Construction is Free Therapy

9:28 PM Katy 28 Comments

This blog isn't really just about my gajillion projects.

As the title implies, I have been dumped and left with 3 children and 100% of the responsibility. This has been a crazy road, littered with the corpses of my self worth, hope, and confidence.

(My oldest, in 2004)

I spent almost 7 years being told on a regular basis that all of my talents were worthless wastes of time. I have been ridiculed, mocked, scorned, and hated. Every time I made something, I was told it was stupid. (Or, in the case of my cooking, that it was tasteless and boring. heh. I'm not sure if he was telling the truth on that one, but so far I still believe it.)

 (The 3 of them in the treehouse last year)

Whenever I received positive attention for my work from outsiders, I was laughed at. Literally.

(My second, in 2007)

It is horrendous to live with someone who gets pleasure out of hurting you.

I've only been free for 2 years. I'm not sure that all the wounds are healed, or if they ever will be.

 (My baby, in 2007)

Obviously, God gave me something wonderful in the middle of something very bad. These three were my destiny, and they were worth the price.

Last month I threw together my crazy pallet wall...and  Poppytalk & Apartment Therapy got hold of it, and for one day I had 6,000 hits on this little blog, and lots of people telling me that it was really cool. Not stupid.

The next weekend, my ex drove down here for his random visit with the children, and I let him stay in my house so he didn't have to get a hotel. (I went to my parents' house.) While he was here, he noticed the pallet wall and said to our daughter:
"Your mother is very good at putting wood on a wall."

Since I lived with him for years I know what he meant. "Your mother is good at wasting her time on stupid stuff." (He barely edited himself for the sake of our girl, thankfully.)

And you know what? Instead of feeling ashamed like I used to, I laughed. Because unless watching ESPN becomes an Olympic sport, he'll never get this lucky again.

Progress, my pretties....


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  1. Aggggh. He sounds like walking POISON. I think your sense of creativity, your style, your strength, your beauty ALL come through via your posts here on this blog. And I only get one little glimpse of your life... I can't imagine how great it must be to know you in person. Your kids will grow up in a beautiful creative inspiring environment and that is so COOOOOL to me. Keep your head up, keep doing what you feel, keep living the awesome. :)


  2. are awesome. Your kids are beautiful. You will always have the scars, but each time you laugh, the scars hurt a little less, and fade a little bit more. One day at a laugh at a time.

  3. Wow, do we have the same exes? I even know the tone of voice he used. Every one has those signs that say "Keep calm and carry on", but I say "Laugh out out and carry on". You are doing beautiful things. Everything from finding the mate to that lone sock behind the dryer, to building pallet walls is beautiful. Your children will thank you for your creativity. ESPN and a Barcalounger don't make a fulfilled life. Getting your hands dirty and sweeping sawdust off your garage floor do. Your kids will notice the difference.

  4. In a weird way, your ex sounds like the way my dad treated my mom. Then, my dad did not cultivate a relationship with his younger kids. We barely saw him twice a year.

    Then, he was UPSET when my sister, who really didn't have any attachment to him at all due to his absence, chose someone else to walk her down the aisle.

    Hang in there; you are talented AND funny!

  5. I think we all know someone like your ex, and I think they are insecure... pushing someone down makes them feel big... Being threatened by your creativity and guts, cause heck - it takes guts to do DIY "home wrecking" ;)

    The other gals got it right too - we love you and your blog, big hits on apartment therapy and "little" posts too, and your kids are darn lucky. They'll get a sense of self-empowerment from what you do and that is a very special gift indeed.

  6. Katy - I read your blog for the first time yesterday and I am in awe, total awe, of what you accomplish. Your "screaming fish buffet" and pallet wall are absolutely amazing and have inspired me to want to try and create something similar.

    So never, and I mean, NEVER, let someone like your ex put you down. He'll be the one to look back on life and realize that he actually lost the best thing that ever happened to him. Men like that often do.

    Now hug those gorgeous babies and get building. Perhaps a dog house for the next time he comes to visit!

    Be good to you,

    You are obviously a hard working, creative, talented woman who is also the mom of 3 beautiful children.

  7. hi Katy i discovered your blog todayfrom better after....i think the stuff you make and also achieve with a full time job and 3 little kids is amazing...dont let anyone ever put you down again...looking forward to many more blog visits..jenxo

  8. Found you via some of the awesome blogs we both stalk and...WOW! You are AMAZING! TIRED, I'm sure. Or &%$#ing EXHAUSTED, is it? My husband is gone for 14 days of business travel and I've lost it with my 3 school age kids countless times already. You are not alone! I know many women who are doing what you are doing...acting as strong role models for their children! Keep up the FAB projects to keep you sane and let those kids learn how to lemonade out of lemons BY WATCHING YOU!


  9. Oh, and about YOU leaving your house so he can stay in it with the kids when he visits? HALO! Yes! You earned yourself an glowing HALO that will be studded with sparkles by the powers that be each time you are UTTERLY SELFLESS. Rock on.

  10. I am sorry you have to go through this. The pain and everything else I cannot even imagine. In the short time I got to know you, I knew RIGHT AWAY what an awesome woman you are. Please don't let anyone tell you otherwise. It's a shame your ex, Jack (last name Ass), didn't see that. Then again, I am glad he didn't because you deserve better. Oh the wonderful things God has in store for you :-) Love ya girl.

  11. I am a stay-at-home-mom to two boys and I have a very supportive, helpful, husband and I can't get HALF the things done that you do. You are very talented and an inspiration. Next time make him pay for a hotel! I don't know how you have time to blog but I hope you keep posting because I'm going to keep reading.

