An Exercise in Faith and Trust…

… For something as seemingly infinite as the internet, things are starting to feel a bit crowded around here. Stifling to the point of suffocation.

If you’ve ever ended a long distance relationship you understand the small solace found in knowing you’ll never be subjected to those painfully awkward moments of running into each other in public and enduring the strained exchanges that follow.

But there’s no escaping the internet. Facebook is six degrees of Kevin Bacon. Everyone is a friend of a friend and it’s where all the people you’d rather not ever hear from again live. It’s in your face. All day. Being linked to, shared, liked, and followed. Yes, it is very much possible for the internet to be too small for two people to share.

Compound that claustrophobic feeling with having to adopt the pretense of not caring, being mature, and appearing aloof. I’m cool. It’s cool. We can share this corner of the internet amicably. All the while, inside you are dying to pour out your heart, express your hurt, stamp your feet, and hold your breath. Instead you exchange disingenuous pleasantries like, “It’s nice to see you’re doing well. Good to hear from you. Congratulations on your [insert accomplishment]” because it’s not polite or mature to say “Go away. You hurt me”. Never mind that the latter is a healthier response.

————————————————

I can’t remember the last time anything I posted here gave me joy.

I’ve devoted far too much time to politics. I’ve been on a steady intravenous diet of news. It’s as inescapable and as unwelcome as an ex. Politics is worse; however, in that it always leaves me feeling like I need a shower. Toxic and soiled. I sincerely believe politics is the soul’s poison. Which makes it’s strange why I chose to aggressively push it on my readers and expose myself to it at an almost non-stop pace. Maybe it’s a self destructive form of escapism. Like cutting. If I focus on the world’s problems mine own will seem small and insignificant in comparison.

There was a time when writing gave me infinite joy. It was source of expression and an emotional outlet. I would scour the internet looking for beautiful art, funny pictures of nuns, and music videos to share. I would write about books & travel; all the things I love most. I was sharing beauty- something the world disparately needs more of.

But that didn’t get pageviews. And I was very hungry. Quite literally. Pretty art posts didn’t keep me in the news feeds or generate enough interest. I wrestled with being a sell out. It’s wasn’t really getting paid for writing that I considered “selling out” so much as the fact that I compromised my writing to earn that income. After awhile, if you are honest with yourself, you start to feel like a charlatan peddling snake oil – intentionally writing about controversial topics; contributing nothing more than fanning the fires of discontent and mass hysteria.

Remember; every talking head, blogger or pundit that gets paid is at times going to be very strongly motivated by that income. I am no exception. Shakespeare’s got to get paid, son.

——————————————

Did you know the only medication my ailing, disabled mother can receive 100% free of charge is artificial birth control? And she doesn’t even have a uterus!

It was from this source of absolute frustration I wrote this piece – Why Free Birth Control. If I thought I was struggling two years ago as a single mother, try throwing an elderly parent into the mix. So yeah… I sold out. I had to. It was either that or starve.

Do you know how soul crushing it is to be a slave? I do. I’ve allowed myself to become a slave to this blog. The last time I felt this miserable and anxious was right before I had a heart attack. I don’t handle feeling trapped well. And trapped I am. Trapped by the internet. Trapped by this blog. Trapped by my poverty. And physically trapped at home. You can only go so far for a retreat with a car that barely runs, $10 in your bank account, and two people that desperately depend on you.

I’m sure it sounds positively melodramatic to you all, but I am at a point where I feel like the stress could very much kill me.

I don’t believe God wants me to be this miserable. Sure, he tests our resolve but I’ve never known Him to deal me something more than I can bear. So I am going to put all my faith in Him and slowly back away from the internet. I’m going to step outside and take a deep breath and try not to worry that my pageviews will plummet and how much money I’ll lose as a result. I’m going to trust He won’t let me and my family starve.

I want to thank you all for loyally reading this insignificant part of the internet, contributing your comments, and offering me your prayers. Thank you for being there for me as I shared and worked through my very painful past. Thank you for your constant support. But now I must bid you adieu.

I’m going to take care of me for awhile. I’m not entirely sure how long that will take and for that I apologize. I hate being so vague. It’s not purposeful to create suspense … I just know I’m a mess, and big messes take awhile to clean up.

Really that is all. Now profound parting words, just a request for prayers and when you see me again I hope to be in better spirits.

Pax,
Kat

PS – Only because some of you have asked… and miraculously have already donated. I know! I was floored. If you feel moved to make a small donation it would be much appreciated. Current areas of needs are; engine work on my car, scout gear for my son, and help with medications for my mom. Donations always welcome, prayers always needed. Again, my humblest thanks.





