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Houses and Hearts (Warning:Troubling Emotional Stuff Within)
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Shuram Gudatetris
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:10 pm    Post subject: Houses and Hearts (Warning:Troubling Emotional Stuff Within) Reply with quote

I am terrible when it comes to keeping my house clean. I live in filth. I often think to myself that I would be a lot happier if I kept my house clean. But whenever I do a house-wide cleaning, which does feel good, I can't bring myself to maintain it, to keep it clean.

You see, the thing is, nobody ever comes to visit. Nobody but me is ever in my house, ever sees my house. There is just me and my dogs. In the last ten months, the only person to have been in my house is my ex-wife, and she has only been here twice. It has been four months since the last time she was here. Also, I live an hour and a half away from all of my friends and family. I go visit sometimes, but no one ever comes to my house.

So anyway, I have a hard time keeping my house clean. I mean, I do dishes and laundry as needed, but things like vacuuming (dog hair!) and bathroom cleaning, and that sort of stuff gets away from me. And then the dishes and laundry get away from me, to where I am just maintaining enough o survive, while everything else stagnates around me. The dirt and filth and trash and dirty dishes and disgusting carpet and dirty toilets and moldy sinks just builds and builds and builds.

See, the thing of it is, for the last three weeks, I have been maintaining my house pretty well. It is kind of nice to see it looking nice. But still no one comes over. No one ever comes into my house. And it makes me feel like my house is not worthy of anybody else. It is valueless, it is trash, there is no need to maintain it because nobody wants it. And I am ridiculous for maintaining something so ridiculous as my piece of crap house.

I mentioned that I always feel like I would be happier if I kept my house cleaner. But the truth is, it makes me sadder. At least when there is a layer of trash and filth hiding it, I can see why it has no value. Or at least pretend that is the reason. When there is no trash or filth, the truth is glaringly bright. I have no value, therefore my house has no value.

Of course, I have no value, because my heart has no value. My soul. My essence. That which is me, is worthless. Which brings me to my point. Houses are a lot like hearts.

When you shut yourself off to the rest of the world, bury your emotions and your spirit, your heart starts to rot. It stagnates, it breeds fungus and bacteria inside your chest. All the negativity builds up inside of you, like layers of trash and filth building up inside an unmaintained house.

But when you try to sort through that stuff, try to work out what is bothering you, and you open up your heart again, it hurts when you open your heart and no one wants to come in.

So why would one want to maintain a house if no one would ever want to come into it? Why would one maintain one's heart if no one wants anything to do with it?


Last edited by Shuram Gudatetris on Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:24 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First and foremost, of *course* you have value. Group Hug

Second -- I'm no therapist, but it sounds to me like you could be depressed. Depression is a chemical imbalance of the brain, not something to be ashamed of. Couldn't hurt to talk to your doctor about it. Wink If you're not ready to go there, there are about a billion depression-screening tests online. Here's one.

Third -- Group Hug
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Houses and Hearts Reply with quote

Shuram Gudatetris wrote:
But when you try to sort through that stuff, try to work out what is bothering you, and you open up your heart again, it hurts when you open your heart and no one wants to come in.


I've had talks about the same thing with members of my family. It can be hard to self-evaluate, and not necessarily like what you find. But remember that just as you can clean the material house, you can clean-house in your head as well.

I find an easy way to breakout is: other people. Go to a library or mall and make some conversation. You'll get shot down for sure. Sometimes it takes me a dozen attempts before someone will actually converse with me. But I makes me feel so much better to get that human connection. Do this every day, and soon, you'll find someone like you were wrote about. Someone who finds the value of your heart and mind, and wants to share theirs. Don't get discouraged and don't stop self-evaluating. Especially don't stay at home. Get out there!

Lastly, I agree with Ali, if you feel that you can't make the changes you want, consult medical help. I've been in multiple times just to speak with my Doc, or Psych, and never once taken the Pharma approach. But it is helpful to know that solution is out there, if I need it.

