Letting go

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honeybera
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Letting go

Post by honeybera » Mon Dec 28, 2015 2:34 pm

I am trying VERY hard to unearth my home since my retirement from the clutter that has followed me all my life to this point. I am seeing/feeling the need to "hoard", and I'm realizing that I am a semi-hoarder. I kind of know which way to go with this: a) keep b) donate or c) trash. All well and good EXCEPT that, as the hoarders I see on TV do, I am attached at a deep emotional level with this junk. It is from all the years I was dirt poor on Welfare (at least 20+ yrs. before my job), broke as a glass...and now, I am finding it TERRIBLY difficult to simply say GOODBYE to everything!

I see these hoarders on TV agonizing over letting their things go. I tape these episodes so I can watch them when I feel this way, and I usually holler at the TV, "Just start cleaning!!!" and, "Do you REALLY need the rat droppings in your kitchen???", but today (tonight) I'm seeing how truly deeply these emotions of mine go! Even writing all this down is an avoidance technique I feel, but since I'm on here, I also feel like it's time well spent, that maybe I can get some things done as soon as I finish dumping here.

Anything that I can donate in the next few days (2015) I can take off my taxes, and that really helps. All the rest can go on 2016 taxes. I just donated all my daughter's dolls from her childhood, along with most of the junk in the back of my pickup. There had to be more than 40-50 dolls! Although that was difficult to do (she left them here in my garage in a couple of big black garbage bags and now that's DONE and I'm starting on the next phase), I'm finding other old things that I am very attached to! Mommy Dearest gave me her old dishes, and although part of me wants to dump them, I'm finding it quite hard to "LET GO" of them!! Hell, she didn't want them. She gave them to me almost to say, "Here! I am getting nice new ones. You can have the old crappy ones that I no longer want!" It was like a form of control, and it fit perfectly into the "you're less than me" theme of hers. So why the resistance that I'm feeling?????

I know what it is that I need to do: go out in the freezing garage that's only 10% done and get my pen and paper, march myself into the kitchen, take a seat, and begin to catalog each item for donation. It's all over my kitchen table, and has been for about 2 months, glaring at me. I'm sort of relieved that there is no one else available or willing to "help" me with this. I have to do this myself.

But it's like giving away my past. Like a HUGE sacrifice!! Old dishes (some given as wedding gifts in 1965!!), old bedding, sheets, and blankets (some 40 yrs. old!), even 40 yr. old rat-dropping encrusted material (cloth) for sewing dresses, etc., i.e. J-U-N-K!!!! I can see the problems of others on TV, but taking a stark look at my own pain of letting go makes me F-E-E-L the difference: WHY AM I SO RELUCTANT TO JUST "LET GO"?????

It's like discounting and giving away my own and only history, both good and bad. Why do I cling so to inanimate objects? I have made a new rule for myself: Yes, you can keep it, BUT you have to have a permanent place to put it. And with the lifetime of "stuff" that I have accumulated, that isn't as simple as it sounds. Not if I don't want to be headlined on Hoarders someday!

I am seeing that I have to get rid of this O-L-D stuff to make way for all the nice new things that I'm getting and want to USE! Oh, wait! Here it comes!

Mommy Dearest, when I was little, was the most wasteful thing you ever saw! To trash something (ANYTHING from our house!!) was an almost ritualistic daily routine with her. I am autistic. We do NOT like change!! I used to watch her throw out 3/4 of a roast beef because she didn't like leftovers! Potatoes? Pasta? INTO THE GARBAGE! I would come in from school and the furniture was all moved! Maybe we still owned it, maybe we no longer did, and the new stuff was in its place. Like the Queen of Hearts: "OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!!" Nothing was safe!! My toys, my models, a favorite outfit, pets, even my BELOVED bicycle I'd named Lizzie...all were there one minute and gone the next! She did this deliberately! It did serve her well to keep me off balance and terrified. Rely on nothing; care about nothing; love nothing! She had the POWER to remove whatever I loved! And I had no recourse. She was truly a wicked, conniving terrorist! And she knew exactly where my buttons were! I REMEMBER HOW POWERLESS THAT I FELT!! :cry:

