Friday, October 20, 2017

200th Post for Not My Hoarding Mother Blog!

Wow.  My blogging platform that I use let me know that 2 milestones have been reached this month as far as the blog... One is this is the 200th post, and the second is the blog has had over 100,000 views.  I just want to say THANK YOU to everyone that reads, that comments, that sends messages, that shares the Not My Hoarding Mother Blog.  I am overwhelmed.  

It is bittersweet, that I have had material to continue to write for these past few years.  I am so happy to have connected with other folks with parents that hoard, with parents that are narcissistic, and parents that have imparted trauma histories on them.  I wish none of us experienced this.  But we did experience it, and I hope this blog is about the journey of growth, healing, and some humor thrown in.  

Sharing last weeks 'From The Mouth Of A Hoarder' (FTMOAH) exchange... 

"What color is your garage door opener?"

What... Why?

"Just answer the question, I need to know."

<Sigh>  I think black or dark taupe, I do not know.  I know I have lived at my place for nearly 10 years, but I have never paid attention to it....

"What color is mine?"

I have no idea.  I am not sure I have seen the newer one you had installed several years ago.

"You mean when I was in the hospital you left my car outside?..."

No, I mean I did not look up at the thing, and I do not know when you replaced it... Why?

"Well, the panel was crooked, and ... Well, something is going on and I do not want to get into it..."

Okay <changes subject>

"...<Interrupting> Do you know where you buy those metal grates that look like cages to go over walk through doors..."

No I do not.  Gotta go!
Okay, so I see where this is going.  She is apparently convincing herself that the 'hated neighbor' came in her garage and has switched out her garage door unit.

Ai yi yi.  For giggles I meant to look up at my garage door opener.  I have not.  I still do not know what color it is.  And I do not care...

Hoarding, no one wins.  No one!  Some good news, just had the 11 year anniversary at my job, and I run my first obstacle race tomorrow.  Hoping that goes well!  Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

What is real? And what is not real?

Oh, life with a hoarding mother... The gift that keeps on giving... 

She continues on her paranoid delusions that her neighbor is 'picking her locks' (does anyone do that anymore?  I thought if folks were going to break in they use a credit card, a kit, or a bump key...) and is breaking things.  She did finally go to an autobody shop only to have the owner tell her that her 'floppy seatbelt piece' was merely loosening due to age.  (The car is 24 years old, after all!)  I am not entirely sure she buys it 100%, but she always needs a 'wonderful stranger' to tell her what I have been telling her for years... And I used to run an auto body shop... But what do I know?  And my mother absolutely ascribes to sexist gender tropes, so since a MAN told her, then obviously that carries some weight.  It is exhausting.  But, she is now saying that someone (the hated neighbor) broke into her garage again and loosened the plate on her garage door opener, but she feels he was interrupted since the repair person she called said it was okay.  Allegedly the repair person told her to get the steel gates that proprietors use to protect storefronts that lock from the outside for the walkthrough door.  Um.  Yeah.  

The weekend before last, while my mother's neighbor was on vacation, my mother called her stating the garage had been broken into ranting.  She did not call me, and waited  until today to mention this.  I call bullsh*t.  She has twice had this neighbor and her fiance come to the fence with flashlights after 10pm to shine a flashlight so she can change the bulbs that she claims the hated neighbor in the turn is destroying.  She has also asked this neighbor to shoot her gun into the air or into the ground.  Same deal, different day with this craziness.  

My hoarding mother mentioned she has not been to her chiropractor in months, and that chiropractor is a classmate of mine from high school (and a major flying monkey of my mother's), and knows I was in town for the high school reunion.  I did try to contact her as I was headed to my hometown, but she chose not to answer (and I know she knows the reunion was that weekend, as the chiro told her months ago).  I guarantee this woman will say something along the line of 'so, how was your visit with Lisabeth when she was in town in July?' and a whole level of manufactured drama is about to be released.  I am not going to take a lot of her crap.  I called, I called again, and she did not call back until I was almost home.  DONE.  Consequences of her own actions.  Then I may have a conversation with my 'classmate'.  I am so done with her too.

