Dragging the Body, Propping Up the Mind, and Oh My God, The Kitchen…

3tierstiredwomansadish

I haven’t been this slammed in awhile and it seems to have come out of nowhere. I’ve been doing much better than I had in a long time and the new medication has finally settled and I’ve been sleeping amazingly well, having more energy, painting a lot, and then Friday hit. I had to go out and do a lot of errands which for me is usually a mess of a day that I barely get through. I did so much better than usual that I was surprised but by the evening I crashed. Slept from 7:30 to 9:30, just sort of passed out, and then couldn’t go to sleep until after 5 a.m. Slept a lot yesterday, slept much better last night but today it is as if my body is leaden and it is a tremendous effort just to walk across the floor. Where does this come from?

It seems cyclical. And as I will be 61 on Thursday the 30th and am a good bit past menopause it wouldn’t seem that my lady bits are the issue, and yet just because you no longer have periods, is there still a cyclical happening in the body each month? I don’t know the answer to that but I do know that however well or poorly I am doing about once a month I-just-crash. This weekend was it.

This is so disheartening, having just worked through nearly 2 months to get my body adjusted to the new medication, and finally, and at long last, able to sleep. I’ve been writing and painting like mad and it has all felt so good and I even SOLD my first painting, it has all been glorious for me in my world, and then, kaboom, the bottom dropped out.

I know this will just be for a few days and I will find my way back but it is hard to take every time it happens. The grace in this is that I know it will pass, life will go on and I will get through, but right now…

Right now I am a mess. I showered before bed last night but thrashed about so much I need to shower again and I can’t seem to marshal the energy to do it. And my kitchen I just cannot get cleaned up. It has become my nemesis. The whole house needs a good cleaning but the kitchen is just the worst. My mind isn’t at peace if the house isn’t cleaned and it hasn’t been in a very long time. I had someone helping me but they stopped doing that kind of work and I just can’t manage on my own. It is not laziness, it is paralysis. I think my bipolar bits are woven together with some really rough patchy childhood bits and it is as though I have breakdowns over the house.

Okay, I’m going to share something I never have before because I feel shy and embarrassed and like people are going to go, “Boo hoo, poor little, once upon a time, rich girl.” Well, we were well off by most people’s standards but we were not millionaire type people, and I never have been in my adult life and these days barely get by, but I’m happier now than ever before so that is no complaint or poor little me.

The thing I am getting to is that I grew up with a full time housekeeper. Now that sounds glamorous until you get to the place — and I can tell you I am dead serious about this — that it does not prepare one for life. I got married when I was 20 and I was lost, just plain lost. And I wanted desperately to learn how to cook and would be run out of “her” kitchen because I was in the way. And the worst part was that my mother’s brand of punishment, and she got really mean in a lot of ways, was to make me do housework as a punishment. That’s what I had to do. Scrub floors on your hands and knees and then iron this pile of sheets in the mangle. (Anyone else remember those?) And other things, but a lot and overwhelming for someone who didn’t even have to make her own bed.

Now I know I am taking a big risk writing about this and frankly I am very afraid, I can hear the “Oh Boo Hoo’ers” out there, and so be it. Sometimes you just have to tell the friggin’ truth and come what may. I was never taught how, but punished often cruelly and without justice, and it was always housework. Then a handful of mental health issues + that fear put together makes one big hairy mess. I had a barter going for someone to clean my house once a week but it no longer exists. And I am lost. That kitchen, cleaning this house, has become the most frightening, overwhelming thing in the world, and when it is all neat and clean my mental state is world’s better. But right now I am fighting for disability and there is no money for even once in awhile help, and I am just lost. So I freeze up in a corner of the couch and cry, terrified, like something is after me. And it is, it is my nemesis, the kitchen, and other places and spaces around the house too. It has never been like this and I feel like I am sinking into one sinkhole after another. This really has me whipped. And once I get to one of these places where I am so down I can barely see UP, and the house issue is what it is, getting back up feels nearly impossible.

Somehow I had to write this today. It feels like one of my deepest, darkest, most embarrassing secrets revealed. I am more than ashamed, but worst of all is not to tell my truth.

I am going to try to get something done in the kitchen tonight. Finish unloading the dishwasher, load it up again and run it. (It may have to be run 3 times to get it all. I barely have anything to eat on or with.) I am crying as I write this and I want to go hide under the bed. And I am crying because I am so afraid of everything right now. And I have a lump in my stomach and a knot in my throat and I can barely see through the tears because I am filled with so much shame. My entire life with sexual abuse starting at 4 and going on for 14 years created a lifetime rooted in shame and I am trying to figure out a way to pull myself out of it.

I don’t know if I can but tonight I told the truth about something really hard and I think it was important, at least for me.

Wish me luck will you? That kitchen is looming large and I am just so scared. Pray with me and for me will you? I need that so badly just now. Leave me a little note here and help me hold on if you can. And know that when I don’t answer it’s not that I don’t want to. Sometimes I can’t write back because I am blinded by tears, but I appreciate it more than I can say, and I love you more than you will ever know.

