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  • Marnie Matthews, MSW, LICSW posted an update in the group Group logo of Growing Up In ClutterGrowing Up In Clutter 7 months ago

    What age did you become aware of the clutter in your home?

    • Age 5-ish?

      • Amelia, that is earlier than most since it is generally all children in hoarded homes know.

        • Sorry, I’m not sure what you mean by that…

          • Most of the people I have spoken to that grew up in hoarded homes have said they didn’t realize it wasn’t normal until close to their teenage years.

            • That is interesting… I knew my mother was impossible whenI was 2 bc she spent my 2nd birthday ignoring me and obsessing over my bday cake. i was told it is unusual to have such early memories, but I also remember my potty chair and lots of stuff from then, our cat, etc …I have consistent memories from nursery school but more episodic from toddlerhood. I didn’t know that was abnormal until I was 40 something… I knew my mother had stuff issues when we had the same xmas tree age 4 and 5. I didn’t know diddly about mental illness but I knew my mother wasn’t right. Her hoarding behaviors were confined and limited as a kid and I don’t think she had universally compromised her home until i was 15. By 5 i was scared of her and knew things were wrong in a big picture sense, not just in isolated incidents, it was a consistent fabric of experience… but i was precocious and reading by 4… By 6 I was withdrawing and resisting her impositions (i was her dress up dolly and hated it) it was pretty much nonstop conflict until I escaped at 13, and then it was still a lot of conflict, periods of not speaking, seeing her etc until 17-18 and by then she was just a walking tragedy and i felt so sorry for her that I’d swallowed all my other feelings… then i moved 3000 miles away… I cannot remember ever thinking my mother was normal or ok, in other words, but I ‘m still finding myself challenged to appreciate how ill she really is…