Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.

You can read the start of my journey here.

Friday, May 7, 2010

How do I say goodbye?

Today, we finished going through the last of the boxes from the girls' room. One was the box of dress up clothes. The girls have grown so much that nothing really fit them anymore, so I'm giving the majority of them to a friend who has younger girls who still like to play dress up.

I only saved 4 things from the box. Two were Gunne Sax dresses and one skirt. I figured I'd wash them up and try to sell them on eBay. A lot of them go for an amazing amount right now, so I figured it would be worth sticking in my eBay stash. If I change my mind at some point, I'll go ahead and give them to my friend.

The 4th thing I saved back is a pink dress I'd picked up at a thrift store several years ago for them to play with. It has an off-the-shoulder bodice, but it's stretched out enough that particular part of the dress would fit a linebacker. However, the skirt is in good condition. It's a pretty satin circle skirt with a bit of a pattern in it. I decided I'm going to cut the skirt portion of the dress off and make our youngest a skirt she can twirl in, if she so chooses. There's just nothing like a circle skirt to make a little girl smile!

The other box was the box of dolls. They were all baby dolls of assorted sizes. The girls never really got into dolls much, but they still got them over the years. It wasn't too hard to get rid of them, because the girls never really played with them. A complete lack of memories with an item definitely makes it easier to get rid of things. No doubt about it.

When I got to the bottom of the plastic storage box that held the dolls and their memories or lack thereof, I was taken aback. Just a bit. There, at the bottom of the box, was my dolly from the year I turned 7. I loved that doll. Obviously, or I wouldn't have hung onto it all these years. My mom knew I wanted this dolly for Christmas. I think it was the only thing I asked for. I just knew she would complete my life, if I were to be blessed with her as a gift.

I believe we had Christmas Eve at my grandparents' house, because I'm pretty sure I had this dolly before Santa came on Christmas morning. And I was in Heaven! Imagine my utter disbelief when I found my little dolly's cousin with much darker skin in my stocking the next morning! I had TWINS - one little black baby and one little white baby! I was beside myself with joy! How could any one child ever be so lucky?

They were so realistic looking, and they felt more real than any doll I'd ever had before. They weren't made of hard plastic, but instead were made of a soft rubber, and because they were rubber, they had a little extra weight to them. They were as close to the real thing as I could get without monopolizing my nieces or nephews.

I don't remember what the argument was about, but one day, my younger brother and I each had hold of one of my black dolly's legs. As the argument grew more heated, so did the strength in our little hands. I don't think either of us realized what happened until I let out a scream. My little black baby that meant the world to me had been split almost up to her belly button. I was horrified and heartbroken!

As a result, the little white dolly became even more cherished. She's been with me since I was 7 years old. She's lived with us in 5 different states, several cities and countless houses over the years. Today, I made the decision to give her up for adoption. But now I'm second, third and fourth guessing myself.

She was taken to the car to spend the night with the other toys looking for a loving home. I took a picture of her before she was taken away, and that's all I have left. I've been wondering, if I made the right decision to give her up. I have wondered all afternoon, if I should dig her out of the stuff in the back of the car before it's dropped of at it's destination. It's hard to know what to do.

She's been a constant in my tumultuous-at-times life. Every time I've come across her over the years, I've known she wasn't going anywhere. I wasn't going to have to say goodbye. There's a bit of emotional security in knowing she wasn't going to go anywhere. But things are different now.

After all, I have a picture. And nobody can take away my memories.


  1. You have such a good attitude! If you feel like you need her emotional security still, then do what you have to do. If not, then you've got great memories and a photo! (Why is it that ALL baby dolls appear to lose their clothes? ;)

  2. You have your memories ,and somewhere a child is going to be lucky enough to have those things to build her own treasured memories! How wonderful!

  3. I still have my teddy bear. I won't be giving that up for a while.


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