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Along with eliminating a lot of “stuff,” I’m also trying to find patterns, simplify routines so that the necessary clean up happens and uses as little time/effort as possible. This too is part of our pre-retirement preparations. Physically, things get harder to do all the time. I don’t want the house requiring the use of a standard vacuum every 3 days say, if I can get a roomba and do it once a month instead.

I also have no interest in acquiring every new whiz-bang tool out there to do something that requires next to no effort.

So — the roomba is one idea, but I won’t test that until after we move downstairs. For one thing, in the meantime, the floor will be littered with the sorted, half sorted and boxed “stuff,” and that would be a pain to deal with alongside a moving machine — no.

Another is vinyl floor cloths instead of rugs. I found a place that has many patterns and I can buy samples. I may buy one when the entry is changed. Otherwise, like the roomba, this requires that the furniture, counters, rooms are all in their permanent location. The place where I’ll buy the floor cloths is piperclassics, here.

There’s something they have on sale I’ve put off ordering for some time, I probably will buy it and order a few floor cloth samples too… Especially for the kitchen, the wide-plank pine floor needs something cleanable. Otherwise, food gets between the planks and is a pain to get out. If I order a floor cloth before we’re done moving things around, it likely will be for the kitchen, because of the mess and hard to clean floor.

I have some ugly but eco roll flooring in the attic. If/when the attic is empty, the plan is to use most of it there. It will make the attic a bit more critter proof and “finished”. But again, that’s way down the road.

So, right now? What I’m doing is trying to establish cooking, and cleaning, maintenance work patterns, surfaces, and tools to use for the last 20 years or so of my life. Mostly, still, it involves culling a great many things first, but we’re getting there!

I took 4 lots to auction last week, they all sold. I need to get into the attic and grab the next pieces. I have one bigger item which came out of the antique booth that will go, but I need to add to that. Also, I have some things for the booth, but not enough to replace everything that’s there. I put mostly books in it this week. They’ll be pulled next week.

My job today? Go work in the attic. If the attic is cleared I can: move the items from storage to the house and close the storage, I hope. Use up the eco roll flooring and move the big rug into the attic. Remove the last of the cabinets which are being taken from the attic and get them to the dump. Cull the stored “kitchen stuff” in the attic by putting it up for sale at the antique store, an auction, or donation.


I didn’t get as much done in the attic as I’d hoped, although I did work in there some more. What I pulled wasn’t enough for 3 lots, our “minimum” to take to auction. The auction house is 45 minutes away. The minimum the lots sell for is $10 and of course we get less than that. So, to make it worth our while, there has to be at least 3 lots worth of stuff or I don’t go. I should be able to find 3 lots worth by the end of this week and I’ll take them up there either Saturday (if we buy something in this week’s auction) or Monday (if we don’t).

Got a new roasting pan/grill. The old one is in the dishwasher after it’s clean it will go to auction. There are 3 bottom sheets displayed on the already made bed. DH was asked to pick ONE to keep. The extras will again go to auction…

See a pattern here?

abuse · anxiety · behaviors · Cultural Shift · Goals · healing · learning · Life Lessons · Making Home · marriage · psychological stuff · PTSD · self-interest · selfishness · trauma · unexpected results · writing

Oh Please…

No matter what, there are people who want me to “forgive” my family and old friends and re-connect with them. You’re not really healed until you forgive people, they say.

I get that. But these people do NOT have an answer for the following scenarios, I have 2 half siblings, one of each sex.

I attended a writer’s conference in the town where my Brother was working and we had like 4 meals together. The aftermath of the contact in those two weeks, the academic snobbery of the conference and its attendants was that I came home determined to write the memoir the “right” way.

My description of what happened to me emotionally can be found in this post:

But more specifically, here’s what happened:

A few years back, (after the conference and meals with my brother)I started to slide into clinical depression. I thought I was going insane, finally. My therapist and I talked about how I felt, and what was happening to me and she diagnosed it as clinical depression.

