Kathy Pooler and Independence Day: Her Story of Freedom

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This July, my friend and author Kathy Pooler will be celebrating Independence Day in a big way launching her memoir in early July. The book’s title Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey Away from Emotional Abuse hints at the road Kathy has traveled from victim to victor with faith as her guiding light. Her story speaks of the liberation she experienced as her renewed faith enabled her to cope with multiple family upheavals including a spouse’s alcoholism, domestic abuse, two divorces, and her own struggle with cancer and heart disease.

Faith is walking to the edge of all the light and taking one more step.     Author Unknown

 

Kathy’s Story:

As a “cradle Catholic,” I was born into and brought up with all the traditions and ceremonies of the Roman Catholic faith. I have, by conscious choice and deepening desire, remained true to these beliefs and teachings, except for a period in my twenties when I questioned and even rejected them.

As is often the case, my faith did not deepen until I had to face several life-altering challenges. It was then that my religion became my faith and my spirituality, the source of comfort and meaning in my life. Therein lies the heart of my upcoming memoir, Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse.

One of the threads in my story is the role my faith played in getting into and out of two emotionally abusive marriages.

I asked myself as I wrote my memoir “How does a young woman from a stable, loving Catholic family make so many wise choices about her career but so many poor choices about love that she ends up escaping with her two children in broad daylight from her second husband for fear of physical abuse?”

The truth was this: A loving family, a solid career and a strong faith could not rescue me until I decided to rescue myself. 

So what does faith have to do with all of this?

  • Faith has been a way to nurture my own soul. I know spirituality is a very personal issue, but I do want to say that finding meaning in our lives is very important. It does not have to but this search for meaning can involve religious traditions. As mentioned, I am a Roman Catholic and find great meaning in praying and observing many rituals of my church including Holy Communion. Some other ways I nurture my soul is through Al-Anon, family friends, and following my passions of writing, exercise, reading, playing the piano. The main point is that we each need to find what works for us just as we respect each others’ right to do the same.
  • Honor yourself:  When I learned to sit still long enough, I found what I wanted and needed and then learned to honor myself and my needs. I was able to  carve out my own time and space to “follow my bliss.”
  • Hope matters: And perhaps the most important for me: Never, ever give up hope.

Excerpt from her book:

Tuesday was Ed’s bowling night. As my belly began to swell in my third trimester, my weekly vigil became more difficult. I sat by the bay window wondering when he’d return home and what condition he’d be in after his night of drinking.

My slow rhythmic breaths echoed through the quiet darkness and steadied the anxiety bubbling up from the pit of my stomach, colliding with my view of what I wanted and needed. My thoughts drifted to my great-grandmother. The visions of that tiny woman with her unwavering faith came to me in whispers and glimpses throughout my entire life.

Great-Grandma Ranze, Mom’s grandmother, had been pregnant with her ninth child when her husband died at the age of thirty-three. Surely I could get through this. The memory of watching Grandma Ranze praying the rosary when I was eight years old warmed me as I sat by the bay window on that cold night. I grabbed my rosary beads and started praying. It made me feel close to her.

* * *

This was one of many times in my life when my faith in God bolstered my hope and gave me strength for the battle. Faith is a gift given to me and nurtured in my childhood by Great-Grandma Ranze. She planted the seeds of faith in me as I faced my own challenges. She is still with me when I say my daily prayers.

Kathy’s Faith and Her Career:

My faith in God also guided me throughout my entire career as a nurse and nurse practitioner.

Every morning on my way to work, I prayed that I would remain open to being God’s servant in caring for the ill or in carrying out whatever role I happened to be in at the time—clinician, educator, administrator. I often prayed with or over patients with their permission. I said many silent prayers for those who were not comfortable.

I also prayed for the strength to deal with whatever I had to face—a dying patient, a difficult family/coworker/physician. Jesus is the Divine healer and if Jesus is in me then I am the vehicle for carrying out His will.

This is the faith that enabled me to walk away from two emotionally abusive marriages with two children. It has been through these challenges that my faith has deepened, and I have found freedom from emotional abuse.

Kathy asks: How about you? How has faith worked in your own life?

KathyPoolerBrighter

Kathleen Pooler is a writer and a retired Family Nurse Practitioner who is publishing on a memoir, Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse and working on a sequel, Hope Matters: A Memoir about how the power of hope through her faith in God has helped her to transform, heal and transcend life’s obstacles and disappointments:  domestic abuse, divorce, single parenting, loving and letting go of an alcoholic son, cancer and heart failure to live a life of joy and contentment. She believes that hope matters and that we are all strengthened and enlightened when we share our stories.

