Sunday, September 4, 2011

Storing memories: Frances Boudreaux of Ball writes book about mother's hoarding obsession

Written by Jodi Belgard 
 "You would want Mama to clean your house," Frances Boudreaux said as she sat upright on the edge of the sofa in her home.
Sitting there with her, listening to her story, one could only view Boudreaux's home as a stark contrast of her mother's home -- the home in which Boudreaux spent the first 19 years of her life...

...Boudreaux, the oldest of four kids, didn't grow up with the luxury of her mother cleaning much of anything. But she remembers being young and seeing her mother wash dishes with water so hot and scrubbing so vigorously that her hands would throb and nearly bleed.

She remembers watching her mother pour extra water into the washing machine because she believed the clothes wouldn't rinse clean if she didn't. She remembers the abrasive scent of bleach on everything and in every room...

...Christine "Chrissie" O'Neal, her mother, was a clinically depressed, obsessive-compulsive, schizophrenic (undifferentiated type) hoarder who lived the prime of her life in a society that simply didn't acknowledge severe mental illness.

At some point in O'Neal's life, the compulsion to clean had given way to the compulsion to hoard, and that's what Boudreaux remembers..."  More

No comments: