Monday, May 27, 2013

Buried Alive

There is a TV program called "Hoarders." I find it nearly impossible to watch. Five to ten minutes is about the maximum length of time I am able to endure. That people would allow their living space to become so intolerable (you've got to see the show to believe what people subject themselves to) is beyond my comprehension. I struggle to locate my compassion and empathy. Why, I ask myself, is this issue any more problematic for me than alcohol or drug addiction?

When it comes right down to it, it may be how "in your face" (obvious) the problem is that causes my consternation. An alcoholic or drug addict is more than capable of hiding their disease. Hoarding is so OVERT! An alcoholic or drug addict can lie to themselves and others, but how does a hoarder manage that? When their "stuff" is floor to ceiling and they can barely move from one room to another, how do they mange that? Yet it is estimated that 5.3% of Americans are hoarders.

The manifestation a childhood trauma takes on in an adults life really isn't my concern. It isn't my job to evaluate the level of denial a person engages in and decide whether it meets my criteria. The simple fact is an individual has created a living hell for themselves; be it drink by drink, dose by dose, or box by box. My job is to suggest a reinterpretation of how and why their life experience has brought them to such a place. And whether or not they are ready for something different.

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