She blogs weekly at her Memoir Writer’s Journey blog: http://krpooler.com

Kathy’s Links:

Twitter

LinkedIn

Google+ 

Goodreads   

Facebook  

Pinterest

One of her stories “The Stone on the Shore” is published in the anthology: “The Woman I’ve Become: 37 Women Share Their Journeys From Toxic Relationships to Self-Empowerment” by Pat LaPointe, 2012.

Another story: “Choices and Chances” is published in the  “My Gutsy Story Anthology” by Sonia Marsh, September 2013.

*  *  *

Can you relate to any part of Kathy’s story?

What questions do you have for Kathy?

Both she and I will join in the conversation today. You can bet on it!

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The  30-day Pubslush Crowdfunding Campaign for my memoir, Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse was launched on May 12 and ends at midnight on June 11.

By making a contribution you will help spread the messages of hope, resilience and courage to those seeking freedom from abuse. Here’s the link to the campaign:

http://pubslush.com/books/id/2076.

If you are unable to make a contribution, I’d be most appreciative if you would share this link with others. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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44 thoughts on “Kathy Pooler and Independence Day: Her Story of Freedom

  1. I am not a woman of faith (in a higher being, that is). I do agree and believe that one needs hope, a belief in oneself, and that one has to find and actively pursue things that nourish our souls. Wishing Kathy much luck and all good things!

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    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Merril. It’s nice to “meet” you! My hope for my memoir is that it will move others to find their own source of strength within, however each person defines that source as you have described so well. I appreciate you stopping by.

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  2. Kathy’s message of hope is applicable to all but especially to those who must dig deep for courage to reverse course. I find her controlling question intriguing: Obviously she is not the only woman with everything going for her (strong family and career) to make unwise decisions. Her readers will relate, I’m sure.

    Thanks for posting today. And have a refreshing Memorial Day weekend, Merril.

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    1. I think my weekend is going to be a combination of work and play, but I hope your Memorial Day weekend is “refreshing” in every sense of the word, Marian. (And what a funny, but wonderful wish, to be refreshed! I love it!)

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  3. Marian, it is an honor to be your guest today. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my story and for presenting it with an Independence Day theme. Freedom to live life on our own terms is definitely something to celebrate!

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    1. In the travail it takes to get a book from conception to publication, you probably didn’t imagine that the launch date would correspond to a important national holiday. I’d call that serendipitous, a hopeful word I’m trying to teach my grand-boys. My pleasure to host your story and book launch on my blog today, Kathy.

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  4. I can relate. After leaving New Life for girls I ran into an old friend that was in the same gang that I was in. As a youth even back then, I was impressed with him, one because he was tough and people respected him because they feared him. Well, we worked in the same clinic; he 10 years older than me. We started dating then even though I should have known better than to get involved sexually with him.

    Soon I got pregnant, got scared, and ran back to see my spiritual Mom and Dad for comfort and advise. They were so loving. Even so, I went back home and I lived with him to later realize that he was an alcoholic and schizophrenic. He tried to be physically abusive, but I was stronger. Also, he was mentally abusive which left me mentally paralyzed which was was worse than the physical abuse. I finally ran away leaving the state back to Pennsylvania to protect my children from him. It was that best move I ever made. Now I’m happily married 25 years and serving God to the fullest God, which is so good. Like Paul, my life is to live for God and serve Him for his glory, and my husband today does too. Thank you for your story. It will help many who face such abuse today.
    Gloria

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    1. Gloria, your story is riveting. What a powerful testimony to the role faith played in your life. My favorite line, “but I was stronger.” These stories of triumph over abuse need to be told to give others courage to find their own way to freedom. I’m so happy you found your inner strength through the grace of God and to live the happy life you deserve. Thank you for sharing.

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      1. Thank you Kathy so looking forward to your book I know it will help many women, especially many that I work with. Of which I will share with them when your book is out in July.
        Gloria

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  5. My hat is off to Kathleen Pooler for making the leap from victim to victor, and for sharing her courageous story with countless other people who can leverage the wisdom of her experience to extricate themselves from unbearable circumstances.

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    1. Thank you Laurie! I am honored by your comments which resonate with my purpose in writing this memoir. I have seen you around online and am thrilled to meet you on Marian’s lovely blog.

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      1. Shirley, it’s great to see you here. I believe Marian and I met through you. I love this circle of camaraderie and friendship! So refreshing and mutually-beneficial for all of us.I’m deeply grateful for your Pubslush support as well as for your ongoing cheers and encouragement. Thank you. Yes, things are happening fast!

