Monday, October 28, 2013

From the Mouth of a Hoarder - A moment of levity

Sharing a funny moment from a recent conversation with my hoarding mother.

She apparently was watching one of those compilation TV shows where they show video clip after video clip.  This one was of naked people in situations that one would normally NOT expect to encounter naked.  As my State Trooper friend says, any nakey in public is bad nakey....

Anyway.  A gentleman was streaking, and another person chased him down, grabbed his penis, and would not let go and they were fighting.  Later the police arrived and slammed this guy into the face-down control position.  So...

"I am sure landing on the concrete on his 'worm' did not feel very good, and having someone grab it...  [more utter nonsense about men's anatomies]."  

Um, yeah, I am sure it did not.  You do know, right, that although that is a sensitive part, it is the testicles that are really sensitive and can take someone down quickly and it would stand to reason that often trauma to the penis also exerts trauma on the scrotum...

"NO!  I did not know that... I fail to see..."

Seriously?  How long were you married?  (And she was married to Dad almost 25 years, and I do not know the duration of her first marriage, or the second marriage that she does not know that I know about...)

"...what is so wonderful about little boy's and their worms.  All that garbage hanging in front!  Little boy babies are not pretty.  At least little girls are neat and all tucked in..."

GOTTA GO.  <dial tone>

Wow.  I mean... WOW.  

Saturday, October 26, 2013

One more little tidbit...

I did not include this in my last entry because, quite bluntly, it flat pissed me off and I needed to let it roll off, sit a while, and then take a look at it.

Ahhhhh. Dissociation and compartmentalization- maladaptive coping skills we learn to survive our hoarding parents...

In this most recent conversation with the neighbor of my hoarding mother's... She shared that mother has adamantly stated to her (when I married my first, and second husbands and over the years repeatedly) in the most nasty way possible.

"I hope Lisabeth never has children! I do not want grandchildren!"

When the neighbor gently tried or tries to redirect her that my choice to have children, to delay child rearing, to not have children, to adopt, to foster... Is my choice, and not anyone's business but mine and possibly my spouse.

My mother's response to this? "Lisabeth does NOT NEED to have kids. Ever! SHE SHOULD NOT HAVE THEM!!! She doesn't take care of anything and ...[insert 1/2 truth or full out lie here of my current or past shortcomings of character or failure to do what I 'should' have done]."

This conversation has happened many, many times over the span of years since I was living with my first husband before we married. (Which she did not approve of, both the man and living in sin... Strangely, she did not want me to marry the second time or have a wedding because 'I had been married before... And she seems to forget my father was her third husband... That I know of. But I digress.)

Am I surprised? No. Just absolutely disgusted at her arrogance, her hypocrisy her mendacity, her narcissism.

I certainly hope for her sake that she never decides to share these little golden tidbits of wisdom with me, directly or indirectly. She will not like my response... And I am certain this will bring on the final estrangement.

My thoughts currently are this... Ya know mother... Even as a small child- not that I have many memories before about age 8 or 9, but the few hellish ones I do have, and the stories shared by my grandmother and dad's relatives- even as a small, small child I never played dolls to be 'mommy'. If asked if I wanted to be a mother the answer was always an empathic NO. As a teen I never thought about having a child, never daydreamed about kids or a family of that sort. You know why, mother dearest? Because of YOU. I associated being a mother with the abject, batshit-crazy, HELL I lived every. single. day... As I grew older, I made a conscious decision that the crazy ends with me. Abuse is often a legacy- and I am breaking that chain.

Do I regret choosing to not have children? Absolutely not. Maybe if I had partnered differently, I might have felt differently. I jumped into two marriages because I was seeking to find something I did not have... And still truly do not. A place I truly and irrevocably belong. It took my almost 40 years on this earth to figure that out, and thankfully, I can own my own role in my choices and the path I have taken in this life. One of my strengths has also been one of my largest challenges... My ambition, drive, success and work ethic. That is a coping mechanism as well. Like some folks drink or use substances to avoid pain, I work. I also had very little choice but to succeed. In most everything, I had one chance, and failure was not an option. It would damn me to the hoard, or the shadow if it, and YOU. Like in school. I had one shot to get the hell out of that town and away from you. And I went for broke.

