I’m admitting that I am strangely attracted to the show Hoarders. Like a train wreck. I understand in my heart that these are people with deep psychological problems, people who are, in some instances mentally ill. But really, and you know in your heart that this is true, you watch it and it makes you feel better about yourself. It is that “I am better than you” thing going on. I am totally on that train.
It fascinates me that these people, at least the ones who can acknowledge that they have an issue, actually address the problem in their homes as “the hoard.” Like it is another person in the family. Another entity living in the house. So while I don’t have to climb over a pile of crap up to the ceiling to access my bed. And there is not a giant family of roaches living behind the pictures hanging in my living room. And there are no rats and no rotting food in an unused fridge. I came to the realization quite recently that really, everyone has their own hoard-plainly visible or not.
I realized that even if you can’t see the hoard, that sometimes it is just as ugly. And maybe it is even more ugly because it is invisible. And maybe that is why it is easy to pass judgment on the hoarders. It is simple to know that your situation is better based on what can be seen. To do a direct comparison. Clean v. disturbingly filthy. Thing is that most folks are living with their own personal version of a hoard. Whatever it may be. However it may manifest itself. And maybe the hoard is easy to ignore because it is not physically in your face on a daily basis. But it is there.
And just like the hoarders on TV, I don’t want to talk about my hoard. It is buried. It is mostly mine. But think of how interesting it would be if suddenly, everyone’s internal hoards, all of a sudden became tangible. Translated to piles of stuff and the inability to access the kitchen. Maybe ultimately we would all be better off because we would know what we were dealing with. We could judge someone else’s hoard against ours. On a one to one basis. Maybe it would make for better relationships. Maybe upon seeing your loved one’s hoard, up close and personal, in all its glory, you would make a run for it. Maybe it would be scary. And it would make you question the decisions you had made. I had that experience quite recently. It was like seeing the hoard. And it did scare me. And I didn’t like it. But, I have my own hoard too, and without ponying up, who’s to say which one is worse. I can’t.