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  6. Kathy and Marian, it’s so good to see the two of you working together to learn, celebrate Independence, and help others do the same. I have an online friend who needs to know about this book, so I’ll share the post with her. Happy to be one of your Pubslush supporters, Kathy. All the best in the weeks ahead. Coming fast!

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    1. Sometimes hanging out with writer friends feels as though I’m chatting around the kitchen table. Other times, I feel as though I’m in a stadium cheering on those “up to bat” now. This is one both of those times.

      Happy also to be one of your PubSlush supporters, Kathy.

      Thanks once again, Shirley, for standing by, recommending, and cheering!

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      1. Marian, I love this “kitchen table wisdom” and stadium level cheers. You and Shirley were two of my early Pubslush supporters and I am most appreciative. Thank you!

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  7. Kathy and Marian, thank you for this post. And, as you so eloquently say, ‘A loving family, a solid career and a strong faith could not rescue me until I decided to rescue myself’ are powerful words. Too few of us realise that this is the only way … and with the Grace of God it can be done.
    May your faith continue to uphold you and may many women find comfort in your words.

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    1. Thank you, Susan. It’s nice to know that you too look to God for strength not only for crucial choices but for everyday living. Whenever I check my blog “Dashboard” and see South Africa in the data, I’m pretty sure the comment comes from you. Your comments are always appreciated.

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  8. Nice to meet you, Susan. I appreciate your kind words. I just read a quote that sums up your thoughts: “Life is not about finding yourself, it’s about discovering who God created you to be.” We only need to be still and listen. I hope the lessons I learned the hard way will help other women find their inner strength. Thanks for stopping by.

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  9. Welcome to this blog, LaTanya. I’m so glad you met Kathy Pooler here. Thank you so much for the re-blog of this post telling her story to your readers. I look forward to poking around in your blog and getting to know you better too. Once again, thank you!

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  10. Hi girls. Wanted to pop on over while the coffee was still hot. Black, no sugar, please.

    Kathy, I resonated with this comment made below, “These stories of triumph over abuse need to be told to give others courage to find their own way to freedom.” Indeed. I look forward to reading your story, one that will empower others to “break the chain” of violence in our lives.

    Thank you Marian, for hosting. I enjoyed the virtual coffee too. (It’s the only kind I’m allowed to have anymore).

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    1. I can smell the coffee aroma, but truly I’m a tea drinking myself. I think the kitchen table image we can all relate to though.

      Thank you. Janet, for chiming in to lend your support to Kathy. Her book has the potential to be life-changing. I’m sure down the line we’ll hear about lives her book has touched.

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    2. Janet, isn’t it wonderful to have so many lovely places to “meet for coffee”? Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your kind thoughts. And I can’t wait to meet you in person next week! 🙂

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  11. Hi Kathy and Marian,
    So glad that you hosted this, Marian. The thing that keeps jumping out at me about Kathy’s memoir (from various excerpts) is how she doesn’t blame others, but is gentle with herself in taking responsibility for her own actions. That is a fine line and it seems Kathy has done well with that balance. Good luck, Kathy, and thank you, Marian.
    Patti

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    1. Great observations, Patti. No, Kathy does not play the blame game. And though she doesn’t mention it in this blog post, I am sure she has had to practice forgiveness along the way too in order to move ahead.

      A statement I came across recently seems to apply here: “Forgiveness doesn’t excuse their behavior; forgiveness prevents their behavior from destroying your heart.” Kathy, and others like her, has a valiant heart as her story illustrates so well.

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    2. HI Patti, I am so grateful for your ongoing support and kind words here. My greatest hope is that sharing my story will help others connect with their own inner strength and take responsibility for their own happiness. When we make ourselves accountable for our own choices, we become empowered and free. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

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  12. Congratulations, Kathy, on your book and the huge moves you’ve made in life after experiences that would cripple most women. I was not brought up in a spiritual family, but found a spiritual teacher and began meditating and studying philosophy in 1970. I’ve had many teachers from various spiritual traditions, a strong relationship to nature, a sense of service, and my love for my sons, friends, and community. When we’re curious, life is filled with lessons, growth, and guidance even when things were tough. Thank you for sharing your experience. You will help many.
    Elaine

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    1. You’re right to acknowledge the fact that Kathy has prevailed through “experiences that would cripple most women.” And she gives credit to her strong faith in God as the source of her strength. Thanks you for joining in with others to cheer her on, Elaine.

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  13. Yes,Elaine, it does seem like our greatest lessons–and sometimes blessings–often come from our trials. Connecting with our spirituality, however we define it, seems to be the key to finding meaning in life. It’s nice to meet you! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.
    Kathy

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