Saturday, June 4, 2011

Hoarders....no judgement but observing.

I have a small addiction to home improvement shows (sell this house, moving up, that type of thing) and to shows about mental health issues that manifest in unusual ways: hoarding, animal hoarding, eating disorders, surgical addiction...things like that.  In some small way seeing how out of control other people can be puts into perspective, however moderately, in control I am.

I am messy. I am a piler...i have stacks of things on our kitchen table (homework/school things; activities for the kids; important mail;) but they are manageable piles.  We don't need a path through any room, and our bathrooms and kitchen sinks don't have indescribable pudding in them.  

What really SCARES me though is that I could see how one day I might find myself on TLC or Discovery or OWN completely surrounded by things.  I find that when I am stressed out, upset or depressed I tend to "clean up" but that means I take things that can be put away and put them in plastic bags.  I then have multiple plastic bags (target, walmart, kohls) filled with paper or items that need to be put away...they aren't sitting and blocking the way to my bed or surrounding the entrance to the house but I can imagine how out of hand I could get in my tendency to need things and the fear I have from time to time to throw anything away.  Sonny might need the study guide to his test from the beginning of 3rd grade.  DD might need to see her dance schedule from her first year in ballet.  DH probably would need the gamer magazine with portal II highlighted since, yanno, he doesn't HAVE portal II(he does).

It is frightening to see how truly out of control the people highlighted on the different hoarding shows are.  Even "clean house" reflects at least some level of hoarding behavior -- i worry about THOSE people b/c the reason that the home has become so full of things don't seem to really be addressed.  The home is beautified and the viewer walks away from the show thinking "wow what a gorgeous home" but where are these people in 5 years?  I know they follow up, but it's usually within a year of the Clean House team.  What support is in place for these families who are obviously dealing with some level of emotional issue.

Something else that terrifies me -- some of the people featured on the shows don't seem to realize just how bad they are living.  Some of the people have to go to local gas stations to use the restroom, have to shower at work and sleep in their cars. The smells alone would have to drive you out...i cannot imagine being so immune to the stench of rotting food, animal carcases, animal and human feces and urine....but it happens it HAS to happen otherwise, how could one live like this?


So it's something I think about.  Not a rant, not only about being a mom, but i think about it. A lot...and hope that I stay ahead of my tendencies and stay aware of my fear.

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