Thursday, April 15

writing worshop - my first one.

This is a new one for me. I've seen so many posts from the Writing Workshop set by sleep is for the weak

This week's prompt is Clear out a cupboard you’ve not visited in years.

You might start reading this and think I'm completely barking mad. You're probably right. I have cupboards in my head. (no, please don't look at me like that with such wide eyes). The are obviously metaphorical cupboards. It's the way I visualise my brain to be. I have a nice cosy semi-circular row of cupbards, and they're a nice bright yellow colour. This is where I store everything so that I can open the cupboard doors as and when I need whatever is inside. There is one cupboard that doesn't match the rest. It's a black cupboard right at the back. It sits right in the middle of all the cupboards. This one has chains around it and a huge padlock. This is where everything that I don't want, or can't, deal with stays. This cupboard doesn't get opened. Nasty things live in there. Well, they might not be actually nasty, but the things that upset me are in there.
The thing that takes the most space up in there are the thoughts of my Dad. He certainly wasn't nasty, in fact he was completely the opposite end of the scale, but he died nearly 6 years ago. What does live in this cupboard are my emotions about my dad. The ones I can't control about how much I miss him, about how he's no longer with me to help and adivse me, to guide the way. See, right now, I'm heading towards that cupboard and it's shouting to be opened, the chains are rattling.. open me, open me. But I can't. It's too painful.

Also in this cupboard are my feelings about myself. My lack of self esteem, my low confidence, my dislike of myself. I have to keep that all locked in this cupboard too, because if I open the cupboard all these emotions spill out and then take over and plunge me into a downward spiral of self loathing and depression. The emotions about my dad also tumble out and I start to think about how he's not here anymore, which then adds to the depression, which makes me want to go and hide in my cave and self destruct. So you can see why I can't open this cupboard door. The chains have to stay locked, otherwise I disolve.

I will go and clean the front of the cupboard occasionaly and sometimes some of it's contents spill out, but I have to pick them up and push them back into the cupboard and make sure the chains are tightened so that nothing else spills out. 

Occasionally, I think, right.. I'm feeling quite strong right now, I'll go and clean this cupboard out... in fact, I had a counsellor try and help me spring clean the cupboard one time, and that was a disaster. She didn't understand what was in there and she told me to get everything off the shelves of this cupboard and put them all in the bin, clean the cupboard out and paint it yellow to match the others. It didn't work, because everything that was in this cupboard spilled out all over the floor, into the corners of my brain and climbed up the front of the yellow cupboards so that I couldn't see anything but the contents of the black cupboard. So I gathered them all up again, shoved them back in the black cupboard and chained it up tightly. 

I haven't opened this cupboard lately, but I know the chains will start rattling and shouting open me.. open me.. once more and they well shout louder and louder the nearer I get to the 6th anniversary of my dad passing away in June. Until then, I'll clean around the cupboard, but keep it firmly locked.


  1. I can really relate to this. I have cupboards like this too, I clean around them and occasionally the noises from inside will remind me that they're there, but I'll shut myself off from them.

    I'm sorry about your dad. That sounds so hard.

    Some cupboards just need time I think. The answer isn't clearing them out in one big heartless spring-clean, it's about opening the door a little bit at a time. Dealing with one thing then closing it back up again till we're ready to move onto the next.

    Give yourself time. You know these feeling are there. And you sound so strong - I'm sure there will come a day when you feel ready to start that process.

    Thanks so much for sharing this. Beautifully written.

  2. emmalou789:44 AM

    I can completely empathise - what a wonderful posting! You've summed everything up so perfectly. I can picture your cupboards, and I too have a "bad cupboard" - it usually disturbs me during bouts of insomnia! Superbly written x

  3. Awww, yes opening those types of cupboards and sorting the contents out is very painful. I call them boxes which stay shut when I'm happy but when everything seems to be going wrong those boxes burst open and spill their contents....I hope you manage one day to paint your black box yellow. xx

  4. mummylimited5:33 PM

    That is really vivid writing. One day you may feel like taking the odd item out of the cupboard and dealing with it rather than all at once.
    If it helps I had a councillor once who didn't really help at all and then I had another that was brilliant and helped me enormously.

  5. Really good stuff. I have only one thing in my bad cupboard but it really terrifies me...

  6. Thanks so much everyone for your kind words. I do think fondly of my dad, just not too hard or for too long... maybe one day the cupboard will be empty and painted yellow... wouldn't that be lovely.

    Thanks so much :)

  7. MrsLJHall4:44 PM

    Brilliantly put. I had hypnosis after my husband left and the hypnotherapist talked a lot about what we put on our mental pin boards, book shelves, filing cabinets and indeed locked cupboards! I think your cupboard looks just fine x