Monday, December 11, 2017

My patience is wearing thin, my resilience thinner...

I am exhausted today. Lost a colleague and mentor who I thought very highly of yesterday, and my NM's narc sister (who is also a hoarder) has been calling and I have been ignoring her calls. She has not called for over a year (I think), and the day she called was the day I learned a friend in my circle of friends died unexpectedly, someone I had went out with as friends a couple of times (this was last week). As many know, I am on call all the time, and was sloppy in picking up the phone this one time, and she got me. She asked 'how are things with you?' and I replied 'been better, what can I help you with?' and that was the last thing I said until goodbye.

She is having a psychotic break again, and just returned from her 6th 302 (involuntary commitment). In this call, she informed me: She was attacked by my narc sister (who is also a hoarder- see a pattern here?) and her arms have had the tendons ripped from the bones but she has used things she learned in PT in the past to get them back, and she can barely hold a tea cup despite telling a story she had to wait holding over $200 in groceries for a cab to come because 'he' wrecked her car and tried to kill her and the DMV marked it as unsafe and has a salvage title. She has never said who 'he' is. She had been accusing a neighbor's son of playing music in her house and car before, and then suddenly was in love with him- I assume this is the person. She now says she has a more restrictive thing than a PFA that is forever (nothing like that exists in her state), that he was looking in her hospital window when she was committed and snatching cell phone connections from the air to transmit messages she can only hear, but now the hospital heard them too, and that she got a BB gun at Walmart and the guy at the counter told her how to shoot so the person would bleed to death. She claims to have boarded up her house, now has two dogs, and is threatening to 'kill him' if he comes in her house. She claims he is talking about how nasty her vagina is, and has turned people against her. She claims to now be paraplegic and that my 1/2 narc sister attacked her using a military move. She then said she is going to lose her house, etc. She then switched to how she has not seen me in a long time, and sort of asked me for money and/or to come stay with me.


I have blocked her number. I cannot take this level of craziness. She is just as dysfunctional as my mother, and she did nothing to protect her daughter from her pedophile father. Something she and my 1/2 sister have in common, not protecting their children from sexual predators, then disowning their kids when their trauma histories impact their choices as adults. I did make a wellness call to APS in her state without giving my information. This is not going to end well.

Work is extremely stressful, and as folks may remember I have had major surgery in mid August, and am on the cusp of figuring out what will most likely be a chronic, autoimmune and autonomic disorder. Someone close to me has attempted suicide and I am trying to provide support while he untangles that and the legal charges he is now facing because of that attempt, and I am just feeling like much of my resilience is being sucked out of me, and my NM is SSDD, and is escalating in her paranoia and nastiness, and she is on the extreme LC plan with me.

Thank goodness for my sweet kitties. I am just feeling really frustrated, have tons of medical bills, and the holidays are coming and I still have not shopped for my family of choice... My friends. I am hoping that 2018 is a better year for us all.

Hoarding, and the co-occurring mental illness. No one wins. Thanks for reading, and have a good week.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Post Thanksgiving Miscellany...

Hard to believe it has been just over a month since the last post!  I just returned from a brief vacation down south, where I spent the the week of the Thanksgiving holiday with friends.  I visit them 2-3 times a year, and it is always a treat to go see them.  They live in a rural area, and it is quiet and peaceful, and very close to water.  I had over a week break from talking to my hoarding mother.  And it was really needed.

She has been off and running.  Sadly, her favored cat (the deaf one she hand reared) passed unexpectedly on the Sunday before I flew out, some sort of aortic stroke/spine stroke that left the poor little fella paralyzed, and death was imminent.  She put him down, and I did call to check in on her as her neighbor texted and told me what happened.  I am glad she reached out for help, and she did call when she got back from the vet.  

Prior to this, she has been really, really struggling.  It is sad.  She stated the first week in November that she finally pulled the food out of the chest freezer and unplugged it.  She had things that had been in there for nearly 20 years.  The really disgusting and disturbing part is, one of the first few posts I talk about a derecho that knocked her power out, and she was without power for 8-10 days in 95+ degree heat.  THAT IS THE SAME FOOD!  SHE JUST RE-FROZE IT!  And she is now using the same freezer to store her toilet paper, paper towels, and other paper products in.  I bet that smells fantastic.  The freezer is over 50 years old.  

She has also been on a tear ruminating and revisiting the 'museum of petty misunderstandings conflated to huge dramas' and has done the "Now I am just going to tell you this ONCE, lady, I am NOT to have an obituary in the paper or a funeral..." And I cut her off each time telling her that she has told me that 10,000 times or more and we are not going there.  She gets pouty and says "Well, I mean it..." and I cut her off again.  HELLO... It is so sad.  It is unlikely anyone would come to a funeral, and all of that is for the living... I do not plan on coming in unless I have to.  Her funeral arrangements are set and paid for, she will be buried, unembalmed, and she does not want the final date carved on the headstone she will share with my dad.  She does not want an obituary, and she will get all her wishes.

Her paranoia is getting worse as well.  She told me she mailed a letter to herself in her post office box and she is leaving it there in case 'something happens to her' and then said that the hated neighbor in the turn happened to turn into their shared street after her and tailgated her all the way to his driveway and she is convinced he is going to kill her!  

New neighbors moved in, and they are a mixed couple.  Now, she considers herself to be the epitome of unbiased, despite her racist viewpoints.  She has decided that the next door neighbors to the new neighbors are not out in the yard because the gentleman is black and the children are mixed.  I am sure it has nothing to do with the wife having back surgery and almost dying due to organ failure.  She decided that they saw the young man burying her dead cat, and that is why she did not get a Thanksgiving plate from them this year.  

She cannot be reasoned with, and she is unable to see any viewpoint but her own.  

Hoarding.  No one wins. No one.  Hope everyone has a great week, and thank you for reading.

Friday, October 20, 2017

200th Post for Not My Hoarding Mother Blog!

Wow.  My blogging platform that I use let me know that 2 milestones have been reached this month as far as the blog... One is this is the 200th post, and the second is the blog has had over 100,000 views.  I just want to say THANK YOU to everyone that reads, that comments, that sends messages, that shares the Not My Hoarding Mother Blog.  I am overwhelmed.  

It is bittersweet, that I have had material to continue to write for these past few years.  I am so happy to have connected with other folks with parents that hoard, with parents that are narcissistic, and parents that have imparted trauma histories on them.  I wish none of us experienced this.  But we did experience it, and I hope this blog is about the journey of growth, healing, and some humor thrown in.  

