Minors & Youth Children of Hoarding Parents

Minors & Youth Children of Hoarding Parents



if you're a minor with a parent or parents who hoard or if you know a minor who has a parent or parents who hoard I want to share an important resource children who grow up in hoarded homes suffer distinct challenges because they're less able to advocate for themselves the Mike Hope initiative of children of Hoarders Incorporated was launched in 2018 teens tweens University students and other young adults often struggle with difficulties of gaining independence and escaping a hoard at home at the same time they worry how their parents will manage without them I can't take living here anymore but if I leave I'm afraid my parents living condition will get worse even after a child moves out of a hoarded home the impact can follow them it's not unusual for them to struggle with cleaning and organizing because no one ever taught them how to do it they can be terrified of turning in to their parents or they go to the opposite extreme and feel like throwing everything out when you feel like you're the only one with this problem and you don't know how to remedy your situation it's easy to isolate and fall into despair I recently heard a powerful description of despair it's the belief that tomorrow will be just like today for years I was isolated in despair too ashamed to tell anybody about my hoarding issues then I found a message board for people who struggle with hoarding and my mind was blown I read post after post and felt me too I'm all alone I finally found a community that understands what I'm going through Mike Hope has established an online peer support group for minors and youth children of hoarding parents this peer support group is a closed private group so it's a safe understanding place for teens and youth living in the hoard it's a place to discuss growing up and whored at home and to learn from others with similar experiences when I was a kid before my parents lived in separate homes my dad's clutter wasn't bad yet and my mom managed to keep the home really comfortable for us so I didn't grow up in a hoarded home that was detrimental to me I don't remember ever being impeded by my dad's clutter but recently my mom mentioned how in the 70s our garage had stacks and stacks of newspapers the two-car garage became a one car garage then a no car garage what I do remember is how much I loved hanging out with my dad while he fix things my favorite was when he was soldering because he'd let me touch the solder wire to the connection my father was not one to be outwardly affectionate and those were the times I remember feeling closest to him loved by him he would call me his little engineer just as the solder joined two metal objects together this activity bonded me with my dad maybe those fond memories play a part in me always wanting to fix things instead of throwing them away I've read posts on Reddit from children who live in hoarded homes I really feel for those sharing how they long for clean space or just space how they have nowhere to do their homework can't use the kitchen or don't have hot or even running water how they can never have friends over by having to keep the condition of their home a secret from outsiders these children experience stress and internalize their parents shame they're frustrated with their parents irrational behavior they resent having to parent themselves or even parent their parents but at the same time these children often express immense love and worry for their parents as if just being a teenager isn't enough to deal with I understand the frustration and hurt loved ones feel why does my mother love her junk more than she loves me it certainly appears that way but if someone with hoarding issues please believe me when I tell you that's probably not the case I hate living the way I do I don't want most of the stuff that's suffocating me both physically and mentally but when I try to get rid of it a variety of fears and emotions and feelings of responsibility for how to best dispose of things can stop me in my tracks and then I hate myself even more for failing most of the books and treatments I've looked into addressing hoarding disorder focus on the external processes trying to use logic to change thoughts and behaviors but how do you logic your way out of a mental condition in all my searching for a way out of myself created dungeon I'm convinced that the root problem is deep down inside me the clutter is an outward manifestation of inner issues like pain loss guilt trauma feelings of unworthiness the clutter is unprocessed grief and unsaid tears in a battle between emotion and logic which one do you think is gonna win emotion unfortunately those with hoarding disorder often lack insight if they don't even think they have a problem with hoarding then how can they realize that their clutter is unprocessed grief and uncho tears and even if they do realize it as I do it's still a challenge to work through healing myself requires working on feelings of low self-worth self-criticism guilt perfectionism feeling like I'm not enough that there's something wrong with me that no one could love me like this and oh my god the shame for example all the guilt I feel over hurting the environment when throwing things in the trash I think it's because as a child I felt responsible for my baby brother's death and if I was responsible for my baby brother's death then I was also responsible for the grief I saw in my parents over his death since I was 5 years old I felt I had to be so good so responsible so perfect to make up for it otherwise no one could love me after what I had done even though as an adult I knew logically that I wasn't responsible for my brother's death it wasn't until about 6 months ago that I could begin to emotionally forgive myself I've had hoarding tendencies since childhood but it kicked into high gear 15 years ago after someone tried to force their way into my house I was pulled off the doorstep and hit the ground it was after this trauma that it became exponentially difficult for me to discard things I've been able to get a good handle on letting fewer things into my home that getting rid of things can be excruciating why do I avoid making decisions on what to do with my backlog of stuff because I don't trust myself enough to make the right decisions I'm afraid of doing things wrong or imperfectly or I don't believe that I can handle a task that feels daunting so I don't do it at all that's what's behind the procrastination and avoidance in those times when you're frustrated angry and hurt by your parent when you feel like they love their junk more than they love you it might actually be that they love themselves less than their junk a friend of mine who also struggles with hoarding has really strong sentimental attachments to anything related to her daughter from the outside it's easy to judge my friend and say how can she not see that by holding on to all her daughter's old clothes baby items toys and drawings she's actually hurting her daughter and their relationship but I've spent time with my friend as we both work on decluttering and I noticed something she often says when trying to let go of her now teenage daughters old things this is from when my daughter adored me my friend built her own successful business and has expressed regret over all the hours she spent working instead of spending quality time with her daughter my friend has said to me point-blank I feel like I was a bad mother I'm not a therapist but I get the sense that maybe my friends afraid her teenage daughter doesn't love her as much as she did when she was a little girl and maybe that's why my friend clings to old mementos from when her daughter was younger for people with hoarding issues I strongly believe the stuff is a coping mechanism for unresolved inner issues such as pain loss guilt trauma feelings of unworthiness so when others touch their possessions or try to get rid of their possessions it's like their protective armor is at risk of being compromised or removed even though they don't realize their stuff is their armor and until they process the core issues inside them and develop a healthier coping mechanism they'll cling to their possessions for dear life think about a pet cat that's super sweet and affectionate and funny at home you love your cat your cat loves you but when the pet carrier comes out to go to the vet and that same cat can turn into a demon your cat doesn't suddenly hate you it perceives a threat to its safety and out of self-preservation it hisses at you it's swats and claws you you might even try to bite you I know what I've shared isn't an answer to your situation I really really wish I had one but I hope it shed some light on what might be behind your parents behavior and that it's probably more about your parent feeling badly about him or herself than it is about not loving you forcing those with hoarding issues to get rid of their possessions isn't the ideal solution I understand that in severe situations where safety is the paramount concern there may be no other choice but for long-term improvement the individual has to want to change they have to want to let go of their things otherwise you've only cleared the smoke not put out the actual fire your relationship will most likely take a major hit and the cleared space will probably get filled again so how the hell do I get my parent to want to change that's the $64,000 question every individual responds to traumatic experiences negative emotions or feelings of inadequacy in their own way some turn to alcohol or drugs some find relief in compulsive shopping some develop eating disorders some become workaholics some in departing each individual has his or her own predisposition like me I'm not drawn to alcohol at all in good times or bad I have a healthy relationship with food but when my dad was admitted into the ICU never to return home again I acquired seven vintage toaster ovens plus a new one and that was with me having a lot of self awareness about my hoarding issues so imagine how someone who denies having a problem with hoarding might react to grief I've read many posts online by people ranting I'm sick and tired of hearing how the families tiptoe around the horrors issues and not upset them please understand I am NOT making excuses for those with hoarding issues and I'm not saying that loved ones have no right to clear living spaces because you absolutely do hoarding disorder is a damn prickly beast there can be so much collateral damage and no one is completely wrong or completely right I'm reminded of a quote that said the problem with life is that everybody has his reasons that's why a resource like Mike is valuable and necessary teens tweens and minors with parents who hoard need and deserve support they need a resource to help them exercise self-care and address the conflicting resentment and love they may have for their parents any way you can help spread the word about my coke comm maybe share it with teachers or therapists or doctors who might have students or patients who could benefit from this any help is appreciated thank you

