child of God, wife, mother, recovering anorexic who longs to see the beauty in herself that she sees in the world around her

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

in which I admit to shameful faults and resolve to work on their root cause

My kids had spring break last week.  It was a fun week of getting things done and catching up with old friends.  One of my friends who I only see a couple of times a year because of the hour plus drive between our houses came to visit me one of the days.  She said some things that have had me pondering all week long, things that the more I think about the more I think she is on to something.

So I've mentioned before that my house is messy pretty much always.  Have I mentioned that messy for me is not what messy for most people is?  There are always dishes in my sink.  I get told "Of course there are dishes, you feed five people!", but this goes beyond some left over because with boys someone is always eating in my house.  I'm a slob, people.  We eat in the living room lately because my kitchen is overwhelmed with dishes and stuff.  My laundry pile is seriously out of control, I'm not kidding when I say I'm going to try to scale Mt.Saint Laundry.  My desk?  Well, I hold my keyboard in my lap when I type because of the bills/papers/dvd cases/magazines/etc. that have overtaken the top of the desk. 

So now that I have stated my slob status, I realize that there may be a deeper issue to my aversion to cleaning.  My friend asked me questions about why it is so difficult for me to clean up.  How often does your mom come to visit you?  Rarely.  Is keeping everything messy possibly a way to keep her out of your house (ahem, life)?  Would she visit more if you kept up with your house? Crap, probably. 

This has been on my mind all week.  I keep pondering and pondering her words.  And I added my own questions.  Like, is this my form of rebelling against everything my mom stands for?  Is this my way of telling myself that I AM NOT LIKE THAT WOMAN IN ANY WAY?  Does my lack of interest in cleaning stem from much deeper issues than I just don't want to?  Hmmmmmmm.......

My friend has known me since I was a tween (hate that word and yet totally just laughed at using it).  She knows my family well.  She had lived with my family for a time when I was younger.  She also mentioned that maybe this is my connection to my mother and my childhood.  Her observation was that my mom's main communications with me while I was growing up were either manipulating me or nagging me about cleaning. I wasn't allowed to be me, to feel my feelings or to think my own thoughts.  Have I taken that to a new level as an adult in my effort to separate myself as my own person?

I have spent so many years defining myself APART from my mother and refusing to let her still run my life, only to realize that I'm still allowing her to control me, just in an opposite way than it used to be.  Until I work through my mom issues, it's never going to get better.  Why did it take me so long to realize this?

Sigh.  I guess I've got some heart work to do.  I'm annoyed that my friend was right.  And I'm relieved she was right because now I at least have a starting point of how to change it.  There is nothing about recovery that is easy.  I do consider this recovery work.  How I keep my kitchen definitely plays a factor in my recovery vs. disease progress.  Plus, I have come to the belief that recovery is combined of all of  the heart issues that cause me to use food (or rather the lack of) to cope with my feelings.

I do hope there will be an "other side" to this disease.  I do hope that as I work on the garbage in my heart that the physical side will get easier.  I do hope that as I find healing in my heart that I will also find healing in my body.  It does seem like it should be a natural assumption, right?

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