Wednesday, March 21, 2018

What next?

This is been an 'interesting' week with my hoarding mother.  And by interesting, I mean the same old crap at an increased intensity.  I am simply running out of band width to deal with her attention seeking behavior.

I had a funder meeting that took me out of the office for 2 1/2 days with subcommittees and the like, and things are really busy and stressful at the office.  Elderly kitty that had the stroke 2 weeks ago is hanging in there, but requires medication, medical management, and a more constant surveillance of her behavior and health than even before.  And she is very clingy, and the other cat's behavior is impacted too.  Each time I think that I am done with the impact of an elbow injury in mid February, it wants to flare again.  Life is life, but my hoarding mother knows that things are really, really challenging, including my insomnia is back with a vengeance.  What does she do?  Hype EVERYTHING into high drama.  

The final day of the meetings, she called.  Now, since I have been doing extremely low contact and 'grey rocking' her, she is calling about mundane things that she considers an emergency or needs an immediate response.  And she will blow up my cell phone (which I use for business and I am on call 24/7) and if I do not respond, she will call my office or the housing facility that my organization runs that has a 24 hour hotline.  She called Friday, and was ranting that 'someone' needed to take the hated neighbor out, he has been in her house, he has stolen the fuse box out of her detached garage (but the garage door opener and outside lights work) and he has done something in her house so only partial lighting in the central hallway works.  She is also allegedly:

  1. Arguing with the cable company, so does not have a box that works so no TV.  If the electrical system is in the house is truly wonky...?
  2. Arguing with the paper delivery folks as to how they roll the paper when they put it in her box.  She is cancelling it.
  3. She has had to have the gas company out last week to shut off the hot water tank (so no gas in the house if that is true).
  4. She had the water company out this week because the tub was leaking and she claims that she now does not have water.
  5. She still states she has groundwater leaking in her basement.
  6. She is churning, churning, churning the hoard.  She has found papers from 1989, and a computer, etc. from 2005/2006 that she has never used and keeps torturing me with questions about... "Can [this] be used?  What about [this]?  There is a disk for free internet from AOL!" ::Sigh::
So she is really in a Level 5 hoard.  Goat trails, stuff stacked to the ceiling,  no electricity in part of the house, no hot water, and now, no water.  Her furnace is not working, and her AC quit last summer.  She has C Diff, and is wearing adult continence diapers. I am sure she is 'bucket' flushing, but that will not work long term.  Sorry, I keep diverting.  The call on Friday... She was ranting that the neighbor has 'been in her house' and it is only 'a matter of time before he kills her' and he has 'put some listening device in her house so her can monitor her.'

I got off the phone and called Adult Protective Services.  I identified myself, her, gave a succinct background and cause for concern.  My hoarding mother's state is a 'duty to warn' state under Tarasoff, and I retain a social work license in that state.  I have been the petitioner to have clients, adult and child, involuntarily committed when they were a imminent, identifiable risk to self and others, and have the means and the lethality to do it.  They refused to help, even when I spoke to a director and also the Mental Hygiene lawmaster.  I called the police chief in her town, someone I went to high school with and is well acquainted with her.  He could have an officer do a wellness check, but since her property has locks on the gates, etc. he cannot trespass, and he will not put an officer at risk since she has a concealed carry, and several semi automatic weapons with clips and laser sights.  He understood and shared my concern.  

I struck out. Going there will do nothing, especially if she will not let me in, and I left one vulnerable cat that I almost lost in 2010 to deal with her manufactured drama, and I just cannot due to the cat, work, my health, and my mental health.  Her neighbor and the police chief warned the 'hated neighbor' and I have done all I can do.  She called later, and she was on an even keel again.  

This is not going to end well.  My concern is that she will confront and provoke an altercation with the neighbor, and shoot him under the 'stand your ground' law in her state.

I will keep pushing for intervention.  That is all I can do.  Thanks for reading.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Trying to be my own solution... Because my hoarding mother cannot be her own...

Sometimes I cannot catch a break.  And I do not ascribe to luck, a greater plan, or whatnot.  Sometimes things just happen, and sometimes those things are a mix of good, bad or indifferent.  Lately, I have been struggling with a lot of challenges.  I think my hoarding, narcissistic mother was a huge lesson.  I fall, and each time I get up.  I still struggle with letting folks help me in a meaningful way, and sometimes I struggle with asking in a way that is meaningful.  I continue to work on that.  

Last Sunday evening one of my two elderly cats collapsed.  I will spare you the details, but it was late night, I was still up working, and she came to me just as she collapsed.  I grabbed shoes, the carrier, my sweet kitty, and wallet/phone/key fob and flew to the emergency vet.  It is only a couple exits away on the highway, but I had to get downstairs and to my garage that is east facing as opposed to my place that is west facing.  I looked at the time as I put kitty in the carrier, and 7 minutes later I walked into the emergency vet.  A few hours later she came out of it, and I was referred to my regular vet.  The probable diagnosis was a heart issue, possibly a vagus nerve reaction.  I made the appointment, and got really bad news.  It is a heart issue that caused a mild spinal stroke (oversimplification, but just humor me).  With treatment of a transdermal heart medicine and baby aspirin my sweet girl might have a year or more.  Maybe.  She is doing well, she is just a bit more attention seeking than usual, walks a bit slower, and sleeps a lot more.  She now vocalizes in a 'small' voice, and that is not her normal strident and booming meows.  She jumps up, plays, and begs for water out of the faucets.  It has been a hard week, as my last kitty that passed had a heart murmur that threw a clot, and produced a horrific seizure.  I put her down immediately as another one was imminent.  This is a bit different situation, but it will lead the same place, eventually.  I have decided to take it a day at a time, and let my kitty call the shots.  

