I wrote this in 2019 when I was reflecting about the way men have often objectified in a way thatthey almost always seem to just want the fun and sexy part of me but seem to often have problems seeing the rest of me. I’ve almost always felt like I’ve been good enough to be their lover but never good enough to be introduced to their mother. Do I still feel this way? I honestly don’t know. I like the attention and validation I get from men because of my looks but sometimes it feels so hollow.
My last year in my 30s ended up with me being an essential worker during a pandemic while being a mom of three and being involved in two different romantic liaisons. I could look back on what I have not accomplished in my life and be sad but instead I’ll focus on my growth and my goals for the next year. I’ve made a lot of progress this year both financially and personally. I’ve improved my credit score by 100 points by working 2 jobs and paying debt off. Also for the first time in my adult life I’m in a healthy romantic relationship with a wonderful man. This time last year I didn’t think either was possible and at times I don’t feel like I deserve all of the good fortune in my life. As I look forward to my next year and my new decade, I hope to really focus on becoming a confident driver, submit my writing everywhere and try to get published, and continue to work my two jobs to save up to buy 2 houses. I’m kind of excited for how the next decade looks like. My thirties taught me I can survive what I once thought would not be survivable. During my thirties, I felt myself merely surviving. In this next decade, I look forward to thriving.
I wrote this in December of 2002 about John. I had only known him a couple of weeks and had already become so infatuated with him and obsessed.
Could I be the one who makes you stop having fun? Could I be the girl who becomes your whole world? Could I be the light in your darkest nights? Could I be the passion who becomes your inspiration? Could I be the hope Who helps you cope Could I be the love of your life and possibly even your wife?
Me and Valentine’s Day have a history – well a sordid kind of history full of trauma and drama. Since I can remember I’ve always wanted a Valentine Day where I had the perfect day with my special someone. To me that would feel like a hallmark movie. This hallmark movie would include chocolate, flowers, lots of hand holding and kissing in, romantic dinner and a grand romantic gesture from my partner. The gesture would be so thoughtful, it would make me tear up with happiness. Yes, my expectations were high on this day but hey don’t blame me – I grew up on 90s rom coms and Telenovelas. Let’s talk about my history with this day.
At 14, I was super hyped about this day because I finally had a special someone to celebrate this day with, my first boyfriend, Jude. We went to the Valentine’s Day Dance at the school where we slow danced to the most romantic 90’s songs. Picture Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey playing in the background as I feel myself falling in love. Jude even bought me a rose and unexpectedly gave me this nice sterling silver bracelet and I teared up. I felt like wow, this is so romantic and magical, is this real? Is this too good to be true? Well, ha-ha it was. A week later he broke up with me around my birthday because he realized we were better off as friends. Also, he needed the bracelet back, it has been his mom’s that he had stolen to give it to me. It would be my first taste of drama and trauma surrounding this holiday.
In my late teens and early 20s I was always single on Valentine’s Day. Because of that I would get salty as all my partnered coworkers would get flowers delivered to their office or talked about their stupid romantic plans. One day me and my close friend/coworker Mary- said fuck it, we’ll be each other’s valentine. We’ll send flowers to each other and go out to lunch. It was a great Valentine’s Day that year. We had our own kind of Galantine’s before Leslie Knope made it a thing.
After that, I was with my co-parent/roommate, and this is what I wrote about that day in 2014:
“Valentine’s Day is a waste of a day for older married couples with kids. I suppose that sounds slightly bitter and biased based on my own experiences. I don’t ever remember my parents celebrating Valentine’s Day and they’re still married. So much importance and consumerism is given to this particular day it makes one wonder -how did we as a society eat up all the hype concerning this particular holiday and regurgitated it with “oh so much love, kindness, flowers, chocolates, cards, etc.” The world would be a much better place if love and kindness was practiced more often. It could be part of the new movement called “love and kindness” awareness and it could be marketed with T shirts, pins, and don’t forget the Bumper Stickers” Somehow I think this already happens with the movement “make America kind again” after the last brutal election. Anything can be marketed and consumable by the masses if it makes them feel good about themselves. And that’s why Valentine’s Day is still such a big deal. People that celebrate “their love” can now prove their awesome love by snapchatting or instagraming that shit. Valentine’s Day is just another symptom of the curse of consumerism. `
I was obviously very bitter and jaded when I wrote this. To be fair to my coparent/ roommate, he did try his best some years to fulfill my unrealistic expectations of the day and well- he couldn’t. I do have to mention that one day-I was pleasantly surprised that he bought me a coach perfume, I mentioned wanting it as a joke. I didn’t think he would get it for me, but he did.