On the good news side, I ran my first race post surgery this weekend.  I was 6 minutes slower than my usual, but did not have to walk at all.  It was a mixed course with pavement, field, and trail, one of the hardest for me.  I am glad I am on the way to getting my momentum back, and I have lots of additional testing at the teaching hospital at the end of the month, but I booked my flight for Florida for Thanksgiving, so I have that to look forward to.  I also will be celebrating the one year 'gotcha' anniversary of one of my sweet kitties tomorrow, and they make me so happy.  I am working too much, and I am hoping my schedule will normalize a bit in the next couple of weeks.

Life goes on.  Onward and upward!  Thank you for reading, and have a great week.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Lisabeth has an annoyed... UPDATED

First the good news.  Just got back from the teaching hospital where I had my 8/7/2017 surgery.  I am released totally to resume normal lifestyle, including running and training (good thing, I have picked up a bit of weight that puts me over my ideal running weight, time to get it back off and into form to run a marathon within the next few months!) and the doctor stated I did fantastically well, she was surprised.  The second bit of good news was I had a tilt test the next day, and met my new specialist.  The tilt table was negative, so no POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome).  

Setting the stage for this... Because I had multiple appointments, one considered a cardiovascular procedure, I had to have a driver for the second day.  The hospital I receive care from is about two hours away from home.  I had to work the day prior to the two days of appointments, and I have a friend who lives an hour and half from work, and about two hours away from the hospital as well, but was willing to take me for my appointments.  So... The plan was that I would leave work at 5ish, take a conference call that would last most of the way to my friend's, stay the night there, and then we would leave his home at 8am to make my first appointment with my surgeon, then roll across town to another campus to meet my new specialist, then spend a lovely day shopping and eating at great seafood places.  I made reservations for a lovely historic inn that was close to the waterfront, and the next morning we had to be at a third hospital location for my testing at 7:30am, and we would continue shopping (and EATING) and then head back to my friend's home, and I would decide from there if I were up to the 2 hour drive home that night, or I would drive to work from his place the next morning.  

So, now, the only reason all of this is germane to this blog is I had mentioned my appointments multiple times in passing to my mother, usually in reference to my desire to begin running again.  I also decided to call her Tuesday morning (unusual since I called her on Monday morning) and to tell her again that I was A) Leaving for my friend's after work; B) I had a call that I would not be available 'on the road' just in case she had ideas of a captive audience; and C) that I would be unavailable for the remainder of the week, most likely until Friday afternoon.

I get a text from one of office folks after 6:30pm last night.  My hoarding mother had called the office, catching this person as she walked out the door (she normally leaves at 5pm or so).  She did not ask for me, did not appear to listen to when my coworker answered and introduced herself by first name, asking for this coworker (who has worked with me for 10 years now) and merely giving her (my mother's) first name.   When that did not bring down the confetti and party favors of recognition, she said 'Lisabeth's mother'.  She asked if I was okay and/or in town and alluded to 'she knows we sometimes get into things together' (she does not know SHIT).  She stated I 'call her every day' (untrue) She stated that she was 'forgetful' and I might have told her... My coworker told her politely that I was out of town, she was not sure where, perhaps a conference.  She ended the call, and I called her back as soon as I got her text.  Needless to say, after her other stunts of calling my work and confusing/scaring my staff, she knows she is NOT to call work.  But she did anyway.  My friend and his mother made several observations:  

  • Why did she not just call me to start with?
  • Why did she not call either or both days to check in how my appointments went and how I was?
  • If she was so concerned about me, and felt she had to call my office, why did she not ask for me?  The coworker was the only person there, so she did not call earlier or talk to someone else.
I was flat pissed.  I felt okay after dinner with my friends, so I went home.  I talked with a couple of friends via bluetooth in my car who all pointed out the same things that I mentioned above, unsolicited.  I waited until this morning (Friday) to call my hoarding mother, and she said "wondered where you were, have not heard from you in several days and you usually call every day."  I reminded her that I simply DO NOT CALL EVERY DAY (like 3 times a week at most and she complains vociferously to whomever will listen that I do not call enough) and I had told her on Tuesday morning that I was going to be unavailable, and I had mentioned it before since everything was scheduled in August.  She said she remembered something about a test, but she did not know that I was out of town, and she said she had not talked to me since (an event- the state police were conducting a registration check so I ended my call with her to attend to that) that was Friday or Monday and I corrected her that it was Monday, but we talked Tuesday and I told her.  She then started harping on the coworker she called and asked for 'sounded too young' to be who she thought it was and was using depersonalizing language like 'that person' and 'that person who claimed to be...' and intimated that someone was merely playing games with her.  She got really defensive when I advised if she was concerned she could have called me.  It was straight out of the twilight zone.  

