Monday, December 19, 2011

Hoarders & Me

For some reason I've gotten hooked on Hoarders.

One episode I watched this morning featured a 28 year old hoarder whose hoard hadn't yet become life threatening. This 28 year old was extremely controlling, and yet extremely insightful. She recognized that her behavior was undermining her relationship with family and significant other. She made it impossible for the significant other to say anything about her behavior, to voice his opinion about anything, to make any requests for his own space or to satisfy his own needs. When he asked for something she responded emotionally in a way that most of us are fearful to confront.

A&E offers those who participate in the show aftercare funds to work with both therapists and organizer. This hoarder undermined that as well, making it impossible for the organizer to help her -- putting up obstacles until the organizer gave up and quit.

All of this can be ascribed to the illness, the compulsive hoarding. But I was also left wondering if this hoarder was aware of her disease and was using her disease as a way of manipulating others, an excuse for essentially bad behavior.

But it also made me wonder if I do/am doing the same thing. I think I am and I do.

I think I use my illness as an excuse for getting snappy at Kris. Yes I am drugged. Yes I am in some pain fairly constantly - though it isn't great pain but it is a pain that keeps me aware that I have recently had major surgery. I do use the illness as a way of excusing my not calling the people I need to call to get things done around the house. I do use the illness as an excuse for watching a lot of television and reading very little.

OK. I am using my illness as a way of avoiding actual responsibility. So, will I change that, call the plumber and get the home in the shape it should be. Will I at least turn off the television and open a book.

Sure, just as soon as this episode of Hoarders is over!

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