Temptation – It happens

So today I realized something pretty unbelievable. If you are in a place where you think that you are confident and that you have made your choices, temptation will come and it will look you straight in the eye and say “What’s it going to be Joyce?”. Not only did this happen once this weekend it happened twice.

Giovanni reappeared and I know he was my “Heroin”. The song Demons is not lost on me at all.  The song is pretty poignant for me and I am sure for many more out there. The song starts:

“Sometimes they’re in a bottle
Sometimes a pair of high heal shoes
Some come rolled in paper
Some have six strings and only play the blues
Once you meet the devil
There’s no way he’ll let you be
When I’m not chasing demons
There’s demons chasing me
Skeletons in closets
Ghost underneath the bed
They hide out in pictures
And in words better left unsaid
They hang around like perfume
And haunt me like an ancient melody
When I’m not chasing demons
There’s demons chasing me”
My demons always have two legs and have been in my heart and head and have torn me apart in the past. I got by them more than once and it took a hard couple (or more in the case of Giovanni) lessons to move on. My demons have names. My demons reappear. It is the test of my life and my love of Danny and that relationship that I chose.
Today I did a FB live and one of the Demons appeared. It is NOT a coincidence that this weekend was a pivotal point for me and Danny and that both Demons appeared. They Universe was basically asking me “What’s it going to be this time bitch? Is Danny what you want or are you Jonesing again for the Heroin and the other demon?”
I have one unequivocal answer – Demons, you are on your own, go fuck your own lives up. My life is on track. I know my souls purpose on this planet. I have found what I was looking for and it is reciprocal. I would be a FUCKING lost Idiot to say the least if I did not recognize it and move forward, sidestepping this serious drama.
I am not saying I would change the drama of the past. This sounds silly, but if I changed it I would not be here now ready for this life. I am here, Danny, I am waiting and I choose you, I chose you this morning and today when the Demons were at my door at my face, I saw your face and I chose you again. Danny – Oel ngati kameie  – I see you and I choose you.

Vulnerability, Courage, Sharing and Fear – I am okay with who I am today.


I really do take the time to reflect and think about the past and the why. I cannot stress enough how much work I have done on myself and the reflection that goes along  is a big deal. For me I knew that I had to look at the actions as well as the circumstances surrounding the decisions. This helped me change and heal.


I was recently asked about the why in each of the choices I made in making a “life” with my marital choices. There are definitely short snippets that I clearly state. There are a couple of reasons for these being short and easy statements.

The first is because it is easier for people to understand.

Second it is what I am willing to share. My intimate details are mine and I can either choose to share them or not.

Thirdly unless I really have something invested in this person, there is no reason to give them more.



People like to gossip and as much as I like to share my life in this blog to help people, I am not going to really bare my soul because I am not opening to that level. People judge you and the fact is you cannot change it. People who matter will work through it and find a balance with me.


In relationships Brene Brown talks about being very careful who you share your pain and secrets. The fact is that when you choose this you open yourself up to these being shared without your permission. It is when your most intimate and possibly painful experiences are being shared it is a violation unimaginable. I learned the hard way this level of betrayal. It was the hardest and most painful from a woman who I thought had been my friend for 20 years but my life was just fodder for her gossip. I have learned from that experience and I do not let people in as easily.


So as I look past that lesson , I see that for the most part I have a much larger wall and my boundaries are solid. I am pretty guarded and until Danny I have chosen to keep things close to the vest. So when he asks questions, I have to stop and think about it. I reflect additionally after these discussions. It has been in these discussions that I have built a trust with him that I have not allowed anyone to have with me outside a few lifelong friends.


This past discussion was about the marital choices. I have shared deeper and more thoughtfully with him than I have with anyone with the exception to my therapist. What I have been looking at overall for myself is that I have lived many lives with many chapters. I think with Danny since he was with the same woman for 32 years, he has a different life experience. We will talk about things I sometimes have to put it in perspective.  I project judgement on myself and I know full well that is not the intention. I shake it and move on. This is new for me as well. I used to be a dweller and freak out.


So as I see my life today, I have come a long way. I have chosen to heal, I have chosen to change. I have chosen the good, all the good that goes into life. It is hard for me to try to explain the pain I was in or the place my head was at then, or who I was then. I am not that person, nor do I feel that way. What I do know is the following: I love me, I am worthy of love. I am loved. This has all been a process. The process has been a long one, I have asked myself hard questions and I have reflected deeply. Sadly I did not always think like this or even believe I deserved it.


