Twice I planned to have one of those “in-home” parties at my house. We set a date. We talked about a menu and I was fully onboard with this. Then I got busy and forgot that I really needed to create a list of guests. I bailed and rescheduled the party.
We got in touch a week before the new party and I still had delayed creating a list and making sure I was following through with it. I am completely grateful that my friend didn’t completely bail on me with my flakiness.
What I came to realize is that I was afraid of having a party at my house. It isn’t that I haven’t had people over or heck, even parties at my house. But for some reason this time I was nearly paralyzed with fear & anxiety about this in person party.
What’s not to like? Food? Friends? Adult Beverages? A house whipped into shape for visitors?
Ah…there it is…The “house whipped into shape” that was the trigger point that tripped me up. Even if I have done my darndest to clean every corner, corral every dust bunny and banish every dog hair; I am still afraid.
Afraid of judgement. Afraid of ridicule for not having a “perfect house.” In truth, most of us don’t have a “perfect house” and it really isn’t necessary anyway! Also, most folks I know aren’t coming to see my house.
However, none of that matters because it is a residual fear from growing up in a hoarded home. We learned to hide out. Not answer the door. Don’t let people in. They might judge you. They might say mean things. They might tell you to “clean it up” even if you are just a kid who didn’t create the environment.
Often there is also the issue of “doorbell dread.” We HOPE no one stops by unannounced. We are wary of inviting people over-even if we have known them for years! Even if our house is “normal” and we ONLY have a pile of clothes on the couch that needs to be folded.
It isn’t that we don’t want you there. It’s that we don’t know how to release the anxiety or fear of judgement.
I am a work in progress for sure and I know I will eventually host a party again.
But not right now. I need to go corral some dust bunnies first!
Tammi Moses is the founder and Chief Encouragement Officer of Homes Are For Living, LLC which is a Veteran Woman Owned & Operated business located in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, WA. She provides consultations, assessments and workshops on the issue of hoarding and inspiring others to take their adversity and use it for the greater good. She is the voice of #AKOPTH-Adult Kids of Parents That Hoard. She is also a voice & advocate for #YLITH – Youth Living in The Hoard. You can connect with Tammi at firstname.lastname@example.org and on social media.