Thursday, May 30, 2013

How Many Obsessive Compulsives Does it Take to Clear a Closet (or 4)?

I have won a job!

It is taking place tomorrow ... likely for most of the day, although I gave her a deal of only 3 hours. 

This lady is just lovely. She is (I would guess) in her early seventies, has a teeny little geriatric yorkie and is OCD to the enth degree. Her place is immaculate. Seriously. You could eat off the floor in that place, I'm sure. 

So ... why would she hire the likes of me? She's a closet hoarder ... literally. She stockpiles ... like a squirrel. There are four closets in her home and they are so full ... though admittedly, there is an organization to the chaos. She's reaching out for help (which according to what I have been reading on the disorder, is a very positive sign). I met with her the other day and she essentially told me that I don't have a chance of actually accomplishing anything with her. That she will not let me throw anything out. She will not let me downsize her clothing that doesn't fit. That all I will accomplish is to rearrange what is currently there.

Sounded like a dare to me ... and I grabbed it.

I mean, what better test to my skills than this, right? I figure what I will learn from this job is priceless ... I even told her if she is not happy when I am done, I will not charge her. Perhaps not the best business move, I suppose ... but I am counting on the goodwill I will create there. I am also planning on showing up packing some supplies that I would normally want to charge extra for. Not anything crazy, but some stuff you can pick up relatively inexpensively. Vacuum bags, hooks, an additional closet bar. Stuff like that.

I have been reading up on the psychology behind the hoarding disorder. This is going to be a serious challenge, but if I can make even a small positive step with this client, I can not only confidently quote my next hoarder, but I can feel secure in my own ability in organizing. Really, THAT all by itself is enough payment for doing the job ... not that the $90 would come amiss.

I have decided that if she is still unwilling to part with things, I will employ a different tactic. One that will take time to show her, but hopefully will bring me back to her by the end of the year to revisit her situation. A long shot, for sure ... but apparently, I have become a betting girl on this matter. I believe I can help. I truly do.

...now, if I could just stop obsessing about it, we'd be all set.

Yeah ... right.

I'll let you know how it ends up.

Stay tuned.


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Pretty Sure My Cat is a Secret Agent ...

It's true.

He ALWAYS looks like he has somewhere to be.

I think the pissing on the beds is a cover. Because nobody would suspect a cat who's pissin' was a Secret Agent ... right? 

To whom would his 'intel' be valuable? 

Hmm...

*crickets chirping*

Boy, that's a sticker, eh? 

Who in the heck would care, really. 

Still ... I am convinced. He's certainly up to something.

In other news ...

Hubs and I would have celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary yesterday ... if his father hadn't died the week before our scheduled date, forcing us to reschedule our nuptials. I maintain that he did that intentionally. Our unofficial anniversary wasn't really in any way connected to what took place yesterday, but we went on a date! First one in ... oh, dear ... I really couldn't tell you how long. I'm gonna say there would be 'years' in the equation. 

We went to see Star Trek and utilized a gift card that Hubs got as a gift from one of his clients for dinner. It was really nice. Well ... except for that one thing ... but I'll get to that - later.

Don't get me wrong ... I consider every Friday night 'date night' in our house ... and we usually do something special to mark the end of the work week. We'll have drinks, the kids get a dance party or a camp fire ... or maybe a movie. Sometimes we do games. It depends on the weather, the general mood(s) of the group and so forth. 

This is unfettered joy for me... well, so long as Stretch doesn't get her arse in the air. Generally speaking, though ... it's usually really great. 

The girls have a fun time. We get to engage with them on a fun, rather than (so much) parental level ... it's good. I look forward to it every week. Then they go to bed (usually a fair bit later than normal) and Hubs and I get a little time on our own. 

Then we have sex, fall asleep and ... reboot.

Often on Saturday, we try and recreate Friday ... we are met with varying degrees of success, but all in all, the system works. 

I worry that this is unhealthy and we shouldn't do it. The drinks, the ritualistic substance abuse. Hubs is not so much, but I am a bit of a pot head these days. It makes me much more ... fun. I am fun with my kids. They like me a whole lot better (not that they know it, per se) when I have engaged in the wonder herb. I am so creative ... and patient... and un-clenched. That's it! That's the slogan for marijuana: You, Un-Clenched. Marketing is my BITCH!! 

Does this make me a bad mother? Or a bad adult? 

