Saturday, July 20, 2013

Being the (self-appointed) center of the universe must be an exhausting job...

What a mish-mosh of JPFN conversations with my hoarding mother have been of late.  They are exhausting.  And if you have not heard the acronym JPFN before... It stands for:


But... there is a constant factor, no matter what she talks about, or what subject she jumps to with no bridging dialogue or segues into the next topic.

That factor would be her inability to understand any perspective outside her own.  I suspect she has not seen the meme 'don't believe everything you think.'  She would not understand it, and see it as totally irreverent.  To that end, she cannot see how her perceptions are just that, perceptions/speculations run through the filter of narcissism, hoarding, violent ideation, over simplification, and power and control... and not fact.  Basically a recipe for 'bat-shit crazy'.  And mean.

So- let me provide a run down of her statements and delusional extrapolations over the past few days...

  1. Her former next door neighbor is now 'butt-buddies' with the despised neighbor 'in the turn' because he stopped by his property to check on things, and used the despised neighbor's riding lawn mower. (Keep in mind that these men have known each other for 40 years or so.)
  2. The neighbors renting from despised neighbor are now also on the 'enemy list'.  They were suspect for renting from him, and since they cleaned the Virginia Creeper and poison ivy off the rusting 40 + year old fence and poured weed killer at the base of the fence, she is waiting to catch them doing something nefarious and will call the police on them.  <Yawn>
  3. The same neighbors, who by her constant discussion are always at work or keep to themselves, risked the apocalypse by building a fire pit for their party this weekend.
  4. Speaking of parties... they partied, drank, burned the fire and made noise until 2am Saturday morning.  They are below contempt.  She will organize all the neighbors to call the police at the same exact time next time so the police will be overwhelmed and run right over.  Yeah.  She might want to try speaking to them first.
  5. She got her results of her MRIs back.  She has something torn in her hip, knee and her issues continue with her lower back.  She described, in great detail, how she wants to get a hatchet, find her former physical therapist and cut his penis off so there will not be anymore b@stards like him... You get the picture.
  6. No matter where she goes, no matter what she attempts to purchase... fast food, her prescriptions, etc.  It is always a battle and she walks out after being insulting, loud, rude, and not completing her task at hand.  It is a perverse type of martyring that is as pointless as it is mean.
  7. She calls the utility companies several times a week, and always gives the customer service person a huge dose of sarcasm and meanness.  They ask for her phone number to bring up her account?  She explodes.  They attempt to up-sell her a service?  She explodes.  Again, you get the idea.
  8. She complains nonstop about the heat, the rain, the wind, much like she complains about every nuance of the winter.  "Enough is ENOUGH!"
  9. Every disagreement or misunderstanding results in a nuclear option.  There is no benefit of the doubt... ever.
  10. *Ahem*.  She has a new mole, that she described in all of its... glory?  It is in a place no one EVER wants to think of... and her Depends is getting caught on it.  Ye GODS I could go the next 40 years and never hear of another mole, the excretions from it.  The word 'crusty' and 'mole' should never, ever, be used together.  EVER.
  11. She wants to make a plywood box.  This box would be 16X20'' and would not have a top nor a bottom.  She cannot be bothered to use nails or staples, and wants to use hinges all the way around... the hinge to nowhere I guess.  The reason for this monstrosity?  She wants to put her legs up at night, and the pillows she uses now 'slide' and the plywood box will not.
  12. She spends hours, days, and who-knows-how-much duct tape, and other accroutiments in repurposing and repackaging EVERYTHING.  Whether it needs it or not.
  13. She is obsessing over a dog that she hears barking and cannot locate where it is.  "That is SO STRANGE!"  Um... NO.  It is not.
  14. She is convinced the neighbors caused a branch to fall on her bush/tree just to cause her problems.
  15. She is obsessing on the neighbors miniature horse and the fact she feels her neighbor suspects her for calling in a complaint to the local animal control officer.  Like my father said... One does not usually look in closets in which one has not hidden previously.  
  16. She is griping and continuing to promulgate internalized racism, ethnocentrism with all kinds of crazy complaints, questions, and stories of her experiences with 'people of other nationalities' like 'black people.'  She saw... mixed race children today, and commented how 'pretty' they were and that she 'did not know' as the looked like they were really 'tan.'  [SMH]
  17. She claims to not look outside much, but she watches everyone.  All the time.  And judges, speculates, and calls her neighbor to demand, "Do you know what is going on [next door]?"  
  18. She keeps telling me the doctors reactions that she is at their office alone, and her passive aggressive flogging of me continues.  I suspect what she is seeing is fear that she is operating a vehicle while so JPFN!
  19. Her negativity grows exponentially every day.
  20. She is furious that the locally owned and operated pharmacy is selling out to a large nationwide pharmacy and feels the pharmacist should have told her before it went public...
Have a good night.  And remember... No matter how bad things get, you have a bright spot.  You are not me in these conversations.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Your feelings are YOURS. And they are never wrong...