  12. I found you via Poppytalk and I now follow you every day - your work is awesome and you have inspired me to get back to woodworking - my first love. One of these days women will learn that they do not need a man to complete them......if only!
    Stay strong

  13. Bravo to you. You are very talented and you will surely fly now that you've dropped that dead weight. What a L0SER! It is a shame that people are so insecure that they must put others down in order to feel better.

  14. Never let anyone make you feel worthless! You control that feeling... nobody else! You are special and nobody on this planet is like you. You have talents beyond measure and you must believe that in your heart!! ♥

  15. I came across your blog for the first time today and was so, so incredibly touched by this post. I'm putting this blog in my already-bloated RSS feed because I want to see your amazing talent and beautiful spirit every day.

  16. Fabulous!!!!! He's a jack@ss and probably always has been. Love those little kids and rise above BABY! You rock and he sucks. Raise those kiddos to be strong and loving like their mama!
    Keep it up and YOU are making progress! ILOVEIT!

  17. I can't imagine living with someone like that but I know it has made you one strong woman! I think you are awesome and I love the pallet wall. You Rock!!

  18. Well my dear you are now with positive people that really get it and get you.

    I think your EX's insecurities are showing... you did your kids the best favour you could by not being with him. Always remember a happy Mommy... happy children.

    I had a father and an ex just like him and yes the scars do heal somewhat, but you will be able to step back in time and see it for what it really was... NONSENSE. Don't be bitter, or he still has the power. The best way to get even is to carry on and succeed.

    You go girl. I personally think you are doing a fabulous job. Love your creativity.

    Hugs, Deb

    PS... found you over at Better After site yesterday... I signed up for the long haul... can't wait to see what you are up to next. Good luck... stay strong.

  19. Hey talented lady!
    I found you on better after too and LOVED your wall! I even bookmarked it for a time when we have a house that I can do that to.

    About your past pains (or should I say pain in the arse), I am so sorry. I was with a man for a long time that fit that description and unfortunately my sister married one too. I just want to encourage you and tell you how proud and thankful I am for you that you are learning to move forward from him and all of his abuse. I have been learning so much about the poison of bitterness lately and all of the damage it can do. I'll recommend a book called "The bait of satan" which sounds WAY over the top crazy, but it's a good read. As one of my friends said, by letting it go, you are not acting like it didn't matter. It's not going into to breeze never to be seen again. When you give it to the Lord, you are putting it in His hands and justice will be done, but first you have to let go and let Him have it.

    Thanks for the inspiration and the encouragement! Keep laughing and using your lovely staple gun --of which I am a tad jealous. : )


  20. I work for a divorce attorney and hear things like this every day. I'm glad you can laugh about it now, and can recognize this is his issue. His loss.

  21. Please tell me you get child support.... This guy is a ringer for my ex.. Only for my everythingnhas to be about him... Though I may have you beat with my husbands crazy ex wife!!! ;)

  22. Just found your blog from the post on Re-Nest. Reading through your story and your different projects has been incredibly encouraging! You are an inspiration!

  23. I'm a little late to the party, but I wanted to tell you that happiness is the best revenge. He will never be half the person you are ;o)

  24. It may take quite some time to get his voice out of your head (it did for me), but you will be OK. And your kids will be better off for not having Mr. Negative, Mr. Mom-hater, around all the time. Is that the kind of example of husband you want your daughters to see--no. Doesn't matter if you think he "dumped" you. He did you a favor. You are better off without him. A strong, smart, creative woman--you are going to be fine. I know it doesn't always (sometimes _ever_) feel like it, but you will. Trust me, I've been there.

  25. A few things:
    I love the new kitchen look!
    Sometimes we can't quite see clearly what we want until our heart is in a clearer, safer place.

    I have never met someone who like me, felt "stuff" might help us feed our children if needed. (I raised 4 boys and 1 girl all by myself with no education or formal experience of working outside the home.)

    It may be the engineering side of you but I actually like the opposite fish. It reminds me of the ups and downs that life regularly gives us and yet works together for good in the end.

    And as for the negative that you removed from your life, it will be a blessing to all of you in the long run if not already!

    I lived with someone like that for almost 17 yrs. I have now been divorced almost that long, and have become a new person. Well,not new, but the old me who no longer is afraid to shine what light I have for fear of criticism, resides within me and now calls the shots.

    You are a beautiful, educated woman who is very talented and has a backbone of strength and determination to match it!

    I hope you are accepting and believing these words others have written to you, letting them replace some of the demeaning ones that still may float around sometimes.

  26. BLESS YOUR HEART young'un!!! These precious kidlets of yours are so VERY fortunate that you were chosen to be their Mum! I'm happy for you, truly. Idiot-ex's negative voice will be drowned out by all the well deserved praise you receive here. I've recently embarked on a huge life change as well, and the older I grow, the more assured I am that "this too shall pass..." Keep bloggin,' keep buidlin,' and most importantly, KEEP THE FAITH!!!

  27. I came to your blog from Apt Therapy and just kept reading and reading. YOU are lovely, YOUR CHILDREN are lovely and I'm so glad you got away from that. I have one child and can't imagine doing it on my own- plus having time for all your amazing projects. Keep at it!

  28. I'm new to your blog and can say without a doubt that you are so very talented and inspiring as well! People who are insecure have to belittle others to make themselves feel better. Don't let your ex do that to you again. Ever.


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