Laundry, Are We Talking About the Same Thing?

Today, Charity at The Wounded Dove is hosting her Tuesday linkup and the prompt is laundry. She lets you know a week in advance what the topic will be, so you have time to think about what you’d like to contribute. As I folded, washed and transferred clothes from my washing machine to the dryer that always closes before I can get a pile in (don’t you hate that?!).

Laundry, Are we Talking About the Same Thing? via @fillpraycloset #memoir #childhood #writing

I thought “how is this interesting? Unless…we aren’t talking about the same thing?” Always the metaphorical maniac, I quickly sorted through the laundry, both dirty and clean, of my life. Ready?

It’s no secret that I love to write. When I decided to allow myself the freedom to say that, I set out to write the book I thought I always would – and who knows, I may still. I created a goal of at least 500 words a day and stuck with it, for a week. A week? A week. I am not one to abandon passions, well, let’s not talk about my opera singing career.

I wanted to start from the beginning and get it all out there. You see, I’ve only divulged snippets to my husband and closest of friends. I even talked to a therapist once, who after the first session needed a therapy session herself.  My life really reads like a psychological thriller the likes of Mommy Dearest and it’s all painful because there’s really no reason at all whatsoever for any of it. I think that’s what sucks the most about being a victim.

The more I wrote, the more I was living out the stages of grief all over again. I don’t mourn the loss of a relationship with my mother (she’s alive and well), I mourn not having what a mother should be, the mothers you read about in magazines and see on sitcoms. Granted, no relationship is ever perfect, but I needed, I deserved, that mom. I needed and I deserved, that dad. What I got was a far cry from that. A far cry. With every page I typed out, denial would turn to anger, then sadness, depression and ultimately mourning the memories that I recalled and would fantasize an alternate ending to.

Instead of a “You only won $25?!” on the other end of a phone call from Texas when I came in first place in a singing competition (out of 250 other women, by the way), my family was in the audience cheering me on complete with homemade signs.

As I wrote these vignettes of hurt (and that was one of the milder memories), I would get upset and ask myself how that could happen. You see, the why of it, I’m over. There’s no logic to any of it. But the how, as a mother myself who lives for her boys, is just baffling to me.

Then I would feel guilty. What if she read it? What if she’s reading this? It’s not that hard to find me. What if everything I ever write is being read by her; talked about and scrutinized by her. You see, she’s had a hold on using control and fear for years. It took my marrying Mike to begin it’s undoing – and only just recently did I understand the depths of her grip. And you know what I’m learning?

  • Faith helps us to accept what we cannot understand.
  • Life becomes easier when you learn to accept the apology you never got.
  • and…

Laundry, Are We Talking About the Same Thing? via @fillpraycloset #gooenoughmom #writing #memories #family

So my laundry? I don’t know if I’m ready yet, as much as I thought I’d folded it all into neat piles and and perfectly coordinated outfits for every occasion. At 36 years old, that bothers me. As a writer who thought the first thing she would tackle were her demons in a memoir, it’s awful because I don’t know where to go from here.

I just sit with the piles of perfectly folded and stacked memories all around me. We all know what happens when you touch the top of a pile of neatly folded shirts? They all come down and you’re in the middle of a mess. Maybe that’s where I am now.

Join the rest of the Good Enough Moms at The Wounded Dove.

#goodenoughmom link up via @charitylcraig



18 thoughts on “Laundry, Are We Talking About the Same Thing?

  1. First of all, let me tell you I love you already. I am so sorry for what you have gone through and understand more of that abuse than I want to admit. Sometimes, when I look at all that is wrong with me (or was wrong with me!) I think I understand why my husband left and I know I will write the book that plays out in so many of our heads, the book we know only too well because it’s a nonfiction autobiography although some people may have a hard time believing it’s true.

    I’ve also thought about…what if so and so reads my post? What will we he/she think, say, do? Will they manufacture lies to come back at me? What else can they say or do to hurt me more? I am constantly amazed at some of what has happened, the power others held over me.

    But then I realize that I KNOW the Truth, and the truth is that I am imperfect, but I am worthy, that I can forgive, even if they cannot, but also that forgiveness doesn’t mean allowing yourself to be walked all over again or opening yourself up to those who use their power to cause pain in others.

    Cristina, you are a beautiful person, and God has gifted me with your friendship and openness (I know we don’t know each other well and hope it’s okay that I say that – insecurities still creep in years later!)

    You are not alone, never have been. Thanks for sharing.

    God Bless…

    PS Can I add that I am more than a little jealous of how neat your laundry room is and that I am absolutely shocked, SHOCKED, by the fact that anyone, ANYONE, folds their laundry as it comes out of the drier! What a foreign concept! YOU GO GIRL!!!


    1. Oh Strahlen! I love you too, girl! Thank you for such encouraging words. You too, are a light with the crosses you also have to bear. P.S. I didn’t take pictures of the three laundry baskets with my clean clothes from last weeks wash! I’ve been known to live out of those baskets. I always wash, fold and organize everyone else’s. By the time I get to mine, I’m having wine instead!


  2. Cristina, so beautiful. I love the parallel. Love it. “We all know what happens when you touch the top of a pile of neatly folded shirts? They all come down and you’re in the middle of a mess.” Beautiful how you’re letting go of making the mess perfect, instead, you’re letting it be what it is. A mess that you don’t have to figure out. Love you. You’re speaking to so many people.

    PS. “I even talked to a therapist once, who after the first session needed a therapy session herself.” Made me laugh out loud.


  3. Wow. This is incredibly thought-provoking. So, so true about the neat piles, isn’t it? For all of us, in one way or another. You DO deserve that mom and dad, and I’m so sorry that those who should have protected you from everything let you down so profoundly. Even though not related by blood, there are others out there who CAN give you that love that you deserve. Hopefully, I can be your new sister. 😉
    love you!


  4. This really struck a cord with me: I can definitely relate. Sometimes I look so put together with my “laundry” all nice and folded but inside it’s a totally different story. Thanks for getting me thinking.


  5. You know how you tackle the laundry? Fold one shirt at a time.

    Same with a memoir. One small story at a time.

    You can do it and one day, you will. It doesn’t have to be pretty. Messy is way more interesting, I think.


  6. You are such a beautiful person that I quickly forget about your past. It is posts like this that remind me. And I’m amazed at how far you’ve come as a wife and mother. Your words will come when you are ready. And I’ll be the first in line to buy your book!


  7. We all have our own tattered laundry from the past. I hope you write about it if it helps you heal, but if not, do whatcha need to do! 🙂 I also fold my laundry straight out of the dryer, BUT I put it into 11 different laundry baskets (1 for each family member) with their hanging clothes hung above their basket. MY laundry never gets aired out—it stays hidden in my basement. 😉


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