It’s that time again. Time to write about hoarding and its place/influence in my life.
I walk into my kitchen and start putting away the now dry dishes. Everything has its place; everything has a home. As fluidly as I brush my teeth in the morning, I spin around the kitchen placing things where they belong. It is second nature; I don’t even have to think about it. But I do think about it.
I stop for just a moment, look around at everything neatly organized in my kitchen, look down at the spatula in my hand and I know exactly where it goes. I know where it goes, and I know that it fits. I won’t have to jam or stuff anything into a place. Everything fits and everything is neat and organized.
I have to think about it, because there was a time when I had to think about it for a different reason. Washing dishes, doing laundry, putting things away, etc., was a chore. Everything was a chore. It was all difficult because nothing had a place and even if it did, there was never enough room for it. OR, if there was room, you wouldn’t want to put it there anyway because, let’s face it, no sane person wants to put clean silverware in a drawer full of rodent feces.
I have to think about it because I have to appreciate the mundane things that everyone else takes for granted. Those things are wonderful to me.
I clean my bathroom sink every single day because the one I had before was falling through the floor and cleaning would collapse it. My sink here is pure white, perfectly clean and absolutely beautiful. It shines, literally shines.
I move my furniture and sweep/vacuum and mop underneath and behind it because where I lived before, this feat was impossible.
I sit on my couch because I never sat on the one where I came from. It was soaked with urine and the stench was overwhelming.
I throw things away like old tupperware containers because no one can get mad if I do anymore. I donate old stuff to the thrift store because no one is telling me they’re saving it for something.
I do these things now that I could not do before, and I appreciate them more than a normal person, because my mother is a hoarder and I didn’t have simple “luxuries” when I lived with her.
I dance and spin and skip and run and jump through my entire house, because I have the space to do it. I walk through my house at night with the lights turned off because there is nothing in my way that I can run into and get hurt on.
I invite people into my house.
I tell people they can crash at my place, because I finally have somewhere for someone to sleep. I even have breakfast and coffee to offer them in the morning. I have guest pillows and blankets, and those have their own space, too!
I’m 25 years old, and now I can finally have sleepovers like I wanted when I was a kid. Too bad I had to grow up in order to have a sleepover.
I am doing all the things I couldn’t do before, and it’s a beautiful thing.
Hoarding is so much more detrimental than some people realize. Even now, 150 miles away from my hoarder family, I am still affected. I would love to go visit my mother, but I can’t, because in two mobile homes and three campers, there is still nowhere for me to spend a night. I don’t want to sleep in her neighbor’s guest room. I wouldn’t be going there to visit them.
I’m also still struggling with some OCD because of the hoarded conditions I used to live in. A friend came over a few weeks ago and cooked dinner in my kitchen. I did okay with that, but she also washed my dishes. When she put them away, she moved my butter knives over one space in the drawer.
Even thinking about it now angers me. It’s not like I have a panic attack when things like this happen, but I get angry. It’s disrespectful to rearrange someone’s things, especially when everything is perfectly organized to begin with. It really bothered me. It was as though I couldn’t put the butter knives back in their place enough times to make it right. Classic OCD. I didn’t repeat the action multiple time, but it is still bothering me. They should never have been moved in the first place.
I don’t look OCD. I don’t act OCD. No one knows I’m OCD. No one can tell. But I am, obviously. Everyone would know if I actually allowed it to show. I don’t let people see it, though. I didn’t say anything to my friend about the butter knives.
Thank you for reading my long, boring rant about hoarding. I need to get it out of my system every once in a while.