Confessions of a Neatnick Slob
August 1, 2005 2:28 PM Subscribe
Neurosisfilter: I'm not very neat. Think "disheveled". Also, I hate to clean on a deep level, it's like a resentment. It makes me angry. Also, if my house isn't perfectly neat I feel like I'm a bad person and my life is spiraling out of control. I get depressed and angry and mean. You can imagine my dilemma.
Is there any hope for me? This seems to be getting increasingly worse as I get older. Not my tendency to leave stuff out around the house, which might actually be getting better, but my inability to cope with the fact that I do it. I've become unable to be happy while my house is out of order, and unable to keep it in order, and unable to not be miserable at the thought of putting it in order.
My parents are not to blame for the situation, but I wonder if my upringing did have an influence. My mother is a neat freak, my father is the type of guy who leaves his socks in the middle of the floor. (yeah they're divorced) When my mother would clean house every week it was one long wrathful act, full of seething anger and harsh words directed at anyone in her path. Hell hath no fury like my mama cleaning the house. My dad is sloppy, though in a fundamentally grosser way than I am. I'm wondering now if I ended up with my parents' worst traits. I have my father's tendency to let things fall apart, and my mother's tendency to feel that it's an indication of deficiency of character, and turn cleaning into an unpleasent and emotional business.
Can I learn to not mind being sloppy? (And if so, how do I deal with people's certain judgement of the condition of my house, and by extension, me?) Can I learn to like to clean? Can I learn to not ever make a mess? I'm sure anyone who does any of those three things thinks it's pretty easy, but they're all against my nature.
It's turning into a major source of unappiness, and it seems like such a silly thing to be unhappy about. Which makes me feel silly and unhappy. Which, in turn, makes me feel silly and unhappy. Is there anything I can do?