ABUSE & VIOLENCE IN THE CHURCH

Where are Kathi and Julie Anne?

I pulled over to take a picture of the beautiful hoarfrost in College Place, WA.

Wow – it’s been pretty quiet around here, if you haven’t noticed.

The reality: Kathi and JA are a bit tired and overwhelmed with life at the moment, so we are taking a blog sabbatical, without apologies.

Life has been challenging for us as we continue to have full-time jobs. Add Covid to that mix, and many years of advocacy work, sometimes an extended break is what is needed, so that is what we are doing.

Does it mean forever? I don’t think so, but for now, this is where we are.

My job has been going great – it has been a perfect fit for me. It is challenging and very rewarding. I love my cyber team and am so grateful for having chosen such a really cool field to work in, and one that is so necessary. We are going through a new contract and I will have to reapply, and that is a little scary, but I think I should be fine.

I’ve been doing online dating . . . there are not enough adjectives (positive and negative) on that. My ex remarried in October – less than 3 months after we were officially divorced. I happened to find out the pastor who married them, discovered that this particular pastor actually follows me on Twitter, and reached out to him and encouraged him to do better. That was an awkward conversation, but I felt it was important. My children have and will be affected by this pastor’s decision. I think he realizes it now, but it’s too late.

My kids are doing well. My parents, kids, and I drove 2 hours to meet half-way at a park overlooking the Columbia River Gorge on Thanksgiving Day. We socially distanced (they are immunocompromised) and ate amazing turkey sub sandwiches made by my daughter. We had sweet conversation and my parents said that was the best Thanksgiving they’ve experienced to date. I heartily agree. My kids and I also had a Thanksgiving feast on Friday after Thanksgiving which was amazing. That my kids all wanted to be together at my place, eat, drink, and play games together really warmed my heart to tears. I am one blessed mama. This is one of the fears I had about family holidays. I had no idea what this would look like post-divorce. Thankfully, I think we will be fine. I’m trying to figure out what to do for Christmas. I’m thinking maybe a new tradition on Christmas Eve. If you have any ideas, I’m all ears.

Divorce has been a gift to me. Someone privately chewed me out for using that word, but I don’t care. Divorce is difficult, but it gave me my life back, and apparently my whole face reflects it. The most common comment I’m hearing from long-time friends is: you look radiant, you look 10-20 years younger, etc. This tells me one thing: living in abuse is traumatic to our bodies whether or not we have black and blue bruises to show for it. And . . . you can have immediate change after leaving an abusive environment. All of my chronic health issues I suffered while living in that environment are gone! This tells me one thing very loudly: we need to continue to advocate for moms who are stuck in abusive marriages.

Kathi and I are still doing advocacy work in more private settings with women who have been in destructive marriages. Watching Kathi respond to hurting women is truly inspiring. We may do postings from time to time, but at this time, we don’t have any plans/schedules for doing so. We are simply honoring what our heart is telling us to do: chill!

Thank you for checking on us and for your continued support. You may not realize it, but when I shared personal stories of women who were stuck in emotionally abusive relationships and you supported them, you were supporting me as well because I identified with them. So a huge thank you for being a part of my recovery journey!

If you need anything, please do not hesitate to reach out. Wishing you all a safe and healthy Christmas holiday season.

21 thoughts on “Where are Kathi and Julie Anne?”

  1. You and your family are #1. The blogesphere can learn to be a bit more independent!
    My wife’s adulterous ex husband remarried a few weeks after their divorce. It was in a local church that is notoriously hard on women getting divorced. But if you are one of the good ole boys they look the other way.
    I love seeing you thrive!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for all the work you’ve done in writing over the years. And for sharing your heart and story here. You have impacted me so many times in my own journey of trying to heal and move on and just wanted to say thanks. I hope this can be a season of rest for you both. Take care

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  3. Julie Anne – I think of the posts you wrote about abuse knowing that you were talking about yourself. You have come so far and have so much more of life to forward to!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t know about all of you, but my creativity has been zapped this year. Work stress and other life issues have just left me exhausted. There have been several times I’ve sat down to write posts and my brain just can’t do it. I am fortunate to partner with Julie Anne because she gets it, isn’t stressed over this, and knows the importance of self care. I know so many of us have had a difficult year. I hope you find your own ways to take care of yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Glad to hear that you are thriving. That’s great that you are enjoying your work. Work can be very therapeutic in a way that helps you get through other things.
    Now let’s hope that 2021 will be better than 2020!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kathi, I am counting the minutes till my christmas time off because i’m just feeling the entire year. Even though mine has been relatively good in a lot of ways and my introvert brain has enjoyed some of the break. This entire month I just feel very unmotivated, though.

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  7. @Kathi:

    I don’t know about all of you, but my creativity has been zapped this year. Work stress and other life issues have just left me exhausted. There have been several times I’ve sat down to write posts and my brain just can’t do it.

    Same here.
    I have articles for an online ‘zine that are well over a year overdue. (And the editor’s going to do a special theme issue with them, cover and all.)
    Sometimes I get an insight and motivation, sit down to actually do something on them, then my brain just turns off completely — completely, utterly blank — and I spend the next six hours drooling on YouTube.

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  8. I’m really happy for you. When I met you in person over two years ago at the courage conference I was a couple of months out of my 20 year abusive marriage and you were still in it, but reaching your own breaking point.

    I asked you about it and I remember a brief conversation over lunch. Your heart was concerned over your kids as we mamas are. So glad things are going well.

    It totally does show on your face that your are doing so much better without all that stress. I’m very excited for your future.

    I’m glad my online dating experience so early in turned out to be something unimaginably lovely… Although we were not prepared for cross country long distance dating through a pandemic! Who imagines that scenario?

    I wish you all the best as the possibilities open up in front of you.

    Taking a long break is overdue for all the years you have been involved in such a taxing and heavy work.

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