from Karyn{dot}Blog!

First I was raped. In college 2006. That’s all you need to know about that. I won’t go into the details. They are triggering to me and to many other survivors. I will never call a sexual assault survivor a victim because it is so insulting to me. You survived a horrible trauma. Possibly even over a long period of time, or maybe it was a one-one thing.

So here’s the problem with the #metoo posts. Firstly you’re putting a target on your back for every preditor online. Because rape is about control and not sex. So not only are you trying to do something good that could be putting you in danger but you also may be triggering another person who’s not handled their trauma.

Secondly. There’s something called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that causes panic attacks, flashbacks, and other really awful things. You never know if by posting your story you could be triggering someone else. 1-4 women every 15 minutes are raped. 1 in 6 men. 85% of rape goes unreported because of the rape culture we are currently in. Because these trauma’s go unreported that means these people do not get treatment, counseling, or even closure from convicting their assaulter.

Being a survivor you have to relearn to live with the trauma. Feeling dirty, unworthy, like a whore, like you asked for it. Just to name a few. You could spiral into depression or self harm or addiction, no two people have the same reaction. Yes sharing your story is powerful for you, And yes we should educate people about rape and rape culture.

Also you don’t owe your story to anyone. If you’re like me you are a safe person to confide in about sexual assault, and I will not judge you and take you to counseling or to the ER. I will drag your ass out of a party if you’re too drunk. I will be your fake lesbian girlfriend if need be.

But I will not trigger another human being with my traumatic story. My past is my past and I’ve grown from it.

Life has been kicking my butt lately, between physical and mental health issues and being unmedicated for about a month I was struggling.  I was also unknowingly getting my first period since the depo shot, which btw was hell. Thankfully, I was able to get my medications at a steep discount and our finances are turning around as is our insurance being activated October 1.

I really wanted to blog and I had a million ideas but zero drive to actually do anything about it. My stomach started to act up again, which was a huge problem because the pain was unbearable enough for me to need trips to the ER to get pain management and CT scans.

I’ve been using CBD oil for myself and the children avidly since John started head start. That’s another exciting thing that happened to us, is that John started headstart! He’s learning so much and is talking so much better. I am so beyond thankful that he was able to go.

School is going well and I’m learning a lot about the field of photography, the history, and basics. I also understand that I have a ton to learn.  And I’m very excited to do this. I find this study to be a lot better for me because it’s more tactical. I have physical things to read as well as take notes with.

Its that time of year again where we are at the planner order time of year and I’m exploring the options that are out there. I really want an inkwell press planner but I can’t afford the price tag that goes along with it. I also do not have a local Office Max, just a Staples.

There was a girl on my facebook that needed to give a kitten away and I jumped at the chance and ended up with three kittens that would have in turn either ended at the pound and since two of the three are black in my area being superstitious and would most likely be killed, I absolutely took them in as well. I have a huge heart when it comes to furry babies. (and snakes)

I’ve been with out a laptop for awhile now because my children did something to my macbook pro and my Dell also crapped the bed as well.  So I’ve been doing everything from a desktop computer in my office, which with two toddlers is almost impossible to do, since I can’t even do dishes with out them getting into something.

I also apparently can’t do dishes with out injurying myself. Yesterday I had planned on staying home to clean and cut my thumb on a glass bowl that had gotten chipped. I seriously screamed “What the hell?” put pressure on it and ran upstairs woke DJ up the rest of the way with “Baby wake up I’m bleeding!”

My children god love them, started yelling for their Pop Pop “Ron!!!” and I was trying not to freak out because it did look like I needed stitches but because I didn’t know for sure- we wrapped my hand up in towel and drove over to Ron’s. (I am so thankful for him. I really am.)

So yeah, that’s life as I know it right at this moment. I don’t know why I’m so compelled to write this next part, but maybe because I hoped someone would have written this when I was feeling low.

You are important. You are someone’s person. Someone’s family member and friend. Don’t ever think that you’re alone and not worth reaching out for help. Because you are worth it. You can and will get through this. I promise.

As most of you are aware I got married in July. Because of this I’ve lost my SSI due to my husband’s income being too high for me to get it.  This brings me two options reapply and get denied over and over again, or take a risk and go back to school to get a photography degree.

Mind you I tried this before and couldn’t finish due to almost dying, and I really want to show my children that anything is possible as long as you work hard and want it. I want to set a good example to them. I know my limits and I know what i can take… so here I go!

