Yesterday was a blessing in disguise. When my dad’s guest didn’t make it our place was tidier and cleaner. Before we knew she wouldn’t be able to make it we had both taken to tidying up; thus when she didn’t end up coming we were still left with the happy product of our cleaning efforts. When I got up this morning I cleaned a little more and, all in all, I have to say feel a lot better. My mood is improved when I can look around and not be surrounded by dirt and clutter everywhere. When there is clutter and dirt I become depressed, which is bad b/c how can one clean when depressed? It’s a “catch-22″ so to speak. Luckily I had enough energy provided from my embarrassment to do an “emergency cleaning”. That then gave me motivation to do further housekeeping.
There’s still quite a bit to be done but things are more manageable as they are now
anyway. I feel less overwhelmed and defeated when I try tackling the household chores. You know growing up my sister and I never had household chores. We didn’t learn how to clean or tidy up from our parents. Both were neglectful of that area, among many others. In fact neglect was a salient theme throughout my childhood. Mainly in the area of emotional support and attention to health. But with respect to cleaning, it was not really attended to. The dishes got washed maybe once a month, carpets vacuumed every few months or more, bathroom (except for maybe the toilet) could be left uncleaned for weeks to a month or longer, many things never saw a duster or cleaning product in their existence. I’m sure this didn’t help my allergies and asthma. I used to have “colds” year round as a child which were actually a combination of allergies and my asthma. But like I said health was another area neglected in my home. It was pretty much up to me to look after myself in that respect past age 10 or, perhaps, 12 years old.
So these days when I try to clean it always feels slightly unnatural, in the way a second or
third language would if you learned it as an adult. For me, I did learn these skills in my 20s as a volunteer with a daycare centre. I thought it was rather strange and seemed foreign to me to have to clean on a regular basis! LOL Back at home it was impossible to clean during the height of my mother’s compulsive hoarding decade. It was all I could do to avoid tripping over things.
I suspect my embarrassment I mentioned in my posts yesterday is actually lingering shame. Indeed I did feel a great deal of shame with so much clutter. It embarrassed me a lot to have to have friends over-mine or my sisters (I had a few friends in high school). These days that embarrassment and shame still seems to have a hold on me.
Has anyone else experienced living with a compulsive hoarder or grown up with a parent who was one? If so, did it leave any lasting effects such as shame or a need for order?