Can you talk me down from my anxiety?
November 30, 2016 12:25 PM   Subscribe

I have a therapist (but won't be able to get into see him for a month), I do CBT and mindfulness and other useful things but the last 6 weeks have blown my stress levels sky-high (over 360 on that psychological scale thing). I'm a late diagnosed aspie with a heaping of lifelong social anxiety on the side. I have some repetitive intrusive thoughts that I can't dislodge and I need your gentle help and logic please.  

I'm moving (13 Dec) because my landlord declined to renew my lease (supposedly because he's going to renovate but I did breach the lease by letting my son move in without asking permission and they took 2 years to notice) AND because i needed to be certain not to have to move in the recovery period after my hysterectomy, which I havent scheduled yet because this.

I put in notice to vacate my flat on Monday (its Thursday - gold coast australia) and it was advertised by Tuesday and real estate agent has advised me people are going to be looking through the mess on Friday (though she didn't say mess). It's a mess. I've taken today (Thursday) off work to try and make it hygenic at least. My major problematic thoughts are below:

1. Omg omg omg strangers are going to come through my filthy home in 36 hours with overgrown garden  (none of the garden guys I've contacted have got back to me) and judge me. Their negative judgement of me is accurate and reasonable. Therefore I am a worthless person and should be shunned by everyone (flippant words, but accurate to my feelings - that intense and  overblown).

2. The real estate agent is not going to be fair about the bond. The landlord will be renovating and repainting anyway (he planned to before i moved in 3 years ago, he gets a once off tax break if he does it in next 6 months - government stimulus policy). In fact, my neighbour rang the real estate when he heard my lease wasn't being renewed to see if he could move his kids in next door and they told him that the place wasn't going to be for rent because reno. So, i said to agent, look I'm going to clean, of course, but if place is being reno'd, can I skip the oven, because it'll be tossed right? And immediately after that my place was advertised on line and I was told no reno. So anyway, wear and tear and 3 years of being a crap housekeeper, they're going to ding me and probably keep my entire bond but that doesn't bother me so much as the imagined judgement. See #1.

I try to tell myself that I don't know these people and it doesn't matter what they think as i already have secured a new place to move into, in a better location, with a dishwasher (yay!) and without my son (who has been bludging off me for a year and refusing to get a job or do any housework). But nope, i can't sleep, my chest is tight, in between the worry of all the things I have to get done, my approaching hysterectomy surgery and 2 months without income, my deteriorating relationships with both my adult kids, the rehomed kitties, my broken washing machine and the hassle of hanwashing everything, my dwindling life savings, my new thyroid problem, the 4 month contract I was counting on falling through, having to talk (oh crap) to people on the phone (like removalists) and then talk to them in person (gah), having to meet new neighbours and remember what they look like for the next time they talk to me, it's just all i think about.

So can you help me reset my disordered thinking processes please, particularly around judgey mcjudgerson landlord/real estate agent and random strangers going through my home (i won't even be here when they do).
posted by b33j to Human Relations (31 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I forgot to mention that the oven is older than the electrician they sent to repair it, and that the kitchen cupboards are at least 25 years old, made of chipboard, held together in place with electrical tape (was like that when i moved 3 years ago). 4 tiles spontaneously fell off bathroom wall underneath the benchtop. I did nothing to them. And the wall in laundry was water damaged through no fault of mine and they took their sweet time getting a plumber out. But other stuff is my fault.
posted by b33j at 12:43 PM on November 30, 2016

Since you're a CBT type, have you gone through a Cognitive Distortions Checklist? This PDF is a good distillation of what I found helpful in the Feeling Good handbook.

So can you help me reset my disordered thinking processes please,
Here are my instructions to you:

1. Choose one tangible thing that needs to be done and that you can finish today. Write it down.
2. Give yourself 30 minutes to deal with your mind's current BS. No cleaning, no phone calls. You need to spend 30 minutes on this.
3. Perform a breathing space or other short mindfulness exercise that you like.
4. Go through the list on page 1, and label each thought with the appropriate distortion(it's great that you already recognize they are distorted, but sometimes you need to name the demon to fight it).
5. Go through the weirdly formatted challenge pyramid on page 6 (definitions on page 2) for each of the thoughts that are bothering you.
6. Perform a breathing space or other short mindfulness exercise that you like.
7. Get to work on the thing from step 1. Even though you might still be feeling anxious and thinking icky thoughts.

