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Old 10-14-2010, 09:12 PM
 
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and provocativa, here is a hug for you. I totally hear you, and I agree with you. If I came to your house, believe me, I would not bat an eye. There are many more important things in life than how diligent one is about wiping the baseboards.

One time my very good friend walked in (I was expecting her) while I was mopping the kitchen floor. She said, "I hope you're not doing that just because I was coming over," and I said, "Well, kind of." She sort of looked sad and said "You know, it's funny, but that makes me feel a little less welcome. You don't have to clean just because I'm coming."

I have often thought about this comment since.

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

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Old 10-14-2010, 09:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mackenzie View Post
Additionally, I think it is, or should be, of greater priority for people with less means to have a cleaner, more organized home. I speak from (LOTS of) experience when I say that a poorly kept home costs money too. Things get lost, and have to be purchased again. Things don't get taken care of, stepped on, maintained, and have to be replaced or repaired.... btdt. A lot.
I totally get this.

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One time my very good friend walked in (I was expecting her) while I was mopping the kitchen floor. She said, "I hope you're not doing that just because I was coming over," and I said, "Well, kind of." She sort of looked sad and said "You know, it's funny, but that makes me feel a little less welcome. You don't have to clean just because I'm coming."
I'm of two minds about this. 1) Friends have said the very same thing to me. My response is, 'Hey, no problem, I need the motivation to get it done. It doesn't get done otherwise.' And I mean it most sincerely.

My house tends towards very messy and dirty. But when I was hosting a Girl Scout troop every other week, well, at least the dining room/entry way and the bathroom were getting tidied and cleaned every two weeks. And the couple of days after, while those rooms were still neat and clean, were just lovely.

2) I have this girlfriend that I really admire. She's a totally together woman: organized, creative, just plain smart. She invited me over to have coffee once and sheepishly said something about the enormous mountain of laundry on the couch, and she laughed and said something about 'honoring me' by letting me see the mess. It was an epiphany and I did, indeed, feel honored.

So I've found a balance between the two sentiments. I don't mind doing a mad cleaning session before people come over, because, well, the house needs it anyway. It helps that I don't have complete anxious breakdowns during these cleaning sessions anymore. And I've been around long enough now to know that many people coming to my home are thinking the same thing I am, when I visit them: oh wow, she's messy too! I hope she knows that's OK with me.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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Old 10-14-2010, 09:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wait a second. It breaks his heart when she cries for you, but he won't let you take her back?

It sounds like you're being manipulated - he's abusive right? Do I remember that correctly? You need to be very careful with him. If he is abusive, DO NOT go to therapy with him. Go ALONE.
He wants her with me, but wants to be sure my house is safe and I'm in my "right mind"--which I haven't been in since I got the DHS visit. I guess I should call it CPS, because that is what it really was.

I think going by myself and having him join in later is good.
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Old 10-14-2010, 09:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by sunnmama View Post
my home used to be in a normal state of clutter. Not so that there is normally stuff on the floor, but so that there was normally stuff on the table, stuff on the counters, stuff on any horizontal surface, and not enough places to put the stuff or all of the clean laundry. Everytime we had a guest, it involved mad clearning and shoving things in overstuffed closets to get ready. (in my defense, i did live in a small home with little storage)

the one thing that helped me achieved clean and organized most is:

Less stuff.

That's it. I got rid of a whole lot of stuff. And we don't miss it. We certainly don't miss the clutter!

The other thing i learned/changed is small daily habits. I've gotten into the habit of picking up toys before we go out in the am, before dh and dd get home in the afternoon, and before bed. Less stuff and frequent clean ups, so it never takes more than a minute or two, and there is a "place for everything". If i notice i'm having trouble fitting toys in the toybox, i make a mental note to declutter the toybox. Everything must fit easily, or clean up won't happen.

I started with one room at a time, adding another "small daily habit" as the last one became internalized.

