Coming Clean: A Memoir by Kimberly Rae Miller
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I received this book as a Goodreads Giveaway.
This is a true story written by Kimberly Rae Miller, the daughter of two hoarders. They were hoarders before she was born, so that growing up in squalor was her "normal." She was able to compensate for her parents' mess because she loved them, and they always treated her with love and affection.
It wasn't until she entered the outside world that she came to recognize her parents' mess for what it was. Piles of papers stacked so high and wide, it was difficult to get through the door. Every surface in the house covered with stuff, so there was no place prepare a meal or even sit down to eat. Their meals became fast-food and their eating space was the corner of the bed.
As Kim became smart enough to avoid having friends come inside the house, and even pretended to live a a house around the corner where she could be picked up or dropped off, the fantasy in her head became her survival.
She was smart enough to go away for college where she developed friendships with normal people, and planned for a future away from her parents. But she was never able to get away. Her parents continued living in filth so deep and wide, it was infested with rats, roaches, and other vermin. Every few years they had to move, once because the house burned down, another time when the house was condemned. Each time they moved they had to call on Kim to help clean up and pack them up for the move.
The story is so overwhelming, I even started to dream about the piles of mess they lived in. Kim caved in many times under the pressure of taking care of the parents she never stopped loving them.
It's a powerful story with no happy ending.
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