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Aftermath of growing up in a hoarding home... did you repeat history? or did it cause you to be the opposite?

Posted by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 12:07 PM
  • 3 Replies

Embarrassing to admit, but I was just wondering if there's anybody else out there who grew up like me.

My family is VERY well to do.  I grew up in a home on the "right-side-of-the-tracks" with 2 professional working parents.  Dirty little secret, my daddy was/is a hoarder. There came a point (before I was born) that my mom threw her hands up in the air and gave up. There was nothing anybody could do about it.  Being German and Irish, we have tempers. Trust me when I say we (my sisters and I) tried to help and "surprise" him by cleaning.  But it turned into a giant blow up and lecturing that ended with us being given the cold shoulder for weeks at a time.  

I grew up without being able to bring friends over.  I had one friend whom I'd had from preschool on, who was the ONLY friend who knew our dirty little secret.  I grew up living in a home where there was a path through our home.  Mom couldn't get to the stove to cook, and the table was so stacked with papers, mail and magazines that we couldn't eat there even if Mom could have cooked us a meal.  We went out to eat for supper every night.  In the summer time, Dad left us money to walk to DQ for burgers for lunch and money to get into the public pool after that so we'd have something to keep us occupied.  Mom taught me how to do laundry when I was 8, and nobody has ever done my laundry since then.  My room was cluttered, but not gross, there was no "path"... just like any kid I guess.

As we grew up and moved out of the house, the three of us girls each took very different paths.  Each one of us coming out of this upbringing differently. 

My oldest sister, is just like Daddy.  She held onto everything.  Once her boys got older and were able to help with housecleaning, they have been the ones doing everything. (they're now 16 and 14) It's not fair to them to have to take care of the whole families' messes. :(  I think that once they're 18 and move out, her house will go right back to the way it was before.

My other sister I guess you could say is now like I was as a kid.  Her house (like my bedroom back in the day) isn't a mess, but it is somewhat cluttered.  It would only take 15-20 minutes to go through the house picking everything up and putting it all away.

I'm the baby, and came out on the opposite end of the spectrum from my daddy.  I am a serious purger.  I get rid of clothes each season that I haven't worn the past year.  Not just mine, but my kids' clothes as well.  When one of the kids comes out dressed in something that I think is even SLIGHTLY too small, he/she changes clothes immediately and it goes to the "donation" tub which is discretely placed in a closet.  When it gets full... it goes.  I'm literally ocd about my laundry.  I have a certain way I sort, certain way to wash and a certain way to dry, and omg don't even attempt to fold it!  If anybody tries to "help" me with laundry, I LITERALLY have a panic attack (crying, shaking, hyperventilate... the whole 9 yards) and rewash everything.

 

Is there anybody else who has issues with this?  I was diagnosed with OCD and went through some therapy until I lost my insurance coverage and couldn't afford the sessions anymore.  I stopped therapy LONG before I should have.  While I'm happy that my kids aren't growing up the way I did, I feel that I go overboard and don't know how to stop.  I must add:  I have a wonderful relationship with my folks and so do my children.  There are still hoarding issues at my folks' home.  I hold no anamosity towards either of them whatsoever.  They loved me and provided a life that most kids dreamed of.  It's not their fault.  My daddy has an illness that he refuses to face.  While I do worry about them, I learned in therapy that I can't help them.  All I can do is not let it happen to myself.  My mom and I talked about it once.  But she does have a nerve on this subject, so we've never talked about it again.  She's proud of the way I turned out, reguardless of the upbrining. 

I just want help dealing with my life now as a result of my upbringing.  Somebody please tell me I'm not alone.

 

by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 12:07 PM
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Replies (1-3):
Raintree
by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 12:22 PM

Well, my mother isn't exactly a hoarder in the extreme sense- she doesn't just buy stuff to collect it- but she does have a lot of stuff. Always did. She's an artist- teaches and co-owns a gallery- but yeah- lots of stuff, and not a lot of cleaning, unless I did it.

I caught myself starting to keep everything when I was in college- became horrified- and stopped colt turkey. I no longer like shopping very much, I take care of what I have, I am fairly organized. I have to be with four little boys running around:)

I do tend to have a little OCD - but I'm not extreme. So, anyway- I think people can go  different directions rather than follow their parents path.

Lil_ol_me9306
by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 12:22 PM

Kind of.  My mother was a hoarder of plants.  We literally had a jungle of plants in our house.  One time, my sister and I went through and counted and we had something like 350 individual plants.  My mother is still that way, I think.  I have not seen nor talked to her since a week before Thanksgiving.  My sister is a slob.  She pretends to clean and makes a big fuss over the phone, but any time I'd go over there I'd be disgusted to find her 1 year old son eating shit off the floor.  And I mean that totally literally.  Pizza, cherios, cat food, cat shit, anything and everything.  I don't go over to my sister's house anymore.

I have had a pretty serious bout with moderatly sever treatment resistant depression.  In my old house, I felt that it was a run down shack of a trailer and I hated it.  I didn't clean because what was the point?  Now that I've moved, I keep my house SPOTLESS!!  There is not a day that goes by that I don't vacuum the entire house and don't work my butt off keeping it clean and will continue to work to keep it clean.

Teeshann
by Silver Member on Jan. 18, 2010 at 1:28 PM

 my hubby's parents are hoarders. even his older sister. i HATE going to my FIL's house. we have lots of junk that we don't need bout nowhere like his parents. and we do go through stuff a couple times a year and get rid of stuff we don't use. our rule is if we haven't used it in 6 months we don't need to keep it.

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