On Thursday, I caved.
I made a split-second and final decision to spend my graduation present money on my electricity bill. To my surprise, Seattle City Light was rather swift in turning the power back on. I made the payment during my lunch break, and my lights were on when I came home from work.
The first thing I did was laundry. The second thing I did was feel tremendous guilt.
Having my car repossessed and my electricity cut off have caused me to have somewhat of an inferiority complex. Of course it takes more than those two incidents to give me this deep of a complex, but I’ve had a lifetime of problems that have resulted in a low self-esteem. My car is the first car I have bought for myself, and when it was repossessed, I felt like I didn’t deserve to own a car. When my electric bill was cut off, I felt like I didn’t deserve to have electricity. I still feel this way, especially knowing that the only way I was able to regain my power was to use money that wasn’t really mine. Yes, it was a gift, but I didn’t earn it. If it were not for the kindness of another person, I would still be living in darkness. I feel like I gave up out of weakness.
I feel I should have waited until I could truly afford electricity. It is nice to have hot water. It is nice to have music. It is nice to be able to put on makeup without a flashlight. But I don’t deserve these conveniences.
I am still readjusting to the presence of power. I forget to turn on the lights when I enter my bedroom or bathroom. I forget that I can buy nonperishable food. I still haven’t run the vacuum cleaner. I’ve always been a messy girl, and the older I get, the more of a slob I become. In many ways, the state of my apartment reflects my state of mind — the deeper my depression, the deeper the piles of crap everywhere. Add to this the difficulty of cleaning in the dark, my complete inability to use a vacuum cleaner without electricity combined with the presence of a long-haired cat, and you can imagine the current state of my humble abode. For the month I lived in darkness, I did dishes exactly once. I did not vacuum (and I needed to prior to my electricity being cut off), I barely touched the litter box, I piled clothes (clean and dirty) everywhere, I never took out trash or recycling, and I just tossed my mail (and sometimes garbage) on the floor. When I look around, I get so disgusted and overwhelmed that I don’t even want to start cleaning.
Because of the mess, I generally don’t like having visitors. I made plans with a friend on Friday night, and I made a variety of excuses to keep her from stopping by, but she didn’t really get it. She came over and immediately said “Whoa…I can help you clean if you want.” That mostly just annoyed me. The only thing worse than having someone come over is having someone come over for an extended period in order to clean since I’m obviously incapable. I will deal with the squalor on my own terms and in my own time. Not today, though. Not today.
I have lately been doing some research about people with similar problems. My father was very similar –seemingly incapable of cleaning or maintaining any level of neatness. According to Squalor Survivors, the leading causes of this level of messiness include depression, obsessive-compulsive hoarding, post-traumatic stress disorder. I have a long history of depression, and there are many signs indicating that I do, in fact, have complex post-traumatic stress disorder. I do not have the resources to properly treat my conditions, either physical or mental.
I had two job interviews this past week for the same job. I made it through the phone interview and the in-person. It is yet another contract position, so I have to jump through at least one more hoop before being officially accepted or rejected. This is actually for a good job that is not only in my career field, but pays twice what I make at the moment. It is only a six-month contract, but that would be enough for me to make a dent in my car payments and save some money for moving out of the country, if I end up doing that.
I still have not paid my credit card bill. My debt consolidation company has dropped me, so I am now in collections on several more accounts. If I get this job, I just might be able to get out of this mess. Maybe.