I really enjoy Danny. I love spending time with him. He makes me feel safe when I do share. I do not share freely with people. I have made a conscious choice to share with him. I am not the little girl who had to be someone else to be accepted. I was obsessed with being perfect for everyone. That person is gone.


I am the person I was supposed to be right now. I am exactly where I am supposed to be right now. The questions he poses are not out of the norm, it is just that sometimes they stir things up. I am Okay with this but sometimes I am not expecting it. I took a long time to get my life orderly. I do not crucify myself any longer of where I was and what I did in the past. I make good decisions for me now. I surround myself with people who love me and I treat myself with love. I am a bad martyr so I do not do it any more because it is wasted energy.


I used to really ignore the shit in my life and the best way I can describe it is that I would just throw it in a closet and slam the door. Eventually that door will not close if you do not deal with it. I chose to deal with it and it is all in nicely packed suitcases. I remember but I do not have to relive it.


This being vulnerable to Danny is easy enough, because my intuition is guiding it. Yet it is difficult because it is scary for me. It is definitely not always comfortable even though I know he is a safe place to land. I am digging deep to be strong to be vulnerable and open to him and build our relationship on a solid foundation.



Brene Brown says Vulnerability Is an Act of Courage http://www.oprah.com/spirit/life-lessons-we-all-need-to-learn-brene-brown

There are a few myths about vulnerability that I think keep us from being wholehearted people who can fully give and receive love. The first is that vulnerability is weakness. The second is that it’s optional. First of all, vulnerability is not weakness. It’s probably the most accurate measure of our individual courage. When I ask research subjects to give me an example of being in situations where they feel vulnerable, they say, “Taking responsibility for something that went wrong at work” or “Telling my boyfriend that I love him” or “Calling my friend whose child just died” or “Sending my kid to school knowing she is struggling but knowing she had has to figure it out” or “Meeting with the hospice person who is going to be taking care of my mother.” Sometimes I hear people say “I don’t do vulnerability.” But you do it, everyday. We all do it. We all have those moments. The only choice you have is how you handle those feelings of being terrifyingly, painfully exposed. Maybe you turn them into rage; maybe you turn them into disconnection; maybe you numb them; maybe you turn them into perfectionism (which, by the way, is what I do with them). But you do something with them. The key to transforming them into courage instead is learning how recognize them, feel them and ultimately make the choice to simply be there, with that horrible tangle of uncertainty and risk. When you know what you’re feeling and why, you can slow down, breathe, pray, ask for support—and make choices that reflect who you are and what you believe.


May all your waves be glassy!



Mickey Mantel – What a Dick

I like to think of myself as a thoughtful person. I put a lot of effort into gifts for the people I love. So when it was the first Christmas married to Alan, I put a lot of thought into the gift. I would always get great jewelry so I guess I thought he put effort in as well.

Alan would always tell me about his life in the past. HELLO GIRL THIS WAS A CLUE. He really was not great at making new memories, but I digress here.

He told me about a Mickey Mantel Hartland Figure he had as a boy. He would talk about this statue all the time. So I thought this is what I will find and get him for Christmas. I was so excited. I found the statue, I got a signed baseball card and had it authenticated. I had it all put in one of those boxes so you could mount it on the wall.

The effort that went into that gift was huge. It was before the internet was so prominent. It took a lot of work. I was so excited to give it to him. This was a change from the cuff links and other things I usually got him.

Christmas morning comes, I am so Freaking excited for him I cannot contain myself. This is how it goes. He opens it and says it is really cool. I am happy. Then he says what do I have to show off to the people at work? WTF Seriously? This is my life? What in God’s name? I said go use a gift card and we can go to the Nordstrom Men’s semi annual sale.

It was the worst gift giving experience I had ever had considering this is something he claimed had meant so much to him but it was gone. Again, he will never be happy, there is never anything that is enough. He is an empty sad man. His lesson is that everyone is not going to be that thoughtful or kind and giving. He is definitely not that so I doubt the Universe will ever bring that to him again. You reap what you sow.

They say Mickey Mantel was a dick in life, well Alan was one too. It is appropriate that I gave him his figure and they can be dicks together in San Pedro.

