Joy Studio - Julia's story
  • I would love to hear your story? What are the experiences that shaped who you are today?

It starts with my childhood not being easy – although I knew my parents wanted & loved me, there was no open affection. I wanted for nothing as a child, but there were no random cuddles, verbal expressions of love, hugs or kisses from my parents. I think it made me unaffectionate in later life, as I didn’t really know how to relate to people.

I also had problems with my kidneys so was off school a lot and was always having uncomfortable tests. Those problems have developed into stage 3 renal failure in my adult life. There is no treatment at this stage – it is just managed with good healthy options.

We had started off in Wainuiomata, but moved to Gisborne for 7 years, for me that was age 10 to 17 – important years. I know that if we had stayed in Wainuiomata for those crucial years I likely would have fallen in with a bad crowd and never really succeeded in life. As, in Gisborne, I was placed in strict schools with high academic achievements.

When we moved back here, I finished high school and went to university – I came out with a BA, BA (Hons) & an MA, but have worked in government departments for the last 30 or so years, and now work from home.

My mother passed away from cancer in 2010. She was my best friend and the loss was devastating. I still feel a part of me died too, and I feel robbed of her – this is the time in my life where I imagined we would be going out for brunch and shopping together. I feel sad when I see other women my age out with their mums.

My father passed away in 2014. He was not of sound mind or body by then, so the weeks leading up to his passing, and the event itself, was incredibly difficult and quite bad, thanks to my brother taking advantage of him financially.

I have had three significant long-term relationships in my adult life.

1994-2002: The first one cheated on me for 8 years; I found out and ended things. He did not take it very well and tried to kill me & my new partner several months later, and subsequently went to prison for it, he died of a heart attack in 2007, but we had made peace with each other before that. I learned from that relationship that I did not ever want to experience anything like that again, but it did not stop me from finding someone else.

2002-2010: My second partner was quite different to the first. He did not love me or see a future for him with me in it – but he waited 8 years to tell me. He dumped me a week after I had laid my mother to rest. I spent nearly two years in a deep depression trying to cope with two losses. During that time, I inadvertently and unknowingly lost 30kg to 40kg – it was due to a combination of depression, excessively sleeping, prescription medication, separation anxiety, and shift work. When I realised, I jumped on a dating website, and met partner 3.

2012-present: I married this one. What an epic mistake. When we were dating and engaged, he was charming and did everything right. As soon as we got married, his true colours surfaced. He is actually a full-blown narcissist. We haven’t been together since January 2015 – it’s just a marriage on paper. We still live under the same roof but lead completely separate lives. The difference between him and me is that I have friends; he has pretty much estranged himself from his family and doesn’t really have any friends – he thinks he has friends, but reality says different. I have learned that the best way to deal with him is to ignore him. Treating a narcissist in kind gets you nowhere – they do not learn. It’s not where I wanted to be at this stage in my life, but I cannot let it get me down. The way I see it is that he contributes to me doing what I want to do. He pays half the bills which frees me up to do other things. He doesn’t even realise what he’s doing.

Being with the wrong partners shapes you.

Joy Studio - Julia's story
  • Tell about the time in your life when you felt the most powerful?

I think that time is now. And I will become more powerful when I have achieved my current weight-loss goal.

  • What is your inner attribute that you like the most?


  • Are you at ease with your own body and age?

Not at all

  • What would you try to do if you felt that you couldn’t fail?

Be with the man I really want and have loved for the last 8 years.

  • Research shows that a lot of women want to know that the work they do is significant, meaningful and embodies their highest potential. What do you think?

I like my job now. I didn’t until a few years ago. But being able to work from home full-time, thanks to Covid-19 proving it was possible, has made me like it more. The work I do involves the care and protection of children & vulnerable people, so is very significant & meaningful.

  • What words of wisdom, based on your personal experience, would you like to share with others who struggle to see their own inner light and inner power?

If you are truly motivated, you will do it. Losing weight changed my life – I liked being confident – I want to be that way again. So am motivated to lose weight and am doing it according to a plan this time.

  • What do you do to let your hair down or as a self-care ritual?

Once or twice a month I spend an outrageous amount of money at my hairdresser.

  • Who are the women that you find inspiring and have influenced you in some way?

There are some strong women in my life – my best friend; my Team Leader at work; Stevie Nicks, who has had her share of bad relationships and has never married, and also grief stricken at the loss of her mother.

  • Why are beautiful photos of yourself important to you now?

I have no children or family. There is only me. I would like to leave something behind that shows I existed.

I also need to know that I am not deserving of so much rejection.

Joy Studio - Julia's story