Clutter is a major anxiety trigger for many people. Hoarding tons and tons of sh*t is enough to send these moms to the brink of sanity.
When you have a family and children who still live with you (no matter their age), clutter and mess is basically an inescapable fact of life. Unless you have a ton of money and help, your living situation is never going to resemble the pages of Better Homes And Gardens. But there is a MAJOR difference between “my house is messy because we all live here and it looks like people live here” and hoarding. People hoard things for a variety of reasons (most of which are directly related to their mental health and past trauma), but having to live in someone else’s hoard means you’re also a victim.
Hoarders deserve empathy just like anyone else who struggles, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not perpetrators, too. These moms are taking to our Confessional to vent about the stress and anger they feel about their hoarding spouses.
Confessional #25835079“I love my guy but I can’t keep living here. It smells and it’s filthy dirty...living with hoarder is the worst.”
Confessional #25834763“I married into hoarder family. I had no idea - 20 years in and I feel like there is no room for me!”
Confessional #25834234“My bf is a freaking hoarder and I can't stand it. His parents live in a house you can't even move around in. I refuse to live like that. I am going to start throwing shit away secretly”
Confessional #25833857“I hate assholes who say "where are the older kids?", when hoarder parents are outed. Those older kids are always parentified/neglected/abused, primary caretakers of their slob parent's other kids. The older kids were traumatized too, you judgemental twats”
Listen, as someone who was an “older kid” in a hoarder home, I can tell you that I was never taught basic cleaning and laundry skills (I had to parent myself on those things as I got older), and that shit can mess you UP. My mom constantly made me feel like it was my fault that the house looked the way that it did, because I didn’t “help” her. Trust me when I say that house was beyond any type of help a 15-year-old kid could ever possibly manage.
(As a mom myself now, I can see she likely spent years feeling overwhelmed as a very young SAHM with a husband who worked 60-80 hours per week. But that also didn’t give her the right to manipulate her kids into thinking it was their fault.)
Confessional #25830442“I hate hoarders. Fucking hate them. Hoarding is abuse.”
Confessional #25828347“My father was an abusive hoarder who constantly harassed me for help and care. For my college graduation, I asked for a gift: for him to not call me for 24 whole hours.”
Confessional #25819958“H is a hoarder. He had the nerve to tell me I need to purge some of my shoes because I never wear half of them. I have 2 fancy heels that I don't wear because it's a pandemic and nobody goes anywhere right now. He's an idiot.”
Confessional #25814458“My plan was to stick it out with my hoarder husband for another two years so my son could get back to normalcy after quarantine first. I'm not going to make it that long. Starting to make my "escape" plan.”
Hoarding disorder is a legitimate diagnosis (and a billable one). The Mayo Clinic defines it as a “persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them.”
A person with hoarding disorder experiences major emotional distress at the thought of getting rid of the items. This leads to an excessive accumulation of items, regardless of their actual value.
Confessional #25813486“DH is a hoarder. I was super organized, everything had it's place. I don't even have one room that is kept nice. y closet, drawers, bathroom. Nothing. He even hoards in my car. It's absolutley bonkers!”
Confessional #25808761“There's nothing more torturous to my minimalism than to live with a DH and 2 DC's who are borderline hoarders. Worse still, MIL has proclaimed all her 'sentimental' crap come to DH as well. I'm in hell.”
Confessional #25800131“My parents were hoarders. ExH was a hoarder. I fucking hate hoarders and am now a minimalist because of them. Hoarding is abuse.”
Confessional #25784996“I've been on his ass for 4 years about cleaning his crap out of the backyard. The fucking shit is STILL THERE. I didn't sign up to live with a junk collecting hoarder. As soon as I find an apartment I am fucking outta here!”
Confessional #25774146“Hoarders are the most selfish people I know. I'm not even talking about pandemic hoarding. I am talking about forcing your kids to grow up in filth and not give a fuck about how much it damages them.”
Having to live with someone who suffers from this disorder can be so incredibly difficult. You love them and don’t want to re-traumatize them by throwing things away, but you also don’t deserve to live that way.
Confessional #25769465“Just realized my Dh and MIL live like moderate hoarders because they don't think they deserve better. Clutter and collections abound. I hate it.”
Confessional #25765617“I cheated on my exH and divorced him because he was a hoarder, had a shopping addiction, and went out with his friends every night. I don’t feel guilty about what I did.”
Confessional #25764261“I've always been quite the minimalist and to my horror, my husband is starting to turn into his hoarder mother. He's keeping the most useless junk and I secretly throw it away.”
Confessional #25757012“My husband is a total hoarder of junk. I love to throw his shit away while he’s not home, occasionally I burn it. Then I get a sick satisfaction out of acting totally confused when he looks for it months or years later.”
Confessional #25436926“DH is such a hoarder!!! I’m a minimalist. I’ve taken to just dumping all his stuff in totes so I don’t have to look at it all!”
If you or someone you love is struggling with hoarding (either doing it or living in it), you can learn more about treatment options here.