Wednesday, December 23, 2009

When Dreams Must Go Into Hybernation
And Landlords Go Psycho

I posted this between midnight today and noon, then got embarrassed and ashamed, nor wanted to be a downer to others, so I took it down. A few of you emailed me and asked that I please repost it, because it's life and it's real and sometimes both hurt so much. As one dear reader said, "it had the effect of a strong cup of black coffee on me at 3 AM." Another offered some work we can - and will - do in book collaboration. Thank you all.

I will get through this. I must. I may not have been emotionally smart enough to avoid some of the mistakes I made, nor did I have control over outside circumstances that can destroy the best laid plans of anyone, but dammit, I am smart enough to survive and survive well.

Okay... the truth. Tis' the season, as my 2 AM post said yesterday, but all has not been well in my life lately. I need to stop fronting like everything is peachy. It ain't, and it sets a bad example for this blog, which generally ain't about regurgitating the news and only telling about happy shit while commenting on some poor soul I know personally or in the news who is catching hell.

As if I didn't have enough trouble with one landlord this summer, I am having a crisis with the latest one. He used to be easy-going, friendly, and nice as apple pie. This changed virtually overnight, and currently my family is scared to death of his rages, insane demands, and threat of killing our dog as an implied threat of hurting me.

But before I explain the last part of that last sentence, last week I started having problems with Xavier's mood swings and bad temper again. I told him, finally, that I couldn't take it anymore; he had become mean like he used to be, and no way I could endure what I did when he was in his teens. I was serious too, and he knew it.

Xavier downed all of his medication in a suicide attempt. It was manipulative as hell. He knew I would never kick him out under those circumstances, because when he gets this way, part of him really doesn't care if he dies. He refused to give me back my phone so I could call an ambulance, and took a shower.

This time he got the floor wet, which leaked downstairs into the basement where the other, meaner, manic-depressive lives. That son of a bitch has us so terrified that when he came up to rant and rave at us, neither of us mentioned that Xavier had 40 pills in his stomach. Xavier, even in what could be his last day, didn't want us getting kicked out, and stood there wrapped in a towel, apologizing. Poor kid.

You can't get more accommodating than that. Ain't that some shit?

Of course I had to tell the loony landlord after the ambulance came, who yelled that he wanted us to move because of this and the decorative bong he saw in Xavier's room.

"This is a major violation of your lease!", he screamed before returned to his basement.

Bitch please, I thought, he used to be the biggest drunk and druggie in town I learned after moving here. Wouldn't surprise me a bit if he's still snorting coke up his nose.

Needless to say, our landlord-tenant relations hit a new low, which I didn't think could get much lower. Even before that, Rocco had been telling me he wants us all to go to bed at 11 PM because he doesn't like hearing us upstairs. Crazy shit like that. You'd think that paying my rent before the first, and keeping the place sparkling clean and quiet would be enough. Not for that bottomless pit with a fucked up personality and problems that look like mania to me.

Then there was the big snow storm that hit my area late Friday night. I went to bed early. Xavier came in maybe 1AM. Rocco, who lives in the basement, and came in 3 AM. Normally I'd have no idea when he comes or goes because he uses the kitchen door. I awakened, hearing a lot of noise in my living room.

I go out there, just as he's stomping back through the kitchen.

"What's going on?", I ask.

"You left the got-damned front door open!", he yells.

"That's a damned lie!", I yell back. "I'm tired of you lying on us! Stop it! It's not even cold in here. It would be cold if the door was open!"

"That's because the heat is on, you stupid bitch!"

He starts screaming how he drove up and the door was wide open and the tv on, "wasting electricity!"

The man is obsessed with utility bills and has been scheming since mid-October to force me to pay half for them, when it's not in my lease and he'd made a big hoopy-dee-doo how he'd pay for this when I signed the lease. He had yanked the tv cord out of the outlet. My friggin' outlet.

"It's not cold enough in here for the door to have been open," I reiterated. "You're lying."

