I stopped eating off of paper plates when I moved into my current place.
Because my old house wasn’t exclusively gluten free, it just became easier to eat off of paper plates to ensure as little cross contamination as possible than to risk using gen pop (communal) plates and utensils.
That’s also about the time I discovered the plastic twig utensils. At first it was novelty. And then I fell in love with how light weight they are and how it made eating so much easier on my pre-Spinraza hands.
I still use them exclusively now, the plastic twig utensils, even as I eat off of my new ceramic dishes.
I buy them when ever I run across them, which isn’t often. They stopped making them. I have 12 spoons and forks left. I’m not sure what I’ll do when my last one breaks.
There was always this sense of holding onto ‘my things’ in my old house. Keeping track of my spoons, taking care of my important things, squirreling away my stuff.
That was one of the habits that has been hardest to break in my new place – understanding that all of the things here are now ‘my stuff’. The pots, the sponges, the scant things in the fridge. I don’t need to squirrel them away or keep them apart – it’s all gluten free here, it’s all safe.
I’ve gone through periods in being here where I worry about not having enough of the things that sustain me, that I hoard. Throwback from after our Mom died and we were food insecure. But more recently from having to account for the pilfering of my things.
I’ve forced myself to use my stuff and not squirrel them away. It’s been a different kind of existence. I oscillate between anxiety of not having enough and realizing that a lot of my ways are trauma responses and that I’ll be ok.
Though physically I’ve been unpacked for months, mentally, I still haven’t felt safe enough to put down my things.
Not the burdens or fears. Not the whispered things. Not the unspoken or scary things. Not the heartbreaks cried into the pillow.
It took me a good month to realize that I had a whole living room area where I could actually live in. I would force myself to sit in my empty-ish living room and unpack myself mentally into that space, so accustomed had I become to just existing in my room at my old house.
The moments I came to understand how not normal that was and that I had just gotten used to living in one room, I wept. I breathed in the air in my new living area and I wept.
For as safe and unthreatening as it’s been in my new place, I am afraid of putting my metaphorical things down here. I meant to, I needed to, I tried to and the upheaval that brought me to my new place has kept me in a low level panic, even here. Even now.
It feels like never being able to unpack my bags, like sleeping with my duffel under my head to keep my stuff safe, like sleeping with my day clothes and shoes on.
I cried for Me when I explained this to my therapist today. Explaining how I see how scared and anxious it’s making me in not being able to put my metaphorical things down and how though I’m physically safe, I cannot find safe harbor for my things.
She felt my fear and exasperation and let me cry. Ugly sobs. Soulful whimpers.
Anxiety robs you of so much living and light, so much peace and calm.
We therapied some of this but always the time is too short and the words long in piercing through the layers.
I wish I had a nice and neat end to this. But I don’t.
I’ll keep writing though.