A emotional secret

Monday, April 08, 2013

A few weeks ago, my fiance's brother made a comment to me that I can't seem to shake.

" You guys have a lot of sh#t."

Its a simple comment and one that other people could ignore or laugh off. But this comment bothered me so deeply that lately I have been on an extreme clean kick. I have been donating and throwing out things throughout my hosue. My fiance can't understand why I am acting like this over a small comment.

Have you even watched the show "Hoarders"? Yeah.. lets just say that I grew up in that kind of enviroment. Its a problem that my family is still dealing with emotionally and physically. It has effected in crazy ways even as an adult.

When I was little, I rememeber the stress that company at the house brought. My Mom yelling and threatening to throw out our stuff. The presure to make everything looking perfect and neat. The way my Mom would stress out, cry and freak out.

Unlike most families, the idea of someone coming by unexpectedly would immediatly cause stress throughout the family. I couldn't have friends over without giving a 3 week notice, I didn't have sleepovers at my house and I couldn't even tell them why due to embarresment.

I am not sure who the problem lies with. My Mom is the major blame for most of the items in the house. Even now, she has at least 100 childrens books in the living room for people to read. Yet, there is no childred in the house. I tell her to get rid of them and she says that my Brother (29yrs old) enjoys reading them. Not likely. My Dad calls my mother a hoarder which isn't fair. His idea of cleaning is to throw everything in a box and "go through it later". He also feels the need to record and make DVD's of every show he likes. Yet he never watches them.

My brother and sister have also developed this behavior. My brother, who is special needs, finds a reason why anything can't be thrown out. He associated a memory or finds that teddy bear to cute to destroy. My sister is also like that. She also feels that everything can be sold or should be held onto for the memories. For example: I went over my families house a few months ago. My Mom found this old cigar box that I painted and put stickers on. It was broken and dirty. I told my mom to toss it but my sister took it. She said she remembers me using it as a kid. It has a story. A memory.

I can't say I have escaped this problem either. I tend to collect strange and unusual things. The house seems to always cluttered and dishes always seem to be sitting at the sink dirty. Whenever my fiance tells me his Dad or brother are coming over, I go into clean mode. I rush around the house dusting, vaccumming and getting the dishes done. Yet when my fiannce's Dad (who can be a real jerk) makes a snide comment. My stomach turns. Then I go into a whole throwing away binge. Its stressful for both myself fiance.

With this all being said, I am trying so hard not to end up like my family. I try not to keep items that don't mean anything to me. To throw clothes away that don't fit. It feels good to write about it. Never really went into it with anyone besides my fiance (who still can't comprehend it). I stress about what is going to happen when my parents can't live there. The idea of cleaning the house is heavy in my mind because I know I am going to be the one who does the work.

I would find it very helpful if anyone else has this issue. How did you deal with it? Are you still dealing with it?
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  • BEWELL48
    Grew up in a very messy household and it still haunts me! I am not a neat freak but like some order in my life. It saves time and energy! Hard to part with things but when I do, I feel good with no regrets. Start small with achievable goals. Do it for yourself and not others. Had to clean out my mother's house and it was very difficult! We all have too much stuff! The trite little saying, " Less is more" has much meaning!
    1842 days ago
    I can understand. I go over to my parents house and think that they have too much stuff. Here's the thing, if it bothers you because it sincerely bothers you to live that way then you should change it. If it only bothers you because of what other's think then that's their problem not yours.

    Sometimes the "mess" is more because it's poorly organized than because your hoarding items. Maybe take some time to go through 1 room per week sort through what you don't want and then really put some time into organzing the space, make sure everything has a spot. When things don't have a designated spot you are more likely to just throw it where ever?
    1843 days ago
    I don't have a hoarding problem. In fact, I am the exact opposite...very little sentimental attachment to things. However, my mother is a completely different story. I don't remember her being so bad about it when I was a kid, but over the past 10 years or so, she's accumulated quite the collection of crap. She is very much attached to things that have a sentimental value to her.

    I've told her recently that I'm going to come over this summer and help her clear out the basement-area. I don't know if she thinks I'm serious, but I completely am. My parents aren't that old (just turned 65 this year), but I have this niggling fear that when they die, I will be forced to clear out a houseful of stuff.

    For yourself, I think the best thing to do is to set goals and accomplish them in a methodical way. For example, set a goal to dust once every two weeks. Or, a goal to do dishes each evening before going to bed. Like with losing weight, start small and build on your good habits. You may never be Donna Reed, but you can make things a lot less stressful for yourself and your fiance. (And give him some chores, too!)
    1843 days ago
    Been there and over last 18yr started to overcome it i still had baby stuff belonging to my GS who is 23 this yr just incase, it never did so Ians parents came over and we sorted it all out and gave it to a charity supporting single teen mothers then i gave all the bags of material i had collected and bags of unused clothes i must have kept the charity shop going for months.
    Last week i cleared my wardrobe and filled a bag of clothes i had which dont fit they went this morning my collection of wool is dwindling i am knitting for a homeless charity.i have learnt not to buy unless it is needed.I am now trying to curb my food buying i have enough food in the freezer and cupboard to last 6 month so i have challenged myself only to buy what i need and no canned or frozen items till i use up what i have emoticon emoticon
    1844 days ago
  • SARIC3
    I can't say my family was a hoarding family, but as children, both my parents were not well off and their families tended to save everything. I joke that my grandmother was way ahead of her time with her philosophies on recycling and vitamins.

    That being said. My parents (both in their late 70's) now live in a 4 bedroom house and every room is wall to wall furniture and the attic is full. One of my sisters and I go over every couple of months and pick something to clean out, but I don't think we'll ever get rid of enough that they would be able to downsize houses.

    Our house has a lot of furniture as well, but this is dealing with my husband more than myself. We essentially inherited two houses full of furniture when his grandmother and father passed away. Some of it is nice, some if it is not. He has sentimental attachment and it is very hard to get rid of anything. I hate that I'm living in their house, not mine. Know what I mean?

    Some of their stuff is packed in the attic, which I hate.
    1844 days ago
    I don't think my mother was a hoarder, but she was not great on housekeeping. I tend to collect things, doll houses, sewing machines and fabric! My husband collects pets, guns, and boats! I am stressed by too much clutter and I need to get rid of a lot of it before my kids have to deal with it. Only one of my 3 children is a "saver" and it stresses her too. Last week I took several boxes of accumulated "stuff" out of my bedroom, went through and tossed everything that was not useful and ended up with a small basket of things that I will use. The rest went into the trash. I think if I tackle one small area at a time I tend to make progress. If I decided to clear a whole room at once I would be overwhelmed.
    1844 days ago
  • BETHS60
    I sympathize. I cannot, for some reason, deal with objects in the real world.

    There is clutter everywhere, and I have no idea how to cope with it. We are working on a plan to deal with the paperwork. Hopefully, we will start today....
    1844 days ago
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