I have found my time in therapy to be very fruitful. I am drawing to a close on this aspect of it, feeling like I’ve gotten enough out of my time to focus less on rooting out the causes of my behaviors, and more time focused on behaving differently. I had goals going in, I have met them, and now I am going to live better. Part of that living better is letting go of stuff.
I grew up surrounded by stuff, and I don’t think I was even aware of it until I started watching Thor’s environment clutter up. And the more stuff he amasses, the less he plays with–almost as if he is stifled or confused by the options. Or, like he’s forgotten he has X,Y,Z because he can’t see them in the toybox. When I’ve finished my decluttering, he’s next.
I have a picture, somewhere, of me sitting in a landfill looking pile of clothes and stuff (not trash, just shirts, and jeans, and dresses, and nightgowns, and books, and boxes, and records, and shoes, and dolls, and…ugh.) Stephanie Black had come over to organize my life (having been the most organized person I’ve ever encountered to this day) and was shocked by the number of articles of clothing I owned. I’m going to have to find that picture to post because you just wouldn’t believe me if you didn’t see it–also, because I used to be ashamed of it, and it was really nothing to be ashamed of. I was overwhelmed by the amount myself, and was so buried by the emotional mass of it all that I was paralyzed against making a dent in it.
–I know exactly which photo album it is in, I just don’t know if the photo album is in storage–
Stuff was how my mother showed me she thought I was worthwhile. Money was how my father showed me. Where it got hairy was when Mom spent frivolously on me, and Dad protested. I might not have needed (or even particularly wanted) everything I got, but my understanding was that in being Gifted, I was being Loved by both parents at the same time–something that I can count on one hand ever feeling outside of being given a gift–so I learned to crave Stuff. Stuff filled a void in me.
You might say I was raised to speak Gifts as a love language, and Loads of Stuff became my slang. I certainly wasn’t raised to speak Acts of Service. I did know Words of Affirmation. I still like those. Tell me I’m awesome! (Another area in which I am repairing myself, is in believing people when they say they like me, or think I’m nifty. Previously, I either thought they were just lying to be kind, or that they wanted something and would dump me as soon as they got it.)
I just wasn’t very healthy 6 months ago. Now, I would call myself pretty darn good. I have decided what I want to be when I grow up, have decided that it is okay to want that, and am actually pursuing it. I have decided how I want to live and am living that way. I have decided which relationships are edifying to me, and I have culled out those that caused me hurt.
And, I am culling out my Stuff. I have implemented Phase One of Austerity Lane Style, and I’ll tell you more about it later. For now, I need to go get Thor a drink of water, and see if his next loose tooth is ready to pull. Here’s hoping he learns to speak every language of love in equal measure.