An inspiring "small daily habit" for me was getting a table cloth and table "decor" (right now my tablecloth is a fabric remnant that i hemmed, decor is the pumpkin we will carve later this month). After every use of the table (meal or activity), clear it off completely and return the tablecloth and decoration. Insist on this one clean, tidy space. Enjoy it. Gaze on it. It can inspire you to create more spaces of order and beauty in your home! Baby steps, one space at a time.
very helpful!!!
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Old 10-14-2010, 10:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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First of all, to clear up confusion---I haven't been depressed lately. It was major depression YEARS ago when things started to go to hell and I've been able to fight off other episodes since, or having moderate symptoms for a few weeks. I work hard to keep my mind in shape.

It is my fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue/ADHD and mothering a toddler right now (and working a part time job before that consumed the time and energy I'd liked to have spent on housework), but all this stress from the CPS crap has triggered a breakdown, but I don't think it will be classified as a depressive episode. I have limited time and energy and I have spent most of it on interacting with my kids and doing the bare minimum on the house--I figured my child needs my attention and in another year she'd need less and I could give the house more.

CPS came back today. I think she accepted my apology--I kept arguing with her, telling her I wanted to exercise my 4th amendment rights and require a court order. she insisted she didn't need one. I finally gave in so to just get it over with. I feel like I have been raped. So violated. But the good news is that it is over and the healing can now begin. I told the baby's dad today that the emotional pain I have been in was so severe, I'd rather have had someone push sewing needles under my fingernails.

I tried to be very nice and "yes ma'am" to everything she said, even the things I didn't agree with (like the portable dishwasher, which I use as an "island" shouldn't be in the middle of the kitchen floor because the child could run into it; my 2 year old shouldn't be sleeping with me, she needs her own bed; my 2 year old should be in day care 5 days a week because she needs the interaction with other kids).

She was also OVERLY concerned, I think about my mental health. I told her I'd get better faster if she lets me keep my daughter. She didn't take her away (or say I can't get her back from her dad), but acted VERY concerned. I already was going to get counseling, so that wasn't the issue (of me not wanting or thinking I didn't need it, and soon). I know she is safe with me. I guess they are worried about liability if they know I have mental issues. She will be back next week.

Baby's dad came to my house tonight. He was exhausted. They have been looking at centers. He is very picky and out of 5 or 6, he only saw ONE that he would even consider, but at least he found that one. One is all he needs, but he is looking at another tomorrow.

I want him to keep her till Saturday, then I want to go back to our schedule of her sleeping with me except Fridays. She will be in day care Tues and Thurs and he'll pick her up and keep her till bedtime.

tomorrow I am lining up a storage unit (he was thinking 6 months, I'm thinking one month, but maybe 2, since every thing takes 2-3 times longer than I expect), and movers. So, Tuesday there will be a HUGE difference. I still have to deal with all the crap (probably 3/4 is actually throw away, give away, recycle--but it needs to be sorted, but the point is that it will NOT be in my house during the sorting stage). and I'll also try to line up some mental health help for next week.

It isn't over, but I do think the healing process has begun...a weight has been lifted.I don't know that I'll ever forgive this man, but it helps to know that he's trying to make things right and he REALLY didn't know he was going to be inflicting intolerable cruelty upon me. Other people may not have reacted the same way, I don't know.
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Old 10-14-2010, 10:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tnmom66 View Post
like the portable dishwasher, which I use as an "island" shouldn't be in the middle of the kitchen floor because the child could run into it; my 2 year old shouldn't be sleeping with me, she needs her own bed; my 2 year old should be in day care 5 days a week because she needs the interaction with other kids.
Seriously? Okay I know the bed thing is the party line for CPS, but the other two things are making me at the CPS worker.

I could almost see being concerned about the hose line, but a 2 year old wandering into something that is ALWAYS in the kitchen? This was something she was able to get on you about and keep a straight face??

