Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Terrible Responsibility Of Ownership

I'd mentioned, previously, that I was expecting a couple of subscription boxes in the mail.  I'd hemmed and hawed over ordering either of them because:
  • I hate buying things.  Anything.
  • I hate owning things.
 My mom is a recovering hoarder, and really the only thing keeping her in "recovery" is the fact that she's completely broke, has no car, and no one is willing to take her places to buy crap.  A huge mitigating factor in what I'm about to describe is the fact that she also suffers from severe clinical depression and a couple of sleep disorders.  She had the kind of childhood that would induce nightmares, and which I won't get into without her permission.  To say that she didn't cope with life very well would be a major understatement.

So, she slept a lot.  She took a lot of drugs, off and on and never in a typical addict's way.  She was on a lot of anti-depressants and anti-psychotics.  Through a solid chunk of the 80s and pretty much all of the 90s she was, for all intents and purposes, a zombie.  Housekeeping wasn't high on her list of priorities.  So garbage accumulated in the house.  If the dishes were dirty she'd go buy paper, and we totally had real dishes but they'd been unusable for years.  Eventually the used paper plates piled up, so we switched to styrofoam and she tried to get us to wash those to re-use.  We'd had puppies that were (poorly) paper-trained in a room toward the back of the house.  That room was simply closed up, and never entered again.  We had cats.  We had a lot of cats.  It goes on and on, but you're probably getting the picture.

Having things added to the chaos.  Wanting things made everything worse.  Now, as an adult, I seriously second guess every item I buy.  I've been tremendously careful, and on those occasions that I feel overwhelmed by the things I own, I purge.  I sell, give away, and sometimes out-right throw away pretty much everything I own.  It's a huge part of my aversion to buying new clothes.  It's also why I avoid hobby stores, comic book shops, and stores that specialize in various fandom collectibles.  You know those Pop! Vinyl figures that are so popular right now?  Of course you do.  Everyone does.


It's physically painful, how much I want this.  I don't know if I have hoarding tendencies because I won't let myself have things.  I want the above image, and I imagine having it along with all the others I like and want, and I panic.  I feel suffocated and claustrophobic and overwhelmed.  I can't handle owning things because the things begin to own me and I freak out.  And then I purge, the things I mean.  Whenever I buy a new toy or outfit for Stinkbug I have a mini-panic attack.  I have all of his old clothes, on the off-hand chance I decide to have another child, but their Presence weighs on me.  I feel them, taking up space--not space that could be better occupied by something else, but space that shouldn't be occupied at all.  I'm hardly a minimalist.  I'm extremely guilty of having a shit ton of books.  I have more crafting supplies than I actually use.  I don't know, maybe I wouldn't feel so much anxiety if I didn't find myself living with The Fixer Of The Things' mother, who could have her own hour-long special on A&E.  I wake up every morning and want to burn the house down. 

Laundry's done!

And as I type this, the instrument of my destruction (I'm not over-reacting at all!) has arrived at my gate.

I'll probably do an unboxing video, so stay tuned.

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