There was no snow or even wet foot prints inside my front door. This man, I am 99% sure, made up this shit to try to justify once again why I should pay half of the utilities after coming home and hearing our tv on in the living room. If he had gotten the damn calibration in the AC/heating unit fixed back in August when I told him, when the fan just kept blowing for hours or days before the AC or heat kicked on, his bill wouldn't be so high. Can't convince him of this, though; he's a know it all.

My dog doesn't like him anymore either. He barked at him, and even his own dog was hiding from him.

Then comes the new threats.

"I'll kill your damn dog... I'll bring a pitt over here to eat him! You need to move the fuck out of here as soon as possible."

I asked him if he has ever gotten along with a tenant.

"None of them last long," he said smugly. "Only one for a year, that gay guy who used to live in the basement before you, and another for eight months; no one more than three months. They don't follow the rules. When you don't follow the rules, you're out of here."

If I had a buck for every time he said the word rules and broke his own, I could fill up my gas tank. The man lives like a pig but does the white glove dust test on my shit. I just watched him and listened, because he sounded like one of those deranged. obsessive serial killers in a psycho movie, ranting about rules.

The more he talked, the more threatening he became. He said, "Oh, you don't want to me to become the person I used to be..."

And he told me where to google to find his name, and later that night I did. He stabbed former tenant or roommate several years ago. He was arrested for this, and that's all the article said. His telling me this was an implied threat that if we don't move, he could go bezerk.

That's when I began getting chest pains too, that I still have, though not as bad as the weekend.

This year has been hell. This Christmas we are dirt poor because I have to use every dollar to save and earn more money for a new place to move, preferably in January and no later than February.

It is three days before Christmas, and today Xavier and I were applying for emergency assistance. I felt so ashamed. I have never in my life asked anyone for anything. My son was so angry - with me - for being in this predicament, that he didn't even speak to me until after our all day ordeal at the welfare office was over and we were half way home.

Finally he started talking.

"You're supposed to be the strong one," he said sullenly. "The role model. You've spent too much time on the computer when you should have been working two jobs so we'd never had to go through this shit, but noooo, you want to blog! You want to write fiction! You wanna be a big time author one day! All you do is dream and hope! Look what it's gotten us. Nothing. We're damn near broke and at the mercy of a psychopath. Ain't no telling how this will end, and I swear, Ma, if that son of a bitch lays a hand on you, it's gonna be me an him."

How could I argue with the truth?

Yeah, I could have blamed Xavier as the #1 person in a line of several who led me to where I am, and I'd be right, but what good would this do?

What good would it be to say that when I did work full time, he raised so much hell before I got out the house in the morning that I'd be drained, and that during the day he'd have his questionable friends over smoking and drinking and leaving everything a mess, and when I got home, there would always be more drama?

Just asking him to wash his own dishes or go to school led to more than one hole in the wall or broken window, a call to the cops, and/or a psychiatric hospitalization.

For him, being reasonably cooperative is akin to surrendering his manhood, a pattern he established just before hitting 14 years old. I swear, some males can not function without an alpha male in the household to keep them in check, and he has been one of them, to my demise. I don't know why a small percentage of men are inherently sexist; it ain't like I didn't give him Cabbage Patch dolls or take to him to museums along with the boy stuff. It's like it's hardwired into their brains to dominate at any cost, even when it's to their disadvantage.

I should have refused to let Xavier stay after he turned 18, but when a now-ex girlfriend who he lived with briefly ran away from a relationship with his controlling azz, he walked in front of moving car, and is only alive by God's mercy.

I should have refused to let him come with us when I moved this past August, but he had no where to go, swore he'd changed, and I didn't want him on the street turning to crime to survive and maybe hurting someone in a crime-gone-wrong, or ending up in jail or committing suicide.

Once again I am there... that horribly uncomfortable place where I have to choose between my life and my son's life, but I really don't think he'll change, at least not more than a few weeks or months when I get a new place.

I can change, by working day and night, and he'd keep a job for awhile... and he'd then back to the same old same old of being a parasite, living off me and not respecting me for allowing him to do it.

