azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
Azure Jane Lunatic (Azz) 🌺 ([personal profile] azurelunatic) wrote2019-02-06 12:59 pm

KonMarie vs. Me

Once upon a time, I was a wee Smol growing up in the suburbs of Alaska. I had a mother and father and sibling, with some poultry in the yard and a small vegetable garden. (People who claim this constitutes "a farm" are probably unfamiliar with the entire concept.)

Long after I grew up and left home, my father got a diagnosis and treatment for the energetically self-loathing bouts of depression, exacerbated by the 4 hours of daylight in the dead of winter. "Finally!" was the siblings' verdict.

During those years before I was able to to flee the cold dark scary bits for some brighter future, there were two of my dad's hobbies that are suddenly becoming relevant.

I mentioned that it was energetic depression, or something like that. As a fun self-harm tactic that involved the whole family, Dad would go on "search and destroy" missions to rid himself of un-useful objects. While doing so, he mostly confined himself to his own possessions... mostly. He would motivate us children to tidy whatever had been annoying him by threatening to "clean up" those things.

We took him seriously. He had demonstrated that when he was in A Mood, he would do just that. As he did with any object that the siblings were squabbling over. There is a normal level of squabble-negotiation that is normal between kids. It doesn't usually escalate to a fight. Mama would mostly ignore it. Dad ... really hadn't been present enough to understand the concept. So when an object went into serious enough contention to pass his sensory overload threshold, he seized the object and destroyed it, to the sound of two now actively hysterical children fearing for their own physical safety. (With precedent: we had never required medical attention after a beating, but the combined effect was such that my 38-year-old self cringes at a male voice raised in anger.)

Sometimes he would break whatever he was throwing out. Usually he would burn it.

Usually he regretted it afterwards, but regret didn't change any of his actions, remove any of the trauma, or restore anything he had destroyed. It was rarely cheap to replace.

When KonMarie first started going around, I was wary. Then one of the "funny" quotes surfaced, that her siblings had been angry with her for throwing away their stuff. That was enough for me.

I'm unlikely to be engaging with KonMarie in a positive light, even though the aspect of facing up to one's possessions and interrogating one's reasons for keeping it and one's unlikely to be realized aspirations is important emotional as well as physical work. The fact of Marie's history of a less-violent version of this aspect of my father's abuse will forever taint her as a person to me.
ravan: head banging on desk (desk_headbang)

Miss Me With DeCluttering Gurus

[personal profile] ravan 2019-02-07 07:27 am (UTC)(link)
I tend to side-eye any popular decluttering maven. They all get so overwrought about... nothing.

One of those decluttering TV shows had the _____ _____ intervention person insisting on throwing out dust jackets for books! The whole thing was abusive as hell of the person they were doing the intervention to. Others advertise what are relatively clean rooms as "before" and "after" looks like a prison or monks' cell.

Do I have stuff I don't know why I have? Not much, because the stuff I no longer have a use for I stick into a cardboard box labeled "donate" and eventually donate it. Any of the rest I just haven't gotten around to throwing out. Yes, my home is still very cluttered - I have a lot of interests and hobbies, so I have the stuff that goes with it.

So no, miss me with KonMarie or whatever her cutsie handle is.

Want some real decluttering advice? If you have memory issues (head injury, stroke, age related, etc), store stuff in transparent bins that stack, and label them besides.

Really Useful Boxes have saved my sanity, and kept me from accidentally duplicating a great deal of stuff because I could SEE that I already had it. I may be replacing my kitchen cabinet doors with clear acrylic for the same reason - so I can see what I have, and where it is. I still have some drawers and cabinets that are mystery spots, because I've literally forgotten what is in them, but that issue is less now. The next stage is shelving for my boxes, so I can easily access and use what I have (fabric was threatening to take over my house...)

Yes, lots of my identity is wrapped up in my books and my crafts. I like it that way. I'm also a shitty housekeeper, because drudgery for its own sake does not enrich my life or do anything but cause me physical pain.