and almost painlessly. He’ll even give me life advice from time to time if I’m going through something rough. I think that once we both accepted that we were no longer compatible as romantic partners, our relationship as friends got stronger since we felt free to really be our authentic selves with each other. 

Most awkward family pic after we decided to become room mates and co-parents. 

Poetry: Without a Goodbye

I wrote this poem in 2001. I think that this poem was inspired by seeing what one of my family members was going through during their separation.

life is strange

Walking through this house
so full in every single room
are memories of you
the living room where
you held me
the kitchen where we dined
the bedroom we made love
kind of hard to imagine
all that is left,
are pictures of you

in my mind
but I have to accept that
this house will be
empty and cold
just like my heart
since you left
without saying goodbye

Happy Anniversary: A Different Kind of Love Story

December 9th, 2010

Today marks my 11 year anniversary with my husband and while me and him are no longer in a romantic relationship; I’m still celebrating it. This might seem strange to a lot of people including myself. I honestly didn’t think I would write this blog post for today. I thought I was just going to post a salty ass poem about him and I still will but why not celebrate this man that has been my ride or die for the past 18 years. While yes, I still plan on separating and divorcing this man in the near future; my heart does not hold any resentment and anger towards him like it has in the past. I love him because he is my chosen family that has and will always be there for me no matter what. I’ve told my perspective about our relationship in this blog and while that is my truth; I feel that in some ways I’ve painted him in a very negative light and may have been unfair to him.
A lot of that was anger and resentment that I felt towards him at the time and towards myself for our relationship not working out. Now that he and I are in our third year of being co-parents and friends, I look at him in a different way and really accept him for who he is. It’s been a long journey to get here but I’m
glad I’m here.

us in late 2005

As I look back and reflect on mine and his journey what strikes me is how loyal he’s been to me throughout my worst of times. He could have abandoned me when my oldest son was diagnosed with autism early in our relationship, when I got unexpectedly pregnant with our first child together, when I use to yell at him and emotionally abuse him, after my suicide attempt in 2016 and after I asked him to open up our marriage. But he didn’t. He stayed and was supportive in his own way and yes sometimes that came off as controlling but I think now that it was his way of being over protective. He’s accommodated to whatever crazy and impulsive choices I’ve made and he’s stood by my side when I’ve had mental health crises. He’s not the type of man to ever run away when things get hard. In fact, he’s the type to stand by you until you get back up and after. Maybe that’s why I was in a romantic relationship with him for 15 years, he stayed no matter what. He also could have given up on me many times before we decided we wouldn’t continue our romantic relationship. He could also have kicked me out even after I flaunted my situationship and new boyfriends in front of his face.

our last picture in 2018 as a romantic couple, I only took this pic to post it on social media to make my boyfriend at the time jealous..lol..yeah I was fucked up

Also, I could have not lucked out more with having the best father for my children. This man is extremely devoted to our three children and loves them more than life. He makes sure that they are always very well taken care of. And co parenting with him has been an easy ride with a few mishaps.

Him with our 3 kids

As I write this, I’ve realized how incredibly lucky and fortunate I am to have him in my life. It sucks that our romantic relationship didn’t work out but what doesn’t suck is still having him in my life as my co parent and friend.

Poetry: Forgotten Anniversary

I wrote this in December 2018 when my husband forgot our 8 year anniversary. I guess I was a little salty and kind of still processing the breakup of our marriage.

December 9, 2010

He forgot our 8 year anniversary
I didn’t remind him because it didn’t really matter.
Hopefully, this time next year, we will be divorced.
There was no use in feeling sad or spilling tears
Over something that would end soon.
There was no use in feeling devastated over
Something that never should have happened.
Vows that should never have been taken.
Promises of love that were doomed from the beginning.
Empty words that were never believed in.
8 years of marriage; an institution we thought
would bind us for eternal life.
So that maybe the sting of resentment and neglect
wouldn’t break us apart.
He forgot our 8 year anniversary

Just like he forgot all of his promises to
“Try harder” or “to change”
So I wouldn’t leave.
He forgot our 8 year anniversary.
And it’s fine.
You don’t celebrate something
That is already dead.

