Category Archives: trauma

What to Do?

I was going swimmingly along and then all of a sudden, I’m not. Why? Well, it’s the usual for me: I noticed/wrote about what was going on.

That was for decades the most frustrating thing about the way my head is wired between the abuse and PTSD: when I start to overcome the issues, if I acknowledge it, it stops. For a long time, the acknowledgement would trigger a panic attack: full blown. These days, I just stop making progress.

The maintenance jobs are getting done, not as quickly or consistently, but they are. I keep expecting, naively, apparently, that I will just move into a space where I can simply do things. That isn’t so. My body still has PTSD and my intellect isn’t the boss of me.

What isn’t getting done is progress on the culling and house clearing. Yes, I’m overwhelmed. Yes, it’s a huge task. Yes, I’ve been doing this for years decades. I have a few things goading me on.

  1. I don’t want to be remembered for being a hoarder. An ex-hoarder? That I can handle.
  2. If I/we get COVID, the stuff will make caretaking harder.
  3. If or when we have to move, the stuff will have to be dealt with then, and it’s harder every year to move the stuff around.
  4. I want out of this prison that the PTSD/abuse created for me, decades ago, to keep me safe. I have a friend who calls the house my fortress. It was. The funny thing about a locked room — it can keep you safe, but it also can be a jail!
  5. I’d like to find out what life is like otherwise. I’d like to see what I can accomplish when I don’t spend a huge amount of each day caretaking/dealing with stuff, and without the stuff in the way.

So, I went looking for inspiration/motivation, something. I started looking at my get organized books and found a piece which said that when all of a day’s jobs areĀ  maintenance, you need to add an achievement task, because you need both.

Maintenance jobs are getting done. Achievement job? Hm. What could I do which won’t make more mess and can be completed . . .

  • Sweep the front walk.
  • Make up a gallon of sanitizer. (1/3C bleach to 1 gallon of water)
  • Get the rags/kitchen towels put away.

All of those are maintenance, again. Achievement goal?

If a maintenance goal is characterized by being continually repeated and an achievement goal being a one-shot . . ,

  • Finish the 2017 tracking for the farm which was started last week.
  • Work on the “house book.”
  • Work on the long-term planning.
  • Finish the touch-up on the entry baseboards.

atomic-bomb-test

I don’t remember where I got the image. But it illustrates a lot of my present mental state!

J

What I’ve Learned

Well, it’s different, you see. Not panicking in a clean space means that I canĀ just clean it and leave it that way.

That is new and different, so although these points may be obvious to you, they weren’t to me!

The reasons behind my decluttering now are:

  1. With less stuff, it’s easier to use the space.
  2. With less floating clutter, it’s easier to clean the space.
  3. Also with less floating clutter, it’s easier to maintain the cleanliness.

This has nothing to do with sparking joy or minimalism, but is a pragmatic reality. Intellectually, of course I already knew this.

What’s different is the impatience I have with the assorted piles and boxes of stuff. Instead of being something to doggedly plow through which is uncomfortable at best and traumatic at its worst!