Achievement. Abandonment.

I haven’t written anything on this blog in quite a while.  I have been in counseling, for grief, my hoarding, and some other things, and instead of pouring my soul on paper for the world to see, I have been pouring my soul into my counselor’s ears.

But something happened to me tonight.  Something that is puzzling to me.

Here is my story.

A couple of weeks ago, I was put on bed rest by my Dr.  I have  circulation problems in my leg, and it was swelling quite a bit.  I also had injured my knee earlier this summer, and have not recovered from it.

So, there were some things that needed to be done, and I hired a family member to come do them for me. I didn’t have much money to give her, but I gave her what I had, she came over, spent an hour or so doing the immediate tasks that I needed done, and left.  When she left, she told me that if I needed her again, to let her know.

Well, I did need her again.  My van is persnickety, and the hatchback is currently not opening from the outside.  There is a rope attached to the latch, but you can only pull it straight up, so you have to get into the van and close to the back to open it.  I had pulled out as much from the back as I could, through the side door, but I had things that I needed to get out, and put in.

I wasn’t sure, between my leg, my knee, and the pain that I have also been having in my lower back, if I could crawl into the back and open the door.  But I knew this family member could do so.  So I called. And texted.  She asked me what I needed, I told her, she told me she wasn’t at home but would come by when she got back.  So I waited.  and waited.  And she never came by.

A few days later, I asked again.  I had a school program that I needed to unpack my van, and pack for.  No response.

Today was the last day that I had available to do this.  I contacted her once more.  She responded enough to tell me she was at home – which is just down the road from my house – in fact, her family are my next door neighbors – country next door neighbors, but less than half a mile.  I told her what I truly needed – my van to get opened, and that I had more work that I would pay her to do, if she wanted.  Opening my van would take her less than five minutes.  I was in town, but would be home in about 15 minutes.  I got home. And sat in my car.  And waited.  And waited.  I actually dozed a little bit – in between texting her.  And calling her.  With no response.

I finally texted her brother – no response from him, either.

By now, it was getting dusky, I have to leave tomorrow.  I knew it would hurt for me to crawl in and open that door.  But I had no choice.  So I crawled in.  It hurt.  It hurt a lot.  I cried.  And cried.

I finally got the door open.  And then I sat in the back of the van and sobbed.

And while I was crying, I was asking myself why?  Why was I crying.  Part of was physical pain.  Part of it was emotional pain.

I had accomplished something that I truly wasn’t sure I would be able to do by myself.  But I did it.

I DID IT!

With pain.  But with grit and determination, I did it.

And yet, I was crying my eyes out.  I felt so alone.  So lost.  A person whom I love, who had said they would help me – just give a call – had ignored me.  Had left me to my own devices.

I had accomplished something that was difficult.  Yet instead of feeling triumphant, I felt desolate.

But why should this be so?  And while I sobbed, and cried, I wondered about that – why would I feel so sad when I had just successfully done something that I had both dreaded and that I knew would be hard.

I cried even harder.  I realized that I was feeling so bad for two main reasons – first,  the fact that I ended up being the person to do this difficult and painful task was evidence that I was alone in life.  I had asked for help.  Even begged.  And the person who had said they would help me if I needed it ignored my plea.  I felt a loss of relationship with my own family  – it is always hard for me to ask for help, and when I did, my pleas had gone unanswered – not once, not twice, but three times.

But the second reason that I was crying so hard was this – I had no one to celebrate my success with.  I had no partner to rejoice with me, to cheer me on, to tell me I could do it.

I felt totally abandoned, and totally alone, and those feelings overwhelmed my success.

And while I thought about that, I realized some things.  Often – I discount my successes.  I have often allowed things that I have accomplished on my own to bring me down – if for no other reason, it reminds me of how alone I often feel.

And my feelings of abandonment, of loss, might not even be legitimate.

This person that I had hoped would help me – well, she is young.  A teenager.  Her phone might be turned off, on a charger.  She might never have gotten my messages, she might be doing something with her parents – there are all kinds of legitimate reasons why she might not have responded to my plea for help.  I truly hope that is what it was, rather than that she was unwilling to take five minutes from her day to do something that was so difficult for me, but would have been so much easier for her.

I’m not crying anymore, and even tho the light was gone, I was able to get some of the things done that I had to do.  Despite my feelings of loss, of abandonment – I am learning more about myself, and how I react to things.  Hopefully, next time this happens, I will be more aware, more able to rejoice in my success, and not feel so alone.  I need to learn to allow my successes to lift me up, not bring me down.

