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I ran into someone today in Huonville who asked me how I was, as they had not seen me for a while and I was very rarely on Facebook. I responded no I did not go on much. That I was actually not bad, and quite content being at home, attending to things. He asked me if I was unwell withdrawn or OK being at home.
I reassured him that I am perhaps feeling the best I have been in a long time. That I was OK at home. I was very aware I need to have social input. At the same time I know for me that I need to limit that.

I surprised myself when I said this. I also realised the truth I had spoken.

I enjoy my lifestyle and always have tended to be happy enough on my own (apart form when I lived with someone and especially when I lived with my partner for a lengthy number of years before he died).

I have a lifted spirit, and have be doing some small things in my home.

Now I do not think I have mentioned, that part of my CPTSD saw me become a hoarder. It was the way for me to keep people out of my home. It was cheaper than building a wall, and along with never asking anyone to visit, created a total impregnable barrier.

Several of years ago, while seeing another psychologist (whom I never really connected with Though he thought differently. Weird that, I read some notes he wrote to my GP at the time, whose office closed and I was able to get my complete notes from it ). He decided to work with the hoarding as my major issue.

This psychologist also encouraged/pushed me to be referred to a social worker. Who was a nice enough fellow, but not at all it seemed to me at the time, or in hindsight knowledgeable about hoarding and how to help.

I was extremely unwell at the time, and really was not able to say no to things. I also was fighting to stay out of hospital. As I did not want to have to be admitted to the mental health ward/s I had worked.

After a few visits at coffee shops with the social worker, and me sharing the issues of hoarding and my home with him. He somehow ended up coming into my house with my invitation. Within three days I had a skip and someone coming to help me get sorted. Perhaps anyone with anxiety, CPTSD and huge trust issues might understand the distress and angst I was feeling. I was extremely worried that the person coming would know me. Maybe in a professional capacity.

I also felt mortified because unbeknown to me the social worker had hired a large skip to my place.

The day came and the woman turned up. She was a lovely person, and I saw the disgust and sadness in her eyes. She was a doer. She was a cleaner not someone with knowledge or experience of assisting hoarders to work through the hoard and issues that go with that.

This was not her fault, and as she was in my home and I was so unwell mentally, that we both just began cleaning and throwing things out. All the while me feeling panicking, and sick in my stomach. I had a headache, my jaw was clenched and I did not want to chat. I dreaded each day she was due.

I did attempt to explain my situation. She bless her did her best. I on the other hand felt pressured and guilt, I was very ashamed and distressed. I continued with this set up for four weeks. In the end I had to say to the social worker that it was causing me great angst and I was feeling worse especially on the mornings she was due. I was triggered and I just wanted to not answer the door in fact I did not want to get out of bed.

It is quite strange even writing about this situation is causing the symptoms again.
In the end I explained to this lovely woman it was just not working for me. That I had appreciated her help very much. When she left I went to bed and did not get up for two days, except for the dogs and my needs, and food for the dogs.
I ignored for the next fortnight the Social workers calls, and messages.

Eventually I came out of my room and contacted him. He was helping to find a Mens Shed Organisation to come and take my partners wood turning and wood working set up as a donation.

This was going to be so hard for me. I had taken ages to decide what I wanted to do with it all. I thought about selling it but I was to unwell at the time and I just wanted it all gone.

I had been in his workshop and sorted through everything that I wanted to keep, I had taken some items into the house, and stacked everything else separately away in a corner. I showed the social worker what was to remain.

I knew it was going to be a traumatic and emotive time when the lathe and his own tools were removed. I could not be at home while it was happening. I explained this to the Social worker, and he reasured me he would be there.

I was numb when I left in the morning. I took my dogs for a walk along the river and then we went and met up with a friend at a local cafe. I was not thinking about any of it.

A few hours later I returned home with great trepidation. I was really uncertain how I was going to be impacted with my partners passion his wood turning lathe, his carving tools, his woodworking books, the band saw and the bench all gone.

I parked the car, let the dogs out and noted that the large skip was fairly full. I wandered over and to my dismay there were all the things I had put aside that I wanted. Things that I needed for the garden, some paint to finish some things. Bits and bob, netting for my fruit trees. All covered in oil and sawdust. I panicked and attempted to pull everything out, but items were broken, and as I said covered in oil. Some of the tins of paint had spilt. I was so upset. I recall I just threw my arms up in the air and sobbed loudly.

