I am the child of a hoarder. I am also the child of a schizophrenic. I am the sister of a suicidal alcoholic. In my life, normal is a castle in the air. It has its turrets and its dungeons – but it is still a castle.
My father is a hoarder, and has been for my entire life. He lives in my home, and has ever since my mother (who was, among other things, schizophrenic) died. If my father were to live alone, he would live amid filth and unimaginable clutter. I know, because I’ve lived that life with him before.
Every day with my father is a blessing (because he is a wonderful man, and I love him) and a curse (because I fight the hoarding behavior every day). There is no choice. If you give up the fight against the hoarding, it will overcome. The hoard is surreptitious; it creeps into unused cabinets, corners, niches, drawers, and into the spaces under desks and behind chairs and other furniture. It fills closets and then it oozes over into regular living space, trashing your house and your heart with trash.
The hoard is junk mail, mail order junk, freebies, scraps, old expired trash-picked food – sometimes things you might use. It is thousands of pounds of moldy, dusty junk that you don’t even know you have, and that you cannot get rid of. It is the physical representation of the fear of not having enough.
Which brings us to this question: How much is enough? In our capitalist society, how much is enough? In any place around the world – how much is enough?
Think about that as often as you can, and try to let that shape the decisions you make when you make purchases.
Today’s hoarding vignette is as follows:
In the news of late, there have been articles about pork and bacon shortages, because the price of feed has gone up, and farmers think they will be unable to afford to raise swine profitably. Thus, the price of pork and bacon is predicted to rise, much like gasoline. Fearmongers are predicting massive shortages of pork products.