Let’s Catch Up, Shall We?

Greetings, Readers.

Welcome back. I’ve got stuff on my mind and need a place to put it. A blog seems as good as any other place to do that. It’s why I’ve been doing it on and off for over eleven years.

But in that decade-plus, things have changed, you know? We’re inundated with information with millions of blogs out there in the blogiverse. And we are vulnerable with putting things online, things that can’t disappear entirely once we do put things there. This sometimes makes honesty hard, and it has to be couched, fluffed up with cushions, so as not to harm ourselves or others via those who would pry and prey.

For me, blogging has always been about the need to communicate, to capture in words something of the human condition, and somewhat anonymously share (as much as I chose, in theory) those thoughts with others on virtual paper. I honestly don’t get the “branding of one’s image” with a blog or using a blog for personal financial gain — not that there’s anything inherently wrong with that. So many people have successfully done just those things and my hat is off to them!

But for me, it’s the writing that matters, and the sharing of ideas in a free-enterprise setting. And frankly, while I care about people and care for the friendships I have made via blogging, really don’t care how many people are reading or not reading. If even ONE person reads and starts nodding his or her head and responds in his/her mind or in a comment with, “I GET that,” I’d be pleased as punch! And many, many of you have done that through the years. So thank you. Hats off to you for sticking with me and reading and responding.

Why begin again? Well, courtesy of Jennyphoria’s Facebook page, I read this article the other day: Science Shows Something Surprising About People Who Love to Write via mic.com.

“By writing about traumatic, stressful or emotional events, participants were significantly more likely to have fewer illnesses and be less affected by trauma.”

[Researchers found] “writing about distressing events helped participants make sense of the events and reduce distress.”

I’ve had some stress over the past decade. Most of us have. My stress caused me to get ill, along with other factors that scientists are only beginning to research and understand (e.g., “Food Allergies in Children Could Be Caused by Antibiotics” via Yahoo! News).

I’ve been married three times: all those marriages have also ended in the time-frame of the past 15 years. I’ve had two kids in the past 18 years, lived in three states in the U.S. and France, and had extremes in how all of those things happened. In the past couple of years, the events keep coming and challenging, as they do for many — probably most — people. I’m not setting myself apart here, really, except to join the already large crowd who has had to walk through some major shit in recent years.

A reader of An Alien Parisienne wrote me some time in the past year; unfortunately, I deleted the email. I was cleaning out the mailbox some time ago, and I guess it was one of the ones to go because I can’t find it now. I cannot recall exactly what it said, but it was something along the lines of “You’ve not posted on Do Overs in Denver in a really long time. I guess it really goes to show Denver is less than Paris and there is really nothing to write about.” That’s how I interpreted the message, anyway. Like I wrote, I can’t go back and check to see what the message said, precisely. I didn’t reply. I was walking through more shit when I got it, and I decided to just let it lie.

Since writing last at Do Overs in Denver (March 2013), I have had more “finality” with my third husband. Relationships are often not “clean breaks,” are they, especially the more invested we are in them. There was some back and forth in the fall of 2013. The gist of the back and forth was that I still loved him like a wife and he wanted nothing at all to do with me, romantically. If I wanted to be all friendly-like, and buddy-buddy, nice and neutral in emails, “Hey! How you doin’ there, my friend?” then it was acceptable; otherwise, any “processing” (read: anger) or any romance I might be feeling and needing to work out was not welcome. So I got more pissed off. I don’t want to say too much about it, but it was gross. Thankfully, some of the grossness is past, and I am a lot more neutral (“the opposite of love is indifference” eh?). But it hurt badly. It’s no fun to have the person to whom you are married pretty much tell you, “Take a hike.” Again. (My bad in trying. I should have listened to him the first time.)

I dated two people for several weeks at different times in 2013 and 2014, one online and one in Denver. I don’t want to say too much about that, either, but it was gross — the situations became really gross, and I ended it with both people. It sucked. Also this year, I discovered roaches in my kitchen, a bedbug that made its way into my apartment from other units in the building (and where there is one…), and pieced together three part-time jobs to net about $600 per month on average (a large portion of my income was going towards child support I’m ordered to pay, even though my second ex and his fiancee make almost eight times what I do with their combined incomes. Since they are not married, though, her financial information does not “count” — or at least I didn’t make it count when dealing with all the court crap because I represented myself. But a mediator who helped me last year did not factor the fiancee’s income into things, either, because I’m pretty sure the fiancee’s income does not count in Colorado child support cases. Anyway.). Thankfully, my first ex did not charge me rent as someone needed to live with our son while he finished high school, and since my first ex could not do that, what with a new wife and a couple more kids with her, I got to stay and not pay rent (it was also in lieu of child support he could have been paying me). So I worked at these part-time things, hoping that maybe one of them would turn into a full-time thing, but nothing did.

