George Carter
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Mowing the Lawn With CPTSD

| Saturday 4th May, 2024

Now that was fascinating.

I haven’t had a lawn for some twenty-three years. I had one at my first house, but when I moved across country I went for all garden instead, and at my last place I started with a gravel Zen garden, then decided it would be nice to feed the bees so dug it all up and planted wild flowers.

So… no lawn for a very long time.

But my rental place has a lovely garden… mature shrubs bordering a decent-sized lawn.

Which needed mowing.

Oh no! One of the big reasons I didn’t have a lawn is because it’s so onerous to look after it.

But given it’s a rental I can’t change anything (without asking) and have to look after it. So after allowing it to dry out after recent rain I bit the bullet.

And you know what? It was easy.

It was easy and pleasurable. Meditative, even.

And I didn’t even discover the grass collector for the mower on my first pass, so I got some extra mediation while raking the clippings.

I can only think that I felt lawn mowing was onerous because of my ultra-critical mother when I was growing up. She would have added so many layers of bullshit to the job, added stipulation on stipulation about how to do it perfectly, and then likely criticised me while I was doing the job and afterwards.

There were some very strong indicators that this is the case because as I was doing the job, enjoying every moment, a feeling of dread kept coming over me… I felt like I was somehow deeply in trouble for something, like I was doing it all wrong.

I am so grateful that I am now aware of my CPTSD and the inner critic, so that I could simply watch these feelings and thoughts arise and pass while continuing to enjoy the process.

And another upside? I can go out barefoot and feel grass against my feet.

Oh why did I avoid lawns for so long? (We know the answer)

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