Betty Draper and Me

So I wrote this essay a couple of years ago as I was reflecting about the end of my marriage:

As my eight year marriage comes to its inevitable end, I’ve been rewatching the series Mad Men. When I first watched the series, I admired Joan and Peggy for being strong female characters in the show but I always thought there was something about Betty Draper that I could relate to. It’s strange to think about considering she’s a white upper class sixties housewife in New York and I’m a working class millennial immigrant Latina woman in Georgia. It’s hard to grasp that there would be any similarities between but there are many indeed.  

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Betty and Don at Fancy Event

 

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(Me and Hubs at my brother’s wedding reception)

Betty feels trapped in her suburban idyllic existence and often times feels frustrated; I’ve also felt this way throughout the past fifteen years. Betty wonders if there is more to life than what she is living which is rearing children and being a good wife; I’ve constantly wondered the same thing except that I have the added burden of working.

Don, Betty’s husband acts like she should be happy with her life and gets mad at her when she shows real emotion, kind of accuses her of being crazy and sends her to a psychiatrist that he secretly talks to about her sessions without her consent and knowledge. My husband never went so far but for most our relationship he did accuse me of over reacting and/or accuse me of being crazy if I got “emotional” about something and/or brought up needs that weren’t being met in our relationship. It always felt that I was expecting too much out of our relationship for wanting normal things in a relationship. My husband has also acted like I should settle for what the little he can give me in terms of companionship and be happy with that since he was. For a long time, I felt that maybe I could and should settle for this but settling made me miserable for several years. 

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Don also kind of stopped investing time and energy into his marriage. He  took Betty for granted because they were married with two children and hid behind his work and his many dalliances. My husband was never one to make time for us or continue to woo me in any sense after we started living together. Instead, he hid behind the raising of our children and the fact that he was always tired. He could never spontaneously compliment me and I was always either too fat or almost too skinny for him.  Betty overlooked Don’s lack of affection for several years in the same way I overlooked my husband’s. I feel that this had to do with how women are conditioned to be polite and swallow their emotions because again–we’ll be accused of being crazy and/or hysterical. 

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The beginning of the end of Betty and Don’s marriage started when Betty eventually gets fed up after having one of Don’s affairs rub in her face and throws Don out but later they get back together because she finds out she’s pregnant with their third child. Don does try to be a somewhat better husband but eventually goes back to his philandering ways. There have been a few times throughout our relationship that I did try to break up with my husband but because he always apologized and said he would change, I always took him at his word and wanted to believe he would change. We even planned our third child and got married shortly after getting pregnant. I think I subconsciously did this because I thought a baby and a marriage would be the band aids that would fix “us”. 

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Betty eventually gets tired of Don’s lack of effort and also his lies and eventually asks for a divorce, she tells him something like, “I don’t feel anything when I kiss you”; it seems that this was when she knew that it was over for her and Don. For me, it took me a couple of years to be firm in my decision to divorce my husband. I think that I finally realized that there was no way I could continue the façade of our marriage when I realized that I no longer cared that he didn’t notice me or felt anything remotely like romantic love when I kissed him. It took him a while to understand why I wanted a divorce since he was happy with “us” and his main concerns were, “what about the taxes?” or “what about the kids?”.  But like Don, he eventually agreed to it and said that he wouldn’t fight me about it. It’s kind of eerie that women like myself can still relate to a sixties housewife when it comes to relationships, marriages, and the stigma of divorce.  I’m sure that people wonder why I would stay in a stagnant and awful relationship/marriage; that’s simple; I loved my husband. I thought that loving him meant that I had to settle for a marriage devoid of any real affection. I thought that the love I felt for him would be enough to change him one day. 

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A Reflection on the first season of YOU: Maybe I’m Joe Goldberg (*SPOILER ALERT*)

I’ve been re-watching the first season of the series “You” on Netflix and I have reflected a lot on the main character of the show, Joe Goldberg. Do most of us have a little Joe Goldberg inside of them that comes in relationships? Maybe we do, maybe we don’t but I know I definitely do. When it comes to love, Joe is obsessive and act crazy and impulsively when his anger and rage are provoked during a relationship; this has been who I have been in most of my relationships. Joe is a man that will stop at nothing to be with Beck, the girl he is obsessed with.