Sharing last weeks 'From The Mouth Of A Hoarder' (FTMOAH) exchange... 

"What color is your garage door opener?"

What... Why?

"Just answer the question, I need to know."

<Sigh>  I think black or dark taupe, I do not know.  I know I have lived at my place for nearly 10 years, but I have never paid attention to it....

"What color is mine?"

I have no idea.  I am not sure I have seen the newer one you had installed several years ago.

"You mean when I was in the hospital you left my car outside?..."

No, I mean I did not look up at the thing, and I do not know when you replaced it... Why?

"Well, the panel was crooked, and ... Well, something is going on and I do not want to get into it..."

Okay <changes subject>

"...<Interrupting> Do you know where you buy those metal grates that look like cages to go over walk through doors..."

No I do not.  Gotta go!
Okay, so I see where this is going.  She is apparently convincing herself that the 'hated neighbor' came in her garage and has switched out her garage door unit.

Ai yi yi.  For giggles I meant to look up at my garage door opener.  I have not.  I still do not know what color it is.  And I do not care...

Hoarding, no one wins.  No one!  Some good news, just had the 11 year anniversary at my job, and I run my first obstacle race tomorrow.  Hoping that goes well!  Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

What is real? And what is not real?

Oh, life with a hoarding mother... The gift that keeps on giving... 

She continues on her paranoid delusions that her neighbor is 'picking her locks' (does anyone do that anymore?  I thought if folks were going to break in they use a credit card, a kit, or a bump key...) and is breaking things.  She did finally go to an autobody shop only to have the owner tell her that her 'floppy seatbelt piece' was merely loosening due to age.  (The car is 24 years old, after all!)  I am not entirely sure she buys it 100%, but she always needs a 'wonderful stranger' to tell her what I have been telling her for years... And I used to run an auto body shop... But what do I know?  And my mother absolutely ascribes to sexist gender tropes, so since a MAN told her, then obviously that carries some weight.  It is exhausting.  But, she is now saying that someone (the hated neighbor) broke into her garage again and loosened the plate on her garage door opener, but she feels he was interrupted since the repair person she called said it was okay.  Allegedly the repair person told her to get the steel gates that proprietors use to protect storefronts that lock from the outside for the walkthrough door.  Um.  Yeah.  

The weekend before last, while my mother's neighbor was on vacation, my mother called her stating the garage had been broken into ranting.  She did not call me, and waited  until today to mention this.  I call bullsh*t.  She has twice had this neighbor and her fiance come to the fence with flashlights after 10pm to shine a flashlight so she can change the bulbs that she claims the hated neighbor in the turn is destroying.  She has also asked this neighbor to shoot her gun into the air or into the ground.  Same deal, different day with this craziness.  

My hoarding mother mentioned she has not been to her chiropractor in months, and that chiropractor is a classmate of mine from high school (and a major flying monkey of my mother's), and knows I was in town for the high school reunion.  I did try to contact her as I was headed to my hometown, but she chose not to answer (and I know she knows the reunion was that weekend, as the chiro told her months ago).  I guarantee this woman will say something along the line of 'so, how was your visit with Lisabeth when she was in town in July?' and a whole level of manufactured drama is about to be released.  I am not going to take a lot of her crap.  I called, I called again, and she did not call back until I was almost home.  DONE.  Consequences of her own actions.  Then I may have a conversation with my 'classmate'.  I am so done with her too.

On the good news side, I ran my first race post surgery this weekend.  I was 6 minutes slower than my usual, but did not have to walk at all.  It was a mixed course with pavement, field, and trail, one of the hardest for me.  I am glad I am on the way to getting my momentum back, and I have lots of additional testing at the teaching hospital at the end of the month, but I booked my flight for Florida for Thanksgiving, so I have that to look forward to.  I also will be celebrating the one year 'gotcha' anniversary of one of my sweet kitties tomorrow, and they make me so happy.  I am working too much, and I am hoping my schedule will normalize a bit in the next couple of weeks.

Life goes on.  Onward and upward!  Thank you for reading, and have a great week.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Lisabeth has an annoyed... UPDATED

First the good news.  Just got back from the teaching hospital where I had my 8/7/2017 surgery.  I am released totally to resume normal lifestyle, including running and training (good thing, I have picked up a bit of weight that puts me over my ideal running weight, time to get it back off and into form to run a marathon within the next few months!) and the doctor stated I did fantastically well, she was surprised.  The second bit of good news was I had a tilt test the next day, and met my new specialist.  The tilt table was negative, so no POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome).  

Setting the stage for this... Because I had multiple appointments, one considered a cardiovascular procedure, I had to have a driver for the second day.  The hospital I receive care from is about two hours away from home.  I had to work the day prior to the two days of appointments, and I have a friend who lives an hour and half from work, and about two hours away from the hospital as well, but was willing to take me for my appointments.  So... The plan was that I would leave work at 5ish, take a conference call that would last most of the way to my friend's, stay the night there, and then we would leave his home at 8am to make my first appointment with my surgeon, then roll across town to another campus to meet my new specialist, then spend a lovely day shopping and eating at great seafood places.  I made reservations for a lovely historic inn that was close to the waterfront, and the next morning we had to be at a third hospital location for my testing at 7:30am, and we would continue shopping (and EATING) and then head back to my friend's home, and I would decide from there if I were up to the 2 hour drive home that night, or I would drive to work from his place the next morning.  

So, now, the only reason all of this is germane to this blog is I had mentioned my appointments multiple times in passing to my mother, usually in reference to my desire to begin running again.  I also decided to call her Tuesday morning (unusual since I called her on Monday morning) and to tell her again that I was A) Leaving for my friend's after work; B) I had a call that I would not be available 'on the road' just in case she had ideas of a captive audience; and C) that I would be unavailable for the remainder of the week, most likely until Friday afternoon.

