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Okay, I can’t really technically say I’m a hoarder, but I do have a lot of crap that I haven’t used in 5, er 15 years. It’s not a matter of, “You never know when that lint-covered lifesaver in the dark recesses of that drawer might come in handy” or “Gosh, I love that rusty stroller with two missing wheels in the back of the attic.” It’s a matter of laziness. My logic: I’ll either move and have to get rid of it, or I’l die of old age, and it’ll be someone else’s problem. So I guess you might say I’m a lazy ass in hoarder’s clothing. Let’s see what Erik has to say about the real deal.

Me: Okay, let’s talk about hoarders. My sister, Laura, loves that reality show, Hoarders. Have you seen that or heard about it?

Jamie: I’ve seen, I think, two episodes.  I just can’t believe that it’s real.

Me: Oh god, I know. What’s behind that, Erik?

Erik: There’s a whole lot of shit behind it. Mostly it’s people who are fearful they won’t have anything.

Me (in a tone of sympathy): Hm.

Erik: It’s the same with the extreme couponing people, Mom. They’re not purchasing to meet their needs. They’re purchasing with the idea that they’re saving something and getting an abundance of material cuz what if they couldn’t get that later for that price? It’s living in a world of emptiness, scarcity. “Gotta reach out. Gotta grab it now. Gotta keep it. Gotta hold on to it. Can’t get rid of it. f I get rid of it, I’m going to have nothing.”

Me: Aw, that’s just so sad.

Erik: It’s emotional attachment to material items. It’s kinda like the ability not to have emotional attachment to humans, and therefore they sabotage their own life and their quality of life, their relationships, everything—their willing to give up everything but be satisfied in their kingdom of junk. Even people who hoard animals!

Me: Oh, yeah. So, it’s not about loving the animals?

Erik: No.

Me: Oh!

Erik: Since they can’t make a connection to humans, it’s an excuse to take them off that track of responsibility. You know, for a hoarder, they give up the concept of hygiene, cleaning, organization, care, hosting, having people over. It becomes their ultimate excuse. Their embarrassment becomes their ultimate excuse. Back in the day—

Jamie (to Erik, laughing): In history? Okay.

Erik: Back in history, people who, well, just because of culture, you know, they couldn’t go out and buy like a computer and go to a department store and get all this kind of crap on sale at a grocery store—back before all that shit existed.

Me: Um hm.

Erik: Pretty much it would be like having leprosy. You know, just kind of welts and oozes showing up on the face, the skin—just the nasty on the inside boiling out to the skin. Nobody would go around them; they didn’t want anybody around. They lived a life of suffering, victimhood and sabotage rather than claiming their own rights.

Me: Aw.

Erik: And they feel broken. It really requires a lot of therapy rather than somebody coming in and taking all your shit away.

Me: Yeah.

Jamie: Do they do therapy on the show?

Me: I think they do, both during and after, but I’ve never really watched an entire episode. Can people hoard kids like have kid after kid after kid?

Jamie laughs.

Erik (chuckling softly): Yes.

Me (laughing): I came close! So, why would they wanna do that?

Erik: There’s a difference between having a large family and just having kids to take up your time, to make you feel useful, to give you something to do. And it’s different if you’re having a large family and you’re caring for and hosting them to be better people—or are you just having kids so you can get a paycheck? Are you having a lot of kids just to be able to say you have that many? You know, getting into the human thing is a hell of a lot different.

Me: But what is the spiritual basis for hoarding, Erik?

Erik: Fear that things are going to be taken away. Come on. When you died and you came to Earth—

Jamie (laughing): Oh my god, that’s funny

Erik:—in a spiritual way of looking at it, when you leave Home and come to Earth, when you die and come to Earth, you lose everything. And some have fear that they’ll never be able to have life where things are not going to be taken way from them.

Me: Um hm.

Erik: You know, there are some circumstances where—


Jamie: I’m listening. Hold on.

Me: Sure.

Jamie: Uh. That threw me for a loop. All right.

Erik: There are some circumstances where a spirit is, let’s just say, being a little bit of a dick. They’re supposed to be reincarnating. They have this other thing that they themselves have wanted to learn, you know, because reincarnation is self-driven. God’s not around going, “YOU HAVE TO DO THAT SHIT, AND YOU HAVE TO GO OVER THERE. YOU PROMISED ME YOU’D DO THAT!”

Me: I laugh.

Erik: No, it’s totally self-driven, but sometimes they fucking cop out, and that’s why we have spiritual counselors who say, “Listen, stay true to yourself. This is what you’re doing.” And then they come back in with a little bit of a kick or a, you know, disappointment about being alive. They’re pissed. It’s their own fucking fault.

Jamie: He’s laughing. He thinks it’s funny.

Erik: So, they feel like they’ve had everything ripped from them, taken from them, which is a bit of a bullshit. But you know people believe what they wanna believe. Spiritually they’ll get to Earth and then they’ll try to hold on to every little piece of shit that they can get their hands on, because they don’t want to get it taken away.

Me: Yeah. I can understand that.

Erik: And they create those patterns in their relationships on Earth. In their family—oh, everywhere! Things get taken from them; they get abandoned. Ah, it’s crap.

Me: They just wanna cling on to whatever they can.

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Elisa Medhus

  • Maureen Roane

    I had a brief episode of hoarding as a child of about 8 or 9. I have not had a recurrence but I can tell you that it was originally prompted by an experience of sexual abuse. I believe that because something was taken from me absolutely without my consent and with zero power to protect myself, I sort of re-asserted “control” in odd ways, such as hoarding. Anything I had ever touched became subject to hoarding under my bed–used kleenex, leftover bones from dinner, I mean really gross and weird things–but I had touched them and left an imprint, so to speak, and only I could decide their fate, you see? I absolutely didn’t understand what was happening at the time and my parents had NO idea what to do with me. It was only after dealing with the trauma long after I was grown that I could see the “whys” behind some of the behaviours that drove everyone else nuts.

    This is my first time commenting here, or on any site for that matter. I just wanted to thank you for offering this platform and giving so much of yourself to it. I stumbled across this site and the youtube vids in early summer of 2016–no idea exactly how, now, but I never question the mysterious ways that the universe answers questions and needs. I probably came across you due to being a family survivor of a suicide.

    I find the topics and comments fascinating, eye-opening, and sometimes heartbreaking. I just wanted to pop in and say “hello,” and “thank you!” I will probably return to my quiet seat in the back row now!

    • T Diaz

      Maureen, I appreciate that you shared your experience with the CE community. It shows a courageous vulnerability, and I really love the insight you possess in connecting the dots between the abuse and the hoarding. I say “thank you” right backatcha!

    • Georgia95Luciana Todesco

      Wow, that is so brave of you to talk about this. And you have such insight. I wish I could have that much insight!

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