Family Ties and Cleanliness

Over my 34 years of living I have many living environments of my family. Nonetheless, Cleaniliness is a everyday struggle with me and it may be the Bipolar mixing in with it at times. Since rebounding mentally over the past few months, I am proud to say that I have a 640 square foot home I am proud to live in. In reality, I have to thank my parents for instilling cleanliness in my lifestyle, although I have to admit that it isnt easy and that accepting their advice wasn’t always easy and spurred many arguments over time.

As genetics play life, both sides of my family experienced at least one and sometimes multiple mental health disorders in their lifetime and their symptoms were detrinental to my parents and I was very difficult to raise. Nonetheless, my home was always clean and they always instilled it in me that it was to be that way. However I struggled and during my childhood my parents cleaned for me, but at adulthood, while residing with them it was understood that my bedroom as well as cleaning up after myself in the bathroom became my responsibility.

I can’t blame them as I was at fault because I seen no value in doing such activity. They both would state that I should take pride in my space, but because I felt sheltered that I didn’t care at all. I remember several instances after being prompted that my mother would bring a garbage bag into my bedroom and throw all my posessives in it and then to the dumpster down the road. Oftentimes it got to the point that she began filling the trash bag in feelings of hate where I would soon interject and clean my room, although I have to admit that I didn’t take pride in it.

Another instance was when I was completing online coursework and like the several other times I was prompted to clean my room, of which I often ignored my father’s demand and he abruptly came into my bedroom and removed my laptop computer and it would result in a shouting match with him (as it has the majority of my life.) Nonetheless, I cleaned the room their satisfication.

Long before leaving my parents home to live independently, I have always had the dream. I have toured and applied for several places but my parents shown concerns for my attention to cleanliness time and time again, and I see why, because they have both experienced loved ones that lacked clean homes. Being in a federally subsidized property, you are subject to inspection at any time and my parents felt because I lacked the skills at home that I wouldnt instill them in my own, and then be evicted.

A few years back, I had been exposed to a serious hoarding situation of my Great Aunt. When I was growing up I always thought she was different, growing up in the summers with my mom taking care of me, we would run their errands for them and from what a young boy could tell, the house wasn’t cluttered. However, when I was 10, my great grandfater passed away, and as such I would later discover that my great aunt as well as my great grandparents would have a “collection” problem. The symptoms my Great Aunt was experiencing was unique and as a teenager at the time experiencing  the onset of Bipolar Disorder, began seeing signs. Nonetheless I would realize that over time the collecting would get excessive as well as the lack of cleaning the home.

One night I was visiting with my grandparents that lived across the street from her and she called saying she had a possum in her kitchen (it was in a civilized town, by the way) We would discover that the roof was in disrepair and the adverse living situation. Having a cat didn’t help because she didnt care for it in the manner it should have, She would later be removed from the home as it was discovered unfit for human habitation. This resulted in the contents fo the home being destroyed and as such we spent several weekends seeing the collections, it was like one of those on TV. Later the house was sold to the adjoining neighbor and the local fire company burnt it as a training exercise.

Nonetheless, I knew the dangers of hoarding and that I would have tendencies. I did it at my parents home and was told oftentimes that I was a hoarder. When I moved into my own apartment, I realized that I had to be extremely careful of doing this,

But I didn’t and it spiraled as did the lack of cleaning my home.

Being independent I didnt want my parents in my home, but I wanted to the point of being comfortable with myself doing so. My father has only been in my home a handful of times, to do one thing or another, but I would like to have him over, I am just terrified of him being hypercritical as he is , although the last few times he wasn’t as bad as expected.

As I am close to my mother, she knew the patterns and constantly remided me to clean and of the importance of doing so. However, with my recent relapse, I just didn’t seem to care and it shown. At times she would come over and get frustrated and leave, which in turn would hurt my feelings because of our closeness and I would bust my hump and clean, but I was never constant. Within the last couple of months I have had more providers coming to my home to see me as well as getting back on my medicine and finding my way with Jesus, among other things. One person told me that I had the cleanest home of all his clients, bit it wasn’t enough, I still feel that I have to impresss my mother.

In all honesty, I have to admit that the compliments and talking to my mother at lenghth about her values assisted both of us in coming to terms with what is acceptable. As such when she visited yesterday was this collapsable bin of paper in binders. I knew it was useless and am slowly coming to terms with it,

As many with Autism have fascinations, mine is historical events and as such I was getting into a severe habit if saving articles out of periodicals excessively and I have come to terms that it needed to stop at once. This afernoon, I removed that pile of clutter and it never felt so refreshing to do.

I have to learn control and its coming to sense little by little, it will get there.

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