Posted by pegasus on May 9, 2012, at 10:59:29
In reply to My mother is a hoarder, posted by Dinah on April 30, 2012, at 18:20:49
I just got back into town after spending time with my folks, and found this thread, which is so right on target for me. My parents are not extreme hoarders, but I think they're thematic hoarders. They have every horizontal surface covered with stacks of books several feet high. They have a basement that sounds like your mom's house, with the stacks being made of books. There are bookcases on the stairway filled with dusty books that no one has ever opened. It drives me crazy. There are, for example, dozens of dictionaries for various foreign languages. How many German-English dictionaries does one need?
I can hardly stand to be in their house, although they don't seem to think there is anything amiss. When my dad picked me up from the airport, he couldn't put my luggage in the trunk, because it was full of books. The backseat was also full of books, except for a little space carved out specially for me to sit.
I think my dad is worse than my mom. She loves books, but she seems to read most of the books she buys. He'll go to Goodwill and buy cartons of books, which I can't imagine that he'll ever read. But he thinks he will. He told me last week that now that he's 82, he is realizing that he may never read all of his books. What!?!? He thought he would actually *read* all of those? No one could read them all, if all they did during their lifetime was read!
I think it's what makes me a neatnik. I can't stand clutter, and I am almost compulsive about keeping things organized. I see it as a psychological defense that is maybe no longer needed.
Sigh. I dread the day they try to move out of that house, and we have to go through all of that stuff. I'd pay some serious money to have someone else clear the place out. Although, it does tug at my heart to know that it would mean that I'd never uncover my mom's wedding dress, for example, or childhood mementos that I'm sure are in there somewhere, etc.
Anyway, I guess I'm just saying what others have said: you're not alone, and it *is* really hard.