On Fire on the Inside

I went back to the house that I wrote about on yesterday's blog post. As I was going through the mountains of old, dank, and hazardous clutter, the client called me in a frantic state. She had been getting many calls from some of the family about how they were unhappy with their mother's things being clutter busted. Some of them were yelling at my client and accusing her of having bad intentions. They refused to believe that their mother lived in a house that was overwhelmed by clutter, even though the city had condemned the home, saying it was the second worst clutter infestation they had seen, made the mom move out because it was a health hazard, and sent the family members detailed photos of the state of the place.

Yesterday I had spoken with my client about the guilt she was feeling from the situation. Today my client was overwhelmed by the family's blaming reactions. She didn't know how to talk with them about it, she got frustrated with their refusal to see what was happening, and ended up getting into emotional arguments with them which exhausted her.

I told my client that sometimes things are emotionally overwhelming for people. The situation's extremely painful and more than they can handle. It's like they are on fire on the inside. They panic, making them feel worse because it doesn't bring relief. I think everyone has experienced this at some point. Me too. I remember feeling anguish, and nothing was making me feel better, which made things feel worse.

I told my client it helps to know that this other person is in pain. We don't have to defend ourselves, or try to reason with them. It helps to listen with understanding. If someone had seriously injured their body and we were with them, we would try and help them feel better. If they moaned or screamed, we wouldn't be deterred. The same goes with an emotional injury.

Plus, I think it's hard to see our parents be weak. There's always a part of us that wants them to be superheroes. But opening up to who they actually are helps us be closer to them because we can relate to them. Suddenly they are like us. It's easier to love someone we have an affinity with.

I was happy to hear that my client was feeling better and more open with this insight.