“Purging the Surfaces Before Moving onto the Self”

Katrina Farnum is a local herbalist with a passion for plants, fungi and the wild untamed niches that are waiting all around us. Born in Montana and full of spit and vinegar, she works daily to change stigmas that stunt us as a culture from moving forward fully with passion and integrity.

Katrina Farnum opens up about a love story gone wrong.

This episode of Tell Us Something was recorded in front of a live audience on March 29th, 2016, at The Wilma in Missoula, MT. 9 storytellers shared their story based on the theme “Why Didn’t Anyone Tell Me?”.

Today’s podcast comes to us from Katrina Farnum and is titled “Purging the Surfaces Before Moving onto the Self”. Thank you for listening.

Transcript : Purging the Surfaces Before Moving onto the Self

So I was always warned growing up about the dangers of drug addiction and what that might look like if you happen to fall into that peril, the opportunities that might be lost. Friendships that might be lost and all those other things to be attached with that, but what nobody ever told me was that love could be like a drug, and that you could end up in a relationship that resembled drug addiction. That’s exactly what happened to me.

I had gone through this break up and it was terrible. It was really painful and devastating but I was on the mend and was feeling like “Yeah, Alright.” You know you put yourself out there and that’s when I met Sam.

You know things were great and I thought this was the perfect person to date, and I thought this is going to be the best rebound relationship. I’m coming out of this heartache and I could tell you know you have that great sense of intuition about somebody like this is not a good long-term relationship.


This is a fantastic rebound I can just pop in there and we can have fun. He was very charismatic. He was very charming and a go-getter and he was moving to Canada he was going to go live in Fernie and he was going to snowboard there and I thought perfect, there’s no break up, we already have this planned.

It’s in the initial stages, we know what’s happening..[laughter] and so cool we got this rebound planned.  And it was a little longer of a rebound than I had thought, by seven years.


They were some of the hardest seven years of my life and I really got to look at what that relationship that it becomes like substance abuse and essentially it is. I look at it now and it’s a lot like Chemical Romance. The ups are so up and the downs are so down and I ended up in a position that I was essentially fighting for my life. All those things that they warned you about the potential loss of friendships you know losing things that are important to you did happen to me at some extent, but I don’t know that people always realize how much you struggle. I don’t know that we always see each other’s darkest hours and I think that because when we retreat to those places we keep them very close and we sort of hide them.

I wanted out, I wanted to leave, I wanted to leave it all behind and get away from him so we did this back-and-forth thing for so long and there were so many times that I felt so broken.  There is a point at which I had been working on this story. I love to write and I had been working on this story and I was in love with the characters. There is one character who made weird things out of bread and like you can bake them and glaze them and they will last forever and she would make little figurines and flowers. She had a twin sister and I felt really connected to these characters.


I got to this place where I was like “Yeah I’m really doing it” . Then I’m not sure what he was looking at on my computer that he didn’t want me to know about but he took it to the computer guys and he had them completely erase my hard drive. I didn’t have anything backed up and when I would go to him and say this is how I feel and I’m devastated and this is so hard and why are we doing this. He would say something like “Those are really pretty earrings you have on. Have you had those for a while.”

It’s so weird you’re just looking at this person like “God I hate love you” and I need to get away from you and I worked really hard at times. There was a period where I moved out of my house and I moved in with family and I started looking for a new job, quit my job, started a new job, dropped my cell phone, got a new phone number. Had a new house, a new car and a new everything. I was like “yeah he’s not going to get me”. I’m starting over this is awesome and “BAM” he’d show up at my work.

It was just like that, it’s that moment where an addict has cleaned up and they’re doing so good and they’re on it and they’re making it. It’s happening and they change their environment so that they can make that transition.

Then they’re in that place and that thing is passed to them that offering is made and for me I just felt like maybe I was overreacting and maybe it wasn’t as bad as I made it out to be. Maybe I should give this another shot [laughter]…, maybe it’ll work and so I would, so I did. I wasn’t overreacting and it was terrible and it would be immediate two days after we were together again, but then it’s kind of like “Yeah,” but I already just reinvested myself so I got to plug away at it which is never a good idea. We ended buying a house together, which is bizarre to its own right why we do these things.

It got really gnarly and it just got to this point where we were sleeping in these separate bedrooms and I mean I was young and I was already at that like creepy weird place that you do in a midlife crisis [laughter].. And I decided this is it I’m not doing this anymore, I am marching down there and I’m going to tell him that we are either in it and we are going to move forward.

We’re going to make this work out or we are splitting up like I’m not limboing there’s no in between anymore, so “I got it, I know what I’m going to say.” I felt like he was never listening to me and I wasn’t validated, but I’m going for it, and I walked down the stairs and I walk into his room and it’s dimly lit because it’s evening and he has this little lamp propped up on pillows in his bed with the blankets pulled up and he’s working on a crossword puzzle.

