Going with the theme right now, this is well-written self reflection by Sara Zarr on how past experiences and fears of their repetition can creep into our everyday behaviors. The full post is an excellent read when you have time. The conclusion is heartbreaking, but an opportunity to better understand a complex response to fear.
Though the home I grew up in never came even close to looking like the homes of the hoarders, and though the particular pathology of hoarding did not touch our family, when I looked at the chaos on my TV screen I got the same feeling that I had growing up in an alcoholic home; a sense of being overwhelmed, everything out of control. Not knowing what to do or where to start.
There was a claustrophobia to my childhood. Physically, we had plenty of room, yet there was no real space or freedom to live, to feel at home and at peace. It was the opposite of sanctuary.
My husband has never understood what seem like out of proportion reactions, on my part, to little bits of what I guess is normal clutter—the shoes, the mail, a few dirty dishes on the counter. It’s not that I’m what anyone could call a “neat freak,” but when things aren’t in their places, I get anxious. I have that same feeling I had in childhood of things being, or threatening to be, out of my control, and I hate it.
The comments section under the full post are revealing as well. You can find out more about the author of this post at www.sarazarr.com.