I can kick him out of the nest, and let him take his licks from life. I see no other choice, given that every nest I've built for my family has fallen to pieces.

As a therapist and as an ordinary person, I can tell you that it takes two to make any living arrangement or relationship work, but it only takes one person to undermine and destroy everything.

Maybe there is a value for him to see me collapse. I am no longer the strong one, at least not on the surface. This should have been evident when my mid-life crisis hit this year, closely followed by the racist landlord who gave me sixty days to move - and I learned later, a number of other families as well, so they can get a higher rent from new tenants. That was white collar thuggery with a distinct tinge of white racism. I know this because I was a good tenant who paid my rent on time, but there reclaiming of property is totally legal in my area. Not ethical, but legal.

As I said, I could have blamed him back, blamed racism, and now blame this psycho landlord, but instead I listened.

In the end, the blame lies at my feet for not being better prepared for the possibility of shit happening and lightening striking twice in one year, because I have been too busy chasing my own dream of a different kind of success.

I also couldn't argue his points if I wanted to, because my chest was hurting a little and didn't want it to start up again. I hope it's just anxiety. When you don't have health insurance, you roll the dice like that because if you aren't having a heart attack, you will when you get the hospital bill.

In a way, this will sound odd, but I do have some empathy for my landlord. This will probably fly out the window soon at the rate things are going.

Still, he has early stage inoperable lung cancer, but can't afford health insurance, yet earns too much to qualify for medical assistance. He needs his own place where he doesn't have to share the house for income, because temperamentally, he's unfit to live with others. I can see he was an abused child himself but doesn't recognize this because he's too proud of how his daddy didn't take no shit, meaning, abused him. I ain't told him that's my take on it, 'cause I ain't his therapist. Meanwhile, his unfortunate life experiences, decreasing income from the economy and health problem makes him act downright evil, although he sounds like he was an asshole before lung cancer came along.

All of the shit he went through and is going through, and now putting us through, is an indictment of where a variety of social and health systems failed too many Americans. Regardless, he still stinks as a human being, but if you give enough shit to people and don't treat them or their families for their problems, you can't be surprised when some of them turn out to be turds.

As for the new job thing, I had so much hope for a few weeks back, that didn't work out, so I've been back to hitting the pavement, and it's one disappointment after another. It used to be so easy getting social work or mental health gigs, hell, people would ask me to come work for them without me even looking. Shee-it. Not now. Competition is a monster now. I'm actually offended by the groups and agencies who have not called me back. I could run some of those dang places. But nope, they're looking for recent grads who they can pay as little as possible. I'd take that, but not if they don't call me for an interview, ya know?

The last thing Xavier and I talked about in the car was Christmas.

He said, "This is the worst Christmas ever. It doesn't even feel like Christmas. We have nothing."

"That's because you're used to all those great vacations and presents," I said. "We're having a poor Christmas, but it still feels good to me. Our tree and Nativity scene is up. Our living room is pretty. We have a turkey."

He shook his head sadly, like a little kid. "No, it's bad," he said.

"It's not material," I countered, "but neither was the day Jesus was born. A poor Christmas is not the same as a bad Christmas. If Jesus came along now, Joseph and Mary would have been sitting in the welfare office right next to us, applying for emergency housing and cash assistance just like us, so they could get the hell out of that barn. But look at all the good that came from the day Christ was born. That's why Christmas will always be good... unless of course, Rocco totally snaps and kills the dog or me that day. Now that would be a bad Christmas."

I chuckled a laugh; ain't quite lost my sense of humor yet. Xavier, the king of comedy, couldn't muster a smile.

I said, "Somehow the three of us will be fine if we can weather through the next month or two. If I don't find another place, Cassie (my daughter) will make it somewhere with relatives even if I check out of here from a heart attack or violence, or if I have to live temporarily with another relative or even into a shelter. You'll make it too, if you don't give up. But I ain't letting none of this shit ruin my Christmas. Fuck Rocco and being broke, that's my day."