Alms for the poor.

About Katrina Fernandez

Mackerel Snapping Papist

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christian-LeBlanc/1279637969 Christian LeBlanc

    You’re doing the right thing.

  • PAX

    I too am a single mom and while I seldom comment and share want you to know your posts with thier intelligence, openess, heart and humor have been a source of inspiration for me.

    You have touched lives no doubt. You and your family are in my prayers. Peace and all good!

  • Sherry

    Prayers. You have always felt like a friend that I loved stopping in to hear from, like a mid day cup of coffee, a break for me from the jargon of the internet. But I understand.

  • http://www.facebook.com/allison.girone Allison Girone

    You have my prayers and admiration. I hope you find your way back to writing about what you love, without the other stuff over your head. But it is the other stuff, the worries that trouble your heart, will definitely stay on my heart. It occurs to me to ask St. Elizabeth Ann Seton to intercede for you. Going to go with that prompting…God bless you.

  • tj.nelson

    Wow. I so understand. You are very much in my prayers all of the time – seriously. Take care of yourself and come back soon.

  • http://twitter.com/HouseUnseen Dwija Borobia

    Love ya, girl. And if you start to miss it, you can always go back to the funny photos and beautiful art. Lord knows I’ll read it regardless!

  • Anna

    Prayers! I’ll miss you – and look forward to you coming back (with both good art and that “which makes the Baby Jesus cry”).

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=681097197 Bill Burns

    My prayers are going up for you.

  • Jana

    Ouch! The beginning of your post is exactly how I feel at times, especially when dealing with others. Rest. Restore your peace. We will enjoy your return if you choose to do so.

  • Maureen O’Brien

    May you shed some stress and find some peace.

  • Tricia

    Dear Kat,
    I hope and pray that you get peace and some rest.
    I am sorry you have SO much on your shoulders.
    You have been a great light through this blog. I’m sure the Lord will reward you.
    You will be DEARLY missed, friend.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mary.moskowitz Mary Moskowitz

    Kat, you are one of the very view in the world of Catholic bloggers who is the real deal!! I so very, very much appreciate your honesty and the fact that you are not afraid to share your vulnerabilities and struggles. I appreciate what you had to say because it really speaks to my heart about what I find so “dirty” about blogging and what disappoints me and distresses me in particular about Catholic blogging and what finds its way into print (the Fr. Groeschel interview). I am sorry and you will have my prayers.

  • Homesick

    I stopped blogging myself, about one month ago, for much the same reason. Over the years, the posts that got the most traffic were my angry rants. My readership waxed and waned in proportion to my unhappiness. So I concentrated on my life outside my blog and tapered off, then one day, I just finally broke free.

    At first it felt like losing a limb, but then it got better, and I hobbled off in a new direction.
    We all do what we need to do.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      Thanks, L.

  • jk

    Well, I’m going to miss your blog…a lot. Take care of yourself and know that we want you back…strong and healthy in body, mind and spirit!

  • Gayle

    I’ll be praying for you, too, Kat. Your other blog was my super favorite-like someone said you feel like a friend-and we haven’t even met.

  • Kresimir

    As much as we are sorry that you will stop blogging, at the same time we
    are very happy that God give you cognition to see what is best for you.

    I am sure that it was a sign that one part of your life is
    finished, and that God want you to work
    for him on some new job. With or without money, everything will for sure go in
    best way for you.

    You will be in our prayers

  • http://www.facebook.com/coucoumelle Jeanne Chabot-Baril

    Wait… you had a heart-attack? How did I not know about this??

    And I will miss you. Will you still be on facebook? Are you still doing Compostela?

  • Christine Niles

    God never abandons his faithful children. He will not let you or your family starve. I’m a single mom of 4, so I don’t say that tritely. You might also want to pray a novena to St. Joseph for a reliable source of income. This one is particularly powerful:

    http://www.stjosephsite.com/SJS_Ninedays.htm

  • Barb

    Kat,
    I often wonder how bloggers are able to come up with material week after week! I have truly enjoyed your writing, and have been awed by how you were able and willing to bare your soul to the public. I wish you all the best…and a more peaceful, private existence. God bless you and your son!

