The stuff war

Ok, after the last post, I suppose I should probably explain the weird “stuff war” history.. as to why it annoys me so much.

so i suppose that the story first starts (a bit ironically) back when my mom got married to my stepdad.

i was living in a college dorm room, with a roommate, a 12 hour drive away at the time… and they decided to combine the two houses right around midterms.

so i really only had the basics of my stuff with me… but there was no way that i could make the drive home to pack up the majority of my stuff that was still in my bedroom.

no problem, they would handle it, I was told.

so my stuff got moved without me there.

or, i guess i should say, part of it did.

as it happens, mom and/or brother decided to sort through it all when packing it. and so, roughly 1/4 of my stuff made it into boxes.

-my stand-alone bookshelves were thrown out.
-my wall shelves were left there instead of unscrewed.
-my bean bag chairs disappeared.
-my desk disappeared.
-the frame of my bed made it to storage at least.
-my dresser was given to one of my brothers.
-a lot of the negatives from my photography hobby dissappeared.
-my video game rocker chair was gone, and the videogame system that had been both mine and my younger brothers was sold, along with all of the games which were mine alone, and the money used for my brother to put towards getting himself a new system that had just come out
-a good chunk of my books were thrown out, as well as all of my magazines (i’d kept back issues of the three christian music magazines i subscribed to… seeing as i was still hoping to go into christian radio at the time and the net wasn’t as good back then on being able to pull things up about christian bands).
-5 or 10 of my vhs tapes remained, mostly disney… none of the many tapes i’d recorded artist interviews on survived. (Fortunately most of my cd’s and cassettes were with me)
-None of the posters that had covered my walls came along.

So essentially, the only things that survived besides what I had space in my dorm room to hold, was a few boxes of clothing and a few boxes of random things that my mother decided were sentimental.. even though a good number of them weren’t particularly to me.

When I came home for that semester break, they had mom’s old bed and mom’s old dresser set up in the storage room among all the boxes.

Ok, so they thinned down stuff…. but, that wasn’t so much the thing.

The thing was that nobody else’s stuff was treated the same way.

There’s literally still old in-tables and the couch and kitchen table and just piles and piles of random stuff from that house that are still sitting in the same places in that same storage room in mom’s basement… un-used since then.

And it wasn’t just a moving out thing… when my brother moved out… to an apartment, then to a house…. tons and tons more space than a dorm room…. his stuff was still allowed to remain at mom’s. He hasn’t lived at home in over 9 years, and his waterbed, dresser, random other furniture, and even still clothing int he closet… has all been allowed to remain.

To this day, I still randomly remember things I once owned that were lost in this move. Not critical things of course… but a lot of them were things that weren’t replaceable, and most of them were a ton more sentimental to me than the stuff my mother decided was worth keeping.

So anyway… when i moved out of the dorms about a year later, i had to start completely from scratch on everything. I owned no furniture at all anymore… so i had to buy a bed, a desk, desk chair… and we sat on inflatable chairs for a while till i could afford a futon and a papasan chair.

So all of everything I owned was bought by me, while supporting myself on my own and going to school full time.

Fast forward 3 more years… 3 more moves… and i end up in a position where I’d have no way to pay bills while off after kiddo was born, and so I end up moving home the month before she was born… which is still a 12 hour drive away.

A u-haul was going to cost over $600, because it would be a one-way trip.

My stepdad owned a truck… but instead of him being willing to make a trip to pick up things, all that I was able to bring home was what I could fit into the back of my mom’s small suv and the hatchback of my tiny rx7.

I almost rented a storage unit there… but under pressure, relented…. and lost pretty much everything all over again. The amount that I was able to bring home was less than I’d even been able to take to the dorm room in the first place, as at least then I’d had a bigger car with a back seat and trunk.

And so… i eventually move out again. and start off with basically a bed frame, a couple of small dressers that had been my dads previously, and all of the baby stuff.

Fast forward about 3 more years again… and my brother was helping me move between two apartments, mainly because I didn’t like driving the uhaul myself.

He said nothing… but then I started royally hearing about it from my mom… criticizing my possessions.

Why bother moving that cheap futon? Did I really need that many boxes of books? Why didn’t I throw out more stuff? Tapes aren’t even being sold anymore, you should get rid of them.

She wasn’t even living with me anymore and hadn’t even helped with the move, and yet still kept telling me how all of my stuff should be thrown out just based on my brother’s comments about what I’d had written on the boxes… that he hadn’t even seen what was inside either!

Fast forward 2 more years… and another move… into this house actually.

This time, my older brother had been paid by my mother to rent a truck and help us move…. basically because he needed the money.

I’m sure I’ve vented about this move on here before, but to make a long story short, he and a friend made one trip with the friend’s pickup truck… bringing the beds, a couple dressers, and the kitchen table.

They then decided it was late, and they would get the rest later. Which kept getting put off.

Eventually they were supposed to get it the day before I had to turn keys over… and then called that day and cancelled.

And so, with my other brother recovering from a shoulder injury, I was on my own.

And again the response I get from my mom is to just leave everything else… that I need to throw things out anyway… that the couches had just been hand-me-downs anyway… etc.

So the only way I still had much of my stuff was by cramming it into my ford taurus and securing it with bungee cords as best I could, and taking trip after trip on the back roads. (Including two different trips with couches bungeed on the roof of the car after I’d moved them down from the second floor apartment by myself)

And so now we come to this point… and yet again I’m being told that I basically need to throw everything that I own away.

So I’m a bit defensive of my stuff.

It’s not like I’m a hoarder… cat litter comes in sturdy boxes that are about 18“ by 18” by 12“… and where they are meant for heavy litter they work well for books. I have 5 of those, and 1 milk crate of books. This does not seem like a completely unreasonable amount to me particularly when I tend to read a lot.. and yet, this is one of the areas I keep getting told that I need to just throw them away.

The fact that I own cd’s at all anymore sets off the same response.

I’m an adult… these are my possessions… it’s my choice now on whether they stay or they go, and what is important to me and not important.

Yes, I own 5 small boxes of books. They are important to me. I also still own some cd’s… and *gasp* even still about 20 or 30 cassettes.

But then, until last Christmas, the only tv we owned was the 19” one from my dorm room. The only reason we got the larger, 15 year old tv at Christmas was that my brother was getting a new hdtv for his bedroom and the wii my mom bought for kiddo doesn’t work out as well on a tiny tv.

But do I criticize the money and space that my brother spends on his huge home theater system and the massive effort it takes to move it every single time he moves (which is frequent)? No. That’s his thing, even if it isn’t my interest. His deal, his choice, his problem.

Nor do I criticize the huge collection of pottery and knicknacks that my mother has in her living room collecting dust, and “art” she’s got on just about every wall, and the money she has “wasted” on them, and how much of a pain they will be to move because they are mostly fragile…. even though personally, you’d be lucky to find a knicknack in this house… and barely anything on the walls at all. To me, it’s just extra junk and clutter.

And so I’m getting more than a little peeved that this random war against my stuff is an issue that keeps being brought up rather than respecting that my possessions are my choice to make, even if my values on various items are different than other family members who happen to make other choices.

Not to mention, the irony of complaining at me… while the basement there is filled with abandoned couches, waterbeds, desks, exercise bikes, tables, computers (circa 1997), train sets, and who knows what all else lies in that storage room now. None of which are used at all, and most haven’t been in at least 9-12 years.


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