So Tuesday, August 8th I went in for my botox injections for my chronic and daily migraines.  The shots themselves hurt but not bad. I have a lot of tattoos and it didn’t hurt any more than a tattoo would have. So I go home, riding of course, and I have a pretty bad headache which is a common side effect. I still have headaches but they aren’t as bad as they were which is a plus. The doctor also said that I probably wouldn’t be head ache free until the second round of injections.

Wednesday I woke up, no headache, pretty mild back pain which is surprising because my back has been killing me since summer of 2015. I’ve just been to worried about other areas of my body to really tell what my back was doing. So its been a few days and my back still hurts, but it seems to be cracking more and more which gives some relief until it needs cracked again.

My left shoulder and neck hurt though and that is to be expected when you get a shot in your muscle. But slowly, I am getting better and finding relief.

Posted by Karyn Brotzman on Monday, July 24, 2017

Its taken me awhile to write about this, and that’s because I was editing photos and getting the house in order etc. But on July 22 2017 I got married to my best friend.
My wedding was so amazing. My bridesmaids were the best and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of gals. My sister had been my maid of honor but she had a baby in April and it would be better for her to not be in the wedding with new baby finances, and breast feeding. She was still there and I got to meet my niece, so win.
Our landlord has this pavilion right down the road and that is where we had the wedding. I used the Harry Potter pages (that was found in the garbage at a local library because of damage.) to line the table and W, my matron of honor gave me all her decorations from her wedding and my next door neighbor also gave me a lot of decorations that helped us keep the cost down. I also did most of the decor with my Cricut and vinyl that we already had.
My brides maids and matron of honor gifted me with the DJ and they all made speeches. And for winging it (they were reminded that morning to which I got a “WHAAAT?” about.) were so heart felt and so accurate.
I didn’t want my brides maids to match exactly so I had B wear a black dress T and E were in a very dark purple and W my matron of honor in teal. I made the bouquets myself. The boys had on black jeans, shirts and vests.
I walked down the isle to “God Bless the Broken Road” and the entire bridal party was singing. Dj was crying and I couldn’t stop smiling. We wrote our own vows and DJ was so choked up he almost couldn’t read them!
Our first slow dance as a married couple was, “She’s still riding shot gun.” by Tyler Wood. We bother were so focused on holding each other dancing that we had to look to make sure we weren’t running into anything.
We played the shoe game, and of course tossed the bouquets and garter belt. The reception was held right there and we danced to songs like “Cupid Shuffle” and Cotten eye Joe.Someone yelled my first name with my new last name and it took me a full 5 seconds to realize “Oh crap that’s me!”
I really loved every moment of the wedding and while there are a few things that I would change, they are so very minor that I just didn’t care.

I’ve dealt with mental health a long time. Before I watched a music video on MTV. This song spoke to me. This song was everything I’d been feeling since I was 12 years old.. so I went to napster and looked up the entire CD. (Yeah this is when Napster was cool.) I listened to every song and went to my local Sam Goody store ( or was it On Cue at this point? I can’t remember.) and bought a copy of “Hybrid Theory.” The music video I saw on the MTV daily count down was “Crawling.” I had this album on repeat for ever. I then purchased every Linkin Park CD that came out after.

Chester’s voice spoke to me in volumes. He was basically saying everything I wanted to. He screamed the pain I was feeling in a way that let me understand I wasn’t alone. I valued this because in the small town I was from being mentally ill was and is still very surrounded by stigma. I watched every video, wrote poetry while the music was playing, probably too loudly for my teenage ears.

Chester’s suicide has impacted me so hard. Every song is a reminder that it could have been me, and if wasn’t for his music- would have been. If it wasn’t for this band’s unfiltered influence to know that just because I was and still am depressed and mentally ill, doesn’t make me alone.

There are still things that you shouldn’t say to someone mentally ill. Some of them is believing that everything you’re going through is related to you taking or not taking medication. It took well over a decade to find an anti depressant that works well for me and my co-morbidities.

Understand that some times a person just needs to be in the company of people. Other times to be left a lone.

Never give up on someone mentally ill. Unless it is directly effecting your life negatively, just let them know they are loved.

And always know your local laws, and resources. Sometimes just a reminder that someone is there helps.

NOT. EVER.THING.IS.RELATED.TO.MENTAL.ILLNESS. If someone has a headache, it doesn’t mean they didn’t take their meds. They just have a headache etc.

Other things that you should understand if you’re not suffering from a mental illness is that ‘its not just for attention.’ This statement is so irritating because if a person is in such a mental place that they take a knife or lighter and harm themselves just to feel relief and control from a mind that they can’t escape… its not for attention.

