From Salon, Christine Schoenwalk and her touching account of her mother’s anti-hoarding disorder.
My mother isn’t a hoarder; she’s the exact opposite. If she were a hoarder, then people would understand when I talked about her. They’d have the exact image: a house with stacks of newspapers and magazines touching the ceilings, bags of junk covering the floors, and old food rotting in the least likely of places. We’ve all seen hoarders and their homes on the various hoarder TV shows. But there aren’t any reality shows about people who have deliberately empty rooms. When people come to my mother’s house, they can’t comprehend that anyone would make a choice to live so sparingly.