katiebear's blog

Shitters and Shitees
Posted on Jan 16, 2022 12:05 PM

I really do not like being yelled at. I freeze, remembering barracading myself in my closet while my father pounded on the door screaming that he was going to kill me. Later we would have to pretend that nothing had happened. The good old elephant in the living room, familiar to many who grew up in alcoholic families. So when someone yells at me I usually do not respond and we move on. However, I do not forget. I have the sober idea that adults should be able to discuss things calmly and to take responsibility if they revert to acting like a screaming two-year-old. Those, however, are what I call the shitters. Having dumped a big load of shit on their victim the often feel very proud of themselves (especially if their target, like me, freezes and does not scream - or even talk - back). Most of us know how good it feels to take a big dump and how long we remember it. That's why I call them the Shitters. At most, they may remember how good they felt after taking this big dump and they remember their victim only as a person who was present when they felt really good. Which can lead to awkward encounters the next time they meet as the shitee is very unlikely to have the same pleasant, though maybe foggy, memory of the encounter. There are people who have consistently dumped on me any time I talked with them who are furious when I refrain from giving them openings to shit on me again. If they should ask why I'm a little distant and I tell them there are two basic responses. First is, I don't remember that therefore it didn't happen. (Until, of course, you relax, give them another opening and they shit on you again. Don't worry they will not connect the new dump to the previous dump which you tried to remind them of.) The second response is "Well, that's what I felt like doing." As if having a feeling is an acceptable justification for behavior which is not acceptable. Many of the Shitters have therapists who encourage their rude behavior. These therapists can keep the Shitter coming back over and over as their shitting on people costs them relationships.

Sadly, many Shitters think that shitting on someone is the way to establish a relationship. Equally sadly, sometimes this works. Especially if the shitee is a person who is accustomed to abuse from family and friends and will take it as a sign of affection. I think that many abusive relationships begin this way: "He shit on me; he must like me."
For a shitee who is familiar with this routine it is often fairly easy to allow the Shitter to reveal his true colors. In the beginning, it will probably not be by shouting but by endless criticism, often (poorly) disguising their motive which is to establish themselves as the controller in the relationship. Yelling (Shitting) and/or physical abuse may follow but usually gentle shitting is the beginning of abuse.

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Posted on Jan 12, 2022 6:45 PM

Sometimes the blindness/stupidity of my parents still hits me. I was in college, barely hanging on at the college they were sure would be better for me than the one I wanted (they never admitted a mistake) and Mom and Barbara were literally trying to kill each other, strangling each other while falling down a flight of stairs and dad would call me to please come home and then tell me I was supposed to make things all better. And he was the attorney general of the damn state. Alternated with lectures saying if he remained Ok we would be all right but if anything happened to him we were all doomed.

Recovering from a quick and chilly trip to San Diego. Stomach aches and brain fog. Minor progression on things I may be able to do in a day or two or three.

FB post about a dog who will be on the street if not adopted. Gave Twink a good breakfast which she promptly puked up on my bed. Sugar is back; Oso is gone.

Sometime the memory of my father and his endless neediness pops up. What kind of a "responsible" adult dumps crap like that on an 18-yr-old who is barely hanging on? A very needy one. Thoughts up partly as I'm thinking of how to deal with an acquaintance who is a judge and has been increasingly abusive towards me for years. Another "how can he possibly be this selfish/stupid" situation which I have accepted passively even when it literally makes me sick. He's been on my mind a lot lately and not in a good way. I'm wondering if he has died.

The cold weather has driven many mice inside. I have on living in my bedroom; mostly on my desk. It peeks around the computer every so often.

"It was just your karma" says Amma. Let it go.

Maybe I should write about when I kicked my grandmother. I remember Elizabeth laughing and cheering when I told her about it. I still felt bad. The problem with the kind of abuse that I dealt with is that somone was always telling me how awful I was no matter how many of the others' rules I was following. If I'd known what she wanted maybe I could have complied. No, probably not, just my old guilt-giver kicking in again. Cruelity upon cruelity - adult level nastiness - then give me a hug and a kiss goodbye. I only wish I had kicked her harder. Both my parents were there; my mother was holding me as I sobbed - big broken-hearted sobs - I wanted to die - and neiother of them said a word to her. It was not in any way normal behavior for me I was a broken-hearted little kid and they said nothing I remember holding a little girl whose mother had just broken another promise, one she had sworn never to d o. Little girl cried and cried a teacher came in and tried to get her to stop. I said no, leave her alone. Sometimes it's release and I'm glad I was there. Poor kid - sent off to another in an endless trail of foster homes while her mother said "it's never this complicated in other counties."

time to feed whatever dogs are here. Why did they never feel that I got enough criticism. As long as they get fed dogs are happy. I should stick to dog-think.

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It's Over
Posted on Jan 1, 2022 8:05 PM

First, I need to report that today was definately the beginning of a new year for me. Christmas depression lifted in a major way and I made major progress is clearing my house/mind. It happens most every year since I got sober but even if I remember things got better after New Years I didn't remember how much better.

