About the Author

Hello, and welcome to Afternoon of Sundries.  My name is Katherine, though I prefer you call me (or think of me) as Katt.  I am a woman in my thirties who lives in the southern part of the United States of America.

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I grew up in less than ideal circumstances, a child of abuse and neglect raised by people who were also abused (in various ways). I can say though, my parents tried very hard to break free of the cycle of abuse.  They were more successful than most, and I can say that there were good bits  with the bad.

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My sister and I (I’m the elder) at my Cousin’s Cousin’s pool

This shaped me into a person that was timid but driven, afraid of abandonment but also willing to take a chance on others in order to build a better life.  It has been a struggle but I have made it through, better for it, in my opinion.

With the help of kind people and multiple jobs I put myself through college and got out of the poverty, abuse, neglect, and met a lot of wonderful, beautiful, life changing people. I currently have a Bachelors of Music Education and teach Music and Band in one of the poorest counties in the United States of America.  Why?  Because I know.  I know and I want them to see that there is a way out.  There is life after the things that happen to you without your consent.

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It was a wonderful day in May to graduate!

In this process of becoming an educator I met my husband, my college sweetheart, Ry and we dated for 5 years, during and after college. At the five-year mark abouts we became engaged to be married and two years later I walked down the aisle surrounded by friends and surprisingly, family.

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I do believe my photographer was telling us to “Pretend that you like each other!” because our previous pictures that day were so stiff!

However, the hurdles you have to jump over in life just don’t move out-of-the-way when you’ve decided you’ve “made it.” I started, around the same time I started dating Ry, to lose pieces of my vision.  It was discovered I have Punctate Inner Choroidopathy,  At the time, I couldn’t even Google the disease on the internet, my how times have changed! I received experimental drug therapy and am happy to say with the help of glasses and some creative eye movements, I can see 20/30 despite thick scars in both eyes (the retinas are scarred so it does not show up in regular photographs)

But the fun didn’t stop there!  I also was diagnosed with a Pituitary Adenoma  just after I started teaching 7 years ago. Many MRIs later, it was discovered to be a small adenoma of only 9mm.  I am infertile, overweight, and moody as a result (woohoo too many hormones in my body…). At this point, I believe I started to lose my way.  It was too much for my 21, then 25-year-old self to handle and I pretended I was okay. I pretended it was fine, and I pretended I could make it through when I only became entangled and lost in “what ifs,” and “how cans,” and “why this, why nows?”

Then finding out that having children would be next to impossible truly hit me hard, until, quite unexpectedly I got pregnant.  It was quite a surprise for all of my doctors (and I have quite a few I assure you).  While I did conceive it was very dangerous to carry my son to term.  I could have either died due to complications with my tumor, or gone completely blind because of my eye disease and being unable to treat it during the pregnancy. However, I felt, deeply, that I was supposed to have this baby and I did.  I was monitored a little extra because of this (think of your regular OBGYN pregnancy appointments and then add going to an endocrinologist once or twice a month on top of that, followed by bi-monthly eye doctor appointments).  I got very sick, and I still ended up losing a portion of my vision a month after my son was born but man, was he worth it.

I became a mother, and everything changed.  I started to reflect on myself and realized that I cannot fix the past; spending hours alone breastfeeding gives you time to reflect, let me tell you.  This triggered a metamorphosis that caused me to lose some loved ones and forced me to spend some time with myself.

There are so many ugly dark bits that I kept refusing to deal with, and suddenly, there they were. Its been… a strange road to realizing that I love myself.  That my body is my body, lumps and wobbly bits and all, and I do love it.  It is okay that I am a woman, and I shouldn’t be afraid of what that entails. I began to stop self-destructive behaviors, and stopped being a doormat. I left my first position as a teacher in favor of a new challenge, I stopped looking for God in places I knew he wasn’t and in places I had never seen before.  I stopped believing that I was unworthy of grace, love, and permanence and began to grow.

This is when, I started to not only blog but more recently take blogging more seriously.  I have always had words, voices, characters in my head that needed to be put on paper. I had thoughts I wanted to express and ideas to explore. I do NOT know everything, certainly not everything about our world!  It was truly wonderful to find a way to connect with people all over the world and learn. Strangers I’ve never met have become friends I hope to never lose.

My story certainly isn’t over yet, and sadly is all to common.  However I hope that as it continues, and as I continue, that you will stop by my blog and spend some time with me. An afternoon reading about sundries that hopefully give you somethings to think about, wonder over, get excited about, feel the need to share your thoughts and ideas with, maybe even a place where you can be comfortable and sit a spell with me.

Thank you for coming by, and welcome to Afternoon of Sundries, for you, without reservations.

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(You can contact K. Gillespie at afternoonofsundries@gmail.com)

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