Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.

You can read the start of my journey here.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Well, That Escalated Quickly

I hate when this happens. 

I get a thought or idea in my head. Something special. Something that I feel is meaningful, but others don't. And yet I need their help to pull it off, so it falls apart. And then I fall apart. Or explode. Or a bit of both.

Today was one such day.

We watched Baby Bug today, and I was able to finish up a handprint/footprint painting for both sets of great grandparents, and for her other grandmother. Each painting consisted of no less than 3 footprints and no less than 2 handprints. And while that doesn't sound like any big deal, it's no small feat with a 1 year old. And we had so much fun doing it! She was really enjoying herself, and so was I.

We laughed about the fact that I got paint on my clothes, and she got some on her paint clothes, too. We talked about each of the characters in the paintings, and she was very proud of all her hard work! We talked about her giving her painting to her other grandmother. (The great grands live out of state). It really was a lot of fun.

She was getting tired, so I held her while she napped, and I drifted off a bit myself, because once she starts that deep rhythmic breathing once she closes her eyes, my breathing follows suit. It's rare that I can keep my eyes open when I hold her when she's napping. I thoroughly enjoy the snuggles. The time goes so fast. Why is it that babies are little for such a short time?

The plan when she woke up from her nap was to take pictures in front of the Christmas tree, so we could take it down. I want her to be able to see pictures of what she looked like when she painted these masterpieces. I wanted her to see how proud she was years from now when she looked back at her former self holding her paintings. I wanted to give her parents a picture to go with the paintings she did for them, because they are little for such a short amount of time. 

And I wanted a picture of us together. Because years from now when I look at it, I want to be able to feel her little arms around mine. To breathe her in again as I look at the pictures. To remember all the fun we had. 

But nobody would help me.

Bugster got off early, and I asked her, if she could help. She said yes at first, and then she changed her mind. I asked Hubster, but he's having a bad Parkinson's day. He's been cold all day. So he spent most of the day under a blanket in his recliner. And by the time he realized I needed help I'd been talking about for weeks, Bubster showed up to pick up Baby Bug. 

And things just fell apart. I asked Bubster, if he would help. He jokingly said 'no', because he says that a lot. But he also didn't do a thing to help me. And of course, when Baby Bug saw her daddy, it was all over. And she wouldn't sit with me for pictures. So they went home.

And I was left with all sorts of emotions that I wasn't prepared for. Disappointment apparently wasn't enough. I went straight into self-loathing, self-hatred, and every negative memory from every single negative experience in my life flooded in at once. And I exploded. Which made me hate myself even more. 

I'm just done. 

I'm done with having a Christmas tree in my living room for 4 months. I'm done with falling victim to my high expectations, (who knew a snapshot was a high expectation?). I'm done with my husband having Parkinson's and life being so incredibly different than what it was supposed to be. And I'm done with asking for help. 

I'm just done. 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

I'll Take "A Side of Frozen Claustrophobia in Limbo Land" for the win, Alex.

Christmas came late this year for us. Or really early. I guess it depends on how you look at it. We were all finally feeling well enough to celebrate Christmas in mid-February. We still have our tree up, because we have to get a couple of pictures of Baby Bug with some cute little paintings we made for her parents with her hand and footprints. It will be good to get the tree down soon. I'm starting to feel claustrophobic. We will have Baby Bug over tomorrow, so we will get it down this weekend.

The bad thing is that I've been feeling a bit more claustrophobic in the house lately. 

The good thing is that I've been feeling a bit more claustrophobic in the house lately.

As much as I hate the discomfort of the feeling, it always leads to a surge of dehoarding, and I'm really beyond wanting to get it done! However, I'm far enough behind again that I'm feeling frozen. I just need to get moving. Once I do, I'll thaw out a bit and will start accomplishing things again. So tonight, I will make a master list of things that need to be done in the near future and another list for the not-so-distant future. Lists always make me feel better, because I feel like I know where to start. It gives me a visual of what I've accomplished when I mark something off the list. And yes. I've been known to add something I've accomplished to the list after I've done it. It's still a record, and it helps.

Hubster's Parkinson's has left him exhausted all the time. It doesn't help that we have been sick more often than not since October and had to cancel Christmas week after week after week. But now that we're all feeling better, I need to kick it into gear. It's so easy to let his exhaustion be contagious, but I can't afford to do that. 