For the record, I still give great gifts. I now just learn a lot about people from the reactions to what I give them.

May all your waves be glassy.

Why did I change to be loved?

I was having a discussion with a friend yesterday about my weight loss. I have not really had a life long weight struggle. I think I basically would go into a “fat hiding” when I lost my way in life.

The trigger for this reflection really happened because yesterday I got on the scale and I realized I was the same weight I was when I met Alan. I was not unhappy with my weight at that time. I think that is important to note in this post.

After I left Alan I realized the progression was slow into the trophy wife he wanted. I have been a pleaser the majority of my life. I have been the peacemaker. This is all in my personal life. In my work life I am a warrior the majority of the time. I told him after I had left him he was no different than a cult leader, The changes were slow and subtle. I was slowly isolated from my friends, my behaviors had to align with his whims.

When I moved in with him, I should not have moved in at that time, I should have kept all my possessions in storage, neither of those happened. So there were times I felt I had no choice but to make it work. My uncle, my North Star, was in Chicago and I always wanted him proud and never needing to worry, as if I could stop his worry, his love was too great for that to be real.

I think that at some levels I thought I was not worthy. As I reflect back the first clue to run that was the largest happened after I took him to my beloved St. Monica’s for Sunday night Mass. When we got home, he told me that he was looking at other women and I needed to lose weight or he would not marry me. What the hell was I thinking? I should have packed up and left right then.

The last time he had said hurtful things I was going to leave and go to a girlfriends house. True to the fashion of a manipulator, he told me if I left it would show I was not committed and was just running. Now years later, that was an excellent psychological play, it froze me and I stayed.

I know I blogged about these experiences in more depth but for this post I wanted the background.

The long and short of it, he married me, I did not lose the weight he thought I should lose. I was fit, I was healthy, I surfed 2 days a week and worked out. I was not fat. He just tormented me with that because it was the only card he had over me.

The weight argument would happen and I would be punished by being turned down for sex. Not only was I turned down, he would tap my pooch and tell me the 5 pounds was unattractive. This was always right before my period, so it was water. It crushed me over and over again.

If I argued it with him, he would throw out a number he thought I should weigh, and I would respond that I was 15 pounds heavier when we met and that was ok. He would tell me you said you would lose the weight and you didn’t. I would respond you still married me and he would tell me he should have held off. WTF, FML, SMH.

I look back and see all the years I put into that to make it work never had a chance. He was not going to change. I could not do all the heavy lifting and still be healthy and happy.

In addition, he made 30 grand more than me and I was taking on more and more of the bills. He did not see that as a problem. In fact he did at one point throw out that he wanted to know why I did not sue the employer I left when I married him. I said because I got a package. I had been being harassed and had sought counsel, I chose the package and moving on, which he knew.

The last thing I want to add in here is something else that shows who he is and was clearly. We would surf all the time. I have a Rusty 8’0′ and it is the best. He had a quiver and always wanted to try new gear. He bought a surftech and it was shorter than my board.

We were surfing Seal at the Jetty and he was having a shit time on his new surftech.  I was on my Rusty claiming my waves. He wanted to use my board and I let him. The deal here was I owned that Surftech ride. It was a great board and I hit every wave. We went for breakfast. As we drove up the coast I said something like that was awesome today. His response was “It is not like you have any talent”. I let it go. That night we went to the movies. As we waited for the movie to start, he told me it was a great day and it looked like I did really well. I responded back to him “It is not like I have any talent” He said why would you say that? I said someone said it to me. He asked who? Seriously, he denied ever saying that to me.  This was just one in a trail of wounds.

In the end, I would never have been able to make a narcissist happy, he was broken long before I showed up. I lost myself in that mess, day by day, attack by attack. I pity him really. I see I am his lesson. I was and am a free spirit. I love with all I have and when I am done I am done. It is his lesson to learn why he is alone, unconditional love is a gift and does not show up in your life all the time. I know he never remarried, I doubt he ever will.

My lesson, be me, if he loves me that will be enough. If he loves me and we share our lives we will grow together. I am enough for me. My partner needs to be enough for him. Alan was not enough for himself, or he would not be searching for perfection at every moment. The surfing bear, surfed right out of his life. I pray he finds what he needs, because that is my wish for everybody.  Lesson learned.

By the way, the number on the scale is going down and it is just a number. Numbers lie, that number yesterday, I have left it in the past.