Trauma Relief....bye bye Chatchkes!!!

The Nasties have taken over our house and not one of us has had more then 12 hours of peace within our body since we came back from Disney.  So, besides cleaning up puke, disinfecting and making boat loads of chicken noodle soup I have been weeding through the junk in our house.  Even though I’m congested and coughing like a chain smoker there is a sigh of relief in my heart.
I know I sound crazy, but I can reassure you it’s not the extra strength Dayquil talking.  You see growing up before my parents died I had EVERYTHING a child could ever want….minus the sexual abuse, the dying mother and the constantly deployed Papa in the Navy.  The night I became an orphan I was 12 years old and as I drove past my house on the way back to where I was staying those last few weeks before my Mom died I saw all the lights in the house on.  I couldn’t count all the cars in the driveway and up on the sidewalk.  Those cars belonged to Aunts, Cousins and Uncles….all going through my house and taking everything.  I literally was left with some clothes, a grocery sack of pictures and my cabbage patch doll collection….which later ended up being stolen from me by a Foster Parent.
After my parents died I had nothing to claim as my own and even if I managed to “have” something it was usually quickly claimed by someone within the Foster Care System.  Once I left the system and married my Baby’s Daddy….who was also in Foster Care with me I worked real hard to collect tokens from here and there to make our little place seem like a home.  My whole life I have longed to recreate my childhood home.  When my 1st marriage lasted less then a year I walked away once again empty handed….nothing but the clothes on my back and my Son.  For a few years we nestled along sides of buildings, shelters, abandoned houses and the occasional park.  I was partial to parks, because it was like Disney to my Son and I.  He could play until he fell asleep and at the crack of dawn be the first kiddo to go down a slide or be pushed on a swing.  It was a little bit of joy that I could give him and it beat waking up with a room full of strangers.
After my life changed even more and I met my Husband and started our Family with him, I once again collected little bits of hominess to bring my old Family feel back to me.  About 2 years or so into our lives together we found out we had a HUGE case of toxic mold.  We lost absolutely everything…..literally we went to Target, bought new clothes and dumped the clothes we were wearing.  I was back at square one once again….having this need to create a Family Home.  And so I began……and I filled it with stuff, all kinds of stuff.  I had useful stuff, not so useful stuff, new things, old things, decor, books, knick-knacks, pictures, dishes and truly everything possible.  If someone was giving something away I would be happy to take it.  If it was on sale I would buy more then one just because…..even if it was something I wasn’t interested in to begin with.
Some would call me a hoarder, but now because of all that I have learned during therapy and my Husband’s recovery I can see that there is a real reason why I have accumulated all this junk.  Many times in my life all of my personal belongings have been taken away from me without my consent.  And the reason why I’m collecting in the first place is because the last time I truly felt safe, loved unconditionally and right in my own skin was with my parents in my family home.  So, it’s just natural to want to recreate that environment.  That fear of loosing your belongings is no joke, it’s traumatic….especially if it happened as a child.
So, how can I get rid of the stuff now?  Well, because I’m healing myself from the inside out.  A Home is made by the People inside the House not the Stuff you can fill it with.  I know now why I do what I do, so when that need to save or buy hits me I recognize it, acknowledge it and then I handle it appropriately.  For instance I have this magazine disease…..at one time a few years ago I had over 27 subscriptions.  Sick, I know….but, I recognized the problem and I didn’t ignore it.  Imagine that I’m at the check out in the store and see a magazine…… I see it and know I want it, but I tell myself the only reason why I want this is because in the past you felt like a failure as a Mother and Wife.  You thought all of those ads and articles were going to give you the secrets to be a better person.  And once you read them you would finally be happy and all your troubles would disappear.  But, now you know the truth and you are the Mom and Wife God called you to be…..his word and guidance is all you need.  So, save your $5, smile and be happy about the person you are becoming as you lean more and more on God each day.  This works every time…..when I think about it all those years of reading magazines never helped, I didn’t change after I read them.  Life didn’t get better when I bought a new candle set or comforter.  And the reason is because my marriage was fighting the demon of Addiction.  No new floral arrangement was going to fix that…..even if it would have been a fresh floral arrangement! :)
So, today I can look at all my stuff….especially in our Homeschool room and say do I truly need this?  Does this item give my Family joy or is it weighing us down?  I have been filling up donate bags and garbage bags like my life depends on it…..and it kind of does.  It feels so good to be free from the shackles of stuff.  Because the stuff never gave me the peaceful feeling of Family like a way with Jesus does.  Thank You Lord!!!

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