I always said my children saved my life, and that is true. I don’t think I would have made it with out them. However, this past month being gone in Montana and then back in my home state of Illinois has brought me insight. Two days ago going through some of my stuff in a closet at my moms house, and seeing everything spread out made me think with new eyes. Remembering the hoarders marathon I saw in Montana and going through that house, it all started making sense. Now, I KNOW I collected dolls because when my father committed suicide and set the attic on fire most of my childhood toys were destroyed. I wanted my childhood back. I was mad that I put all of those toys up there that carried so many memories. I should have kept them in my room. I should have treasured them, just like I should have treasured my father. Now I have dolls coming out of my ears! A hundred Barbie dolls, fifty or more porcelain dolls. Some dolls and stuffed animals were still in my room at the time of the fire. They were smoked damaged, but they were cleaned and I still have all of them too. They all came out of the closet at my moms house. In Montana it was way easier. All the Barbie dolls I just rolled my eyes at and put in bins, I left the porcelain dolls in a case, I’ll deal with that later. Yes, I want to pass the dolls on to my daughter, but she only needs so many… she doesn’t even have an interest in them! I have started giving them to friends when they have daughters. I like that. Its fun. However at my mothers house……. I CAN NOT put my childhood dolls and toys on the donation pile. I can not do it. I looked in a bin that had all my favorite dolls as a child and I just said, ” Oh boy”, couldn’t breathe, and walked away from the project. JUST LIKE the people did on the hoarders marathon! Too overwhelming.
The next morning I was laying in bed thinking. I know I OCDed out on the dolls. I know I OCDed out when I bred bunnies. I had hundreds. I have a thing for shoes still. Then it hits me: What would I have done with out all of these things…things that I obsessed over. A doll or bunny, or pair of shoes I had in my mind constantly until I got it? I would have been in such a deep dark depression. I would have never stopped thinking about my dad, the things that happened the 8 months leading up to his death, the horrible three days before, the day of, me walking around the gym with my friends telling them I hated him when he was already dead, being told in the principals office what happened with my mom and grandfather, seeing the look in my grandmas eyes when I came to the house, me watching his body come out of the house in a body bag being loaded into the ambulance……. I would have never stopped. It would have killed me. Focusing on one item, one goal was enough to keep me going. I got that doll, that was great, but now I need another rabbit. I have a job at a gas station, a bunny business, I go to school, but now I need to open a tanning salon, buy a house, and get married. I won a pageant? Well, now I need to do another and then make 100 appearances. I’m bored… I need to leave everything behind including my family, move to California with a new husband, and start modeling and acting. This way of thinking kept me going and going until I was just tired at 24, 8 years after my fathers death. I broke down, my health ruined. I started therapy.
Now it is still there. I have cried myself to sleep too many nights in Illinois…. and Montana. My mom has bought me 6 pairs of shoes since I’ve been here. You know what…??? I don’t care … It helps. $150 in shoes is cheaper than therapy. I know what’s wrong with me. I don’t know if I can let go of that bin of childhood dolls though. It’s too hard. All the dolls I got after I was 16 is no problem. I will continue to give those away….. but that bin…..that bin of 8 dolls….. I don’t think any amount of shoes could get me to do it.