In Defense of Hoarders…Up To a Point
As a personal hoarder and professional therapist, I am in a unique position to say something about the phenomena that, thanks to cable TV, we all love to hate. Well, maybe not hate as much as recoil in disgust and disbelief. Someone really saves used cat litter and soiled baby diapers?? Ewww.
Hear me out all Ye Who Judgeth. Most of us who “over collect” and tend toward “clutter” aren’t quite that bad or suffering that degree of abject denial. We dont merrily open our refrigerators in the morning to the sight of gobs of black mold, dead squirrels and missing relatives squeezed into the produce drawer. Ok, we might lag a bit behind in our vigilance about expiration dates, ie. “Dad, are you kidding me? Today is May 20th. This yogurt says sell by January 12th and your 2% milk looks suspiciously like cottage cheese.” Fine. Mea Culpa on that one.
The thing I dont like is how these “reality” shows and even my own profession tend to lump every deranged hoarder into the same fly and rat dung infested category, usually an older middle aged lady or guy who has to crawl over boxes to get to his/her urine soaked mattress and half eaten box of Triscuits. Ok, Mea Culpa on the Triscuits and Sesame Melba Toast by the side of the bed too………..I like some “comfort food” with me while I write. Plus I dont want to trip over my stuffed animal collection at nite when I shuffle down to the kitchen in my limited edition Star Trek slippers.