Hello, Everyone, this is my first blog here on this site, and it is, actually, an appeal to you for help.

I had indicated on my page profile information that my problem is not of the usually expected ilk, i.e.: DRUGS, ALCOHOL, or TOBACCO.

Rather, I am seriously suffering from, what I would call an Addiction, probably actually stemming from my OCD behavior, of my “collections”, and “collecting”.

I have for years and years, probably going back to high school or that time, roughly, been “collecting” books and recordings. Of course, in those days, it was LPs.

When I was a child, my mother was extremely controlling, abusive, constantly belittling me, “shaming” me for one thing or another as a punishment, in effect, driving me to become reclusive, or withdrawn, to myself. I was not allowed to leave the dooryard to go to friend’s houses to play, etc., and thus, I sought friendship from my records…they were always there for me, and they always entertained me, etc.

Originally, they were popular music, rock and roll, folk, country and western, etc. I used to skip lunch at school every day and save that money so that at the end of the week I could buy 2 albums. While away at college, I discovered classical music, which opened up windows for me from an educational and emotional standpoint. Later, I would discover opera, and my “life” would be forever changed by it.

Of course, all through this time, I was simultaneously collecting books, as I had “discovered” that books could take me places outside my aloneness and shelter from abuse. Actually, of course, opera was doing the same thing….taking me away from my unhappy life as I knew it.

Later, I bounced through unhappy, abusive, relationships, etc., and so, I continued this “behavior” of escapism as a “general continuation” of past behavior. In the mid-nineties, I suffered some really horrible and painful losses, devastating me, and sending me into a severe downward spiral and a nervous breakdown. Hard as I have tried, I have not ever fully recovered from this even after all these years.

Throughout all these years and experiences, I have continued “collecting”….of course, with the advent of VHS tapes, I added those into the mix, and, later Compact Discs, then Laser Discs, and then DVDs, and now beginning some with Blu Ray Discs.

As you have probably figured out by now, I am literally overrun with all these things, yet I still continue to spend every cent that I can possibly get my hands on for these things.

Most recently, it has been Rare, Out of Print, opera and classical recordings. These are very difficult to find, and beyond that, they are Extremely Expensive.

I am disabled, and have not worked since 2001, and have only my Social Security and Disability to live on, getting paid only once a month. Before the first week of the month is over I am already “broke” without money for fuel for my vehicle, or sometimes without proper groceries, and yet I sit on the computer for endless hours “seeking” more rare recordings, exclusive box sets, special editions, etc., in some cases, if the item is rare enough, I even send for it, knowing that my account will be overdrawn and thus risking my account with the bank, and of course, incurring overdraft fees, which further puts me in the “hole”.

I have had a lifetime of counseling, etc., for depression, OCD, working to stop the pattern also of abuse from others, and yet I seem a “sitting duck” for them to “use and abuse”. It’s like I wear a sign or something alerting them. I seem to be at my wit’s end here with all this, and, frankly, don’t know what in the world to try next.

In the next week I have an appointment with an agency that has connections to Alanon, OCD help, further psychological connections, and peer support groups….maybe there will be some good come out of this, I just don’t know.

ANYWAY, for now, I wanted to sort of introduce myself to you all, and put myself out there and make this appeal to you to please get in touch with me if you have any ideas, or experience with this same behavioral history, and can offer some form of help and support to me.

BTW, I am not, nor have ever been, anything like suicidal or that sort of thing (luckily, I guess). But my behavior is extremely damaging and hurtful to me and I truly do seek help in reining in my actions that continually keep me in a tenuous situation financially, and, of course, also continue to keep me withdrawn and to myself….  How very much I long to have friends and acquaintances to spend time with and share discussions with about all these pieces of music, films, and books, instead of just “being alone with them”.

I have totally opened myself up; please help me if you can….

GF,  ~aka, operabruin



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