I had one two days ago. I knew it was coming – of course it was coming.
We’re selling our house. We’ve done this twice in the last 12 years already and every time we do it I become completely unglued. I try not to. I chant mantras to myself like “It will all work out” “The realtors want to make this happen more that I do” “Our place is great, we just need the right buyer” “You don’t need tons of buyers. You only need one buyer, if it’s the right one” (my adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s line in Little Women ‘You don’t need scores of suitors. You only need one…if he’s the right one‘)
But every time we go to sell our house I become unglued. I start out in the frame of mind that I’ll do better this time, after all, it worked out last time, didn’t it? I jokingly tell people that I’ve asked my husband to book my medically-induced coma so that I can get things ready, enter my coma, and then wake up once it’s time to start packing. I really wish this were possible. It would be so much better for all of us, including our realtor.
But….here I am. Fully conscious and trying to fight against my default nature. My perfectionist, hyper-vigilant Aspie brain wants everything absolutely perfect. I need to be blameless. It’s all up to me and I have to make sure this all happens. I clean, I tidy, I de-clutter, I fluff, I fret, I analyze, I agonize and then we sign the papers.
Then, the REAL fun starts. Showings: “Can you be out Saturday from 10-11 and then 2-3 and then 4-5?” And then there’s that surprise showing on Sunday at 10am. I was in the den happily and peacefully typing away when I heard strange voices coming from the living room. Thankfully I was dressed but really, there’s something wrong with the online booking system, obviously.
Be here! Don’t be here! Get out! Come back! Oops, sorry – Get out again! Clean! Polish! Don’t touch anything! Don’t stink up the house! Put your crap away! Don’t blow things up in the microwave!
The real estate market where we are is pretty hot so after doing that all weekend and into Tuesday we had an interested party. They wanted to make an offer with a particular ‘subject to’ and wondered if we would entertain that. Yes, we would. But then…nothing. We waited all day and not a peep. In the early evening we emailed our realtor for an update and was told the deal was off the table because someone told the prospective buyers that we had no internet and that was a deal breaker.
Wait, what? We have no internet? Then how can I be watching Netflix while I’m emailing with the realtor?
It must have been the buyer’s method of backing out but I was incredibly distraught. I set about to prove to our realtor 1000% that we DO have internet. We do! I wouldn’t lie about that! Do the buyers think we’re liars?!?!?!? I knew that familiar, anxious feeling that cramped my guts and made me want to jump up and down to release the sudden emotional and physical pressure. I was feeling attacked, threatened and helpless.
Call me irrational – I know, I know. I’ve beaten myself up my whole life for my ‘defects’ and ‘faults’ – you don’t have to. I feel irrational just reading my words but this is where I go, even at my golden age of 47. There is a part of me that will always be a scared child who is getting in trouble for something her brother did and then blamed on her. No matter how hard she tries to defend herself she is not believed and she will be punished regardless. She tries and tries more loudly to beg and plead to be believed. She is innocent! She says she’s sorry, even though she did nothing wrong! But, the punishment will still be doled out and she will always be regarded with suspicion.
That’s where I go.
After the last email at 10pm, the dam was set to burst. It had almost burst the day before, when my daughter and I spent 3 hours going hither and thither over a showing that was scheduled for a different time than we’d been quoted. We got out, came back, had to get out again and then when we got back I realized we were locked out, with the nearest key 45 minutes away. My key was the one in the lockbox and I’d forgotten to put the spare on my ring. Then, I couldn’t figure out what to do and I couldn’t get cell service so I had to drive up and down the road to try to make some calls. In the end we found a window that we’d left open so my daughter climbed through it. The tears were threatening while I was hauling the ladder out to set up against the house but I managed to send them packing.
But, at 10pm that next night with the no internet thing ‘out there’ it was enough. I’d reached my saturation point. It all came out and I turned into that blubbering mess I try so hard to resist. I cried and cried and let out my fears that our house won’t sell, it’s probably just a piece of garbage, all our neighbours are laughing at us, everything on our house is going to break within the next month, the house inspection is going to be a disaster, the bank won’t transfer our mortgage, we’ll have a disastrous earthquake that will crack the house in two, our woodstove will blow up, and a tree will fall on our roof. There’s more but I can’t recall the rest at the moment.
Magical Mrs. Catastrophe is in da house! Up too high? I’ll bring ya down…waaaay down.
I wish this wasn’t where I went when I’m under pressure and stress but it is. But, now it’s two days later and I’m feeling much better. I’ve managed to categorize and compartmentalize my fears and emotions. I go through a numb stage after my crashes where I’m physically and mentally exhausted. It actually feels great to not feel for awhile. The frantic yelling in my head has quieted and I will enjoy the peace while it lasts.