In 2018 we opened our marriage and started hooking up/dating dudes. I was also going through a period where my hypersexuality was very intense. I was at a social event drunk, and I got the bright idea that I needed to hook up with someone, anyone that night. So, I met this random dude at the hotel room. I met him from an app, and he had no pictures-and that was for good reason. Ugh, he wasn’t attractive at all, but I was drunk, wanted to have sex, and I was too cute to be alone on Valentine’s Day. Drunk me + hypersexuality +God Complex =no standards for hooking up. Anyways me and this guy have incredibly hot sex and he’s talking dirty. This is all normal except then he starts saying weird things like “I could picture spending my life with you” or “I can see us really falling in love” as he’s ramming me every which way. I don’t want to ruin the mood, so I just figure its weird kink and go with it. I don’t want to ruin the mood and figure, maybe this dude is just lonely or whatever. So, after we have this hot sex, we both go our separate ways. I don’t expect to hear from him. Well, the next day, he blows up my phone wanting to hook up again and I respond telling him “No, it was a onetime thing”. He responds, “we had good chemistry and I’m falling in love with you”. I responded, “I’m not looking for anything like that”. After that what follows are texts, slut shaming with every name in the book “whore, bitch, slut, while also trying to convince me that according to him “we could be so good together”:” I do call him out on his misogyny, but he doesn’t want to hear and says he doesn’t care and continues to insult me while trying to convince me to see him. I’m confused and think “wow, this happened to me as a consequence of my own actions, maybe I deserve it, Idk”. I do proceed to block him. It could have been a nice memory of hot sex of Valentine’s Day but once again it’s marked by trauma and drama. Will I ever have a nice Valentine’s Day? I just want to feel loved and be loved on that day? Why is it so hard?
Fast forward to last year, when I was in love with my recent ex, the second Andrew. That year I had all of the ingredients for my hallmark movie like Valentine’s Day, right? We celebrated V-day on Feb.13, the Saturday before it because of my hectic work schedule. It was really close to perfect. There was good food, wine, butterflies in both of our stomachs cause we’re in love, and dancing. He even makes a grand and thoughtful gesture and I’m so touched I’m almost moved to tears. This is my Hallmark real life movie. Fucking finally, right? I’m so happy and I feel so loved, I share that happiness out in the world with a tweet. Now my relationship with the second Andrew is polyamorous so I’m careful that I don’t tag him and make sure his other partner Sharon is not following me on twitter. I don’t want to hurt any feelings. I ‘m just so grateful to feel loved and be loved by this wonderful man, it’s important for me to share it out there in the world. Among everything crazy and chaotic in my life, I have this perfect memory of love. It’s almost too good to be true right, and it was, a few days later, I hear from him how Sharon’s feelings were hurt by my tweet. I told him about how I made sure that she didn’t see my tweet, but he tells me I’m accountable because my twitter is public. So, to smooth things over, I felt forced apologized for tweeting out my fucking happiness. It was great (insert sarcasm). I remember afterwards feeling this incredible sense of shame and guilt for Sharon’s feelings being hurt by my tweet and at the time I wrote in my journal, “maybe we should break up so she can have him all to herself, I don’t have the time or energy to fight for a man”. I didn’t of course but maybe I was starting to see the cracks in my relationship with the second Andrew. There is a lot more to this story about the second Andrew, but that content will be shared much later this year or next year. I could say that I wish I hadn’t been informed about Sharon’s feelings, but I’ve learned to accept that it happened, and it is what it is. It was just annoying that it was once again another Valentine’s Day followed by drama and trauma.
This year, I decided to flip the switch and rather than feeling sorry or pity for myself to for
being alone; I’m turning this day which is traumatic into a triumphant one. I have declared it my self love day where I’m my own Valentine. I’ve made it so that the only one that can ruin the day is me. Lol. My plan is to take the day off and do the following:
Wake and exercise.
Buy myself flowers.
Watch an episode or two of “You” because I need some time with my king (Joe Goldberg).
Listen to the Queens on vinyl and write.
Drink wine and eat tacos while I watch “Kill Bill ” and other violent movies.
Do all this while I wear my red lingerie and take gratuitous selfies for some sexy self-care later. Wink, wink.
It looks like I’m finally getting my own romantic movie starring myself after 25 years. Except we won’t call it a Hallmark movie, it’s more of an Indie film. I will post an update on how it all went on next Valentine’s Day.
On the eve of the New Year, I reflect on the crazy and wild year that was 2021. It was a year of great transformation for me. There were a lot of changes this year. Some good, some bad, some that made me want to die. Lol. To end this year on a positive note, I will concentrate on the lessons I’ve learned this year:
1. My superpower is my resilience. Life may get crazy and really rough shit may happen to me but I still get up the next morning and show up for myself and others no matter what. It’s important for me to keep moving. This might not work for everybody but it works for me. I may want to lay in bed and dwell in my misery on some days but the fighter in me says “no bitch, get up and do your thing”.