I'm sorry things are so hard for you right now.
posted by sparklemotion at 12:44 PM on November 30, 2016 [24 favorites]

Oh... and as an example of a good step 1 thing, maybe just go ahead and assume that you aren't getting your bond back -- do you need to redo your budget? Do you need to make a budget?
posted by sparklemotion at 12:46 PM on November 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

First of all: many landlords do everything they can to keep the bond, even from perfect leaseholders.

Second: I've just bought a house, and for reasons, the former owners couldn't manage to clean it up. You know what: I'm totally OK with that. They are human and have human issues and I'm going to turn it over regardless, as I have with every home I've owned or rented in my entire life.

Handing over a clean and well-maintained home is a courtesy and something to aspire to. But there are numerous situations in life where you cannot reach your aspirations, and most adults have experienced that and sympathize with that.

The rental apartment I live in now was a complete ruin when I moved in. I promise you: whatever you think is bad about your home now was worse here then: doors had been kicked in and shabbily repaired, there were inch thick layers of dirt, beer and cigarette butts on some floors and even a mattress that had somehow merged with the floor boards. I won't go into details about the kitchen and the bathroom, just say I'm still struggling to this day with problems from back then - 17 years ago. BUT - I have no negative views about the former inhabitants, and neither do any of the neighbors (we all helped each other move). There were good explanations for that state of the apartment. And our landlord helped the former renters find new and better homes.

In short: most humans experience a lot of different troubles and distresses through a lifetime, and they are tolerant of other people experiencing difficult times. If they are not, they are judgmental and ignorant, and will be hit by karma in due time. You do not need to relate to judgmental people at all.

You need to follow sparklemotion's advice.
posted by mumimor at 12:55 PM on November 30, 2016 [10 favorites]

The kid that's been living off you rent free? Now he has a chance to pay you back by helping you clean and pack. Get him now, give him a mop and some cleaning supplies, put him to work. If he's not interested in helping, tell him he needs to find somewhere else to sleep because you'll be cleaning out his room. (Literally, you actually need to clean out his room so you can move. If you want to insert something else about how you feel about his actions, that's for you to decide.)

The broken oven and falling apart cupboards? All on the owner. No wonder you want to leave.

Regarding the mess, grab a few boxes now and put the most obvious clutter in it. You're moving anyway so it needs to be packed. Between you packing and your son cleaning, you should knock off the most obvious eyesores in a few hours.

Don't worry about the garden.

Chances are you can book a removalist online without ever needing to talk to anyone so maybe try that? Don't worry about the state of your home for their sakes, all they see is houses in disarray getting packed.

People walking through your home judging you? Make sure you're out during the home open, you'll never see them, they'll never see you. Duck out for a coffee and walk on the beach and when you get back there will be no indication they were ever there and it's like it never happened.

If you need additional help, throw $100 at a Uni student for a day and put them to work. Or buy some beer and pizza and invite some friends over for a packing party.

Then plan a reward for you at the end of it all and imagine your beautiful clean space with a dishwasher that you'll enjoy all by yourself. Relax, you're almost there!
posted by Jubey at 1:26 PM on November 30, 2016 [4 favorites]

We just moved on very short notice, and all I did before we showed our house was remove personal photos and anything with our name on it. That way, they might judge, but they didn't know who they were judging :)

Truly, though, moving is hell, and anyone who has done it before knows what a pain in the ass it is, including the new tenants and certainly your landlord/agent. I've seen some truly heinous living situations during my many apartment searches and never once thought less of the current tenants (except for the place drenched in cat urine, and even then). I will also say that I am a fastidious cleaner and have never once gotten my whole deposit back, so I agree with the above that it's best to not worry too much, or even do too much, and just consider it a write-off (maybe double-check that they can't come after you for more than the deposit, though, which one of my landlords tried to do once!).

