If you’re like me, admitting that your childhood home was one of chaos and overflowing with “stuff” is probably nearly impossible. You certainly wouldn’t want to post it on Twitter or Facebook, and let someone photograph your parent’s hoard? NEVER! It’s mortifying, not to mention that feeling of guilt that somehow…you must be at fault for your parent’s inability to get it together and take care of your home. Perhaps your parent blamed you outwardly, “If you would all just help out more…” which was undoubtedly met with anger if you attempted to move or remove a single item.
Perhaps the blame was placed on you indirectly, “I’m just so tired after working and running all you kids around…” which is followed by the energy to tinker with whatever pile might hold the treasure they sought all while you stood quietly wanting to change something and not knowing how or where to begin.
Or, perhaps the blame came from external sources who had no idea what was going on inside your “happy home”. Comments people made about the crazy bag lady, or the crazy cat lady…and you were so deeply embarrassed because they were describing your parent. Or maybe, like for me, everyone else thought your parent was the coolest person ever. They never saw the disaster you called home or the unfiltered anger and abuse, even neglect, heaped upon you when you weren’t home. They had no idea of your secret.
The first step to overcoming a rotten childhood among rotting food, piles of books and newspapers, bags full of unused craft supplies, amidst uncleaned litter boxes and food bowls, is very tough. It required me to admit that my childhood was horrible. It caused me to reveal the great lie I’d been living for so long. It me ant that I had to admit that the “badness” in my head, the traumas were real. It hurt a lot. Sometimes, even now, I can recall that pain.
Would I do it again? Yes. I would. In hindsight, I would have chosen to do it sooner if I’d had the ability.
Why? Because admitting the past was what it really was gave me freedom. Freedom to be hurt, be angry, be needy, be in control of my future. It’s a tough step, but so important.
If you are reading this, and you’ve been lurking in the corners…thinking about taking the next step and coming to a meeting, I encourage you to do it. We know how hard it is, and we get better together. You’re not alone. You don’t have to be, at least. Join us! Our next meeting is tomorrow night at 7pm.
5025 N. Market, SW corner of Queen and Market in Hillyard
FREE (donations accepted on repeat attendance)
We need YOU as much as YOU need us!