The ’emo’ movement also pisses me off to no end, the subculture of goth, or what I call ‘goth light’ makes mental illness a fashion statement. I know that this is my personal trigger and I’ve dealt with it a long time. Just like heavy metal music isn’t all rage face and death and blood, emo music and the emo movement isn’t all about a certain type of thing.

Mentally ill people are sometimes the most creative, the most funny, the most determined people. Those that have succumbed to suicide just in the last few years prove this. Robin Williams. Chris Cornell.

So many people have some sort of disorder but yet our American government won’t reform mental health industries because why? Money? Time?

We want to be heard, we want our truth and our voices as loud as Chester’s is in Linkin Park’s songs. We want people to know that in our darkness there’s one more light.

And mostly we just want to be understood. At least I do. I feel so often alone because nobody understands that the physical pain I am in is my own fault. That I did something to make my life better, and it almost killed me. That I am a failure. That I’m human and imperfect. I don’t have the balls to be furiously happy all the time. But I do try.


Yesterday I went over to my Mom’s house for a very small dinner to celebrate Jason turning 2. This is also a very hard week for me considering that I’m dealing with medical PTSD. Meaning I don’t want to be alone in the house with just me and the kids because I over think myself into a depression.
Well, I came back mid day, walked the dogs made sure water was available to them and that they were content. I have been so busy with the wedding decor crafting that I must have missed some signs or something.. because when I came home my beloved Tiny was dead. The bigger dogs attacked her and killed her.
I was hysterical, to say the least. Tiny was a very old dog and a small breed, she didn’t have the means to defend herself and my Mother and Ron came over to make sure I was alright and the kids wouldn’t see her get put into my boot box for her burial.
At first, we thought she might have just passed from old age, but we found blood on the carpet, door, and laundry basket, which I spent today cleaning up what I couldn’t get last night. DJ of course won’t be home until EARLY Wednesday so it was just me and the boys. When Ron told me a very mild version of how badly Tiny was injured I told DJ to have someone come get the dogs and take them to the pound. I missed so many signs that other people saw, because I wanted to see the good in these dogs and ignore the bad.
Dj’s mom came and got them last night so they wouldn’t be around the children and I while we were sleeping. Tiny was the oldest, and the dog that I’d had the longest. I had her since 2011 and she was my baby. I’m so heart broken that I missed the signs of aggression with the other dogs.
So we are now a dog free home. Maybe for good. I need time to grieve and I’m unsure just how long I will need. But I did do some major cleaning today with shampooing the floors and making sure the rooms were vacuumed. I’m continuing on with my minimalism challenge and trying to simplify my life and surroundings.
I’m honestly doing all I can to keep myself from crying any more than I already have been. John put his head on my shoulder last night and gave me a hug and that’s where he fell asleep.
RIP Tiny. I’m so very sorry I missed the signs. I’m sorry that you had to die like that. I miss you so much.

If you know my story about gastric bypass and the complications (although rare) that happened to me my friend Jenn experienced it way more than I have. In 2015 at the 37th week of my second pregnancy I went into labor July 13, 2015.

That night I was in so much pain that I pushed the nurse’s call button, and made DJ go physically get the nurse from the nurse’s station, and I was tipped upside down in the bed because I was tachycardic but my blood pressure had bottomed out. I don’t remember much else that night but I woke up a day or two later on some really strong drugs and completely cut open in my abdomen.

You can only imagine the terror my family and friends felt. If you’re reading this and you are in one of those groups then you felt and lived  that horrible nightmare right along with me as I went in an out of surgery after surgery.

Jenn, who is a mother of two amazing kids, and wife to a devoted husband, Dan.  She’s been through this more than once. She’s had several emergency ulcer repairs, which resulted in time from her working. For awhile it was once or twice a year that this was happening to her, that her surgeon finally said that it was enough and revised her RNY gastric bypass to a vertical sleeve. which took time away from being able to work as most major surgeries do.

Then the final blow, she, like me, became septic. She was cut open vertically just like I was and she had 3 liters of liquid drained from her abdomen, and to this day they are still unsure where the liquid was coming from. My liquid was from my ruptured original stomach. Her’s was no longer there from the sleeve procedure.

Now let me just say that in 2015 I had 8 surgeries in the span of seven weeks, and then in 2016 had my hernia repair done and in 2014 I had gotten my gal bladder taken out because it was very filled with stones, and sludge. So that’s 10 surgeries total from 2014-2016. I am now June 2017 finally completely healed from the abscesses, and wound packing, and surgery trauma.

Jenn’s had upwards of 15+ surgeries because of complications. This means as the primary bread winner of the house it was loss of income, meant it became a struggle paying bills. I know this feeling all to well as this was our story for awhile. I couldn’t be on my own to take care of myself because I couldn’t go up and down the stairs, and was under pain management and the careful watch of a surgical team. (And by team I mean team- every person in general surgery knew my name by the time this was over.)