Oh- and mother dearest? I was pregnant at my dad's funeral. Despite taking my birth control faithfully, it failed. (Antibiotic use). I got tested at the health center, but they said I was not pregnant. If I would have known I was at barely 19 and living in my car... I would have had to make a difficult choice. And I know that it would not have been to be a mother. But you do not know that. And if you did...

I bet my mother was absolutely thrilled when after battling very early stage cervical cancer from 1997-1999 and later when I had endrometrial late stage dysplasia/early stage cancer in 2007 I had an emergency hysterectomy. This latest health issue that nearly killed me? Took most everything else 'down there'. Soon I will have the genetic testing and if it comes back positive for any of those cancer genes, everything else that is still here is leaving. Breasts too. All of it. I have to wonder if she was relieved at some level when I had my uterus removed and when I decided to remain single and to embrace my fate of walking truly alone and untethered in this world. Wonder if that made her happy? I bet it did.

But... After further thought... Probably not. I could still adopt or still partner with someone with children or grandchildren.

No worries there, mother. Even if it did happen (adoption, fostering or a new relationship with children)... You would NEVER access to the children. Ever. You would never meet them.

That is a promise. Now with this I lay this aside. Strangely enough, normally writing about things makes me feel a bit better. This makes me feel like I am simultaneously going to puke and fall over, my chest hurts so badly. It is not a panic attack or anything of that sort (thank goodness I somehow escaped anxiety d/o and depression...) but I think this hits me dead-center, close to my core. It is like the indigestion-like sickness after getting really sick on tainted food. I think I just purged myself of the worst of it.

For her sake... I hope this is not one 'scab' she wants to pick at. She will not like the results.

Good night all. Thank you for reading.

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

Friday, October 25, 2013

Egads... She is crazier than I apparently thought

Today I spoke with my hoarding mother's neighbor that lives behind her.  This is the neighbor that tried to make contact with my mother during the Derecho, and my mother gets so upset with if you are a reader of past blogs.

Long story slightly abbreviated, this person and I are Facebook friends.  The biological mother of her two stepchildren died last week while she was out of town on vacation, and prior to her new relationship, they were best friends... But the former wife of her now deceased husband was estranged from her, and she is grieving the loss of her friend, and the circumstances of her death are not making it easier.  And my hoarding mother?  She FEEDS off of misery.  The reader that called her 'Mompire' was dead-spot-on!  I heard about this through my mother's perspective... and I sent her a text letting her know I was sorry, thinking of her, and to call anytime.

She did.  She is also only calling my mother once or twice a week because of her escalating negativity.  The last time I spoke with mother, she shared a little story of how this neighbor "is not the person she thought she was" and that she heard something on the baby monitor she has set up in the detached, hoarded and barricaded garage.  She stated that she called this neighbor, and the neighbor was there with her live-in-boyfriend but did not answer or call back for 90 minutes.  She stated all she wanted was for her to turn on her back lights. I pointed out, again, that her house was so far away that was not going to be helpful... and she launched into the normal rant of calling the police does not do any good, that she was hesitant about going out since she "is not a match for anyone right now." 

So... in this call, my mother's neighbor shared the following:

That my mother did not ask her to turn on the light, she knows this neighbor has a concealed carry (as does she, frighteningly enough!) and asked her to reach her gun out the back window in shoot it in the air... Of course the neighbor declined!

In the following conversation, she shared these additional gems from my crazy mother:

  • Mother has told her on many occasions that she has bought me several cars, including the new Z that I had when I graduated from college with my undergraduate degree.
    • Truth-  NO.  She did not.  My first car was a gift from my grandmother and my father.  (It was my grandmother's then 15-year-old car).  My second car was purchased by me, my third was inherited from my grandmother...  She did give me a nice chunk (about 1/4 of the cost) on the 1990 Z that I purchased after an - idiot totaled my fourth car (that I paid for as well).  I am appreciative, but NO.  She did not buy me 'almost every car I had'.
  • She also asserts that I am so lucky that she paid for my college (undergrad) so I did not have student loans.
    • Truth-  NO.  She did not.  With my ACT and SAT scores I had full scholarships, and SHOCKER, mother never provided the information needed to submit/accept the money to my dad, so he paid out of his credit union account for those semesters.  He had promised to send/pay for as far as I wanted to go... and I worked like a dog every Friday through Monday at a retail store to also ensure I had money.  With my grandmother and my father dying 4 months apart, when my grandmother's house sold, she had went through my dad's check book, etc. and determined he had paid $27,000 for me.  I wrote her a check.  Little did I know, but my personal account that my grandmother was on with me had been closed (and I never saw a cent of the nearly $7,000 that was in there).  Sadly, due to dad dying so close to his mother, she was able to grab the money in my trust fund.  Roughly $500,000 I lost all told, and that summer I ended up living in my car for six weeks.  I made class, and got through it.
  • She has also told this neighbor the revisionist history that our home life was like Ozzy and Harriet- other than my grandmother let me rebel in junior high and high school, and all of that.  The neighbor remembers first hand mother's actions at the viewing and the funeral, complaining to everyone that I was drinking and using drugs, that I broke my father's heart, etc.  News flash for her, I had never even TRIED drugs.  And I had taken, and maxed out on the MCAT and was preliminary accepted to medical school.  And was a Chem/Biology double major.  She remembered when the closed the casket my mother turning on me and she and her sister savaging me in front of everyone.  She did not know they locked me out of the limo, and my best friends took me to the grave site, and I left my hometown that night with my boyfriend, his mother, and my college roommate and returned to dorm.  
  • My mother told her that when dad died, that she was there, holding his hand, blah, blah, blah...
    • Truth-  NO.  She was NOT.  I was.  She was holding court in the hallway with the nurses, talking about him like he was already dead.  I held his hand, watched him go, felt his hand go cold in mine... and when she returned to the room, her first words were "It is your fault your dad is dead..."  The three hour ride home with her was horrible, and when I arrived her sister gave me a helping of the same.

I think you get the picture.  This is basically the 'Cliff Notes' edition.  I knew that she lies, of course, and I knew she reinvents history.  But this is further proof that I have no way of knowing what is reality and what is her manipulation and machinations.  And these conversations with this neighbor?  Not many years ago.  Recently.  As in the past several weeks... because she harps on the same stories over and over again.

The neighbor offered to help as she can, and she asked what I was going to do if she keep declining.  

I simply... do... not... know.  I keep saying it, but this is not going to end well.  Oh- and her conversation with me that she made me POD on some of her accounts and the executrix in her new will, yadda yadda?  She told the neighbor I am in for a surprise... that she is leaving it all to the Humane Society.  And honestly, I hope that is true.  A legacy of a hoarded house and all the trappings that go with it?  That gives me nightmares.  I have never wanted a cent from her, and I still don't.  Sad.  I hope her belongings, and any of the money she still has, keeps her company.  She is reaping what she has sown, sadly.  She sits alone every day, on mother's day, on her birthday, on Christmas.  

Hoarding... no one wins.  NO ONE.  Good night everyone.  


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Practicing for Trick or Treat

Quote of the week...

"All the neighbors have their lights off in the evening.  All of a sudden nothing is on outside.  It is soooo strange!  I bet they are practicing for Trick or Treat so it looks like no one is there..."

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

From the Mouth of a Hoarder... There is no end in sight!

Wow.  It seems the past 32 days have flown by.  What have I been doing that has kept me from my blogging responsibilities?  Things that include: 

  • The Federal Shutdown that threatened the very existence of the agency in which I work.  
  • Getting caught up from being off.
  • End of the year reporting, end of the quarter reporting, grant proposals, never ending meetings.
  • Health crises and surgeries of friends, deaths of friends' family members
  • And having a newer car to travel almost every weekend.  
So- back to reality and working to get into a more normal schedule while attempting to keep some work and life balance, and some distance/balance with my hoarding mother.  

She has popped off some real gems lately.  Again, hoarding is a series of behavior, and poor insight, extreme narcissism and lack of empathy seem to be at the core of this disorder... the stuff is merely a symptom.  