My God, it's no wonder that I am having problems releasing things. Let me watch the rest of Hoarders. I'll go into the kitchen then and see if I can fill up some boxes with easy things, things I have little or no connections with. I let go of my daughter's dolls and N's bicycle already, and those were HARD. I can do this. Sometimes I say that Mommy Dearest didn't "break my spirit" as she so often said she wanted to do, but couldn't, even then. But now I am seeing that she DID succeed in internally scarring me. That does NOT mean that I can't heal, however, nor does it mean that I WON'T heal! And I WILL, by God, if it takes everything in me!

I know this isn't anywhere nearly as exciting as my garden (apparently), but this SO MUCH needs to be done! Step by step. And I hope to give a blow by blow on here, sharing my successes with you.

Thank God for YOU!! {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{ALL OF YOU!!}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

Honeybera
Last edited by PeacefulNinja on Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Changed MT to NT

dancingfish
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Re: Letting go

Post by dancingfish » Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:59 am

Ah, I hear you. Here seems to be an everlasting cycle of trying to clear down all my 'junk'. There's not the hugest amount of it, and it's going out more than it's accumulating, but it can be so hard to do. For me objects with fond associations (sometimes just that they've been around a long while) replace people a bit, somehow. The stuff stands for the sort of kindness I wish for more of from people.

It's complex though. Good for you on progressing with it, and I am so sorry to hear about what it was like when you were younger. My background has influenced how I am with objects by quite a bit.

Something that's really helped me though (apart from those Hoarders shows :D) is some of the thinking laid out in the "Life-Changing Magic of Tidying" book by Marie Kondo. Excerpts are available in articles online too, but the bits that have helped me the most is having ordered categories in a one-off tidy-up (i.e. not your sentimental items first, but the easier ones ;) ) and also how to let objects go. She has a theory of surrounding ourselves with the items we love - and if something is there because of past association or obsolete usefulness, we can simply thank it for its time, appreciate what it did for us, and then let it go. It's been really useful to acknowledge what and why my attachment might be to something, as it just feels too brutal to suddenly part with some (most) items.

Of course the theory is to go through everything in one go, but I've not quite managed that as I keep running out of steam at the moment. I'm careful about acquiring new items now though, so shall get there.

All the best with it! Oh, one other thing that may aid you, is before/after photos. I kind of hate the before photos so that doesn't work for me, though. :D

Fleur
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Re: Letting go

Post by Fleur » Sat Jan 09, 2016 6:42 am

Hello Honeybera

I very much identify with your past influencing the present

Also like DancingFish and you shared, I tend to hoard

Thank you both for sharing tips on how to de-clutter

Appreciated
Onward to a safe community for all people in which to thrive ~ gentle hugs [if okay] ~ Fleur

honeybera
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Posts: 704
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2014 8:32 am

Re: Letting go

Post by honeybera » Sun Jan 10, 2016 12:09 am

Thanks to dancingfish and Fleur! It's nice to know that I'm not alone in this!

I've also found what I am dealing with here goes MUCH DEEPER than just abject poverty as an adult:
honeybera wrote:I am trying VERY hard to unearth my home since my retirement from the clutter that has followed me all my life to this point. I am seeing/feeling the need to "hoard", and I'm realizing that I am a semi-hoarder. I kind of know which way to go with this: a) keep b) donate or c) trash. All well and good EXCEPT that, as the hoarders I see on TV do, I am attached at a deep emotional level with this junk. It is from all the years I was dirt poor on Welfare (at least 20+ yrs. before my job), broke as a glass...and now, I am finding it TERRIBLY difficult to simply say GOODBYE to everything!
I can see through the books on habit by Gretchen Ruben Better than Before that I am a Rebel, and therefore am quite possibly "rebelling" against all the emotional upset and sense of incredible loss at having my "personal things" abruptly snatched away from me during the few hours I spent in elementary and high school. It was unnerving!!!!!!! Nothing was MINE! It was rather all fodder for my mother's hatred and disappointment in ME. My God, even THIS runs back to Mommy Dearest and her cunning ways! I have a LOT to work out further!
dancingfish wrote:(i.e. not your sentimental items first, but the easier ones ;) ) and also how to let objects go.
I may or may NOT be at that stage yet. I feel like I have a very hostile 2-yr-old raging within me, and frankly, I probably DO! I think what I need to do is turn on some zippy music, grab a box in the kitchen (and later this evening, those TWO FLIPPIN' BOXES ON THE GARAGE SHELVES, CLEAN OFF THE RAT DROPPINGS, AND FIND OUT WHAT IS IN THEM!!!!), and just fill up a box or two of obvious donations, and park them at the front door for loading into my car! (Or truck, either one.) My son will be home soon-ish.