To cap it off, this past spring, my oldest son attempted suicide. That’s a tough one to write in such a public place. It could affect him deeply to have information like that “out there,” but I’m putting it out there as a subject area that needs discussion. We all know this is in need of honest talk. We all know it is one of the leading causes of death of young people (see the CDC stats here). He’s fine now. It was an unsuccessful attempt, thank goodness (understatement). It was an act of impulse of his feeling trapped by sets of circumstances exceeding his ability to handle. They were things that would be hard for any person, much less a teen who takes a lot upon himself, to handle. He’s gotten help, and he’s now in university, doing well. That’s all I am going to say about that.

This all leads me to the reason(s) I moved up about an hour and change north of Denver (still in Colorado). With my mother.

My oldest son graduated, left Denver, leaving me living alone with possible bedbugs and definite roaches as well as needing to start paying rent on the roachy, buggy unit to the tune of $600 per month, minimum (that was a generous “you’re my relative” discount from the first ex, who could get about three times that in Denver’s market). My youngest son lives 75 miles north of Denver, only about 15 miles from my mother, whose home is a titch bit south of my son’s city.

Can you see where this is going? Is the picture emerging clearly?

I decided I was going to have to leave my part-time jobs anyway for something full-time. My supervisors and the others I got to know in the community where I worked didn’t want me to leave, and I didn’t really want to, either, but I didn’t want to add a fourth job into the mix to pay for rent, I wanted to stop driving so far to see my youngest child and be in his life, and I wanted out of the place with bugs. Makes sense, doesn’t it.

And things being what they are, because this blog is not *entirely* anonymous, I have to stop explaining it all at this point as well. *sigh* Someday, maybe.

So, to speak to this, “You’ve not posted on Do Overs in Denver in a really long time. I guess it really goes to show Denver is less than Paris and there is really nothing to write about.” It was not that at all. It was that life sucked serious canal water at many points 2013-2014. (Another word picture that came to me was that life frequently felt like drinking “a cup of shit with a mint sprig in it.” Ha.) I was spending all my time coping with working the part-time jobs, handling relationship issues, seeing my youngest son (with whom I received full parental visitation rights in November 2013, and began regular parenting time with him) and nurturing him, and generally trying to just hold shit together. Denver has GREAT things to do if you are single, have money to burn, and time to burn it. I did go to the Denver Art Museum a few times; it’s awesome. I loved going to movies as often as I could afford them at Denver’s independent movie theaters. I spent time with my sister and her family. (Another factor in my moving is that they had to move south of Denver — a 45-minute drive out of the city — and I missed them terribly; I missed their being a ten-minute drive away and being able to do things with them spur-of-the-moment.)

But it was all just too much to write about at the time it was happening, you know? And because I also experienced some online harassment in the past year, I just wanted to stay miles away from blogging. There was so much happening that I *could not* write about, that I didn’t know what *to* write about.

So. I done did do overs in Denver. They’re finished now. Kaput. LOL.

But I think I am ready again to write online, maybe. Haha! I am tiptoeing in. I have to say, though, if there is any harassment like I experienced, or any other kind of fallout from this, I will have to stop. It’s just too hard to go through things in life without having what happens online bite you in the ass. You dig?

Now everything I do, I do for this:

DSCN9319-001

The J-Man

One last thing. I want to share a link to a great piece by Robin Korth, “No longer a good girl” via robininyourface.com.

What Robin wrote is my manifesto. They are also the things I have learned in the past few years from all the challenges. The lessons Ms. Korth explains here are totally worth the price of admission I have paid in the past decade.

I guess you could say I’m still “looking for ballast,” but finding that it is already deep inside of myself.

With that, I bid you adieu until such next time I have words that need to come out.

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4 Comments

  1. Maria O. Russell

     /  September 30, 2014

    That picture of your son is so sweet…what a beautiful child!
    Thank you Karin for sharing Let’s catch up with us.

    Reply
    • Thank you, Maria! He means the world to me. I’m so glad I’m here to love him and have a good relationship with him — makes all the other crappy stuff dim in light of his light he brings. :-)

      Reply
  2. That’s a lot to go through! Thanks for sharing. I’m glad you’re writing again. Strong woman.

    Reply
    • Thank you, I Say Oui. It’s been one thing after another, but there is a lot of truth to the saying what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and I definitely can say that’s affirmative! I also think I’m strong enough, lol. But really, I’ll be damned if I ever slide into too much negativity — that simply goes to a bad, bad place. I refuse to ever give in again to despair. So, only forward, and I firmly believe good things are ahead of me! Thank you for coming by and reading.

      Reply

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