Cleaning my room 

Would-be “lyrics” to existing songs aside, I have come to realize that I see much more of my life through a lyrical filter than I had allowed myself to recognize.  That is to say that since I realized that I’m on the Asperger’s/autism spectrum, and found the descriptions of autistic traits and blogs by other autistic people, I have re-allowed myself to re-recognize that I do view life through my own semi-animated lens after all.  Of course, this was stifled fairly early on by remarks such as “cut the dramatics” and other toxic comments.

I’m done with that.  I’m handcuffing it; it’s not the boss of me.

There will be a re-learning process for sure, and I believe that my re-entry into my natural thought-stream will ebb and flow, but eventually I’ll arrive, being true to myself, unbridled, once again.

Take something as mundane as cleaning, for instance.  Painful and difficult childhood memories put the kibosh on any motivation to clean.  Even long after childhood (I’m now 40 as of yesterday), and well-distanced from my father and his use of my messy bedroom as his scapegoating target, the very idea of cleaning became the stuff of meltdowns.  It was overwhelming.

It still is overwhelming, but it simply has to be done, and I’ve had to admit to myself just how much better I feel after I’ve accomplished a job well done.

Viewing the video camera through my eyes…

I walk into the bedroom that, for various reasons, I haven’t slept in in at least three years.  There’s not a spare square inch to be seen of the furniture surfaces, as they’ve been a dumping ground of sorts for anything and everything one can imagine: receipts, loose change, clothes, and more.  Renaissance Festival costumes worn four years ago.  Little boxes holding amulets of which I no longer remember the origin or significance.  And so on.

Every object stares back at me, stubbornly refusing to budge until I make the effort.  I must make all the effort, for inanimate objects simply have no initiative.  They only have inertia; what is in motion tends to stay in motion, and what is resting tends to stay at rest.  And these objects are definitely at rest.  Ugh.

To make matters worse, everything was covered in a film of gray, the graveyard of dust, which in itself includes all sorts of frightening ingredients.  Assuredly it was a major culprit behind the sneezing attacks and the reliance upon antihistamines, diphenhydramine being the last one standing that actually works for me, and in recent months I’ve had to take a double dose as opposed to the single dose that had always done the trick before.

I know that this dust in this room is not the only culprit, but it sure doesn’t help matters.  At times, it may even be the last straw, the deciding factor between a histamine attack or a clear-sinus day.

I didn’t have a plan for how to accomplish this.  I didn’t even have a trusty to-do list.  I hadn’t broken it down into baby steps, nor had I devised any kind of system.

I just numbly walked into the room and dove into the mess.

I started with the closest, most obviously dust-caked surface.  My partner and I removed everything from the surface of the tall, narrow dresser, and I came through with a damp paper towel and came at the dust from an oblique angle, in a motion that was equal parts “trap” and “wipe”.

And predictably, my sinuses flared, itchy, irritated, and annoyed.  And stubbornly, I sneezed my ass off and worked through it, in spite of it, the frightening miscellany becoming a thing of the past with each meticulous pass.  And true to my perfectionistic form, there were many passes–however many it took to make the wood shine warmly again.  Because wood is alive, you know; it appreciates attention and it glows when cared for.

The dust can go to hell, but I only had the power to send it into the trash bin.  Which I did, while my sense of reclaimed empowerment growing with each trip.

There’s more to it, and it only gets more poetic from here, but you probably get the idea.

I don’t know whether or not nonautistic people think this way.  I’m not even sure that any other autistic people think this way.

But now, I know I do.  And I’m re-acknowledging that.  And I think that my Asperger’s/autistic orientation plays a pivotal role in the semi-vivid thought-forms that materialize during such everyday chores are, at least in part.  And I’m no longer self-conscious about the richness with which I ponder the most ordinary of tasks and situations.

I feel a sense of accomplishment, both in terms of the cleaning and of my recognition of the unique places to which my brain travels as I do it.  I feel a little silly–I mean, everyone cleans, and the admonishment of “dramatics” still echo faintly, reverberating off the boundaries of my brain.  (This is cleaning, for god’s sake.)

But as ridiculous as it may seem, it’s a baby step, and it’s mine to take, mine to claim.