I get a text from one of office folks after 6:30pm last night.  My hoarding mother had called the office, catching this person as she walked out the door (she normally leaves at 5pm or so).  She did not ask for me, did not appear to listen to when my coworker answered and introduced herself by first name, asking for this coworker (who has worked with me for 10 years now) and merely giving her (my mother's) first name.   When that did not bring down the confetti and party favors of recognition, she said 'Lisabeth's mother'.  She asked if I was okay and/or in town and alluded to 'she knows we sometimes get into things together' (she does not know SHIT).  She stated I 'call her every day' (untrue) She stated that she was 'forgetful' and I might have told her... My coworker told her politely that I was out of town, she was not sure where, perhaps a conference.  She ended the call, and I called her back as soon as I got her text.  Needless to say, after her other stunts of calling my work and confusing/scaring my staff, she knows she is NOT to call work.  But she did anyway.  My friend and his mother made several observations:  

  • Why did she not just call me to start with?
  • Why did she not call either or both days to check in how my appointments went and how I was?
  • If she was so concerned about me, and felt she had to call my office, why did she not ask for me?  The coworker was the only person there, so she did not call earlier or talk to someone else.
I was flat pissed.  I felt okay after dinner with my friends, so I went home.  I talked with a couple of friends via bluetooth in my car who all pointed out the same things that I mentioned above, unsolicited.  I waited until this morning (Friday) to call my hoarding mother, and she said "wondered where you were, have not heard from you in several days and you usually call every day."  I reminded her that I simply DO NOT CALL EVERY DAY (like 3 times a week at most and she complains vociferously to whomever will listen that I do not call enough) and I had told her on Tuesday morning that I was going to be unavailable, and I had mentioned it before since everything was scheduled in August.  She said she remembered something about a test, but she did not know that I was out of town, and she said she had not talked to me since (an event- the state police were conducting a registration check so I ended my call with her to attend to that) that was Friday or Monday and I corrected her that it was Monday, but we talked Tuesday and I told her.  She then started harping on the coworker she called and asked for 'sounded too young' to be who she thought it was and was using depersonalizing language like 'that person' and 'that person who claimed to be...' and intimated that someone was merely playing games with her.  She got really defensive when I advised if she was concerned she could have called me.  It was straight out of the twilight zone.  

I got off the phone when she switched as to how the neighbor broke her light on the garage and all the paranoid stuff she goes through....

My friend owes me $20.  We had a friendly wager, and I do not normally gamble.  She thought my mother would ask how I was, and how the tests went- even if delayed.  She did NOT.    Hoarding- no one wins.  No one.  Have a great evening!

UPDATE- the next morning, which is a Saturday, she called my cell phone all-a-flutter at 8:30am.   My coworker (the same as mentioned above) and I were enroute to an event we had to staff, but she did not know that.  A ground delivery company had left a note that a delivery had been attempted.  She called the delivery company and grilled them, and got the sender information.  I looked it up for her, and it is a marketing company, so it is most likely something from AARP or some crap she has signed up for to get a 'free' premium of some sort.   I let her know that it was not anything 'nefarious' and she needed to decide what she wanted to do, I was out.  I ended the call.

Ai yi yi.  

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Manufactured issues and a problem for every solution

My hoarding mother has a problem for every solution, and is 99.9% of her own difficulties.  I will just jump into the new installment of 'Hoarding, no one wins.'

Her phone company for her landline pissed her off, so after years of flailing them verbally on the phone and threatening to disconnect her phone, she finally did it.  She used portability to pull her landline number to a mobile phone, and wanted them to 'add a number' to that phone, as well as keep her current cell phone.  Of course, it did not go as expected, and after 3 days, 5 visits, 20-million something phone calls, she cancelled her new phone in a huff.  And promptly lost the phone number(s?) she has had for nearly 30 years.  She went to the competitor, and that has not worked either.  So for a couple of weeks, she has only had her mobile number (that she refuses to give out) and an aging, dying flip phone that she refuses to turn on when it is charging, and of course, will not use when charging.  She is looking at new phones, and found some crap flip phone as she REFUSES to get a smart phone so she limits her options.  I have annoyed her because I have offered ZERO advice or consolation for her troubles.

She is also angry at the newspaper carrier because he is folding her newspaper too tightly and rubber banding it.  She plans on cancelling that too, and she has taken the daily paper since the early 60s.  So... Inconsistent phone, no newspaper, and she does not have access to the internet.  

Her next gripe is with the cable company, and she may do something similar to the phone company snafu.  I am going to wait for that one with a bag of movie popcorn.  

So- she has vastly curtailed her phone access by her own rigidity and choices, and may do the same with the paper and TV.  I am not sure how she will entertain herself and she may become more paranoid, more delusional, and more disconnected with reality, more so than she is now.  Is this all part of it?

I have had some amazing opportunities at work that further the work of my agency, and are great for my career.  Typical of her, she questions 'why' I am asked to do that.  Then goes on to her usual laundry list of complaints.  

I have appointments on Wednesday and Thursday at the hospital that I had surgery at the first week of August.  I hope to be released to run and to start to train in all seriousness for my next series of races leading up to a marathon (and possibly ultra) effort.  I will also meet with the new specialist and have some more diagnostic testing.  

Work continues to be busy and stressful, and my elderly kitties are doing great and thriving.  I have several friends going through really challenging times, and I am doing what I can, but sometimes I feel it is simply not enough. 

I did look at the pictures of the 'hated neighbor's home' that he has listed for sale.  The wind chimes and the 'thermometer' he allegedly has on his porch that she claims are hers (that were actually my dad's mothers, so technically are mine) that she claims he stole are NOT the ones she claims they are.  Her descriptions of his house could not be more incorrect as well.  Just more validation that most everything she tells me is 100% bull pucky.  <Sigh>

I will continue to keep my mother on the very, very LOW contact interval of contact, and I refuse to be pulled into her utility provider drama.  

Hope everyone is having a great September.  Thank you for reading.  

Hoarding, no one wins.  No one.   

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

More paranoia... Ai yi yi

Forgot some of the other fodder for the most recent "From the Mouth of a Hoarder' in the last entry.  How could I forget these things?  Because she is continuing to go off the delusional rails to use a train wreck analogy.

The things I forgot to mention in my previous post include:

  • Her insisting that someone hit her 24 year old import station wagon.  Of course there was no evidence of this, other than her passenger side rear wheel liner fell.  The car is OLD.  And having worked in dealerships and auto body in my past life, there are many organic reasons they fall.  She went off the deep end, called the police, demanded the 'cameras' in the parking lot be reviewed, and otherwise made an absolute nuisance of herself.  She stopped by a garage that a stranger recommended since she was regaling a doctor's office with this last bit of indignity, and as I suspected.  It took a couple of washers, a couple of larger bore screws and it was fixed.  The garage did not charge her.  She was almost sulky that it was so easily remedied and is still angry at the store and at the police for not looking at the video surveillance.  
  • Despite her neighbor giving me the heads up that she let my mother know that the 'hated neighbor in the turn' has his house advertised on a social media group and that my mother demanding she come show her on (the neighbor's) phone, my stated the neighbor 'rushed over to show her' and got angry when I indicated that I did not care if the house was for sale, for how much, and what it looked like- that I would not join this group and look at it, and I kept shutting down the conversation in which she accused him of damaging all but one storm door in what she says, is an effort to kill her.  She accuses him of setting at least 4 fires over the past 40 years, so therefore he is going to burn her up in her house after he kicks in the final storm door.  Nevermind that all three 'exits' are already blocked by a stage 5 hoard.  
  • She still says he is 'coming in the house'... References putting 'snake poop' in her basement, loosening the bulb over the washer, stealing her stalking log, and picking her locks so all her door knobs are scratched.  Oh, and cutting her 20 year old screens on her screened in porch.
  • She disconnected her landline, and tried to port her number over to a basic flip phone.  She cancelled that phone after 3 days 'because they cannot do anything right' and could not add a second line to the cell phone.  Um... Google Talk anyone?
  • She is going to the competitor today to get the phone...
  • She also has a cat that is only peeing a small amount, so she has decided since the kitty is inactive, 12 years old, and obese, she will have her put to sleep.  I was absolutely livid, but who knows what is true.
So, that is most of the forgotten FTMOAH.  