Much love...
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is a vicious cycle, isn't it? I am in the same situation. the more the house is dirty, the more you (I) keep people at a distance, the less reason you have to clean the house. And it feeds the depression and the isolation. Nobody comes to my home either. But if I am fair about it I have to say I do nothing to encourage anyone to come to my home. I don't socialize, when I come home I stay to myself. And when I am in the throws of my sadnesses my house is scary.

Ali and Balon make good sense.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

aliantha, thank you. I didn't mean to cry out woe is me, though I suppose it came out that way. When I mentioned my worth, I was trying to convey the path of logic my brain follows : if no one wants it, it has no value. So that is generally how I feel. But the meat and potatoes of what I really wanted to express was how similar houses and hearts are. One is where you live physically, the other is where you live emotionally or spiritually.

aliantha and balon!, you know, I think I would like some therapy to help me sort out some stuff, but I don't know how to go about it.

balon!, I hate bars, but some guys I work with insisted I should go hang out with them at the pub. I don't like leaving opportunities unexplored, so I went for 30 minutes. You know, to break the pattern of leaving work and going home. So I do try sometimes. I never thought about doing what you suggested though. Going to the mall or library or something. Sounds intimidating, but maybe I will try it.


lorin wrote:
Nobody comes to my home either. But if I am fair about it I have to say I do nothing to encourage anyone to come to my home.


That's true for me, too. I had tried inviting people a long time ago, but nothing ever seemed to come from it, so I don't anymore. Fuel expenses are a concern for most would-be visitors, anyway. Maybe I should try throwing a party Wink

lorin wrote:
And when I am in the throws of my sadnesses my house is scary.


Most definitely goes for me, too.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your sense of self worth should never be dependant on any external thing or person. If you can't see your own worth, it's unrealistic to expect others to discover it.

Work on finding that...even if, at first, all you can see is that you keep your house clean. Very Happy

The more you find, the more visible the rest becomes.

And anyway, as I think was suggested up-thread...keeping your house clean does help your perspective too. Maybe not for you right now, but good habits help form other good ones I think.

Our worth is not intrinsic to our circumstances, possessions, companions, jobs, or environment. Self-worth is a state of mind...it needs to be achieved internally before it can have an external expression. In my opinion anyway. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree, Av. "Liking yourself" sounds trite, but it's no easy task over the long haul-- even the most conceited see through their own masks sooner or later, and the heart is not always pretty. It's a mix of the best and worst and mediocre, but it's where we really live.

Shuram, Group Hug

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if no one wants it, it has no value.
It would seem that way, but what value does a hummingbird have if no one ever sees the sun glint on its iridescent feathers? What value do those stars and galaxies have that human eyes will never see? What value the song of the blue whale no one hears? No one "wants" those things either, but the universe would be less without them.

I think a party is a good idea; or just having a few friends to watch that game/dvd or whatever which might feel safer as a beginning. So is getting out of the house, like balon! suggested, and finding a friendly bunch in a church/synagogue/volunteer organization of choice where you can find a sense of community. For me, since I'm not socially smooth and kind of a doofus, I work with children, who adore me, and I them. While being the only grownup has its downside too, being adored is pretty good. Smile If you're really afraid of being hurt, then a good start is a park, cafe or mall where you can just watch for a while. Even if you bring a book.

I used to live in the sticks and no one came over. Now our house is Grand Central Station... there's upsides and downsides to both. Very Happy But I think it's better to be around people, although I didn't think so when I was young. Studies with old folks have shown that having even a short conversation with another person once a day does more than all the Sudoku and reading and stuff they recommend. And I'm sure it's not bad for younger people, either.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having gone through a major dumpage episode in 2006, I found myself in an apartment by myself after years of always sharing my space with someone else. I found that keeping the place picked up made me feel good. I kept it pretty well clean the majority of the time, and found that I sunk into lower depths when it wasn't. Keeping entropy at bay helped my mood, and made me remember that I existed.
I took it upon myself to do something every week that scared me. One was to try out for a play that I was interested in, and I got in. Then I had a commitment, which was good for me. While I rarely enjoyed rehearsals, and wasn't a major player in the play, it did get me out of the house a lot, and made me feel better. And when I met my wife to be, it impressed her that I was involved in that.
Obviously doing something like a play isn't for everyone, but getting yourself involved in something is good for the soul.
But during the dark period, my friend told me about a beer commercial that really hit home, for some strange reason. It showed some sexy lady and then said, "you won't meet her sitting in front of your television." I kept that in mind whenever I was staying home moping.
And remember, you can invite other people over as well. Sometimes people don't come over because they think you might not want them to see the place, especially if there is history of them seeing your place not well maintained. Or you could just have lazy friends who don't want to drive down, which has been part of my problem as well.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I almost suggested throwing a party. But then I remembered my history of throwing parties which nobody shows up to, and decided against mentioning it. Laughing