I then charged up the steps into the workshop. I stopped and was flummoxed. There was just an empty room. A totally EMPTY ROOM. All the shelving had been removed. All the containers of screws, nails, bolts, bits and pieces that my partner had saved, collected to repair things in your home. Especially when you are the person who built the home and know every nook and cranny every gap and thing that will get finished one day. The chain saw and drill, the axe. Paint rollers, brushes. My things that were now in the bin. Destroyed. All The very things I had said to the social worker were to stay!

How could this have happened.

I was floored. I was angry, wounded, I was bewildered, lost. I had made sure the social worker knew what was too go. What was to stay. How could this of happened? Of course it was to late to contact the social worker by this time.
A really bad nights sleep, and my mind just going over and over what did I do or say wrong that caused this to happen. Grief overwhelmed me, I had lost everything EVERYTHING and given away treasured items, I felt so let down.
I rang the social worker in the morning. It was quite weird and I have to honestly say I do not have a huge recollection of what happened, with the exception that he did say he was not there at my house when the men came to remove everything. I had never met any of these men, I did not know any of their names I did not even know where everything ended up. I know at that point I really just shut down. I could take no more.

I never spoke to this person again. I never reported or lodged a complaint. I just sat in my home, cuddling my dogs. I stayed home for a few days and began to hoard even more bizarre things. I did not go out, I did not shower, I did not clean, wash up. All I could manage was to ensure my lifelines, my dogs were exercised fed and loved.

The trust I had begun to rekindle in people was gone. TOTALLY and UTTERLY gone.

I did eventually realise how I was deteriorating and went to see my fantastic GP (who left a year later to go and become a psychiatrist) . It was through her I was put on the council program and met the psychologist I have now.

Now if I feel that my trust has been taken advantage off, or I have been manipulated I do not even bother to say anything. I just never go back to the place, or deal with the person, or continue the friendship of the person where I feel this has happened.

It took me so long to be able to ask for help.
Then to let someone inside my home and see how bad it was.
To let someone in to help me ‘clean’

Even now as I write I feel violated and that is such a weird word to write when I am talking about this.

I am OK and it always help to share and write things down I find.

I feel from my own perspective and experience. The ‘kind meaningful help’ that can be offered to anyone with a mental illness or chronic illness, a disabilty, are so very subjective and if respect and understanding, and most importantly keeping the promises you make as a paid support worker are not met.
I ponder how the duty of care is maintained.

Perhaps if I had lodged complaints about what occurred it might have helped. I was to unwell and mentally not competent to undertake this. Not even in a phone call. I could not even say what I really felt to the social worker.

What I do know is that it put me backwards in my treatment and I quit the psychologist at the same time, never explaining or seeing him again. He never followed up to see if I was OK.

I struggle now to let workman into my home. I need a couple of things fixed.
I let one in to fix a leak under my verandah door upstairs in my bedroom, that leaks into my kitchen.
He assured me he could do it. He was a lovely man. I had to call him back three times as each time (when it rained the leak was actually worse than it had been origianlly).
In the end he just said he could not do anything else? I wanted to scream, again I could not. I had paid him in full. (you only find out the job doesn’t work when it rains. I did not think to put the hose over it. So now I can not afford to pay someone else to fix it.
I dont have any trust in anyone else to fix it. I keep thinking I can probably fix it. (maybe I can). lol.
Living rurally can be hard to get anyone to come out here.

Even with sharing all of this, I still feel better than I have in a long time.
I am sleeping in weird patterns, I sleep for two weeks 12-14 hours then for 4 night 4-6 than the for some nights 8 hours. It seems to be a cyclic thing, so perhaps the medication. I also have really bizzare dreams and sleep very heavily. I do find taking paracetamol and ibuprofen seem to stop the dreams. That seem so real.

wow did this post go a way I did not see coming..

I am falling in love with my home, I am seeing it again, and wanting to slowly remove things. One of the things I was hoarding were cardboard boxes. To use to kill of the grass about the veggie area and pathways. Now I bring a box home, empty it, and then flatten it and go place it out side where I want it to go.
There are no boxes inside my home. Where a few months ago I had 30. One situation is being managed. I am proud of that.