Please be kind to yourself. It is overwhelming for sure but it sounds like once you get through it you will have a better living situation all around.
posted by stellaluna at 1:49 PM on November 30, 2016 [5 favorites]

You have had good advice so far on the details. In reverse order, 2. just write the bond off and stop worrying about it. It's gone. Landlords keep bonds all the time. To the point that unscrupulous renters don't pay the last month's rent all the time. Shitty rentaling is A Thing. You can tell yourself it is Because Mess or even Because You, but it's not true in the real world. You could have been the perfect tenant and lost.

And 1. I feel terrible for you when you describe your surroundings. You deserve better. You can have better. You're getting better really really soon. And to me, you could literally do Not One Thing between now and leaving and you would STILL be enacting an amazing and enriching escape in getting out of there. Seriously JUST leaving will be an amazing achievement.

My kids are on the spectrum and I think of my daughter going through what you are and I just want to send you a hug. You are NOT a worthless person. You are a flawed human being like the rest of us, you are one of the billions of flavours of normal. You have every right to Be, regardless of how messy the house or overgrown the yard is. I know from watching my own daughter the immense challenge dealing with all this organising and change probably is for you, without even thinking about the cleaning or the dealing with people. That is a perfectly respectable achievement from all this. Just getting through, alive and largely intact and put of there.

Follow the good advice up there ^. Pack some. Clean some. Breathe.

I cannot wait for you to be in a new, clean, space and not having to deal with broken stuff and shabbyness around you. Best of luck.
posted by intergalacticvelvet at 1:49 PM on November 30, 2016 [9 favorites]

It sounds like maybe you're feeling ashamed of how your home looks? And/or that having strangers traipse through your home just sounds awful? (I know it felt that way to me with my landlord.)

If you think you're feeling ashamed, it might be helpful to read a bit about that emotion from Brene Brown.

When things are so bad that I can't sleep, etc. I usually try some calming tactics that are kind of about bypassing the brain and working on it from the body first. Here are a few you can try:

1) Splash your face and wrists with cooold water. This prompts a survival instinct where your breathing slows/stops--you're short circuiting the parasympathetic system. If you can't splash your face, run cold water over your wrists and concentrate on that sensation.

2) Slow narration. Pick some task (any task) and do it very slowly, while narrating all the sensations to yourself in non-judgmental tones. Example: I had to go to work but was feeling riddled with anxiety, so I narrated details to myself like: I'm closing the door. The door feels heavy. The metal handle is cool. I'm walking down the stairs. The steps feel smooth beneath my feet. I can feel the sidewalk cracks under my feet. I can feel the wind on my face. It is cool. The clouds are gray. Etc.

You might slowly open an empty box, note the cardboard smell, slowly place whatever in it and note how those feel in your hands, etc.

3) Square breathing, 5-7 breaths (in for 5 through the nose, out for 7 through the mouth), any deep breathing exercises.

Try any of these. The idea is to calm/settle yourself enough that you can make a plan.

For those intrusive thoughts:

1) A thought is a thought. When you notice yourself thinking "Omg omg omg strangers are going to come through my filthy home" etc. say to yourself "I'm having a judging thought." The idea is to acknowledge some of the emotions that might be there and to give yourself some distance.

2) Story time! When you notice a runaway train of thought where you're imagining events that haven't happened yet (maybe catastrophizing in CBT), say to yourself "Story time!" Then drop the story and come back to the present moment. For example, you might be imagining how the conversation with your landlord will go about the fallen tiles in your bathroom. You notice you're imagining what he would say and what you would say and your blood pressure is rising and then you say to yourself "Story time!" or "That's a story!" Then you come back to packing up/cleaning your bathroom.

Give these a try?

Lastly, I'm glad your new place sounds so much better. I would try to be out of the house when they bring people by to see it.
posted by purple_bird at 2:01 PM on November 30, 2016 [6 favorites]

Thank you all so much. I did sparkle motion's exercise (thank you for finding something so concise and exactly what I needed to work through) and it helped and I will keep returning it to it. I had become so anxious that I couldn't remember what I was supposed to do to deal with this sort of thing.

