Do Happy People Hoard?

The Girls…My Auntie (L) and my Mom (R)…1942

Do happy people hoard? I am certainly not an expert on the demographics or profile of hoarders as a group. I can only speak to my limited experiences and that profile is well known to me. So, I am not painting with a broad brush here. I just know that my mom was one of five girls and all five of those girls hoarded in varying degrees. 

All left home, an abusive environment, early…like before they were 18 y/o. All married really nice men. Quiet, hard working men. All were never really happy. There was a languishing anger, at times a rage, over what they had left behind. My mom was the worst. The others acknowledged  there were problems in varying degrees. Like my Auntie, who shook her head and muttered about what a shame it was and always something else about their poor mom.

My mom was, shall we say, more vocal. More expressive of her contempt, her utter hatred for her father. You can imagine something horrible happened for a woman to carry such rage to her death nearly 70 years after leaving home.

Given their age, it is the norm to say well they were Depression era children who wanted for this and that and subsequently hoarded. Hmm? Maybe. The wanting for this and that was not for material possessions….not frilly, pretty stuff. I was surrounded by frill and lace and glassware as a child. Not a lot, but early on I knew what was ‘pretty’ and ‘nice’ in the household. In my Aunt’s house as well.

No, the amateur psychologist here knows this was a combination of garage sale’s buying cheap and turning each item for a profit in the 60’s and then later when the stressors of grief and loneliness finally enshrouded the girls…the buy was not for money making, it was for soothing. They had lost their nice, gentle, somewhat patient husbands. Now they coped their way.

I have nothing to compare to outside of the ‘girls’…my aunts and mom. They had moments of happiness and joy like we all do. But there was an edge, a sadness, that crept into their lives. Talk to any of the children or nieces and nephews and you hear about a hardness, a temper, a sadness. 

So, that ever present lesson….that hot, burning nugget of reality that we see about us and note it’s dysfunctional makeup…the asshole parent. Their abusive father (who had an abusive mother I might add). He the drunken, abusive man that drove daughters from the home, from their mother. Drove them into the arms of nice, dependable men who were incapable of loving away that shroud of anger and mistrust. What a shame.

Do happy people hoard? I know they are happy as they hoard for a little bit. Like an addict is happy with the edge taken off from the fix…………………….



8 thoughts on “Do Happy People Hoard?

  1. Casey

    I am so moved by this. By this blog, certainly, but this comment… there are reasons I read hoarding blogs and there is no history of hoarding in my family. But compulsive/depressive/addictive behaviors run rampant. I have always sensed a kinship with this group, and this comment expresses it exactly. thank you Mel. And thank you SwittersB for this blog. It means much to more people than you know.


    1. Casey, I have said it several times that the wise folks that visit here are blessed with enormous insights. Several times I have been moved to amazing clarifications of my present circumstances because of the insightful comments provided right here. I thank for the very nice comments.

    2. You are very wise and helpful at the bedrock level..”In my experience, recovering from this type of illness requires treating both the addiction and the underlying emotional cause. Treating only the emotional difficulties usually doesn’t stop the compulsions, and treating only the compulsions doesn’t resolve the emotional needs and leaves people wide open to relapse.” Thank you

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