I can’t tell you how much it wounds my soul. I am a murderess. I have violently killed three mice. Ugh. Not only a murderess but a serial killer to boot. And I believe there is yet another mouse. I need to buy more traps. I do not reuse them–trap and brutally-killed mouse go into the trash bin together. Why traps you might ask? Because the mice don’t suffer long as they do with glue traps and poison. It’s silly to cry because you’ve killed a mouse, but cry I indeed do. It feels so violent. I don’t have a violent soul. I am a pacifist. But now that mice have invaded my home, I must defend it! Mice take no prisoners. They chew your wires and crap in corners and under furniture and reproduce at an alarming rate. A mouse litter gestates in a mere 21 days. So this pacifist has declared war. Even if she does cry over the wee victims’ spilled blood. If it’s war, it’s not murder, right? Still, it’s not something I’ll put on my résumé.
Sometimes I approach personal growth with an open heart. Sometimes, it drags me along kicking and screaming. I don’t think that mouse-killing has anything to do with personal growth, it’s just something that has to be done. But I have been doing a lot of growing these years. I recently came across something Scott Peck said about growth on a friend’s Facebook post, “The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” That goes along with psychological theory that people do not change unless they are in a significant amount of pain. This also goes along with the truism that insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.
I hoped that when I moved into this house ten years ago, I would never have to move again. I hate moving. It gets my OCD’s panties in a twist. I love my house. It and I–well, we fit. And I have a lot of stuff. Packing. Moving. Compulsive Hoarding Syndrome. I now have to go through all my stuff and sort it and pack it. My anxiety level climbs higher every day. Is this about personal growth? It seems I finally have to deal with my stuff. It’s not that I haven’t had to deal with it in the past. But it seems I have to get a handle on it. Kicking and screaming I go into a rather uncertain future. I see boxes and paper and a garage sale in my very near future. I long for my cousin Kathleen’s* assistance. If only she could come live with me for the next two months. She spent ten days with me two years ago and we blitkrieged the house like German Stormtroopers. She’s amazing.
No, this time, I’m on my own. It’s not like I haven’t been responsible for a move before, of course I have. But not one so huge completely on my own. When we moved into this house, I was virtually on my own. MCF was working on a deadline and of no help, my son was five and my daughter was one-and-a-half. I nearly lost my mind. Then the day after we moved into the house, he was off on a journey halfway across the world. My mom tried to help me. She told me that when we made our big move from one state to another when I was young, she had everything put away in one day. I couldn’t fathom that. If you ever look in my cupboards and drawers and closets, you will find them extraordinarily organized. My OCD demands that they be so. I finally understood the difference between Obsessive Personality Disorder and OCD when Dr. Landau explained it this way, “An OCD sufferer will spend three hours organizing a drawer and be unhappy with the results. Someone with Obsessive Personality Disorder thinks they always have the right answer for everyone and has a pervasive pattern of preoccupation with orderliness.” I must start now. Alone. Usually at this point I would start procrastinating which would drive my anxiety even higher. My mantra now is, “Action is the cure for anxiety.” I must do this differently than I have in the past. There is no room for procrastination and flakiness.
We were in court today over the house matter. MCF wanted to find me in contempt over a variety of things. The judge did not agree. My lawyer was immensely pleased with how things went. But then, I’ve done what’s been asked of me with regard to the house. Now I just need a buyer before I have to lower the price any more. I need my nest egg to be tyrannosaurus egg-sized. I loved my lawyer today. He was shiny today. I loved my real estate agent too. She was exceptionally brilliant. And I loved the fact that MCF’s lawyer didn’t show up at all! Unfortunately she wasn’t found in contempt. Another lawyer from her office came when she spaced the hearing that she called! MCF’s lawyer is the type that gives attorneys a really bad name. She’s the scum-sucking bottom-dwelling barracuda in Guccis. My real estate agent told me that she interviewed her when looking for a lawyer for her daughter and they came away repulsed. But she wasn’t there today! Yay! I’m sure that had something to do with how well things went for me. MCF wasted a whole bunch of money he could have paid towards my children’s college fund today. Bastard. Now is the time to start righting a whole bunch of wrongs.
I have to admit (*wink) I was in a tizzy before court. For two years I represented myself before I found my attorney who was willing to take my case pro bono. Each time, I was viciously brutalized. I don’t have the ability to defend myself, especially in a sustained beating. I’m sure I’ve mentioned the freeze, fight or flight developmental…I don’t know if it could be classified as an anomaly? I get stuck in the freeze stage and can’t move on to the fight or flight. I just make myself as small as possible and hope I don’t look too tasty or that predators miss me altogether. So I am in mortal fear every time I have to go to court. I’m very fortunate my lawyer took me on. He is my protector, and holding his hand (sometimes literally), I find I can face whatever is thrown at me. I’m completely and totally wiped now, but happy with the results. I’m very fortunate regarding the way things turned out.
Which leads me right into how grateful I am for all that my life holds.
“Grace isn’t a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It’s a way to live.” ~ Jacqueline Winspear
1.) For my children, who constantly surprise and amaze me with their capacity for grace and love and forgiveness.
2.) For my love Trey* to whom grace is a way of life.
3.) For Zelda and John who helped me with my car, thank you.
4.) For my real estate agent, lawyer, and even my judge, thank you for the gifts you bestowed upon me today
5.) For my furry children for their love and warmth.