A Family’s Struggle with Hoarding (Chapter 2)


Dolly spent another day sorting through her boxes of stuff, but Mandy can’t tell whether there has been progress or not. Unfortunately, all Dolly has done is created a trail to everywhere that she needs need to go. Kyle has to move boxes, in order for Mandy to get in the dressing room or to get dishes out from under the cupboard.


Dolly still has boxes that are up under the table and blocking some of the cupboards, which can be very frustrating. Sometimes, Kyle and Mandy just want to throw the boxes away, especially the ones that just old magazines or old bills. However, Dolly would have a fit, if they were to touch any of her precious stuff.


Mandy and Kyle want to be able to bring friends over for a barbecue or just sit around and hang out together. Additionally, they want to be able to do a Bible study and invite people to join them, but the kitchen table is always full of Dolly’s stuff. Every time Mandy moves it, somehow, Dolly places it right back up on the table.


Today, Mandy decided to work on a book that she’s been writing, plus, she worked a little on a volunteer project that she is involved with. Dolly continued moving stuff around, but all she did was place boxes to a different spot. Furthermore, Mandy’s new anxiety medication is working so she is able to tolerate the feeling of being overwhelmed when confronted with Dolly’s stuff.


Mandy and Kyle are spending more time together, which helps Mandy by giving her the house and away from Dolly. Whenever they return to the house they both feel overwhelmed by a dreadful feeling that consumes them. Both of them know that she will have a room full of boxes, including part of the kitchen.


One thing they have learned throughout the four years of living here is that Dolly will never change. She grew up with parents, who were hoarders and her brother is the same way. So, Mandy and Kyle just keep their side of the house clean and pray each day that Dolly will recognize her hoarding condition. Additionally, they pray that she realizes that she doesn’t need all those boxes and will throw away the old stuff.


So far, Mandy and Kyle are doing their best with learning how to live with someone who is a compulsive hoarder. It’s not easy, but God doesn’t put more on someone than they can handle. Thankfully, Mandy knows that with God’s help she will have the strength to endure the struggle with Dolly.


(2014, Crystal S. Kauffman)



(Chapter 3 coming soon)