By not blaming him for shit that he already knows he's guilty of, he began to talk a little about where he blew it.

"I have to get a job, Ma, for real. I've wasted too much time. I want to go look right now."

"Uh-huh," I said non-commitally.

"I can't depend on you no more," he added. "You're as bad off as me."

"Yep, that's true. My shoulders broke from all the burdens."

"This can't be happening," he said. "The strongest person in the family has to stay strong."

"I'm sorry, Xavier, even the strongest can only carry so much. There's nothing left to lean on."

Except faith in the Lord and myself, I thought instantly, but did not say.

I'm not sure why; maybe I didn't want to sound too preachy, and maybe this is a truth he has to learn for himself.

True to his word, I watched him apply to several stores when we got back into our neighborhood, and I did too. Yep, I just might end up as a cashier or burger flipper for awhile to get what I need, to get out of this new hell.

Afterwards, I watched him do on the computer what I've been doing super-intensely for the past month - apply online, for hours. That shit is exhausting, and I don't know why, since you're just sitting there filling out forms and answering those stupid psychological questions to determine if you're outgoing, honest and a "team player".

Hell, they ought to just ask if you want to get paid bad enough to show up on time and do what you're told without question, and skip all the bull that anyone with a brain can fudge.

And they can shove that "team player" concept up their azzes. That's just a phoney code phrase for doing what the top dog wants, period. You get the illusion of choices and being on a "team", but it's usually a rigged game, and if you show you have better and smarter ideas, you'll be hated and they'll try to run you out there unless they think you're not a threat to their position, and they can profit from you - often at the expense of business integrity.

I wish Americans would be more genuine with language, but wishes, like dreams, have to go into hybernation when all the things that matter in your soul can't protect you from disasters.

So, if all this ain't trill (true & real) enough for you, have a great Christmas, Kwanza, and New Years anyway!

With affection for you all,



  1. I'm so sorry for what you're going through, Kit. What you say about your son makes me think of all the cruel things I ever said to my mom, for the any times I made it harder, when I could have made it easier, just to mask my own guilt for not managing to do enough.
    I hope that you pull through, and that you find a good place to move really soon. I think you will be a big time author one day soon, and maybe that will be the end of your money worries.
    Years ago, in the middle of serious money and family troubles, my mother started studying a new professional field (in my country, it was new) that no one had heard about. I was almost mad at her, it seemed like such a waste of time and energy, when we had more urgent matters to solve, I was thinking "what the hell are you trying to prove, Mom?". And it turned out that it became a very sought-after profession which now helps her make a very good living. Don't feel bad about doing what your instinct guides you to do; one day, you will reap the benefits. It's definitely not a waste of time, not for the many people who read your blog, nor for you, because it will pay off.
    Your son's self-destructive behavior rings very familiar too; I never took it that far, but when times got tough, that was/is my first instinct, to do something self-destructive, so that I would be seen like a helpless child again, with no grown-up responsibilities.
    The fact that Xavier got up to apologize to the landlord, even when sick from the pills, and is now trying hard to apply for jobs makes it very clear that he is beating himself up for not being able to do more for you. It seems simple from outside, the fact that he could help just by not doing such shit, but I guess it never is that simple. He would probably like to be your hero and just save you from all these troubles, and feeling powerless is getting the best of him.
    Great point about the corporate lingo when applying for jobs. You're a "team member" and an "associate" until payday, when you realize you're not shit. I don't know why they keep pushing that crap on people.
    I hope things get better for you, and I'm glad you are determined to enjoy the holidays. Merry Christmas!

  2. Kit, sister I wish you were in Maine. I will have an opening for a social worker soon but sadly the pay will be shitty as my agency is small.

    Anyway I have been in your shoes and all you can do is the best you can. Please feel no shame in sharing, hell you read my blog...I lay it all out. Blogging is my therapy, and there is no shame in keeping it real.