Now, Jenn and her family are facing the darkest time of their lives. They have lost their home. They managed to rescue their belongings and get them into storage, but they are facing the real possibility of starting over with nothing.

I’m getting married July 22 and I know that a lot of my readers may not know me personally- but please please donate to this amazing family. They have had some really rough spots these past few years. Between their son being special needs and Dan himself having a slew of health issues. Murphy’s law has not been kind of them. I am blessed enough to not be the primary bread winner of my family, but I am on SSI, and know what times for me, have been hard at times too but I was only ever homeless once and I had friends that I could crash with.

I’ve made a life for myself with this amazing man, and have clawed my way out of hell. Jenn has been there for me through some of this hell.  She became one of my biggest cheerleaders while I was healing (she had her own surgery the spring before my disaster happened.) and we were updating each other with our healing and procedures and making sure that we had a support system of each other.

I became very depressed because I couldn’t breast feed my youngest child, and I needed help with just about everything. Jenn sent positive energy and words of advice. When I needed a friend that truly understood what I was experiencing because she went through it too, she was there. As was Dan.

And to top it off they were very aware of the homeless cat situation and did fix and release or re-home the local strays. They have taken in several FIV+ (The feline version of HIV) that were on death row just because of their disease.

Both of her children are in the gifted programs in their schools, R having won math awards and A, an amazing artist that’s had her work displayed in shows in her town. You see this family is made up of people. Real live people that care, and are so very loved

So please, share the link to donate if you can’t spare the money. Donate if you do have some extra cash. Help these people that have had health crisis after crisis and have fallen on hard times. If you have a blog comment below with your donation, and the hashtag #brotzmanwedding2017 and I’ll feature you in my blog. I will also add you to the blog roll and contact you to do an interview that will be featured in a “Favorite Blogger” series I have planned.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and God Bless!

So there’s this crazy woman in my town, that no lie, she would get drunk take a guy home, have sex with said guy and the next morning call the state police because they ‘raped’ her. Well, apparently I am her new target of crazy town. She twice TWICE has seen my children at the window, for whatever reason, and has yelled at them and talked to them to try to get my oldest son’s attention.

My oldest son, for the most part, is non-verbal. We have a speech therapist coming to the house, and we are working with signs for needs like eating, potty time and he makes up his own for hugs and kisses. So it’s not like he can hold a conversation with you.

The last time it happened Jason was in the crib because it was first thing in the morning and I WAS IN THE FREAKING SHOWER. John (my oldest) had just come in to say “HI!” as he loves to do when I’m shampooing my hair and my guard is down. (Welcome to motherhood.) Well, my midsized dog go out of the window because the screen hadn’t been down where it should have been. So my son is calling the dog into the house and then once she’s in closes the window.

So I get out of the shower throw on my robe and I’m holding it closed because my band is no where to be found, and this woman is screaming at me to pull down the window. I did and she’s freaking out on me. Telling me that my kids were on the roof. Ok first off one of them is in the crib and he can’t get out, secondly there was a witness that saw the whole thing happen and John WAS NOT ON THE ROOF. But yet this bitch is running her mouth all over town lying about what really happened.

So my small little town, no one can mind their own business. Everyone has to know whatever everyone else is doing – except me I don’t care. And they think its perfectly ok to make up lies about my kids. Lies that are very serious and could end up in a CPS call.

So I have been OCD to the extreme with my home, dishes are done as soon as they are dirtied, the floors are mopped and swept twice a day and .. you get the idea.

I feel like I can’t spend any time with my kids because if I do and the house goes uncleaned and someone were to show up… yeah disaster. I’m also trying to figure out how I can put a protection order from this crazy person. She goes out of her way to walk past my house every single day, like she’s waiting for me to screw up. I’m here alone with the kids 85% of the time and the rest of the time I’m either at my mom’s or appointments. So yeah, this crazy woman and kiss my grits. I’m a good mom and she needs to mind her own business!

Saturday was my bridal shower. My wonderful ladies threw me a Harry Potter themed tea party with games, and it was just amazing. I love my brides maids so much. I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. Not many people showed  up, but those who did really helped to make my day special.

I got a gift card, some beautiful lingerie, a slow cooker cook book, and a Harry Potter purse and boots. It was just so wonderful to really just sit down and laugh with my friends and family.  The food was delicious and in reality I just can’t wait to celebrate my wedding now. Its the final count down and I couldn’t be happier!

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