We would never EVER drive or anything stupid like that. It's all at home, safe and sound. Sitting in our own back yard, by our fire pit. Or at the dining room table. And generally, everyone is happy. I seem to feel pretty damned guilty about it for some reason. I would just die if one of my kids' friends' parents found out. Really, I would. Am I bad?

But is that the truth? Am I a bad parent?

I don't ever do it anywhere near the kids. They have no earthly idea. I imagine in my mind the moment in their teens where one of them figures out Mom's a pot head. I'm torn between that infernal mother's guilt and hysterical laughter. I can almost see the expression on Shorty's face as she explains it to Stretch (my scientist).

I don't know how to feel about that.

So I am a 40 year old, walking, talking coping mechanism. Have I failed? Hell, we've survived some shit together. It could certainly be worse. Could certainly be better, too ... but what does that mean? Is that a modicum of success?

I love to get attention from anywhere I can find it, but at the end of the day - I adore my spouse ... and could not conceive of replacing him with anyone... ever. Not even in the middle of the night when he's snoring in my face and I want to smother him with my body pillow.

I live in the house I wanted ... albeit, we are paying a hefty price for that ... but here we still sit.

My girls are healthy and fairly happy. I firmly believe that for all my defects, my children KNOW they are dearly loved ... and that they get on my nerves. And that's okay. They can get on my nerves until the cows come home and it will not change how dearly loved they are. Does that count?

I think it should.

I'm not a perfect person and I am surely not a perfect parent ... but I care enough about the job to suffer the shame of attending a weekly parenting group. Actually, that is not fair of me. The other parents at that group deserve better than that. They are real, too. Flawed. But they love their kids enough to try and do better. 

Still, when I think back to the things my mother instilled in me that I value most:

You are cherished.
Say you're sorry and mean it.
Be true to you. Always.
You can be or do ANYTHING.
Always keep your bus fare.
I will love you even when you are being an asshole. Really.
You must keep a tidy home. Otherwise people will think badly of you.
Don't wash colours with whites.

I think she did okay, don't you? She didn't teach me to find my soul mate ... I lucked into that. She hadn't found hers ... then.

These are the things that I want to teach my girls. Plus the soul mate thing. I want them to have spouses that deserve them. I want them to feel successful - in whatever they choose to do in this life. And I want them to be happy. (Whatever that is) If I can get anywhere close to that, I will consider myself a raging success.

Oh ... and they should have cats. I'm pretty sure my daughters will have cats.


Friday, May 24, 2013

2 POSTS IN 2 DAYS ... Stop the Presses!

Yeah. I'm back.

Guess I still have things to say ... what a shocker.

I have been wandering around my life for the past several weeks nearly tripping over my bottom lip. I don't really understand why I am so glum. I mean, it isn't like there aren't stressors, but I've tromped just a little too far into ridiculous just now. I am second guessing E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G... and in the process, I am driving myself (and everyone around me) Cray Cray.

Let me give you a 'for instance':

I am attending a number of groups and classes. One is a parenting group every Thursday evening. One is for the self employment program that happens every second Tuesday evening and one is a marketing training class that I managed to wiggle into with the Women in Business located in my home town. That happens every Tuesday (all day) ... but it is by far my favorite. THESE women know their collective shit!

...and I feel like a complete moron in their presence.

So ... you would think that a normal person who felt the way that I do would sit quietly and not attract attention to themselves, right?

Have you MET me? No ... most of you have NOT had that little pleasure, and yet you likely STILL know full well that I do not sit quietly and make like a mushroom... NOT drawing attention to myself.

I appear to be incapable of sitting quietly ANYWHERE. GAH!

Nope - I have to interject and ask stupid questions and draw the conversation to MY business and MY obstacles. Or at the parenting class ... to MY kids and MY problems. Not that groups aren't meant to do a certain amount of that ... I don't mean to suggest I am being completely inappropriate. I just can't seem to shut the hell up. 

I need to get the words SHUT and UP tattooed to my hand ... so when I see it, maybe I'll do it.

So then ... in my pathological need to be understood, I have to EXPLAIN that I know I talk too much and share too much and that I feel bad about it ... all the while ... I.AM.STILL.TALKING.

I pulled this one last night at my parenting group. There I was, regaling the attendees with the story of how every week I coach myself driving in to NOT talk so much... and every week on the hour long drive home, I berate myself on my inability to do so.

