Things turn icky

I’m messy. I just can’t help it. I think it’s genetic. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to live in a clean and organized home, but I just can’t do it. I hold on to things and they pile up. Things get buried in the fridge and turn icky. I put things down where they don’t belong, thinking I’ll put it away later…which never happens. I don’t know why. I guess I just get distracted with other things and before you know it, another day has gone by and the pile of clean laundry I threw in the corner of my closet (because I was having company and everyone who knows me knows they are not allowed in my room because that’s where I pile everything when I “clean up” and they know damn well not to push me on that ) is still there. Buried under two other piles of clean laundry I tossed in there. And the floor is lined with stacks of mail and papers and kids report cards and school projects and photos and books and…. Ugh.

Not to mention, I live on Cape Cod and I’ve got so many better things to do with my free time during our oh so short summer…

Sometimes, though…I get motivated. Not the kind of motivated I get when I’m having company and I need to hide things, but the kind of motivated where I am ready to tackle one of those projects.  Unfortunately, it usually takes me feeling frustrated or pissed off to find this motivation. I’m dealing with a bit of an emotional speed bump right now, which makes me feel things I’ve been trying to shed from my soul all year…so I found myself cleaning out my pantry this evening. I filled up a full-sized trash bag, throwing out expired crackers, stale cereal, empty boxes (why my boys can’t comprehend how tricky it is when they leave an empty box in there…how am I supposed to know we need more? I don’t have x-ray vision.) I also ran a few loads of laundry and hung up all those piles of clothes in my closet. I felt accomplished. As I scurried around, I had to chuckle a bit. All I could think of was my marriage. Every time my ex-husband made me feel bad, I found myself filled with a powerful frustration which, of course, never got validated and never had anywhere to go. So, I would clean. After a while, he knew if he saw me cleaning at eight o’clock at night, he knew he was in trouble. Hell hath no fury like a scorned woman, I said to myself tonight. And that made me laugh, so there’s my sliver lining.

As I hung up my clothes, I stopped laughing. I came across a few items that reminded me of feelings I hate. I saw what used to be one of my favorite skirts. It’s a blue and white striped maxi, kind of nautical looking. As I looked at it, I remembered the last time I wore it. I had participated on a town committee last year and the local paper printed a photo of the members. I was the only female on the board. I paired the skirt with a navy blouse and thought it made a great business-casual look. I was excited to be on the board, even though it didn’t turn out quite as I had imagined (which is a misogynistic post for another day), and was also excited to have my photo in the paper. This was during the time when my husband and I were negotiating about getting a divorce. We were being fairly nice to each other, as he didn’t want to move out. I had sort of stopped sharing things with him at that point, as he had no clue on how to validate me and I had been through so much that spring that I just felt it was easier to keep things to myself. For some reason, I decided to share that day. I suppose it’s because he had been being so nice to me. I mentioned I made “the front page”, jokingly, as it’s just a tiny, local town paper. We both smiled at the joke. He picked up the paper and said, “Well, there she is!”  It seemed like it was a pleasant interaction between us, which I easily welcomed, after all we had been going through. He then held the paper up and followed with, “Well, it’s not the most flattering photo of you, now, is it...” with an expression on his face that I probably can’t describe, but just trust me…it matched his words. And just like that, I felt small again. God, I hate feeling small. I felt myself shrinking, trying to disappear. However, I did just go through several months of therapy, and had been working so very hard on myself, going to meditation, working on opening my Chakras…so I found my voice and used it. “You’re so rude”, I said, calmly. He got defensive and said something like, “Oh, so now you’re going to be mad at me?  You’re so sensitive. It’s just a comment, Jami. People say these things, you know.” We went back and forth about it, with me telling him how small he makes me feel and how people certainly do not say things like that, and him telling me how it’s all my fault for being so sensitive. I held my ground and he held his, and we kept that argument going until the next day, when he finally apologized (an apology I did not accept, FYI). Needless to say, I haven’t worn it since.

I know, you’re all going to tell me I should say “Screw him” and wear that skirt, but I just can’t. Maybe some day, but I just don’t like being reminded of feeling small, because when I’m reminded…I feel it. It fills me up and is real. It comes back so easily…like riding a bike.

So, the skirt will stay in there, along with the hat I bought on vacation and only wore once because he laughed at it all afternoon. I won’t throw them away, because I want to get to the point where I can wear them and not feel small. I know I’ll get there, some day….



The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS July 8/17



23 thoughts on “Things turn icky”

  1. Your organizational challenges are just like my husband’s. But he might be even more disorganized. In fact, he gives his power away at every turn. The moment I took over paying the bills he stopped paying attention to how much we pay for anything and what our bank balance is. We could be flat broke and thousands in the hole and he’d never know. (We’re not).

    He’s often off in his own world, barely present (especially when he’s tired), and puts things down here and there, never remembering because he’s not present when he does it. (You can’t remember what you’ve just done if you’re not here). He doesn’t feel ownership or pride in our house or yard (and thus never thinks about taking care of them without feeling an overwhelming sense of burden). And it’s only when he’s been triggered and has an emotional blow-up, that he’ll participate in cleaning our house or getting rid of excess clutter (and then he’s in a rage and you’d best get out of his way).