    I hear you about the applications, 2 years ago at the beginning of this recession I was out of work and ended up applying for a job at Macy's. That was a mindfuck, here I was with my brand spanky new Masters degree in a group interview with folks who hadn't even graduated HS getting a talk on being a team player. Never mind my degree was in organizational management so shit, I knew the game...hell in grad school we studied how to bamboozle the employees and make em believe there was an us.

    Anyway sista, assistance is there for a and I both work in helping professions so you know what's available and don't feel no shame in doing what you need to do to survive.

    As your boy, I have no advice since part of me wants to say he is a grown man but I am a Mama too and I know being a Mama don't stop because they are legal.

    So on this eve of Christmas just know a sista in Maine is lifting you up in prayer and will ask around since I got some folks in what I think is your area (VA/DC?) a few whom work in social services.

  3. BGIM, Oooh, contacts in my area? Cool. I live in Maryland near the DC line. Shitty pay here doing what I do best would be godsend. And oh, I know how you felt at Macy's working UNDER high school grads talking shit. Dang it's rough out here. Thank you for caring.

    Marianne, Thank you also for your beautiful and heartfelt comment. I love your ability to see the universality of people no matter what culture or race or country they are from, and thank you for your perspective on Xavier, and yes, there's a huge part of him that would love to be a hero. I pray he finds an avenue for this, starting with himself. Then he will be okay.

  4. I don't think I ever had more than two good Christmasses while growing up.
    But when I talk to my younger brothers - even the bad times sound like they were fun.

    As I'm typing this, I just found out that one has contracted HIV and the other is back in the system.
    But they still hold on to all of those bad childhood memories as the best times in their lives.

    With faith (and action) - everything will get better.

  5. John, That's so terribly sad. You didn't say how much time your brother will serve, but the HIV thing is tragic. And Amen to faith with action.

  6. Hi Kit,
    It is so unfair that someone as trill as you should have to fight SO HARD, day after day, year after year.

    Your writing is a gift. A gift to you and a gift to anyone lucky enough to find it. I am happy that you nurture it and share it. And it is YOURS.

    I was also the "strong one" in my family. No one ever says thank you. You just do as much as you can, as wisely as you can, without burning yourself out to the point of uselessness or eroding your SELF. Serenity Prayer, y'know? Things have settled in my family and I hope the dawn is on your horizon, too.

    Do have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  7. Karen, Oh, I've gotten my share of appreciation, but the thing is, when it rains it pours. This has simply been an usually tough year.

    To all, BTW folks, this afternoon I did go to the police and spoke at length with an officer. He gave me several options I can do, especially if there are any more threats.

    This past evening a relative dropped by with some unexpected help in hand. He urged me to do everything possible to move by mid-January, like I ain't already began tossing out kitchen stuff that I know I'll never use again anyway. Moving, like life, is a room or one day at time thang.

    It's after midnight now and I'm turning in. Later this morning we'll spend the next three days at another relatives home, enjoying family and good food. They're dying to see me, so maybe I'll get a little more help so I can move out of here in a few weeks. Of course, he has a computer so I'll be checking in when it's quiet. Any thoughts about this post is still much appreciated.

    Have a wonderful Christmas and Kwanza.

  8. Things are gonna work out girl! Enjoy the holidays and then get ready...2010 will be a year of many successes.

  9. Hello Kit,

    After reading this, saying, "Merry Christmas" seems quite hollow. I was thinking just yesterday that while so many are in a festive mood, there are those who are facing serious issues. Death and adversity do not take time off for Christmas. During this time of year, people lose their job, their home and people die. While many are cheerful, others grieve.

    I do hope that the constant stress inflicted by your manic landlord ceases. Life is tough enough without dealing with the shit from someone else's life.


  10. For a good portion of my life,I didn't a relationship with God(forgive me if I sound preachy)but when I play the tapes back of people,places and events in my life,I know there have to be a higher power watching over me.
    And I know the events you are now dealing with will soon come to a solution.It may not be the solution you want,but it will be one that's needed in your life.

  11. There are not many blogs on my blogroll. Those that are there... I read them everyday. I've always liked the P-funk, I want my shit uncut.

    You bring it in a flavor that tells me you are heading in the right direction. One of the biggest tools that you have is HONESTY. Not many people seek first to understand. Even while in the problems with your landlord, you took time to visit his problems.

    Your words do not reek of pretentiousness. We as a culture can smell game from across the street. You Kitt, your words speaks honestly about your complicity in your present situation. More so, you have a vision of your options.

    But through it all, our life is a connection of moments. You've found time to find moments of gratefulness. That's BIG!

    Kit, it was you that pulled my coat on how some individuals excape their present dilimmas.

    It my belief you've found a way to do your thang. I am not going to do the "I've been there" thing, but I have. My blues my not be like yours, but pain is pain.

    My journal was my best friend. Years later, when I read those words... I say wow. Keep writing.

    If I were a gambling man, I'd put my money on you to come in first, by a nose.

    Oh, I agree, there are great rewards in having a belief in something, or "someone" bigger than you. Yes, oh how I believe that to be true.

  12. Can I say something? You should know, reading anything about me, that I'm an honest bitch and I don't hold my tounge.. not even at myself.

    And I say this with love and respect, and a particular respect for the social work / therapy field cuz my sister is one. And this is exactly what I'd say to her:

    1.) It's a known fact therapists/social workers become such because they have issues of their own.

    2.) It's also a known fact that you might be GREAT at helping outsiders, but it's very hard to help yourself or your kids because you're too close to the situation and blinded by love and your own aformentioned issues.

    3.) That being said: STOP BEING A VICTIM. STOP BEING A MARTYR.

    Your landlord, like my psycho ex, may be sick or dying or have a fucked up chidlhood, but in NO WAY does that give him the right to terrorize you. And he does NOT deserve your empathy. You pay rent. That makes it business. He has a bunch of rights as the owner to a single dwelling, but evicting you without a fight and tromping through your place and calling you names and threatening your dog is not one of them. I'm glad you spoke to a police officer. Please continue to do so.

    Secondly, your grown son and his problems are NOT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. They are not. Just like my grown niece's issues were no longer my sister's. STOP BAILING HIM OUT. Stop allowing him to make you feel guilty. You gave him all you had, and if there is no more to give than it is his turn to step up and take the burden--without bitching about it.

    I could go on, but I'll stop because I'm frequently accused of speaking out of turn and going off on folk. I hope you know I'm not trying to do that. But abuse is never acceptable or deserved, but only you have the power to stop it. And you already know this.

    Stop being a martyr and a victim.


    P.S. Times are hard for EVERYONE. you are not the only applying for food stamps or aid. I praise God for Foodstamps cuz when I didn't have enough there was no food in my house. I'd get welfare if I could, but it won't pay the back rent, which I now owe like 4 mths. My Con Ed Bill is $350. Life sucks. But it will get better and if it doesn't, somehow you will survive it. We both will.

  13. Hello,

    After reading The Bear Maiden, I had to come back.

    I will agree with much of what she said but I believe one point that she said, will tear down the whole mountain. I mean, check this:.. Maiden: [landlord] And he does NOT deserve your empathy.

    "Empathy, which literally translates as in feeling, is the capability to share another being's emotions and feelings.

    See, "empathy", in essence, is much like forgiveness. IT'S NOT for the other person. If a person can understand the feelings and emotions of another, it has a tentendcy to release the "victim" from harboring resentments and anger. A lack of it, does nothing but kill the soul. I am not saying Kit should condone his actions but seeking first to understand them takes a person away from their raw emotions and then allows them to deal with the problems at hand. The blame game is a dead game.

    If a person lacks empathy, they are digging their own grave.

    Therefore, I still say Kit was/is on the right track. She mentioned how hard it is to let a son go. That alone is a very hard thing to do. After reading several of her stories about her situation, I understand her dilimma.

    More so, it's very brave of her to open her heart and her family struggles to the world. I do not believe she does so as a means to say "help me", or "look at me" "woe is me". I think it's deeper than that. I maintain that she's on the right track.

  14. You are in my thoughts. Re: the landlord deal, as though you haven't already thought of this...document, document, document, document everything that is happening.

    A thought, my favorite inspiration story:

    from the samurai life manual The Hagakure--

    There is something to be learned from a rainstorm. When meeting with a sudden shower, you try not to get wet and run quickly along the road. But doing such things as passing under the eaves of houses, you still get wet. When you are resolved from the beginning, you will not be perplexed, though you still get the same soaking.

  15. I'm so sorry you're going through this. But you are a survivor and will get through this.

    Keep writing, keep strong, keep surviving. Sometimes you have to take care of YOURSELF first, because nobody else is going to do it for you.

  16. To everyone, We returned this evening from a pleasant two night trip at a relative's home in the country. It was so serene out there... nothing but beautiful, snow-covered trees and the occasional deers and squirrels, and lots of good food and company. I am refreshed.

    MizRepresent, I have an intuition that if I can weather the next two or three months, the rest of 2010 will have some good things in store. Hope so.

    underOvr, I hope so too. This landlord issue came from left field, and was the last thing I needed.

    BicMac, You said, "I know the events you are now dealing with will soon come to a solution.It may not be the solution you want,but it will be one that's needed in your life."

    I think of your words often. You might be right, and short of the possibility of me or my family being harmed by the loony landlord, or Xavier succeeding in a suicide attempt when I get the strength to say you're on you're own, I hope you are right.

    Bear Maiden, You hit the target dead center regarding my son. People who work in the helping professions often excel at their jobs, but like you said, they're too close to their own problems. I have been torn up over how to deal with him. It terrifies me that all my best efforts to raise him right may have been for nothing, and that in the end, he could or will self-destruct. I have never tolerated for 8 minutes from a man the crap I've been through with him for 8 years. That damned maternal instinct has tripped me up every time. I love him, yet when he relapses, gets mean, abusive and manipulative, I regret I ever laid eyes on him and wonder what the fuck am doing allowing him to live with me?

    It's interesting that the landlord issue may well be the catalyst that brings about change in my mother-son relationship, for the better, I pray - because Xavier cannot live with my relatives. This ties into what BigMac predicted: It may not be the solution you want, but it will be one that's needed in your life.

    And as for the landlord, nah, I ain't even trying to be his victim. That's some unexpected shit out of left field.

    So far he has not succeeded - except when I count how fearing what he'll say or do next pollutes my thoughts and ties up my time. He's so fucking crazy that I think it's in my best interest to not turn this into a power struggle. You know crazy people of this type feast on drama escalating conflict. I'd just as soon move.

    Carey-Carey, Thank you, as always, for being supportive. Yes, you're right, I am empathetic and try to see the view from the perspective of others. This doesn't mean that I necessarily forgive or forget, nor make excuses for the cruelties others do, I simply understand why they are so screwy.

    I think Bear Maiden knew what I meant when I said what I said, so I cannot deny that she was on-point with her assessment and advice with my son, though not so much with my landlord. I needed to hear that, and at the same time, I very much appreciate your caring, and hers too, truly.

    Chauncey, Yeah, I've been documenting up the waa-zoo. Also, that Asian philosophy reminds me of the I-Ching.

    Wildflower, You said, "Sometimes you have to take care of YOURSELF first...
    Yep, so true, even for mothers.

    Pennywise, That was a beautiful email you just sent me. I smiled and chuckled when you said, "Honeychile, a weaker woman would've waved the white flag years ago.

    Thank you for feeling that my writings help others, and I plan to continue.

  17. Kit it is good to hear you had a good time with your relatives, it sounds lovely.
    Took me a while to comment, but I feel like I should: Feeling like you are just not as strong as you should be is hell, and it can lead to some serious guilt-trips... speaking from experience here, as I am definitely NOT the strong one and spend a lot of time thinking I should start being just that.
    Don't fall into the trap I spent most of my life in.