I very much like Cag's idea of doing something every week that scares you. Even picking one day a week when you go somewhere other than home right after work -- to the mall to hang out, or to the library, or something. Just to look at something that's not your own four walls can help.

Volunteering is uber-excellent -- but I'd wait a couple of weeks. *Every*body volunteers around the holidays. I imagine the number of volunteers drops sharply in January, so they'd be especially thrilled to have you then.

As for finding somebody to talk to -- ask your doc, like I said. Or google "counseling" or "mental health" in your area. Or talk to your clergy, if you have one. If your employer has an Employee Assistance Program, you can find one through that program -- and don't worry, they aren't allowed to rat you out to your employer that you're getting counseling. Avenues abound. Cool Just gotta take that first sucky step...
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you everybody for all the good ideas. I don't have a doctor, but I know I need to get one. Every time I go to a doc when I am sick, I get lectured. But I do have some sort of Employee Assistance Program at work.

I often think about doing volunteer work, but it is so hard to get myself to try new things. I am a creature of habit. I did manage to donate blood last week, though. That is something I have been wanting to do forever but never think about it at the right times.

I like the idea of committing myself to one new adventure every week.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:23 am    Post subject: Re: Houses and Hearts Reply with quote

Shuram Gudatetris wrote:
See, the thing of it is, for the last three weeks, I have been maintaining my house pretty well. It is kind of nice to see it looking nice...


Applaud Yaaaay... I want to vote that you being able to keep up with dishes and laundry (more or less) and knowing you're able to... is a GOOD thing.

I struggle with my house and my mess too. I formed a habit of decluttering, and then stopped doing it...
But there are things in my house I'm proud of... the set of books that we have is "normal" to us, but fascinating to others... we don't have a TV, and this seems natural... there are some creative solutions I've found because of some of the challenges I've got...

So I want to ask, what do you have in your house that you're proud of?
...or at least that's kinda unique and good? =)
This doesn't mean trying really hard to have people over right away so they can see you in your "natural environment"... but you surely have things of value, and one day (if not in obvious ways now) you will be "exporting" your culture to others.

deer wrote:
For me, since I'm not socially smooth and kind of a doofus, I work with children, who adore me, and I them.


Also, love this line! May have to use it someday. =)
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His sense of evil is diluted or lacking altogether, and so he has forgotten the price of restoration.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm no psychologist but I'm going to put my 2 cents in anyway.

I've been through enough breakups to have learned that your heart should have value to you. If it has value to you, it won't matter if anyone else values it or not. But, someone will because that is an attractive attitude for others.

But the choice is ultimately yours to make. It is entirely up to you. You can choose to stay in your "filthy" house or you can clean house.

You can start cleaning house by doing things you like. If it's sports, join a local league. If you like reading, spend time at your local bookstore. Most of them have coffee shops and lounge chairs. If you do it often enough, people who frequent those places will recognize you and begin talking to you, slowing building a relationship.

Take some college courses in your areas of interest. They don't necessarily have to be academic. By default, you will meet people and make friends.

My point, I guess, is to develop yourself. Become the Most Interesting Person In the World and people will naturally flock to you because you have developed your own self-worth and self-love.