A while later, I put it together. What I had always been afraid of was losing control — “going insane.” That was what I’d fought internally for decades. It was keeping myself out of that. But it wasn’t insanity; it was clinical depression.

It meant that when I started to slide down that path in my 50s-60s, a remote part of me — at a distance — noticed and said, “What are you doing?”

My internal response was, “I don’t know. I don’t care.”

But that monitor said. “Hm. Maybe we’ll read this piece, it usually makes us feel better.”

“Nothing will make it better.”

“Let’s try.”

“If you insist.”

I did two or three other things: read the other pieces which make me feel better, walked to the place which makes me feel good, etc. with no hope they would work. But eventually, they did.

So, yes, I’ve been depressed. And I’ve been close to succumbing to clinical depression.

But that plucky little girl wasn’t going to “go insane” no matter what! She kept finding ways to avoid it.

I can’t lay all the blame at my Brother’s feet, but our meetings and the fact that he’s an intellectual snob did NOT help…

What isn’t in the description of what happened is that I pushed away from DH and my therapist and seriously contemplated suicide for the first time in decades

Then there’s the Christmas card I got from my Sister. Her address on the envelope caused me to start shaking and my palms sweating. Then I ended up retching on the side of the driveway — because I had an envelope in my hand with her return address on it.

This doesn’t address the craziness I descended into when i went to a childhood friend’s funeral a few years ago.

When I undid my old defense mechanisms to heal, I did in my ability to cope with people and places associated with the traumas — whether the traumas originated with those people, or not.

That’s my reality. The plus side to my life now is that I no longer start every day wondering What horrible thing will happen? Who, what, when or how will the world dump on me today? I am no longer overwhelmed by day-to-day issues. I’m not as hypervigilant. I no longer live in a hostile universe. And I can consider being happy as something I should do — instead of as a bright shiny, brief moment that counters the dull, dark dismal daily drudge. (I used to think of this as a sequin in the mud, to give you an idea.)

Then there’s the Abuser. I’m supposed to forgive her too. Really? She pretty much ruined much of my life. If I could completely heal, yeah, I’d forgive her. It would be like my former lovers. They were there but no longer matter at all. Every day, 95% of my life, I’ve had to deal with the results of her behavior, actions, and choices. It was done with deliberation and malice.

Forgive her? No. Understand why and how she got there? Yeah. I have forgiven her for her humaness, her flawed self. I even feel sort of sorry for what she went through.

But in the long run? She damaged me, significantly, with malice and deliberation — and that I find unforgivable, because she did it in such a way that no matter what I do or how hard I work, I will pay for it til I die.

Give it to God, they say. Except, you see, that was part of the deliberation and malice: “Even God can’t love you. If he could, you’d be happy. He’s God. He can do anything.”

This is much like Dave Peltzer’s Child Called “It,” except that  my Abuser had similar things to say about my teachers, friends, neighbors and friends. Over and over and over. Every time something went wrong, it was because I was so unlovable and fatally flawed. I was brainwashed before she was stopped.

So, after 60+ years of work, where am I? I don’t talk to my family and old friends because they bring the bugaboos along with them, willy-nilly. I won’t forgive my Abuser because I can live with the consequences of the abuse, but can’t undo the brainwashing and PTSD.

If I’m lucky? I will have a warm, welcoming home. A partner I still want to be with and who still wants me and a few books I’ve authored. I will be mostly happy. This seems like a realistic goal; but it’s been a long and very hard journey to get where I could even contemplate that as a possibility.

When there’s a drug, or I manage to rewrite my past, or find a way with self-hypnosis that can replace all the vestiges (or another major chunk) of the abuse, I’ll find another goal.

I’ve forgiven what I can. I’ve dealt with what I can. I’ve moved on as much as I can.

Right now? This is the current goal: books written, a warm and loving home, and as much happiness as I can stuff into my life.

I’ll take it!