Reading about habits and clutter and all that is really helping, but not as much as the two of you encouraging me to get busy, or at least just to S-T-A-R-T!!! That 2 yr old really has her feet dug in and is refusing to move!!!!! But unlike the beating she used to get from MD "for being obstinate", I'd rather find out what this resistance (or rebellion) is all about, and then H-E-L-P her to relax/accept/love herself enough to want to fix this house up, and to allow her to be proud of this (potentially) lovely home. It's not so much parent/child, but rather adult/child, and that feels so much better!! Funny, that sounds more like my grandparents. Nice. :mrgreen:

Actually, I should be wise enough to soothe my ornery child, to coax her gently into helping herself, to help her relax enough to break this into small, manageable parts/pieces, and to just do a bit each day. No guns are aimed at my head now, no threats of a vicious and unsupervised beating...I'm going to give this the best try I have...right now! This coaxing is done with love, not brutality. (Although the amount of ancient rat crap is quite off-putting! But I can suck it up in the old shop vac.)

At least two boxes of kitchen stuff (all noted as donated for 2016 taxes) AND at least examine the contents of the two boxes on the garage shelves. Yes, I can do that. And once those shelves are cleared, they need to be cleaned with bleach water! Plus an almond meal lemon loaf (YUM!!) that I've been putting off and a rotisseried beef roast. That will work!!

Let me do up the dishes, make the lemon loaf (with my own homegrown lemons! YAY!), pop that roast on the spit, and get to selecting what's for tomorrow's donations (they're open 7 days/wk!), then out to the garage (UGH! But it has to be done!!), and NO TV UNTIL IT'S ALL DONE! :P

Good! Now I'm actually smiling! :mrgreen:

Some backyard work tomorrow...it'll be almost 60°F! This will work. My thread, my junk. :lol:

{{{{{{{dancingfish and Fleur}}}}}}}}}}

Honeybera
Last edited by PeacefulNinja on Sun Apr 03, 2016 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: changed mt to nt\

Fleur
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Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:23 am

Re: Letting go

Post by Fleur » Sun Jan 10, 2016 12:08 pm

Seems a wonderful plan Honeybera

Amazing insights

Smiling with you for all the small steps

Home grown lemons are often sweeter and juicier than those in shops

May you and son enjoy your specially cooked meal
Onward to a safe community for all people in which to thrive ~ gentle hugs [if okay] ~ Fleur

recover
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Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:50 pm

Re: Letting go

Post by recover » Sun Jan 10, 2016 12:58 pm

hi honeybera,
yes, as fleur said, it sounds like you are having good insights and have a good plan. keep us posted.
i relate very much and your post helps me. i soon will have to move out of the house i have lived in for 19 years and raised my children in. i am paralyzed and unable to even begin dealing with the things in the house. a friend has offered to help and said maybe just do one or two boxes to start. i haven't been able to yet.
i hope it goes well for you.
with support,
recover

honeybera
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Posts: 704
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2014 8:32 am

Re: Letting go

Post by honeybera » Sun Jan 10, 2016 10:08 pm

First off, thanks to recover and Fleur!

Recover, when you say things like:
recover wrote:i relate very much and your post helps me.
and Fleur, when you say things like:
Fleur wrote:Amazing insights
...that helps me SO MUCH!!! So thank you both sincerely!

