Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hoarders, Heartbreaking

Matt put Hoarders on the TV a few minutes ago.  I've been in a downright ugly mood today, which is bringing us down, and I'm afraid I totally freaked earlier and snapped at him.  When he knows I'm unhappy or upset, he always tries to placate me by putting on something he knows I like, which almost always means Snapped or Hoarders.  He's a good husband, there aren't many people who can put up with my moodiness.

I really only recently started watching Hoarders after I heard about it at school.  One of the English profs required her remedial students to do a paper on reality TV and they were watching Hoarders in class.  I can say, unequivocally, is that more than any other emotion, Hoarders makes me angry.  The people featured on this show have a serious mental illness.  I get that, I feel for them so much because I feel like I could become them any day now.  I'm a serious pack rat, my house is a cluttered disaster, and I hate to throw anything away.  I fear losing things.  It also bothers me because my aunt is a Hoarder.  Her house rivals the worst seen on the program, and is worse than most of them.  It affects her health, but she won't do anything about it.  She's also single and has no one else in her life to help her keep the place cleaned up from day to day.  I'm married, but my husband is no help at all.  Things pile up and if I don't break down and clean them up, who will?

It's not the hoarders who upset me, it's their families.  Have you seen this show?  Right now, "Linda; Todd" is on.  The woman, Linda, feel like no one wants to be around her, like her family doesn't want anything to do with her.  Her daughter keeps saying that she's not going to have anything to do with her anymore, because of the hoarding, and because all her mom does is whine about no one loving her.  Wait a minute, she doesn't want anything to do with her mom because her mom complains no one wants anything to do with her?  It sounds to me like Linda's (the mom/hoarder) feelings are justified.  Her family is so horrible.  They've not said a single nice thing about her, just about how she has to be told what to do and how they've wanted nothing more than to get away from her since they were 12 years old, or whatever.  How fucking horrible is that!  Oh, and to make matters worse, her husband is saying he's going to divorce her if she doesn't clean up the mess.  He keeps saying, "I don't want to, we get along well."  He's not saying, "I don't want to because I love her."  I really feel so, so bad for this woman.

For me, this show always begs the question, what the hell are the other people living in the house doing?!  I mean, most of the hoarders on the show have unsupportive families who don't understand them, but it isn't the case with all of them.  Often times the kids or animals are going to be taken away because of the mess.  Some of the people have upwards of 50 animals (some dead) in their houses, and the state is having to take them away.  Most of them are also married, but some are divorced, often because their spouses got tired of the mess and just left.  So, what're their spouses doing?  Why aren't they helping to keep it cleaned up?  What're the kids doing?  When I was a kid, I had chores.  I grew up in a clean house, and keeping it so was everyone's responsibility.  I cleaned all the bathrooms in the house every Saturday, I did the dishes, and helped with the laundry.  We worked as a family to see that our environment was safe and clean and livable.  Why aren't these people's families helping them?

I love this show, but I think I might have to stop watching it.  My heart goes out to people with this problem, it's an issue personal to me, and to see people who should be caring about the hoarder rejecting them, it makes me mad.  These people need support and help and that's what families and friends are for, right?  I can't imagine how they must feel when they see this show and see what their friends and families are saying about them behind their back, to a wide audience of strangers.  It just breaks my heart.