Some days are good (most) and then there are days I feel like I was hit with a Mac truck. This morning is one of those days.

Here's the trouble with me: I'm sensitive. Yep. I have been taking things personally for the last two years. I am having a hard time shaking that. My ground is steady and stable, but I still stumble.

There are a couple ways of looking at my life and the situation I find myself in. I mostly like the happy route — you know, glass full kind of thing. I want the glass to be half full. Mostly I'm peaceful, like yesterday. Mostly I'm happy. I used to be able to let almost anything and anyone slide off my back. Nothing rocked my world except the occasional driver. Today, if anyone even looks at me cross I begin to question myself, my validity. That's what happened yesterday. 

My father came by to watch Oliver last night so I could get my hair done. When I arrived back home all was well. Everyone, including myself, had a nice time. But before he left he dropped what I perceived to be a bomb. My father is that way sometimes. It's good good good and then, BAM!!! Out of no where comes a zinger. They hurt like hell usually too. And they come when I least expect it. You see, he's kind, giving, sweet, honest, open. He absolutely adores my son. That's why when a slap comes, it stings like whiskey poured down my throat. It takes awhile for me to cough it off and catch some air. 

Just before he left he said, "Next time, bring him to my house. I can't be here anymore. It's too much like how I used to live." I was shocked. What? "Too much like your mother. You've got too much stuff." 

Are you saying my home is too messy?

You've got too much stuff. 

And that was it. That was all. We hugged, said our good-bye's and thank you's. Oliver had a blast and was as happy as could be. I took care of my son, doing the nightly rituals. But...

The sting stuck. 

My mother, you see, was a pack rat. Actually, let me be more honest. A hoarder. A real live hoarder. The kind that probably could be on one of those shows. My mother was a great woman; there were some things I wanted to share about her with you this week (last night even). Good things. But the yucky stuff came up instead. 

When my father said that, I felt horrible. He hit a weak spot, a vulnerable soft area, and was right on target. Bull's eye. I looked around my home after he left. Yes, every spot is filled. ZEN is not a word I would use to describe my home. It's more like cottage living meets shabby chic meets Crate & Barrel meets One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest. It's true, I do have a lot. Beautiful painted old cabinets from my grandfather's basement. Built in cabinetry filled with antique ceramic bowls, serving trays, wine glasses, cordials, my mother's china. The drawers are stuffed with writing paper and pens, batteries and light bulbs and table linens. Christmas and Easter decorations are packed in the lower cabinets. There are candles on display, photos, vases, more silk flowers and fake lemons.

Maybe that's why Matt left? He used to ask, "Do we really need that?" and "How many sets of dinner plates do we need?" (I have three sets.) Maybe I have too much stuff. The basement is full to the brim of junk. Matt left me almost everything. Tools, hoses, lawn mower, stuff I have no idea what to do with. He packed only 6 boxes of stuff and then took off. He said he wanted his new place to be clutter free. It was me that cleaned out the remains of his clothing and leftovers. Removed everything from the dresser and closet. Packed it all in the garage and told him to come get it. Even with his stuff gone, there's a full house. I know half is his, legally, but he doesn't want it. (Clean break says he.) I was left, our home was left, our life was left. He so much as said he didn't want the house, didn't care about it anymore. Everything, including me and Oliver, was left behind. You have no idea how much that hurts. I sometimes feel I'm part of the crap he left behind.

So I ask myself, What am I? A pack rat? Am I in the initial stages of hoarding? Will everyone who gets close to me leave once they see me inside and out? I'm going insane. This is too hard to do all alone! It's too much for one person! (blah blah blah, listen to me. I sound like a brat. I know there are single moms out there with no help, who have less money, who have more than one child. So I know I'm feeling sorry for myself. And I also know I'm being very very hard on myself. But allow me to go on, because that was not the end of it.)

A shelf in Oliver's room fell this week. I haven't had the chance to pick it up. There was storage on that shelf. It's all over Oliver's room. Is that what my father was reacting too? Or was it the stack of cloths on his dresser that I haven't put away yet? Or was it the messy kitchen counter? Messy table? Papers on my desk. Boxes of shoes ordered for Oliver. What? What's wrong with me? There is a lot of stuff here, that's true. It scares me that I will have to move some day, and I will have too many things to fit into an apartment. A whole marriage is in this home. A whole settled-in life.

Let me be clear. I'm not a hoarder. Actually, check back later. I'll upload some iPhone pix of my house as it looks this very moment. (The cleaning lady is coming today so yes, it's not in the best shape.)

Deep breath. So that's my dad. It cut.

After my dad left, I chatted with a good friend and confided in him some insecure feelings I was having — not about my father, just things in general about men. He then read me the riot act. He was totally honest and clear, and it just hit every single fear and uncertainty that I have been trying to let go of, to push away. Was he right? What he said made perfect sense, and when I got off the phone I just buried my head in a pillow and cried.

What is wrong with me? Why can't I just be SECURE? Confident? Not full of self-doubt? Not needy. I feel needy. I go back and forth from being ok to being needy.

Here's my battle cry: my insecurities are boundless! I am never sure if what I think is because of my fears and insecurities, or if I am actually seeing things the right way! My intuition is all effed up. I can't tell if a friend is being kind or hurtful. I'm not sure who to trust anymore.I have huge HUGE fears of rejections! Fears of failure! Fears of loss. All baggage from the marriage ending. And... Yes! It's that bad.

