Would you be alarmed if a pack of rodents were living in your home?
What about the home of a loved one?
Would your IMMEDIATE reaction be one of concern? Anger? Astonishment?
For many people the discovery of even one rodent or evidence of them in any shape or form would be a cause for taking action. Protecting yourself, your family and your property would become a TOP priority.
BUT what about the folks who co-exist with rodents in a hoarded residence?
The people who clearly DO NOT understand the risks and health issues that rodents cause? The folks who hoard and justify their behaviors as they are “not hurting anyone.” What do we do with those situations?
Is it acceptable for them to have an infestation if we can’t actually see the rodents?
Out of sight out of mind? Is it worse if the rodents crawl over our feet when we visit the residence? If it’s only one or two-is that acceptable? If I narrowly miss putting my hand in a large rat trap on the book shelf, should I just let the moment pass? Say nothing of the obvious rodent problem that would cause a person to put a trap on a book shelf?
Let’s just say for a moment, the rat trap HAD captured my hand? What if it had been enough pressure to break a finger on my hand? How would I have explained that at the ER? What kind of look would I have gotten if I explained, in detail, how it is I managed to get my hand caught in a rat trap?
Often what I see in hoarding situations is people struggling to come to terms with their living situation. The denial that there actually is a problem is the biggest problem to overcome.
The justification as to WHY some people are living this way can be mind boggling if you don’t know about hoarding or have never actually SEEN the state of the residence. Their own safety and well-being isn’t even part of the thought process, let alone the other people that may be living there or may come to visit.
Hoarding creates a space full of stuff and rubbish, creating a perfect habitat for rodents to live, breed and gnaw. Not to mention peeing and pooping wherever they happen to be creating a smelly mess that no one should be breathing or living in.
It is necessary to address hoarding issues and the myriad of other issues that go along with it. We must go in with a multi-prong approach in order to address the problems and create effective solutions.
The bottom line is that silence isn’t helpful as hoarding does not generally correct itself over time.
Tammi Moses is the founder and Chief Encouragement Officer of Homes Are For Living, LLC which is a Veteran Woman Owned & Operated business located in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, WA. She provides consultations, assessments and workshops on the issue of hoarding and inspiring others to take their adversity and use it for the greater good. She is the voice of #AKOPTH-Adult Kids of Parents That Hoard. She is also a voice & advocate for #YLITH – Youth Living in The Hoard. You can connect with Tammi at firstname.lastname@example.org on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.