Um... Enjoy?  And not once has she asked how I am doing or feeling, and I am actually glad.

I am leaving for my friend's -who just was released from the hospital yesterday- tomorrow, and I will be inaccessible to her for at least 3-4 days.  Thank goodness.

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

Sunday, August 27, 2017

This and that... Including 'From the Mouth of a Hoarder' (FTMOAH)

First, the easy and simple.  Thank you so much for the comments and messages wishing me a speedy and easy recovery.  Tomorrow is the three week mark from my surgery the first week of August, and I am doing really well.  I had my first post op appointment on Friday, and I am officially cleared to work part time to 2/3 time (Good... I have been for a week and half) and am officially cleared to drive (Ahem... Have been for two weeks).  I am walking, but I am not cleared to run.  <<Grumble grumble>>  If everything goes as well as it has, I will be cleared on my next appointment that is scheduled for the third week of September.  I should be off all restriction then, and the doctor did increase my weight restriction to 15 pounds so I can pick up my biggest kitty.  

Work is stressful as always, but this fell into a good time to do this.  I will hit a busy period again at the end of September.  

Life is complicated.  I will not go into the full story here, but someone very close to me went missing last week, and long story short this person had attempted suicide and had crashed their vehicle, resulting in being picked up for DUI and then sent from jail after arraignment to a psych unit.  I went from sobbing, sure this person had finally succeeded in ending their life to so relieved that they were okay my knees gave to absolutely so angry all in the span of a hellish morning... What a roller coaster this has been.  I am going to visit this week, and hopefully I can help in figuring out a plan of action that incorporates many, many complicated factors.  

So... My hoarding mother has continued her paranoid, intentionally cruel, and self absorbed ways.  Here it is... FTMOAH.  I would scream and cry if it were not so perversely funny.  I have to laugh...  So here it is...
:::Ring ring ring:::

[Groggily] This is Lisabeth...

"OH!  I thought your voicemail would get this... When you have a moment I need..."

Mother, nothing changes.  I have been on call for 11 years solid, and intermittently since 1990.  The phone rings, I answer it.  That is how it works.

"Why do you sound so funny?"

I WAS ASLEEP!  I was taking a nap!  Remember, had major surgery a couple of weeks ago?  WHAT DO YOU NEED?

"I need the corporate number for {the telephone company} and Walmart- IT IS AN EMERGENCY..."

[I looked it up on my smart phone and gave it to her, and ended the call].

[Calling in the midst of the immediate aftermath of my friend's suicide attempt] "I don't want to burden you with my problems, but...."

[The short version is she believes hated neighbor now has kicked 3 of her 4 storm doors in making them unable to be opened, that he is coming in her house, and that he is going to kill her...  And says that there are a lot of things she 'has not told me yet' and to call her when I have time.  Yeah... Wait for that one!]

<<End Call>>
[She has had some sort of rash on her legs, which she has been going to doctor to doctor, and she was convinced it was shingles, the doc in a box thought it was poison sumac, the dermatologist thought it was an allergy, and yet another doctor thought it was scabies which sent her into the stratosphere.  I almost wish is was, just to give her a reality check.]  "So I called the AARP tele-nurse and told her that I had the word ECZEMA come to me and she agreed that that could be it... I so HATE when I do that!  [She is convinced she is psychic]. So I ..."

So, if that is the case can you tell me the winning Power Ball lottery numbers for tonight's 750 million dollar pot?

"You are a SMARTASS..."

:::Ring ring:::


"You know a lot of, um, shady people..."

WHAT?  Seriously?

"Do you know any of your dad's friends that used to be cops?"

Because in your mind police officer is equated with shady people?  Really, Mother?  I have not lived in your area for 30 FREAKING YEARS.  30!  And, anyone that dad associated with would be LONG retired, and almost all of his friends are dead.  Those that are living are in their 70's and 80's....

"Oh... Well I need someone to watch things here, and stop this..."

<<End Call>>
There has been a lot of other classist, racist, xenophobic crap that has come out of her mouth lately, but I will spare you that.  One interesting tidbit is the hated neighbor is selling his house and I do not think she knows it yet.  This should make her evolving narrative where the neighbor is her key antagonist take an interesting plot twist.

Hoarding... No one wins.  No one.  I am glad I have a lot of stretch and bend in me, because this has been a hell of a week.  I suspect this next week is not going to be any easier.

Have a good week everyone.  Stay safe out there.  Thank you for reading.

Monday, August 14, 2017

A week today- a quick update!

Today is the week 'anniversary' of my last surgery.  Just thought I would pop in to say I am behaving myself (not working remotely hardly at all, honoring the lifting restriction, I have not tried to drive yet, and I have been basically a lazy SLUG... My Fitbit thinks I died I think).

In other words, I have been BORED OUT OF MY SKULL.  The cats have been keeping me good company, and I think they are going to be mad when I do start venturing out to work, meetings, etc. gradually over the next couple of weeks.  My follow up is at the end of the 5th week of August.  

So, as I reported, I called my hoarding mother and kept the call short.  I have been resting a LOT even though I cannot sleep... grrr) and I have had lovely visits from friends, calls, texts... But guess who I have not heard from?  Not a peep?  And who has not said a word to her neighbor (who is also checking in on me)?

That is right.  My mother.   I am on the edge of being the 'big girl' and calling her.  I may do it later today or tomorrow.  As I delineated in the previous post, I do not know what I am going to get but I guarantee it will not be focused on my well being.

I will keep you posted, I am sure when I do call her another blog post will be forthcoming shortly.  Thank you for reading, and thank you for your kind thoughts, words and support.  You make this journey tolerable.

