I don’t know where the towels go.

I don't know where the towels go.
I don’t know where the towels go.

“I don’t know where the towels go.”
“I don’t know where the towels go.”
“I don’t know where the towels go.”
“I don’t know where the towels go.”

That’s what I hear in my head every-time I look at our dinning room table. The dinning room table is heaped with the clothes from 3 boys and 2 adults. Some of it is sectioned off according to the person it belongs to. Some of it is communal clothes like towels.

“I don’t know where the towels go.”

That’s what I hear in my head every-time I look around our house at the dirty clothes lying around waiting to be gathered and put in the laundry system we have at the house. This system consists of one hamper for darks, one hamper for colors, one hamper for whites, and one hamper for reds. Most of these hampers are empty.

“I don’t know where the towels go.”

That’s what I hear in my head every-time I step over clothing to get to my bed at night. The low inner nagging voice that’s constantly reminding me there’s something big and scary waiting to jump out and not kill me, but cause me great physical pain and humiliation.

“I don’t know where the towels go.”

I just try to ignore these words, but a constant concept that I’m reminded of all the time. These constant words taunt me only to remind me of the despair I am stuck with.

One of my jobs is the laundry in the house. Two of the last three weekends involved my family camping. With camping comes the mountains of dirty clothes that has accumulate from:

  • The week leading up to the trip because we’re focusing on packing and having “camping” clothes.
  • The previous laundry loads that was piling up.
  • The actually clothes we used during camping.
  • The backup of clothes that turns into a mountain once all the camping clothes are washed.

“I don’t know where the towels go.”

You see, in our house, we don’t actually have a spot for the towels. We kinda have some places where they go, but nothing defined. If I put them there, it kinda adds to the laundry mess. I’m also waiting for something scary, painful and humiliating to happen, so there’s no need to spark that into happening.

In essence, the whole “laundry machine” comes to a screeching halt.

With the halt of the “laundry machine”, the downfall of the whole tidy house system falls apart. It’s too monumentous to restart again. Also, if I just ignore it, maybe it’ll go away and things can restart on their own.

“I don’t know where the towels go.”

I try to restart the “laundry machine” it might break for good never to be restarted again. I can try to restart this “laundry machine” quietly once I give it sometime to calm down. Did I also mention I’m deftly afraid of the scary thing waiting to jump out and cause my great physical harm and humiliation?

“I don’t know where the towels go.”

So when my loving wife sees that the “laundry machine” has stopped, she does come up with some great ideas to restart the machine. She makes some great suggestions like we should just take it all to the laundromat and get it all done.

“I don’t know where the towels go.”

She doesn’t hear the constant voice reminding me of my failure. The voice that points to an impending doom wrapped up in pain and humiliation. She doesn’t feel the feeling of terror that is just around the corner if she wakes the monster. It’s a monster waiting to pounce and renders his destruction and terror on all that is around when things aren’t done.

I then become the monster I fear. I become the terror, painful, and humiliating person I fear most.

What should I do?

Stop ignoring the voice. Recognize the fear I have. The fear I have is from my past. A time when I was terrified of having to clean up with no hope of an end. The painful and humiliating moments when I failed at a task I didn’t know how to finish. That fear was brought to the present moment. I projected that terror on my current family life. That terror was imposed on my happy family. A terror from my past that I now have control over if I give up that control to the False Evidence Appearing Real.

I’m a man with my own family setting my own rules. No need to live it the past. I can become the monster I fear or I can take ownership of my life.

I know where the towels go. They go where I want them to.

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