Life as a Hoarders Child | Teen Ink

Life as a Hoarders Child

December 24, 2009
By ZealousLobelia SILVER, Two Rivers, Wisconsin
ZealousLobelia SILVER, Two Rivers, Wisconsin
7 articles 0 photos 10 comments

Imagine walking through a mountain range everyday with the danger of an avalanche becoming more and more likely with every step you take. Now imagine that the mountains aren’t rocks, but papers, and that the range isn’t under the sky but your roof. This is how I lived for thirteen years. My life has completely orbited around my moms stuff, and had to watch every step I take very carefully. There for, because my mom is a compulsive hoarder, I’ve had to go through life differently then most people would.

The hoarding affects my mom greatly because she isn’t mentally able to get rid of things. For people who are compulsive hoarders it is extremely difficult if not impossible, to get rid of things, even things that are obviously garbage. My mom never gets rid of anything; she also gets things just because she has the money to. She orders boxes and boxes of things that she has no use for and never cancels the subscriptions. Then when she gets her boxes she doesn’t even open them, but sets them down on a pile of other boxes she’s never opened. When she finishes drinking a soda she just drops the can on the floor, because even soda cans shouldn’t be gotten rid of. When things fall from the piles she has set them in, she yells at me no matter where in the house I was when it fell. She seems to think that everything is my fault, because it’s not her fault. I'm always the one blamed for her problems.

My mother's things fill up the house to near bursting point. She puts her random stuff in piles where ever she can find the room, and there isn't much of that left. There is a path going through the house that is, at most, about a foot wide. She started sleeping on the floor of my room in kindergarten, because her own bed is piled 7/8th the way to the ceiling. In about seventh grade, she had to by an air mattress for the basement because the floor got too cluttered. She started calling my room "the bedroom" because it's so filled with her junk that it can't be called "mine" any more but it never truly was. The worst thing about being the child of a hoarder would be all my friends talking about how they decorated their rooms and what not, but I couldn't, because I never had a room of my own. My aunt says that I'm the only, only child she's ever heard of who has had to share their room. The house doesn’t even have even have flat surfaces in it. Once my mom got me a desk so that I would have a place to do my homework, but that turned into a storage place for her papers and unopened boxes within a month. Even the floors are cluttered; in the living room that stuff is pressed up against the window so that the curtains don't even close.

A few months ago, I let my grandma into the house, and she was flabbergasted. She called the police that night and they went to go check it out. The next day they came and reported to us and said that the house is still technically inhabitable, but just barley. The couch has one spot out of three clear, and hardly, and she didn't even clear that off for me but for the dog. The kitchen isn't usable at all. My mom has the cutting board out so that there is more room to put things, and the stove has a foot of papers on it and coins and bits of papers under the burners. We haven't had a normal family meal where we sit around the table and eat since before I can remember, because the table isn't for eating at, it's a shelf just like every thing else. I've moved out of her house now and am livening with my grandma, but it doesn't help as much as I was hoping, because everyday, I have to think about why I'm not living with my mother.

Having a parent that keeps everything makes a person live and see things differently then others would. It really hurt to live with my mom. I love my mom and I know she loves me too and wants the best for me, but she doesn't know what that is. In some ways I've had to be a parent to her and that’s really hard. I've had to keep her secret for over thirteen years, which is a lot of bottled up emotion. I've just started to realize how much this has affected me, and since about April, have learned a lot about my self. I had to grow up so much faster than other kids would have. My whole life, I've had to stand for myself, make my own decisions in hard times, and that has made me strong. I'm still not sure of who I am, but I know I'll find out all in good time. I've learned to appreciate life a lot more, and that things happen, but life goes on so sometimes you've just got to take it head on.

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