The two year olds I know, who are typically developing as your dd is, would either have no interaction with the dishwasher/island--or would climb onto it and jump off all the time.
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Old 10-15-2010, 01:07 AM
 
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tnmom, i don't know the law in tn, but likely you can get an evaluation from the counselor, who can send a letter to put in your cps file. the case worker is not a psychologist, and can't tell the difference between a panic episode and a manic episode, so she has to be overly concerned.

another factor in keeping houses clean, other than socioeconomics and health factors, is definitely what kind of kids you have. my kids are homeschooled, no tv in the house, swing from the clothesline and build a tower to the ceiling fan then pour glitter glue on it, individuals. our house is 4 small rooms. my niece is a sit in front of the tv, mostly use her toys in her room or a small common area, everybody sing the clean-up song and it's all put away kind of girl. you definitely can't choose your kids! my xh never. sits. down. and is explosive. people with high brain histamine, burn the candle at both ends. people with low brain histamine, may tire easily this article is about abnormal brain histamine: http://www.healthrecovery.com/HRC_20...er.htm#hhchild high brain histamine folks tend to be condescending about how much they are capable of, versus other folks. which seems to have happened in this thread. for me, the low thyroid function and undx celiac and casein intolerance contribute to low zinc, which raises copper and lowers histamine and therefore drive to pick up every stuffed animal, or whatever. imo anyone with fibro shouldn't eat wheat or casein, and should take many supplements, maybe tnmom does, i don't know. i know when i take my supplements- which are megadoses aimed at my issues, i have the energy to get everything clean. but shockingly, i cannot afford to take them every day.
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Old 10-15-2010, 01:44 PM
 
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In light of your fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue/ADHD, mother of a toddler and part time job status, I think you should count on the six months.

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tomorrow I am lining up a storage unit (he was thinking 6 months, I'm thinking one month, but maybe 2, since every thing takes 2-3 times longer than I expect),
Edited to add, I posted in a hurry and my post sounds flippant, sorry. I identify with the adhd factor in your equation above. I'm just imagining that in your place I'd have the same intention to use the storage unit for just a month. But once you get the clutter out of your house and into storage you might find it's more helpful than you anticipated. Take your time, that's what the unit is there for.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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Old 10-15-2010, 02:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tnmom66 View Post
He wants her with me, but wants to be sure my house is safe and I'm in my "right mind"--which I haven't been in since I got the DHS visit. I guess I should call it CPS, because that is what it really was.

I think going by myself and having him join in later is good.
This is what my abusive ex told me all.the.time. And then he used CPS to try and take my son away from me entirely, and teh lawyer he hired for our custody battle is very seasoned, and successful in TPR cases. He seriously thought he was going to TPR me and remove me from my son's life ENTIRELY.

I don't think him joining you in therapy is good AT ALL. He threatened your life, and the life of your son. That NOT good therapy material - you need to go ALONE, and ONLY alone.

Read the book, "Why does he do that" By Lundy Bancroft. It's fabulous.

PS - it doesn't matter what they're called, I think they have different initials in every state. CPS is just the more general one. Here I think its ACS? maybe, who knows.
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Old 10-15-2010, 04:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by loraxc View Post
One time my very good friend walked in (I was expecting her) while I was mopping the kitchen floor. She said, "I hope you're not doing that just because I was coming over," and I said, "Well, kind of." She sort of looked sad and said "You know, it's funny, but that makes me feel a little less welcome. You don't have to clean just because I'm coming."
I have a bit of this viewpoint, myself. If someone makes a big effort to clean up for me, I feel as though I've been pushed out to the "formal" category. If we're not close, that's not a big deal, but it feels weird with friends. I know other people feel diffrently, though. DH went on a cleaning frenzy a couple years ago, because a local MDC mama was coming over. She was coming over to meet the kids and help me out, because I was pregnant, exhausted, not keeping up well, and concerned about how I was going to do when I had my c-section. Cleaning up for her visit, when she was coming to help me with the house, just confused me.

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Old 10-15-2010, 04:25 PM
 
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Oh - and this thread inspired me to get back to work on the toddler bed yesterday. I put in 35 minutes, and there are still clothes on it. *sigh*

I'm guessing that getting this place into truly neat and tidy condition will be approx. 250-300 man hours. Mind you, I don't care that much about being that neat and tidy. To get it to where I think it should be will probably be about 75-100.

At least I'm staying on top of the kitchen counters and sweeping these days.