To recover:
recover wrote: i soon will have to move out of the house i have lived in for 19 years and raised my children in. i am paralyzed and unable to even begin dealing with the things in the house. a friend has offered to help and said maybe just do one or two boxes to start. i haven't been able to yet.
Fear not, dear friend! I had the same darned thing happen to me with my RV that I'd lived in for over 10 yrs. It was parked in the parking lot at work so I didn't have to make that killer commute to work 100 miles away. When I was about to retire, I prematurely could just see the sparks ready to fly at work, with them shoving me and my RV off THEIR parking lot ASAP! Management was always like that - VERY strict!! They even had a few towed away!! I had a "choice", in fact coveted, spot in the parking lot (albeit without any hookups like electricity, water, sewer, or garbage - just a parking space - and I made it work for those all those long, L-O-N-G 10 years! And so did many of my colleagues who lived "at least 50 miles away", maybe 40 of us). By this time, my RV was filthy from the black tree sap that dripped from the sparse Eucalyptus tree hanging over my RV. I needed to clean it to sell it OR tow it home with nowhere to put it and no use for it! As I was despairing about this, the phone rang and, out of the blue, my BFF N. called me to ask if he could come and stay here for a while. ;) HE washed my RV (BLESS HIM!!!), helped me pack that whole entire 33' RV, and we cleaned every bit of it up! I ended up selling it to a nice fellow for $9000 in CASH (ALL $20s!!!) and I even gave him my old generator to boot (what did I need it for??).

The internal remains of my RV (including packaged/canned food, old plastic ware, clothing, cookware, you name it!) and all the chaos of leaving my house here in charge of an 18 year old autistic for those 10 years is what I'm still cleaning up. :| If you have a friend (or friends) to help you, don't sweat the small stuff. I hadn't heard from N. in a LONG time, but he showed up like a gift from God! I wish the best for you as well.

One quick update: I did get busy yesterday, BUT not in the way I had first intended. As I walked down the hallway, I noticed some big white garbage bags that had been there forever, so I grabbed them and took them to my room and sorted them out. It was all old RV stuff, which I wanted to put away, but had nowhere in the pantry to put them due to one entire shelf in there in utter plastic-ware chaos, too many lids, stained bowls, just a mess! So I began to sort them out...and now I finished! I threw away most all of it (donations), kept only what I wanted and what was new. Then I "did my pills" after a quickie dinner and went to bed. My "roast" that I was going to cook I found was cut into pieces for stew (to my surprise), so that's tonight's dinner AND I reorganized my low carb cookbook which now includes a meatloaf recipe and the lemon loaf recipe that I'll probably make today, BUT the first thing is...the two obstinate rat-poop-covered boxes on the shelf while it's still light out and almost 60°F! Also some weed eating in the backyard AND putting the old weeds and tomato and bean plants into the green garbage can for recycling. Then shower, cook dinner (and snack loaf?), pills, eat, and have a cuppa (Sleepytime Extra), and conk! ZZZZZ!! Tomorrow is a Donation and Recycling (those old aluminum cans) Day! Little by little I'm getting my home in order!! It's as important as my garden...I mean it!

Honeybera

honeybera
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Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2014 8:32 am

Re: Letting go

Post by honeybera » Mon Jan 11, 2016 1:38 am

I am so frustrated, and a little bit (ok, a LOT!) SCARED. I got a notice (warning) from the City in Dec. because my pickup truck bed was loaded up with a bunch of junk from all my cleaning and sorting. Ok, it did look awful. It was all the stuff that donations wouldn't take. They also complained about my front yard needing some weeds cut down. Last week I cleaned up the front yard after waiting and waiting for my son who had insisted on mowing it all down. When he just kept ignoring the task, I finally did it. I just used the weedeater rather than the mower. My son stormed around because he wanted to use the mower instead, and he slowed or quit every time I kept going, and then he finally got very huffy and went into his bedroom and played videogames. Fine. I had called the guy at the City way back in Dec. and told him to come out after I got the FREE extra pickup from my garbage company on Jan. 8th, and he said he'd be here to inspect on Jan. 12th. My son told me IN DETAIL, promised me that he'd put the old office chairs (very broken) and some other things out for the extra pickup for last Friday the 8th. Nice. All done, right?

