I will tell you a story from my teen years. It’s a thing about which I still carry much shame. It is a thing that still happens now, and I am 40 years old.
I lived in a foster home, a pretty awesome one. Getting your own room is the holy grail of foster living. It’s arms in the air butt times! Your own room, you don’t have to share it, you won’t have a parade of short staying kids cycling in and out. There’s privacy and you can secretly experiment with make up and high heels and seeing how short you can make your skirt. Is good.
I got my room and the deal was that if I kept it clean I could keep it. Totally a good and appropriate situation. In the beginning it was perfect. I bought posters for my wall and made a little make up table, set up my little stereo and everything (and I was going through a ‘phase’, it was the public radio classical music station all the way). And then my brain caught up with me. I stopped cleaning. I didn’t know why. I was given many warnings, probably way more than I deserved.
It was totally an easy thing to do. It was a pretty small room, most of the mess was dirty clothes that could be scooped up and put in the laundry room. Dirty dishes go upstairs, the rest of it just needed some sort of attempt at a meaningful pattern.
And on the last day, the very last warning, the get-it-done-or-else day. I stood in my bedroom right there in the middle of the room and I sobbed because I just could not clean it. Think about that, think hard. I stood in the middle of my room and with fully functioning limbs and hands I could not do the task that I knew how to do and all I could do was cry. But I didn’t clean it up. I moved down the hall to a bedroom with 2 other girls (it was a big room, we weren’t crammed in there at all).
Most of you are thinking, “damn, JUST DO IT!! Just pick something up!!” You can’t even comprehend this, can you? It just makes zero sense to you. “JUST DO IT” is exactly what my mind was screaming, it was why I was crying so hard, my head was so very loud.
I know most of you just can not wrap your brains around this. I am 40 years old and this is the damage that I carry in my brain. This is one of the reasons I am always trying to find redemption. Maybe if I can apologize enough my brain will stop skidding and find some traction. And this is not up for debate. You do not get to tell me I do not have to do that. I will not discuss it. I want you to see that this is what it is like sometimes You don’t have to understand it, you just need to know it is there.