  • Kristen inDallas

    What if you wrote a post about the appropriateness asking preists to hear confession in a bar, or elsewhere. And that conversation was the very thing that pushed one of your readers over the edge with all the other little gentle nudges to finally get over her issues and go confess, for the first time in a year and the second time in over a decade? What if that were the first time that this particular reader felt she could actually ACCEPT forgiveness and accepted it long enough to recieve the grace of the holy spirit at mass, after more than a dozen years of darkness? What if that moment put her on a whole new path, a better one…? I truly believe Kat that when someone has a heart that is as open to God’s as yours is, He can use it for good whether you know it’s happening or not. Whether it’s at church, at the grocery store, in a purposefully insightful blog post or tucked away inside a rant, a little bit of Him will shine through you as long as you’re willing to let it. So you do whatever you need to do to keep that heart compass in tact and He will do the rest. I will miss your posts, but who am I to deprive the lovely ladies at the grocery store? Thank you for sharing your story and your snark, it meant more to me than you could possibly know. Even when the politics are a sore subject, there has always been at least the glimmer of seeing so much tenacity in the face of tragedy. You are a gem and you will bring that wherever you go. Good luck!

  • Ironic Catholic

    Kat, I don’t agree with you on everything, but I love ya, girl. I totally understand…I don’t think I could be a paid blogger, I just need to walk away sometimes from it all. Take care of yourself and you’re in my prayers today.

  • Ann

    Wow, I’m so sorry to hear this. I don’t comment often, but I read daily. I’m going to say what you probably don’t want to hear, but I hope you don’t leave for too long. In fact, I hope you don’t leave at all and you come back tomorrow. Says the girl who could never, ever be a blogger in the Catholic blogosphere. I wish you well, I hope you feel better soon, and yes, I hope you come back soon : )

  • Ignorant-Redneck

    Pax Vobiscum!–I understand.

  • http://scrutinies.net/ Dorian Speed

    I second Christian – you are doing the right thing. You’ll be in my prayers, and you’ll be missed. And I always enjoyed the art posting.

  • Kim

    Cat I loved your blogs way back when and I have loved them now. I miss the pretty art and music btw. What you write makes sense I hope you find the peace you need. I will continue to keep you in my prayers and I hope you make it back on the web sooner than later. God Bless you and your family!

  • Fr P

    Will miss you! Be assured of my prayers!

  • Jean Pergande

    I have always looked forward to reading what you write. It always makes me stop and think. I pray that you find peace and consolation in knowing that so many of us will miss you and will keep you in our prayers.
    In Christ always,

  • http://twitter.com/DenverGregg DenverGregg

    Politics these days seem worse than ever. I’ve quit following very many blogs because of their overemphasis of politics or their unreasonableness about political issues. What attracts me to your blog isn’t comments about politics, but rather you. I’ve been praying for you, and hope to continue so doing.

  • http://twitter.com/dferg David Ferguson

    Blessings and peace to you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/judy.neslon.capistrant Judy Capistrant

    Praying for Mother Mary to wrap you in her mantle of peace and love, drawing you ever closer to her Son. Praying you can attend daily Mass and adoration, to strengthen and sooth you.. Amen

  • A.R.

    Your pretty art posts were my favorite, I’m sorry for not commenting on those more! Thanks for your sincerity here. It’s always the right move to do what you have to do to take care of your soul. I recently realized that my prayer life was awful and so have been working through “The Ways of Mental Prayer” by Dom Vitaly Lehody, and it’s been a real help. God bless you and your family.

  • dreyrugr

    You are a beautiful soul, and I’ve been reading you since before you “sold out”. I’ve got something similiar coinciding with yours strangly enough, and started my tactical retreat last week. Nothing is more critical than the care of your soul.

  • http://profiles.google.com/christinehebert65 Christine Hebert

    Kat,
    You do whatever you need to do to take care of you and your family. I pray that you have peace. If you ever need anything, please email. I will do whatever I can to help you out.
    Pax et bonum,
    Christine

  • YuukoIchihara

    I’m going to miss your posting. I’ll be praying for you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=752576871 Colet C. Bostick

    faith and trust…and a little bit of pixie dust? (sorry….I’m clearly a lost soul if that’s the first thing I thought of). I had just put you on my homepage, too! Prayers for you and your son and your mom. You will be missed and pined after. Please come back, when you can, and soon, if you can, and with a donate button, if you please. <3

  • 1Christopher_Lake9

    Kat, we seem to be thinking on quite similar wavelengths tonight. Earlier this evening, I deactivated my Facebook account (didn’t delete it though… sigh). I also just read and commented on another post of yours that resonated with me (about once having been strongly “pro-choice”). I will miss your blog, but I applaud you on doing what you need to do for your own best good. Take care of yourself, sister.

    • 1Christopher_Lake9

      and… praying for you. It is better that you step away than risk your physical and emotional health. God is with you.

