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I Actually Care Karen

It was at the tail end of my son’s grade two year. It was hotter than hell outside and Shawn was making me lug all the lawn chairs from our car to a safe spot alongside the first baseline. I heard her call my name from the ball field. I knew it was her. I knew it was her because she had this special way of inflecting a “hint of witch” in her tone that made every fiber of  your body instinctively seize up.

She’s the type of person that everyone says is super nice but you can’t trust her.

I see through you Karen.

“Aren’t you so glad to be here?” she asked.

I wrestled with the thick straps on the lawn chair bags that had dug into my shoulders, “Nope. Not at all.”

“Ugh, you are so negative!”

Another mom standing by swatted her arm, “That’s rude! It’s hot out man. I don’t want to be here either.”

Karen: No, she is negative. Like she is negative all the damn time. Like all the time.

*She was finger pointing at me*

Me: It’s really hot out.

Other Mom: You’re so harsh!

Karen: No she’s so negative.

Me: It’s hot out and I want to be inside where it’s cool. Your team is fantastic and ours is not so much. So how about your team just gets it over with and —

Karen: See! See!

She kept spouting off to her friends as I stood there. Anger bubbling inside my gut watching her stiff ramen noodle curls that framed her face barely moved as her head shook when she squabbled. Who puts that much mousse in their hair anymore Karen? Who?

Well, sorry Karen if I am tired and feel like staying home and sleeping rather than attending a long drawn out 7 year old baseball game.

Me: Enjoy your game. See I’m smiling and things. I’m starting to feel more positive as I’m walking away!

And I walked off.

What Karen didn’t know was that at that time of year, I was battling depression and anxiety.  My son had been bullied to a literal pulp by his grade two teacher which had left him feeling like a shell of himself. We were fighting with the school and trying to get help.  As a family, we were completely drowning and there was Karen….

There always seems to be a Karen pointing out when “I’m negative”. 

So Karen, next time when I wake up in the morning and I’m feeling anxious or depressed, I will remember to snap right out of it and put on a happy face instead.

I don’t want to upset you.

I’m just kidding.

Here’s the thing Karen, I don’t want to feel this way. I didn’t choose to feel this way. Bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, PTSD – those are is a real illnesses that I and so many people on this planet have. I fight the thoughts in my brain every single day. Every damn day. That’s exhausting wouldn’t you say?

Do you go to the gym every day Karen?

Like from the moment you wake up till the time you go to bed? Sweating on the treadmill, feeling the burn in your quads, heart pounding, can’t breathe, your brain is telling you you are garbage because look at how slow your going or some crap like that, go faster Karen, everyone is watching you and you are a hot mess,  and you want to quit but you have to keep on going until bedtime?

No?

OK, just keeping my fight in perspective Karen.

I can’t turn off my brain – whatever bipolar episode I’m in, throw in the anxiety, I’m a mom, a wife, I dibble dabble in this writing thing, I’ve also got to think about what I’m cooking for dinner, laundry, doctor’s appointments, and tackling this voodoo textbook called grade four math homework I’ve got to help my kid with at night, etc.  –  so I am tired.

You don’t know what I’m going through because I try to hide it as much as I can and do you want to know why? Not because I am ashamed of my illness. No. But Because of you Karen’s of the world who make me feel like I’m a burden when I’m “like this” – when I cannot keep my shit together. When I can’t keep that “happy” face turned on for you. Heaven forbid I ruin your day by not smiling or laughing or by just being silent or keeping to myself entirely because you are all too much.

The fact that the negativity is coming out in the way that it is – the way I behave, things I say, if it’s coming out on you – that means that I’m getting really sick. The filter is off and I’m feeling weak. So thank you for pointing it out to me but I didn’t appreciate the ignorant way you have said it. I was hurt by it. Instead of saying things like “You’re so negative!” or “You’re being a bitch!” maybe you should say things like:

“How are you?”

“Are you doing OK?”

“Do you want to talk?”

“You sound upset today. Just know that I am here for you if you need anything.”

I would ask those things.

But that’s the difference between you and I – dear Karen’s of the world.

I actually care.

Annie Spratt

 

*Karen is not her name. Karen is just a random name I picked. Sorry if you are a Karen and you think I’m talking about you. But if the shoe fits….

23 Comments

  1. Karen sounds like a real live version of Christina Applegate’s character in Bad Moms. I hate that there are real live people like that. But I know it’s reality.

