DEAR ABBY: I know some people are obsessed with hoarding things. Is it possible to have an obsession about throwing things away? My mother seems bent on removing every item from our home. Every time I went away as a kid, boxes of books and toys would disappear from my room. I resorted to hiding things I wanted to keep.
Since I have left for college, 90 percent of my belongings have been thrown out or given to Goodwill. She even gave away two dolls I have had since I was a baby and which were of great sentimental value to me. Mother was well aware of it.
She recently became adamant that I get rid of some dresses and a pair of winter boots to "prepare for the change in seasons." Abby, the boots were less than six months old, and the dress was brand-new! Could she have a serious problem? -- EMILY IN ATLANTA
DEAR EMILY: Yes, but it's not what you think. It appears your mother regards you not as an individual, but as an extension of herself. Therefore, in her mind what is yours is really hers to do with as she wishes. She should not be giving away your possessions unless it's by mutual consent. And yes, it is a serious problem because it will negatively affect your relationship in the future, if it hasn't already.