My parents were hoarders. Growing up I thought it was normal living the way we did. Clothes were scattered throughout the house, dirty dishes were everywhere, there was no room in the kitchen to cook, and nowhere to sit comfortably. After the realization came that a clean and manageable house was more normal than I thought, I felt betrayed.
As I grew older, I hated my parents more. Not only were they hoarders, they were neglectful and verbally abusive. Well, abuse is a strong word, and I guess I’ll never be fully sure if it was technically abuse. I felt belittled by them. What’s worse is the fact that I felt powerless in escaping because other adults wouldn’t listen to my complaints.
My parents always covered their tracks too. If our house was scheduled to be inspected, my mother would clean and clean for several days until the inspectors came. After they approved the conditions, she wouldn’t lift a finger (which is the norm for her).
I bought a book called Toxic Parents a couple years ago and the descriptions resonated with me. I kept thinking all this disappointment and pain was in my head. After reading the book, I realized I had every right to be upset with my parents. They criticized me and called me names constantly. They ignored me when I needed reassurance.
Now that I’m on my own, I’ll need to find a way to detach myself from the past. And that is easier said than done.