Originally Posted by tea_time
crayfish - I think this is one of those conversations that isn't translating well OL. We probably agree but aren't coming across clearly.
Yes, it sounds like there's a misunderstanding here, or a couple of them. My apologies.
No, I wouldn't say that all hoarding is child abuse - it's certainly a matter of degree.
But I do have the impression that it's difficult to get officialdom to recognize even fairly bad hoarding as a factor in things like divorce, custody, visitation, and whether a parent's behavior counts as abuse or neglect.
In general, I think that a whole lot of people just don't understand hoarding, and that's why I'm defending the Hoarders show, even if it's not perfect.
It's fairly easy to understand that an alcoholic is driven to keep on drinking, even if he loses his job, his children, his reputation, or his health. (Or maybe it wasn't easy at first, and we just know because that education effort has made a lot of progress.) Even though it's perfectly easy to pour out all the bottles in the house, we know that that perfectly easy action isn't going to have any real influence on whether he starts drinking again.
But people don't seem to understand that even though it's far from impossible to clean out a hoarder's house (with some help and some masks and a few people and a dumpster), that fact doesn't mean that it's going to get cleaned, and if it somehow is forcibly cleaned, it's not going to stay cleaned.
People see the desirable aspects of alcohol; they don't see how anyone could possibly perceive a hoarded house as desirable, and how anyone could cling to that hoarded state.
So they're likely to fall for the hoarder's excuses. ("I just need more help around here!")
And they're likely to fall into the trap of unjustly blaming others. ("Now, if you would just help your mother around the house a little, don't you think that would make things better?" "Well, why is it her
responsibility to clean up? Just because you're the man in the marriage doesn't mean that you're not responsible for your share of the housework!")
They don't realize that the hoarder will often fight tooth and nail to protect the hoard, and that they will reject, vehemently and often abusively, any effort to clean it up. And Hoarders shows that, not with just one hoarder that might be a rare fluke, but with hoarder after hoarder. So I approve of Hoarders.