ssɐlƃ ƃuᴉʞool ǝɥʇ ɥƃnoɹɥ┴
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Florida, Oosa
My mother in law was kind of a hoarder, it wouldn't be things like lightbulbs or shampoo bottles. She kept things that were just absolute rubbish though, that she would never use, and she had piles of things in her house. It was just a disaster, when she passed away.
From my own observations and mind wandering, not at all validated by professionals - I think a lot of it has to do with people placing things as part of their own identity, we see this a lot with people, they identify with cars, outfits, the list goes on and on, people form an identity around things. Advertisers try their best to instill this mentality on others as well. I think for hoarders, they take it a few steps further and get attached to a lot of things. For them to throw out anything, is like throwing out an important part of themselves. If I were to just tell my MIL, something needed to be thrown out, she would likely feel insulted because by extension she would likely think I am saying a part of her needs to be thrown out. Of course, that is a pretty simplistic view of it all, I'm sure it is not accurate and there is a lot more involved.
The reason I say that, is because of how insulted she would get. She would become very defensive about things, and take personal insult if I were to offer to throw some things out. It was not just a matter of it having some "use" for later, but it was as though I were making a personal insult against her.
In the case of my mother in law, it kind of makes sense. She used to be a very organized person, that did not hold on to items. When her crappy husband left her, my wife, and a newborn child for another woman, she had a psychotic break, her identity must have been shattered in a thousand pieces, and the manner in which she brought herself back together was through her possessions. From what I have been told, that is when she started saving everything, even things that would have no use. Things that were broken, would be held on to, and just tossed to the side, only to be covered by more useless things. She remembered them all though.
When you combine that psychotic break, with the fact that she was born a few years after the great depression, she was brought up on the belief that you hold on to things that can be useful later, she had that mentality instilled in her already, but the attachment was not yet formed. It was a pretty bad mix, I imagine having the shock of finding yourself alone with two kids, and the person you loved so deeply just tossed you to the side, you go into panic mode and start saving everything you think you can use later. Over time, it just got worst and worst.
Live and let live
"Whoever fights monsters should
see to it that in the process he does not become a
monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss,
the abyss will gaze back into you."