“I Can’t Separate Cleaning From Negative Associations or Feelings of Abuse”
As always, please remember that I am not a qualified expert on anything.
For starters, you’re already miles ahead of the game because of your level of self-awareness about your situation. You can identify and separate out the factors that are contributing to how you feel about cleaning. You have a desire to improve your mindset about cleaning, and to remove the negative associations you have with it.
So here’s my advice: you need to take back cleaning. You need to start interacting with your environment on your terms. So pick a spot. Somewhere that means something to you. Somewhere you’d like to have a nice place. Somewhere that can be a refuge. And pick a time, not now because I’m telling you to do it, and not some other time because someone else is telling you, but a time that you decide on in advance because it’s when you want to.
At that time, just work for 20 minutes. When that time is up, do something you enjoy. Eat something you like. Read something that makes you laugh. And then pick another time. Schedule it in your mind and do it again. 20 minutes, then stop. Keep doing this until the feeling of pride in what you’re accomplishing outweighs the feeling of dread because of what you have to do.
Work slowly. Understand that it’s going to take time, and that you may have setbacks. But do this for you, because you want to have someplace nice to go. If you get to a point where you can take back cleaning of other spaces, great. If not, that’s great too. Only you can make that decision. But you can make at least part of it on your terms.
Please, be safe, be happy, be strong, and take care of you. We’re all rooting for you, I promise. You can do this.