Starting with your house is a good idea to help lift your spirits about yourself. It sounds that you don't like the way it looks. You have the power to change it to be anything you like. Fill it with things you like, things that make you happy. And it doesn't have to be expensive. One of my favorite things is a little wooden fish I found for $2 at Goodwill. Buy a picture that catches your eye or better yet, hang photographs that you've taken. Paint the walls a different color. Or, if you like cooking, learn to cook gourmet meals.

If you make your home (heart) a place where you like to be, other will want to be there, too.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 9:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Houses and Hearts Reply with quote

balon! wrote:
I find an easy way to breakout is: other people. Go to a library or mall and make some conversation. You'll get shot down for sure. Sometimes it takes me a dozen attempts before someone will actually converse with me.
Thumbs Up Thumbs Up Also, I want to nominate you for awesome just for sheer dogged persistence and guts, balon! I see myself giving up loooong before I get to even half that.
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The reader of today looks for this motion, and rightly so, but what he has forgotten is the cost of it.

His sense of evil is diluted or lacking altogether, and so he has forgotten the price of restoration.
When he reads a novel, he wants either his sense tormented or his spirits raised..."
-Flannery O'Connor
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I flat (at the moment with just two other people), so my house is generally pretty clean, and I help to maintain it that way for the sake of others.

But my room is a tip. Laughing Every room I've ever had since I was has been the same. I do big, spotless clean ups and it takes maybe three days before it's messy again. My sense of self-worth doesn't really affect how my room looks...but it affects how I perceive it. If I'm depressed, I see myself surrounded by filth which is just an external reflection of the state of my soul. If I'm happy, I just see mess. Either way, I'm rarely bothered to clean it up. Laughing Laughing

There have been some beautiful responses to this thread already. Balon and others suggestion that you find the courage to get out and meet people is most important, I think. Doing volunteer work is a great idea; the people you'll find there are already reaching out to complete strangers, so are likely to me much more receptive to someone wanting to make friends.

I went for a long, long time not feeling any self worth either. Av is right; if you can't see your worth for yourself, it's going to be tough for others to. But for me, it took others to see it before me, and teach me (completely by accident) to see it for myself.

You have something precious to offer; you want people to desire your heart. You say no-one wants it, but really that's all most people want; intimate connections, friendship, love, the experience of really knowing another human being. There's nothing about your heart that excludes you from that. Look at what's happening here. A deep personal experience is offered, and people flock to to respond and share in it. Of course, the outside world is less forgiving than this little corner of the web. But the same principles apply. If you can bring yourself to offer yourself, people will offer themselves in turn.

I've been talkign too long, but lastly I'd like to recommend the Depression thread in the Close. It's a warm place. Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's an interesting comparisson between hearts and houses, never really thought of it that way before but now I do I can see how true it is.

I'd been single for ages and living by myself. Then this year I have ended up in a serious, committed relationship with the women who I really believe that I'm going to spend the rest of my life with. Sharing thoughts, feeling (our hearts) together was, for me, a bit challenging at first but then became easier as you get truely comfortable and in love with someone.

But sharing my flat, my space, my castle, my private retreat has been more difficult than I thought it would ever. I'd become so used to living in my wonderful little batchelor pad, having things like my girlfriends shampoo, toiletries, clothes and stuff start to appear was almost difficult to accept at first.

It was weird, although I love her to bits and love spending time with her, having her stuff in my flat almost made me resentful at times!

But, as time moved on, I'm over that phase now - we're not rushing things, but she'll be moving in with me in the next few months. Now instead of getting irritated with her shit in my flat, it now reminds me of her and makes me think of her when we're apart.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cambo wrote:
Look at what's happening here. A deep personal experience is offered, and people flock to to respond and share in it.


I would like to thank everyone for their advice, well-wishes, ideas, and concern. The Watch is a truly exceptional and unique gathering of generous and caring souls, and I wish I had better words to describe just how awesome you all are.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's all good. Wink

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am really bad at taking advice. I haven't volunteered anywhere. I don't go out to try to meet new people. I certainly haven't made any effort to keep my house clean.