Joe Goldberg…sweet misunderstood dude
Angelic and misunderstood me in Feb 2021

When Joe Goldberg meets Beck, his potential love interest, he makes it a point to stalk her on social media to find out more about her. Beck puts all of her life out there on social media and Joe use that information to weaponize himself to get near Beck. I’m not gonna lie, when I’ve met someone I’ve liked; I get a bit obsessive like Joe. I will do a google search on them and try to find out more about their life and what makes them tick. I’ll scroll down through years of their social media to try to get an idea about who they are in case I start talking to them or there is a “chance encounter” between us. However, unlike Joe I won’t go as far as to stalk them like he does. I do however know that gnawing and yearning feeling to try to get to know someone better if I feel like they could possibly be the “one”. Joe is obsessed with love and finding the one and I can relate to that. The alternative of never finding the one is a life of solitude and well that’s lonely and sad and no one wants to feel like that. Society puts such importance on romantic love that we are conditioned to think that life without it will be empty and meaningless. Most of us want to be with someone that feels like home; we want to feel like belong to somebody. This is especially true for those of us with severe abandonment issues that stem from an unstable childhood. We want to make up for the emotional void in adulthood by trying to find a sense of belonging in another person. Joe makes a few vague references that there was neglect and abuse in his childhood. Joe gets obsessed with Beck to fill that emotional void. Like Joe, I’ve done that with the majority of my romantic partners. I got obsessed with the idea that they completed some part of myself that I was missing. In the past three years, I even thought that I was poly-amorous because it made sense to use multiple partners to fill that void and if it didn’t work out with one; there was someone else to turn to. Now I’ve realized how unfair that is to put on someone else; I should be able to complete myself and not rely on someone else for that.

Joe is set on his Mission
from my poem “By Starlight” one of my earliest poems about “C”

Another thing that Joe and I have in common is that we idealize our romantic partners. Joe idealized Beck right away and placed her on his pedestal. Throughout the series he acted she was a princess that needed to be saved from herself. I have done the same thing in relationships; especially in the beginning or if I’m dating a “nice guy”. I’ll write in my journal how he is all of this goodness and that I don’t deserve him. I’ll also accommodate to their idea of what they want in a partner even if I’m not true to myself. I do this in order to not lose them. I’ll swallow that words that should have been said and arguments that should have happened in order to “not rock the boat” or be accused of being dramatic. In the end, it doesn’t work and I either implode or explode or both things happen.

Aw Joe…the hopeless romantic
from my journal sometimes in January 2021

Another thing that I have in common with Joe is his wrath of anger and rage. Joe’s wrath of anger and rage is felt by those that stand in the way of him being with Beck, his true love. He kills Beck’s love interest in the beginning of the series and later on kills her best friend who is secretly in love with her. While I don’t kill people; I understand feeling that kind of anger and rage that makes you want to punch walls and destroy almost everything around you. It’s the kind of rage when you see red and forget that your impulsive actions upon acting on that rage will or could have dire consequences for you or people close to you. It’s the kind of rage where your empathy button is broken and all you think about is yourself. My anger manifests itself by going into self destructive mode or taking it on others. I went into self destructive mode in 2018 when I realized that my marriage couldn’t be saved. That year I experimented with drugs, almost became an alcoholic, and was super promiscuous. More than once that year, I got myself in unsafe situations with that could have had dire consequences. Also, if I think that something or someone is standing in the way of me being with the one I desire; I will feel extreme anger towards that person or thing standing in my way. Sometimes this could even be the partner I have at the time if I feel that they’re not giving me the same intense energy I’m giving them. I did this with my on an off love, C. For a while, I would go crazy on him via text if I felt like I wasn’t getting enough attention or validation from him. I remember one time, I even texted him that I didn’t think that he would care if I died. I do want to mention that unlike Joe, I do have healthier methods of coping with my anger and rage like writing and exercising. I could publish a few books with my angst ridden and angry poetry.

