Okay, so, in my weirdness of precision, every time I mention “the house” I grew up in, I feel like I’m lying, or just not being precise, because we lived in several different houses – 7 in my memory, more that I don’t remember. And more if you include staying with other people during brief stints of technical-but-not-on-the-streets homelessness. But it’s clunky and awkward to talk about growing up in “the houses,” too. I always feel the need to explain. And I have several ways that I like to explain them.

So! I’m making this page so I can link to it every time I talk about the house/houses where I grew up. Here are some of the ways I like to explain them:

the Hoarding House

the House of Hoarders

basically the same “home” [read: mess] all the time, just in different structures

every time we moved from one house, we packed up the whole mess, and when we moved into the next house we opened the boxes and the mess just exploded out and clung to everything

every time we moved from one house, we packed up the whole mess, and when we moved into the next house we opened the boxes and the mess flowed out and filled the new house, like water changing shape when put in a new container

You know the irony of it all? Every time we moved–every single time–at least two of my siblings and I would swear it was going to be different, we were going to keep this house clean. Because we always believed it was our fault. But what trained experts can’t do with my parent because my parents won’t admit there’s a problem, several children under the age of 15 (by which point we had each basically learned that it didn’t work in the last several houses and wouldn’t work here) certainly had no chance of.

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