Here's the thing: we learn what we are taught.
I don't really know how to clean. This is not to be wondered at, I suppose, given that I was never really taught it, growing up in this hoarder's house: it's difficult, after all, to get in the habit of hanging your clean clothes in the closet when all the closets are stuffed full of your father's shirts.
But it's not just that. Living here again in my childhood home, even though my hoarding father is no longer here, I find that there are things I won't clean. My own room, and my new studio room (which used to be the guest room), are one thing, and even though I'm truly just not a particularly neat person by nature, they stay reasonably clean—I get my laundry done and change the sheets regularly, I have been known to vacuum, that kind of thing. But when it comes to say, the living room, or the kitchen? I won't touch them.
I think it is because it is shared space. And what I was taught growing up was that shared space, though supposedly 'shared', wasn't. It always belonged to my father. Or, I suppose, my mother, as she vehemently fought for her own space to breathe in this house. But not mine. Never mine.
And so I feel it is just not my place to clean shared spaces. That, on some level, I don't actually have the right. You should see me in other people's, friend's, kitchens: I would never just get up and make myself some food, and I even hesitate to put a dirty dish in the sink or the dishwasher, though I know it is the polite thing to do. Because I don't live there, and the place is not mine.
And then I realized that underneath it all is fear. I am actually afraid to clean someone else's space. As odd as that sounds, it is true.
It makes sense. Hoarders not only tend to take over all the available space, they are famous for freaking out if anyone else touches their stuff. If anyone touched any of my dad's crap while he was there, well, there'd be absolute Hell to pay. You could argue until you were blue in the face, and all you'd get was stubbornness and screaming, with a big helping of invalidation to go with it, for he'd yell that it was HIS STUFF and no one had ANY RIGHT to touch it. It was HIS, and HE PAID FOR IT, so he could do what he wanted with it. Which extended to anything he paid for, by the way, including the food on the table and the clothes we children wore. No one else's needs were valid, never mind important.
Under these conditions, attempting to clean was the equivalent to starting a war.
Is it any wonder I am frightened of cleaning?
We learn what we are taught.