Everyone's compassion in this thread was like getting a huge hug from all my favourite people right now. It made me cry, but it also reminded me that I'm a good and decent person, and I needed to hear that so much just now. I can't tell you how much it helped.

I will write off the bond. I will do a decent clean, but I'm not going to worry about painting because they're going to take the bond anyway (especially as when I moved in, I forgot to do the damage report). I have already arranged the removalists and carpet cleaner / pest guy. I'm about 65% packed, just the kitchen and some office stuff to go, and my son's stuff. More boxes are being delivered today, so that can be done before the first people come through. And I'll have the bathroom cleaned, and the kitchen neat as well, and the living room floor washed. I got my bedroom into shape yesterday, everything put away, bed made, floor vacuumed. I can do this.

I'm not going to hire someone to clean because a. Embarrassment and b. I'm losing the bond anyway.

After my surgery, with less stress at home that I've been dealing with for 2.5 years, I'll be able to make some plans to increase the amount of work I do, and recharge my savings, and maybe even get a cleaner in regularly, but to be honest, with no garden to worry about, no cats, no lazy boy, and a dishwasher, i think I'll be able to keep up with everything.
posted by b33j at 2:28 PM on November 30, 2016 [12 favorites]

Also I have very comprehensive lists and schedules so that I don't forget stuff. I'm going to be alright. I have the resources and resilience to deal with this.
posted by b33j at 2:35 PM on November 30, 2016 [13 favorites]

Wow, I can't believe how much you've done already, you're incredibly efficient and don't need us at all! You can totally handle this. Re the bond, yep, they are going to take it and through no fault of your own. That's just landlords in Australia. So, knowing this, don't knock yourself out with the cleaning because they'll bring in a cleaner regardless out of the bond and you'll end up paying anyway. Just pack up get your stuff out and do a cursory sweep.

Oh, and for your new place, make sure you do a damage report going in so the landlords can't sting you for bond next time around.
posted by Jubey at 2:59 PM on November 30, 2016 [8 favorites]


I moved under very stressful circumstances this year, and ultimately into a better place, but the way the landlords treated us was horrible.

All I can say is, while it was stressful at the time, and uncomfortable, I am now really loving my new place, and finally getting started at being organized.

Moving is stressful to most people, and to anxiety-ridden folk like us, things can just loom large.

Glad you have found a way to wrap your head around it, and the one advice I can give you is to realize that it's temporary, and once settled in your new place, you can begin to decompress. It actually took me a little while to come down from the stress, as there were other circumstances involved, but playing a lot of relaxing music everyday, whereas I couldn't before, due to the neighbors being noisy and jarring all the time, has helped me tremendously. I also use my aromatherapy sprays, light scented candles, and just got a new kitten.

I also forgave myself for leaving some things undone at the old place, as a family member was ill, and I just couldn't do it all (they wanted me to pull out the fridge and clean behind it, all kinds of weird cleaning things I'd never seen before). They knew I had other circumstances, and were just oddly weird about some things, and it was really bizarre, so I just chalked it down to novice landlords, which they were.

Good luck, and best wishes at your new place! Make it your own, a peaceful haven. You deserve it!
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 3:06 PM on November 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

This isn't really on point, but since you mentioned having to handwash everything and I don't know if your new place comes with a washing machine, I just wanted to say that I've been amazed, in a good way, by how much entirely functional stuff can be found on freecycle-type lists and sites, including appliances. I've gotten some things that way that I wouldn't have been able to afford otherwise.

Also, I too was impressed by how much you've already done - and surprised, given your initial description!

Best of luck with everything :-)
posted by trig at 3:42 PM on November 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

(1) Re: the mess: You are not a prospective seller trying to make your residence look good, and this action is not entirely voluntary. I don't think you are under any duty or obligation, social or otherwise, to make your place look "good". When I looked at my prospective apartment last December, it was very messy. It's the duty of the tour-ee to look at the structure and overlay it with what they think they could do with the place.

