Hoarding has become quite the topic of conversations in the past few years. Hoarders have been featured on shows like Oprah and various documentaries (like the fascinating "Life of Grime") and now there are several television series devoted to the topic. The most popular are TLC's "Hoarders: Buried Alive" and A&E's "Hoarders". These shows are immensely popular (I'm an admitted devotee), evidenced by "Likes" on Facebook and soaring ratings and chat room numbers.
A common lament about compulsive hoarders (people who cannot throw anything away -- even garbage -- and live in deplorable and sometimes deadly conditions) are their children. Seen on camera as loving their parents but hating what they have become, they live in squalor. And when hoarders are asked about their childhoods, they will often say they grew up with hoarding parents. Now, knowing that there is a possibility of their own kids inheriting this behavior, they work with organizers and counselors who slowly help them to face their hoarding, accept it for what it is, and learn to live a life without "stuff". The recidivism of compulsive hoarding is high. The recidivism of animal hoarding (a topic with its own series) is about 100 percent if serious therapy is not applied, according to the Humane Society of the United States. But one thing is known for certain: children of hoarders face abuse and neglect every day of their lives and the impact can be permanent.
The website Children of Hoarders is dedicated to such a group. Some of the adult children have been featured on television but most are simply regular people, surviving the aftermath of a childhood spent in filth and chaos. Their blogs are gut-wrenching, from talking about guilt to the near hatred they feel for their parents (the majority of parents being mothers) for having put them through a childhood of confusion, embarrassment and isolation. Some have heated arguments with the hoarders and others face parents who take no accountability for their actions. Some children of hoarders simply walk away to save their sanity.