    Dear Karen, STFU next time.

    <3 <3

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      HAHA!!! Seriously. The Karen’s are alive and well in Canada. I have a super small circle of good people and the Karen’s are on the outside of it. But Lord…the can get under my skin.
      But yes, STFU Karen.
      xoxox

  2. If the shoe fits…true story. All of this is true story. I am so sorry mousse girl is so obnoxious, so persistent…I mean, who does that…People are stupid.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      She does that. Karen. Sigh…

  3. There are too many uncaring Karens in the world.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      Yes there really are!!!

  4. It’s sad such people exist. We’ve all met them. I believe most are incapable of empathy which isn’t an excuse but more of an explanation. They can’t imagine themselves in our position so don’t have any compassion for us. That makes them toxic.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      And that is what it is…lack of empathy. I wish that people would take a moment to step outside of themselves and just ask “Maybe something is happening at home? Work? etc?”
      And those people like that are toxic and I’m learning to put up better boundaries.

  5. Oh, momma. *SQUEEZE* I dunno how you kept your proverbial cool on a hot ass day like that when you have someone finger pointing and calling you negative, but here in New Jersey, that’s grounds for talking to someone…with your fists, if you catch my drift 🙂

    Anyway, sometimes I hear these stories and I can’t believe these people exist, but you did the right thing by walking away. Her problem is all with her, ya know?

    XOXO

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      There was boob sweat going on and I don’t even have big boobs.
      And we are Canadian so we can hold our cool for an obscene amount of time – just kidding. Maybe.
      You’re right, it was all her problem. And that mousse. Gone right to her brain. xoxo

  6. Sadly I avoid everyone in my path because of Karens. This means I basically have nobody. It’s too exhausting having to explain myself.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      Oh Pam…I’m here *waves*
      I have a few people at my son’s school, there’s like 2 people who acknowledge me at hockey but then quickly revert to me being dead when the entire Karen’s in leggings show up. I have no idea what I did. So I blocked them on facebook because they made me that uncomfortable and I think that made it worse. Unblocked them. I’m all confused. Facebook is the devil by the way. You block people or deactivate your account for a week and they think you literally slapped their face. Talk about people needing to see a psychiatrist…mmmmm
      Love you

  7. I totally understand where you are coming from! I used to battle driving anxiety big time to the point where even driving on a country road with no other cars around would freak me out big time. Thank God for side roads here in Texas, I still avoid interstates and free ways! As for depression, I still battle that as well but after my 10 year divorce from my ex husband it has gotten a lot better! If people would stop criticizing others and actually give a damn about why they are moody maybe there would be less hate in the world. I love people but sometimes I wonder why they just can’t be civil to one another.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      Oh that has to be extremely hard – the driving anxiety. I can’t even imagine. Anxiety is a monster.
      I wish that people were more kind and realized that we are all fighting battles. Cut each other some slack instead of cutting each other down. Sigh…

  8. People are just awful – and a lot of times it tends to be these people that are sort of acquaintances but don’t really know you. Nobody has the right to say “you’re being negative” like an accusation, but especially not someone you barely know. So rude…and sanctimonious too, like “look at me, being so positive.” Umm…no you’re not. Sorry to hear about this!

    -Lauren

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      You are right Lauren. I just stay away when I see the Karens. I know who my people are. xox

  9. Karens of the world are toxic and nasty individuals and I despise that people see people like her as nice when there’s so much more beneath the surface.

    xox

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      That is was boggles my mind too. This person can walk from group to group and people will gobble up her BS like a sweet cupcake. I don’t get it. I won’t tolerate it. Meanwhile, the second you leave, she’s telling me all about YOU and how bad your teeth are. And I just shake my head and walk away.
      Love you girl.
      xoxo

  10. Mia Mia

    Karen just needs to sit down somewhere. I hate Karen.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      I wish she sat down. Karen has her nose in all the wrong places. Ease up on the mousse Karen. Ease. Up.

  11. Unfortunately there will always be people out there who don’t understand a person.
    And they have no interest in trying – because judging is easier.
    Walking away and surrounding yourself with people who do ‘get’ you is often the best option. You shouldn’t have to justify yourself.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      No I shouldn’t have to justify myself. You’re absolutely right. *fist bump!

  12. Ah, yup. Why must you put on a happy face for the Karens? Bull shit. Karen isn’t so nice. She’s rather rude.

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