What did you think of Kim's defense of her parents? Why do you think she sticks up for them in spite of what they put her through when she was growing up?
Join Date: 10/15/10
Join Date: 06/05/12
Kim's caring relationship with her parents really humanized them for me. I have avoided watching any of the Hoarder tv shows because it seems that the people suffering from the disease are made fun of. But in her book, Kim was really able to show that her parents were good loving people who always supported her and who had a lot of good qualities. I especially thought it was interesting that she emphasized that when her family was out of the house---in the car, in a restaurant---they didn't have to be faced with all of the mess in their house and so were able to just relax and be a loving family. I think that Kim did a really good job of separating her parents as people from her parents as a disease.
Join Date: 10/18/12
I thought that it made the book special. Her parents were people to me not just hoarders. I think she did an excellent job of this. It was clear that her parents loved her, despite their other limitations. I thought she was fair and honest and I think that is why the book held my attention. I agree with elizabethm above, reality TV shows portray things in such a one-dimensional light. Her honesty and integrity kept the story real and let you see her parents as people despite all of their problems.
Join Date: 12/04/11
Join Date: 05/19/11
Join Date: 03/25/13
I think children always love their parents, which is sometimes pretty sad. Kim as an adult could see the good in her parents...but there were times in the book when I was internally screaming the word "enabler" at her.
Join Date: 09/11/11
I think of Kim as a parental child, the person that takes care of her parents rather than her parents taking care of her. She also deals with the three s's: Shame, Secrecy and Silence. All of these serve to enmesh her tightly with her parents and keep her with them through thick and thin.
Join Date: 08/23/11
I think her mother, especially, seemed human and almost pitiful the way she apologized to her daughter for what she went through. Your parents are that one place where you receive unconditional love, and I think you fight to keep that. Maybe it is so deeply ingrained you just can't put it (the loving moments) aside. They have become a part of you.
Join Date: 06/16/11
Under the circumstances I find her love, protectiveness and unending devotion totally admirable. She had every reason and right to just walk away but her attachment to their unequivocal love for her was very strong. It made her so human and them so real that you really felt a part of their lives.
Join Date: 06/15/11
Simply said -- they are her parents. I know people whose parents were horribly abusive to them and they still love them. Her's were loving, attentive parents who were unbearably afflicted with this compulsion. I did feel like she sort of became a bit co-dependent in the end with the endless cleaning and moving they put her through, but she was an only child. If she didn't do it, who would?
Join Date: 04/12/12
I thought the bond between Kim and her parents is why the book was so real to me. Kids don't know what good parenting is or how life is supposed to be. They grow up with their parents and that is what they know. It is later when they grow up that they can see how others live. So, I thought that her parents must have given her the love and respect even though the situation was not the best. She lived in an abusive situation, but she learned to love as well as to cope. That has to say something about the parents' early caring for Kim. I also think Kim is a very special person because she did not become bitter and she learned to cope through her acting. I also thought she chose some special friends who kept helping her by letting her stay with them and by coming back to help her clean when the parents were out of control.
Join Date: 06/18/11
I agree with Navy Mom's comments. She sticks up for them because she knows how much they love her, and that they are doing the best they can. Her father was obviously mentally ill, and her mother just wasn't strong enough (physically or emotionally) to corral his addiction. It was amazing that she never walked away from her parents after they let her down time and time again. Their commitment to each other remained strong. I loved the book's dedication to her parents.
Join Date: 12/03/11
Simply put, Kim loved her parents and they loved her. That was one of the things that make the book so memorable. Even when she got angry, she was always able to forgive them. Some may see this as simply being an enabler. For me, though, it was what humanized both Kim and her parents.
Join Date: 03/13/12
The bond between children and parents is a special part of life. I think the author did a good job of conveying the love she felt, but as she reached middle school and high school years, the protection of her parents also protected her. Generally pre-teens and teenagers want to fit in, and living in filth and squalor is not the average home. Once she was in high school I found myself wishing she would just take trash sacks and throw the junk away. I haven't been around hoarders, but I kept wondering if her parents would even notice of half of that junk disappeared.
Join Date: 10/22/10
I think Kim defended her parents for the simple reason that they were her parents. There is a special place in one's heart for parents and I think it takes a lot for them to ever be banished from there. As hard as it was for Kim to grow up in the squalor and filth, she also seemed to understand that it was a disease that her parents suffered from once she heard about it on tv.
Join Date: 07/28/11
Agreed... this is what impresses me the most with Coming Clean. That Miller is kind and graceful and shows mercy and compassion unconditional love. Yes, she tells the truth and is sometimes angry. But she has a lot of grace.
I have seen adults with parents who had many fewer issues than Miller's parents be resentful and mean and entitled, and since witnessing this, I have prayed every day that my sons will love me, have grace for me, and know that I am doing my best - and that I love them.
Despite all of Miller's insecurities with how she was reared, I think that she never felt unloved, and she recognized her parents for who they were.
Please login to post a response.