Last year? Two years ago maybe? I was purging the house really well, but I also had a hair-trigger temper and was raging at my husband.

Stopped purging and I stopped raging.

This time, because of my past reactions, I’ve gotten help.5-6 hours a week. Shouldn’t be a big deal. Yes, I got rid of 1,000 books in between 4/16 and 5/15, but again, you can’t really tell, so shouldn’t be a problem, right?

Except that increasingly in the past week or two, I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night, gasping — heart pounding. I roll over and go back to sleep. Has been happening over and over and over, for a while now.

So I was talking about my lousy sleep habits with some one and they said, “Well, you’re giving up the dream of the bookstore.”

True, but I’ve been doing that for 12 years now.

“You’re getting rid of books, which has to be hard.”

Also true. Books came into my childhood home and stayed — forever. It is rather like throwing away my family. When I connected those dots, the next night I didn’t sleep until after 3 a.m. Great.

I have to do this. I know that creating a clean/tidy space stresses me. What I don’t know is the why the severity? Why panic?

There’s the obvious: my stuff wasn’t mine. I had no sanctity, privacy, assurance that people would respect any boundaries with me at all. My clothes, toys, tools, appliances, anything was subject to others taking them, breaking them, removing them or whatever they wanted to do.

I don’t understand the panic — I never have. It stopped me, for decades. I’m determined it won’t this time. But I just don’t get it. If I knew what it was based on, I could work on it; I would. But I have no idea. All I can do is keep ripping the top off the scab and try not to let it get to me too much. Not very satisfactory, but without data, without the “why” that’s all I know I can do, except for two things: ask for help and slow down. I’ve done the former.  I’m sick of doing the latter, although I have changed things a bit. The “great book purge” has slowed down.

We’ll see. I really want to be free of my crappy childhood by the end of the year this year!



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