HOARDING: OCD OR HIDDEN DARKER SECRETS

HOARDING:  OCD OR HIDDEN DARKER SECRETS

By  EWALT AINSWORTH                   05 08 2012

Chocolates, cognac, cherries and cosmetics are things mothers take delight in.  Get her some or all of the above and you may stay free.  One mom in particular, who asked all her children to come together and buy her a RANGE ROVER, got the shocking surprise of her life.  The girls, all college graduates, instead pooled and bought her five different AMTRAK return tickets with a sticky note that said: ROVE THE LAND.  They also sent her a discount coupon for a cleaning company to clear her head, living room, bottom bed, kitchen and coop.        

The girls accused the mother of hoarding her own money and the proceeds from the father’s death.  They accused mom of having everything and more in abundance; she recently added a flank to the five car garage and in the eyes of her children, she is messy, they are embarrassed when they visit with her and much more than that, she is always looking to get more and stash.  Modern research suggests that Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)  manifests itself in the form of hoarding.

Try to imagine an airline flying between JFK and Timehri allowing each passenger  two suitcases with 65 pounds each and a carry on piece with 22 lbs.  Female passenger arrives at midnight on time and discovers she does not have her passport.  She empties her hand piece and later her luggage only to discover that she picked up the wrong set of luggage from a trip she did 46 years ago.  She struggled from the basement with a collection from a previous trip she made May 26, 1966 for Guyana’s inaugural independence and never found the time, the energy or the presence of mind to put away all that stuff.

Anyhow, the outgoing passenger was able to call a cab and went back home to Queens to retrofit herself.  The driver of the cab was just as ashamed as she was because of the condition of the house.  The living room was packed to the roof with bundles of newspapers, bills, books, flyers, plastic wrappers, gift items, un-opened shoe bags.  The cab driver gave the woman his card and number and told her she can call as soon as she gets her act together.

Years ago I worked with a photographer and whenever we went out of town, he would have a hand piece as big as a suitcase.  In it he would have a bicycle pump, cheese cloth, sewing needles, thimbles, collapsible cups, feminine napkins, bible, dictionary, Turmogene, Benadryl, disposable cups and plates, binoculars, playing cards, ludo, dominoes, chalk, pencils, Quink ink, ruler, staples, envelopes and pads.  I am trying hard not to use his name but he would also have elastic, belts, sanitizers, Phensic, batteries, torch light, candles, nail polish and even shoe cleaner and polish.

Another guy, always has US 700.00 in his pocket but till never spend it irrespective of what the emergency or situation is.  This type of behavior comes under the obsessive compulsive disorder and it is a mild form of hoarding.  Some folks have cell phones in different colors while some people must play religious music when they are taking a long road trip.  Some folks too just have to have animals.  Guyanese men like keep bird in the cage and allow the other animals to roam free.

Changing gears.  Popular DJ and radio commentator, Pancho Carew at the time of death a decade ago, had in his bedroom 85 pairs of white moccasins and another 18 pairs of other designs.  Mr. Cecil Griffith, former GBC news editor in a discussion some years earlier with Pancho, discovered that when Pancho was growing up, he was unable to attend the LCP fair in Brickdam because he did not have a matching shoe for his white pants and so for the rest of his life, he continued to amass white shoes.

I have a very personal friend and countryman who up to September of 2011 before he re-located to Florida had owned 103 Japanese cars.  He had a special car lot and staff to tune and maintain his babies.

I mention him because he was a collector of items while the two other conditions, are mere hoarders.  There is a certain method to the madness of collectors even though most hoarders start off as collectors.

Hear this.  A retired Guyanese lawyer in the Newark community had to get psychiatric and psychological help about a decade ago.  His problem was less visible but was still there.  Every morning, he would write out on post-it notes…that yellow sticky pad, all the things he wants to get accomplished and stick them to the inner linen of his jacket.  And so when he arrives in court, he has the names of all his clients, the phone calls he has to make and the cases he has to try in a linear manner.  The judge made an intervention and this forced him out of his job.  Talk half, leff half.

Getting a ride in the diaspora with friends and family is often a chore.  They first have to leave the party/church before you and clear the front seat of all the clutter, food containers, maps, clothing et al.  Sometimes the trunk too has stuff as old as or even older than the car.

Older men hoard more than women.  Some men too not only hoard physical things but they go back to school in their latter years and gain four different PHDs.  Others try to amass money in the bank or even marry multiple times.  You never thought of marriage as hoarding  … right?

Some folks too have real problems in disposing of things.  They only give to a party or person whom they think can be as good as or even a better steward than they are.  But be informed that in this global economy, everything comes with a shelf life.  Food has to be tossed before the next shopping trip and cars have to go as soon as you finish paying the installments.  Children too have no interest in what you bequeath to them.  The money?… yes!

And so the likes of Dr Ashni Singh and his wife selling off all the government’s property and holdings and parking the proceeds in a special account are more than the legality and or illegality of the stuff.  There is a dark side to these two government officials and it may not be too late for them to seek professional psychological and psychiatric help.  Nobody gat-to-know.  You can go to India, Brittania or Australia.  Obeah is obeah.

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