Thank you dear ones, I am sending you rivers of love through these tears…

MaitriSz4.4.16.09

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Comments

  1. Lou Brown says:

    Thank you Maitri for sharing your inner most thoughts and feelings. Please don’t think everyone will judge you badly, I for one won’t. For I think you are incredibly brave showing your vulnerability, and probably much much stronger than you think. I’m too far away to physically help you, but know in my heart I am sending you love. You can do this. Visualise good things while you clean to try and rewrite your experience. Put on some music that you love. Dress up for the occasion. And remember, you have made it this far and you will keep making it, one step at a time. Fill your life with the things you love; painting, writing, etc. And never doubt you are beautiful, authentic and deeply loved. xxx

  2. sweetie, there is never shame in honesty; you didn’t choose the circumstances of your early years any more than anyone else did, and obviously with the advantages came many unpleasant bits as well. Take baby steps with the housework and congratulate yourself for each and every one-after all, even the tiniest step forward is a positive thing! hugs and prayers 🙂

  3. Thank you both and I just got a shower and feel much better. Baby steps indeed… <3

  4. Sending you gentle strength & quiet courage to “git ‘er done.”

    Perhaps you could put the word out that you need someone to help you and work out a bartering exchange. You never know… 🙂

  5. aw honey, i was reading one of my chapbooks of essays, and i came across a few i wrote for the Contemplative Way. it made me feel so close to you. as i do right now.
    hugs, tears, journal entries, a hot toddy

    xo
    ka

  6. Sandra Carter says:

    You are not alone, honey.

  7. You are safe here Maitri dear. When I’m on a creative buzz the house just goes to pot. I am not a neatnick and never will. I didn’t get that cleaning gene from my oh so perfect mother. You don’t have to be ashamed. You’ll get a round tuit. Take your time. Rest if you need to, do what you can. Give yourself a little reward for each step in the process. Empty the dishwasher then take a break and walk a bit with the puggles. Rinse out the dirty dishes and stack them in the washer. Have a cup of tea and celebrate. and so forth. If you celebrate it then maybe it won’t feel like punishment any more. My friends know if they are coming to see me they can come any time. If they want to see the house I need 3 days notice MINIMUM. Be kind to yourself.

  8. I hear ya! Hate housework so I have to set a timer and do something for 15 minutes or some other amount. Remember micromovements? And Paula’s right about a reward for every little step. And give thanks for dishwashers!

  9. Victoria says:

    Hello beautiful Maitri!

    Thank you for sharing your heart. I was touched by your honesty and grateful to have you draw the curtain back to reveal the REAL, instead of the usual online social niceties. What’s REAL is what heals us, and we’re ALL wounded. Sharing our stories helps to dispel all the crazy-making expectations, assumptions, concepts and constructs that we’ve been programmed to live by. No shame in not measuring up. Not here, anyway. This blog is your sanctuary, and I feel blessed to have stopped by here tonight.

    I LOVE bartering and if I was nearby, I’d be happy to help out. Since I’m not, why not give yourself permission to surrender to the idea that help around the house works better for you and find some lovely soul who would enjoy bartering with you as you did before. You don’t have to clean your own place. I used to barter my massage services for a woman to clean my house. It was heaven! I’ve also bartered for hair cuts, bike repair, housing, etc. A pretty flyer hung in a cafe or an ad on craigslist should help you attract the right person.

    In the meantime, I agree with everyone else to take baby steps and be gentle and loving with yourself. So much of your life sounds as though its going so well. There are SO many people out there who have clean houses, but their art is locked up inside of them and they don’t know how to express that part of themselves. You, on the other hand, are so creative! Along with our wounds, we’re given many gifts…life is about learning to hold them both with as much grace as we can…and sometimes, we fall flat on our faces. Lots of times, actually.

    It’s OKAY!

    Sending you a hug…you’re not alone!

    Blessings & Love,

    V

  10. Sorry to hear that you crashed again but I was missing your art on Instagram so I thought sth like this happened.
    For your house I agree with everyone else do small things. Ask yourself what feels managable right now and do that one thing. Housework can be so overwhelming and the larger the house/flat the worse it is. It is the first time that I live in 60m2 plus balcony (my other flats were 30 or a bit more) and it is really a hustle to keep everything clean. Especially as with all the space also new stuff appears which needs storing and cleaning. It took me quite a while to realise that I don’t have to do everything at once and that it is more efficient when I clean one window at a time instead of not cleaning all the windows at once.
    I hope you feel better soon and get some energy back and out of the shame attack.
    Huggs, Corinna

  11. Oh Maitri, if I lived near you I would certainly be willing to come clean your kitchen to help you out! I am sorry everything is so overwhelming right now. The best I can do for you at the moment is to hold positive intention for you, send Reiki and pray that some additonal help and support will show up for you.

    Sending you a big hug!

    Joan

  12. “past menopause it wouldn’t seem that my lady bits are the issue, and yet just because you no longer have periods, is there still a cyclical happening in the body each month?”

    I’ve been wondering this same thing. No answer to it in the comments — yet! But we gals can hope. I haven’t had a period in three years (yippee!) but still get a week of migraines every month, so I’m guessing it takes a while for the hormonal cycles to settle into something sensible. But — I’m guessing.

    I envy you that dishwasher! But even with a dishwasher, housework and the organizing of all our possessions can be overwhelming. Or so I find. Some days I just can’t face any of the ongoing cleaning and sorting and hauling-out and putting-away that, if I don’t do it, won’t get done. I think I know how you feel. Don’t let it get you down, M; if there is anyone out there who is always on top of everything in their personal living space, that person is not the norm.

  13. Oh my dear ones…

    I want you to know how deeply touched I am by your kind and loving and supportive comments ~ AND ~ I have some wonderful news! I have been able to work out an arrangement with a dear friend who is going to come over for a couple of hours once a week to help me get organized and I am able to barter something in return. She is coming today in fact and I am SO relieved. Thursday is my 61st birthday and meeting it with my house more in order — I think it’s going to take the first time just in the kitchen! — will be the greatest gift of all!

    The loving hearts of the women that I know are the most powerful things on the planet. You all have given me so much more than you will ever realize by coming here. Thank you and bless you my loves.

    May you be at peace this day, and may you find rest in your moments…

    Maitri

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