I got off the phone when she switched as to how the neighbor broke her light on the garage and all the paranoid stuff she goes through....

My friend owes me $20.  We had a friendly wager, and I do not normally gamble.  She thought my mother would ask how I was, and how the tests went- even if delayed.  She did NOT.    Hoarding- no one wins.  No one.  Have a great evening!

UPDATE- the next morning, which is a Saturday, she called my cell phone all-a-flutter at 8:30am.   My coworker (the same as mentioned above) and I were enroute to an event we had to staff, but she did not know that.  A ground delivery company had left a note that a delivery had been attempted.  She called the delivery company and grilled them, and got the sender information.  I looked it up for her, and it is a marketing company, so it is most likely something from AARP or some crap she has signed up for to get a 'free' premium of some sort.   I let her know that it was not anything 'nefarious' and she needed to decide what she wanted to do, I was out.  I ended the call.

Ai yi yi.  

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Manufactured issues and a problem for every solution

My hoarding mother has a problem for every solution, and is 99.9% of her own difficulties.  I will just jump into the new installment of 'Hoarding, no one wins.'

Her phone company for her landline pissed her off, so after years of flailing them verbally on the phone and threatening to disconnect her phone, she finally did it.  She used portability to pull her landline number to a mobile phone, and wanted them to 'add a number' to that phone, as well as keep her current cell phone.  Of course, it did not go as expected, and after 3 days, 5 visits, 20-million something phone calls, she cancelled her new phone in a huff.  And promptly lost the phone number(s?) she has had for nearly 30 years.  She went to the competitor, and that has not worked either.  So for a couple of weeks, she has only had her mobile number (that she refuses to give out) and an aging, dying flip phone that she refuses to turn on when it is charging, and of course, will not use when charging.  She is looking at new phones, and found some crap flip phone as she REFUSES to get a smart phone so she limits her options.  I have annoyed her because I have offered ZERO advice or consolation for her troubles.

She is also angry at the newspaper carrier because he is folding her newspaper too tightly and rubber banding it.  She plans on cancelling that too, and she has taken the daily paper since the early 60s.  So... Inconsistent phone, no newspaper, and she does not have access to the internet.  

Her next gripe is with the cable company, and she may do something similar to the phone company snafu.  I am going to wait for that one with a bag of movie popcorn.  

So- she has vastly curtailed her phone access by her own rigidity and choices, and may do the same with the paper and TV.  I am not sure how she will entertain herself and she may become more paranoid, more delusional, and more disconnected with reality, more so than she is now.  Is this all part of it?

I have had some amazing opportunities at work that further the work of my agency, and are great for my career.  Typical of her, she questions 'why' I am asked to do that.  Then goes on to her usual laundry list of complaints.  

I have appointments on Wednesday and Thursday at the hospital that I had surgery at the first week of August.  I hope to be released to run and to start to train in all seriousness for my next series of races leading up to a marathon (and possibly ultra) effort.  I will also meet with the new specialist and have some more diagnostic testing.  

Work continues to be busy and stressful, and my elderly kitties are doing great and thriving.  I have several friends going through really challenging times, and I am doing what I can, but sometimes I feel it is simply not enough. 

I did look at the pictures of the 'hated neighbor's home' that he has listed for sale.  The wind chimes and the 'thermometer' he allegedly has on his porch that she claims are hers (that were actually my dad's mothers, so technically are mine) that she claims he stole are NOT the ones she claims they are.  Her descriptions of his house could not be more incorrect as well.  Just more validation that most everything she tells me is 100% bull pucky.  <Sigh>

I will continue to keep my mother on the very, very LOW contact interval of contact, and I refuse to be pulled into her utility provider drama.  

