Hello. My name is Sharyn. I am a hoarder.
When I was very young, Child Protective Services took me from my birth mother. I was placed into a foster home, then adopted out. My adoptive mother was a stay-at-home Mum until both my brother and I were in high school. My late adoptive father was a builder.
Every time he built a house, we would move into it. I lived in multiple houses, and went to seven different schools. As each house was built, I gained a nicer home than the previous, but I lost a former place of security. I lost my old school's friends. I lost, for a period of time, my ability to know where I was (I had to learn the new location: all the important streets, where the shops and parks were, etc.)
My father was making a better life for us, but it was tearing me apart.
Throughout my entire life I have had that sense of security torn away from me, time and time again. So I started holding things close to me, not willing to let them go.
First it was toys. My favourite teddy bear will *never* get thrown out, I won't allow it. I don't care that it's over forty years old. It's in the top of a cupboard in my Mum's house, and is on strict orders to remain there.
Then it was books. I amassed hundreds of paperbacks, on multiple bookshelves. I purchased a Kindle, and that was the beginning of a whole new level of book hoarding: I own over 5,000 ebooks.
Now and then it was people. I literally have two functions re people: I'm 'meh' (I can take you or leave you, it doesn't bother me either way), or I'm obsessed with you, to the point that it probably freaks you out. I have a love-hate relationship with people. Objects stay as long as you want them to. People, however, people are different. They leave when they want to, and when you're someone like me, that tears your guts out. So, more often than not, I leave first, or I just don't go there with them in the first place. People are unpredictable, and I need predictability.
So here is my truth: I hoard to feel secure, to fill that feeling of scarcity, of loss, of fear. I hoard things so that I can tell myself I'm in control. I hoard ebooks. I hoard technology. I hoard stationery. These things I hang onto. Then there's the junk I hoard like receipts, mail, cardboard boxes, etc., that could get thrown out straight away, but doesn't get done so for months. Finally I get sick of the sight of it and do a purge. Fortunately I live alone, so no-one else has to deal with it.
I'm 42 years old, but conditioned to respond just like I did when I was a child, and a teenager. Except the threat's not there, anymore. My emotions, however, still are.
Hello. My name is Sharyn. I am a hoarder. And at long last I can - and have - speak of it.
#Hoarding #Instability #Truth