As we wait hopefully for progress on the political front - the anniversary Of the Jan 6 insurrection is almost upon us - I remember the summer of listening to and watching the Watergate hearings and the moment when I realized that the relationship with the man I was living with was over. It had been gong downhill almost from the day I'd moved in about a year earlier as once I was there and committed the criticism had started. It was not helped when we stopped briefly at the home of my sister Susan and she - convinced she was one of the world's great hostesses, came toward him to shake hands and called him "Goonter." He name was Gunter and her gaff was doubly embarrassing because she obviously thought she was being gracious.

Back to Watergate. At the time I was a two-pack-a-day cigarette smoker. I decided it was time to quit. I'd been off cigarettes for 2-3 days and was sitting on the front porch trying not to go nuts and Gunter made some nasty remark. I responded by pointing out that I was doing without cigarettes. He responded with a sarcastic remark about something that was "still" wrong with me. And I lost it. Totally. Sat there sobbing, asking, "How long is your list?" I enumerated the top five or ten criticisms and asked, again, how long is your list. It actually got through to him. He apologized and promised to stop the endless criticism. And he did. For a couple of days. Then it started again and when I tried to remind him of our previous conversation he said "It was just another fight." And at that moment I knew it was over.

When I was just over a year sober I asked a woman I knew what had caused her to end her relationship with a man I had been trying to hlep. She was very helpful and started listing some of the things he had said to her. My favorite was, "Imagine the great me ending up with a lowly person like you." As he had said most of the same things to me and I had tolerated them, a lightbulb went on and I remembered the "It's over" conversation with Gunter, realizing I had forgotten the lesson of that moment. Brought it into consciousness and I've kept it at the forefront of my thinking as I enter into what might be a relationship. The amazing thing is that since I remembered the "How long is your list" conversation I've been able to end some would-be relationships early - nipped in the bud as it were. After spending a couple of days with a man in which we were considering where our attraction to each other was going I thought about our time together and of all the things that he had told me were wrong with me: I didn't make enough money and what I did I didn't manage well, my hair was wrong; my work ethic was lacking; I wasn't energetic enough, etc. I can't remember the details all these years later but I clearly remember my thinking mind slapping me up the side of the head, pointing out that after two casual days together I already knew at least eight-ten things that I was inadequate in and it was clearly just the beginning. It was also the end. I didn't discuss it with the man, just kind of shined him on the next time I saw him. He was furious and showed it which was the best confirmation he could give me.

I've been able to share this insight with some others who have gotten involved in this kind of negative relationship. I advise taking some time getting to know the person and, at some point, to stop and ask "How long is his list?" Awareness is a wonderful thing. Most people who are very critical loosen up and start dropping remarks about your faults early on, especially if you are aware of the possibility and give the person enough "rope" to really let you know the faults he sees in you. There seems to be something in some of us that brings out the critic in many others. Awareness of this can save us a lot of abuse.

"How long is your list?"

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Christmas is difficult for many of us.
Posted on Dec 21, 2021 11:46 AM

I am not alone. I've survived many Christmas's sober. Will probably make it through this one, too. In between, I forget how these moods can hit unexpectedly. Saw what may be my most favorite meme ever: If you can't be kind, Be quiet.

I have to do major moving stuff around so I can access a working sewing machine. I have fantasies of throwing everything away. Then I remember a friend in AA who told me that in one of her drunken "cleanings" she threw away a Huichul yarn painting. I remind myself I never sank that low. The yard paining I have was clawed by a long-gone cat and needs repair but is in no danger of being tossed out.

I have made some progress on the mounds of "stuff" that have accumulated in my years on this earth and four days before Christmas is NOT the time to try for major improvement.

The work Tony did has improved my TV - the little red light is off but still no picture. I'll play with it more later and we can call my TV guy tomorrow and probably get it working. Just a little bad timing as I depend on it to distract me.

I look forward to reading this one day when I'm doing much better

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Another Dad hairball
Posted on Dec 20, 2021 4:28 PM

My dad used to stay quietly drunk/depressed to keep everyone else as miserable as he was. His father was a drunk who deserted the family (that was my father's justification for staying but making sure everyone was miserable because of his history). My niece tells me her mother got drunk/depressed every Christmas because of her father, etc. My father completed his task of ruining every holiday by dying on Thanksgiving (many years ago, thank God). I handled this cheerful heritage by finally sobering up about thirty years ago. I now live in a small town in Mexico and every Christmas I load up my van with stuffed animals and hard candy, don my Santa Clause outfit and drive around town (muttering f*&k you, Dad, as needed). Given that many Mexicans "celebrate Christmas by getting drunk on Christmas Eve and are thoroughly hung over on Christmas morning my visits can make a huge difference in a child's life. Sometimes we can change history; not only our own but that of others.

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