  • Wronda in Portland Oergon

    Kat – fly be free and if you ever want to come back and post funny pictures of nuns or travel dreams, I’ll be here to laugh with you and dream along. I pray you will know God’s pleasure in you with every action you take. May you be blessed. Wronda (a long time, non-Catholic lurker)

  • dawnmaria

    Kat, I love you! I was always in awe of your authenticity and your “writerly” voice. Get yourself together and come back to us, somehow. Peace!

  • sacredcrocheter

    Kat, you are doing the absolute right thing. I wish I had just walked away from a similar situation before I let my health get so bad there were no choices left. Screw the internet! God will provide for you and your family and he will continue to guide you to where you should be-God’s love is all we need and all we will ever need. I have enjoyed your blog everyday and I will miss it but I’d rather miss your blog than miss you. God Bless you.

  • Susan Lee

    Well, I feel that way, too, and I don’t even have a blog! The politics of this season are gruelling. I think it’s worse for Religious folks, since politics is totally of Man (and/or the Devil?!).
    Three of us worked in an office, – one retired and management said she would not be replaced. So I had a totally hellish spring. I finally (!) went to confession, telling Father I was nervous, hopeless & anxious beyond anything I could ever have imagined. Father asked if I had ever gone hungry. Well, No, I hadn’t. He riffed on the Lord’s prayer for a bit and gave me a penance of saying the Lord’s Prayer with the word Grace inserted between every phrase. I still lose control & have anxiety attacks, but the Lord’s prayer can hold them off. Especially followed with a Hail Mary. The worst time at work was during Lent, but we had sung the “Attende Domini, et Miserere, quia peccavimus tibi” – which I was struck by it’s appropriateness, & singing that under my breath all day long helped a lot, too. It’s on youtube and you can find the words in English, too. Remember the Lord has responsibilities to His subjects, as we have responsibilities to Him. You can call on Him for assistance & He is duty bound to respond.

  • Rob

    God bless you, Kat. Thank you for your posts. They made a difference, to me and others. Take care of yourself and rest in His mighty and merciful arms.

  • Fuquay Steve

    Kat – first you don’t realize the positive impact you have with some readers (like myself); second, we feel your pain; third, we support you in your efforts to spiritually heal and with God’s grace, that will happen; finally please do not forget about those that looked forward to your posts – both the humorous one’s and those more serious. We truly care.

  • http://www.lisagraas.com Lisa Graas

    I’m sure all of the other comments here are quite lovely, but I have Billy Joel. http://catholicbandita.com/dear-kat/

  • http://www.lisagraas.com Lisa Graas

    I hope you’ll be back.

  • dad of eight

    I totally understand your point. And I during lent and other times of the year back away from politics completely, no tv, no intranet, no facebook, nothing. It is so wonderful to be able to be calm and dwell int he shadow of God w/o the daily ugly news. However at the end of the day, there are those who God has chosen to be our Catholic bloggers, writers, singers, etc. And as we all know we Catholics are not all called to be hermits and the cloistered but instead called to be His hands and feet – and confront this “rebellious generation”. Good luck in what ever you and God decide is best for you – and us.

  • http://www.facebook.com/calah.alexander Calah Michelle Alexander

    I miss you already, Kat.

  • AnnF

    Kat: Do what you need to do. We’ll be praying for you and The Boy and hoping you come back. You are one of my few daily reads. I will miss you here. It will never happen, but you are on my list of people I promise to help if I ever win the lottery. (We struggle financially as well.) Orrrr is there some metric about Patheos your regular readers don’t know about that would help? Should we be sharing, clicking, or commenting? What helps your bottom line? Clicking on all the mormon ads? I read you all the time but barely comment because I don’t want to be that kid in class whose hand is always raised. Tell us how we can support you.

  • Maggie Goff

    I will be praying for you and your family every day, several times a day. I think you’re wise. God bless you.

  • Amatorem Veritatis

    ”Though lovers be lost love shall not;

    And death shall have no dominion.
    Good-bye, good luck, struck the sun and the moon,
    Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
    Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”Dylan Thomas

  • Lola

    I look forward when you’re feeling ‘more like yourself’. Your humor, your spunk, your Art and travel.
    I barely get any hits and my blog is my own. It’s humbling, in a very good way. I’m humbled when people I admire and enjoy reading have taken a moment and stopped by (Adrienne, IR, you etc…!).

    Go do something good for yourself. You’ve got my prayers.

  • Hermit of Bardstown

    I am very proud of you.