I need to propel myself out of the Land of Limbo. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Stick a Fork In Me. I'm Done.

The last year has been difficult.

I've had to let the friendship of the 'dear friend' I wrote about the last time I was on my blog go by the wayside. I knew I had done something that bothered her, but she would never give me the courtesy of explaining what it was. Instead, she would 'punish' me by ignoring me when I would do something that bothered her, she would be passive aggressive, and just refused to communicate. It was exhausting and stressful. 

At first, it absolutely crushed me. It crushed my spirit. I was not suicidal, because I refuse to go down that path. I know what it does to family members and friends when someone chooses to end their life, and it will never be an option for me no matter how bad things are going. And since I've been there on the brink when I was in highschool and actually attempted suicide, I know when I start to go down that path, and I can avoid it. In spite of the fact that suicide was not an option, this past year has been a very dark year for me.

She works with the girls at the day program they attend. In order for them to receive the funding they get, we have to have a staffing with the day program and the social service organization that controls the funding. I would be asked what was working or wasn't working with the girls, and I would stupidly gush about all the wonderful things that happened when she was with them. She apparently got in trouble for it at work, but she wouldn't tell me what it was that I said that was the issue.

She didn't want her name brought up with anything to do with the girls, because she said it wasn't fair to her to get in trouble, if I mentioned her name. But that makes no sense at all. Me mentioning something that she had done shouldn't have gotten her in trouble. Then it dawned on me recently that she got in trouble for it, because it was something she wasn't supposed to do. It wasn't me. It was her,

But it took her refusing to meet to discuss things like adults after I'd repeatedly asked for a meeting. And while I believe they were worthy causes, she'd contact me out of the blue asking me, if I wanted to donate to a fundraiser or something. I did. I know. It was stupid. I wanted the friendship so much that I supported whatever it was that came my way. It didn't happen often-only every few months, but then she'd get mad at me again, and she would withhold her friendship. 

Did I mention it was exhausting?

The last time, she contacted me while she was at work and asked, if I wanted to buy one of the fundraising cards that the high school was selling. I said sure, and I sent a note in with the cash pay for it. Yep. In the communication notebook, I wrote what the money I was sending in was for, because I wanted a record that it had been sent in. If it was lost, I would have ended up spending twice the amount, and that was what was on my mind when I wrote the note. It wasn't that I wasn't trying to maintain boundaries. That was the last thing on my mind when I wrote the note. I just didn't want something to happen to the money.

Of course, it was followed by the silent treatment. Punished. Again. She was trying to hold me to a standard that she wasn't holding herself to and then punishing me when I failed to realize it. 

Several months earlier, she said that I liked getting information from people to use it against them when the time was right. I'm not like that. At least I certainly never set out to be that way. I don't intentionally hurt others. I've hurt others and not had a clue as to how I did, but I haven't set out to intentionally hurt anyone. But she did. She got to the point where she would not tell me what had happened during the day when she was with one of the girls. She would purposely not write in the communication notebooks, and then would only respond, 'good' when I would ask how things went during the day. 

I know she was trying to hurt me, but she wasn't. She was hurting the girls. The last time she did it, I wrote her a very professional note and explained exactly why we needed the communication notebook and sent it in a message to her. Her response? 'Ok. Thanks'. That was it. 

In the meantime, we had another staffing for one of the girls. Her name came up. I found out weeks after the meeting that she blocked me from the messaging app. It's always about punishment for her. For us, it's about what has worked for the girls, and it has never been about intentionally hurting anyone. Ever.

Thankfully, my eyes have been opened, and the last few things she pulled didn't hurt at all. I realized months ago that I don't want to be friends with someone who is intentionally punitive to someone instead of being an adult and actually talking things out. 

I take responsibility for my part in things. I did fall into gossip with her about some things that were happening at the day program, but I also never would have known about any of them, if she hadn't brought them up. (Not excusing my behavior, but hopefully, she will realize she was to blame as well). And I don't know that I have Austism or that I'm codependent. I might be. But I will be returning to counseling, so I can figure it all out. 

As much as I didn't understand before now why outside friendships shouldn't happen between medical staff/patients or teachers/care providers/those that care for your children and a parent, I get it now. She used her position to manipulate me into things I wouldn't normally have done. (We have gotten those stupid fundraising cards 3 years in a row and never used them once). I won't let it happen again. I've learned my lesson.

I honestly do wish her the best. But I'm done.