Today, our bedroom; tomorrow, our world.  🙂

***

(Image Credit: Mr Pappas Teach)

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50 Comments

  1. Yay for baby steps! ☺ Very proud of you! 😘 We are working on the garage freezer today ourselves. It’s way out there where it is so easily forgotten when I set out to make meals. We just decided it would be better to clean it out, sell it, and save ourselves on energy…Actually, we decided that several months ago, but just finally found both time and motivation to tackle it. 😀Also, want to say I very much relate on both the overwhelm of approaching cleaning ( Major area in which my mom and I had our worst moments growing up) and the sense of accomplishment when achieving a goal. Keep pressing on, one day at a time. You’ve got this, soul sis! 😘😘😘😘😘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww thank you for your encouraging words, Soul Sis! 😘😘😘. I love hearing your thoughts and experiences. I’m sorry that was a point of difficulty between you and your mom. So happy for your baby steps! I’m so proud for you, too 👍🏼👏🏼👏🏼💪🏼😍🌷💖🏆🌎💟

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, I do this too! I celebrate all the small steps now. Replaced the air filter in my car with the help of Youtube? YAY! Figured out a garage door problem? Whoo!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. doing laundry as we speak.

    for some reason, i would rather walk across town, which i did yesterday. i dont like walking too, too far; my legs are ok with it but my feet get tired and i sweat. and yet, it sounds better today than one load of laundry! couldnt tell you why, but i could quickly put together a list of guesses.

    our energy works in peculiar ways. we dont tire in the same ways, we dont rest or relax in the same ways, we dont recharge in the same ways.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I LOVE THIS. Just yesterday I was doing battle with my messy self that I had to exile in childhood and that cut off huge chunks of a exhuberant creative spirit that was into so many things an so longed to just be left to draw in silence unpulled upon by the cleaning frenzy of my Mum around me… telling me to ‘tidy up’. Beside that the expressions in this are just magic. Happy Birthday beautiful earth angel. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

        1. Thank you, luv! I did 😁. My partner and I went downtown by bus (after walking 45 minutes to get to the bus stop lol 😉). It was great exercise and wonderful freedom to just be able to sit back and let someone else do the driving lol 👍🏼💗🌟🌎🌵✨. Lots of love to you too! 🤗😘💖🌟💖

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  5. Happy birthday for yesterday …
    … Wanna come clean my house too? LOL
    I tend to let the mess build up, then eventually, sometimes, just wade in and attack it like a crazy person … I have tried to develop a system to do things/organise myself … but systems require rules to operate by … and where there are rules … I always find an exception … which totally throws me off track … so diving in and doing seems to work best … once I actually climb up to some place I can dive from … sigh …
    I can do almost anything g I put my mind to … as long as I can do it in MY time, and MY way 🙂
    And re the poetic richness of thought … no – you are not the only one!
    … I always thought that intelligent creative people thought like that, and dull, boring, shallow people didn’t… not sure if it is an autistic trait, or one we share with other creative people … but my brain has no off switch, my thoughts never really stop … always thinking about stuff … how things work … why something looks like it does … noticing weird connections between things … plays on words … silly puns … odd coincidences … odd humour … things like misreading a word as something similar that I find insanely amusing … stuff that I am sure half the NT people don’t even give two hoots about, let alone understand …
    But I think there are NTs who think like that … pretty sure my Mum is NT (definitely has no problems with executive functioning or social/communication skills) but she understands that stuff, and at least sometimes thinks like that …

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Omg thank you so much! 😁😁. Your thoughts are so helpful, and I believe they’re spot on! 👍🏼👏🏼👏🏼. So happy to know that once again I’m not alone 🤗💗. I can definitely relate to your entire lovely comment! Thank you so much for sharing it 💚💙💜

      Like

    1. Thank you so much! 🙂 🙂 Yeah, it really surprised me, the result of letting my usual filters down and just allow the raw thoughts to come forth and make themselves known. Your encouraging words are amazing! Thank you thank you ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow. I could have written parts of this. I DO sleep in my room, though. I live in one room of a house full of renters. Dust is my worst nemesis; ditto, the allergy agonies. I need HELP. I wish I had a partner to give it. Thanks for sharing this, and good on you for ignoring the mental commentary from the past.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, sister! I’ve been there–rent-mates and no partner to help 💐💞. Baby steps, dear one, baby steps. And if you don’t feel like taking one one day, there’s always another day 👍🏼🌺. Thank you for such a kind comment! It’s a relief to know we’re not alone ✨✨

      Like

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