Moving and improving your life with CPTSD is about so many things. I found forgiveness was a huge milestone for me. I may have posted this on another post. Forgiving the people who abused me. Not to their faces, or in writing. I just voice my forgiveness. I did it purely for me. I just basically with a sincere heart said. I forgive……,……, and……,……. ect for what they did to/at/against me. I will let it go.
I felt something give, something change. Like a hole opened and a light shone inside me. I felt brighter. I felt less anger.

It has been over a month closer to two since I did this.
I now am able to work on changing my mood and not fixate so much. I am more positive. This ties in to the very first paragraph.

I have forgiven the Social Worker and the Person who came to fix my leak. Again not in person, or a letter but for me. I feel a sense of another piece has fallen off my wall.

I am thankful that all this happened as it was through this whole shebang that I ended up on a Huon Valley Council mental health package where I met my current psychologist. I am so SO very thankful for Her.

I feel at peace in my home. I no longer want to flee, because I can not deal with the hoard and mess. I don’t like the way it is however I know that it is a very slow, time consuming and emotive at times, work in progress. That in all honesty I must do on my own.

Umm Have I mentioned I have a bit of a tendency for OCD. Now my psychologist explained it well to me. When my home is clean and comfortable. I tend to like my CDs in alphabetical order, my books in genre and alphbetised by Author. My pantry in food types and alphabetised, My wardrobe and drawers in type ie pants, shirts and within that colour groupings. So her feelings are that it part of what is inhibiting me.

Perhaps I will share more of my work in dealing with my hoarding here.

I also note that having connected with so many other peoples blogs some with CPTSD some with depression anxiety, physical, chronic, illnesses and disabilities, others with none. Connecting and reading stories written by wonderful writers, from all over the world.
Connecting with an supportive art group from beginners through. I am meeting people I would never have had the opportunity to have connected with in my life here in Tassie.

I feel so thankful to have all of these experiences, I feel thankful to have had my breakdown and I know that sounds really weird. I just see my life in such a very different way now, and I accept it. I also do not really care if others do not.

I am so happy to have connected (even if I have not done any painting this week ) with the art group, I am thankful for them and Charlie for his blog Doodlewash.

Thankful to my neighbours, who I know keep an eye on me.
Especially thankful to these two.

blessings to you all Tazzie

10 thoughts on “Forgiveness

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  1. That is quite the story, I’m so glad you’ve found it in you to forgive people. I feel sometimes guilty because I can’t forgive people through letters or face to face because I need to protect myself from them. I was relieved to read that to forgive them ‘only’ for me, can maybe be enough too.

    I must admit that I was a little upset when reading that someone took all the things away you wanted to keep. I couldn’t believe it! I’m happy you’ve found compassion for yourself too and that maybe through all the misfortunes you’ve found a supportive group of people around you.

    Still people who are dealing with people who are living through/with mental illness or difficulties like grief and loss, should be a little more aware to handle their interventions from a loving space with enough room for the individual person. On the other hand, those are nice words but when reality is different, we still need to cope.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. exactly. I agree with your comment in the first paragraph. I have tried to write letters to my parents, only to have them totally misunderstand them and turn it all back on me. I dont have anything to do with family anymore and it was so empowering for me to be able to forgive all the people in my own heart and mind. I just sat and quietly said I forgive so and so for the …….. which hurt and caused/s me issues throughout my life. I really do not have anger anymore. directed at those that impacted me. I dont really even think much about it, and now am finding I am moving into a place of contentment. Where I am discovery exactly where I want to be and not listening to anyone else. I know what makes me happy, where I feel at peace, and how I need to live my life to keep myself as well mentally as I can be.

