Have you ever watched an episode of Hoarders on TLC and thought to yourself, "Wow! My home doesn't look so bad after all?"
I have, but I also had to look around and evaluate myself. I have a problem. I am a hoarder.
I don't have garbage strewn across my floors and there is space to sit and watch television, but I hoard books.
My husband, a couple of months ago, boxed up all the books atop the headboard of our bed. The boxes are much too heavy for me to haul, so there they sit...where he left them.
He has threatened to throw every one of my books in the trash much to my dismay. I can't bear to part with my treasures.
On Hoarders a professional psychologist or counselor works with the subjects of the show, analyzing them to find the root of why they do what they do.
Often the problem is depression, a sense of insecurity or a desire to own "things."
I haven't seen a professional for my problem, but I can guess part of the reason I cannot stand to part with my literature has much to do with my childhood.
When I was growing up in a single-parent home, I wanted books of my own. My father read from the few books we did possess and I could never get enough from them. When he died, many of those books disappeared as my stepmother consolidated assets.
Books were a way to escape the world and imagine another world where I wasn't lonely.
Now, I find books are a great way to unwind and get my mind off of the many things on my to-do list.
Why is it I cannot part with them?
I think I have a desire to possess something I can say is mine...no one else's.
In our home much of its contents are property of both my husband and myself. Some items he owned before we married, and I have yet to claim them as mine. Other possessions, such as my Precious Moments figurines, have been broken because my children didn't understand "Mommy's" meant "Don't touch."
My daughter, in spite of the discipline dished out for disobedience, has yet to keep from using my make-up.
Books are also something lasting. The children have no desire to play with my books and my husband has no desire to read them...just as I have no desire to use his tools.
I am a hoarder. I think most people are in some way. We prize possessions that may not seem important to others, but somehow carry some special meaning to us personally.
As long as my books don't take over my home, I don't think you will see me on an episode of the Hoarders television show. Another 10 years from now, though, at the rate I read, I could be the star of the week.