Thursday, October 25, 2012

Welcome and Come See Where I Grew Up

This is the home where I grew up.
It looks like a typical modern American suburban home with a driveway, shrubs, and trimmed lawn.

However, beneath this external appearance, a secret is stored. It is a family secret kept hidden from neighbors, friends, and families all our lives. The secret is that the normal-looking home is far from normally and orderly within.

This is the homestead of hoarders, and I am the adult child of hoarders. Hoarding is defined as acquiring and failing to throw out a large number of items that would appear to have little or no value to others (e.g., papers, notes, flyers, newspapers, clothes) or severe cluttering of the person's home so that it is no longer able to function as a viable living space. Hoarding is now being considered as a compulsive disorder, a form of mental illness.

To show you what I mean, let's take a tour of my parent's home.

The Kitchen

We come into the kitchen through the laundry room.

Papers, papers, papers. This could be junk mail, years and years of bills, other notices. The stuff on the wall is the same stuff from when I was little.

Walking through the doorway, we enter the kitchen.

The kitchen is filled with discarded food containers. The pile of tea bags is intended to be used for compost and enriching the garden. I think there is a kitchen sink in there.

This is where we were met to sit and have our meals. Newspapers and mail fill the room and cover the table.


Come downstairs and we will look at the state of the basement.

The Living Room

Such a funny name to call a room like this. Highly ironic.

My Bedroom

In this house, I used to have control, at least, over my room. That that I have moved away the hoard has invaded my room.

This is where I grew up. This is not just about clutter and disorganization, but about pathology. It is about blame, guilt and helplessness. It is about a child confused about his surroundings, and an adult making sense of it all.

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