-Hoarding... It is not about the stuff... That is merely a symptom of a life threatening mental illness.

Sharing a meme emailed to me today

-Hoarding... It is not about the stuff... That is merely a symptom of a life threatening mental illness.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Paranoia should be painful.

So I called my mother today, who is a hoarder.  It was late in the afternoon, and I was en route to do some shoe shopping.  (Who would have known that losing 115 lbs would mean that all my shoes are too big?  Someone at the women's shelter will be happy with all the shoes, clothes, etc. they are getting on Monday!)

I finally passed the kidney stone today that has been wreaking a small bit of havoc on me since late May.  I sounded a bit tired I guess... wonder why?  I just passed a 5 mm clot of calcium through a venue that was meant for LIQUID ONLY...

"... [Rather indignantly] What's up with you?  You sound pissed off."

Um... NO.  I finally passed the kidney stone today.  Last night and today was rough.  But, this is over, thank goodness.  Just want to put it behind me and move on.

"Did you keep it?"

Keep what?  The stone?  HELL NO!  Why on earth would I keep that nasty thing for?

"Well, it is your first born...<snicker>"

Really, it is not.  What she does not know is I miscarried with my first husband almost 25 years ago.  It is not a big deal, and I am not unhappy it turned out as it did due to all the horrific circumstances at the time... but really?  To say that to your daughter?  She is not like my friends with whom I think the running baby shower jokes are hysterically funny.  I guess context, appropriateness, etc. are concepts she does not get.  Nor will she.  But I digress...


"I have a question for you, and you may or may not know the answer because you were so little, but... do you remember the electronic thingie that your dad bought in the red case to mark his tools...  It has been so long now I guess it doesn't matter but..."

Yes.  His engraver.  I remember it.

"Did he?"

Did he WHAT?

"Did he engrave his tools?  And what did he put?  His initials?  His social security number?..."

Um.  NO.  No SS#.  If he got them all done, which I do not remember, it would have just been his initials.  

"Well, I did not mean his WHOLE SS#, just the last 4 or something like that."


"Ask you another question, and I probably should know better than to, but I am going to anyway."

Crickets chirping/silence from me.  Now, this type of framing technique is always for effect, and it is to ensure that she pisses me off.  Trust me o' mother, I know that with the dramatic framing it is either going to be crazier than usual or something so mundane that is blown up into made up drama that I will lose my mind.  So just.  Do.  It.

"You know what a door prop looks like?  One of the little rubber triangles you stick under a door to keep it open?  Well, they now have these ones in two parts that one is under the door or something like that, and it has an alarm if the door is opened.  Have you seen something like that?"

Yes.  They were originally designed for travelers with hotels in mind.  They have been around for 40 years or more, I first saw them as a kid in those crappy 'gadget catalogues' that came to the house.  There are several variations of them, and they are not a new thing.  And they are not intended for home security.