Re: the feelings: negative words can be chosen for any feeling, but positive words can as well. Messy can become homey, lived-in, and joyfully chaotic. Overgrown can be "full of life" instead. It's a matter of framing.

Re: "worthless person": one bit of re-framing I've found useful is to ask yourself if you'd say what you're saying about YOURSELF about another person. Most of the time, you'll be taken aback at the thought of being so brutal towards someone else. Then ask yourself why it's "okay" to say such brutal stuff about yourself.

(2) Re: bond. I'm guessing it's what we Yanks would call a security deposit. If so, the law of most American cities has protection against abuse of security deposits -- including law against dinging people for normal wear-and-tear. Even if you can't afford a lawyer, a lot of American cities have sort of public-minded associations that offer free legal advice for tenants; perhaps there's one you can consult? And has your landlord given you a moving-out checklist whose standards you can meet? Most do.

(3) Re: circular thinking. Medicines can help. But also many other things. There are smartphone apps, either that create a relaxing environment (Rainy Mood) or that help you meditate (Headspace) or that help you with guided meditation/self-hypnosis (Andrew Johnson, who has a musical Scottish accent that really helps you get into it). There is THE ANXIETY & PHOBIA WORKBOOK (Edward Bourne), which is overwhelmingly applauded here on Ask Mefi. One thing I once found very helpful was wearing a rubber band around my wrist, and every time my anxiety started revving up, I would snap it against my wrist while imaging a big red stop sign. Not brutally hard, we're not talking self-mutiliation, but enough to derail the process.

Finally, one thing I see you doing is this: you are adding up all your problems and trying to pick them all up at once. You're not doing one thing at a time, you're trying to handle every single one simultaneously. Take each item individually. When your brain starts adding things one on top of each other, just snap that rubber band and gently tell yourself, "One thing at a time."

Good luck.
posted by WCityMike at 3:44 PM on November 30, 2016 [3 favorites]

I've added this thread to my home screen on my tablet because the suggestions in here are spot on. It's like 6 months with my great therapist (I took notes but can't find them just now).

I've noted in my gmail calendar to not only do a proper inspection report but also take pictures of new place before i move in. I found a good brand reasonably priced washer in a catalogue with good water usage and by chance saw the same washer elsewhere for $200 more (so good bargain) but will wait until I move so that store will deliver and install.

You all are very good at helping me to try to be as kind to myself as I would be to someone else. Thank you.

(There's a swimming pool in the complex I'm moving to, and it's almost exactly 100m from the sea. I won't know myself.)
posted by b33j at 3:56 PM on November 30, 2016 [10 favorites]

In fact, my neighbour rang the real estate when he heard my lease wasn't being renewed to see if he could move his kids in next door and they told him that the place wasn't going to be for rent because reno. So, i said to agent, look I'm going to clean, of course, but if place is being reno'd, can I skip the oven, because it'll be tossed right? And immediately after that my place was advertised on line and I was told no reno.

If you want to do your neighbour a favour, tell them that the agent said they are renting it out after all and he can call back to try and get his kids in again. [And then if the agent is trying to screw you over by just pretending they will rent it out, the agent will be in trouble].
posted by the agents of KAOS at 5:53 PM on November 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

I just want to say that it sounds like you're doing a fantastic job -- you need to schedule surgery, so you planned ahead for your recovery, you found a new place, and now you're planning a move!? That's fantastic.

This has happened to me and sounds like it might be happening to you -- I feel like I'm not living up to what I'm supposed to be doing; "I didn't do XYZ; I'm a terrible person!" Then something will force me to assess -- e.g., I'll do my expense report for work and realize I was out of town 3 days out of every 5 that month, or I'll catch up with a friend and realize just how much I have to tell them.