 

It is Okay to celebrate my successes.  I can let success build me up, not tear me down.

 

 

 

Reviewing the past, looking towards the future…

It has been a while since I have posted on this blog.  I wish I could say that I was so busy cleaning, that I didn’t have time.  Nope.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  Facebook, for the last couple of years, have done a ‘Your year in review.”  They take pictures that you have posted throughout the year, put them together, and present it to you.  When I looked at mine, I got so depressed.  You see, probably a third of those pictures were about my hoarding.  I started off the year like gang busters.  Worked on my house everyday.  Took before and after pictures of the areas that I had been cleaning.  I felt proud of the work I was doing.  My dad came over and danced a jig in my living room – well – a couple of steps worth – because there was space to do that.  But several months into the year, a very special relationship ended.  One of the several reasons cited was my hoarding issue.  And I went into a tailspin depression.  I wasn’t cleaning for “him.”  I still haven’t found the self love enough to clean for “me,” but I was able, willing, and even joyful much of the time, to declutter for “us”.  For the dreams I thought we had made together.  For a future – long term plans, but a future together.  Then, there was no more “us”.  And I stopped.  What was the point?  What was the use?  I went into a depression and simply quit caring.  My house, that was beginning to look so nice, at least in areas, started piling back up.  And I saw those pictures – the before and after – and started beating myself up.  I feel like such a failure.  I let my house slide back into chaos.  Why can’t I, an intelligent person, keep my house neat? What is so very wrong with me that no one can love me enough to stay with me while I work through my issues with stuff?  People tell me I’m talented, beautiful, loving, smart, intelligent – and all I see is my failure.  My chaos.  My hoarding that has, yet again, created issues in a relationship.  I feel like a failure, once more.  Inept.  Hopelessly chaotic.  Damaged.  Crazy.  Lonely.  Depressed.

Am I?  Damaged?  Yes, for many reasons.  Lonely?  Yes.  Very, at times.  Depressed?  Frequently.   I was happy, really happy for two years.  Now?  Not so much.

A failure?  No.  As I think about this last year, I think about last years resolution – to do more.  And I did more this year.  I threw away bags and bags and bags of junk.  I gave away stuff that was too good to throw away.  Yes I let my kitchen and living room clutter up again – but there are still clear spaces that were not clear last January.  I might be walking through paths, but the paths are wider, the stacks are smaller.  I have more than one chair available to sit on.  I finally managed to pull myself up out of my morass of depression and self-pity enough to at least start the process again.  I fell down, but I have managed, somehow, to get up to my knees and start crawling again.  Maybe this time I can learn to do it for me.

So, my New Year’s resolution?  The same one that I had last year, and the year before, and the year before that – the one that I have been able to actually keep.  Simply this – to do more.

I have a fresh beginning, a fresh start – and not just on January 1.  Anytime I want.

Happy New Year

Real love means what?

What is real love?  What does it mean?  How does it change a person?  I had someone say something to me tonight that pushed me back emotionally to a very bad time in my life.  That time was in 1990.  My estranged husband (now my ex) and I were with a marriage counselor.  I was crying, and had been given and was taking all the blame for the mess that our marriage was in.  One of the huge complaints that my husband had was my lack of housekeeping skills – I wasn’t truly a hoarder yet, I don’t believe, but my house was always cluttered, unkempt, and a mess.  The counselor looked at my husband and said “She might not ever change.  What are you willing to do to make the marriage work?”  He didn’t say anything, and he refused to go back to that counselor, even tho my parents offered to pay for the sessions.  That was when I started to realize that maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t all my fault.  I have struggled with certain things for as long as I can remember, with organizational skills being a primary issue all of my life. But I had very little support and encouragment.  And my husband was not willing to give me the encouragement that I needed to help me change for the better. So, getting back to my question – what is real love?  Is it love if it is conditional?  “I will love you if you lose weight.”  “I will love you if your house is clean.”  “I will love you if you make something of yourself.”  Nope.  That is not what real love is about.  Real love, in my opinion, is more like this.  “I love you.  How can I best support you?”  “I love you.  What do you want to change, and how can I help?”  “I love you.  What do I need to do to support our relationship?”  “I love you.  What encourages you, and gives you strength to grow? And how can I help you to grow and change into the person you want to be?”  I want someone in my life who can love me just the way I am, and yet will provide me with strength when I need a rock to rest on, and encouragement to change for the better.