      Yes we do all need to cope with our own reality. It is very hard to I guess in some professions to fully understand impacts, especially when someone such as myself can come across as pretty OK. Until the shit hits the fan. sigh. I let it all go, and in the end I have less stuff to have to get rid of. lol

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I am so touched that you say this. It has helped me so much and I kept hearing if I forgave those who hurt me it would change me. It took my current psychologist and I discussing it and her saying there was no need to let them no I forgave them in person, or via letter.
        I also recalled a man whose daughter a nurse was abducted and raped, brutally assaulted, murdered by four men. He was on the prison parole board and was asked how he would be if/when these men came up for parole. His answer was I forgave them as this allowed me to move on with my life. I never liked them, their actions but If I did not forgive them my life was impacted by them for ever. I saw this in my wife who was never able to forgive them. She could never move past the grief and loss of one of our children and I am sure that this contributed to her early death. I have no idea how I will react when/if any of them come up on parole while I am on the board. I would hope that I will be able to objective.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It takes courage and strength to be able to forgive but also time, healing, support and introspection. ‘To forgive’ is easier said than done. After years of therapy and the fact that I can make changes into my own life, I feel I’m coming close to that forgiveness.
        Powerful story of that man. You also need to live for what is here and not for what isn’t anymore or what never was (that is in my personal life).
        Thank you for your kind answer. It really gave me a good feeling (hope) whjen I read it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I sympathise with your plight about your partner’s workshop being cleaned out and the distress it caused, because I had that sort of thing happen several times. Last time was when I moved and careless handling by a family member wrecked all my new framed prints and gardening tools. Probably $500-$700 worth. I was surprised to find that I could just let it (the upset) all go and how far I’d healed mentally from the trauma of my last job.

    I thought to myself….I’m really getting good at this ‘letting go’ frame of mind.

    I couldn’t help but smile with your OCD also. I am the same. Except that now I don’t have all my coloured clothes any more, so don’t feel a need to ‘file’ them in colour-coded lines with matching shoes or handbags. It’s all gone. I now only have 2 sets of (old) black cool weather clothes and 2 sets of warm weather clothes with one good shirt for when I have to look ‘respectable’. I now have only 3 pairs of shoes and a small backpack type computer bag which I use as a handbag. People still give me things I don’t want, but I just put them away in a trunk-like container and years later, give them to the salvos or someone needy.

    I’m glad you’re feeling better by writing it all down and sharing. Writing it all down on paper or the computer really does help, but the important and most healthful thing is not to re-read it later. Just move on to a new day and a new subject or situation in your life.

    I just accept who I am and use the KISS theory. I keep my life simple, basic and concentrate on the small things that give me pleasure. I do not rely on my family, friends (or in the past, work colleagues). I just rely on me. I haven’t found anyone who really understands or appreciates what it is like to have chronic illness and pain except my best friends in Canada & the U.S. Both have the same ill-heath and pain and truly understand how I feel and where I’m at in my health journey. I’d like to think you have someone like that too.

    I do find it very mentally liberating to still have the occasional ‘clean-out’ and re-home stuff I do not want or need. I also have a ‘clean-out’ or ‘throw out the trash’ in my mind too.

    All I can suggest is to take life one day at a time. Choose a small area of your life or home or possessions to re-home or change (if yiou wish to do so) and deal with it. Make small changes that you can accept and deal with, not major changes like stopping all your hoarding.

    The important thing is to be kind to yourself. None of us are perfect. Slow down, relax, live your day Mindfully just concentrating on one thing at a time.

    It took me many years to let all my anger and obsessive habits improve I might add. But I like to say “I am no longer my illness”,……I am now ME. I like to say…. I am no longer a sick person.

    I am a photographer (who just happens to have several serious health problems).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank You for all that Vicki.
      I am improving on letting things go mindset. I am actually putting garbage bag in each room of the house that needs to be sorted.
      When I go into the room I will look at one or two things and make the decision to toss one of them. Sometimes I toss more. I have wool and material in some bags that I want to drop off at a community group. They have not gone yet but the bags are sealed, and I aim to get them in the boot of the car this week.
      I do work hard to not bring things into the house and I am very aware when I notice I have bought say 6 milk powder packets home as I did in December. I have access to milk. I dont use a lot, I can not even recall why I thought I needed so much. I realised that it was a issue and so am very mindful now generally when I shop. I will be talking to myself and sometimes even out loud.
      I decided last week to buy some tuna for myself. It was on sale. I was putting cans into my trolley. I looked down and I had eight cans. I said to myself why do you have eight cans that is not OK. So I put 6 back. I wish it would work better with chocolate lol.
      Thank You so much.
      I am working on small tasks and focusing on them for a time. It is a work in progress, and I know it will take as long as it takes.

      Liked by 1 person

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