Friday, January 29, 2016

The Narcissism of the Hoarding Mindset

It is one of those deals where you laugh and find humor in the situation or you may start screaming and not be able to stop...  

Last weekend parts of the eastern United States had significant snowfall.  Facebook in all its irreverence hyped it to be Snowzilla and other such simpering titles.

We had lots of notice, and is my hoarding mother's custom, she has a problem for every solution, and cannot get out of her own way to get most any mundane thing done.  

She kept saying she needed to go to the pharmacy for her meds, her cat's meds (who has glaucoma and heart issues) and groceries/sundries.

Guess what she did?  If you guessed NOTHING... you would be correct.  She did nothing.  And now she is 'stuck'.  

She refuses to ask her one neighbor to pick up her prescriptions 'because they won't let you do that!'  She refuses to ask her for a ride and won't really state why, instead ruminating on a neighbor who is in the hospital and how she had asked her to help her... um... she is in the freaking HOSPITAL!  

She is still pontificating on the recently paved sections of the road... And saying really nutty things like depersonalizing the neighbor by calling him 'the asshole' and making fun of him for removing the snow from the paved portion of the road, railing they they blew the snow from the snow blower against her fence and she was TRAPPED IN HER YARD!  She said, "I wish someone would lock him in his house without a phone and..." before I cut her off.

They got about 17 inches, which is significant.  The other piece that is amusing, we got over 3 feet in our area.  And it is not a contest.  But... it is amazing to hear her go on and on about how horrible it is and yadda, yadda, yadda.  Um... it is what it is.  We will be inconvenienced for a while.  And it is not the 'snow oppression Olympics' but she will ask a question always prefaced with "Up there" and when I remind her that yes, whatever happened here too since we got over 36 inches she will peevishly say thing like "well the news said [her state] got hit the hardest!"  No, it did not.  Or things like "parts of [her state] got over 40 inches!"  Yeah.  In the bedroom communities near DC.  She just cannot acknowledge that things were tough here as well, and we are all dealing as best we can, and each place has unique challenges.  Someone else's experience does not diminish one's own... unless you are so unable to see anyone as having individual experiences and they only exist as supporting actors in your own Lifetime Network drama/movie.  

I just have to laugh.  And because I am evil, I have to poke her with it once in a while.  The mental acrobatics are something to watch.

And each conversation she is complaining she does not have food, medicine, etc.  I do not offer any solutions as she shoots everything down.  Yesterday she was going to try to get the car out, and decided not to because there was 'activity' at the hated neighbor's house in the turn.  Translation, he was home and she does want him to see her leave because she accuses him of stealing, breaking in her house and loosening lightbulbs, stealing her notes to herself, and even putting snake poop in her basement.  

You cannot make this stuff up.

Have a great weekend!  Thank you for reading...

Sunday, January 17, 2016

And there is not a break for the wicked, it seems...

Wow.  That is all I can say at this point.


I just hung up from my hoarding mother's equally narcissistic and mentally ill sister, from whom she is totally estranged.  She also is on the hoarding scale, and has much of the same trauma history as my mother, and much of the same co occurring disorders as my mother, mental health and other.  My hoarding aunt had a psychotic break in the later sixties and was hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital for a while.

If you are a regular reader, you might remember some drama between her and my narcisster (my lovely play on words for my half narcissistic sister) in May (about the time of my birthday) where the events culminated in my aunt calling the police for domestic violence on my sister, and ending up in the psychiatric ward of the local hospital.

At Christmas I got a lovely holiday card filled with a crazy rant about my half sister.  I have not initiated contact, and even downloaded the 'silent' ringtone for my smartphone so it does not ring when she calls.

Well, tonight she called.  I was eating a quick dinner prior to a Skype meeting, so I did not answer.  After the meeting, I listened to the message, and realized if I did not call her, she would continue to call, and this was going to be a doozy...

So I girded my loins.  And I called her.  And I said little else other than 'hello' and 'well, I have to go'.

I will spare you the exact quotes, but the high points (low points?) of her communique were:

  1. She is hearing faint music at night, near her refrigerator, in her heating ducts, and sometimes outside near the heating air return.
  2. She blames my narcissister.  
  3. She is convinced she has put something in her house.
  4. She is convinced it is a tape player, but one of those newfangled ones that is smaller than a fingernail.
  5. She has had an HVAC repair person in to check, but in her opinion he did not believe her, and was too young to do such a job.
  6. She also has people stopping in the street to stare into her house at night.
  7. She has people running between her house and the house next door and scratching her new windows, slapping the siding, and all kinds of drama.
  8. She has gone to Best Buy, and to other electronic purveyors to find out what this is.
  9. She has decided it works remotely like a drone, and she knows drones can only operate from 500 yards.
  10. She says her psychiatrist is who told her something was planted in the house by my narcissister.
  11. She also said the psychiatrist told her that it is possible I escaped the mental health issues my mother and sister have, however most of those show up by 52 or so... [Um really?  Most mental illness shows much earlier... dementia is another story...]
She also told paranoid stories and chattered on for almost 2 hours  I am done.  I have done my time.  No more of this.  