ANYTHING goes in the name of LOVE
From my poem “Another Ugly Song”

In the latter part of series, Joe tries to break out of his destructive and violent patterns by letting Beck go without drama or violent behavior. He even continues seeing his therapist. He does however start dating his next door neighbor, Karen Minty right away. It’s obvious that Joe cannot be alone and needs another person by his side to define him. I understand this all too well. I use to be the type of person to jump from relationship to relationship because it was easier to use someone as a distraction and to fill the void the previous partner left behind rather than try to do the hard work of healing on my own. One good thing about Joe’s relationship with Karen is that he’s not obsessed with her and it’s seemingly healthy. He does however question it and feels like something is missing. When Beck comes back into the picture, he cheats on Karen with Beck and eventually breaks up with Karen to be with Beck. At this point, Joe is convinced that Beck is really the one for him. Being with Beck gives him an “adrenaline” rush of “love” that he doesn’t experience with Karen. I’ve been at that place a few times in my life. I was in a couple seemingly healthy relationships throughout my 3 year situationship with “C”. Both guys knew I was still seeing “C” on and off and it was okay because both relationships were poly. I think that I kept going back to “C” during those times because there was and always has been a level of adrenaline rush and excitement that I have felt with him that I don’t feel or have felt with other partners. Also, contrary to popular belief about polyamory; I felt lonely and thirsty for affection at times in those poly relationships and well, when “C” was available, he helped with that loneliness and thirst. People like me and Joe try on healthy relationships for a bit and while at first it seems fine, we get bored. I wouldn’t say that it has so much to do the other person being boring per-say; I think it has to do more with people like me and Joe having a constant need for excitement. We both crave the excitement, adrenaline rush, and chemistry that comes from that person that we feel that we have a unique connection with even if that person is unhealthy for us. That unhealthy connection is really a trauma bond. I could even go on to say that Beck has a trauma bond with Joe like me and “C” do. We learn throughout that series that Beck has her own set of issues that could easily make her trauma bond with Joe.

Even if Messy is Unhealthy..lol
From my poem “Chaos”

At the end of the series, Beck finds out who Joe really is and is horrified and tries to leave him and because of that he ends up locking her in a glass vault for a while trying to convince her that he’s not this horrible person and that they are meant to be together. He keeps telling her that he did all of these horrible things in order to be with her. This does not work and he ends up killing Beck. Joe would rather have Beck dead than her abandon him. Joe’s severe abandonment issues along with perhaps an undiagnosed and untreated mental illness make him act crazy and impulsive in the moment. While I don’t go and lock my partners in glass vaults or kill them during a breakup; I’m definitely not easy to deal with. I take breakups super personal and start this cycle of grief that involves sadness, guilt, shame, anger, and rage. All of this involves hating them, hating myself, and wanting to die. I do don’t do this with all of my breakups; just the partners that had a huge presence in my life. Like Joe, a breakup triggers ALL of my abandonment and rejection issues from the past. However, unlike Joe, I implode on myself and not explode on others. Thanks Quiet BPD-lol.

Poor Joe-looking for Love in all of the Wrong Places
my 2019 poem “Home”

Writing this essay has been super introspective for me in examining how much I can relate to a character as problematic as Joe. It is almost scary to think that we have so much in common. I do want to point out that while I have deep empathy for Joe; I don’t at any point condone any of his problematic and violent behavior from the stalking to the manipulation to the killing. While I’m not a prime example of how to behave in a relationship; I do have to say that at least I know how to reign my emotions enough to not cause physical harm or immense emotional trauma to my former romantic partners. Well, if I had to be super honest with myself; the verdict is still out as to whether or not I’ve caused immense emotional trauma to any of my former partners. I don’t make it habit of keeping in contact with any of former romantic partners except my husband who I have kids with. The way I see it; the demise of a relationship is traumatic enough and trying to do the whole awkward friendship stage after just adds to the trauma and slows down the healing process. Writing this essay has also made me think that maybe my soulmate is probably someone like Joe Goldberg. Haha, just kidding. Honestly, writing this essay has opened my eyes to how I really need to continue my journey of unlearning unhealthy patterns and really fall in love with myself. I also need to embrace solitude for a really long time and learn to look for the magic within myself instead of another person.

