The Precipice: The slippery slopes of despair

Hoarding and all it represents is obviously a complex malady and subject to dissection by those mental health experts that know of such things…or are trying to become the experts re such things.

But from a gut level, having trudged through these messes, I sense things that don’t necessarily fit mental health cubby holes, but just percolate there in my mind. Inner trauma and insecurities, something incomplete, anxiety, craving, striving for something but always feeling not quite there…..all this before becoming a hoarder. All this regardless of the Great Depression (the grand excuse of causation).


The intensity of obsessively moving down a road of buying things for ‘need’, resale, profit, money, self satisfaction…but all an on the surface response. It really was hiding the unseen, only suspected at a gut level, deeper dissatisfaction. Like a drug addiction and all its surface drama, the addiction masking, numbing something much deeper and unspoken. Pains, traumas, degradations that could not be spoken of back then…even barely today.

The anger, the palpable anger that boiled over into harsh discipline. Eruptions of temper and hyper critical judgments at every turn. Angry at life, angry to the grave.

My own anger at a father, long ago, that damaged young girls and caused such harm. The justice, old school justice, that should have been dispensed upon that man on some back country road. A bullet to the head would have justifiably dispensed with the harm he created for two girls, who later slide down a slippery slope of despair. The stuff was only the surface of frustrations with an insurmountable mess. The being buried and surrounded and hidden away in it was the real testament to a father’s evil.


Every thing seems in the past. All our efforts of care, grief, cleanup, dealing. But, even for us, beneath the surface is the hinted at understandings of why. I can tell you what I see, what I suspect causes great anger in me. I must let it go. I only pray if there is a hell, a certain man is in it and tormented for eternity.


4 thoughts on “The Precipice: The slippery slopes of despair

  1. I see the need for security and control in my mother’s hoard. It is insulation for her pysche that feels she is both too good for some things and not good enough for others. It is one place where the “you can’t make me” part of her rules supreme. Your Mom and Auntie had control over nearly all aspects of their lives once they were older, and I think they relished and protected that to an extreme degree.

  2. Jenny Islander

    I think that interaction with other disorders also has to be considered. I compare your blog with Tetanus Burger and come away with mental pictures of very different hoarders. Your mother and aunt recognized that they had a problem, although they were still in the grip of hoarding syndrome; they did ask for help, albeit in skewed ways that were stymied by their skewed thought processes, and they did think about hospitality and so forth as far as their syndrome would allow. The father of the two women who blog at Tetanus Burger never admitted that his hoarding behavior could possibly be a problem for anyone, even though the effects were quite similar, and he seems never to have had a kindly moment even within his own family. IOW, he was apparently a narcissist; your mother and aunt were simply ill.

    1. Jenny Islander

      Sorry, brain cramp moment. The effects were worse. Your mother and aunt did not have dependent children living in the hoard and did not force their dependents to live in unnecessarily cold, ill-lit, and unhygienic conditions in order to satisfy their own need for control. This man did. And yet, your relatives were at least able to say at some point, “Wait, something is happening here, even if my disorder won’t let me go any further down this line of thought,” whereas this man ranted angrily about his right to do as he pleased with his own possessions if his family dared express discomfort, and appears to have deliberately designed his hoard and even partially dismantled his house utilities so that his family would always be thinking of what he had done and what he required. If a person can’t help hoarding, that’s awful. If a person can’t help hoarding and the hoarding behavior and its effect on others provides their narcissistic supply–then they’re awful.

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