She made sure to slip in her birthday (which I did not acknowledge) and also discussed how she was strapped for money (not touching that one either).  

It would all be funny if it were not so flipping sad.  My hoarding mother hears music when she goes off her psychotropic meds.  She hears orchestra music, and my aunt hears a variety of fundamental church hymn type of music.  They both also hear and feel a 'motor' running.

Hoarding... no one wins.  No one.

Here is another older woman who sits alone due to the choices she has made... estranged from most everyone.

Have a good week everyone.  Thank you for reading.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

2016 already?

Goodbye to 2015, and hello to 2016!  I have to say the past year was full of challenges and accomplishments, and it was seldom boring.  I am looking forward to 2016 and beyond...

My last entry had me in a bit of a low spot due to the intrusiveness and the guano loco behavior of my hoarding mother.  I am dealing with that, and realized that part of my discomfort is I am apparently ready to move on to the next stage of healing, whatever that may be, and it may ultimately involve going no contact with my mother if she continues her path, which I honestly see little chance that she will not continue to physically, mentally and emotionally decompensate.  This is NOT going to end well.  

My year has started off with a bit of a new health challenge, nothing earth shattering, but yesterday I got a diagnosis for a autoimmune issue that I thought was merely an infection.  It is not huge or all that serious (like RA, lupus, or MS) but is still a pain in the proverbial rump, and something I had never heard of before.  Upon doing some deeper research, it appears that for many folks this occurs with another co-occurring autoimmune issue.  Now I have a couple of health issues, and I am not clear if the one is considered auto-immune or not, but I think it is.  The new one is uncomfortable, makes me more susceptible to a certain form of cancer and prone to some other issues, but for the most part should be relatively invisible to others.  I am less than impressed with this, but I am starting a 6 week regimen of more intense treatment and then will have a maintenance treatment  a couple times a week for here on out.  Life goes on, and I refuse to allow this to occupy a lot of headspace.  I may have an upcoming biopsy and appointments with a specialist looming if things do not settle down SOON, and I will manage it as I do the other health issues I have.  It will require a few changes to my daily routine, but... At 46 years old, it is what it is.  It could be much worse, and I accept that some disease process will undoubtedly occur as I age.  

Now- I called my hoarding mother as I was enroute to work.  Ever the observant one, she asked why I was so late in leaving for work.  I told her I went to the doctor, and when she asked why, I just skimmed over the diagnosis and the issue.  She immediately diverted back to herself, talking about her 2 front teeth that have broken off at the gumline and must be removed this week, and how she takes such good care of her teeth and self and does not know how this happened.

SERIOUSLY?  Personal hygiene is not her forte.  An ER doc listed her dental hygiene as 'extremely poor' a while ago, something that sent her into the stratosphere.  She now only will have 14 or 15 teeth.  She started going on about how her underwear elastic pulls her pubic hair.

WAIT.  WHAT?  No... Do not repeat that.  Ever.  Please.

She then started down the list of taboo subjects...

  1. Public hair and grooming (lack thereof)
  2. Her crusty, scaled feet and nasty toenails
  3. Her distended belly
  4. The weight of one person and the female pattern hair loss of another
  5. Asking what I think a neighbor gets paid for selling cars
  6. Asking if I 'had talked to the woman that works at the Humane Society about the dog' that she caused all the problems about a couple of weeks ago.
You get the idea.  Each time I would shut her down she would start on something else.  Finally she came out with an asinine statement of political willful ignorance and threatened violence at a neighbor.  I ended the call.

And then it hit me.  I was a bit more disconnected than usual, as I had something on my mind (my experience at the doctor's appointment and the fact I am being referred to a specialist to rule out some larger, scarier things).  Many friends, acquaintances, family, etc. might have noticed and asked if anything was going on... But not my hoarding mother.  Since I was even more disengaged that usual, she was attempting to get a rise.  She thrives on disappointing expectations, and pushing buttons and she apparently needed her narcissistic supply.  And I was not obliging. 

We move on.  I will do what I need to do to take care of me, and I refuse to let her take up any more real estate in my head.  I know that stress can exacerbate some of these conditions, and I plan to manage mine as well as I can.  I am fine, and I will be fine.  However, my hoarding mother will NOT be fine.  And there is nothing I can do about that.  Sometimes self determination is a double edged sword.  So be it.

Have a great remainder of your week, and thank you for reading.