1. Sally
    Posted September 24, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    Hello; I came across your blog from another blogger following you.
    Wonder if you would answer a couple questions. I have just resently begun reading about hoarding since our daughter met a 23 yr old guy at a camp over the summer, they both worked there. We flew him to our home in Virginia to meet him and he ended up havingg a meltdown about how we live. A close family, tidy etcHe wants to come live with us and seek counseling. Is there anything specific I should be looking out for?thank you, Sally

    • Rae
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      Wow, what an unusual situation to find yourself in! I have a few questions for you!

      I’m guessing this young man came from a home where someone is hoarding? Or at least is a very cluttered home? Was he distressed to be in your tidy home because it felt alien to him, or was it because he realized that’s how people actually live outside his own home? And lastly, is he the hoarder, or the child of one?

      If he’s the child of a hoarder, it might be that he’s just come to realize not everyone lives with mountains of stuff. Could be a flood of relief to have breathing space, and clean surfaces. Perhaps it’s opened his eyes to the seriousness of the conditions in which he was living. And maybe he feels guilt for wanting a clean environment and doesn’t want to hurt his parents feelings. The whole thing can be pretty complex!!

      If he is the hoarder, then he might certainly feel anxious without a nest around him. I know my Mom feels very comfortable with her possessions crowded around her. It’s her safety zone (ironic, huh?). I think she genuinely feels vulnerable when in a home that’s very tidy. Do you think that’s the case with your daughter’s friend?

      Either way, counseling isn’t a bad idea. If he wants the help, that’s a great sign! He’ll have to figure out what his new normal is going to be. And no matter what, he’ll need your compassion, understanding, and patience. Judgement has no place in this kind of situation, no matter how appalling his current living conditions might be.

      I’d like to know more about the situation, so I can try to help you better. Thanks for sharing your story so far!

Have Your Say