One of the things I was very particular about was hygiene. The irony was, I hated bath-time because I could never just get in, get done and get out. The entire ordeal took about an hour every day and occurred in stages:
Stage 1 - Lather. Scrub.
Stage 2 - Rinse. Lather. Scrub round two.
Stage 3 - Rinse. Lather. Scrub round three.
Stage 4 - Rinse. Rinse again. Wait to semi-dry naturally (because I hated using towels, it only made me feel more dirty)
Stage 5 - Lather skin with cocoa butter and get dressed.
This ridiculous dance with perfection extended to just about every part of my life. I could never go to bed without washing my feet... it didn't matter how tired I was, I'd always either have a bath or wash my feet before bed. I would never be able to fall asleep if my bed wasn't pushed up right against the wall... or if it was even 2 degrees off from the direction I wanted it to face. I'd only ever sit in the same place at the kitchen table, in the dining room and in the lounge etc etc. And if things weren't perfect, or the way I needed them to be, all hell would be unleashed from little me.
Dynamite really does come in the smallest packages. I'd become physically destructive - breaking and ruining things, obliterating everything in sight - only to begin all over again because I was so tightly wound up and everything HAD. TO. BE. RIGHT. My clothes had to be perfect and fit perfectly - otherwise I'd go bonkers and rip them to shreds.
Looking back, I know now how absolutely fucking certifiable I was. And the full realization of just how unhappy I was. But I also know the reason I was like that. For the longest time in my childhood, I associated that order and routine and structure, with control. And having had a tumultuous childhood where I had NO control over my life/situation/events, I over-compensated by controlling my immediate environment, my actions and just about every other aspect of my life where I could act or take control. And God bless my Mother - a woman who loves short-cuts and who is the most UN-perfectionistic person I know - because I really wasn't the easiest person to live with and I drove her batshit insane on many occasions.
Growing up, learning to relinquish that control was, at most times, impossibly difficult and resulted in many internal and external conflicts. While I've managed to overcome most of it, there are still remnants that remain and every day is a choice to be different... to let go... to live.
Lately, life has been... odd. For one, I feel like I'm living in denial. Like, I've managed to fool myself into believing that its Spring/Summer and am foolishly surprised every time I go outside and half freeze to death.
For the most part though, I find that I'm breaking those shackles that have remained... the leftovers / end of range / last items... the last echos of a life in which I was a prisoner for the longest time... and letting it all go, for good... to be carried away by a wayward breeze, into oblivion. I had to internalise the fact that I no longer need the routine and structure to feel safe, that I'm ok and I am free in a way I never was before. Now I can sit on different seats in the kitchen and shower-time has been reduced to 15 minutes.