Isolation is everywhere, even in our own homes. Some of us find ways to disguise our isolation so it feels like protection.
What do I mean? I would like to give you and example. You may have known or even been one of the children that never invited a friend over because you were embarrassed by the mess the house was in. Was this a conscious decision of the parent not to clean up because it kept them separated, protected from the prying eyes and judgements of others? Why do we use just the cleanliness or disarray of our homes to hide behind how we are feeling? As the child we may not have had friends over, this kept us isolated and our parents too. As long as no one approached the subject of the state of the home, and no one did anything about it then the disarray was doing its job. A spotless, clinically cleaned home is not the signal of healthy habits either! Many cleaning maniacs have honestly admitted that they have to have perfect order or they feel like their lives are out of control.
So, maybe it is true the old saying about seeing more about a person than we realise when we see how they keep their homes. But the question remains, how do you isolate yourself?
I isolate myself by being a good listener and getting you to talk about yourself. Hopefully I keep you so busy talking I never have to share much of myself. I don’t care about the house too much, I try to keep it clean but as a single mother of three, full-time job and studies I have learned that dust bunnies wont kill you and the kids can learn to help. I don’t make excuses anymore when visitors show up – I assume that if they like me or love me they know why the house looks like it does! My kids have friends over and so do I. I don’t see my isolation there. My Isolation is emotional. I have packed up my feelings, fears and such and closed the closet door long ago! Of course every new fear and concern goes in a box and I shove it into the closet and slam the door again – it’s getting pretty full after 38 years so with some help I have decided to unpack the boxes and throw out the “junk”! SCARY!
My emotional junk keeps me emotionally isolated. I don’t like it anymore. It doesn’t protect me, it is hurting me and stopping my progress. The worst part is that by example I teach my children to pack emotional boxes of their own, and then of course put it in the closet! Thank goodness I have a friend that has tried to help me see this for years. Finally I can accept that it is true, my bad habit, but I can be changed.
I would love to hear about how you isolate yourself, even in a room crowded with strangers or family. Shed some light on your packed boxes and open the closet door!