"Well!  This is the FIRST TIME I HAVE EVER SEEN SUCH A THING!  Are they loud?  Do they work?  Are they expensive?"

Can be.  Arguable.  No.

"How much are they?  $15?  $20?"

I do not know.

"Have you seen the thing that looks like a 'Y'... it extends and wedges under the door and goes to the floor..."


"...[she continues describing it in pedantic detail] so when it is under the door no one can be an asshole and open the door..."

That is not true.  

"Well, they would have to be REALLY STRONG, and it would make so much noise that..."

Not necessarily.

"I have to do something!  He [hated neighbor] will be in here some day!  He is escalating!  And when he does, I will be ready!  I will..."

Gotta go.  Talk to you later.  

DEAR GOD.  She already has one of those driveway alarms that is meant to alert folks in a house that someone has pulled onto their property... most folks use them when visibility to the driveway is limited.  Not my mother.  She has it in her kitchen.  She originally told me it was to let her know when any of her cats get on the sink.  Yeah... RIGHT.  From where?  And where would they land?  I hear it go off 20 times a conversation, and it is from her moving around it when we talk.  She is obsessing about hated neighbor, and I think the crazy 'booby trapping' and other types of barricading will kick into high gear.  She is constantly analyzing all the neighbors' actions, lack of action, etc. in such a way that I know she is in hyper-vigilance and is watching out the windows constantly.  

And she has a concealed carry permit.  And a semi automatic with a laser sight... along with other weapons.  

I say it again.  This will not end well.  And the sad thing?  I had a decent conversation with her the night before.  It was disarmingly normal, and it was heartbreaking.  She was somewhat empathetic, insightful, and supportive of me in the situation we were discussing.  I wanted to ask, "Who are you and where is my mother?"  It was surreal.  And after I clicked off my car's Bluetooth, I sat and cried a for a couple of minutes.  This.  THIS.  

I get a glimpse of this once, maybe twice every year or so.  And then it is gone.  The thing is, I have never had a true mother/daughter relationship with my mother, so I am not hearkening back to another time.  This is foreign in our relationship... but maybe I am just continuing to mourn the lack of a mother.  I do not know, and I guess it does not matter.  It also does not matter that I do not want her to live in squalor, in the hoard, in fear, in paranoia and in negativity... I would have liked to have got to known her like adult daughters sometimes get to know their mothers.  We could have traveled.  But none of that will happen.  Can happen.  Because of her hoarding.  Because of the hoard.  And more accurately... because of the pervasive personality disorder/mental illness co-morbidity that the hoarding is merely the symptom of.

Hoarding... No one wins.  NO ONE.  

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Another, yes, ANOTHER tidbit o'crazy.

I know I keep saying it, but... you cannot make this stuff up.  Speaking with her often exhausts me.  So... this installation of 'TOC'.

"...and I went outside, and my plants were broke over and cut down!  I was going to stake them up and I did not realize that he [hated neighbor] was not at work... He is not supposed to drive you know..."

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  I know all that.  I am almost to my next destination.  Please finish this thought.

"When I looked back, he was on his porch, and when I went inside he walked into the neighbor's yard to see!  I know he wants that basement window clear!  HE HAS PLANS!  I know he does!  I wish you were not such a goody goody and would tell me how to contact [either of two people she considers to be capable of hiring for her purposes].  I just wish... I wish I had an apartment above the garage, and I would pay someone to stay here and KEEP AN EYE ON THINGS... I am sick of this!  I wish I could get him on film or recorded so he cannot lie his way out of things...  How much would a camera like [describes a security set up she saw on CSI] cost?"

Um- you can I guess, if you are willing to spend a lot of $$$.  I spent over $80,000 on the agency's 'state of the art' system 6 years ago.  

