I'm got this weird psychological problem.
I grew up with a very unstable home life - I was constantly moved between different foster homes and relatives' houses as a child. I never had my own room, I just slept on peoples' floors or couches. Sometimes I was homeless, sleeping in a car or in a park ramada.
As an adult, I lived with roommates for ten years in about the shittiest ghetto apartment imaginable. I never felt safe, I rarely had privacy.
I spent that time saving up, and now I have my own house. However, it doesn't feel like mine.
Sometimes I wake up in the morning and panic. All the empty space and room freaks me out. Sometimes I will sleep in a sleepign bag in the closet, just because it is what I know and it helps with the panic attacks.
"Owning" things like furniture and having a home feels strange to me. I almost feel scared of it, like I can't get attached to staying in my own house because someone or something will come take it all away from me someday. Doing basic cleaning and housework, I feel like an impostor, and guilty for touching things that shouldn't be mine.
Do you guys have any suggestions for how to feel more comfortable in my home? How to become comfortable with things like housework?
I'm sorry to hear about your situation, OP.
We are not qualified to diagnose, but this sounds to me like a kind of agoraphobia. How big is your house, and how many people live there? Would you say you've furnished it completely yet?
It is a small house, a condo in a shared building. A bedroom, an office/second bedroom, a half size kitchen, a living room and two bathrooms.
I have it mostly furnished, but it is still missing some items, like a couch and some shelves.
I see a counselor/social worker, but she seems a little lost as to what advice to give me. She is more interested in questioning why I feel the way I do, and diagnosing me. I am looking for some practical day to day solutions to help me get through this.
My best advise is find a real therapist to talk your shit through with. Other than that, maybe you just need to make your space yours a little at a time. You've got the closet down, bravo, all you. You've got a base camp. Start working on making your bedroom feel like it's "yours". Spend time in it, fill it with your things, do all the personal things that you enjoy doing in your room. When you become comfortable enough, find a new space to claim. I don't know how big your house is, but if you start branching out slowly, filling the house with your things and your life, maybe eventually it can feel like the place you really belong, ya know?
I guess i had a very washed doen version if what you feel a few years ago. I moved into my first appartment all alone ( had been away from home since 15, but alway lifed with a partner or my sister). I had NOTHING. Literally a mattress and some clothes.
I had a very strange way of lifing. I kept the apt that empty and unpersonal for quiet a while. I went to great lengths to not ger anything dirty and keep it looking like nobodies living inside it.
Slowly, i startet to add in stuff as i needed it. A table and a chair. A pan and a plate. It startet to add up and slowly but steadily develope into a place that was my home. Now i have been here for 5 years and yesterday i FINALLY went to get a real bed and a real closet. Now my place feels like a shelter to me. It's my cave and i love it to bits. Give it time anon. Don't rush it. It will come together over time. Things startet to get better when i finally had the money to get a piano. I love my piano. Then i went traveling and broight home wall art and other things that remind me of that time. I instantly felt more at home. Now my place really feels like an accurate mirror of "me". I jist realized that i love to clean out my apt and care for all the stuff i have the best i can. They are under my guard and i try to fix when somethings broken, keep everything neat and tidy and get rid of stuff i no longer need. I know every single piece i own and every single piece has a purpose and is in tiptop shape.
Good luck anon... Give it time. And maybe seek professional help too. It helped me over a lot of issues
I'm by no means a professional therapist, but I was going to suggest something similar.
If this doesn't work for you OP, you could try something along the lines of taking baby steps to expose yourself to the situation.
For example, you might try getting a roommate in a smaller apartment, and then after a year or so, once you've become comfortable with the idea of having something that is your own (in this case your bedroom), perhaps try getting a small studio apartment. They are like having a master bedroom with a small kitchen attached. If you can conquer this fear of living alone in a small place like that, then maybe upgrade as you feel the need.
Also, if I were you, I would keep some type of journal, or just think about the situation everyday, of how you used to live. Try and figure out in your own head what exactly it is that makes you feel fearful or uncomfortable. Then, once you've identified it, you can make up your own excersises to overcome it. If it's excersise that you make, its often a lot easier to handle and set yourself up for success. Or at least know your limits on what you can handle.
You can't fight a fear until you can understand it.
I'm this anon
And my practical advice would be to fill your place with stuff that has sentimental value. Do you have some childhood photos? Also, listen to a lot of music. Cook a lot of things you love (thinks the menus you wished for on birthdays). Do everything to feel cozy. But carpets, blankets and cushions everywhere. Make sure your bed is big and very cozy. Lots of bedding inside it so you can feel like sleeping in a nest or cave. Keep the temperature and moisture at a perfect level. Make sure it's quiet and dark when you sleep. Make sure you love how everything smells in your home. Maybe find a scent that you associate with good memories? For me, that's mandarine. I always got the first mandarines of the season on my birthday and i still adore that smell.
Buy some seats and sofas to lounge on.
Focus on the walls! Hang stuff you like. Curtains are your new best friend! And you should try to go for hight when it comws to furniture. Think an armour instead of a sideboard. It will make your place feel morr filled up if you use all the space up to the ceiling. Focus on good lightning.
It might all sound corny, but it worked for me. If you want to, you could post pics and i could tell you how to make that room feel more like a home...
>Do you guys have any suggestions for how to feel more comfortable in my home?
Go see a therapist. You obviously struggle with anxiety and attachment issues and a therapist can help with that.
Therapy, now. There is no home remedy for being fucked in the head.
Thank you all for the awesome advice. This is really helpful.
For those recommending therapy, I am pursuing therapy, but it is slow going. I am just looking for positive/healthy ways to supplement it.
Fuck I know that feeling
It gets better over time, remember to stop for a moment and say loud "this is mine, I earned it, this is my home, this is my stuff, I belong here, no one will take it away"
On the chores part: look at it as caring for something that depends on you.
I always loved the idea of old people lifing in homes with tables that are blank and shiny from years of cleaning them over and over. Something about the thought that they cared for it instead of replacing it os oddly soothing to me. Lived in homes are something i can't get enough off.
I got most of my stuff second hand because i had no money at all. I was always excited to bring home something i have found. Becuse i had saved up to get it and then had to "hunt" for it until i found a piece i was feeling like taking home. At home i would spend considerable amounts of time cleaning, fixing and touching up my new treasures. After that make-over they already "belonged" too me and had sentimental value. I think that helped a lot in making my apt a home to me
>Op still needs practical advice.
How is seeing a therapist not practical? What would you like, tell him to make some tea and watch a rom com? Sure that'll make you feel good for a few minutes but that sounds kind of like bullshit advice to me.
>Therapy doesn't really cover this.
Except for the part where it 100% absolutely covers it.
>but hebalso needs ideas that will help instantly.
There is no instant remedy for deep seeded anxiety and attachment issues. He just said he had an unstable upbringing.
If you can find an instant cure for an entire childhood of emotional trauma then please, let us know. Until then, shut the fuck up because you're an idiot.
Hey, toxic fuck, go crawl back to the hole you came from.
Coming here is not receiving therapy, but nonetheless we can provide insightful ideas and it's what OP has been asking for.
It's not like OP has not shown any introspection qualities, it's pretty obvious where this anxiety is coming from.
Well, i'm going to therapy for a year now. It helps a lot! But the small changes i came up with to cope are just as important. It makes all the difference in everyday life. I have so, so much bigger things to talk about with my therapist. They usually shake up a lot! But then i go home, all emotional and i need some soothing and calming things to help me stay sane. I know we will get ti the fine tuning later on, but in the beginning you are only going to cover the big issues.