I felt like shit when I went to bed last night. Felt like a crappy human being. Felt like I am not a good mother. I'm too emotional. I take things too personally. I see the world as it revolves around me, not others. I'm demanding. I have high expectations of everyone around me and when they fail to be what I think they should be, I get angry. I want more from people than is possible. I'm not a good house keeper. Maybe I am filling the hole in my heart with things. Why can't I keep up with the laundry. Why do I wish I were in love? Why am I not doing better at work? Why can't I get the yard in order? Why do I get so angry? All. The. Time. Little things set me off, and I can't seem to shake them off anymore. I can't seem to keep my trap shut (funny thing that I'll be on a silent retreat this weekend). Why so needy? Why?

I don't feel so great today. My heart is breaking, much like it was when Matt left. And no one is leaving me! What the heck is wrong with me?

I am about to leave for work. I hope once I get in the car, out in the fresh weather and in the world, I can shake this off. 

I just feel like a big dopey loser today. :) I'm laughing now. Laughing because yesterday's post is vastly different from this one. Yesterday I thought well of myself. Today I feel like shit. I want to crawl under a rock.

I was really so looking forward to sharing this incredible book I found about mothers who write. It rocked my world yesterday and the day before because I could really relate, and finally, finally someone has validated my writing. I will share. Some day soon. Just not now. I have to lick my wounds. My heart still hurts.

Some how now I have to pick myself up and turn to God and try to get this day turned around. Try to shake this Mac truck off me. 


  1. Andrea, I think that in our own way, we all struggle with insecurity like this. I am one of the overly-sensitive types, like you, and just the tiniest comment can send me into a tailspin. It’s so frustrating because even when I KNOW I am being irrational, I can’t get a grip on it! My heart feels broken by the tiniest thing. All that to say, I relate. Sometimes it just feels good to know someone does, ya know?

    I saw a quote on Pinterest the other day that I printed out and taped to my mirror.
    “The more you love your decisions, the less you need others to love them.”

    Isn’t THAT the truth?! I strive to be that woman. The one who says “Hey, sorry you feel that way… but I’m good with it!” and MEANS it! So many people have told me that they believe my sensitivity is one of the gifts God gave me, and when it compels me to love people better, I do believe that. It’s just finding the balance between being tender and being insecure that I struggle with. And so do you.

    Just for fun, and because sometimes I need someone to do this for me, I am going to spell this out for you:
    Clutter in the house does not make you your mother. It does not make you a hoarder. It does not make you a bad mother to Oliver. It does not make you un-loveable to a man.

    It means there is some clutter in your house. Like everyone else. The end.

    Praying for your journey often.

  2. The clutter is the least of your problems. At then end of your life no one is going to care what your house looked like. Let it go, your dad has his own issues with clutter. Don't let them become yours.

    I want to address your anger? I had that same explosive anger for a long time, and I know now that it stemmed from a deep frustration with myself, and the decisions I made.

    Stop trying to be perfect. No one is.

    Be honest. With yourself. Who are you, and what do you want? Answer it, then go for it.

  3. *HUGE HUGS*

    I don't invite my grandmother to my house because every time she comes I see her eyeing everything in my house with this anxiety in her face. And she always says something like "I can't be here, it's too messy." Or "I can't wait for the day you make your house pretty." It just deflates me. It's IMPOSSIBLE for me to keep my house nice and I have major issues about that because a messy house is NOT what I grew up with. And it feels like just when I'm at the point I'm getting to be ok with it-- WHAM.
    SO I know how you feel and I know the only thing worth a crap right now is a hug and the sentiment-- you are not the only one that gets to deal with this stuff.

  4. Just want to say a few things, first off, amen to Kelly. You are not your mom. You are not a hoarder. You are a good mom.

    Second, just a thought to answer your questions "Why can't I keep up with the laundry. Why do I wish I were in love? Why am I not doing better at work? Why can't I get the yard in order? Why do I get so angry?" I think you cannot keep up with the laundry and the yard because you are very busy. Work. Oliver. Meetings. Mentoring. Church. Bible study. You cram a lot of activities into each and every day! As for why you get angry .... maybe because you feel like you are caring for everyone else, but no one is caring for you. I sometimes feel like that, too. (Even though I am married!) It is hard when you know that no one else will do things for you and you will have to dig in and do them yourself. Being an adult stinks. The only thing I can say to that is if no one else takes care of you, then YOU should take care of you. Even little things ... tea, a new book from the library, candles, great coffee, time with friends or alone.

    And while it doesn't help much ... we are all insecure. I am. Big time. We all wonder about our abilities and our value and our place in the world. That doesn't make you crazy. It makes you human.

    And lastly, I LOVE your home. Sure, there are plenty of things. But they all have stories. They all contribute to the amazing cozy, welcoming, come-in-and-stay-awhile feeling that I so treasure when I visit you. Go ahead and thin out your possessions if YOU want to. Don't do it because others have an issue. It is your home. Your life. Your style. You have a great shabby chic, eclectic, artsy, bohemian vibe to your place.

    So yes, it was a crummy day. Tomorrow will be better.

    Love you!

  5. Hey Andrea,

    if I am not mistaken, you sometimes read Mandy's Blog (Hudson, One good thing). Not sure if you have been over there in a while and seen what is going on. If you do, it will put things back in perspective...

    Everybody feels insecure sometimes, if you agree that there is too much clutter and your basement is filled with things you don't really need, have a yard sale. Not only is it cleansing (in more than one way) but it also brings in some money. Don't be mad at your Dad, he was saying what he felt.



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