I am a control freak. My children, friends and a college professor have pointed this out. I have never refuted their observation/diagnosis. When I am upset or have a spat with someone I love, I clean because it’s something I have control over in the face of a situation or event where I have marginal or no control. Bending people’s will to see the world through my eyes has never been easy. They resist, we squabble, I clean to regain control of somthing. It works for me, soothes me, somehow.
My mom’s dementia is completely out of my control. Certainly it has helped me relax about ‘the way things have to be.’ Who the heck knows how things are going to be when your parent has dementia? Exercising my control freakness, generally, in this areana would be folly. However, it leaves me grappling for something to control, to fix, to clean, in order to soothe myself, especially when she and I are together. So, it just hit me that this is where my compulsion to organize, edit and weed both of my mother’s houses comes from. I may not be able to ‘fix’ her mind, but I can, by God, organize, declutter and streamline her spaces. This, of course, makes her nuts.