Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A healing path (2) Living the Dream: clutter

I am sure that the whole issue of clutter, hoarding and messiness at home is a reenactment of the Dream of the Womb.  Five years ago, when I  asked the local university statistics department to analyse the first 500 responses to the research questionnaire, I was amazed to find that  over 45% of the respondents with evidence of their twin agreed strongly with the statement:

"There is at least one room (including shed or garage) in my home that is completely full of stuff"

This  result was a complete surprise. This statement seemed to unearth a group of people who were not necessarily "compulsive" hoarders, but who at least had a strong tendency to hoard, to the extent that  at least part of their home could not be used for  its original purpose because of the accumulation of stuff in it.  There are various definitions of hoarding:
Definition: Pathological or compulsive hoarding is a specific type of behavior characterized by acquiring and failing to throw out a large number of items that would appear to have little or no value to others, such as notes, flyers, or newspapers. Compulsive hoarding can, though does not inevitably, lead to severe cluttering of the person’s home so that it is no longer able to function as a viable living space, causing significant distress or impairment of work or social life.

The Medical Definition

In 1996 Randy O Frost and Tamara L Hartl defined compulsive hoarding with the following:
  • The acquisition of, and failure to discard, possessions that appear to be of useless or of limited value.
  • Living spaces so cluttered that using the room as intended is impossible
  • Significant distress or impairment to function.
 But the mystery is, how would this be related to being a womb twin survivor?

I created a hoarding questionnaire which you can see here, but I think I am still asking the wrong questions.  This is where I was with the whole womb twin survivor project ten years ago - I knew that there were millions of womb twin survivors out there,  but how could I find the right questions in order to identify them?  How is hoarding linked to the Dream of the Womb?  If we could find out it would help a lot of people!

  • It is about taking up space in the womb, that you feel guilty about?  
  • Is it about conflicting ideas of having and not having - of having everything but not feeling allowed to have anything?
  • Is it about a sense of scarcity? Such as a lost twin may have experienced, to suchj an exnet that they died?
  •  Is it about identifying with your lost twin, squashed and shrinking into a corner  of the womb besides your developing body?
  • Is it about holding on to everything and anything that may be related to your twin, lost long ago?
  • Is it simply a form of self sabotage,  or self defeating behaviour?
  • Is it about life and death, a life-long unfinished task, that must be completed to keep everything whole and together? 


Any comments welcomed!

Hoarding has been described as a way of holding on to old relationships - click here to see a video that describes hoarding as art - this is a very lovely way to celebrate what was in fact an act of love......


  1. I would agree with every statement above, except for the one about self-sabotage. That is the only one that does not pertain to me personally. For years I hoarded all the birthday cards I received as a child and teenager, When I went away to college at 18, my mother threw all the cards away. I was devastated, because they were cherished possessions to me. Maybe because of all the love I felt from the people who sent those cards, I had affirmation that I was cherished and loved.

  2. Maybe it's just the step you have to take to start cleaning, to get up and actually do something about it. Passivity is the word that comes to mind here.

  3. Yes, passivity - stuck in your Beta space, where the Alpha energy that would get you up and going is just not there.