Monday, October 7, 2013

An Emotional Check For Those Living with Hoarders

One thing I have told very few people is that I am in love with a hoarder.
I can't even begin to explain how hard it is. When he brings things home, it is adorable how much meaning he places on everything. The things he 'hoards' are gifts from the heart. He brings me slippers that are fuzzy for my feet when he knows I've been having sore feet at night. He'll bring me christmas wrapping paper rolls that fill a room when I mention that I need one. He brought me so many adorable 1950s dish sets and serving dishes that I cried at how precious it was.
But then came the mess. Where to put everything. Even worse, when I try to throw something away, it breaks his heart and I feel like I struck a dagger through his gift.

Dealing with this used to tear me to pieces so here is a little tip I have discovered for those of you in the same shape.
1. Do not get angry at them. They truly are trying to give you treasures out of love. To yell at them breaks their soul. It is not a vindictive act on their part. My biggest regrets are the days I shouted at him. Those days he had hidden gifts excited to show me what he found and I found them and let loose. If only I could take back the damage to his heart that I did on such days. Learning charm, which is in our course, is one of the hardest things we have to learn. Learning to care about his feelings is a continual battle. The more I got upset with him. The harder he tried to more hoarding. It was his language. And it 'was' what I fell in love with about him. He always wanted to bring me gifts and surprise me. It was his love language pure and simple.
2. Keep some things out of each load they bring home. Make a huge fuss about how much you love them. Use them. Show affection as a thank you. Let them know that the fact that it came from them is what made it special to you.
3. Decide when he's not around what you will keep. Then sneak it out little by little. I used to sneak out a lot at a time and he would get angry that I cleaned and panic. When I sneak out only a little, he doesn't notice. Before you do this, find out what he loves 'most' first. It can end up badly when you get rid of the few things he does remember in his load.
Keep the things he loves most and you love most... sneak the rest away discretely.
4. Help him to learn other ways of giving or acquiring that are less mess making. Let him know you love it when someone buys you flowers... or chocolates... or perishibles.. They may light up your home for a time and be much less clutter in the end.
5. If you lose your temper, apologize. It is an illness... not a cruelty. Patience with him will be best in the end. Hoarders suffer emotionally more than you would imagine due to their attachment and sentiment to things. It is secretly a desire for closeness. The 'things' my love collects are things that symbolize family and home. I work my best to provide a home that satisfies all of his needs in such respects. I truly believe that the more I make a home, the less he seeks to 'aquire' it.
If you have any questions or need any help. Perhaps you are the hoarder, contact me. I can help you.
Much love always,

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