2.It’s okay to say “NO” and sometimes it might be crucial to my mental health to do so. As a former people pleaser that used to love to accommodate for the needs of others, this was a hard lesson to learn. People in your circle will understand that “NO” is a complete sentence and will not try to turn your “NO” into a yes to fulfill their own selfish needs. For me, it’s really a boundary that cannot be crossed.
3.Don’t compromise your authenticity for anyone. I used to have this need to be loved or liked by everyone and sometimes I did this thing where I toned myself down or compromised who I was to the point that I would lose myself. Yeah I don’t do that anymore. People can get tired of me and leave and then what do I have left after I’ve changed into this edited version of myself for them to swallow; a freaking hot mess with a lost sense of identity. Nah, from now on, everyone I meet gets the most authentic version of me. If they don’t like it, they can leave. It’s not a good thing or bad thing, the people that are meant to be in your life will stay.
4.Do whatever it takes to get through the day even if it seems or feels crazy (within reason). One of my favorite phases I’ve come up with for myself is “I may be crazy but at least I’m creative as fuck”. In July, I went through a rough time and had to find new and rather innovative ways to survive. I restarted my blog,I have written more than 100 poems /essays/writings since July, exercised so much I lost 20 lbs, and my most favorite, beat a specific phobia (I’ll blog more about this later on in the new year). I also made loads of videos since that time frame to document my progress and growth.
5. Stop apologizing for your feelings and/or over-explaining yourself. Before you start apologizing for your feelings or over-explaining yourself, ask yourself why you’re doing it. I used to do this a lot as a trauma response.
6. You never stop growing. I’ve learned this year through therapy that there were still these parts of me that were emotionally stunted due to trauma. To be honest with myself, I have to acknowledge that sometimes when I get super angry I go into this type of age regression where I convert back to being an impulsive child that acts out. It’s cringy to say the least but I think that when I get to this stage in my anger, I’m in survival mode and do this to feel like I’m in control of a situation. Now that I’m aware of this, I’m so much better at practicing the pause and mindfulness when I’m angry or I take my impulsive bratty inner child for a run. Lol.
7. No one or nothing can save you from the emptiness, sadness, and feelings of worthlessness you might feel except yourself. I used to think that I needed someone or something for me to feel complete but this year I realized I don’t. If I felt empty or numb, I would chase a new job, a new man, new friends, etc to try to have this feeling of being enough or complete. I won’t say I was wrong; I was just doing the best I could with the information I had at the time. This year I learned to really pause and take the time to appreciate the life that I do have. I also really learned how being alone can be really empowering. It was hard at first but slowly I really started to enjoy my own company. The transformation from being this needy and almost codependent woman to being this confident and independent woman has honestly sucked. However, after many therapy sessions and tears, for the first time in my life, I have a new feeling of self worth and confidence that I’ve never felt before. In all honesty, I feel like I’m finally the powerful woman I always wanted to but didn’t have the courage to be until now.
8. It’s important to take time to rest. I say this acknowledging that I’m privileged enough to take time off from both of my jobs without any consequences. At my second job, when my manager would ask me to stay later or work an extra shift, I would say yes because I felt I had to or needed to. I learned this summer to say “no” and draw my own boundaries with them. I learned that it’s crucial to me to have time to myself for my own well being. And in all honesty, I’ve used work as a way to avoid living my own often hectic and chaotic life especially when it got too overwhelming. Now, I finally have the life I want that I don’t feel the need to run away from.
9. Live your truth out loud. This year I’ve made the conscious decision to be more honest about the life I live. I used to be ashamed and I tried to mask certain parts of my life. I no longer really do that. Most of the people at both my jobs and family know about the complicated personal life I’ve had, my diagnosis, and other areas of my life I thought I needed to keep private. To my surprise, people are incredibly support and not judgmental at all. I’m incredibly lucky that in this area in my life, people are really rooting for me and not against me.
