Sunday, April 6, 2014

Bang... bang... bang... That is the sound of my head repeatedly striking my desk.

This week I have been graced with two calls from my mother's sister, who is also on the hoarding scale and shows the narcissistic behavior common to many severe hoarders, without the immediate cruelty.  She has to be 'provoked' but she has integrated the whole 'revenge' or vigilante outlook that is characteristic of my mother.  But that is another story, for another time.

For those of you who have not read before, I have very few surviving relatives.  Sadly, the ones I do have, almost all of them demonstrate behavior consistent with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Hoarding, and also show power/control/addictive features.  The only time one of them contacts me is when they want something.  Money.  Information. To dump some bit of unpleasantness to further whatever secondary agenda they have going.  It is simply exhausting.  A gentleman I used to see for a few months once asked how it was possible that I turned out the way I did with the outlook I have, when my family is so manipulative.  That is easy... I had an intervening adult... my paternal grandmother.  Without her, I would have been lost. 

But anyway, late last week my aunt calls.  'Mimsy' goes on and on about this refinancing she has to do since the bank messed up her attempt and now her payment is higher, etc.  She also had to get a loan to do repairs on her 20 year old minivan, and the cost of the repairs honestly exceed the actual cash value of the van.  She speaks in the rapid fire verbal vomiting common to hoarders, and I have honestly done other things and not said a word for an hour, two hours...  She finally got to the point and asked me for money.  She only has $67 after her bills are paid each month for gas and food, etc.  

I have no problem helping someone that needs it, if my assistance is going to allow them to return to self sufficiency, or levy other resources.  This is not that case, as she is 70 years old and has a 20 year mortgage and is on Social Security.  She is living beyond her means.  I advised her that I would consider it AFTER we met, and I reviewed her income, her expenses, her eligibility for assistance like heating and electric assistance, food banks, and eligibility for subsidized housing, as her health does not allow her to care for the house she has.  

That was not popular, and the call ended pretty quickly after that offer.

Today, the phone rings and I snagged it.  It was nearly 11am.  She was fast talking and panicked.  She immediately asked if she woke me up.  Um... NO.  I get up between 5am - 6am every morning, working or not.  I was getting ready for a run.  I shared I ran my first 5K race post-op from the major health crisis I had this summer/fall.  She has no frame of reference, and immediately moved on to why she was calling.  Her bank might need an appraisal, and she does not know how she would pay for it, since they will not allow it to be rolled into the principle of the loan.  She was starting to hem and haw, trying to figure out how to ask.  I advised her that she should talk to her loan officer and ask about options for a credit increase on her credit card, or getting a signature loan.  That was not what she had in mind.  She was going to ask me to pay it, and she could 'pay me back'.  Um... NO.  I reiterated my offer to help her explore options and to develop a meaningful budget that is supported by social service programs she is eligible for.  She declined.  

The call ended relatively quickly again.  My 1/2 sister used to pull this type of crap too.  It simply amazes me how naive they assume me to be, that I cannot see their grooming efforts and their machinations.  There is a reason I live hours away from all of them.  Apparently, even to them, I do not exist as a separate human being with goals, dreams, desires... I am simply an Ativan salt lick, an emotional tampon, or worse, an ATM.

Thank goodness for the family I have created... because my maternal family is incapable of having reciprocal relationships, everything for them is transactional, and singular in nature.  Sadly, the few remaining on my dad's side are in their 80's, frail, and I simply do not know them.  I choose to live hours away, and if anything, I will move FARTHER AWAY at the time I choose to leave this area.  My health, my happiness, and my emotional quotient all depend on keeping firm boundaries and lots of space between my mother and her family.

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


  1. Well shit! Are you sure we aren't in the same fam and just keep missing each other?
    I jest. (sort of)

    No one wins. NO one. Keep your chin up. I'm rooting for ya.

  2. Thanks Lisa! I am sorry your family mirrors mine so closely. Gah... I forgot to mention how many times she mentioned her friends/neighbors asking about me and her telling them that I 'have a good job'.

    O_- Of all the traits you could focus on, of all the ways you could describe me, the fact I have a good job (although she did not know what I do or did not remember that I have changed jobs once in the 15 years I have lived in this state....but mentioned what type of car I drive since she asked if I still had the same one our last conversation...)

    Oh well. I know it does not have to make sense. And most of the time... it simply does not!

    Have a great week! ((Hugs))

  3. " I am simply an Ativan salt lick, an emotional tampon, or worse, an ATM." That quote made me laugh out loud. Hello from St. Croix, US Virgin Islands.

  4. Greetings missbigshot! Thank you for reading, and glad you got a chuckle!