Trauma, Loss, and Clutter

Studies show that there’s a strong link between clutter (lots and lots of it) in the home and experiences of profound loss and/or trauma.  This morning my trunk is loaded with the first pile (of many) of items for the thrift store. I also filled a large city trash bin last night.

It may seem insignificant to many, but to me, this is a photo of hope. A vital sign of healing.  When you get the right combo of therapist, medicine, creative process, and resilience; and you put in the time and the tears and the work…coming back from the dead sometimes looks like 3 weeks solid of doing dishes and putting them away.

SURVIVOR LOVE NOTE: If you have overwhelming clutter in your home space, you are not alone. You are not a failure. It’s a scar from what happened to you. THERE IS HOPE!  As you address the trauma in therapy, you will begin to address the clutter in time. *Don’t start with the clutter* it will only paralyze you. The shame is real and deep, and, it isn’t yours to keep.

~coming back from the dead doesn’t happen all at once


Jennifer Alumbaugh, LMFT is the owner and lead therapist at A Space to Thrive.  As a survivor of complex trauma she believes in the value of her transparency around her own healing, recovery, and thriving maintenance process.  We’re all human–yes! even your therapists.  Just because we have information and resources on healing and recovery does not inoculate us against the wounds of trauma, abuse, and the actions of others.  She shares her #TransparentTherapist blogs in an effort to destigmatize mental health issues, trauma recovery, and being in a perpetual process of becoming.  Jennifer believes that her own continued therapy and wellness maintenance are a matter of ethical responsibility to her clients and her community–it is a kind of accountability for her own self-compassion and self-care practices.