packing, shame, and sweet husbands

My husband kicked me out of the house this evening because I had a wonky brain breakdown over all the packing we have left to do for our move tomorrow.

It wasn’t an angry kicking out. It was a loving one. He did it for me.

(Part of me wants to wait until the thoughts and emotions fall into manageable pieces for me to organize into pretty sentences. But I’m not going to because of something called impulse. Rather I’m sitting in a parking lot and writing this on my phone. So I hope you can excuse all the typos.

Wait a second, Alissa, don’t you always have a lot of typos anyway?

Oh, be quiet!

I’ve worked before and after work every day this week at a good, steady, mindful pace. Not a sloppy mixture of procrastination and panic like other times I’ve moved.

My husband wanted to do all the packing today. He’s one of those people. So I did me this week and packed in increments and he took off Friday to finish up. We gave each other space to be ourselves even though we were stressing each other out.

(The approach could be tweaked, we know. Give us a break.)

Here’s the thing. My vision and what I had carried out as of last night was very organized and in control by my standards. I decluttered as I went and kept the boxes sorted and tidy. I self talked my way around several almost freak outs. I was in control. A real life, competent adult.

When I got home today, however, and saw how much was left to do still and realized the remaining boxes done by my husband would not be sensibly arranged or sensibly set up to allow for a smooth unpacking but instead would be a hodge podge of this and that and the other with no rhyme or reason for occupying the same box other than they happened to be out of place near each other in the same cluttery room… I don’t know, friends. I broke the fuck down.

I was straight up sobbing without understanding why.

The picture is coming into focus now though.

My past moves (all before marriage) land other big projects in life have started out good enough, not as great as this time but still with the best intentions, but as I lost steam and ran out of time have became hectic, chaotic, disorganized whirlwinds that made me feel horribly out of control and deeply ashamed.

Ashamed I couldn’t manage all the moving parts.

Ashamed I thought I could do so much in whatever insufficient amount of time i planned.

Ashamed I’m messy.

Ashamed it seems I’m lacking the mental systems and self discipline everyone else utilizes freely.

Ashamed of how disorganized my own brain is sometimes.

Ashamed of how easily I get overwhelmed.

Ashamed of me.

As good as this move was going, I had felt a hope and pride in the work I had done up til now and excited thinking about the move I would feel confident and not humiliated throughout. The project I would wear like a pretty badge proclaiming Alissa can finish things and finish them well.

When it hit me that I wouldn’t be awarded such badge, that everything wouldn’t be perfect or polished, that it would look a lot like other moves and similiar transitions in life, the sense of defeat was huge.

I felt like my fears were true: I’m hopelessly sloppy, disorganized, lazy, incompetent. A failure.

Yuck. 😦

But I’m reminding myself progress is slow and life will sometimes be like the haphazard boxes my husband packs even if you are progressing.

And I’m trying to let go of that ideal I had. I’m trying to trust myself to have the mental stamina and focus to make sure I organize as we unpack. I’m trying to trust my sweet, patient husband’s packing will get done and be sufficient (He insisted should I just go to bed early instead of stress because I’ve already done more than my share). I’m trying to remember I can be bad at moving and still be worthy of love (isn’t self criticism make us feel the most warped things?).

But it’s hard and there’s not a pretty bow on it yet.

No happy ending. Just me in the car with mascara on my face lamenting how flat Coke I received at the drive thru was.

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