I just went out to the back yard to straighten things up a bit...and there were the old broken office chairs, etc. :x

I decided that we can just take them to the City Dump, right, and I told him that HE has to pay for it!! But no. I don't believe we even have a dump in our area. I will call the garbage company tomorrow and figure something else out.

But what really has me frightened (I'll be 70 yrs. old this year) is that what is the end game for me? What can I do when I am so bad off that I no longer can care for myself, and yet have no one that I can rely on? I am afraid. I can't even expect this autistic kid to throw some of HIS old office chairs out into the street. How do I expect him to take care of me and my house when I can't anymore? There is such a thing as Elder Abuse. I really don't want to have this cycle of abuse both coming into my life and going out of it, believe me! I have two other children (ds 48, dd 38) that I am estranged from and who I really wouldn't trust anyway. I can go to the "assisted living" place my mother is in: in house bingo and hair salon, meals prepared, housekeeping included, and BORING!! I wonder if there is a middle ground for me? I'm finally understanding just how old I've become. God, when did that happen?? My hair is gray/brown, but I haven't got a wrinkle on my face! (Good genes. Thanks, Dad!)

I refuse to be abused though. SERIOUSLY!! And my son does fix my computer when needed with only a bit of grousing. (Actually, I'm getting pretty good at fixing it myself!) :lol: I don't know what to do sometimes, either, recover. So I sit here and type away my fear, anger, and grief. I actually could sell my home and move over there to the old folk's home at any time I do find myself getting helpless. I'd have to choose one dog (an impossibility!!).

God, I'm glad I have this outlet! Thanks again...I love you all!

Honeybera

Fleur
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Re: Letting go

Post by Fleur » Mon Jan 11, 2016 2:34 am

Hello Honeybera

Definitely agree that Elder Abuse exists
Am very glad that you can see that this might occur or be happening, and can take steps to prevent yourself from being harmed in any way

Congratulations on cleaning out the plastic ware - that is one job fewer on your list (even if "list" is in your head)

Know that you will have to abide by council request -- otherwise they will do it for you at enormous expense

May your son be more aware of your needs and that he helps willingly in timely fashion

You have now planned some different meals -- I wish you happy dining

Cheers
Onward to a safe community for all people in which to thrive ~ gentle hugs [if okay] ~ Fleur

honeybera
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Posts: 704
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2014 8:32 am

Re: Letting go

Post by honeybera » Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:15 pm

Things are better. Son came in this morning and gave me an answer to the dilemma he had caused by not putting out the garbage: he was upset with ME, but he was willing to take out his rage (autistics have a problem with quick frustration) on the office chairs with our sledge hammer and then place the smaller pieces in our regular garbage can. Ok, fine. Whatever it takes.

He also requested that I begin by cleaning out the mess in the front room so he can build and set up the table I bought because he wants to have his own D&D game here at our house. I agreed to that and grabbed the last of a few old full unsorted "garbage" bags from the RV that needed sorting and brought them into my room (Judge Judy + sorting - for me they just go together 8-) ) and in doing so I ran across some old notes-to-self of mine re: former childhood abuse. I had to laugh. I had already written out every issue RIGHT HERE on isurvive already! I have always had the feeling that no one was hearing me and my complaints, OR WORSE, that she'd "get away with it". But NOW they are indelibly on the Internet, ON HERE, for perpetuity, and there's not one damn thing ol' Mommy Dearest can do about it!! :P YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

BTW, the front room is half done already, ds and I got a lot done on the garage (although those two obstinate boxes haven't been touched...YET!), AND my fruit trees are in at the nursery. HUZZAH!! Oh, and that was one of the best stews I ever made last night. :mrgreen:

Back to work now...
Honeybera

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