I'm sorry that there's still so much to do (calling the removalists). But you've been doing so many hard things already that I agree that you've got this.
posted by salvia at 8:33 PM on November 30, 2016

Oops, my middle paragraph didn't make sense. To avoid edit-window abuse, here's what I meant to say:

It sounds like you might be doing something I find myself doing, which is giving myself no credit for the things that are done or accomplished while harshly judging myself for what's not done. I'll think "I didn't do XYZ; I'm a terrible person!" Then something will force me to assess -- e.g., I'll do my expense report for work and realize that I was out of town 3 days out of every 5 that month. Or I'll catch up with a friend and realize just how much I have to tell them. Now, when I'm feeling bad that I haven't done something, I try to consider what I've been dealing with (that I lost about a week to post-election moping) and look at the things that I crossed off my "to do" list. That helps me kinder to myself about what's not done. ("It makes sense that I put off my taxes to the last minute since I just finished this major multi-year project for work.")

For instance, you found a new apartment, gave notice, and are beginning to pack. Meanwhile, your garden has gotten overgrown? That's not only understandable but smart (to de-prioritize a garden that you're about to move away from)! And it sounds like you've been dealing with a lot of other things as well and that you've been being smart about handling the most important ones first.

Good luck with the move!
posted by salvia at 8:45 PM on November 30, 2016

Oh you poor dear, I wish I were closer and could come and help you.

You are going to be great, the new place sounds like it's fab and you're letting go of a tonne of stresses, you won't know yourself.

Make sure you aren't around for the inspection and just stuff anyone's judgement. You are a duck and it will just run away like water. I've inspected plenty of disaster looking places and it's like eh, I'm kind of proud that they didn't break themselves cleaning all day and night. I mean, I've seen places with dirty knickers all over the place.

Everyone's garden is overgrown this time of year. You're in hot humid central, it's like having freaking triffids. People will understand. You turn around and the lawn has grown a foot in a week, it's a nightmare if you aren't garden obsessed with time a plenty.

You've got this!
posted by kitten magic at 9:36 PM on November 30, 2016

Thanks again everyone. I've cleaned the bathroom, mopped the living area and kitchen, and just saw off a couple of cubic metres of decluttering to a mate who is having a garage sale on Saturday. Mopping the tiles and cleaning the bathroom made me feel a huge amount better about the strangers coming through. I'm actually okay with it. You have all been such a huge help, with your kindness and understanding, your practical advice and the anxiety-beating practices.

I'm still struggling with the bond thing - not because of the money - but because of the implication that I was a bad tenant, even though, while I was mopping today, bits of the kitchen cupboards flecked off, and splinters of wood came off the bottom of the backdoor that's weather damaged - on the outside - i know, right?

So once I finish today (soon), I'm going to have a nice hot shower in my lovely clean bathroom and then run through the suggestions above again. It's an impossible system to beat and I don't have the time or energy to beat my head against the brick wall of Australian real estate shonkery. But my brain hasn't caught up with that... yet.

(Also, thank you mefis, for your responses over multiple questions for the last 2.5 years since the ex went to prison, and my son moved in - without your repeated consistent advice to stop letting him continue to rely on my generosity, i would never have had the fortitude to make him move on. Thank you. I get to start living MY life again.)
posted by b33j at 10:55 PM on November 30, 2016 [11 favorites]

I just want you to know - i took a friend to do the inspection report today. New landlord let me have the keys 5 days early yesterday so I could measure up for my furniture but i needed to do the report within 3 days. The toilet seat was broken and the screen doors don't shut properly and I wrote down all the marks and things. Took photos too. Most packing done, no cleaning - but i have this weekend and Wednesday before I hand the keys in. I'm surviving this even with a particularly intensive project and 12 hour days, being called to give evidence in a misconduct case and breaking one of my teeth on a lolly. I have realised that my local friends are really really good friends - a friend helped me take down the fencing I put up for the cats, do a dump run etc, another friend collected the stuff I didn't want and sold it at her garage sale and the rest to Vinnies, another calls me every day to make sure I'm okay, someone else has been picking me up on Tuesdays for dinner and so I can use his washing machine. My son is sulky (I'm tolerating it because fighting would make it worse, and his life is changing) but polite enough. Nearly there. It's Friday night, I move on Tuesday am.
posted by b33j at 3:39 AM on December 9, 2016 [4 favorites]

So glad to hear that you are rocking this the way I expected you to! I'm happy that you've got such great friends and the strength to ask for help.

