Saturday, April 30, 2016

An update on the aunt who hoards, and who is in active psychosis

This should be an episode of 'From the Mouth of a Hoarder'...

My mother's estranged sister continues to call, sometimes once a week, but I am hoping that maybe, just maybe, it will stop.

As a recap, she was involuntarily committed (known as being 302d) in May after seeing dead bodies, reporting my 1/2 sister (narcissister) for domestic violence, and the like.

Until her last call, she claimed that a neighbor put a 'device' in her furnace and in her van that he can play music and sing songs, but it is so soft and with the fan from the furnace it cannot be recorded.  Then she said he was driving by with a loudspeaker.  She stated in her discussion he was a pedophile, and the like.  She said her psychotic break in 2015 was due to him projecting holograms and she has papers from her week long hospitalization saying she isn't crazy.  And the like.

Fast forward until April 10.  I was on a Skype call when she blew up my phone.  Even though it was a Sunday, I had a Skype call, a Go-to-meeting BOD call, and had to prepare to speak at a press conference.

She continued to call, and finally I was done with my virtual meeting and answered.  Her repeated calling kept knocking my internet out since I use a hotspot.  In this call she:

  • Said it was not 'him'
  • That the songs said he killed himself out of unrequited love for her
  • That she freaked but he is okay and was told by the police to stay away from her
  • That she now 'has feelings for him'
  • That she thinks narcissister is behind all of this
  • That she was 302d by a police officer
  • That her doctors say she is not crazy and it is happening
  • That the police do not believe her
  • Went off her meds
  • Her general practitioner yelled at her for going off of her sleep meds
  • She does not know what she takes and has not bottles to read me
You get the picture.  She also kept asking about noises she was hearing in the background (my cat futzing around, me drinking, etc.)  What was the most interesting was I was working in speech notecards, and started typing to send my outline to the PR folks, and she FREAKED and started screaming she had to go, someone was calling her.

I have not heard from her since.  Perhaps I should type any time she calls.  And keep my nails long and shellac manicured...

Friday, April 29, 2016

What is the definition of insanity? Look to my family, and me, I think...

This hails from my home state.  I roll out tomorrow after having nearly a week of a lovely conference experience and good information to take back to my organization.  Being with folks in my profession who are trained in my particular discipline is always refreshing.

What is NOT refreshing is being this close to my hoarding mother.  Nothing has changed, really.  Her conversations remain full of paranoia, delusion, denial, blame, intentional cruelty, willful ignorance, revisionist history, gross and inappropriate disclosure, and rumination.  

Things I never need to hear about again:  Her scaly, peeling moles; her bleeding moles; her 'sharp' and crusty feet; her jeans rubbing off on her bra;  hair removal from places that make me wish there was brain bleach, and bodily functions... hers, the cats and random strangers.  GAH!  And you are most welcome for the mental pictures!  Tis a service I provide...

I decided to inform her I was here for the conference the day I was leaving for it, mainly because I was concerned with her increasing paranoia she would call the shelter or the office in my absence and cause all kinds of chaos.  Not a discussion I want to have with staff if I can help it, although most of them know about her after her stunt a few months ago.

After some thought, I decided to reach out once more. Give her the benefit of the doubt, and offer to go to her town and meet her for dinner.  She is almost 80, and really has no one now.  She has alienated most everyone at this point, and I let empathy get in the way of common sense. I planned to do it in a very structured way, and in a solution based manner that would minimize her strategy of 'a problem for every solution.'  Keep in mind that she has not seen me in person since April 2013, two months before I had a life threatening health challenge that resulted in two major surgeries in under 11 months.  Last year I was here and she declined to see me, then drug a cross to a former high school classmate and incited her to contact me and tell me that my mother 'just needed to be heard' and that it would do her good for me to visit.  

Fast forward to last night.  I called between sessions, and I just apprised her that I was available for dinner Friday night or lunch Saturday and would drive to her town.  She immediately declined, stating that she had dental work done several weeks ago and her gum was still sore, and besides, with the amount of teeth she is missing and the appliance she wears for her TMJ issue, she does not eat in front of anyone.  I was pleasant, and ended the call quickly.  She seemed in excellent spirits, and it did not hit me until today... she was WAITING to do that.  It obviously triggered a secondary gain of some sort for her.  I am convinced of it.  She told the neighbor what she had done, who texted me.  The neighbor told her she could sip a soda, eat an ice cream, but my mother had a problem for every solution.  Last year was not an anomaly.  Her failure to do anything remotely mother-like in August of 2013 or July of 2014 was not an accident. She has no intention to see me.  I could speculate why, but in the end, it is just that- speculation- and does not matter.  You cannot determine intent from someone that is simply not rational... Or someone who is coldly narcissistic. 

And who loses here?  Sadly, she does.  I have already realized long ago that I am not the daughter she wanted.  What she does not understand is she is far from the mother I needed and deserved when I was younger, and I have scars from that, but they are relatively well healed scars.  And I need to stop giving her the opportunity to wound me again.  Last year I was angry and hurt.  This year, it stung slightly, and I kvetched to friends via text, and I have great friends that I simply do not deserve.  They rock.  I was mostly annoyed that I knew how this was going to play out, and I did it anyway.  

I resolve to use this as the learning experience it is.  I really believe that you either succeed or you learn, and both is technically a win.  Apparently this lesson I had to repeat.  I got it now.  The saddest thing is at nearly 80 years old, she will most likely never be given the option to see me in person again.  

Sometimes, mother, you reap what you sow.  Sometimes you get what you want.  Tonight, I had dinner with lovely friends and a wonderful restaurant, and I got to witness another patron propose to his fiancee.  It was such a happy event, and I am so glad to have had such a great evening.  Epic win for me, I think!

Tomorrow I am driving to my hometown to eat at my favorite restaurant and to see a couple of friends before I roll several hours home.  Once home, I am invited to a bonfire at friends.  Sunday is brunch with another group of friends, then back to work for two gruelling deadlines.  Life returns to normal.

I will be back for the conference next year, but she will not know it.  Or maybe she will, but I will be simply too busy to see her.  I choose to fill my life with what is positive, affirming, and pleasurable.  I have no more time for this.  

My life has challenges.  I am still fighting to get into the specialist to evaluate the autoimmune issue that is continuing to escalate.  I have hit a few roadblocks to getting into the therapist I wish to see that has experience with adult children of hoarders and adults with significant trauma histories.  I will persevere and will figure it out, even if I have to pay for them myself and figure out insurance later.  Work/life balance is still wonky, but after the 9th it should resume 'normal but busy' rather than 'bone crushing deadlines'.  I am still struggling to get ready for a marathon- but it will only change the race I choose to run, not whether I race it.  I have Mother's Day coming up the day after my birthday.  That has me in a weird place, but I will push through and focus on all that is right with my life, and it is a lot.  I have essentially no biological family that is not toxic, but I have many great friends that are my family of choice.

Life is meant to be lived at full volume, and I refuse to do anything less.  Lesson learned.  No ifs, ands, or buts.  

Thank you for reading!