10. It is important for me to feel my feelings and ride the rollercoaster of overwhelming emotions when it comes and it doesn’t make me a weak person. Before being diagnosed with BPD, I used to get so mad at myself or felt shame whenever I felt the intense emotions rise up within me when something upset me or made me sad. I felt weak and irrational and tried to rationalize and fix whatever was wrong with me right away. After my BPD diagnosis, I learned that there is nothing wrong with my emotions. I also learned that it’s important to honor my emotions. It’s important for me to observe my intense emotions and listen to what my mind and body needs. If I’m cranky, maybe I need to rest. If I’m super angry, maybe I need to write salty poetry or exercise. If I’m sad, maybe I need to listen to sad music and cry . 99 percent of the time, honoring my emotions like this has worked and what use to take days of misery to get over now takes hours
I don’t know what lessons 2022 has in store for me but for the first time in a long time I’m excited about life. I’m excited about all of the growth and progress I’ve made this year even if it has been rough at times. I’m excited that right now I’m disciplined enough and have the right tools and environment to continue to make progress with my emotional and physical health. A year ago, I was miserable, tired AF and working at my 2nd while people were feeling sorry for me but today I’m at home in my PJ spending time with my boys and I’m full of optimism. A lot can change in a year and while 2021 was bitter sweet, I’m thankful for the lessons. Here is to 2022 being another year full of lessons, full of growth, and full of hope.
So today marks my 10 anniversary since starting this blog. I’ll admit that until the summer of this year I didn’t take this blog as seriously as maybe I should have. I started this blog in December of 2011 after my house was broken into and we were robbed. It was traumatizing to me and my family and I needed a way to process it so I started blogging. Here is that blogpost:
Since starting this blog, there have been a lot of life changes. I’ve blog about those life changes few times when just writing it down doesn’t do the trick. The way that I have explained it to friends and family is that the blog is like screaming into the void of cyberspace.In October of 2019, I started posting my poetry and this was another level of intimacy for me because I don’t share my poetry with just anyone. I will share my poetry or writing with one of my close friends or sometimes at open mic at my local pub .Then I started a second job and I didn’t have the time needed to dedicate to this blog but I always kept writing. Then I got into a relationship that lasted until July of this year. While I’m not getting into how that relationship ended or why (that’s blog content for late next year-lol) it was one of the reasons I started blogging again. The demise of that relationship was unexpected and devastating for me so I turned to my first coping mechanism-writing. Shortly before my breakup in July, I started therapy and was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and that was a lot to process in itself. Being broken up while dealing with a new diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder felt like I had experienced 2 really horrible car wrecks within a week. I compare it to a car accident because that’s probably one of the most traumatizing experiences of my life. Except this time, it wasn’t my car that was totaled and unrepairable, it was me. I felt like I had lost part of my identity since I was no longer someone’s partner and I gained a new part of my identity in being diagnosed with BPD. I felt completely overwhelmed with no sense of direction; I honestly didn’t know what to do next. All I wanted to do was lie in bed and cry while Alexa played my sad girl playlist from Spotify. Here is that playlist:
And while I did do that some of the time; I understood I still needed to get up every day and show up for myself somehow. And showing up for myself meant writing. And so I wrote every day in my journal and in my numerous notebooks. I wrote letters at 3 AM that I would never send, journal entries full of immense sadness and rage, and tons and tons of poetry.
A few days after my breakup, I decided to blog about my diagnosis to start to make sense of it and here’s that post:
After writing that post and it got more than a few views and a couple of likes, it made me realize that there are other people like me. I also got the idea at that time that healing for me would look like me revisiting past traumatic situations through my poetry and reflections or writing a blog post. And this was chaotic in itself because I started posting poetry from all stages in my life. So around late October and early November, I started posting poetry for the most part chronologically from the early stages of my writing with the very first poem I wrote when I was 15 and here’s that poem:
My writings and poetry are confessional, sometimes childish, and at times super emotional. It’s meant for people who have felt misunderstood in their anger and grief, it’s meant for people who feel everything at once and feel overwhelmed by it, it’s meant for people who have traumas they’re still not over, and it’s meant for people who have given their trust and vulnerability to the wrong people only to be broken over and over again by doing this.
My future plan for this blog is to continue to post poetry, essays, playlists, and other writings. Without intending to, this blog has become a storytelling blog. And it’s a story about a woman who is far from perfect. It’s a story of woman who lies, who loves hard, who hates even harder, who loves sex, who has been abandoned by lovers and who has abandoned lovers, who’s crazy, and who feels immense sadness and rage when trauma hits. It’s a story of a woman who fucks up continuously but still manages to get up and try to become a better version of herself than she was yesterday. It’s also a story of a woman who has continued to triumph after trauma. Most importantly it’s a story of a woman who is done accommodating to people’s and society’s expectations of who she should be and at 40 has realized that being authentic and true to herself is the only and right way for her to be. I may have changed a lot within a decade but what will never change is my love for writing and my purpose to continue to share my story.
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.
(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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I wrote this poem in 2018 shortly after the death of my maternal grandmother/mamacita. My grandmother lived in a time where her opportunities were very limited by society’s rules about what a woman should be.