I am feeling rather fragile emotionally, for a moment I will feel fine and nothing bothers me the next moment I am anxious and concerned with some event or word I have spoken. I do know that I am excited because my Grandmother is coming in town today so this could be a factor in my brain behaving in such a way. My remedy? To share some of my many collections/obsessions throughout my life.
I do not see collecting or obsessing in a negative way.
It could be that both of my parents, many of my relatives and David all collect things. Lots of things! Growing up for me collecting things and getting obsessed about them just happened to be a normal thing. Though there were times that it was associated with negative, such as both of my parents freaking out if one of their items from their collections were touched, moved or used without asking. Some items you just know not to touch them, period. I was the same way as a child. Was this learned or did it come naturally, you may ask. I most definitely had a predisposition. As a toddler my Mom said I collected things, random things that seemed odd but she let me do it.
My kids collect things as well and all three of them have fixated objects in their mind that they must collect and keep.
I haven’t discouraged this, they have not taken on a disorder like OCD with doing so, I don’t think that it is a bad thing, since we limit how many they can have and if they do become a bit over fixated, we have them take a break from it for a while. Sometimes this is a bit easier said than done, but we feel it is very important in helping them find balance. There are only a couple that have maintained a long-standing, fans (Daniel), Lego’s (Joshua) and stuffed animals (Ariel).
My Mother was very practical though about collecting things.
She would say “If you don’t have the money you do not get it. You have to wait to earn it.”. We have also taken on the philosophy otherwise it could be our financial ruin. In the past I have not been so wise in my spending, I felt that I HAD to have the item but I have learned my lessons from that. I have nothing but fond memories of my collections and maybe others have shared the same interests in collecting as well, possibly the same things.
All of my collections had a purpose behind them.
I would begin to collect things because they caught my interest. I would discover a history behind them that I didn’t know, someone would give me an item and that would become a new fascination, someone else would like it so I would want to discover what the appeal was, then find myself collecting as well. There were many reasons I would start and then obsess, sometimes it was very difficult for me to give them up or share them, other times I would wake up one day and think to myself “I am done with that.”, then give it all away. I still do this.
Here I go in no particular order.
1)Books: My Mom has had a ton of books since I can remember, she started me on a journey of collecting books as well. I read them and keep them. All kinds of books! I mainly read information based books, my most recent interests have been church history, Biblical history, Autism, Anxiety Helps and Sensory Integration defined. I also have a ton of homeschooling books and homeschooling for children on the autism spectrum, I guess that would fall under autism.
2) Angels: My Mom started a Christmas tradition that every year as a present I would get an angel. Other family jumped on this as well and I would get several angels each year. I still do get them from others interestingly, I have not spent a lot of money for this collection, I have a script to wait for Christmas.
3) Barbie’s: My Mom and Dad divorced when I was around 3 1/2 years old, we did not have much money all year around but my Mom always made sure Christmas was a big deal. One year on her limited funds, she went to Goodwill and purchased a ton of used Barbie’s and then made a ton of clothes for them. When I woke up that Christmas morning the whole tree was covered with Barbie’s. I had a Barbie tree. That was the best Christmas I ever had and that started my Barbie collection, that I still have in my Dad’s garage. Something over a 100, I used to get apartments that had two bedrooms so I could display my Barbie’s all in their boxes, called the Barbie room. My Mom was not the best at affection or sharing her feelings but she did do things like this that were pretty cool.
4) Stuffed Animals: I would categorize them by animal, small to largest and have them all lined up either on my bed or on the floor. I kept most of them until I was in my mid-20’s. I felt an emotional connection with them, they had been my closest friends through most of my childhood, I couldn’t justify giving them away for a very long time.
5) Cows: You name it I had some sort of black and white cow item.
6) Bibles: I have 25 Bibles, 9 versions (under English) and a Tanakh Hebrew-English translation. I love the Hebrew language, it touches something in my soul. I love looking at the Hebrew alphabet and words, the strokes of each character seem to be alive to me.
7) Shoes: Mainly boots. This seems inappropriate to have Cows, Bibles then Shoes. Oh, well that is how they came to mind. I stopped collecting these going on almost 10 years now. I had such a ridiculous amount, one day I just went in and took about 3/4 of them and gave them away.
8) Music: Almost any kind of music. I LOVE MUSIC! I did go on a Worship music binge for many years and I have everything from Gospel to Techno Christian music. It helped me through a lot of hard times. (I can’t get the smiley face off to put the number 8 so there is a smile for you.)
9) Marilyn Monroe: I had anything and everything you could think of with her. Books, posters, pictures, stamps, buttons, movies, I had all of her movies except for three.
10) Rocks, Shells, Stones, and any other odd-looking item, like a piece of wood that I would find interesting.
11) Gargoyles: I liked looking at gargoyles for some reason, I found them to have an interesting history. I think I was trying to overcome a fear of them. Sometimes I do that, I will consume myself in something I do not understand or fear to try to understand it.
12) Silver Rings: I did not wear them often but I liked having a lot of them and then watching them go from silver to a blackish color then cleaning them and doing it all over again. I know I sound strange. I just found the whole process fascinating.
13) Crosses: I love Gothic crosses and interestingly shaped crosses. I do not really associate these crosses with Jesus because he wasn’t actually on a cross, it was more like a tree. The other thing is that I see Him as alive and while the cross has great significance and power behind the event, my mind has categorized the crosses we see today into a non-associated file from the death and resurrection of Him. I hope that makes sense, I mean no offense.
14) Empty Containers: In the last year I started collecting empty containers for home school projects but I have gotten a little overboard. I now have several, I will not admit to how many, it’s embarrassing, but I have boxes full of all kinds of shapes and styles. Plastic, cardboard, glass you name it I have it! I have recently started limiting myself to how many I can keep but I still have my old stash, we may need them. I have used quite a bit of them for experiments and projects, so I know they will come in handy….at some point.
I know I have more but I can’t really think of them right now. I mainly only collect books now, I have given most of these collections away or I still have them and they are packed away because I have no place to display them, like the angels. Just writing these out have given me some smiles and reminds me of some happy times. I am going to go enjoy my kids now and spend a day completely free of my worries and have some serious fun with them!!