  • Barbara B

    Kat, yours was one of the first blogs I started reading years ago when I first discovered such things existed. I’ve followed you ever since. Loved nun-gazing with you, and your spicy no-nonsense style (even when I disagreed with you). You can’t go wrong going where God leads you. God continue to bless you, and know that your blog has made a difference for many readers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamesd.foerster James D Foerster

    I too will miss you. I have been reading your blog before you “sold out” (which I don’t consider a selling out as much as it was you doing what you needed to do at the time). Selfishly, I will miss the frequent visits to your site for inspiration, bad art, and almost always good humored laughs. Personally, I find the advent of fall and winter to be when I most feel burnt out. Happens every year. So, I will hope and pray for your new springtime. Blessings to you, the Boy, your mother, and all your family….

  • http://www.catholicdadsonline.org Rob Kaiser

    I have always loved your blog – especially before patheos. I was never good enough to get paid, but I know how that blogging burnout feels. Maybe, when you are rested, you might start the hobby side of it again. There are far too many nun sightings to not share them.

  • lethargic

    “I’m sure it sounds positively melodramatic to you all, but I am at a point where I feel like the stress could very much kill me. ”
    No, it doesn’t sound melodramatic. My problems are actually a lot like yours, but with a physically handicapped spouse instead of an ailing parent. My kids are older, but my son hasn’t gotten out of bed in 3 days … Dr. appt. for him later today … hoping for a psychiatrist referral. Just today I have been running around like a chicken doing one physically demanding chore after another, just to have a reason for the shortness of breath, so yeah, I know how it sucks … (((((((hugs))))))) to you, Kat. Wish I could do more, take you out for supper or something … but I’m 2000 miles away … God bless you and your family.

  • http://uniconoclast.com/ Kim Vandapool

    I’ll be praying for you, Kat. And I’m sure going to miss your writing, but I understand why you’re stepping back for now. God bless!

  • Janet Butler

    Kat, I have loved your blog for a long time–the beautiful (and tacky!) art, nun pictures, funny stories, etc. Even when I didn’t agree with everything you said, I loved reading it. I saw it change with this “paid” status, and I hear what you’re saying and agree with it in spades. I think many of us are going through the same thing, and many of us are consciously stepping away from the Internet–or at least stepping down our participation. I will gladly contribute toward a journey back to sanity, which is what you’ll be taking. Many, many blessings to you in this exercise. I have a feeling God will richly reward it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=506406752 Christy Isinger

    Prayers for you and your family! You’ll be missed as your sense of humor is one of a kind! God bless you!

  • Ellen Parrish

    Just keep coming back and hoping…. Your posts were a bright moment of kindred spirit. Not always the same opinion, but quite frequently, and I miss the acerbic and yet gentle tone you manged to combine. I totally get it. Oh well – when and if you come back I’ll probably be one of the first to know, cuz you are staying on my “regular” list. I do Adoration at St Ann’s and I’ll be remembering you there. Peace….

  • kim

    darn.
    I liked everything, including the “political” posts. I agree that your decision is probably spiritually right…maybe necessary for personal soul-saving, but on a self-centered note…. wish it weren’t the case…
    sigh

    i’m not even on facebook. Now what’ll I read? craigslist?
    :) great post….

  • Lar-y

    Is this all because you broke up with that hamster-fetishist who writes the Not a Goblin But a Troll blog? I read in his post about Fr. Groeschel that you guys are dunzo. There will be love on the other side of this pain…God’s love.

  • Manny

    ‘…because it’s not polite or mature to say “Go away. You hurt me”. ‘
    I don’t think that’s true. I think it’s quite mature to decide it’s best to part ways and move on knowing that a history taints the future.
    I hadn’t stopped here in a while (too many Patheos Catholic writers) but I see you’re in need of a vacation. Hope your time away invigorates you. Prayers are sent.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003366527204 Steve Robinson

    Behold, a Blogger in whom there is no guile! You are a gem, Kat… on and off the internet. I hope you find your way back.

  • Ed

    Love you and will miss your blog. I can totally understand and relate. God bless!

  • FuquaySteve

    Still thinking of you and wishing you well.

  • Donald Thomasco

    You’ve made me laugh a whole lot the last few years; it doesn’t happen very often. I’ve been carrying around in a prayer book a novena to Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos. I happened to open it tonight and noticed the novena started today. I’m a very poor novena-er, but I’m offering it up for you, your son, and mom.

    Thanks for the laughs

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      I popped back on to reply… I have a relic of Seelos given to me as a birthday present from the last person I ever remotely cared about. Perhaps I’ll join you in that novena. Thanks.

  • http://owenswain.com/1/ Owen

    I almost hate to admit this but I didn’t know you were gone until today (because I haven’t been following quite a number of blogs I used to follow) when I came here by way of a link to the newly published book on blogging in which you are a contributor. In a way, I guess it’s a compliment, that I didn’t know you were gone I mean. Well God bless you and the Boy.


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