Why did I do this? ... you may find yourself asking (I know I did). Was it because I wanted them to tell me I didn't talk too much and what I shared was relevant and actually helpful in many cases? (Not to mention funny and entertaining.) Because that is what they said.

And yet ... I am obsessing over THAT today. 

Please make this stop for a little bit. I know I said I wanted to delve into my depths and better understand myself ... but it is down right scary in here. I want to go back to blissful ignorance. At least for a minute.

***

So ... hubs has had an amazingly good week of business. YAY! Bills are getting some hush money and I am going to the grocery store this morning to spend some dough on food. I'll also swing by the liquor store and get some vodka and beer for the weekend. 

This is like freakin' DISNEYLAND for me. Why am I not happy?

My meeting yesterday went very well. My counselor actually complimented my efforts and though he agrees I need to start making some money, he feels my attitude and actions support my staying in the program. 

DAMN! I must be one hell of an actress! Maybe I have missed a calling there.

OH! I can't believe I have not posted THIS little nugget yet ... my mother has announced she is moving out with her new man!


... I'll give you a minute to take that in ...


I am THRILLED! For so many reasons, it's hard to name just a few, but at the top of my list is the fact that it is HER idea and she is HAPPY about it. This was the only solution that was likely to end happily. She is aiming for October, which in classic 'Mom' style is about the worst possible time of year for her to go as renting that place in the winter months is more expensive than it's worth ... but we have decided to install a second hand wood stove over there (for alternate heat) and simply reclaim the area for us. She costs me more now than she pays ... so I am of the impression that it won't cause much of a difference. Hope like hell I am not wrong there.

What I find amusing (and I use that word ironically) is that I am so mad at her... and I have to tell you that even with all of my introspective behavior of late, I simply do NOT get that one. But mad, I remain.

I am fairly certain this thread is not done being pulled, but in the interest of actually getting to the groceries before the girls get home, I am leaving it for today.

It feels good to write. I should do it more.

Thanks!

D

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Oh Lord, Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood ...

This is such a fear for me that I tend to explain myself into either crazy stalker status or drive people away with my incessant justification, reasoning and explanation... not to mention waffling, retooling and general pain-in-the-assery. It drives people away. The very people to whom I want to be closest.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. 

I often contemplate whether I am wasting precious energy trying to understand why I do, say and feel the things I do. My official position on this is that it's all part of making positive change. I am beginning to wonder if I should just continue living under the assumption that I am 'normal' (whatever in the hell THAT is) and stop trying to make something interesting out of it.

There are a couple of festering situations wreaking havoc on my world just now. They are keeping me awake at night ... haunting my thoughts during the day and basically derailing any actual progress ... in any of the areas in question.

In no particular order of importance, the following diatribe is meant to exhaust some of my desire to explain myself ... without actually DOING it to the people involved in these situations:

My Business ... is hard. Well ... the business is not hard, it's the acquisition of the business that is making me want to wail. I never expected it to take off like a wildfire ... I hoped ... I fantasized ... I even focused very hard on the whole 'positive energy out into the universe and its ability to create abundance', but I never had an expectation of immediate greatness in self employment ... I mean this is ME we're talking about. I have a few cool talents, but I have massive inner limitations, too. I hates them. 

What I did however expect, was to have supplied more than ONE complete stranger with my services after three and a half months of constant effort on my part to find business. Constant effort ... hmmm. That seems to have varying degrees of meaning in the world. My idea of constant effort is not cutting the mustard. It is exhausting me, but it is not providing results ... and I am meeting my counselor today for a 'talk' ... to which, I am not looking forward. I fear I may be getting a warning today that my time in this program is in jeopardy.

Would that be the worst thing in the world? No, I guess not. I could go out and get a damned job and be done with all this bullshit, pie in the sky ideal that I am holding out there like a kid who just made an epic mud pie out of dog poop. I mean who the hell do I think I am, dictating to the world what I need in order to be happy - right? Why do I get to just stop and say: NOPE - I'm NOT working under anyone else's schedule. I'm NOT taking a chance on yet another abusive boss/employee situation that will suck everything good out of me and leave nothing for the people who actually MATTER to me in this world. I'm NOT losing myself in another person's dream again. I am needed here, with my children (not to mention my spouse) ... and the universe just needs to smarten up and help me do that. Who in the hell do I think I am, anyway? 

