Hoarding Sisters: What were they thinking?

Mom Auntie
My Mom & My Aunt

As we make our way toward the end of this journey in resolving two massive hoarding homes/yards over five years we are mentally and physically fried. We have paid a price and we both sense this is one of those prices in life you do not heal from. The scars, aches and diminished capacities will remain.

Make no mistake, we love these ladies. We love them more now than ever. But, after investing our health, our spare time, our mental well being we still to this day ask “what were they thinking?”. Or in a simpler fashion “why?”.

The easy answer often offered up is they were from the Depression Era. Sure that may be part of the equation for them. But, there is also the underlying emotional components that seem to ‘infect’ this consideration of “why”.

storage locker me

I am not sure we will ever arrive at the answer. We really don’t try. We chase our mental processing tail in asking and answering the unknown here. Trauma, inner pain, easing pain, self reward, a bargain, making money, gratification, beauty, collecting, emotional security, loneliness, emotionally cutoff, grief, unresolved anger and betrayal, childhood abuse/assault……………………………

The answers for these two girls will never be known beyond guesses. At this point, I need to think positive thoughts of love and good moments and not try to figure out this question of why?

It is a reflection, for us, of a price paid. Just like for them. We love you girls!


5 thoughts on “Hoarding Sisters: What were they thinking?

  1. annietiques

    What a lovely tribute….good to know that you all can muster up good and loving feelings for the two sisters….I for one wish that I knew the “whys”…….it could help so many families in a similar position.

    Please take lots of photos during the “sale”, I think it would so interesting to those of us that follow your incredible story!!!

  2. Ruth

    I read many blogs by children of hoarders. Yours is the absolutely only one where I find love and respect for the hoarder. I always leave your page feeling uplifted. God bless you.

  3. Jenny Islander

    Two things you wrote about haunt me: the cassette recorder your mother plugged into the wall in order to record her plea to your father–dead for years–for help, and the time your aunt “got ready to leave” the care facility by taking all of her things out of their tidy drawers and putting them in piles on the floor.

    I firmly believe that hoarding is a physical problem in the brain, like OCD–if it isn’t an expression of OCD itself. Something sticks. Something breaks. Something that lubricates the workings of some part of the brain is overproduced or underproduced. Maybe some little part isn’t shaped quite right at birth and the right stressor will fritz it all out of whack. It isn’t insanity, although it feels like Chinese water torture to victims who are aware that they have a problem. It’s a hiccup, a glitch, a reflex. The result: things arrive, but they don’t leave, and trying to get them out the door feels like ripping out a piece of the self. It seems as though the things do feel like a piece of the self, or pieces of other selves that emanate love and must be protected. But at the same time, many hoarders know they’re sick. But the stuff is a part of the self. But the stuff is devouring any chance at ordinary happiness. But the stuff is a part of the self.

    So many hoarders end their lives alone. I think both your aunt and your mother were very lucky that at the end, they had you.

    1. So very eloquently put!!! “….feel like a piece of the self, or pieces of other selves that emanate love and must be protected.”

      My mind flits in a circle trying to sort out motives, mental wiring, their lives. And it, in the end, infects one’s self also if you over think it. Of course, many of us have to deal with it and I believe to come out on the other end with any sense of compassion you have to try and calculate the possible why’s. Not in a desperate effort, but just enough to stay patient and compassionate.

      I am truly appreciative that you have taken the time to go back and catch up. You can see the journey has taken us through many uncharted waters along the way. Once we make landfall, we shall self assess to see where we really ended up. Thank you Jenny.

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