4 (maybe 3 by the time you read this) more sleeps!
posted by sparklemotion at 7:18 AM on December 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

1 sleep now. Pretty sorted. Have done some amazing cleaning. Son left (after I packed his ute and strapped it down) still angry that I was moving on without him. Massive realisation of how much he's not appreciated all the things I've done /paid for (he left his room empty but dirty and said "you knew I'd do a bad job". I don't even understand how a person could be comfortable with that. Anyway, that's a question for another day. I will be proud of the condition that I leave this unit in - I've done a really good job cleaning, the lawnmower guy was recommended by real estate, I have about 48 hours until keys are due back - I've managed this around formatting an 150 page report and creating high end diagrams / graphics with unreasonable time frames. Life is about to - has changed- in the right direction, it's exciting, it's bern stressful but I juggled all the balls (the removalists are giving me a lift tomorrow - isn't that sweet?)
posted by b33j at 2:23 AM on December 12, 2016 [6 favorites]

I'm in and half unpacked! Its 1 in the afternoon and I'm heading into work :p and later going food shopping. Tomorrow is the last of the cleaning. The removalist guys were so lovely - from start to finish 2.5 hours. The gardener was great and the yard looks awesome. My new place is lovely - i made sure i knew where the clean sheets were and my bedroom looks sweet. I've already had a shower in the new place - I needed it! I know where my meds are. It's been intense, but it's going to slow down soon.
posted by b33j at 7:14 PM on December 12, 2016 [6 favorites]

What an amazing effort! I'm really proud of you. Enjoy your new place, you deserve it. And now your son has to pick up and clean after himself without his mummy to do it all for him, maybe he will appreciate you a bit more too. One can only hope.
posted by Jubey at 2:30 PM on December 13, 2016 [3 favorites]

You people are so lovely. Latest update. I slept in new place last night (I'm here now). I feel ... different. Finished the cleaning today. Carpet guy promised to return keys to real estate (they recommended him). I emailed real estate agent with this info. I really like my dishwasher. I'm taking the next two days off to unpack. Unless real estate tries to make me pay more than my bond (and i took pics), its over. Also I've rented my car spot at the new place to another tenant who tried to negotiate a discount and i was all like lol no, maybe i should charge more.
posted by b33j at 4:31 AM on December 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

So real estate did inspection much quicker than anything i ever asked for, with photos. They aren't happy with varioys things (not all of which I agree with, but didn't tell them). I said, take it out of the bond? They said, cool, but we'll get back to about the carpet in (son's) room - which honestly, was atrocious. I'm so glad i went nuclear and said he couldn't move with me because yuck!
It's probable the bond (which I wasn't counting on) will pay for everything. But I am struggling with the shame and guilt of not being a good tenant. This too will pass. My new place I am being careful in, and I don't have cats, yard, son to deal with.

I'm struggling but I know that soon this won't be a problem.
posted by b33j at 8:59 PM on December 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

But I am struggling with the shame and guilt of not being a good tenant.

I think that your ideas of what a "good tenant" are might be good candidates for being challenged with a Cognitive Distortions Checklist.

Barring that -- Judy Garland may be a good role model at this time.
posted by sparklemotion at 6:57 AM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

Booked surgery - 4 January. Have a lift arranged from the hospital after. Landlord decided to keep stained carpet because it looked not so bad after drying. (I am shocked!) So there's a cleaning and gardening bill, a painting (but not much) bill, and a weird query about the smoke detector. I'm getting used to my new place. Things are getting better.
posted by b33j at 1:16 AM on December 20, 2016 [3 favorites]

Home and recovering well. Disappointed that my kids aren't talking to me, but better that than continuing to be used.
posted by b33j at 2:12 AM on January 7, 2017

I'm glad you're back in your wonderful new home. Do take care of yourself!
posted by sparklemotion at 6:01 AM on January 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

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