Hoarders vs perfection


I watch Hoarders all the time.  I don’t know what the draw is, but the show claims over 3 million people suffer from hoarding and the shows are on all the time so I can’t be the only person watching.  My parents were hoarders to a point when I was growing up and living with them.  I just remember piles and junk and nobody got rid of anything and nobody cleaned.  When I moved to my grandmothers was the complete opposite, floors so clean you could eat off of them and everything had a place and it needed to be in it’s place. I used to think cleaning was her hobby.  I learned later on in life it was another negative left over from living with an evil angry alcoholic father.  Her house had to be cleaned and she just never was able to kick that perfection habit.  I sort of went more towards her way of life than my parents.  I like things clean and orderly, but I don’t clean as thoroughly or as frequently (she cleaned everything every day and made the beds, I have never made a bed).  But I like things in their place and I like things organized.  But sometimes when my kids have toys everywhere and there seems like there is too much to do today, I feel like I could just let it go and I could be ok with that.  But I know that’s different than buying and collecting things just to fill a void.

Tonight as I was watching I kept thinking they always freak out when their houses are cleaned and the junk is taken away.  They won’t to pick through the bags.  They want control.  I started to think about how that must feel.  My void is my to do list and calendar.  I write everything down, things for today, things for tomorrow, things for next month, next year, in the next ten years. I think I’m in control.  I think I can keep things at an even keel and be on top of it all, by doing this.  And then I started to think what if someone took that away from me?  I surround myself with those things on my to do list, in order to feel safe and in control.  I don’t know that I could just start over again and be me without it.  So how do those hoarders do it? Yes they must get counciling and therapy and support, but how can you take what makes someone feel safe and then just take it all away.  That really bothers me, I don’t know what to think.  I am always trying to get away from being a total control freak and to stretch myself a bit, go out on a limb but then I see something like that and it makes me think and it makes me nervous inside.  And I know there are reasons I try to be in control-turmoil as a child, overly organized grandmother, not wanting to be less than perfect.  But how can I just relax and let go?  How do the hoarder people do afterwards, when the stuff they feel they need so much is taken away?  Can they make it?  How do they make it?

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