Fear of Judgment

There is a large stack of clothes, folded, but piled haphazardly on a table in my laundry room.  My mom is due over in about an hour with her boyfriend and her business partner, to deliver a clothes dryer, as mine went out about a month ago.  I am tied in knots about it.

Her coming over, knowing my house and yard and et cetera are not up-to-par.  Its bothering me.  I have been busy today, including making a trip the gym.  I have not thought about my pile of clean clothes, the bathroom that could use picking up, or the stack of therapy-related paperwork scattered across my desk lately because… well, I’ve been busy living my life.

Now I dread what she is going to say about it.  My priorities, in the past, have been on keeping the boyfriend-of-the-moment happy and surviving bipolar disorder and making sure Kizzie has food and water.

Now, in the present day, I am focused on making sure I exercise and take my meds and stay positive and attend appointments and do, I dunno, all kinds of other stuff, it seems.  I feel busy, even though I am not currently working.

My house is less messy than usual, than in the past, I suppose.  I still feel, in this moment, like a failure.  I feel like a failure, and like I am going to get lectured about the clothes that are not put away and the tub that could be scrubbed and so on and so forth.  I am worried, I am anxious.

I refuse to take a PRN Ativan for this ridiculousness.  Some day, I am going to have to get over concerns that my family is judging me and get over people telling me what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and so on.  Having a house that is not perfect, is not indicative of my mental stability.

Did you hear me, Rosa?  You are not crazy, just because your laundry is not put away.  Yeah, your mom might say something.  So what if she does?  Does that end the world?

No, it doesn’t.  For the past few days, I have been ALMOST happy.  When I think about interacting with ANYONE in my family, I fear judgment.  I keep people away, because I do not really think my clean laundry, tucked away inside the laundry room is harming anyone.

I really get tired of the judgmental voices in my head that tell me I am not good enough, not pretty enough, not skinny enough, not a good enough housekeeper.  I hate that those voices get reinforced, it seems to me, by whispers of my past and the condemnations of the present.

I hate that I have “been there, done that” a kazillion times with bipolar episodes and recovery periods.  That I have a strong sense of déjà vu, right in the here-and-now.  That I am starting all effing over again.

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25 thoughts on “Fear of Judgment

  1. I have the same feelings when my parents come over. I feel like everything has to be clean and orderly or they will think I am going crazy again. I know what you are saying about starting over all the time. I’m always scared of bipolar rearing its ugly head. We have to be happy one moment at a time and constantly on guard for the bad moments.

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    • Yes, constantly on guard for the bad moments. Ugh! Now that I’ve found myself with some mania, it’s good because there’s the energy and the giddiness, but then, ya know, the bad, too. Oh well, at least it is FINALLY making me get back to this comment! 🙂

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  2. I doubt we ever completely get past fearing the judgment of family, especially mom or dad. My mother has been dead since 1983, but I can still hear her voice in my head. In reality, she was a lot less judgmental than she is in my memory. I suspect everyone carries this stuff with them, no matter how old they get, no matter how sophisticated, or successful. Who DOESN’T race around trying to clean up “the mess” when company is expected … and who lives in a house that’s clean and neat enough for company? You don’t sound all that different from everyone else I know — or us (but we are much worse than you).

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  3. I know how it is to constantly have those negative voices vying for attention. I am proud of you hon. You are learning to just LIVE! I was talking about this exact thing in therapy today, the judgement of others. Remember…their judgement is about them, not you! Hugs

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  4. My best friend just came for a visit out of state. My house was not perfectly clean. I told her “I can spend my energy cleaning or spend my time with you…I cannot do both.” She chose me. If people are critical of you, find new people who are supportive. Minimize those negative visits. Can you visit at a coffee shop instead of your house? You get the idea.

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    • That’s great you were able to do that with your friend. I think some of the issue is that I am criticizing MYSELF in THEIR voice, if that makes any sense whatsoever. Yes, I really hate having people over…generally go out to places or to other people’s houses. :/

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  5. Have you completely run out of clean clothes and hence resorted to wearing your undies inside-out to get another day’s wear out of them? Is there a new life form growing in your tub? Is the yard about to be declared a national forest? No? Then don’t worry about it. You are actually taking care of yourself and the people who love should see that. If they can’t, fuck ’em.

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  6. I often feel the same way when my mother visits. It takes a long time to get comfortable with just letting her think/say what she wants without taking it personally. But, you’ve gotta start somewhere, and it will get easier every time!

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  7. I’ve never lived with bipolar disorder, but I’ve grown up surrounded by anxiety and depression. From experience around that, and just through living my life and all the other life experiences I’ve had, I just want to say you have to do what’s right for you. If people question your choices or actions, just tell them, “this is what feels right for me”. No one can argue with that. And if they don’t like it, or the criticise it, just remember to keep thinking that you are incredibly important and you need to put yourself first. You’re doing great. 🙂

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  8. Hello, just found your blog through A Canvas Of The Minds 🙂

    “Having a house that is not perfect, is not indicative of my mental stability.” – ohh boy. I need to drill this message into my own brain. Whenever someone comes to visit I spend hours beforehand rushing around wiping surfaces, vaccuuming, dusting, re-arranging, lighting candles, fluffing cushions…I drive myself mad with worry about it all. As an agoraphobic my house is my entire world and I feel as if a messy house says more about me than anything else.

    You went to the gym and you took care of yourself first. The house can wait. If I had to make a choice about taking care of my body and mind or the laundry on the table…well the choice is obvious! One day we will learn to stop agonising over things that just aren’t important. One day!

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  9. You know what, I have those exact same voices in my head. I often dress/plan for something and in my head have something that says “oh, they’ll probably say something horrible like this” but you know what? The voices in my head who apparently know what people are going to say, have no idea about these people as they NEVER say those things.

    For the record, my bedroom is a tip. I can’t afford to live in a room that’s any larger than a shoebox so there’s not enough space for my stuff. 😦

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