THE USES OF SORROW   by Mary Oliver

Someone I loved once gave me

a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand 

that this too, was a gift.


This BLOG is NOT for the weak nor the judgmental…and HEY, I’m talking to you inner scaredy cat and inner critic.

“You are so weird. Don’t do this blog about The Other Woman. What will your friends think of you? What will your family think of you? What will you think of you when you admit such weakness and vulnerability. Haven’t you been through enough ridicule? I mean, always being the last to know…”

So, in the spirit of acquainting myself with me, I will try very hard not to censor what I say. I am abandoning my tried and true persona, where I would adjust my thoughts and speech to match whomever I was speaking with. (for a hilarious portrayal of this character type,  watch Woody Allen’s movie Zelig)  In doing so I will experience the honest reactions of those I love and cherish. I apologize to those who thought they were always interacting with the real Kathy…

I have spent my life contorting myself in hopes of being well received. I was far too meek to be controversial. My need for approval superseded any need to be myself. This is first and foremost a selfish act. I reflected the beliefs back to whomever I was speaking with, hoping the ego stroke I’d just given them, would serve me well.

This stance is disingenuous and dishonest. Nor did I end up with flocks of people saying how much they liked me.

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.

André Gide


I have been brought a box of darkness by a loved one, as Mary Oliver so eloquently states. I am not so evolved as to see this as a gift, but I hope through blogging about The Other Woman, I will shed light on why painful events can transform one into a happier, healthier person. I would like my ‘BOXES OF DARKNESS’ to help me discover the mystery as opposed to the misery of The Other Woman.

I have hated ‘The ‘Other Woman.’  I have cried myself to sleep imagining her allure. I have eaten my feelings in an attempt to numb the pain of not being quite enough. I have wasted hours playing detective, trying to suss out a lie, or a potential threatening woman. I have spent years at the throne of  ‘The Other Woman’, imagining her to have Goddess power. I must first unearth the horrid negativity that has entrapped me before I can hope to find the light.

The Other Woman

-by me

Envy. He desires her. He seeks her presence. He lies to me to lie with her.

Who is she? Who are they? Look who I’ve become.

Obsessive. With heavy leaded stomach I begin the search. 

Pockets first. Is this a woman’s business card. I wish names were gender specific. Terry, Pat, Morgan. I sigh. Relief. I find a Jim, a Mark.

Phone records. First eliminate familiar numbers and then I begin to call.

“May I speak to the woman of the household. I’m conducting a survey on behalf of Statistics Canada. Would you be willing to answer a 10 minute survey on the state of marriage in urban Canada today? What are you feelings on fidelity?”

I feel ill. Is she the one that I am not?

 Hours of obsessive searching.

Credit Card statements. Cash withdrawal patterns.

Is the car’s passenger seat in an unfamiliar position? Has her seat been on this seat? My seat?

I thought he was mine.  How did I become his undesirable?

Did it occur when I became a wife? A mother?

 He married me. Obligation. Her? Freedom.




In hopes of discovering the essence of The Other Woman I plan to adopt a new behavior each week. I will choose behaviors that I imagine The Other Woman takes for granted in her daily routine, but I admit that I am guessing about her daily routine. Never having been The Other Woman, I may have this all wrong, so I am open to suggestions from others.

So this week I am going to change the cup I use for my morning coffee. In the past I went for size and humor. Upon waking, I feel quite unattractive, so rather than do something about this, I make fun of myself by using this goofy cup.

My new cup, given to me by my younger daughter, has elegant lines, an appealing shade of green(green being the color of new life) and makes me feel a little prettier. So I will use this cup from today forwards, through the 52 weeks of transformation!