Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Coming Clean - Kimberly Rae Miller

Thanks to the popularity of reality television, there are few people these days who are unaware of the term 'hoarding' or 'hoarder'. But when Kimberly Rae Miller was growing up, the term was not as well known.

Kimberly is the child of hoarders. And she's sharing her story in her memoir Coming Clean.

I chose to listen to Coming Clean. The author herself read the book and this only served to intensify her story.

Kimberly's father saved information - papers of all sorts, unable to throw anything out. Over the years, the paper (and more) overtakes their home, the pipes burst, the front door won't fully open, they're living with rats, bugs, filth, feces -  and only discovered after they move, a stranger in the attic. Her mother became a compulsive shopper, only adding to the mix and the mess.

Miller has fond memories of her childhood - she is a much loved child. But as a child Kim had no idea that their family was 'different'. Slowly she comes to the realization - and knows that she has to keep her home life a secret. As time passes, the hoarding takes a toll, both mentally and physically, on Kim and her parents. Still, they are unable to stop collecting.

Miller expresses  her story with honesty and candor, sharing her hopes, fears, and attempts to forge her own life, while still caring for her parents.

"We see people with a mental illness living their worst nightmare on TV because they’re desperate for help and will put themselves in that situation. Of course it’s a spectacle. But as a child of a hoarder, I can show this through eyes of love. I love my parents."

Coming clean was an eye opening account and an excellent listen. Frightening, heart-breaking and real. Listen to an excerpt of Coming Clean.

You can find Kimberly Rae Miller on Facebook, on Twitter and at her blog.


Tessa~ Here there be musing said...

It certainly sounds like a tough, but enlightening book....

I'd think it best to listen to this kind of a book, also.

Vicki said...

Sounds like an interesting book. I've watched Hoarders and other shows about this topic.

I'm on the other side of the spectrum, I have to have everything neat and tidy. I couldn't live with a hoarder.

Jillian said...

I try to avoid that show, but there's something about that hooks me in. It's devastating to see people like that, and especially when you try to figure out why exactly they turned out that way. This is an interesting memoir of sorts, I'm actually really interested in reading it.