Nov 18, 2011

Posttraumatic Shit Disorder

Some people shrug at the concept of PTSD, thinking it’s all in your head – well, YES, as a matter of fact, it IS all in your head – just like all the other types of psychological disorders and suppressed issues that many people have. We carry that shit around like baggage, but not physically – in our heads. I had a minor case of PTSD, and although I didn’t fight in Iraq or anything major like that, it was still a pretty intense feeling that I didn’t expect, nor could I control it when it happened.

Woodstock '99: A Shit Pond
OK, so it was because of my experience at Woodstock ’99 that I had developed Posttraumatic Stress Disorder – go ahead and laugh. I know it sounds ridiculous – it does to me as well. I had written about my experience in this story, but I might have treaded lightly over the sanitation issue – or rather lack there of.

It was beyond disgusting.

Thanks to the intense heat and over-priced water, I managed to become dehydrated enough that I didn’t seem to have to pee the entire weekend – and as for the deuce? I simply told my body that I would NOT be doing that – and so I didn’t...

Fraser Island, Australia
About a year went by and I had moved back to Australia for University. My friend and I took a tour up the Gold Coast which included a trip to Fraser Island. It was beautiful – with the sand dunes and wild, yet tame dingoes roaming around. There was one thing missing – modern plumbing. At first, I didn’t think anything of it – I wasn’t overly a fan of port-o-loos to begin with, but I hadn’t been confronted with having to use one since Woodstock.

There was also an added complication – I was on my period. Fantastic! So, there was no way I would be able to convince THAT bodily function to go on strike as I was able to do before. We had set up camp and it was time to take the trek to the cluster of blue shit boxes. We joked about our Woodstock experience while approaching them and although I laughed, I could feel my heart rate and anxiety level rising.

When I opened the door to the port-o-loo and that pungent scent of chemical toilet mingled with feces that mounded high enough that I could see it, I slammed the door, backed away far enough and collapsed onto the ground. I broke out into a cold sweat and began to hyper ventilate, however I managed to calm myself down enough so at least I didn’t pass out. After a few minutes, I was able to ask my friend to see if she could find one that was less full – as I knew, however unbearable it would be, I still had to go through with it.

It was still quite a few minutes before I was composed enough to get up off the ground and face that fucking disgusting port-o-loo. I tried not to touch the seat, although I wasn’t quite tall enough to avoid contact entirely. I also tried not to breathe in and I concentrated on getting my task over with as quickly as possible. I was still sweating and I could feel my heart pounding in my burning ears. It was one of the worst moments in my life – and it was all because of a damn toilet.

So, no – I don’t drop to the ground when I hear a car back-fire or have blackouts, but even public toilets have the ability to make me uncomfortable now; as long as they can flush, I try to deal with it.

Like John Cage from Ally McBeal –
“I like a fresh bowl and remnants upset me.”


  1. OMG John Cage! I had forgotten about him!
    Great hysterical post...I don't mean to laugh at your psychological shit...bahahahaha! Get it: psychological shit! bahahahaha...ok, I'm totally laughing!

  2. I used the grossest ( in my experience ) portopooper this past summer. There were maggots in the hole and flies everywhere. I held my breath, covered my mouth with my shirt...but the stench still got through. My eyes still burn thinking about it.
    How you got out of Woodstock without some crazy " hold your poop " disease I'll never know. But, I'm glad you did. I hope considering both experiences were so nasty you have filled your shit story quota!

  3. I picked the wrong blog post to read while eating supper haha.

  4. I have post traumatic shit disorder just reading this. Port-o-shits are vile. And I am NEVER tall enough to never not touch the toilet in some way. Next time, I think I'll just piss or shit on the floor. I'm sorry you had to experience something so awful. I shall think of you EVERY TIME I use a port-o-shit. If you're lucky, I'll even tweet you while I'm doing it. Just kidding, I wouldn't put you through that.

  5. Yes, I admit it, I threw up in my mouth a wee bit.

  6. ew, ew & ew! are your kids potty trained yet? i think the worst portapotty experiences i've had involved trying to maneuvre a toddler around in there while they want to touch everything and you've got nowhere safe to set your bag. too little to squat, too big to hold. it's bad, bad news!

  7. @SherilinR

    Ahhhhh! OMFG. I haven't even thought that far ahead. My hubs is going to have to do that fucking duty. There's NO WAY I'm doing it. I'm gagging just thinking about it. NOOOO WAAAYY.

    @Daft & @Mike

    SORRY! (not really) x

  8. Hahaha! How did you remember that John Cage quote?!? Genius. Also, I kind of stopped breathing for that entire post bc i was trying not to gag. :)

  9. You are brave...I simply won't use a port-o-potty.....ever. My ocd just won't let me.

  10. Omg. I hate this comment box screwing up on me!

    I didn't want to say "h"

    I'm too frustrated to continue.

  11. I totally feel your pain. I used to have a major hangup with port a potties and outdoor toilets. I didn't go 2 for a whole week while I was at summer camp because I was afraid of the outdoor toilets. Gross. Though I imagine the ones at Woodstock were way worse.

  12. Not going to lie, based on the typical content of your blog, I thought PTSD was going to be a story about anal :D Maybe in PTSD 2?

  13. Oh gawd, shit does have that effect on me as well. Even my own shit. Just CANNOT stand the smell and sight of shit. Which is kind of difficult, because as you know, shit is a part of life. *sigh*

    A friend of mine who went to school in Perth, Australia, told me that in high school she was required to go on a ten-day survival camp thingy where she had to learn how to survive with only the most basic things. They didn't take a shower for those ten days, dug a hole when they wanted to poo (no tissue paper provided), ate super concentrated canned foods, and carried their whole provision in their backpack the whole time except when they sleep. She said it took her at least five washes to get off all the dirt and grimes that were on her body when she got back from the trip.

    I hate shit. So I totally feel ya, sista!

  14. @Jazz

    I DO have one - although this technically would be #1 and today's post would be #2 (in chronological order anyway) ;) ACK.

    Turd is the Word

  15. Oh good grief. I will never be able to use a port-o-potty again. EVER. I mean, I've had some bad experiences at horse shows (yeah) in the middle of the summer (O_O) but now -- never again. BLACH

  16. ARGH!!! Yes fuck this!! I can't even go to tailgating or concerts or anything like this because of the crowds, the touching, but most of all the port-a-potty. Last time I went in one was a tailgate for a football game, fall of 2009, I remember it so vividly. I starting hyperventilating quietly as the line got shorter and shorter and suddenly it was my turn. So hot, sweaty, claustrophobic, hovering above a wide hole filled with dark, indeterminate shitstuffs and WHO KNOWS what else. I was so afraid a hand or a rodent was going to jump up and bite my jj off. FUCK now I'm freaked out all over again.


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