But... to the list:
  • [Talking about her dry rotted, wind damaged porch screens that she insists the neighbor she dislikes damaged intentionally.  Ditto for her storm doors]  "... I do not know what to do.  I know as soon as I fix them they will just get torn up again, so why bother?"  You know there are other things a bit more imminent at this moment right?  Like upgrading the electric in your house, replacing this fence that is rusting apart... "[Blustering about the cost] No one will give me an estimate on what I want for a security system!  They all come out here, tell me what they want to do, and never send an estimate or come back! Lazy b@st@rds do not want to work!"  Do you think something might be shying them off?  "Well!  Any time I have someone here for an estimate 'HE' has to drive by.  I think 'HE' scares them off!"  Why of course.  I should have known.
  • [Talking about her neighbor to the rear of her property]"I am so mad I could just KILL.  She is NOT the person I thought she was.  I just don't call her, and I don't care.  I have done things for her and I have asked her to do a couple of minor things for me and she would not! I ..." Do you mean the trail camera on her roof deal and identifying your riding lawnmower that she might have seen at a range closer than a hundred yards once as being 'switched out' for old parts?  "Yes!  She KNOWS it is NOT my lawnmower and she recommended that thief to me!"
  • "Whatever happened to Stabler?"  Huh?  Who?  "Stabler from Special Victims Unit?  Did they kill him off?  Does he come back?  I have NEVER seen him on anything else!"  Um... No television by choice remember?  For nearly 3 years now?  And never watched that show?  "Well- I am sure your friends watch it and talk about it!"  No, they don't. They know I am not interested in TV, and we have lots of other things to talk about.  Politics, societal trends... "I find that hard to believe..."
  • Many, many things that start with, "Do you <verb> noun?"  No.  "Well, let me tell you what I do..."  UGH.
  • The same 7 topic areas in regards to her cats and their behavior that always starts with, "Do your cats do ____?  Mine drive me crazy doing _____!  It is so STRANGE!"  And the kicker?  It is not strange.  It is always normal hierarchical cat behavior that one would see in a non-related, mega-cat household.  And, with the stressors they have of little horizontal and vertical space, one cat box for 6 cats, and being confined to a small bathroom at night and when she is not there... No wonder they are neurotic!
  • "I cannot believe you leave your cats out in your apartment when you are not there!  What if they tear up something and choke?  Catch a toenail on furniture and hang themselves?  Someone would break in or maintenance would come in?  What if someone shoots them or throws something through the window at them?  [The list goes on and on gets more preposterous, but you get the idea!] You would never get them both!  They would hide and die! They would..." Oy.
  • "Do you see things?"  What?  "Do your eyes play tricks on you?"  Um... NO.  "Today I was in a parking lot [long story short, she saw a demarcation in the pavement and saw it as a curb and it was not].  I guess THAT stuff is going to start happening!"
  • "Oh... next door they are running a JUNK YARD!  It looks so terrible with all this junky stuff outside."  Really?  Do. Tell.
  • Fat-shaming her cats, and anyone that she knows or sees that is 'so big!'
  • Statements that clearly show ethnocentrism,racism, are hetero-normative, or are sexist in nature.  And being pissy and defensive when it is pointed out.
  • [Changing gears mid-topic in a conversation] "What do you tell, um people, when people, are ... um... bothering them..."  What?  "Well, 'he' (hated neighbor in the turn is fill-in-the-blank with whatever minute thing she is now attributing to him." We have had this conversation over and over.  I am not having it again.  Have you kept a stalking log?  Taken pictures and recorded in the log dates, times, context and who was present?  Have you spoke to the police, and kept calling them with new information?  No?  Then I will not keep spending hours discussing safety planning and practice when you are not working on your end of it.  "[Sputtering and blustering]"
  • "Do they use those light bulbs where you are?"  What bulbs?  "LEDs!  They are doing away with all the others here! I hate LEDs!  They do not last like others and..."  They did that years ago here, and it is not just LED bulbs that are available.  <smdh>
  • "I have to go to the dentist this week, and get a cleaning.  And you know the greedy b@st@rds charge the whole cost of the cleaning!  I only have 11 teeth!  They should only charge 1/3..."
  • "I was watching this untold stories of the ER.  Did you know people often stick things up their hind ends and get them stuck or stick their worm [her derisive word for penis] in things and get them stuck? I fail to see what is so great about that little WORM hanging between their legs..."
I could go on, but you get the picture.  

As the world turns, these are the days of our HOARD. <Oh>.  Have a great week, what remains of it, and thank you for reading!