Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Who I Am

These are some insights that I share with a friend in May 2004. I had not heard of the term hoarding, and didn't know that being a Child of Hoarders was a phenomena and others experienced similar circumstances. I guess it is important for me to look back at these reflections to validate my own memories and feelings, and to understand that this was more than just a messy house.

This picture is part of who I am. 
The chaos that you see in the picture is not the stuff that makes me into a screwed up person, but rather gives me my strength.

Not only did I grow up in this messed up environment but I was also told:

  • "Our house looks like this because YOU don't let us take care of anything, YOU are always bothering us." 
  • "Don't touch anything, don't move anything. Everything is exactly where it needs to be." 

These were very difficult things to deal with, because it meant as much as you looked around, you felt helpless. This helplessness strengthened me with the determination that I am going to set out on my own path and not be limited by this environment. This contributed to me moving out at college, and continuing moving from there. I would tell myself that my future is far away. This also gave me a profound need to know truth, and to measure my reality, for obviously everything I was being told was out of distortion and denial. This made me extremely honest with myself and strengthened personal resolve.

Much of what is in this picture is hidden to the rest of the world. Neighbors don't see inside and nobody else from the family sees inside. Only myself and my sister have been aware of this situation. Even when I went in on one occasion with my wife, my mother immediately started explaining to my wife, "Our house looks like this because we don't have time to deal with things. I try to get his father to work with me, but he is always busy. And my daughter always needs our help with her girls."

 Now I see with clarity that these images are really very graphic representations of these people's psychological state - burdened, and in a state of disregard.

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