Archive for August 2009

A Whole New World

August 21, 2009

I couldn’t sleep last night; the coyotes were howling.  Although they could have been miles away, their cries were borne by the wind right to my bedroom windows.  Terrible sounds of anguish and pain as my imagination pictured a helpless animal being ripped apart by the pack.  At least that’s what it sounded like to my sensory-overloaded ears. This came after a nasty storm earlier in the evening that had me scrambling to shut the casement windows against the torrent of rain and wind that assaulted the area.  Grateful that I was able to open the windows again, the quiet after the storm was soothing, until the coyotes started.

Otherwise, some peace has returned to my life, mainly because I’ve been forced, by my health, to cut back on a lot of activities.  In doing so, my attendance at others’ dramas has been avoided.  As a result, my blood pressure and anxiety have lessened greatly. My own personal family drama has passed; all that remains is the pain, worn to a smooth surface after many years. My brother’s legacy and leavings will be dealt with by others.  I can not, nor ever could, change the trajectory of his life although I tried.  Others allowed it to go on for their own reasons and now they can reap the rewards and the tremendous burden he left behind. They will be well compensated, however. Blood money for looking the other way.

Maybe the reason I can’t sleep is because of a new A&E show called Hoarders.  On Monday evening, I watched with a combination of fascination and revulsion, yet I couldn’t turn away and I will surely watch it again. It’s like Intervention, except the subject is hoarding  and how to treat it.  It is very difficult to work with sufferers as they can be very stubborn and in denial. As someone who has dealt with this issue in family and friends, it was particularly scary for me.  I immediately cleaned my refrigerator after watching the show. (You’d have to have seen the show to understand the compulsion to clean that it causes in most viewers.)  Fortunately, due to financial constraints, my refrigerator was fairly clean anyways, but it did get a good wipedown and I checked the expiry dates on everything in it.  The next couple of days my apartment was decluttered and a lot of stuff was pitched.  Feel better, but also feel guilty for letting even a small amount of clutter accumulate. A very legitimate concern, given the family history.  The question does still remain as to why someone becomes a hoarder. Seems a common denominator is the fear of loss, usually the loss of memories of a person lost or the fear of destitution. One woman subject hoarded food, fearing that she would be without.  She faced eviction because of her hoarding. Her home was a fetid mess of rotting produce; her freezer bulged with years’ old food and she refused to throw out products until they were “bulging.”

All that aside, life is a bit better for me these days.  My newfound realization that I can’t solve others’ problems and that “no” is a legitimate word in the English language is a major epiphany and one that, while late in life, is greatly appreciated.