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Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing ribbonpb.gif Aaron Ambrose ribboncesarean.gif (11/07) ribbonpb.gif

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Old 10-15-2010, 05:32 PM
 
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Perhaps my lazy laundry methods may help someone reading this thread.

Dirty laundry goes directly into the washing machine. I don't use hampers. I use All free liquid laundry soap when my husband throws his nasty work clothes in, otherwise I use vinegar and baking soda. I wash when it's full, which is every day.

I transfer to the dryer when it's done. [The washer and dryer are in my bathroom.] I keep a laundry basket on top of my dryer, there is a shelf above my washer and dryer where I store extra kitchen hand towels and washcloths (the kitchen is really tiny and I can only fit 4 washcloths and 4 towels in each drawer at a time). The bathroom has a large closet where I keep towels, cleaning stuff, sewing basket, and other misc. things.

As I take the clean and dry laundry from the dryer, I fold and put away each towel and washcloth one by one, I toss all mine and the girls clothes into the basket on the dryer, and put my husband's clothes in a pile on top of the dryer next to the basket. That way it's sorted as it comes out and all towels are done if I quit at that point.

I then (then or later) take my husband's pile, throw them on the bed and one by one hang up his jeans and shirts. Then I go grab all kid panties and socks from the basket and hand a pile to each girl and they put them away in their panty and sock drawers in their closet (large plastic drawers, not a dresser). Then I take their clothes and my clothes from the basket and throw them on the bed where I hang my clothes while I encourage them to hang their own. I finish mine, then help them with theirs.

It sounds like it takes long, but it really doesn't. Overall, laundry is my favorite chore because it's the only one where when I'm done, it looks good. I wash dishes (by hand) in the morning before, during, and after breakfast and put away the dishes after they've air dried.

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Old 10-16-2010, 02:25 AM
 
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I just want to point out that seeking help and finding help are two different things. This has veered off the OP's situation, but mental health issues can't always be successfully addressed, even if the person tries.
I live with bipolar, anxiety, social phobias,and PTSD there is no cure for the bipolar it will always be there (even if I can get the PTSD behind me) I can learn to manage it and know my triggers, learn to seek help prior to things reaching a crisis point or I can drown (bringing my children down with me). It's a choice a person has to make daily and I know first hand that is not an easy road (and that crises can still hit you on your blind side). I still believe that mental health is not an excuse and making it one just makes it that much easier for the person with mental health issues to avoid learning illness management.


OP you continue to be in my prayers as do your children. I hope that at the end of this you and your children will be happy and healthy.

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Old 10-16-2010, 08:28 AM
 
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tnmom, i don't know the law in tn, but likely you can get an evaluation from the counselor, who can send a letter to put in your cps file. the case worker is not a psychologist, and can't tell the difference between a panic episode and a manic episode, so she has to be overly concerned.

another factor in keeping houses clean, other than socioeconomics and health factors, is definitely what kind of kids you have. my kids are homeschooled, no tv in the house, swing from the clothesline and build a tower to the ceiling fan then pour glitter glue on it, individuals. our house is 4 small rooms. my niece is a sit in front of the tv, mostly use her toys in her room or a small common area, everybody sing the clean-up song and it's all put away kind of girl. you definitely can't choose your kids! my xh never. sits. down. and is explosive. people with high brain histamine, burn the candle at both ends. people with low brain histamine, may tire easily this article is about abnormal brain histamine: http://www.healthrecovery.com/HRC_20...er.htm#hhchild high brain histamine folks tend to be condescending about how much they are capable of, versus other folks. which seems to have happened in this thread. for me, the low thyroid function and undx celiac and casein intolerance contribute to low zinc, which raises copper and lowers histamine and therefore drive to pick up every stuffed animal, or whatever. imo anyone with fibro shouldn't eat wheat or casein, and should take many supplements, maybe tnmom does, i don't know. i know when i take my supplements- which are megadoses aimed at my issues, i have the energy to get everything clean. but shockingly, i cannot afford to take them every day.
GREAT POST. GREAT information and very helpful. Thanks for this.
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