Monday, June 10, 2019

My 'sine curve' of a life!

Oh what a whirlwind it has been!  To catch you all up:
  • I was hit by a hit-and-run driver.  The driver was not found.
  • I had a wonderful 50th birthday party put on by my dear friends.
  • I interviewed the next day by flying out to the west coast and withstood a 10 hour interview process.
  • I did not get the job, as they wanted someone local and not as expensive.
  • I found out my car was totaled.  And my insurance company totally screwed me over.
  • I went ahead and bought the gorgeous SUV I put a deposit on.
  • I started a 'survival job' in sales.  Four weeks in, 100 miles on my SUV a day, and I have received ZIP in commission. Nada.
  • I interviewed down south, and they have made an attractive offer.  If details can be worked out, the kitties and I will be in a little slice of paradise near the beach.  I have found some place I want to live, discussed breaking my lease, and other logistics.  Now if we can work final details out...
  • My 17 year old cat had to emergency surgery.  Two weeks later, she is at the vet's tonight, she has to have a repeat of the surgery.
  • I have been in physical therapy for a painful and tenacious achilles tendon injury on my right foot.  I fell taking the trash to the dumpster (and had to dumpster dive in a FULL dumpster when I accidentally threw my keys in said dumpster).  I sprained my ankle and broke my foot.  Now I have PT for the other leg.
  • I have had a major illness flare.
  • Two of my dearest friends are getting married.
  • A friend I have only met via FaceTime will be visiting from Australia.
I could go on, but you get the idea.  What does this have to do with my hoarding mother you ask?  Everything.  And nothing.  She has lived in the same place and risks NOTHING.  I have learned from her, and I do not want to spend time just trudging through life only to reach the end and think 'what if'.  I want to live, really live, all of it.  Take the risks, and focus on experiences and that I care about.  And I do, and I will.  

Good night!

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Addendum to 'Why do I try?'

This is too funny, you simply can not make this sh*t up...

I went to the conference I attend in my home state.  It was wonderful, I had a great conference experience and a lovely visit with my dear friend and her husband. 

I decided to drive home Friday night, about a five-plus hour drive.  Long story short, on a lonely, mostly deserted stretch of interstate I was hit by a hit-and-run driver.  I could finish the journey, but my car is hurt.  I will deal with it after my trip to the west coast.  I had even found someone at the conference who was EXCITED to take my car as a donation. Ugh.

Guess that trading it in is my best option if I do not fix it.

Damn.

The important thing is, I am fine.  Just peeved.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Why do I even try? Part Two

Continued from Part One...

So... I went to a play the night of the disastrous conversation in regards to potentially giving my hoarding mother my car.  I hung up rather abruptly when arrived, and when I left the Theatre I decided to call back to finish the 'conversation'.  I am low contact, but I knew this would fester into drama if I allowed it to fester.

It was nearly 10:30pm, and she stays up late, but she allowed to call to go to voicemail.  I left a message, and that was that.  Or so I thought.

I was having trouble sleeping, and I was playing around on social media when my mother's neighbor posted and asked if I was awake, and when I indicated was, she said she could not call but would text.  It was around 2am.  

My mother had called the neighbor (the one she said would not help her anymore) and got her out of bed at 12:30am.  Allegedly my mother was choking on a piece of cooked broccoli and wanted to go to the emergency department and did not want to call an ambulance.  My mother's neighbor took her, and she said my mother could not speak when she pulled up and took her in.  She had normal BP and vitals, and an Xray showed nothing.  She was annoyed that they were not going to go down her throat and 'get it' and when they asked the standard advance directive/DNR question she said "You will need to call my daughter" and went into high drama.  The neighbor quickly interjected that there was no need to call me, it was a routine question.  She stated that my mother seemed disappointed that more heroic measures were not necessary and they were not going to call me.  By this point my mother is speaking more normally, and the neighbor said she would call me in the morning.  

At 10am the neighbor called me.  She was with my mother until 3:45am, and she had to get up at 7am for work.  She took her home after the doctor (in frustration, most likely, since she refused to cough hard because she would 'aspirate into her lungs') had her drink a soda and rise up onto her tiptoes and rock back to her heels.  Miraculously it worked on the second try.  The neighbor was trying not to laugh, as she saw it for what it was, a 'GTFO of my ER' maneuver.  I explained that I knew something was going to happen, and my conversation.  She asked me to call after I had talked to my mother.  I waited until 6pm, and since she had not called, I called her.  She recounted the events of the evening, ignoring my questions and making it much more dramatic in the retelling.  