What am I ... crazy? Sadly, no ... I just like to play a crazy person in real life. I think that I believe it makes me more palatable somehow. The reality to that is rather the opposite, I'm afraid.

***

A situation that should have been easy, was meant as a nice gesture from people who care about me ... has turned unpleasant. I have buggered it up so bad with my insane thought process, indecisive nature and ridiculous misplaced pride, that one of the more important relationships in my world is experiencing unpleasantness of an epic proportion. I'm driving her away from me ... and I STILL have this overwhelming desire to not only explain, but to fix it, please her (along with the others involved) and do what has been suggested. The problem is that to do so would involve my either accepting something that I am tremendously uncomfortable with or coming up with funds that have no business leaving my familial unit. Not only that, but it would mean taking from my family and going to do something just for me, while leaving everyone else behind ... AND (although he covers it fairly well) I can tell that my hubs is not so crazy about the whole idea ... even though he is now attempting to find a way to make it happen - I still know in my heart that if I go forth, he may feel I am being selfish (my words - not his). Add to that the fact that I am supposed to be working full time on my business venture ... and this situation/event would take me away from that as well.

If you are familiar with the "Myers-Briggs" personality profile, I am an ENFJ ... the pleaser. Greatest downfall: Tearing myself apart trying to please everyone and winding up pleasing nobody ... and often pissing a number of them off in the process. WHY WHY WHY do I have to make everything so GODDAMNED difficult? Seriously - what IS that?

This is making me cry. Rather a lot. It also activates all the physical responses to letting someone else down, doing something you know you shouldn't - but at the same time, you really should - and being selfish, prideful and a giant pain in the ass. You know the ones I mean: Nausea, sookiness, general yuckiness in the pit of the tummy, troubled/ broken sleep, GUILT, unhappy dreams that say mean things in the night ... I'm sure there are more, but I'll leave that to the imagination.

I must have done something VERY bad in a previous life, because I don't think I've done anything so awful in this one to illicit the level of guilt I feel every moment of my life. I am seriously the most guilty human being I have ever met. It is borderline psychotic ... and I can NOT seem to control it.

I am so sorry for this situation. I wish I was different. I really do.

***

I located someone recently on the dreaded face book that I really should have left alone.

I think I have figured out my (true) motivation ... and that was that I was looking for an ego pat. (Lord help me, I am so needy of approval and acceptance ... it will be my undoing.) This was a fella that I knew in my old life. He was friends with my then boyfriend and I was highly attracted to him during (and subsequently AFTER) the break up with said boyfriend. He seemed to be into me, too - although I have to admit that I was highly delusional during that time. There are 'truths' that reveal themselves (lately, for some reason) to me about that time in my life that absolutely FLOOR me. It never ceases to amaze me how much we lie to ourselves and how entirely I could sell some of these ideas to myself. Truly. 

Anyway, nothing ever went down between us ... it would have been wrong - for either of us to engage in. That doesn't mean he wasn't hot, soapy shower fodder for me ... for a good portion of my single experience. It also doesn't negate the level at which I desired his affection and attention. Nor does it change the fact that I seem to have a 'need' (although my 'wants' are admittedly often upgraded to 'needs' without meeting the basic requirements) to a) apologize (for something that never actually happened) and b) find out if I was imagining his affection or if it was real. (... because ... I need to know this ... why?)  

This man is happily married with offspring ... living his happy life. Why do I need to super impose myself into that? If he denies he had any feelings for me, I will be crushed. If he DID have feelings for me - what damned difference does that make and why the hell would I go flouncing through his subconscious NOW? I do not understand why I do such stupid things. And now ... God help me ... I am fighting this enormous desire to email him lengthy essays ... EXPLAINING myself. I did communicate with him, but I kept it to talking about my kids, hubby and employment ... but now he has not responded to that last communication. So here sits crazy... fighting urges that win much more often than they should.

I mean, what the hell - right? If I get what I apparently want from him ... which is an admission of having been attracted to me ... then what? What have I gained? A temptation that I neither need nor want? Yet ... here I am ... in the moments between obsessing over my friend situation, my cash flow situation and whatever else is bumping around in there, obsessing over what to say next ... you know, to explain myself.

I think the time has come for me to be busier with things that happen OUTSIDE of my head. Perhaps getting a job might be good for me.


GAH!