Hope everyone is having a great September.  Thank you for reading.  

Hoarding, no one wins.  No one.   

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

More paranoia... Ai yi yi

Forgot some of the other fodder for the most recent "From the Mouth of a Hoarder' in the last entry.  How could I forget these things?  Because she is continuing to go off the delusional rails to use a train wreck analogy.

The things I forgot to mention in my previous post include:

  • Her insisting that someone hit her 24 year old import station wagon.  Of course there was no evidence of this, other than her passenger side rear wheel liner fell.  The car is OLD.  And having worked in dealerships and auto body in my past life, there are many organic reasons they fall.  She went off the deep end, called the police, demanded the 'cameras' in the parking lot be reviewed, and otherwise made an absolute nuisance of herself.  She stopped by a garage that a stranger recommended since she was regaling a doctor's office with this last bit of indignity, and as I suspected.  It took a couple of washers, a couple of larger bore screws and it was fixed.  The garage did not charge her.  She was almost sulky that it was so easily remedied and is still angry at the store and at the police for not looking at the video surveillance.  
  • Despite her neighbor giving me the heads up that she let my mother know that the 'hated neighbor in the turn' has his house advertised on a social media group and that my mother demanding she come show her on (the neighbor's) phone, my stated the neighbor 'rushed over to show her' and got angry when I indicated that I did not care if the house was for sale, for how much, and what it looked like- that I would not join this group and look at it, and I kept shutting down the conversation in which she accused him of damaging all but one storm door in what she says, is an effort to kill her.  She accuses him of setting at least 4 fires over the past 40 years, so therefore he is going to burn her up in her house after he kicks in the final storm door.  Nevermind that all three 'exits' are already blocked by a stage 5 hoard.  
  • She still says he is 'coming in the house'... References putting 'snake poop' in her basement, loosening the bulb over the washer, stealing her stalking log, and picking her locks so all her door knobs are scratched.  Oh, and cutting her 20 year old screens on her screened in porch.
  • She disconnected her landline, and tried to port her number over to a basic flip phone.  She cancelled that phone after 3 days 'because they cannot do anything right' and could not add a second line to the cell phone.  Um... Google Talk anyone?
  • She is going to the competitor today to get the phone...
  • She also has a cat that is only peeing a small amount, so she has decided since the kitty is inactive, 12 years old, and obese, she will have her put to sleep.  I was absolutely livid, but who knows what is true.
So, that is most of the forgotten FTMOAH.  

Um... Enjoy?  And not once has she asked how I am doing or feeling, and I am actually glad.

I am leaving for my friend's -who just was released from the hospital yesterday- tomorrow, and I will be inaccessible to her for at least 3-4 days.  Thank goodness.

Thank you for reading.  Hoarding... No one wins.  No one.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

This and that... Including 'From the Mouth of a Hoarder' (FTMOAH)

First, the easy and simple.  Thank you so much for the comments and messages wishing me a speedy and easy recovery.  Tomorrow is the three week mark from my surgery the first week of August, and I am doing really well.  I had my first post op appointment on Friday, and I am officially cleared to work part time to 2/3 time (Good... I have been for a week and half) and am officially cleared to drive (Ahem... Have been for two weeks).  I am walking, but I am not cleared to run.  <<Grumble grumble>>  If everything goes as well as it has, I will be cleared on my next appointment that is scheduled for the third week of September.  I should be off all restriction then, and the doctor did increase my weight restriction to 15 pounds so I can pick up my biggest kitty.  

Work is stressful as always, but this fell into a good time to do this.  I will hit a busy period again at the end of September.  

Life is complicated.  I will not go into the full story here, but someone very close to me went missing last week, and long story short this person had attempted suicide and had crashed their vehicle, resulting in being picked up for DUI and then sent from jail after arraignment to a psych unit.  I went from sobbing, sure this person had finally succeeded in ending their life to so relieved that they were okay my knees gave to absolutely so angry all in the span of a hellish morning... What a roller coaster this has been.  I am going to visit this week, and hopefully I can help in figuring out a plan of action that incorporates many, many complicated factors.  

