Friday, January 24, 2014

She continues to get worse. How far is rock bottom for someone who hoards?

It used to be that with my hoarding mother, she would take a decline, then plateau.  

She is no longer plateauing.  She is steadily getting worse.  I have said it before, but this continues to get worse and worse... and it will NOT end well.  It simply cannot.

I have continued to keep contact to just a handful of times a week.  This is not popular with her, and I am sure I am the scourge of her 'wonderful strangers' but it is what it is.  I realized many, many years ago that you cannot help someone who will not let you, and you cannot let them take you with them to rock bottom.

Yesterday I was a glutton for punishment... I called her enroute to work.  She was off and running, using every topic as an excuse to give folks that have been either out of her life or dead for 30 years hell.  She has no ability to see anything outside a 'singular nature' so if you hit her crap list, she will go back and ruminate over every single interaction and reframe it from a place of malice and intent.  So someone is either good, or totally evil/malevolent/stupid... there is little in between.  As I approached work, she asked suddenly and apropos to absolutely NOTHING she had discussed up to that point...  "What happened to you going to law school?  I thought you were going to do that and you have not mentioned anything else about it and you have never started school."  

SAY WHAT?  Seriously?  I laid out the deal for her.

  • That was something I considered between 12-15 years ago.  YEARS!!!!  Not recently!  I was in grad school from 2001-2003, and while I was picking my program, I contemplated various options, and selected Nonprofit Management.  She continuously asks if it was 'worth it'.  Ugh.  
  • At the point I was nearing graduation from grad school, I contemplated 3 options.  
    • A PhD in Social Work
    • Getting my JD
    • Getting a Masters in Nursing (for Admin)... And what happened was I applied to different programs, was accepted to various schools, and decided that the PhD route was the one I was going to go.  I was supposed to start 6 days after I ended my final quad of my Master's Program.  I simply was DONE, and pulled out.
  • I simply do not have the time to be in school
  • At the age of nearly 45, spending another 2-5 years in school is not something I consider a good ROI (return on investment).  
  • Student loans now SUCK... and I would have to finance whatever I would do heavily.
I told her pretty much like I have detailed it here.  I got a weak 'Oh' in response, and then she started in on how much money I could make if I were an attorney... That is the base of it.  She has no knowledge of my financial situation AT ALL, but she makes assumptions.  And I am not measuring up.  Her messages to me as an adult child are as conflicted and MESSED UP as they were when I was a child.  And what it boils down to... I am not doing something she finds acceptable.  TOO BAD!  Last time I checked, she is not me...  I got off the phone, and went to work.  Before hanging up she insisted I call her that evening because she had something important to tell me.  I grudgingly agreed.

Later that evening, I call her on my way home.  She started with "well he has been in the house again!  And while I was here!".  'He' is the neighbor in the turn, now her closest neighbor on that side. 

I will spare you the long version, but she asserted the following:
  • That she knew he had been in there because she put 'something' in a specific place AND IT WAS MOVED!
  • She found footprints in the snow in her yard and on her porch... and they were men's footprints, and went that way.
  • She called the sheriff and they would not come out, but she told them he was driving on a suspended, and the whole crazy story.... ugh...
  • She talked to this said deputy about getting a double lock cylinder deadbolt and having it put at the top of the door frame.  Like over her head.  WTH?  He tried to talk her out of it, and she will not listen to reason.  She crowed "I asked him what did it matter if I could not get out quickly in an emergency if he can come in and kill me in my own home?  He did not have an answer for that!"  I advised her that I would take my chances with an intruder before I would do something like that which would almost guarantee she would not get out in a fire.  She immediately began to argue that she does not get shaken up, yadda, yadda and it would not be a problem.  
  • She is now accusing the hated neighbor of being an arsonist- she is basing this on:
    • A neighbor's trailer burning in 1974
    • Two storage sheds burning in the late 70's early 80's time span
    • The neighbor's house burning 1 or 2 years ago
SERIOUSLY?  In 40 years 4 fires, all investigated by the Fire Marshall, and one was electrical, one was paint and gasoline left in the building improperly stored in a record heat wave, one was undetermined, and the neighbor's house was electrical.  Oh yes... and an apartment that the hated neighbor resided in caught on fire.  He and his infant daughter and wife just made it out in the middle of winter in bare feet, and it was after a bad motorcycle accident that nearly robbed him of his ability to walk twenty, thirty years ago.  A neighbor upstairs fell asleep with a cigarette.  <Sigh>  That is quite a damning pattern around him, eh?

She started whispering that she found cigarette butts in cut grass that was 'piled' against the house.

She is absolutely toxic in her bitterness, rumination, and paranoia.  

Hoarding... no one wins.  

Thanks for reading... Stay warm and safe if you are in the path of the 'polar vortices' and inclement weather.


  1. Do you think the love or hate and nothing in between thing is a hoarder trait? It appears to be the case with my father as well. - He being the hoarder and I his long suffering adult daughter. Hmm. I wonder Iike the blog - lets you know it isn't just you. :) stay strong.

  2. Great question! From my small corner of the world... I think it is a trait of people who hoard that are well into disease progression and are towards the severe end. I also think that many other personality disorders and addictions also elicit this type of irrationality. (Of course, my opinion and $4 will get you a drink at Starbucks...)

    Thanks for reading and for reaching out. Although I am always saddened that there are so many of us... knowing I am not alone and other folks can relate is such a great experience. Hang in there.... my best wishes are with you.