6 thoughts on “Minors & Youth Children of Hoarding Parents”

  1. I enjoy your videos so much. Its such a comfort to know i am not alone & people understand. Im also very grateful that there is support now for children of hoarders. So much help is needed by the children. Very long ovedue that they have a resource now. Thank you for getting the word out there!!!! Bless you in your journey!!!

  2. Great Video!! I say the same thing: my hoarding is a coping mechanism for my anxiety and past traumas or hardships. But it also represents good moments like my creativity and my favorite seasons of my life. Healing from my hoarding has been from dealing with those feelings that lay underneath. Meditating, finding healthier coping mechanisms, writing/reading positive affirmations about myself, believing there is a “higher power” (God/Universe) to take care of me, expressing myself as a hoarder on my channel, talking & engaging with other hoarders has been very therapeutic. It’s how I have been able to let go of thousands of items in my house in the past year. There is healing, I know there is!! But it doesn’t happen in a day…it takes some time but it is possible!!

  3. Hi I don't know what to say as a housewife in Indian village you can't even imagine how hoarding let my life down it was a sin for people around me
    Even my husband can't understand my situation my children was too young to understand this whenever I watch your videos it's like I am talking to myself I try to change myself but it was like pushing a mountain with a hairpin everything fails it was like something pulling me behind you're my inspiration
    You're my hope but somewhere I have a little faith we will come over this don't worry as you say we're not alone👍😉

  4. Wow….that is so deep. You are really understanding so much about the hoarding issue. It is unfortunate you can't dig yourself the whole way out yet. I believe you are going to figure it out and it will be a great day. Please keep up the good fight!!
    * My dad soldered too! I loved that smell.

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