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.


  1. So sorry you are going through all of this. But may I suggest a healthy triage? Most important and urgent: Your health and sanity, and the health of your cats must come first. Next is your work life and obligations. Last on the list is your mother--due to circumstances of her own making. You've called APS. You've talked to law enforcement. You have done what you can. To quote from a narc website: You cannot set yourself on fire to keep someone else warm. Wishing you peace.

  2. Thank you Valerie. Very sage and timely advice. I am staying put. My furry family needs me:-)