Hoarding... No one wins.  No one.  

Friday, August 11, 2017

Day 4 Post Op for Lisabeth

Surgery was this past Monday, so this is day four post op.  This is the first time I have been at my computer, much to the upset of work colleagues and staff, but I have simply not felt up to it until now. I am doing really, really well, and the surgery was the best case scenario of the lowest invasiveness to remove the mass and the ovary, and it went absolutely flawlessly.  I got to go home the same day, and despite being in a lot of pain during the 2 hour trip home, I did well and only took two pain pills, one before bed and one at 3am.  I have not had any, not even tylenol or ibuprofen, since.  I am sore and swollen, but it has not been that bad. I am mainly just bored and antsy.  I feel well enough to buzz around my apartment some, but not well enough to do anything major or return to work.  I tire very easily, and I have had very close feline supervision from my cats.  My eldest has been glued to me every moment since I have returned home.  She is NOT going to be happy when I go back to work.  I think I will be able to drive this weekend, as I think I am to the point that stomping on the ground is a low pain affair.  I know my surgeons want me to wait until I see them again, but that is not happening as that is not until the 25th.  I also plan on returning to work part time and attending meetings local to my home next week.  I am on duty/weight restriction for 8 weeks, so no flying or heavy training.  The doctors are hedging telling me when I can start running again, but I intend to start walking again in the next few days, and I hope to run again by two weeks if I get (even a grudging) okay by the surgeons.  Eight weeks of no exercise and no work is simply NOT happening.  I will lose my mind.  I have learned lessons of the past (2013/2014) and will not push hard enough to rupture/herniate myself, but I am not one to take it easy.  I heard, and got, when my doctors told me that although they got all that laproscopically, that I had major surgery and to behave accordingly.  I am happy to see what I thought was mainly 'fat' around the middle was apparently water retention from whatever was happening.  I also know that the weight loss that is happening is also due to dramatic muscle loss.  Trying to NOT stress about that, but eating everything sweet that is not nailed down.  Oy yi yi.

Now that my pathetic whining is over, now to the hoarding mother.  I did not tell her surgery was happening, and I waited until the day after to call her.  I was very hoarse (due to irritation from the airway) so I could not play off things normally, so I told her.  She was was surprisingly chill, and resumed complaining about her lawnmower, neighbors, and other mundane issues.  I have not called her since, and she has not called me.  Not that I expected (nor wanted) anything remotely maternal, but WOW.  I may try to call her next week if I do not hear from her over the weekend.  Maybe.  She may be pouting for a number of reasons, some that may include:

  1. She has seen Dr. Wednesday and she informed her I was in my hometown the weekend before and most likely showed her social media pictures of me there.
  2. She is annoyed she was not told nor called after the surgery.
  3. She is annoyed I have not called her to update her.
  4. She is annoyed at any combination of 1-4, or all of the above.
  5. She is annoyed at all, none, or any combination of the above plus anything else that has come to mind lately.
I have not given her a lot of thought, and I am grateful to my friends.  One friend took me the night before and stayed with me through the whole thing and brought me home.  A few other friends have stopped by to check in and take me to lunch or dinner, and etc.  One friend is coming to stay this weekend, and another is stopping by on her way back home to NC.  I am doing well at accepting what is offered, but still struggle with asking for what I need.  Sometimes progress comes in small steps!

I need to shower, and perhaps I will try a walk around my community while the property maintenance and management folks are buzzing around.  I may try driving tonight, or most likely, order take out via a delivery service.  Boredom will not kill me, however it IS killing my credit card as I seem to keep finding myself on Amazon.  BAD!  

Have a great day all, and thank you for thinking of me.  

Hoarding, no one wins... But some of us escape... Not necessarily unscathed, but we escape.

Monday, July 31, 2017

'Normal' is a setting on the dryer... Another episode that includes 'From The Mouth Of A Hoarder'!

Ye gods where do I start...  She keeps giving me so much material of late.  I will start with the FTMOAH...
[Referencing her disgusting act of peeing in a cup to see what color her urine was...] "I have a disgusting question for you..."

NO.  Just NO.

"You know day before yesterday when I peed it the cup and it was orange?  Well, I decided that maybe I should keep it to show the doctor [if she went to a doc-in-a-box] so this morning when I got it out of the refrigerator it was still orange, but there was a whole lot of sediment in the bottom and..."

<Presses END CALL repeatedly>
"... So I am giving [the charity] a whole box of new things I got from [local hardware store as premiums] all except the new toilet brush, it makes a great back scratcher.  I am going to keep it next to my chair..."
[Discussing her six year old lawnmower that the ignition switch went bad on apparently]..."And I know IT HAD HELP!  HE BROKE IN and either shoved something in the ignition or messed with the wires because ..."
[Talking about the neighbor's fiancee that came to see about her lawn mower who is diabetic, in his late 70's and recovering from serious spinal fusion surgery, c-diff and hospital induced pneumonia...]"He is SO BIG and he is totally WHITE HEADED!  I was SHOCKED!"

What makes the difference?  Many folks over the age of 40 are seriously gray, and weight is a shallow way to judge someone [trying to not call her out for being so shaming of someone for aging when she is nearly 81, gray and you name it].  
I am missing several other things, it is just out of reach some of the more recent comments she has made that are racist, irrational or just over-the-top paranoid.

So- she continues to have no air conditioning, no one will come back to replace her roof, and she continues on her normal, negative trajectory.  

This past weekend I attended my high school reunion.  I decided definitively that I was going the day before the deadline to cancel my hotel for a full refund.  The major reason for the indecision was I am having surgery next Monday, and last week my preoperative mammogram came back not-so-great.  I had to get additional testing on the Thursday before.  Luckily, it came back okay for now, and they will stagger tests so I am being monitored every 3 months for a while.  So all that is happening on Monday is the tumor/cyst/mass removal and removal of the last remaining ovary.  My mother has not asked when my surgery is of late, and I have no intention of telling her.  She will do NOTHING to help, and she will most likely grandstand and make my life (and recovery) absolutely miserable like she did in August of 2013 and July of 2014.  I cannot take it.  Even if she asks, I am not telling her when it is.  I just secured a hotel room near the hospital to keep my friend that is taking (and me!) from having to leave here at 5am or before.  They will not know until they get in me how invasive things will be, and whether I will have to stay past that evening.  With things so up in the air, she will DEFINITELY go to 'worst case scenario' and then I will get to hear about her ovarian cyst rupture and hysterectomy in 1984.  Because everything is a springboard for her to talk about herself.  I will just not call her that weekend and that Monday, and hopefully I can call her and sound somewhat normal on Tuesday.  I hope.  And if I can, I may not tell her until it is long over.  

Sorry, I digress.  Back to the reunion saga.  Now, her chiropractor is a classmate, and informed my mother of the reunion and asked "Is Lisabeth going to visit when she is in?"  To which my mother informed her that she did not know a reunion was happening, I had not told her.  So, after quite a bit of thought, and after my mother's neighbor sent me a picture she had taken secretly, I know why my mother has steadfastly refused to see me since three months to my life threatening issue in 2013.  She is not disabled and mobility challenged as she claims, she is not dangerously frail and thin, and she is now white headed.  If she sees me, all of her house of cards falls.  I had events pretty much all weekend, but I could see her the night I arrived for 2-3 hours, and was going to offer to meet her at 5ish pm and a restaurant of her choosing.  I called at 12 noon as I was leaving, and advised her voice mail that I would be in the car for quite a while, to call me.  Over 2 hours later, she had not called, and I called again and left a message to call me when she got the message.  Torrential downpours and wrecks slowed me down, and by the time I arrived at the historic hotel I had reserved a room at, it was past 6pm.  No word.  I went and got dinner at my favorite local pizza place and just had time to get back to the hotel and shower and change for that night's reunion kick off.  Nothing from her on Friday, nothing on Saturday.  I could have made time for her on Saturday, but I was not chasing her.  I met her neighbor for breakfast (who confirmed she is spry and gets around just fine) and went to a restaurant with some high school friends that ironically, was 2 miles from her home.  I had to drive past her street to get there.  NOTHING.  Now, I know for a fact that when the Chiropractor, Dr. Wednesday told her that, she wrote it in her calendar.  So whether she will admit it or not, she knew that most likely I was on the way the the town I grew up in for the reunion when I left the messages.  

Friday night the chiropractor was there, but I managed to ignore her and did not interact.  I do not need a load of guilt from a 'wonderful stranger' or 'flying monkey', especially when she should not be acknowledging my mother is her patient under the ethics of confidentiality.  I also know that Dr. Wednesday saw me, so she will turn herself inside out to say "Did you and Lisabeth have a nice visit when she was in for the reunion?" the first time my mother is there for her monthly adjustment.  

Sunday, I met a high school friend for lunch, and left my natal state happily.  I had a great time, but I wanted to go back home.  At 5 pm, my phone rang and it was my hoarding mother.  I did not answer, and did not return her call until I walked in my apartment 3 hours later.  She was escalated about her mower not starting because everything is Defcon 1.  She wanted me to order a part from Amazon because she does not use her credit cards online.  Um... NO.  Ironically, I had received a call that morning about one of my cards being fraudulently compromised that morning at the stroke of 8am.  We got off the phone, and today I called her back to tell her to order it from a local store, that I was not ordering on Amazon.  She did not ask about my weekend, how I was feeling, or anything that is going on.  

I have decided to let Dr. Wednesday stir the 'shit cauldron'.  I will deal with my mother's manufactured crisis and other's crises that morning.  We shall deal with whatever she throws at me, when she does.  She did mention she was in the area of my hotel on Sunday.  She has no reason to be in that part of town, so that was strange.  

My best friend of 36 years said her parents saw my mother a few weeks ago and they remarked how well she was getting along and moving around.  I also cannot deal with my mother's interrogation of who was there, what we did (drank... A LOT) and her endless barrage of nosy, intrusive questions.

I am tired.  Just so tired.  Hoarding, no one wins.  No one.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Another episode of 'From the Mouth of a Hoarder"! (FTMOAH)

You simply cannot make this stuff up. 

Well, I guess you could... But that would make you a very twisted poptart, indeed.

Here it is... Today's episode of ...

"How much is your car payment?"


"How much?"


"I WANT TO KNOW!  I AM CURIOUS! <starts ranting>"

<Sigh> In the $400's.  

[Now, I have refused to tell her how much I paid for my car, and have refused to tell her the payment.  As it was, I did not give her the exact, but I was just so pissed and OVER IT that I popped it out.  Now I will never hear the end of it.  And it is none of her business!]
"Well, you pay so much in rent."

My rent is not all that out of line with the place I have and the amenities I enjoy...

"$2,000 a month is a lot of money!!! I could never..."

Wait- my rent is NO WHERE near $2,000... Where did you get that figure?

"<Sputters incoherently...>"

[I have never told her, not once in the 9 /12 years I have lived where I do what I pay a month.  Again, none of her business!]

"Well, what is your rent then?  You pay out SO MUCH MONEY a month!"

Actually, I live very modestly and well, and I am not discussing this with you.  Next subject...

"... So I called the telenurse and told them that I had not been peeing myself like I do in the night, why I had to get those 'britches' to put in my pants at night since I leak..."


"...And she asked how much I pee, then said I was dehydrated or was having kidney issues, and I told her it could not be that since I drink a jug of 8 cups of liquid 1-3 day..."

Yes, you can.  You have no AC and it has been over 90 degrees, and you have lupus so it is possible renal function is changing for you...

"... So I waited until I had to pee this morning and and I peed in a foam cup and GUESS WHAT?"

<<<crickets softly chirping>>>

"It was dark orange!  I have never seen that before!  I would think I would have seen it when I was wiping!"

<<<End Call>>>

Luckily, she has not asked when my surgery is.  I do not plan on telling her.  I also am going to my HS reunion and I am just buzzing in and out and I do not think I am telling her in advance or while I am there.  I hope the Chiropractor keeps her yap shut.  I suspect she will be there, and will definitely see pictures.  I will cross that bridge when I come to it.  I also have my pre op mammogram, EKG and other testing this week.  It is soon...

Take care, and thanks for reading.

Hoarding.  No one wins.  No one.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Not for the squeamish... It is time for 'From The Mouth Of A Hoarder'!

I wanted to share this with those of you that are interested in the FTMOAH... Maybe a bit in the spirit of, rather childishly, 'if I have to experience this...'

But seriously, I know some of you can relate to my pain of 'hoarder speak', no filter, and the verbal diarrhea that flows constantly.  And on that note...


"So I have been having a HORRIBLE time going to the bathroom..."

Mother, we are not talking about this...

"And I pushed and I pushed and it would not come out and it hurt so much and ..."

Mother, I am not listening to this about your shit.  Call you doctor...

"I don't see my Lupus doctor for another 6 weeks now!  And I do not have a primary care doctor, they are all quacks! So I get a mirror to look..."

Mother, final warning.  I am NOT going...

"And there was this great big swelling next to my butthole!  I had that before!  Dr. Whomever lanced it but no doctor wants to do that anymore and..."

<<End Call>>

I drove down the highway shaking my head and laughing maniacally.  


On a separate note, I am scheduled for surgery the first week in August.  I am not telling her until I have to, and maybe not even then.  I just do not need the headache, but her insistent demands to know are tiring as well.  

Have a great night, everyone.  

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Blog posts I found interesting...

Monday, July 10, 2017

An update and a bit of 'From the Mouth of a Hoarder' (FTMOAH)

What a busy few days it has been!  Full of the fun things, and the 'WTF' things...

Had a lovely weekend of shopping and fun.  Spent Sunday at the pool, did a spot of swimming and got some sun.  Enroute to a large urban area about 90 minutes from home with a friend, I starting getting text messages from my hoarding mother's neighbor.  Long story short(er), my hoarding mother called her up to the fence and she surreptitiously got a couple of pictures of her.  Now my mother is ANTI-PHOTOGRAPH.  Even in my wedding she did not allow herself to be photographed, and did all she could to create drama at my reception by hiding in the bathroom and in the kitchen.  So...  The woman who:

  • Tirelessly appearance shames others in every conversation, talking about how much weight they have gained, how wrinkled they are, how much gray hair they have, and the like...
  • Complains about how frail she is, how she has to use a cane everywhere she goes, at the grocery or other stores she gets a cart to use as a walker, talks about all the 'wonderful strangers' that offer her help to get things, carry things, and wonder why she has no one that helps her...
Was photographed purposefully striding across the yard, unaided by any cane.  She is far heavier than I have ever seen her, and she is extremely gray now, as one would expect someone of 80 years old to be.  She is also very wrinkled, and the expression on her face, which I thought little of because that is her normal expression, is grim.  

This is not to appearance shame her.  She does not look her age, at all.  But, she is telling me that she is losing weight because she is unable to shop and cook for herself, and that she is not 'white headed' like everyone she sees and clucks over like it is a character flaw, and talks about how wrinkled and old they look.  She gives me hell on a regular basis about my appearance and weight, how short my hair is, how wrinkled around the eyes I am, and that I have been obese in my life, and I am not under 100 pounds anymore like I was when I was so sick in 2013.  I am going to have a hard time not rolling my eyes so hard they get stuck in the back of my head the next time she starts her crap.  She was going on about how swollen her legs were and how she could wear nothing but flip flops (that she calls TONGS)  and that is not true either.  So as I suspected, 90-99% of what she tells me is utter bull pucky, and I suspect this is one of the reasons she has avoided my overtures to see her in 2015 and 2016.  A bit hard to frame my perception when her reality is so very different.

She also ran into her sister's daughter, who is also a narcissist.  She, and her sister disowned this young woman in the early 80's for living a lifestyle they did not approve of, writing bad checks, living with men, and the ultimate piece was her dating <gasp> a black man, bless their little bigoted hearts.  Now this woman who is now in her middle 50's is living back in the area, but in the time after her estrangement, stole my mothers estate from the nursing home and absconded with the funds, and stole quite a bit of jewelry when she left our house for the last time.  So now my mother is rehashing all that ancient history all over again.  LET IT GO.  She cannot.  So there is that.

She had a tree fall from the neighbor's yard and come down on her garage, allegedly.  Of course she went scorched earth on that, the neighbor, and everyone else.  She is going to sue him now, for this tree and the 3 others that have fallen over the past 4 years.  But that is not the FTMOAH part.  

Ready for it?  FTMOAH...

She has been making obtuse yet dramatic references about 'what she has been going through' and 'what has happened here' that I have ignored, and after she managed to turn a discussion about me buying chocolate candy for the office to herself and that she has no air conditioning and has not...  She has decided that the hated neighbor 'in the turn' jumped her locked fence, pried up the 'outside unit' of her heat pump, removed the good works, and replaced the old works with junk and closed it back up.  

SAY WHAT?  This is even more paranoid than the gas can incident several weeks ago.  She has not called the police because she wants to get estimates for the damage and to back her up because they will not believe her.  

Uh huh.  They are not the only ones.  She also will not leave if she sees 'he' is home unless she has a doctor's visit.  She cannot leave the house empty or 'he' will come in.  (Reference to the 'snake poop' incident, the loosening the light bulb over her washer incident, and the stealing her stalking log incident...)

She then goes on to tell me that she is sure something awful was done to the little brown cat that she essentially stole from a neighbor.  She states that it has the largest butthole that she has ever seen, and she is sure that someone.... 

At that point I ended that verbal vomit from being spewed on me.  REALLY?  UGH!

There is much more, but I think you get the idea...

So, final piece.  My doctor's visit on July 5th.  We have a plan.  I will be having surgery soon.  I should get the call to schedule this week.  The plan is to try to get the softball sized mass and the ovary out laparoscopically, and if they cannot due to endometriosis or scar tissue they will reopen my hysterectomy incision and go in that way to avoid disturbing my mesh midline incision repair.  They will have a general surgeon and an oncological gynecologist on standby, and if I get in early, and it is laparoscopic,  I will go home the same day.  If anything more, I could be in one to 4 days.  My doctor reviewed my past mammograms and wants me to have another to ensure the mass on my chest wall they have been watching has not changed, and she wants that done as part of my pre op.  Um... YAY.  I am sure it is fine.  But okay.  

Lot of moving parts happening right now.  But it all will work out.  My mother asks about my surgery, then immediately launches into a story about her medical issues.  I think that it may be time to go from very low contact to EXTREMELY low contact.  I cannot stand it.  She is miserable, and I refuse to let her make me feel miserable.

Hope everyone is having a good week.  Thank you for reading, and the support.  

Hoarding, no one wins.  No one.  

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

July 4th.... Independence Day

A lot to update on since the last entry!  I have been working a lot (shocker) and have been on the road a lot.  Since mid June I have been in Florida twice, New Orleans once, and some other overnight travels that have been a bit more local.  My cats are to the point when they see my tote or my overnight case they get very angry.  I hate being away, but I have a friend who provides them excellent cat sitting services, and they love her.

First, the health stuff.  Lots and lots of testing since early May, and in the past two weeks I have made the nearly 2 hour trek to the nationally acclaimed teaching hospital (NATH for short) 4 times.  I go back tomorrow.  This is what I know at this point.

  1. The 'thing' in my pelvis is some sort of tumor attached to a small piece of the fallopian tube that apparently was left on my right ovary that has grown SOMETHING.  We have no reason to believe it is malignant (based on previous history) and in the past year it has not changed in size.  It is unclear if my remaining ovary is involved.
  2. I go tomorrow to schedule surgery to remove this mass.  My doctor will have an gynecologic oncologist on call just as a precaution, but she believes it is not going to do anything else.  She also feels strongly that she can get it laproscopically without cutting my mesh incisional hernia repair.  I hope so.  If she cannot, I am going to not allow more invasive surgery unless they see something that it becomes essential.  
  3. I will be off work 2 weeks, maybe, and have a recovery of 6 weeks.  
  4. I am continuing the discussion that I want the ovary removed.  My doctor is really against that due to family history of osteopenia and osteoporosis and heart disease, but I am just a few years under the age for menopause, and if it is left, I will continue to have a figurative 'sword of Damocles' hanging over my head for the remainder of my life, and I can almost predict it is going to have to come out at some point.
We meet tomorrow, and discuss details and I believe I will be scheduling surgery at that point.  The fact I have had 3 invasive surgeries, much scar tissue, and horrible endometriosis is going to make this challenging.  If they are successful, it will be outpatient and I will go home that day.  I just have to figure out how I am getting there and back.  I also may hire a cleaning service short term.

I had my final follow up with my GI clinic doctor.  I was her last patient on her last day at the NATH.  She is returning to the midwestern state her family is from.  This was a mixed bag.  It appears that I am consistent with a diagnosis of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, and furthermore, a mentor and colleague of hers is researching a new disease that they will be publishing soon.  EDS is much more than just hypermobility, it has mast cell activation, an auto immune component, GI issues, and for some, a vascular component.  This new thing is apparently 'Super EDS'.  The working name for it right now is 'joint hypermobility, autonomic dysfunction, gastrointestinal cluster syndrome.  (JHADGCS?)  I have more testing, one is a tilt table test (due to my little stunt that landed me in the ER in mid-May) in August that I will need to have someone go with me (I HATE THIS!) and I have nuclear testing in October that is over 4 days. 

My momentary reaction to this once I got in my car?  OH F*^& ME.  Due my own choices and behavior, I am very, very alone on this all.  No one's fault but mine.  The good news is I am glad to have an answer, and I am now in process to see the doctor who is publishing on this.  Not the answer I hoped for, and I guess I have to accept that, like it or not, I am chronically ill with an autoimmune and autonomic disorder.  I will continue to fight this with all I have, do my best to work out, run, push myself that way, eat well, and I have absolutely GOT to get my work/life balance under control, and I have got to get more than 3 to 4 hours of sleep a night.  HAVE TO.  This past weekend I was DOWN.  No energy, slept a lot.  I am still exhausted, but I am coming back up.  

Now, my hoarding mother.  She never asks about how I am feeling, only questions she can boomerang to talk about herself.  I answer things very generally, and am very evasive which makes her angry.  She has said to me again that she wants to know what I have because she is 'sure she has it'.  I did mention that I would be scheduling surgery and she immediately began to talk about her scaly heels and thick toenails.  Alrighty then!  Oy.

My HM has been just horrible  All the same things I have been talking about.  She lives in a self isolated, self encapsulated world where she cannot perceive of any other reality than her perception.  It is so sad.  

In mid-May I got really sick in an upscale restaurant and passed out in the bathroom.  I left the restaurant once I could and drove myself to the emergency room, upsetting and angering quite a few friends.  I again sent the message I did not want to, that I do not want support, that I do not trust people to do right by me.  I know my intent is to not inconvenience people unnecessarily, but I also know that I am going to go through this surgery and its aftermath relatively alone.  Someone will take me and bring me home, but if I have to stay in the hospital any length of time, it will be in a strange city two hours away, so even if someone was able to visit or wanted to stay to keep an eye on things, they would not be able to.  Oh well.  I did almost 4 days mostly alone in 2013, and I did the whole hospitalization in 2014 alone.  I got this.  But I have to do better, and I may need to continue to look at who I have chosen to surround myself with.

Lots of stressors right now.  My job is tough, with financial concerns coming from a contractual impasse that our major funder was involved in.  My board of directors fractured, and I will have a relatively new board and an all new executive committee.  Internal and programmatic challenges abound.  The person I was seeing resurfaced, and I went out with him in late May as a friend, only to be rewarded with being asked to be a 'friend with benefits'.  He has reached out three times more, twice to ask if I want to go X or Y with him, which I suspect means he wants a ride (he does not drive due to a disability) and not sure what his intent was the last time.  Yeah.  NO.  My ex-husband, who I am very close to, has been having a hard time mental health wise, and is in a depressive spiral.  A couple of weeks ago he struck a deer on his new motorcycle, and managed to walk away from it with minor injuries.  Last week I was assaulted leaving a restaurant and got my debit card and credit card stolen (this happened while I was in Florida).  I was headbutted and knocked down 'by accident'.  The side of my head is still sore, but thankfully the headache has receded.  This happened right before I was to return to the airport.  No harm done, just inconvenienced, and I have a sore elbow and shoulder.  It could have been a lot worse, and I think it would have been if I had not sprung up immediately and confronted my attacker.  The past two weeks have been one minor annoyance after another.  I had a bad gig in Florida.  I got rolled.  I had to deal with cancelling my credit and debit card on the road.  I got to my car and the hood was damaged.  I got home and in the flurry of unpacking, I thought I put my brand new suit in the dry cleaner's sack but I did not.  I figured out the next day that I had put my suit jacket through the washer and the dryer.  It did not live.  I ruined my favorite designer handbag with a busted gel ink pen, and had to replace the liner in the console of my car for the same reason.  My cat has had to go to the emergency vet, and as a result of that bill, I will not be taking my Italy vacation, I will be deferring that for a while.  

But you know what?  Despite all this petty stuff, I have a pretty great and calm life, and so much to be grateful for.  Sometimes you are the windshield, sometimes the bug, as the country song says...  But these types of things make me appreciate smooth sailing so much more, and with all the minor stuff lately, I have been able to deal with all of it and it has not been that huge of a deal.  Some time, some money, and for the property damage stuff, at the end of the day, they are only things.  I cherish my time with my 'granny cats' and with the folks that comprise my inner circle.  And all of this stuff tells me that I possibly on the cusp of making some major, and positive changes.  I win, or I learn.  This is where I differ from my hoarding mother.  She would be ruminating on these things, blaming, pontificating, and making small annoyances into huge and overblown deals.  And they are not.  

Onward and upward.  I hope to write more regularly!  Thank you for reading.