“Tomorrow the people from the charity that helps declutter, cleans & organise homes like mine are coming round, in the morning. To say I’m feeling nervous, anxious & afraid would be an understatement. I don’t know if they know what is “rubbish” & I’m sure they’re thinking the same thing about me lol.”
“I know I can get my home back with help, but it depends what kind of help that is. Chucking all my things out is not what I would call help, sifting through it all on the other hand is. In the past the kind of help I was offered amounted to ditching your possession as trash & starting from scratch, also known as a “Blitz Clean”. I couldn’t do that, infact I’m pretty darn sure that for me this approach would probably have been more likely to increase the hoarding behaviour. It would of at least traumatised & damaged me psychologically.”
A few months later she writes her final posting……………
“I can not stress enough how someone suffering from compulsive hoarding should have their privacy preserved, & treated with respect, dignity & understanding. Humiliating type of exposure is akin to “exposure therapy” in that it serves no greater purpose than to desensitise & free the sufferer from the very thing that was helping them to not get any worse than they already are.”
“When your whole world is turned upside down, your pride & dignity lost. It changes you for the worst. You stop giving an eff & sink down lower.” (short-lived Chronicles of a Hoarder)
I explore the ‘net finding others that contend with family members that hoard. I also come across the few hoarders that attempt to chronicle their own addictions. I have always found this to be a heroic effort on the hoarder’s part to stay focused on their problem, but more importantly upon the solutions….the endgame of solving the problem.
It seems akin to ‘I’m a heroin addict. This is my addictive life. Watch my journey as I kick the habit.’ More often, it is a very private conversation between the hoarder and what is left of their inner voice. ‘I have to…’ ‘I should…’ ‘Dear God….’
We often picture the hoarder consumed with consumption and happily fondling their stuff. Yet, I imagine my mom or my aunt also stumbling, falling, crawling, muttering, crying. Desperate in their trap of stuff. That is the core conflict we all see… the addiction to maintaining all the stuff vs. the possible desire to be free of the harsh existence. We see it…but it does us good to remember what they also feel…the shame, the depression, the sense of failure. Can you imagine?
So…..so what? It doesn’t get one any closer to getting the mess cleaned up does it? Well, I raise this because of some recent comments from those so over loaded with anger or frustrations with their family and the prospects of the ordeal.
I have been there. I don’t say this as a know it all. But, the mental ordeal for you, whether they are present or out of the process for whatever reason, is enormous. You won’t have the cleanup crew depicted on TV. You and maybe a few chosen loved ones and friends will pay a physical and mental price…especially if it is filthy mess. It will do you and others well to remember the angst and turmoil your loved one(s) suffered. It will keep you sane, compassionate and loving coming up for air on the other side of the hoard. If you don’t you will form hard edged, angry conclusions and resentments that will leave you bitter during and afterwards.
Not easy to do, I understand. But, forgive and endure the mistakes of the hoarder and you will come out of the process a lot stronger and with nicer memories of your hoarder.