I am in a really bad state right now. I came back to this thread and re-read it and see plainly what I already knew: I have no one to blame but myself. I left work early Friday night and have called in every day this week. I don't know if I even have a job anymore. My job probably wouldn't be such a challenge if I wasn't so unhappy in other aspects of my life. I don't believe in myself anymore....they tried to make me train someone at work on Friday, and I felt like they were trying to rub it in my face how bad I am at my job...I had just starting to get a tiny speck of confidence back, and they dumped a trainee on me; how am I supposed to train someone how to do a job that I am too stupid to perform myself?....to top it off, I have to wear a respirator at work because I have a high blood/lead level;the mask makes me feel like I am suffocating. I can't go back, the mere thought of putting that mask on terrifies me, and I know the first time my machine skips a plate I will freak out.

But my real problem is not my job. It is me. I hate myself. I want to give up.

I have tried so hard to be independent through out my life, to prove that I can be happy on my own But now all I see is how pathetic I am. I hate being lonely. I can't do anything without seeing the scars I cut into myself. The scars are a reminder of how worthless I am. At first, I cut because I wanted someone to see how bad things were. But when no one cared, I cut to show myself that I am worthless, to prove it. No one ever did care, and when I look down at myself, there is that truth just sitting there, no way to deny it.

I think about cutting all the time these days. But I hate myself too much to do it. The only thing more pathetic than a kid cutting himself is some 30 year old piece of crap cutting himself. But these days all I want to do is cut veins, because I feel like if I bleed enough, then I will figure something out. It is stupid, I know. Of course, I am not talking about suicide, I am just talking about bleeding. I can't kill myself, because I don't have anyone to take care of my dogs. I hate myself for that: how stupid a reason is that for not killing yourself, dogs?

I went and talked to my HR director. I told him I was very unhappy and had been for some time, and that I needed help. He gave me a phone number to call. I haven't called it yet. I tried three times to call today. The third time, they told me in a recording that all information was private unless I was a danger to myself, and then I hung up.

I don't know why I am typing all this stuff out. I shouldn't be doing this. I am sorry if you are still reading this. I just need some sort of expression. And I hate typing on my typewriter or writing in my journal to myself. Those kinds of things make me feel more stupid and more lonely.

I was originally going to say something about my friend Craig and his friend Ryan that he went to prison with. They went crazy on drugs and went to prison for armed robbery. They always lived on the edge when they were younger. I have allways tried so hard to be responsible, because I was taught that you had to be responsible to get the good things in life. Well, here I am with a good job (maybe? i don't know if they will let me back), a huge nice house, good car, good dogs...and I couldn't be more miserable because I am so lonely. Meanwhile, the reckless youths grew up to have wife and kids and are living the dream (of course they have problems, too, but they are not alone). I have asked a few girls out on dates but I get shot down, and I have since learned that everyone thinks I am weird. I call it loser. Losing isn't about what you have or don't have, it is about what and who you are.

I should quit now. I keep getting lost on these tangents and not saying what I meant to say.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Uh, shouldn't the fact that they asked you to train somebody suggest that they think you do know what you're doing? Laughing

Not killing yourself? All reasons are good reasons.

Everything else? Can't tell you anything you don't know already. It's never as bad as you think, most of it is in your head, nobody can fix it except you, you actually have to do stuff to get it fixed. That's the hardest part. Doing stuff.

Me, I'm a big believer in fake it 'til you make it. Very Happy Act as though it's true, and eventually it will be. But you actually have to do it.

Good luck.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
Uh, shouldn't the fact that they asked you to train somebody suggest that they think you do know what you're doing? Laughing

That was my first thought, too. Why would a company -- which is in it to make money -- jeopardize its ability to make money by having someone incompetent do the training? Doesn't make any sense, does it?

Shur-lord, I've gotta get ready for work myself, so I'll be brief. I'm charging you with two tasks today: 1) Call that number the HR director gave you, stay on the line, and TALK TO SOMEBODY. 2) Call your office, apologize for not checking in, and tell them you've been too sick to call.

Do those two things and check back in here. I expect to hear back from you later today. 'Kay?

Oh, and -- Hug
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