  18. Don't know what happened to my previous post. Guess it didn't make it. . . but it wasn't as good as BearMaiden's. Gotta tell ya Kit, she really DID hit the nail on the head. Our own shit truly is the hardest to see.
    You've worked hard with your kids and done your best. I suspect X will survive and even excel eventually because of your hard work, dedication and most of all, love.
    All the best, SH

  19. Trish, Thank you.

    Sagacious, Yes, I agree. Our own shit truly is the hardest to see = love is blind.

  20. Please don't think that I'm not hearing you when I say that that was a really good read! I jumped right into your world. Great writing!
    These little brats. I work in the prison system in Melbourne Australia (in the high courts), and I see -day in and day out- a whole lot of women supporting a whole lot of men who are determined to have a skanky lifestyle, for whatever good or bad reason. Wives and girlfriends and mothers whispering 'I love you' and giving indulgent, forgiving, understanding smiles to men who continue to perpetuate this alpha male thing ad infinitum. You'll have psychologists, lawyers, officers, judges, case workers etc etc, trying to treat them well so they get a chance on life, or are encouraged to go with the positive or feel good about themselves, and you have one individual who, as soon as they come out the back to go into the cells again, will swagger and brag and act tough and so on (Not always). I cringe at the women a lot of the time. Why do we 'understand' where they are coming from, to our detriment? "Understanding: too near sister to despair". I don't know who said that but I've felt it deep in my aching bones, too.
    It seems like we are making ourselves feel like good parents by indulging and forgiving and letting these boys have chance after chance after chance afret chance. It doesn't help them, it just makes us feel like we are helping. It doesn't help, though. Unless a person is left to see the consequence of their actions, and not have us soften it with concessions all of the time, they'll never see it.
    Ah, I don't know... is that right? Or is that too harsh? I really wish I knew. There must be a line there somewhere, between helping and hindering with kindness. I wish I had the clue. It's such a waste of what can be a great life. I wish I knew how to help the kids that come through the courts. Don't they know about taking walks and going camping or having a picnic? It's not enough stimulation, maybe? It is for me, so I can't imagine.
    You're right, Christmas isn't just money. Well put, a poor Christmas isn't neccessarily a bad Christmas. I made presents for my kids, out of scraps of fabric and bits of paper, and they felt they cleaned up, present wise. And so they did.
    You do need to take care of yourself like everyone says (just do it). Your kids make their own choices and having you healthy and stable and bright is a great role-model. If you go down they might still make bad choices anyway. It certainly won't help.
    I really enjoyed your writing though, seriously. I'm glad to have stumbled upon your blog. And I've only read this one post yet!
    xCheers big ears and I hope your obviously beautiful, bright, light shines on and on and grows stronger. You're a breath of fresh air,

  21. Bobby/Robyn, You said, "It doesn't help them, it just makes us feel like we are helping."

    That's an outstanding observation that I'll tattoo on the blinders I've been wearing re: my son. Thank you.

  22. "alpha male" and "skanky lifestyle" do not go together.
    Alpha males are strong, positive and highly responsible. They take care of the things in a family and community that need the traditional strength of a male hand. They preserve tradition and protect the other members of the tribe.
    Alpha males lead productive and responsible lifestyles. Those who bully, manipulate and perpetrate violence against other members of family and community are NOT alpha males. They are skanky trash that should be throw out of the community and treated as outcasts.
    Our problem in today's society is that we keep letting these people back in which gives others the idea that it's ok to act like that.

  23. It's probably because I'm reading these posts backwards -- but I'm near tears (well, as near tears as someone like me with all my emotional walls and such can be).

    There's a post coming out of this for me, but above all else there's a lot of thinking going on. Bear Maiden's response was strong and on point. I'm glad I saw it.

    I'm glad you reposted this, too, Kit.


Hi, this is Kit.

I haven't posted since summer 2010, and comment moderation has been on for a very long time.

My old blogger friends (you know who you are) are welcome to email me.

I can be reached at: