Monday, September 5, 2016

Life in the 'Adult Child of a Hoarding Parent' Lane... Not quite as catchy as 'Life in the Fast Lane'...

[Referencing the title of this blog...]  Nor as fun.

Sorry it has been so long since my last post.  I did what I do when life gets complicated.  I went to ground.  I am trying to work on that behavior, but I seem to continue to suck spectacularly at it.  With that being said, where we are...

I could blame a lot of the challenges I have been experiencing on work, and that would be only partially true.  Work has been busy with year end stuff, staff turnover/hiring, and expanding the legal center and starting a therapy program that we were just funded for.  Work is expanding and growing, and with that, it is expanding beyond our current capacity and that is PAINFUL.  For all staff, and especially for me.  But I revel in these challenges.  I am still not consulting, and although my discretionary income feels the pinch, I needed to focus on my health and the day job.  

I have things I have got to get done.  Getting my 2015 taxes done (yeah, I know) and basic things.  I have been trying to regain my momentum in preparing for a marathon in November, and that has not been exactly linear.  I may or may not run a 1/2 marathon this coming weekend, and if not, I will run one 2-3 weeks later.  I was doing great, and have had a bit of a GI flare.  My GI consult was rescheduled for October, and now all my records have been secured, and it appears they are thinking Crohn's is the most likely diagnosis.  There are worse things, and I just want answers, and a plan to remove the fluid that is still in my pelvis.  But, overall, I am doing well despite not sleeping.  

My hoarding mother is continuing to be her normal, cruel and malevolent self.  She is to the point where no matter what, she cannot get along with anyone, and cannot get contractor and yard work done.  She is also getting declined all over town as a new patient for primary care physicians.  Word is out in the small Appalachian town she resides in.  Her delusions of persecution and of social status continue.  She continues to have violence ideations, and her 'conversations' with me are little more than a pontification pedestal for whatever she is zealously evangelizing about, in her disturbed and intentionally cruel way.  Every foray into town, every interaction with a neighbor, every phone call devolves into a confrontation and a scorched earth reaction.  

I had the pleasure of going to central Florida in late August for a week to stay with friends.  She has yet to ask about my trip.  I did not talk to her for over a week, and it was absolutely everything I hoped it could be.  My trip was relaxing, and full of fun, boats, airboats, alligators, shopping and the beach in Sarasota, relaxing and running in the sunshine.  It was simply perfect.  My mother has no frame of reference for friendship, nor taking a vacation.  

I have been trying to see my friends more and trying to not completely go to ground, and my dating life has been, um, interesting.  I have been seeing someone since early June, but we have not had the exclusivity conversation yet, and neither of us are ready for that.  So... I am continuing to date.  I have had three dates in less than 24 hours one weekend, and I am going to pull my profile soon.  I have realized that I have such deep, deep trust/intimacy issues that I may need help to broach them.  I am watching someone who would like to have a more physical relationship pull back because I do not know how to let someone love me.  I have several thoughts on this, but I am just so guarded and armored that it will take a while, and in 2016 middle aged dating moves fast.  I have to accept my deficit, and accept the consequences.  I am taking it one day at a time... but I feel pretty sure I have blown this relationship before it has gotten started.  It is really sad, and I seem stuck and unwilling to fix it.  I did mention to my mother I was dating, and she is, of course, overly critical of that.  She was excited I was seeing a doctor briefly, but it became clear he was looking for a wife and a stepmother to his teenage sons.  Um... NO.  Maybe I should stick to cats.

My ex husband, who is a dear friend, is on downward spiral.  He has left his long term life partner, has been off work on medical leave for the past 2 months, and is seemingly on a trajectory similar to the one that happened when he and I ended our marriage in 2008.  Again, not my circus, not my monkeys, but it has reopened some wounds that I thought were healed well and scarred over.  Apparently not.

Speaking of cats, my remaining kitty is doing well since the passing of my baby girl nearly two months ago, but in letting myself grieve and heal, I may have done her a disservice.  She seems more anxious when I am gone, and my Florida trip was hard for her.  It was compounded by the fact she had ended up in the emergency vet the week before, and what looked to be serious (as in putting her to sleep serious) turned out to be easily remedied.  I thought I was going to lose a third kitty girl in barely over 12 months, and it was horrible.  So... I found a Sphinx kitty to rescue, and I meet her tomorrow.  Hopefully she is compatible.  My hoarding mother is totally against me getting a hairless cat.  She has decided they are similar to the Chinese Crested dog, and stated it will die young, will be prone to skin cancer and problems, and all kinds of factually inaccurate information.  She is also against me getting another cat period, apparently... Who knows for what reason.  And I do not care what she thinks.  Not her circus, not her monkeys.  I have a lot of love to give a kitty, and I have always wanted a Sphinx kitty.  And now I have the opportunity.  And for some reason she simply cannot stand it.

She claims she is going to an attorney to put my name on her house.  One, I do not want it, and two, I will believe it when I see it.  I do not want to be on the hook for a 1960's rancher that is a level 5 hoard.  I know I can reject that when the time comes, but OY.  She was also allegedly told she needs a knee replacement.  That will not happen. She will be 80 in December, and I do not see any of this going any easier or any better.  I have connected with a local narcissistic mother group for women, and it has been extremely helpful to connect face to face with others struggling with the same thing.  I also had another 'aha' moment with them when I shared something I considered relatively minor in a self-deprecating, sarcastic and humorous way... I was eating sushi and was looking down, and since there was silence I looked up to 3 faces of varying degrees of horror, anger and compassion.  I have dissociated from the sheer awfulness of my growing up with her that I have no frame of reference it seems.  This is the second time this has happened, and it is shocking to me and strangely validating.  

I did experience intentional and malevolent abuse at the hands of my mother.  

I survived. 

I did not escape unscarred, however.

I will continue to learn, to love, to grow, and to combat my own demons.  

I will live life at full volume.  

This is the direct opposite of my hoarding mother.  Growth is painful.  Self examination can hurt.  But it is worth it in the end, and failure to do so results in merely existing and not living.  My hoarding mother is a shining example of that.

Onward and upward.  Hoarding and narcissism... No one wins.  No one.