Showing posts from July 10, 2011

A Love/Hate Relationship with Travel

Growing up in the hoard, I loved every opportunity to escape. By the time I was a senior in high school, I had flown several places alone for church events and music festivals. I loved going places! But going places was often a double-edged sword. I made plans and told my mother where I was going, but more than once, I returned home to an angry and enraged mother who swore she didn't know where I was or when I'd be back. No matter how much I went over my plans with her, this could happen at anytime. And those returns weren't pleasant at all. (These were never trips...just outings with friends for a couple of hours.) Somehow though, my mind was able to falsely transfer the anxiety I felt every time I walked out the door without my mother to travelling. Even as a married adult with children of her own, I would get deep anxiety every time I left for a trip. I was waiting for someone to yell at me, "I didn't know where you were! How dare you leave and not tell me?&qu

THURSDAY: AWARENESS DAY--Adult Children of Hoarders Spokane

It's been announced elsewhere already, but this is the first official announcement of the new support/recovery group for children of hoarders (COH) in the Spokane area. It will begin on Tuesday, August 9th and meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month thereafter. It will meet at 5025 N. Market in Hillyard from 7:00pm until 8:30pm. Here is a brief description of what I found in myself that needed reworking: HOUSE RULES—Broken laws from childhood: (Adapted from “The Laundry List” of ACA WSO) 1. Be afraid, very afraid and stay away from people, especially authority figures. 2. It's safer to make others happy than risk having a need; our identity isn't that important anyway. 3. I'll do anything to keep you from yelling or getting angry with me, and please don't criticize me. 4. We often become like our parents, marry people who are like them, or find another compulsive/obsessive personality because we are terrified of being left behind. 5. We've lear

To be revealed at a later time...

Romans 8:18-21 For years I've watched Extreme Makeover: Home Edition with deep interest. Given my background, I've always been awed by beautiful "perfect" homes. And nothing is as satisfying as watching a home that is falling apart be torn down, and a new home rebuilt in just seven short days. There is so much symbolism in this to the Christian faith--our lives without faith and hope are like the sad little houses that these families pray will survive just another day. And when we have a spiritual awakening, it's like someone or something comes in to tear down the shambles our lives have become, and then after a short period of time, something magical happens--we find that there is strength and beauty within the horrible trials and tragedies we've faced. It's as though we have been living life, pressing through but not thriving, only for the best of us to be revealed at a later time... If only it took just seven short days to remake a life! But in f

Overwhelming Victory

Romans 8:19-39 During my quiet time in the Word this morning, I decided to look for verses that spoke of freedom. My biggest struggle on a day to day basis is remaining free, casting off the things in my life that would love to keep me bound up--clutter, unhealthy habits, too many commitments, codependent relationships. Everyone experiences these kind of things in their day to day journey. But I know that God has promised me freedom and liberty. I, I CRAVED ...a reminder of the freedom Jesus purchased for me. And yet, I struggled with that freedom, feeling like sometimes I'm unable to bask in my freedom. Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (v.35) (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) (v.36) No, despite all these things, overwhelming vict

Stuff...and the anxiety it causes me

I'm confident that this is a side effect of "growing up in the hoard," but I have a special love/hate relationship with things. I would "love" to have some things that I don't, and I hate having as much as I do. But I'm not a hoarder, and really, my home is typical of most American homes. But I hate having things that don't have a purpose. For instance, I have a few "knick knacks" around the house, but they don't do anything--they don't even have memories attached to them. I feel like I'm abnormal if I don't have these things, and yet having to dust them when they just sit there and "look pretty" is irritating. I am definitely a minimalist at heart. I love IKEA. I call their showroom my happy place. I want simple, intentional design. But at special events--birthdays and holidays--shopping for me is maddening. I say this because I have another birthday coming up and my hubby is once again asking me what I want


At the end of last week's follow-up episode, you can hear part of my interview. The basic gist of the message is: As long as you still have time, there is still hope. Hope is a tough thing to explain. For me, hope is simply the belief that things can get better, no matter how bad they are. This kind of hope is fueled by my faith, but I know other people who also share in this kind of hope who do not practice religion or spirituality. A new support/recovery group is coming to Spokane, and we will likely use a model of the 12 steps for our group. Discussion in the past has been that the inclusion of "a Higher Power" or "God as we know him" would eliminate some from the group. I really struggled with that because I have felt left out by the simple fact that my mother is a hoarder, not an alcoholic or an addict. Society has not really recognized YET that Children of Hoarders (COH) have a need for identity. I believe that a group will help with that. Additionally