How did Kim's lifelong need to keep her father's hoarding a secret affect her life growing up? And how did it affect her relationship with her parents?
Join Date: 10/15/10
Join Date: 03/25/13
Keeping the secret is one of the most damaging things in Kim's life. The shame and the cover up took so much energy. I kept hoping that someone would intervene, but the cover-up removed that possibility. It also informed her terrible need to appear perfect.
Join Date: 09/11/11
I agree with sylviag and also noted that Kim went through extreme exercises to keep her home situation a secret. She got dropped off at a different house than the one she lived in, did not have friends over, stayed over at friends' houses, and overall pretended to live a different life from the one she was living.
Join Date: 06/16/11
I think that until the point at which she was writing down her story as a cathartic exercise that her whole life was an exercise in trying to hide the hoarding and function as a normal person despite it constantly affecting what she did and how she lived and interacted with the world. It made her a very strong, tolerant and sympathetic person at huge cost. She made friends and became independent and successful despite all that she had to endure and never became resentful or disrespectful of her parents.
Join Date: 08/23/11
Having to hide your family's life, even to the point where you live, is a lot of stress on a young person. I would think it would keep you from learning to have friends you can trust, which is a very large part of teenagers' lives.
Her relationship with her parents would be one of feeling like her parents didn't care enough about her having a normal life to get help, of her having no respect for them and them feeling guilty because they had to have known, at least her mother knew, how hard it all was on her.
Join Date: 05/26/12
Feeling the need to keep her parents' secret in order to appear "normal" to kids her age made her resent her parents. She felt terrible about praying for a fire and then having a fire actually take place (regardless of whether it was her fault or not). She was embarrassed to have to ask for help from her friends while in her 20s. Having them see what she had grown up around was still shameful, even after not living with them for years.
Join Date: 06/15/11
I couldn't help thinking about all the energy she wasted in keeping this a secret and yet she still was an exceptional student. I completely understand why she felt the need to keep the secret as kids can be so cruel to anyone who's the least bit "different" from others. I was amazed that she turned out to be such a bright achiever and as mentally competent as she obviously is after such a traumatic beginning.
Join Date: 09/11/11
I believe that when she started to go to a therapist and open up about her feelings about the hoarding, it helped to set her emotionally free. Until then, and before she met Ray, she operated with shame, secrecy, and silence.
Join Date: 10/25/12
The stress of dealing with her parents mental illness-and i believe this is a mental illness-and not being allowed to have the basic simple childhood teenage live that kids should be allowed to have is sad. I think she is a stronger person for having gone thru what she did.
Join Date: 06/12/13
Join Date: 04/10/13
It takes a lot of mental energy to keep that kind of secret. The effect of constant shame can take quite a toll. Also there is guilt for trying to hide what you are ashamed of .
Join Date: 10/20/10
Join Date: 12/03/11
Kim's friendships growing up involved deception and made for a lopsided relationship, yet she was able to make a few good friends, and when she finally "came clean" with them, they were able to help her through tough times. It was clear that Kim loved her parents, yet I could not help wondering if deep down she did not resent having been denied a real childhood. she so often had to be the "adult in the room," it could not have been easy.
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