The next day I called the neighbor and verified the veracity of my mother's version.  It was exaggerated on several counts and at least one detail was fabricated.  A few days later the neighbor has not called her.  She may have burnt that bridge.

Hoarding.  No one wins.


Why do I try? Part One

Oh dear god and little fishes.  I had a stupid of monumental proportions.  And I know better... 

So as many know, I left my job as CEO in early February.  It is now 2 1/2 months later.  I took over 7 weeks off (I have not NOT worked since I was 15 years of age).  I have had immediate and enthusiastic response to my applications for the most part, and I am a final candidate for a job that would take me to the other coast, 3000 miles away.  I have shared this with my hoarding mother.  She resumes talking about herself without missing a beat.  

So... I am flying out there to see if it is the right fit.  Yes, moving far from my friends will be hard, but I have been wanting a change.  If I do accept, I will most likely be moving mid June or July at the latest.  If I accept, I have several considerations, but the biggest is my furry family.  My newest adoption is still a cat of sizable means, she is 22lbs.  She will not fit under an airline seat, and I will not allow her to flown in the cargo hold.  My other kitty is 17 years old and the flight would really freak her out.  

Now, there is a minor complication driving.  I have a luxury sports sedan, although it is not too old, I have driven the crap out of it, it has over 140K on it.  I am not concerned about mileage as it should run to 300K easily, but it is small, and has no towing capacity.  I would need to take a friend with me and there simply will not be enough room.  I also need rotors, brakes, and sensor, and the next service that will be nearly $2000 in maintenance and repairs.  It is a car that is worth $5200.

I found a SUV that is by the same make as my car.  It is used, certified and has a 10 year warranty that is unlimited mileage and transfers to whatever dealership I choose.  I put a deposit on the SUV.  It is refundable, so I am not out anything if things fall through.  Now, what to do with my car?  I could trade it in, but I would just be giving it to them to wholesale and it is a great car, a pretty car, and in super shape.  My hoarding mother's aging Honda had a valve leak, and required expensive repairs.  It is a $500 car.  My car is one that is known for extreme safety.  

So I called her and let her know the recent developments, and if things work out, I would do the service and maintenance of my car and give it to her.  She would not have to do ANYTHING but accept it.

OH HELL, THE CRAZINESS THAT ENSUED.  She responded by saying (screaming):
  • She does not know how long she will driving anyway because she cannot get to a new doctor to get her cataract surgery (she backed out of her last surgery 3 hours before).  
  • She feels that her memory is diminished and that she is sure she had a stroke a while ago.
  •  She has no one to help her, she used to to depend on the neighbor but 'that has all changed big time'.
  • She is sure (a different) neighbor is trying to kill her.
Then she went on the offensive.  Rapid fire accusations, insinuations, and questions-masquerading-as-attacks:
  • She demanded to know why I could not get a job where I am (that she has never visited, and she has refused to see me since 4/2013).
  • She demanded why my best friend or 'all my contacts' could not give me a job.
You get the idea.  I got off the phone.

Later, she ended up in the emergency room.  It was manufactured drama, and I will report that in Part 2....

To be continued...

Monday, March 4, 2019

At long last- From The Mouth Of A Hoarder... (FTMOAH!)

Oh my GAWD.   You cannot make this stuff up...  Just this week on FTMOAH...
_________________
Talking about her nasty feet and her unwillingness to allow anyone address her tallus [sic] calluses and her plantar calluses... "... and I showed the nurse what I did and she just looked at me and looked at me and said she had never seen anyone that did that [preening like she did something ground breaking] and I showed her how this fit perfectly in my shoes and I cut the padding so I could roll it up..."

What padding?  What are you talking about?

"I can buy them at Walmart for $4.  The things you stick in your underwear to catch moisture..."

Sanitary pads?  

"I guess that is what you could call them..."
______________
Since I am not working right now, she seems to think that I am available 24/7, and she will call from a blocked number (which I never answer) and then she will unblock and call me repeatedly until I answer, hanging up and calling immediately.  I am going to have to mute repeated calls from the same number...

WHAT!?!

"Well, you don't have to be so nice, I am not sick, but I need an answer to something..."

What is it ... (This a Sunday night BTW)

"I saw an advertisement in AARP and they have a 'Jitterbug phone'.  Didn't you say one of the folks at the office had one that they wanted to get rid of?"

The office I do not work at anymore?  The thing I mentioned in passing over 11 years ago?  That thing?

"I was just asking!..."

She is DRIVING ME NUTS.  She has to get a new phone because her flip phone that she bought 10 years ago or so is dying.  She is considering buying an iPhone.  I suspect she won't, but ye gods...
______________________
"Let me ask you a question..."

