Saturday, May 17, 2008

If it ain't broke...

I finally made it over to Mom's to get the long awaited photos. I have to say I feel a little guilty about sneaking around behind her back.

But only a little...

I told myself it's therapeutic.

I hope it is.

I'm just going to start out slow with this. A couple of pictures at a time is probably all I can handle.

Here we have a typical drawer in the kitchen. This one happens to be the utensil drawer. Some interesting facts about this particular drawer:

1. It is actually much cleaner than I've seen it in years. I wonder where the rest of the silverware is being stored.

2. This drawer is never closed. Did I say never? Good. Because this drawer is never closed. Well, once after my Sis and I did a "clean up" we closed it. But as soon as Mom got back from her vacation it got opened right back up.

3. Because it is actually broken as well as always open, the cupboard door below it must also be open to prop it up. As seen in this picture... (same drawer, different angle)

4. I think it broke about 15 years ago...

5. Mom's rationale is that since my Dad is such an "unhandy" guy and she just never has the money to pay those overpriced proffesionals, this is just how she has to live. With a broken drawer propped open for 15 years... yeah right.

This is another drawer in the kitchen. Same problem, same solution.

Oh yeah, and same excuses...

It's a little harder to see the drawer in this shot. Just look really close... there you see it?

O.K. So here's my take on this little "situation". Yes, the drawers are broken. No one is denying that my Dad isn't the greatest at fixing things. Maybe the professionals ARE overpriced...

BUT SERIOUSLY!!! Normal people don't live like this... do they? What's really going on here is the fact that the drawers are actually too stuffed full of crap to actually function and when they finally broke, my Mom found the perfect excuse for not closing them again, EVER. Whew... what a relief that must have been for her. Now she can blame it on my Dad's poor fix-it skills.

To be fair to my Mom, I don't think that she consciously realizes that this is what she is doing. It's just another way the "hoarding" has taken over her otherwise pleasant personality.

Of course that doesn't mean that you (or I) could point this out to her and she would see the logic. No, she has her own logic and part of that is that she is never wrong. Hoarders (at least in my experience) can talk their way out of anything. But that's another subject for another day!


Ariane Benefit said...

Hi Jamie,

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and sharing your story. Your experience growing up as a child of a hoarder and how it's impacted sounds so similar to mine. I grew up with lots of clutter, chaos, violence and addiction.

At home, every day was a living nightmare, but when we visited people or went to school or church, or took pictures (rare) it was all posed. So weird to see my mother turn into a sweet people pleaser in public, then come home and go into rages for hours at a time. My father would charm everyone and then come home get drunk and beat my mother or one of my siblings. You are so not alone.

Everyone I've ever scratched the surface with has something really sad in their background. Even the ones who say they have a wonderful family and had a perfect childhood have something they don't want you to know at first.

Nothing and no one is really perfect. Just like you work hard to keep up a certain image, so is everyone else. Thanks for dropping yours here on your blog.

This may sound weird, but I often think I was lucky in a weird way to have gotten the worst part of life over when I was young and now in my late 40's it just keeps getting even better. How many people have "idyllic" childhoods and spend the rest of their lives feeling like the best time of their life is behind them? I'd rather be me.

Thanks again for sharing your story...I look forward to following your journey. I linked to you from my blog. Keep writing and soon I'll do a "feature Post"

Keep the faith,


Anonymous said...

Reading things other children of hoarders have written, it never ceases to amaze me how our hoarding parents come out with exactly the same excuses for their behaviour as each other.

"Mom's rationale is that since my Dad is such an "unhandy" guy and she just never has the money to pay those overpriced professionals, this is just how she has to live. With a broken drawer propped open for 15 years... yeah right."

My mother used to say exactly the same thing about her broken (overfilled and couldn't take the strain) kitchen drawers. Poor her, my dad never fixed things (it would have helped if he had space to get to them!) and hadn't bought her new kitchen units for the vast amount of time of eight years.

Kind regards,