"Well, money is not an issue, and I would be willing to spend whatever amount necessary to put 'Wittle [hated neighbor's first name, using familiar form sarcastically]' in jail and get him off the streets!  I would call 9-1-1 and tell them to get him out of here! If that is not stalking I do not know what is!  Why I would spend it all to get him out of this neighborhood forever!  I would..."

Whoa.  You realize that to make a case for stalking you have to be keeping records like we discussed, correct?  Location, event, who was around, context, photos, date, time... Have you done any of that?  Kept calling the police?

"[Sulkily]No... It does not..."

Okay.  So- despite multiple discussions on a topic that I train folks for nationally and do for a living for nearly the last quarter of a freaking century, and the police reinforcing it, you have actively chosen to NOT be part of your own solution?

"It is NOT THAT WAY!  Lisabeth!  You don't understand!  You don't..."

And you realize if you do 'catch him in the act' you might at best get a conviction of B&E or some lesser charge he would plead to?  That he would not go away for long at all?  If at all?  They would not lock him up and throw away the key?


Gotta go.  <Click>

Wow.  I spared you all the discussion of him killing her petunias, her bushes, stuffing mud in her garage/driveway drain (from a mud street and unpaved driveway) and the like.

My friend is right that observed quite a while ago that she is getting worse.  It is a steady drop. Or should I say escalation?  Today I had lunch with friends and in discussion said something that hit me hard after I said it.  I had shared that it was getting harder to remember these exchanges in the detail necessary needed to accurately blog them, especially the FTMOAH (From the Mouth of a Hoarder) posts since 'the crazy' was consistent, and consistently off the chart.  It is no longer something that stands out from a base level of annoying or narcissistic behavior.  It is horribly consistent.  And I cannot get her help in spite of herself, and honestly remaining in contact with her is also about safety for me.  It is a harm reduction strategy, so the craziness of stalking, being intrusive, etc. will not escalate.

I cannot win.  This is not going to end well.  I know this.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A tidbit o'crazy for your day...

So... As I have mentioned at least 561 times in my previous posts... My hoarding mother operates under multiple delusions. They include:
-She has a 'special', dare I say, psychic connections to all animals- large, small, furred, feather or on the hoof- like a modern day Cinderella. Even other people's pets love her at first meeting, more so than they love their owners... And the outside wild animals? Why, they prefer her yard, bird-feeders, etc. the birds even have a lookout posted so when she puts out something they can let all the rest of the gang know!!!
- She MUST feed the birds, raccoons, possums, skunks, etc. as they 'have feelings too' and they all will go hungry without her efforts, despite the fact is summer.

You get the idea... Anyway, I called to check in, and she was complaining first about the bugs, she has never seen so many bugs, every day she sees a new kind of bug she has never seen before, why doesn't the birds eat the bugs... and so on. She also apparently went to KFC and got some chicken in all her horrendously challenging tasks she had to accomplish, like a doctor's appointment and stopping at the grocery.

I tuned back in when she began her usual complaining that nothing is ever prepared correctly, nothing tastes right, so she removes the fried skin because it is healthier (yeah... KFC's dunked in oil to fry, highly processed, antibiotic and hormone force fed... Oh, I diverge from the story) and removed the remaining meat from the bone.

AND TOOK IT OUT AND PLACED IT ON THE BIRD FEEDER PLATFORM. And was reveling in all the small birds that swooped down and ate every bite.

Now- I realize that wild animals have no concept such as canabalism, but...

Ick. And to feed the birds all the crap she does that is so far off the spectrum of what they would eat naturally, plus feeding them crap full of drugs, hormones, chemicals and other things that are harmful?

She refuses to see how when humans recklessly inject themselves onto the lives of wildlife, the wild animal pays a very high price and loses EVERY TIME. Birds can very easily imprint, and to her, all animals are pets, or should be.

But just to reinforce this...
She fed the wild birds fried chicken


-Hoarding... It is not about the stuff... That is merely a symptom of a life threatening mental illness.