Do I have a choice?

"[Goes on like she did not hear me....] Do you have a lot of moles on your body?"

NO.  No.  And we have talked about this 5 million times.  And I am not discussing this....

"Why are some red and some brown?"
_____________________
Hoarding, no one wins.   No one.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

A few weeks in the cyclone of the tornado...

What a few weeks it has been.  

I left my job, resigned without notice a couple of weeks ago.  The hardest thing I have ever done, but it had to be done.  The past two weeks have been full of discovery.  Some pleasant, some unpleasant, and some introspection.  There has been a lot of betrayal and malice that led to my resigning, there have been subsequent betrayals, and there are the ancillary betrayals...  But there have been the unexpected support from unexpected places, and that is what I focus on, not the people who, directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally, fell a bit short.  I have cut out any social media feeds that would give me information about my old organization, directly or indirectly.  I wish them the best and much success.  I have moved on.

Shortly after I quit my job, (like three days after) my dear friend ended up in CCU on life support and initially, was not expected to live, and if so, she would most likely be an amputee as her legs were not getting sufficient blood flow, despite being on an ECMO protocol.  She is getting incrementally better, but it will be a LONG recovery for her.  When I heard the news, I sobbed.  I have every day that I can, and I will continue to do so.

I got away for five days and visited a southern state, and I needed that.  I was a hot mess and still so raw, not sleeping at all - and what I did not recognize initially as anxiety reared its head.  I had a series of panic attacks riding down, and things were okay the rest of the trip, but a couple of days later it was back.  (I know realize that many were prompted by folks talking about my former job generically, as I was clear to all parties that I did not want specifics or to speculate...) I did not sleep at all Monday night, and even when I was trying to eat I had to get up and move, and was feeling extremely claustrophobic.  That is why I did not recognize the feeling as panic attacks, as I attributed no emotion to them, I did not feel a sense of impending doom, and generally I am not prone to depression or anxiety.  Tuesday was full of feeling claustrophobic and I even had to put down my soup I was eating for lunch and walk around.  I decided that this could be a possibility, and I know that it is situational, and I know that exercise is the most underutilized antidepressant and anti-anxiety remedy.  I was finishing my cool-down after a run on the treadmill at the gym, and I had the mother of all panic attacks.  I left the gym quickly and driving seemed to help.   My neighbor stopped me to tell me he was moving, and he asked if I were on vacation.  I told him I had resigned, and he talked about a similar situation he experienced 15 years ago and about the depression and anxiety he faced, and to not let it impact me like it impacted him.  I felt another wave of claustrophobia coming on, so I excused myself and I ran in my place to get my insurance card and to call my doctor.  I could not make sense of the voicemail menu, so I decided to drive across the highway to his office.  By the time I got there, I was a sobbing mess.  Luckily he had an appointment cancel, and he could see me. I was prescribed a low dose of a SSRI daily, with the intent of weaning off in a month or so, and also a med for anxiety as needed.  I have done well, and the panic attacks are not happening now.  I consider that a win, because I would not have asked for help and would have just powered through at one time.  

Financially I am okay, and I have several months before I have jump back in.  I am looking now, but I have the luxury of being selective.  

I am setting structure to my days, exercising, doing things around my place, going to visit my friend in CCU, and going to a coffee shop and working.  I have a panel presentation next month, and I remain on a couple of boards.  I do most of my job hunting from the coffee shop and most of my applying from home in the evenings.  I plan on losing the 30 lbs that working 70-80 hours helped me gain.  

My cats are thriving, and I am reconnecting with friends that I have neglected for the last 18 months or better.  Tonight a friend asked what was different about me, that I looked rested, glowing, and like I had had a face lift.  I told her I had left my job, and she was happy for me.  The consensus of group I was out with was 'GOOD'.

I am about to embark on a new chapter, and it is exciting and terrifying all at the same time.  And my hoarding mother?  She is back to her repertoire of usual subjects.  The neighbor that is harassing her.  Poop.  Moles.  General paranoias.  I have ceased to be a focus since I am not discussing the specifics of what led me to quit my job, and am not telling her a whole lot of detail about anything.

Onward and upward...


Friday, February 8, 2019

She had a glimmer...

I think 2019 is my year for saying 'enough'.  It is not even 6 weeks in and I have set some strong boundaries with a few folks that needed it, and I resigned my position today, without notice, as things had devolved until I was in most untenable situation and was being treated in an hostile, unprofessional, and abusive manner.  I am sad because I love the agency, the people we serve, and my dedicated staff, but I could not stand one more moment.  