So... My hoarding mother has continued her paranoid, intentionally cruel, and self absorbed ways.  Here it is... FTMOAH.  I would scream and cry if it were not so perversely funny.  I have to laugh...  So here it is...
:::Ring ring ring:::

[Groggily] This is Lisabeth...

"OH!  I thought your voicemail would get this... When you have a moment I need..."

Mother, nothing changes.  I have been on call for 11 years solid, and intermittently since 1990.  The phone rings, I answer it.  That is how it works.

"Why do you sound so funny?"

I WAS ASLEEP!  I was taking a nap!  Remember, had major surgery a couple of weeks ago?  WHAT DO YOU NEED?

"I need the corporate number for {the telephone company} and Walmart- IT IS AN EMERGENCY..."

[I looked it up on my smart phone and gave it to her, and ended the call].

[Calling in the midst of the immediate aftermath of my friend's suicide attempt] "I don't want to burden you with my problems, but...."

[The short version is she believes hated neighbor now has kicked 3 of her 4 storm doors in making them unable to be opened, that he is coming in her house, and that he is going to kill her...  And says that there are a lot of things she 'has not told me yet' and to call her when I have time.  Yeah... Wait for that one!]

<<End Call>>
[She has had some sort of rash on her legs, which she has been going to doctor to doctor, and she was convinced it was shingles, the doc in a box thought it was poison sumac, the dermatologist thought it was an allergy, and yet another doctor thought it was scabies which sent her into the stratosphere.  I almost wish is was, just to give her a reality check.]  "So I called the AARP tele-nurse and told her that I had the word ECZEMA come to me and she agreed that that could be it... I so HATE when I do that!  [She is convinced she is psychic]. So I ..."

So, if that is the case can you tell me the winning Power Ball lottery numbers for tonight's 750 million dollar pot?

"You are a SMARTASS..."

:::Ring ring:::


"You know a lot of, um, shady people..."

WHAT?  Seriously?

"Do you know any of your dad's friends that used to be cops?"

Because in your mind police officer is equated with shady people?  Really, Mother?  I have not lived in your area for 30 FREAKING YEARS.  30!  And, anyone that dad associated with would be LONG retired, and almost all of his friends are dead.  Those that are living are in their 70's and 80's....

"Oh... Well I need someone to watch things here, and stop this..."

<<End Call>>
There has been a lot of other classist, racist, xenophobic crap that has come out of her mouth lately, but I will spare you that.  One interesting tidbit is the hated neighbor is selling his house and I do not think she knows it yet.  This should make her evolving narrative where the neighbor is her key antagonist take an interesting plot twist.

Hoarding... No one wins.  No one.  I am glad I have a lot of stretch and bend in me, because this has been a hell of a week.  I suspect this next week is not going to be any easier.

Have a good week everyone.  Stay safe out there.  Thank you for reading.

Monday, August 14, 2017

A week today- a quick update!

Today is the week 'anniversary' of my last surgery.  Just thought I would pop in to say I am behaving myself (not working remotely hardly at all, honoring the lifting restriction, I have not tried to drive yet, and I have been basically a lazy SLUG... My Fitbit thinks I died I think).

In other words, I have been BORED OUT OF MY SKULL.  The cats have been keeping me good company, and I think they are going to be mad when I do start venturing out to work, meetings, etc. gradually over the next couple of weeks.  My follow up is at the end of the 5th week of August.  

So, as I reported, I called my hoarding mother and kept the call short.  I have been resting a LOT even though I cannot sleep... grrr) and I have had lovely visits from friends, calls, texts... But guess who I have not heard from?  Not a peep?  And who has not said a word to her neighbor (who is also checking in on me)?

That is right.  My mother.   I am on the edge of being the 'big girl' and calling her.  I may do it later today or tomorrow.  As I delineated in the previous post, I do not know what I am going to get but I guarantee it will not be focused on my well being.

I will keep you posted, I am sure when I do call her another blog post will be forthcoming shortly.  Thank you for reading, and thank you for your kind thoughts, words and support.  You make this journey tolerable.

Hoarding... No one wins.  No one.