I've been watching episodes of "Hoarders: Buried Alive!" on Amazon Prime. I had stopped watching them for a couple months, but then, we went and worked on my mom's apartment last Sunday. My boyfriend came with my sister and me to work on it. My mother is getting over 20 subscriptions to magazines and book clubs at the moment. She and my father also had not been staying in their apartment for the month of November, so, the magazines, packages, and mail had piled up.
I too have numerous subscriptions to magazines. This year, I bought a Kindle Fire. After my subscriptions run out, if I renew any of them, it will be on the Kindle. I do not want any more paper coming into my apartment!
Ian and I were watching an episode of "Hoarders" last night. After seeing my parent's apartment on Sunday, he has started thinking about the situation. He asked, "Did your house look like that when you were younger?"
I answered, "Sometimes. Yes."
I talked to him about how instead of teaching me how to clean my room, my parents would just let it pile up. Then, when we couldn't walk through it any more, my mom would sit on the pile of stuff on the floor with a trash bag, and just throw it all away! I have problems getting rid of things to this day! This is where my hoarding tendencies come from.
I have this vague memory from when I was really young. My dad had eaten grapes with seeds on them, and the seeds accidentally got spilled on the floor. They stayed on the floor, a carpeted area of the living room for a week or two. (The time frame of how long the seeds actually stayed on the floor may be distorted by how young I was when this happened!) I thought they looked like spiders and would jump over they area every time I had to go near them. Even after they were finally cleaned up, I would still jump over the place, remembering the "spider seeds."
One of my hoarding tendencies is with food. I save something I really like until I really want it! I know now as an adult, I can go buy more, but as a child, I didn't think my parents would go buy me more. I had a bag of candy from Halloween. It ended up in the pile in the middle of my bed room that hadn't been cleaned for months. My nieces and nephew came to visit and found the bag of candy. They climbed up on to my top bunk and ate it! The funny thing was, it was MONTHS past Halloween! I wasn't even mad about it, because I had completely forgotten about the Halloween candy. I think my sister in law, who found her children randomly eating the candy, was more upset about the situation than anyone else.
When my mother had triple bypass surgery, I went to my parents' house to help them out a bit. There was an ironing board sitting out with a bunch of clean laundry on it. I decided to help out, I would fold it and put it away. I did this. I went home for a few days and came back. IT WAS ALL BACK OUT! I asked my dad why? Was he ironing? Did he need help with the folding? He said, NO. He just didn't want it put away! Now, I realize, my mom was in the hospital, and this was just weeks after my brother had past away. This was just not logical to me! I was trying to help out. Plus, the hospital said they were going to come and make sure that mom could get around the house post-op!
Now, as an adult, I watch the hoarding shows, and yes, sometimes I say to myself, "Well, I'm not that bad!" Other times, they inspire me to throw things out. Sometimes, they just make me sad knowing about what my childhood was like. I often feel like I don't have a lot of the adult skills that I should have been taught in my early years. I know that Ian picks up a lot of the slack with cleaning. I really appreciate him for that!
It's hard for me to listen to my mom's logic when I go to her apartment. Just recently, we went to visit, and a new kitchen chair appeared. Now, my mother has a whole matching kitchen table with chairs set that are absolutely beautiful. She also has a very large couch and three living room chairs, one of the living room chairs belonging to the cat. ALL of this furniture is in the same room! She doesn't have a separate dining room from her living room. There is even more furniture aside just from seating. I said, "Mom, why did you get an extra chair?" She answered, "I needed another place for my home teachers to sit!" WHAT!?!?!?! 4 Dining room chairs, three living room chairs, a very large couch, and she's buying chairs?!?!?! I explained to her how this was beyond ridiculous! She did NOT need another chair! She said, "But it was only $3!"
I was done.
I will re-access every thing I own and get rid of things. I know I'm not perfect in this situation. It's going to take me time to get to the point I need to be at.