I finally shared with my hoarding mother about Tuesday or Wednesday of this week.  She was so angry, but supportive.  I was shocked.  She offered to let me stay at her home and acknowledged it was beyond her.  (I will pass... But appreciated the thought.)  Today was the day.  She then used things as a springboard to talk about work issues from 50 years ago...

At least there was a glimmer.  I have ugly cried all day, and I need to get myself together as a friend is picking me up to go to another friend's art showing.

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

It is time for... From The Mouth Of A Hoarder...

So she has been a LOT worse lately... 'She' being my hoarding mother.

She was talking about petting her one cat (that is about 9 or so) and after a painful, weird, and convoluted-verbal-vomit salad she finally came to the point to the story, one of the cat's canine teeth is broken off.  She then started railing against her estranged sister who she last had in her home summer of 2000.  That is right. Eighteen and half years ago.  She began with the accusation that her sister shut a cat that I grew up with in the door, and ranted that it probably happened at the same time and... 

I cut her off.  I am not even going into that people are not singular natured- if she decides she is done, then the person is the most horrible person ever...  Ugh.  

The cat she was accusing her sister of harming was a kitten when I was twelve.  She died at 21 years of age.  So I was 33.  I am now nearly 50.  So, 17 years ago.  And the alleged injury was discovered probably 5-7 years before that, but after her blow up with her sister she decided it was her.  I broke it down for her like that.  She de-escalated briefly, but then told me tale of the tail (see what I did there?) word for word.  

I also pointed out that her current kitty has been to the vet recently, and that would have been noticed as the gum is swollen.  

She demurred and changed the subject.  That poor cat.  I keep asking her when she is taking it to the vet.   Every time I talk to her...   Now, there is a possibility that none of this is true.  That makes it so hard.  

She is having cataract surgery at the end of the month.  Bet that will be fun for the neighbor (her new wonderful stranger and I suspect, flying monkey).  I hate to tell her, the fall from the pedestal is a hard and fast one.  With that being said, I am glad she has someone to take her.   

Hoarding, no one wins.  No one.  

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Looking forward to a new year, because 2018 has been rough!

I am so ready for the opportunity of 2019.  In the last couple of weeks I lost my little aged kitty love.  The one that had been so sick, and was 17-20 years old.  She and I had 7 months together, and although I did not think it was enough, I had to make a hard decision.  I hope it was the right one.  

Of course, my hoarding mother was urging me to stop exploring options and put her down.  Then when my vet and I came to the decision, she endlessly talked about her latest cat that died, and her fears for three of her own.  

Very quickly, I had a board member at a local rescue reach out to me.  She knows that the other cat does not do well without a companion, and my baby was despondent.  She really, really, got close to this kitty. I made the decision to jump, and I adopted a 10 1/2 year old shy girl who is super-obese.  We have our work cut out for us... But we will work on this together.  All of us.  My resident cat has adapted quite well.  When the 'excitement' of that wore off for my hoarding mother... She has 'hit the gas' on manufacturing her own drama.  This includes:

  • Calling on a weekend and dramatically intoning her new roof was leaking on the porch and running down a litany of petty complaints about the contractor, and she wants someone to 'make him' pay for fixing it to her satisfaction... Since I run a residential program I would have a magic wand...  I told her to call the Better Business Bureau or take him to small claims court if she could not find it to allow him to correct the issue, which I recommend.  She did not like THAT.
  • Stating the next door neighbor is in 'cahoots' with the hated neighbor that moved away, accusing him of the same types of nonsensical acts of theft or vandalism that she accused the 'neighbor in the turn' of.
  • Complaining that she expects to be arrested any day due to the interaction she had with the sheriff when she made her last complaint.
  • Hyping high drama with her last bone scan results, and then refusing any treatment.  It is not if, it is when, a bone breaks.
  • Also hyping to the highest level of bathos that she has a mitral valve prolapse.  She was angry and walked out of her cardiology referral due to the doctor stating it was not an issue, discussing that it was common in her age bracket, not allowing her to perform her 'dog and pony' show.
  • She had a neighbor take her to a nearby (larger town) for a consult for cataract surgery.  She was shocked that she had been in there in 2009, and that her cataract had gotten worse in the last 9 years.
I could go into more, but you get the idea.  My mother's neighbor is correct, she wants something to be seriously wrong/critical in nature.  I have remained very low contact, and I get off the phone when she starts her 'scripts' or rumination, ruination, and petty grievances.  

Hoarding.  No one wins.  Happy 2019!