I made the mistake of telling my hoarding mother.

She demanded to know why I did not put her down, and asked what I was going to do if it happened again and I was not at home, yadda yadda.  Then she proceeded to tell me about all the cats that she had lost over the past 20 or so years (which is a LOT).  I just told her it was not up for discussion, and if she wanted to keep talking about it, I would have to go.  I just cannot.  I am evaluating the situation every day, and I am hoping the pharmacy quits dorking around and gets my credit card information so I can get the medicine started.  I think our time together grows very short.  My other cat is very aware something is happening, and her behavior towards this one is a bit different.  I hope our time is not shorter than I hoped.  My mother also asked if I was going to get another cat, and another special needs elderly cat.  GRRRRR.

Also this week I came out of the office and walked to the parking garage where I park my car.  I immediately saw the rear right tire was flat, and I had left a few moments early as I hoped to stop by a coffee shop and get an iced chai.  I ended up driving several blocks on the rim to an automotive parts store and they tried to use a fix-a-flat product.  (My car does not come with a spare, nearly 70% of newer cars do not have them.)  No dice.  I was in a panic, I was the program speaker on International Women's Day for a celebration for a church about 15 miles away.  Luckily, one of my staff could help me, and she drove me to the event.  A participant drove me back to my car as she drove right by it, and I was able to call the auto service for a tow.  A friend saw my plight on social media as I had asked if anyone local could give me a ride and came the 40 minutes to where I was to wait for the rollback truck and follow it to the dealer and then give me a ride home.  I appreciated it immensely, as the tow truck driver would have transported me to the dealership, but I would have to got a rideshare home.  The next morning, the dealership was able to plug the flat (they hope it will hold) as they know I was hoping to limp my tires along until late spring and replace all of them.  They sent a driver to pick me up, and each person I encountered indicated that it was a huge puncture, and with a strange metal object.  They showed it to me.  

It was a corner of a construction knife/cutter.  It was centered in the center of the tire, between the treads and belts.  It most likely was not an accident.

I have let the area police know, and they will take a look at the camera to see if they see anything, especially since I was in the garage such a short time that day, and knew the time I came in and the time I found it.

I returned my mother's call.  She asked why I sounded funny, and I just said I had a long week, and was exhausted, I did not get home until midnight due to a flat.  I did not go into detail about what was in my tire, but she automatically assumed it was malicious.  She then told me that the hated neighbor in the turn stole her fuse box in the garage, and I asked about external lights and the garage door and she did not change the subject like last time, but weakly said that 'somehow' the automatic garage door still works and some of the external lights still work.  Um... If the 'fuse box' was gone, she would have nothing as it is a separate building from her house.  She said last week that something happened to her hot water tank so the gas company shut it off, and she also alluded that whatever this neighbor had done it impacted the house and only the hallway lights work and a few outlets.

Now, who knows what is true.  She also said that she has not repaired broken windows and just put contact paper over them.  

If this is true, she is firmly in a Stage 5 hoard, and she still has C-Diff.  She is now accusing the dentist of giving it to her, she won't consider that all the antibiotics plus using urgent care as her PCP could put her at risk.

She seemed to gather energy from the fact that life has been rough for me.  I remembered something from one of my undergraduate college professors who said or paraphrased "Misery loves MISERABLE company."  I think that bears true in this case.  Many of my friends are not having easy lives at the moment.  I am saddened by it, and I am clearly puzzled by what mechanism that someone could derive energy or even some sick pleasure from it.  I do not wish hardship on those I do not agree with or like, or dislike me.  

I have continued extreme low contact, and now she is calling me about once a day for an 'emergency question' and it is neither...

I keep 'grey rocking' her, and I will focus on what is important.  My precious kitties, my vocation, continuing to train for the next race/regaining health and stamina, my friends who are my family, and furthering my education... whether through a certification, another Master's Degree, or a PhD.  I think it is time.  

Life has been hard.  I just realized that just in the last year I have put over 17K miles on my car just running back and forth to medical appointments at a nationally renowned teaching hospital.  I have many, many vet bills.  I need to dig out of the debt hole (Mainly medical related expense for me and my cats) I have put myself in, so no big vacations for me, and I will need to postpone buying a condo for a couple of years.  I will do what I have to, and hopefully I can start picking up some consulting work when things slow down a bit... If they do.  Either way, I got this. 

I realize that my mother is continuing to deteriorate.  She refuses to get out of her own way to find any sort of solution.  I refuse to be her.  Onward and upward we go.  

Thanks for reading!