what is a hoarder?

Wednesday, November 17th

As the week has worn on I have uncovered a multitude of things, both big and small, that I’m certain no one even knows exist in this house. Forgotten treasures. Lots of them. Some things never used or even opened and with their shipping labels, packing slips and price tags still attached. I wish I had that kind of time and money to just squander it away…actually I don’t and I know my family really doesn’t either, so why then? Why rack up the credit cards and the banks accounts when you never had it to begin with and then just let it sit here and rot for all eternity?

I did a search on of hoarders just out of curiosity to see what the “clinical” definition might be…this is what I found on Wikipedia:

“Compulsive hoarding (or pathological hoarding or disposophobia)[1] is the excessive acquisition of possessions (and failure to use or discard them), even if the items are worthless, hazardous, or unsanitary. Compulsive hoarding impairs mobility and interferes with basic activities, including cooking, cleaning, showering, and sleeping. A person who engages in compulsive hoarding is commonly said to be a “pack rat“, in reference to that animal’s characteristic hoarding.

It is not clear whether compulsive hoarding is an isolated disorder, or rather a symptom of another condition, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder.[2]

Public awareness of the condition has recently experienced an increase with the launch of two competing reality television programs about the subject, Hoarders and Hoarding: Buried Alive, airing on the A&E and TLC networks respectively.”

Although I have already put a sizeable dent in the monstrous heap throughout my grammas house, made several trips to the Goodwill with as much as I could cram into the Hyundai, stuffed as much recycling material into the Taurus station wagon and started a stockpile of trash bags next to the house, it seems like I turn around and there’s MORE. SO MUCH MORE.

I feel like crying today as I look around. And I see lots of the things that I can’t get rid of even knowing they will never be used. There’s no one able who cars enough to do anything about it that. I came home today from a quick errand and caught my gram trying to be slick and with her feet she was scooting a heavy box of papers into her room to sort. Gramma’s 83 years old, she uses a cane to walk and has a very hard time moving around, so why she thinks she has to do this on her own is a problem for me. She’s so accustomed to no one helping her that even with help right here, she still can’t ask me for it. That made me want to blow a gasket.

Our parents and elderly in general should be able to count on us to help them even if it means they have to feel useless, old or whatever. I don’t care how they feel, if they hurt themselves in the process it could be devastating for them health wise. And I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty selfish in terms of keeping my gramma alive a LOT longer. It’s so hard to negotiate this transition right now. Lord willing, I will continue to do the best I can.

This is the guest bedroom…this is where I typically sleep when I come up (using moms room this trip). Boxes, clothing, desk stuff, gramps old things (he passed on many many years ago), adult pads/diapers, christmas stuff and God knows what else is in this room. I emptied out a car full of Goodwill stuff and after hefty bag #6 of trash and box #4 of recycling stuff, I quit counting.  I will very well spend another few hours in this room before it’s “done”.


Relax. Breathe. Focus.

Tommorow…you’re guess is as good as mine!


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