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.
wohali: photograph of Joan (Default)

[personal profile] wohali 2019-02-10 06:10 am (UTC)(link)
First off, I am so sorry to hear about your father's abuse - what a horrible thing. My (biological) mother used to go through bouts of forced disposal of things all over the house, and she used to get reamed for it by her in-laws. It'd happen every spring ("Spring Cleaning!"). I've lost many childhood memories as a result, because there's simply no physical trigger to help me remember it, with the traumatic memory on top of it. I sympathise/empathise, knowing that my trauma varies from yours.

Per the new show, she does seem to have grown since 3 years ago (thanks for the summary from back then!) but my biggest fears are the way this sort of message gets amplified and abused by relatives and Personal Life Coaches who have ulterior motives.

I also agree with the point that these techniques don't work for everyone, and I could never invite that sort of judgmental influence into my house.

If you've seen the show: imagine how hard it would have been for the widow in Ep 4 to stand up to The Expert and tell her in no uncertain terms that she'll go through her deceased husband's clothing when she want to, on her schedule, and ALONE. On camera.

Yeah, count me out.