I feel I dwell on the negative way too much here. But this blog. This is my therapy. This is my doctor. This is my couch. This is my drug of choice. My words.

My blog keeps me sane. I can sit here and say everything  I need to.

But, I feel I have to say, no SHOUT: IT DOES GET BETTER!

Did you hear me?

Yes, it does get better.

When I was 18 I left my parents’ home. The place I personally, and now publicly, call the Monster House. Why did I give it a nickname? Well, for many years I had nightmares of that home, of the trash and stuff, and the things that happened there. It is/was my monster in the closet so to speak.

I moved 5 miles away the first time, then over 1,000 miles away from home with a little over $200 in my pocket. Although, that number soon dwindled when my best friend’s boyfriend stole some my first few nights living with her.

Our friendship didn’t endure him. He was more suited to my life in the Monster House than the life I wanted in this new state.

The one thing that growing up there did for me: it made me a survivor. I could endure, I could think outside the box, I could be creative, I was strong. I could leave them also and make it. I did.

Now, here I am, 16 (SIXTEEN!!) years later. Really?!! Wow. Anyway, here I am 16 years later. I have a husband, I have a dog, a WONDERFUL daughter, a home, 2 vehicles, a job  career making a decent income. I even had a summer with a pet tree frog ;)

Now, maybe a bit of luck played into all of it, or maybe some hard work and dedication. I’m not sure, sometimes I look back and just think of how LUCKY I am. Other times, I remember working two full-times jobs, working my  butt off so my husband could get to the Dr. or working my way up in a field more embracing to men than women. I worked full-time while going to school full-time and pregnant. (2nd time back to school). So, I guess I did work some :)

But, this post isn’t about me really, it’s about YOU. YOU can leave that hoard behind. If I can do it… I KNOW anyone can. Yes, I do carry around the scars and pain, but that’s because I held it in for SO LONG. If your reading this and your still at home, know that one day you can leave too.

I grew up in dog & cat crap. Cheese on the walls. Spilled milk and rotten food on the floor. Trash. Fleas. Mice. Mold. Ick. It was all I knew for the longest time. And when I realized that others didn’t grow up this way, I was jealous and angry and sad and frustrated and lonely and mad and hurt and sick and tired and and and ….. << as I am sure many COHs feel >>

So, coming from all of that, I can honestly say, as a child of a hoarder, it does get better.

At 14 if someone would have told me it would get better, I may have tried to punch them. But, in the back of my head, I knew life could be something more than what I had. I saw it all around me.

I left. I do not hoard. For the most part my house is clean. I know I am not what was in that Monster House.

YOU can leave. You will not be a hoarder because you grew up in it. You can have a clean house. You are not nasty or filthy, you are not what created the hoard.