Deep clean…..the papers I shredded today were from 1989 the house we bought 30 years ago. We are now in a different house and state. The papers were labeled house/save. So I saved them, through 3 moves and 3 different states. I asked DH* to go through them with me. Old cars, house, appliances, long ago electronic toys, all the documentation saved carefully for years. I promised myself for years to do this. I decided with all this stay at home time I would finally do what I always put off. My son in law helped by sharing the importance of keeping promises to ourselves. I now have stacks of empty boxes. I am making space on shelves that were crowded and over flowing for years. I put stuff in boxes shut the lid then Saved them for years. Some of he boxes are delightful to open. My children’s little hand prints smaller then their own children’s hand prints. Other boxes not so delightful. One box was filled with pain. Documentation and information carefully saved since the mess over 20 years ago involving pirated software, proof that I did everything I knew how to do to make sure the software was replaced with legal stuff. That time in my life was awful, followed up by my cancer, then years in a job with a boss that actively hated me. Tearing and shredding those papers were releasing a terrible burden that was never mine in the first place. The illegal software was there before I got the job.
I think counseling is a bit like this deep cleaning process. Enjoying the happy memories but mostly ripping out and shredding the ugliness from long ago that I didn’t have the understanding or emotional skills to deal with them at the time. Kids get overwhelmed by cruelty, violence and other things that an adult takes in stride. To a child, all threats are real. Telling them they are bad and stupid is internalized and they believe these vicious words. As an adult, I look at those same opinions and recognize that their opinion does not define who I am. It is their opinion, full stop end of story. If I like the person, I can take their opinion into consideration but it is still their opinion. I am continuing this purging process and allowing myself to save bits and pieces. Locks of baby hair, childish hand writing, and cards from long ago happy moments. Evidence of a well spent life.
DH Darling husband.