Sunday, November 24, 2013

I am totally appalled by the materialism pervading the holiday season.  People are camping out in front of big box stores just to get in line to buy a t.v.  While I appreciate a good deal, I just am surprised by the amount of effort people will put in to buy presents, things, stuff.  That people will actually bite, claw and grab in order to get a toy, a video game or similar item.  Totally blows my mind.  What are we focusing on? What are the priorities we are teaching our children, our society as a whole? 

Perhaps I have a bias against “stuff” as the adult child of a hoarder; it hasn’t brought any happiness or joy to me.  Stuff doesn’t fill the gap created by trauma, pain or abuse.  Stuff doesn’t love us or care about us and in many instances can cause destruction in families.

There are simple pleasures that I enjoy about Christmas and the holidays.  I love seeing the pretty lights and decorations. I enjoy decorating my own tree and house.  I enjoy a fire in the fireplace and some hot cider.  I like seeing the stockings hung up on the chimney.  I enjoy finding a unique gift that will surprise and delight the important people in my life.  I enjoy putting up the nativity scene and attending a candle light service.  Spending time with friends is also an enjoyable aspect of the holiday season.  Simple can truly be sweet.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Here is some important information on determining when and how you may be able to assist your parents if you deem it necessary.  Viewed on 2/16/2013 at this link

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Focus on What You Want

While growing up in a chaotic and hoarding environment, I was extremely worried about “being like my mom” because of the amount of stuff and odd way that we lived.  I shared this fear with a camp counselor when I was about 12 and she gave me some great advice. Essentially I was reminded to focus on what I wanted and how I wanted to be.  It has been years since I had that conversation but I remember it vividly, as it was a ray of hope in my life at that time and remains one today.

If you were or are living in a hoarding environment, here are some a few ideas that might be helpful for you to carve out some space for yourself:

1)      If you are fortunate to have your own room, define that space and let the hoarder know they cannot under any circumstance to put any of their items in your room.

2)      If you are fortunate to have a “corner” or place in the home, let the hoarder know that you need a space for your stuff and tell them to keep their stuff out of your area.

3)      Remember: it isn’t selfish to have some personal space for yourself.

4)      If you are a student, you may be able to establish a “homework zone” or desk space that you use for school and let the hoarder know that you need this space to work so you can pass your classes.

I did have success with these strategies as a teenager growing up in a hoarding household. I wish you the best as you survive the hoarding environment. You can escape, but until you do, please know you are not alone and that there a many of us who have gone on live different non-hoarding lives.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Journey Begins

Most stories have a beginning, a middle and an end.  Hoarding and chaos do not take such a linear route.  Children of hoarders have to just jump in and start figuring it out early in life.  Not an easy task I assure you!

There are many things that make life difficult when growing up in a hoarding environment. Sadly most children feel isolated and lonley because of the "family secret" that must not be shared.

It really is a bit odd to me that it is considered a "secret" because hoarding in my observation spills out of the house onto the property, and the non-working vehicles stuffed with cardboard boxes and other various forms of trash.

I can pick out a hoarding house just by driving by.  Chances are someone in that house has a serious mental health issue and my heart aches for the people residing in that chaotic environment.

There is hope. There is help.  Let the healing begin and know that you are not alone.