Wednesday, December 5, 2012

As the circle of light grows, so does the circumference of darkness around it.. 

Another friend who grew up in a hoarded home.  She is working to help those who hoard, and their families.  She and her mother were on A&E's Hoarders, Buried Alive in one of the early seasons.  She and her mother were on a Huffington Post segment earlier in the week.

Brave folks who have chosen to be public, to speak out.  They continue this battle each day.  I watched the segment, and then I did what often disturbs me most, I read the comments.

Now, as we all know, it is very easy to hide behind a screen name, and troll or be intentionally asinine.  Many of the comments were sophomoric and puerile, but some clearly show that we have a long way to go.  Blaming the daughter.  Critiquing her faith based approach.  Stating that it is the hoarder's right to live any way they want.  And so it goes...the ignorance that allows children to live in hoarded homes, to live in neglect and active abuse.  COH's struggles all too often do not end with leaving the hoard as I did- the struggles include:

  • Being so 'gaslighted' by the hoarder that many struggle for years, if not arguably, their lifetimes, to define what 'normal' is.  
  • To define what appropriate boundaries are- the hoarder works very hard to keep the child dependent and yet in an enabling mode through the abuse of power and control.
  • To figure out how to 'overwrite' the skewed and self serving, hoard perpetuating guilt, lies and manipulations of the hoarder.  
  • To overcome PTSD and the triggers.  To this day if I open a fridge and something has went over and smells, I am nauseated for hours.
  • To trust, to love, to be loved, to parent without the shadow of the hoard looming in the COH's mind.
  • To establish 'normal' homes and routines, and healthy relationships with 'stuff'.
  • To overcome doorbell dread.
This list could go on indefinitely.  Please take a moment to watch the clip, and look at the resources.  Hoarding hurts, and NO ONE wins.  COHs need compassion and support, much like those who have grown up in hell homes of addiction, domestic abuse, and similar behaviors.  Because...many of us have.  Most of us have.  All of us have.

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