My family lived in pretty sucky conditions for a while, and a lot of that had to do with it being messy, us not having the energy to keep things up, and us keeping almost everything we were ever given. And we kept things because everything we were given meant something. Even if it wouldn’t mean something to someone else, it meant something to us.
All that I can count on are material things. People leave. They die or they get tired of you or treat you like crap. People disappoint you. Things don’t. Things don’t leave until they’re forced to. People make the choice to go away, and they make it really easily.
The photos of me being happy are all I have left to remind myself that I was once capable of happiness. The dance trophies are all that I have left to remind myself that I could dance. The piano that my mom was given by her father and grandfather is one of the only things she has left from her childhood. The bookshelves she made with her dad are some of her best memories from her past. And we have things that belonged to other relatives–things that can never be replaced. Things that just need to be cleaned up/cleaned off. Things that are perfectly good if you just get past the grime.
So why should we get rid of those things?
Because they’re dirty. Because we’re hoarders. Because it smells or isn’t clean enough. Because we’ve made our beds and now we have to lie in them. Because somehow we’re the scum of the earth and should have to start over because we chose this path in our lives.
Yeah, they’re dirty. Yeah, we have hoarding issues. Yeah, our stuff is dirty and smells bad, but it is all that we have in the world. But we didn’t make the choice to rely on things. It was a path we were kind of forced down. We’ve been disowned by half of our family and friends. The rest either feign interests or just ignore us completely.
Let’s face it, all that we, like so many other hoarders out there, have is the stuff that we hold onto. And that’s probably all we deserve. Obviously, there is something so lacking in us that it is okay for people to dump us or trash us openly. And before you say that I probably am exaggerating, I’m not.
I hear my mom’s mom trash us on the phone. I get to hear the other half of the conversation, where others trash us, when she relays it to us. I got to read things on Facebook, written by friends and family, about us. I got to read things that referred to people like us as being defective or wrong. I’ve gotten to read comments on a fucking television show’s website about me written by family members. I’ve gotten to experience being dumped as a friend by a mutual friend. I’ve gotten to experience being purposely left out of things because of something really stupid. I’ve gotten to experience having people write things on their blogs about me, naming me in it, then deny it when I talk to them about it. I have seen it. I have heard it. I have experienced it. I don’t just think that I’m not wanted or liked or loved or even tolerated, I know it.
I know that, at best, my life is not significant enough to my aunt to forgive me for my 18-year old petulance. I know that my cousin is never going to forgive me either. I know that my grandmother thinks that I’m lazy. God, I know my friends do, too. And people who say, “Oh, I don’t think that about you.” Yeah, they’re usually the ones that I find out are thinking it most vocally to other people I know.
All I have in life are things, so why would you want me to get rid of them? Are you going to hold my hand when I’m depressed? Are you going to spend time with me and not pass judgment on me? Are you going to be there? If not, then shut up.
Let me have my things. Let me have my memories. Let me have the good things and the bad. Let me have my life the way it is. Let me have my mess. Let me have my dirtiness. Let me have it because it is mine. It is all that I have, and I need it. And God knows that if I’m not going to have human companionship, and the city is going to take away and give away the dogs, then I need something in my life that gives me stability and makes me feel whole. I need something, so let me have my collections and everything. Don’t give me shit over it. My life has been hard enough without being nagged by people who just don’t get what my life is like.