Poetry: My Sister y Yo

I wrote this poem in January of 2020. This is about me and my sister being polar opposites on almost every level in life. We’ve never really have had a close relationship and there have been times when we’ve had fights that have lasted for months . Recently, as we’ve grown older, we have been better about accepting each other for who we are and getting along much better.

me in January of 2020

She’s American

   I’m an immigrant 

She loves Trump

   I’m a borderline socialist

She believes in money and brand names

   I believe in love and poetry

Born from the same womb

  But living in different worlds

She’s the clean upper middle class

  I’m the gritty working class

She forgot everything she once was

  I remember and continue to live it

She’s Latina when it’s trendy or when it suits her

   I’m Latina every single minute of my life

She’s the definition of assimilation

  -and I-the forever brown girl trapped in a white America

She’s the American Dream

  And I’m the immigrant activist

She’s the Doña

  and I’m cabrona

Poetry: The Difference

I wrote this in 2006 after I was reflecting my first years of being a mother to my eldest child who I had at 17. Becoming a mother at such a young age didn’t make me the best parent and at times I still tried to act my age and party a lot even though I was a parent. It used to eat me up inside but I’ve come to terms that I did the best I could under the circumstances.

me and my oldest in 1999 when I was 18

Late nights at the club

Drunk and dancing-you

Singing lullabies

Until he fell asleep-I

Getting ass from 

an unknown stranger-you

Looking for monsters under the bed

and wishing them away-I

Waking up in an unknown place

With a helluva hangover-you

Waking up from little hands 

Shaking my shoulders-I

You and I=me

Me =two different truths

About the way your childhood

 Was seen

Poetry: Nostalgia

I wrote this poem in 2004 when I was feeling nostalgic about my ex boyfriend A after I had a dream about him. That love story is actually super complicated but that’s another blog post.

Me at age 16

The light falls on his eyes for a few minutes

And I see the flecks of green in them

But what I really see is a different life

I see the life that could’ve been mine

I see the kids we never had

I see the us that was and couldn’t be

But mostly what I see

Is a world full of remorse

Because of adolescent lies and pride

That made us say 

Sorrowful goodbyes

Goodbye Hazel Eyes

And the almost happy future

Held in them 

Eliza Conquers Life: Moving Forward

Moving Forward

So last week, I started a second job at Kroger and I’m excited about it. I feel that with this job my life will finally start moving forward. My end goal is to be financially independent from my husband so I can separate from him. I know that sounds harsh but it’s been over between us for a while. I know that it will be hard trying to work anywhere from 60 to 70 hours a week but sometimes in America, you need a second job to move forward in life. I follow the examples from my hard working immigrant parents who have set this precedent for me. I’m tired of struggling and just getting by. These are my goals:
1) My first goal is to pay off debt I accumulated during my great depression of 2016 and 2017 . 2) My second goal is to build my credit score enough to get approved for a used car loan. Right now we only have one car and it’s rough.
3) Save up for a down payment for a car.
I know that I’m sacrificing time with my kids but since they’re older, they understand. Also, they deserve better than what we’ve been giving them and it’s up to me to take that initiative. This is part of my plan to make my life better for me and my kids. We’ll see how it goes.72225401_10101360389525912_839527301614927872_o

Is There Such a Thing as a Good Divorce? **Life Update Summer 2019**

So it’s been a while since I last blogged and there have been many changes: My husband and I decided to open our marriage January of 2018 and it’s been an interesting journey to say the least. I’ll blog about this in several posts later on. Let’s just say that not much has changed in the dating game except for easier access to getting laid with the help of technology. Haha. Well, as my husband and I explored this new territory…mainly me, we both came to the conclusion or rather I did that a separation followed by a divorce needs to happen. It won’t happen for a while due to lack of finances but it is definitely one of goals within the next 2 years. One thing I wonder though is : Is there such a thing as a good divorce? I’ve seen friends and family go through divorces and all of them seem to suck and become outright ugly and bitter. I understand that the dissolution of any relationship is sad, angry, and often at times full of resentment. But in my case, I feel that between last year and this year, we’ve worked through a lot of those feelings, have mourned our marriage, and have come to an agreement that we’ll always try to maintain a great friendship because duh we’ve shared a life together and we have 3 kids together. I’m not sure if my Pollyanna outlook on this is realistic but I really hope that me and my husband end up being those exes that take vacations together. I wonder if there are people out there that actually do that. Our Awkward Selfie