October 26th, 2010

"April, you could tidy up a little!"

Okay, is there anyone here who watches those hoarder shows? I'm an avid viewer of both Hoarders on A&E, and Hoarding: Buried Alive on TLC. And I've started following the discussions on...another forum, which I won't name because I don't want to start a board war, but it shouldn't be hard to figure out which one I mean. Perhaps some people here post there as well.

One of the subjects of last night's episode of Hoarders was a middle-aged woman and her 14 y/o son. In a nutshell, she's stubborn and combative; he has issues too, but undoubtedly as a result of being brought up by her; she claims he has "oppositional defiant disorder"; and he called CPS to report the living conditions in the house (bad. Really bad.).

So most people posting about the show are sympathetic to the kid. Especially since there was a dispute between him and his mom about his bedroom door. She removed it. Claimed he was "blockading" her. There's also a lot of her junk in his room. Yes, some of the mess is his, but most people are on the side of "He figures what's the use, and he never learned to be neat. Poor kid; hope he gets out of that." But there seems to be some kind of Kool-Aid making the rounds, because first we got at least one person blaming the kid for not cleaning up his MOM'S stuff in HIS room. And suggesting he might be a troublemaker because he called CPS (sensible option, IMO) instead of moving his mom's stuff out of his room (can end in bloodshed, IME). And finally, someone huffs that "He could have even a semi-cleared room," and "some of these poor hoarder kids sleep 20 to a room*!"

I'd love to post back and say "Yeah, and he could live in a war zone and not have a house at all." But I'm not going to give them a piece of my mind, not even a sliver. If you know the forum I'm talking about, you know how fast I'd get banned if I engaged this person.

*Not. I don't remember a hoarder family with more than 4 kids. Perhaps there was one with more, but that would be the one exception. And there are just as many hoarders with adult kids or no kids. The poster is probably conflating the hoarding shows with the too-many-kids shows.