    I know it goes back to childhood shit and a sense of feeling powerless (victim consciousness) and lacking commitment to things because of being hurt. There are many bits of pieces of him that don’t trust himself. Those bits and pieces love to mess with him and sometimes make him do the opposite of what he’d do if he were present and thinking clearly.

    I can’t wait for you to have your day of wearing both the skirt and the hat and feeling proud and tall again. You’ll get there.

  2. Sorry being put down is not a ‘little thing’. I am so glad you are free now. I know how those nasty things can stay lodged in your head though. I also totally relate to always seeming to be cleaning up a mess at home. I love you Jami, you have come through so much. So great to read this despite the fact I hate the nastiness you had to go through in that relationships. Love and hugs D xo

    1. Thank you…and no, it most definitely is not a little thing. It shapes your life forever, no matter how much work you do on yourself. Love right back to you?

  3. I just posted this morning, a little something about the neighbors arguing…which reminded me of a darker period in my life. I too dated someone for 4 years – two of it we purchased a house together and it was like we were married (but not) and during that time, the things he would say to me…started out as little, then more nit-picking – nothing was ever right. You’re going to wear that? You’re meeting my friends for the first time, aren’t you going to put on some lipstick? Friends arrived (unexpected / unplanned – just pop in visit) two of the greasiest friends of his (the dudes were brothers) and when they left, he looked at me and said “I can’t believe you looked that way when my friends came and no make up” – It’s Sunday, we’re in sweats watching America’s Funniest Home Videos. I started to develop bad eating habits because he would make me work out twice a day, and then reach around and JOKE – laugh and squeeze what little fat I had on my tummy (I was a size 6) and say “Ohhh, ho, hooo- you got it going on” – terrible. My self-worth was destroyed. It took me years after leaving him, to feel beautiful again. So I TOTALLY get it about not ever wearing that skirt again. Give it away to the goodwill. Anything that reminds you of that time – its gotta go!

    1. I keep thinking that I will get to the point where I can wear it with pride. I don’t even think it’s the skirt that he had the problem with. I think it’s my body. Or how I looked in the photograph or whatever image was going through his mind when he looked at it. It’s not about the skirt it’s about me. I think if I throw the skirt away I will still remember….

  4. Omg i wrote like a book on here last night and it didn’t post. Just … did. Mmmmmmmmmm………..
    Hmmmmm to sumarize…….is that how you spell sumarize? Looks wrong
    I’m so sorry he made you feel small.
    You deserved to feel proud and beautiful as you are.
    But about the skirt…
    I have a skirt. The skirt. That one that makes me feel small. I tried to put it on for therapy on Thursday. I was going to overcome the small of the skirt. But i tossed it on the floor and there it sits. Some things belong in the garbage!

        1. Ha ha!

          I just tried three times to comment on one of your posts and it won’t let me! I thought on the third time that it went through, but I don’t see it. It was about the owl feather falling gently into your hand. Such an amazing thing to happen to you!

          1. I just tried to comment on yours…..dang it. My email is just to bypass this bullshit in the future if you want to chat or you can messsage my ipad with that if you hve an iphone or ipad.
            I seriously wrote a book on my first post to your post and it never went through.
            Oh i see my burning skirt one DID go through. It told me it didnt. But nope no other messages from you came through. Stupid wordpress. Yeah. The feather..magical. I hope the videos posted. I never know if they work or not

  5. I find looking at a small corner of a room rather than the entire room, makes it easier. Also, while I am tempted many times to just drop something thinking I’ll get to it later, I realize that later ends up making me more overwhelmed. I try to practice “clean as you go” as often as possible. It helps but not always. Especially when there are things that are more fun than cleaning up. 🙂 When you get around to it, where that skirt with pride and a smile on your face. And if you can’t – throw it out – purging feels good.

    1. I think eventually, I will do one or the other. I will either wear it and not feel small or ditch it. For now I’m going to hold onto it and hopes that I can do the former

  6. I have a comfy summer dress that I love though it reminds me of the rebound from hell because I wore it a lot back then. But I still wear it anyway because I love that old dress. I’m trying to create new memories in it. We sure can give power to people who don’t deserve it. I’m glad you held your ground with him. Yes, people say those things – rude, callous people who want to bring you down a notch because they are jealous of your success. Oooh, the things I can think of to say after the fact. Anyway, let’s not give those rude people anymore power. Glad he’s out of your life because you deserve better.

    1. Wow, it’s pretty bad I’m replying to this a month later! I’m so bad at keeping up with things here this summer. I live in an area on the ocean with such limited summer time and I have a boat, so something had to give…and it’s my blog. Anyway, I totally agree on not giving them the power. No one can make me feel bad about myself unless I let them. Can’t say that’s easy to do, but at least I’m aware of it.

  7. Two M’s !!!!! I knew it didn’t look right. If i use spell check then it leaves the post and it is gone. It would help if I stopped posting at 2 am or 4 am and could actually spell a word I guess!!!!!

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