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shutdown, abuse, etc.

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Oct. 7th, 2013 | 06:10 pm

You know, I was once with a violent, abusive person (for y'all who are still in Kitchener, it was G, and he's why I have not set foot back in that city since my parents left, and never will). He had me pretty terrified at times; I cheated on him a lot, little escapes that screwed me and others over, but he had me pretty terrified. I was a teenager, I didn't think I could go home because things with my mother were really bad (details irrelevant), and I had no ability to support myself (I attempted to go to college three times and each time finances made me drop out after a couple terms).

I was scared to be on my own. I was scared to leave him; he had told me he would kill me, and Kitchener was not exactly a place you could hide in.

One day, he was threatening me. I know what caused the fight (I was a teenager. I got involved with another teenager behind his back, and it went badly and I was heartbroken and very depressed - G was, mind, 27 at the time). I don't remember how he came to have a decorative trivet that I loved in my hand, but he did, but he was threatening to hit me with it, then caught himself, and looked at it. And I could see what was in his eyes. I said the wrong thing..."You wouldn't dare." He claimed afterwards that he reacted inside as if it was a challenge. I had just meant...we were so poor, I had so few really nice things that I treasured, it was one of them...and I saw that he was going to destroy it, in anger, to hurt *me*.

As soon as his hand smashed down, I saw a panicked look that I've seen in the eyes of young children, when they realize their tantrum has gone *too far*. I was out the door. He broke the thing that destroyed his grasp on me. It wasn't the complete end, but it neared it - I applied, secretly, to Ryerson, and was accepted - it took about a year for me to break (and part of how I did that was foisting him off onto the woman he married intentionally, though I don't think they realized it was very deliberate).

I've been thinking of that a lot the last week. It was in Canada, between 1988 and 1992, and it's obviously a very personal story, but the federal shutdown feels so weirdly the same. The Tea Party people are doing so many of the same things; destroying things not because they care about the things, but to hurt the other side. I've been seeing that panicked look in the eyes of Tea Partiers as they realize what they've done, especially when they get confronted with their own statements in the past that make it obvious they've been throwing a tantrum and it's gone too far. They broke the thing that destroyed their grasp on a lot of people. They're often using phrases that, allowing for some pronouns, are identical to what G used when he needed to explain his abuse to me, and explain how it hadn't happened because of his own psychotic behaviour, but because of the combination of events that brought us to where we were.

I've just been thinking about that a lot this week.

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Comments {4}


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from: browngirl
date: Oct. 8th, 2013 01:36 am (UTC)

That makes a lot of sense, that comparison. I think enough of them are still gleeful enough that they'll break a lot more before they're through. :(

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stephanie m. clarkson

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from: thespian
date: Oct. 8th, 2013 01:43 am (UTC)

Some of them. Michelle Bachman still seems to think she's won. You see it in Boehner's eyes, though.

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from: rednikki
date: Oct. 8th, 2013 04:05 am (UTC)

I don't think Boehner ever wanted to go here. I think he was hoping someone would rescue him. There's really no way out for him - lose his job as Speaker or destroy the country are really his only choices.

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from: koshmom
date: Oct. 8th, 2013 03:36 am (UTC)

I know it well (well, I left a couple of relationships when I realized he had this mindset).

He wants you to do something that you Just Don't Want To Do, that is silly/ridiculous/illogical/hurtful if you do it. You don't do it. He insists, and eventually has a tantrum. You stand your ground. He then does something utterly and absolutely nutty/dumb/stupid. When anyone notices he has done something that is embarrassing to himself, he blames you for his dumb act because you refused to do that original stupid thing. The type of guy who Never wants to take responsibility for doing something stupid.

This is totally acceptable in our culture with egotistical guys. They've been brought up on it. For example, Fonzie http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwkU8-d1gIk
and Archie Bunker couldn't say he was sorry (I can't find the clip). Not that it's right, it's just acceptable (and "adorable" if you believe TV) that some men can be found endearing if they never admit they're wrong.

I find it despicable and deploring.

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