I don’t know if anyone reading this knows that I am doing a collaborate story with a friend of mine, using the sims2 as a story telling media. Why that? Because it’s fun 😉
Anyway I was reading up on something related to that story, and I stumbled across this.
I usually don’t really talk about myself in this blog, because it’s not relevant, or interesting. But something about that slideshow made me think of this place my mum and her boyfriend lived at one time. It was a horrible house, it was not their doing, it was horrid as they movied in. It should have been condemned, and it would have been had anyone known what it was like. It was huge though, but really cold and damp, they had this huge fernis out in the barn which ran on hay. This would warm up all the heaters in the house. But it so happened that they drank a lot in that time, so no one bought the hay needed for the fernis, and for a while the only heating was the gasoven in the kitchen. I swear there were frost ‘flowers’ on the inside of the windows.
Now my mum did a lot of things, she never did live in a garbage heap though. I knew this clairvoyant woman once, and she told me that the devil hides in squalor. And as an adult I think she might be right, but not in the literal sense of course.
I don’t know man, I have a limited insight into psychology, but I don’t think that heaps of trash, and hoarding is the same thing. As I said on LJ once, no one hoards dogshit. I wouldn’t just write the poor sods off as filthy swine either, I think it’s a question of caring. And that is the paradox innit? Way I see it, then real hoarders tend to hoard the back of their property first, and then keep a place of their house as an open space untill that too is swallowed up in boxes of crap they bought of the tv shopping network or at the thrift store. But they seems to me like they usually buy stuff they think is worth something, or can be given as gifts, or stuff that they might need – such as clothes, pots and pans.
Like if you bought 10 vacumcleaners on a sale, you’d stick them in the bedroom till you figured out what to do with them, and who to give them to. And what if before you made up your mind, you stumbled on this super sale on coffee machines? they would be piled on top of the vacumcleaners, and so forth untill you just have to close the door to your bedroom because it ended up as storage.
People who live in trash, they make a pile of trash around themselves where ever they sit the most, like in the living room, and then they move back in the house, as were they trying to find a clean spot to occupy till there are no more clean spots. Or maybe they build a wall of trash around them? I don’t know. But I’d see it much like your computer desk, it quickly fills up with trash if you don’t throw it out. Candy wrapping, cups, plates, ashtrays, and stuff you aren’t even sure why it’s there. Imagine if you just never cleaned that up, and instead of doing that, just migrated to your dining table when your desk got too gross. It’s not like you don’t know your gross desk is there, but you chose not to deal with it.
I believe in clutter blindness to some extend. If you ever met anyone who live in trash and crap you know that they hate guests, most will most likely have all social life elsewhere, and keep their house like their dirty secret. My point is that they ‘know’ that it’s not socially acceptable and still they don’t act upon the impulse to do anything about it. I admit that I think that most of these places where someone lives in kneedeep shit with children and pets, it’s most likely addicts or severely mentally ill people.
The same clairvoyant who told me about the devil in squalor, also told me that your mental state is mirrored in your enviroment. So what should we deduct from that? that there people feel like shit so they live in shit? Or that something robbed them of the ability to care for themselves, because way I see it, living in extreme squalor is self destructive like fuck. I refuse to believe that anyone likes living like that, in the back of everyones mind would be haunted by the knowledge that it’s not normal, and that it should stop, but they lack the energy or support to get cracking on it the right way. And nothing is easier than to ignore a problem, but as we all know it doesn’t go away because you want it to, it just festers.
So yes, the devil lives in squalor. And so does people who can’t deal with life, and therefor tries to distance themselves from it any way possible, be it they hide in a cave of junk, or be it a drug haze and stuff just never gets picked up. (substance abusers aren’t the most domestic people I ever met) – But as long as the trash stays so does the inability to suit up and get shit done.
It’s simple psycology that when we feel unsettled or unsafe, we seek back to where we feel the most safe. Wherever that be. But what is the place you felt most safe, was also the root of your pain? And you don’t even have someone to blame other than you. Well most trash collectors or hoarders or whatever, blames everyone else, but that is all a defence mechanism. It’s pretty easy to see that they don’t -really- think that, but they can’t deal with their own failure.
To most of us it sounds appaling to read that ‘the children played in heaps of trash’ and it is! But really then I don’t think that the most horrifying is the trash. It is that the parent(s) apparently have the empathic insight of a wooden log. They are robbing their children of a childhood, a normal one that is. No one wants to play with the kid that smells of piss, or who looks dirty. Odds are that the few that will, is told not to by their parents. Their clothes are filthy and old fashioned, they can’t have friends over. Outsiders are judgemental of the lifestyle that the parent(s) are pretending to be normal. And the last thing someone like that want is to feel judged or pursecuted.
When you live in a forest of crap, it’s not gonna be your only problem, that much is true. I am not sure if I believe that the ‘trash-hoarders’ in lack of other words, suffer the OCD traits that regular ‘collector-hoarders’ do. I think it’s mostly about giving up and letting go, which spreads like ripples in water. I would imagine that it has a lot to do with shame, and that is why they don’t ask for the helping hand that I am pretty sure that they know they need.
What I am not entirely sure of, is what type of shame it is. Are they ashamed because they know their living conditions are deplorable? Are they ashamed because of how it reflects on them as a person, and afraid of people reacting with ‘clean your house cause that’s just nasty’? Or are they more afraid of being found out and forced to deal with their demons?
(Picture ‘the nightmare’ by Henry Fuseli)