Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder marked by an obsessive need to acquire and keep things, even if the items are worthless, hazardous, or unsanitary. As many as 3 to 6 million people are compulsive hoarders. This is one of their stories...
"My name is Matt Paxton, and I'm an extreme cleaning specialist. Today we're visiting the home of Lanya Hawke. Lanya, what brings us here today?"
"I don't know to be honest Matt. It seems my mother has a problem with the basement."
Leandra shook her head. "I don't have a problem with it my darling daughter, it's you that has the problem."
Hawke gave her mother a stern look. "There is no problem at all. You'll see Matt."
"Yes," Leandra said all knowingly, "let us go to the basement."
Matt and the women descended into the basement, and immediately the odor overpowered him. "Okay, there's a distinct smell down here. Any idea what could be causing it?"
Leandra nodded. "You might want to start with the dead rats over there in the corner. Or perhaps the collection of moldy rag dolls in that barrel under the stairs."
"Mother," Hawke protested, "I told you there's a reason I need to keep this stuff."
Matt tried to stop the women from arguing. "Let's see what else you have here. Hmmm….let's start with clothing. I see you have thirteen moth-eaten scarves, twenty one tattered pantaloons, seven engraved arm bands, sixteen woven bracelets. Then you have eleven torn trousers, three leather eye patches, six woven silk wraps, and what appears to be the remains of a fox fur…"
Hawke crossed her arms. "These things have value Matt, you can't just throw them away."
Leandra tried to reason with her. "But darling, they are torn and smell of filth. No amount of mending or washing will bring them back to any usable condition."
"The clothing stays," Hawke demanded.
Matt sighed. "Alright, we'll get back to the clothing. Let's look at perishables. Five black dwarves ales that have already been opened, three vials of…is this darkspawn blood?" Leandra gasped. "Uhm…a few dozen holy waters, bottle of rotgut? Three bottles of potent moonshine, a nugs foot, and what is this? Thirty nine stale biscuits? Lanya, no one could be expected to eat this."
She shrugged. "You never know when you'll run out of food on the road Matt."
Leandra turned to Matt. "Please, help my daughter. I don't know what else to do with her or this stuff. I can't keep it down here forever, eventually she'll run out of room and take up the entire estate! Maker I don't know how she managed to carry all of this from one place to another!"
Lanya smiled. "That's easy, I always have at least three other people with me to carry stuff."
Matt opened a few more boxes. "Do you realize you have six boxes full of bile? Black bile, discolored bile, red bile, clear bile…not to mention the nine enlarged gallbladders and twelve regular gallbladders. I'm afraid to ask where you found those."
"My boyfriend Fenris," she said proudly, "it's the new thing he likes to rip out of people."
Matt shifted uncomfortably. "I think it's time to introduce my friend Dr. Robin Zasio…"
"Hello," Robin said walking down the stairs. "My name is Dr Robin Zasio, and I specialize in O.C.D. and compulsive hoarding." She turned to Lanya. "Tell me Lanya, what does all this stuff mean to you?"
"Everything here has memories doc, everything! My mother expects me to throw it all away like it's nothing, but I can't live without it! You can't make me throw it away!"
"I know this is difficult Lanya," Robin said. "Let's start with one thing at a time. You decide if you want to keep it, donate it, or trash it."
"No," Lanya stomped her foot. "You need to leave now, I'm not throwing anything away!"
Leandra pleaded with her. "My darling daughter, I'm here for you, but this is taking over your life!"
"I don't care," Lanya said walking upstairs. "I'm done."
Matt and Dr Zasio sighed. "Looks like we failed another one."
Author Legal Note: Credit Bioware and A&E. Not mine, I just play with them.