Forgive me if this posts twice. I am not sure how to do this.
I hoard. I live in clutter and filth. I have panic attacks when I try to do something about it.
It began as distraction from pain. Comfort. Escape from loneliness.
I went to secondhand shops and relaxed. A safe place to be. Around people. Wow...
That is the pan my husband "accidentally" smashed the handle off... Only $3.99! I can replace what he took from me!!
If I put my kitchen things (baking pans, measuring cups...) in a dresser in a back bedroom, he won't use (and accidentally damage or lose) them. If I hide my Dad's tools in a box in my closet he won't find them and make them accidentally disappear.
It became sick and perverted...
He stole from me. My things. My trust. He lies about it and plays mind games with me. I can steal. From him. And lie and play mind games about it. (And know I am doing wrong. And be deeply ashamed.)
I am not safe in my person, in my things, in my emotions, EVER, ANYWHERE.
I was a neat, organized person. My husband brought clutter and filth everywhere in my home. I explained about the stress it caused me. I explained that NO ONE could keep up with the putting away, the cleaning, the missing things. I got frantic. Begging for help with work and listening to lying promises. I worked harder. I WORKED HARDER.
I found previously easy jobs caused me to tremble and become stressed. E.g.:
I started out asking him to pay our bills. It is a man's job to provide for his family, ne? And he did it so well! I had always been poor, always scrimped and saved. He took us to restaurants (something I could not afford), he took us to the theater...
He wanted to take care of us. (Sound of angel choir)
So I gave him the bill money I earned. We pooled our assets in his account. He provided...
And then I got the first phone call. The rent hadn't been paid for 2 months.
And then I got more phone calls. One-by-one, the utilities were going to be turned off.
And then I got the letters. We were thousands of dollars in debt. He had never paid off a loan and was being sued. (When we got married, he told me he had no debt.)
And then I got the letter from the IRS. He was being sued, debt, penalties, interest.
I was married two months.
Never a word from him. And now excuses. NOT HIS FAULT. And by the way, the buck stops over there. And of course I learned what I did wrong to make it happen. (I don't actually remember hearing that it was my fault, the unpaid bills, but in the decades since then every bad thing has been my fault, so...)
Solution easy peasy. I pay the bills for both of us. Oops:
All the money we have, combined, I pay the bills. Except--he disappears the bill money.
Solution easy peasy?? The account we put our money in will be in my name only. I INSIST. Or we will not be together! And so it stays. Per my threat.
And the constant chipping away at me: I am controlling the money, I am controlling him, I am making bad decisions, "LET'S TALK ABOUT WHAT TO DO WITH OUR MONEY AND COME TO A JOINT DECISION, OK?" (Stupid look on my face as I say "I'd like that, honey.") Real world melodrama: red-faced man insulting and berating pathetic woman who stubbornly refuses to get it that this time he can be trusted. Years of being insulted, berated, and screamed at for how I handle the money...
Now I find this previously easy job causes me terror. And I have piles of bills here, there, maybe in that box full of clutter? Well, maybe over there.
IRONY: Now I pay bills late, very late, and I am ashamed. And I think he deserves to know the horrific state of our finances, but I say nothing... and hate myself. I say nothing because he drools over taking over all the money again. He threatens: if he finds out about one misstep he will be in charge from now on. I have not forgotten the last time I agreed and he was in charge. Oh yes I gave him several chances. The last one he left me and my daughter without any food. Ya, I had a daughter. Then. Whadda ya know, she has refused to speak to me for years.
Yes I know I am rambling. Forgive me. I came here from a desperate need for peace. There is none.