I was standing inside the doorway and I say “So I feel like you never hear me, I feel like I try to say things but that you’re not really listening and I’m trying to get to the whole part about we need to move forward or get away from each other “and he just nods off.


His chin just collapses against his chest and something snapped in me like a fucking crazy bitch just came erupting out. [Laughter]… I just I hear myself say “You might sleep through me but you will not sleep through this [laughter] and then I started with the dresser in his room and then just one awesome bitchy motion [noise] just leveled it and I did have an aloe Vera plant on it so it wasn’t like I was just leveling his stuff


And then I rolled into the living room and by this point I didn’t care who is watching or listening, if the neighbors could hear me or if he was even awake yet, which he was, and he was after me. I leveled all my hippie crystals and rocks, plants, books, pots and pans, mixers, cookie trays, and I mean really anything that was exposed on the surface, which anyone that knows me knows that there are no empty surfaces in my life.


I’m leveling them all and it’s awesome and I feel pretty good actually like I’m mastering this because today I’m done, I am done with seven years. This is bullshit. I’m over it.


He comes after me right and then he gets his hands around my neck and he’s like [noise]”You crazy bitch stop it” and I’m whaling on his chest but he sees me, he sees me, and he is just devastated, she’s done, she’s over it, and I was. It was a powerful feeling because I knew none of that bullshit that he had been feeding me like when he would show up and he would say “I’ve been hiking all these mountains all day long and all I do is think about you because you are my soul mate.” He was really just like I’ve been fucking tons of other chicks and now I’m back in town so “Yeah” let’s do this.


None of that was actually working anymore and you know I made the separation happen.

It’s not easy right because you think that that’s the victory moment, but it’s like that’s the high and now you’re going to go through the low, but you can’t go back. It got to that point where it’s just like “Uh” because I loved him. It wasn’t that I didn’t love him and my heart was so heavy and was hard to eat it was hard to sleep and it was hard to think straight it was hard to go to work. I would crawl on my hands and knees to get to the front door so that I can get to my car so I could go get groceries. So I can continue living and it was a fight for my life and I fought every day for as many days as it took and I had to start looking at myself like what am I doing and what am I responsible for. How can we change what I’m doing so that I don’t keep doing that. I did make mistakes. I didn’t come out of that experience just free and clear and a new page, happy ever after. I got to a place where I rebounded again after that and I made poor choices.

I ended up in a relationship with the person I love dearly and he was a raging alcoholic and that didn’t work out. I had to go back to the drawing table and say “What am I doing, What is this, What is in me, What is my conclusion?” I have been really looking for somebody that was the right person for a really long time. I wanted to love and I wanted to be in that relationship and I was looking and looking and not finding it, so I just started to work on myself. I started looking at what attitudes that I carried and you know I really had to look at my defensiveness because I was a very defensive person, and that was part of my problem. It was something I needed to work on, so I worked on that, and I did a lot of visualization.

I visualized where I wanted to go and I knew I wanted to get there and it was so challenging because I realized that the place that I had been was comfortable, it was so uncomfortable, but it was comfortable because I knew what to expect. I knew that that unhappiness was going to be there. What I didn’t know was what that other place that I was going to go was going to look like and that scared the shit out of me. Even though it had the potential to be so much better, so I just started visualizing what I wanted in a relationship, but I started with myself and what relationship I needed to have with myself. I worked tirelessly at it and when I met my husband I didn’t know he was going to be my husband and he was goofy and he was athletic and he was sweet and I would get his name wrong [laughter] and we ended up being really great friends. He kind of and you don’t know if it was an accident or not but you know, he swept me off my feet and I was a little leery both because I wasn’t sure that I was there that I had done the work that I needed to do.

At one point in the beginning of our relationship I said to him” I think I’m too mean for you, I think I might be too rough around the edges for you “because you are so nice and your so sweet and he said “I think in the end that you’ll be a little nicer and I’ll be a little meaner and it will all work itself out.”


Okay I can work with that but I really didn’t want him to be meaner because he’s so wonderful [laughter] and you know there was just so much that he did that was so different and it was really refreshing to feel that. It was really refreshing to feel that remembering days when there just hard days.

I don’t even remember what was happening that day but I remember he looked at me, I’m sad and he said I am going to kiss that frown right off your face and I thought that is a guy and he was so devoted to his family that that became something that was so close to my heart like anyone that can devote themselves to their family in that way. I love them so unconditionally.

I knew that I would also receive that treatment and so I married him because he’s wonderful and amazing and makes you know that I am a better version of myself every day and he supports everything that I do wholeheartedly and I really had to come back in and review where I had been and where I was going, and I realized that I had been putting so much and investing so much all the those years and finding the right person and in the end it wasn’t about that in the end it was about just being the right person.

Thank you.