Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Is July really half-way over? I apologize for not posting sooner, but my "other" blogs have been getting most of my attention these days. This is a good thing, I think...

So much has changed over the last few weeks, but I think it has all been in my mind - literally.

I'm not so mad at my Mom these days.
I've been having a lot of fun with the kids and focusing less on my bad qualities.
I don't think it's my job to change Mom's hoarding habits (WARNING... this could be a temporary thing).
My life is pretty peaceful right now, I feel like I'm in a good place.

And yet so much has stayed the same...

Mom & Dad are still out of town.
My office desk is still a mess.
I still hate hoarding.
I still can't figure out how other people keep it all together (clean house, organized, etc...).
I'm still trying to find that balance between staying close to and loving my Mom for who she is and keeping keeping my distance from her hoarding and other OCD tendencies.

There is more, but it's late and I need to spend some quality time with my hubby... later!


Anonymous said...

I was really touched by your blog because I grew up as the child of a hoarder. While I don't think he was as bad as your mother, I completely understand the frustration of not being able to walk without being in danger of injury. IN our house, my mother was able to limit it to the garage and the office. What made me even more upset was that my mother had to live with it. SHe died in September and one of the last things she was doing was trying to put clean sheets on the bed. I hated him for stuff like that--for not mowing the lawn when she enjoyed the order so much. His office is in such bad condition that I hope he doesn't die partially because I'll never be able to straighten out his business affairs. He says he's working on it one pile at a time. At this rate, it will take 10 years. And he thinks counseling and psychiatrists are quacks and keeps trying to convince my sister to get off her OCD medication (which has worked wonders). He wonders why all of us live in other states and why no one will agree to take care of him when he is old. I've already told him that if I have my way, he's going to stay in the retirement center run by nuns. Only nuns would have enough patience to deal w/ him.

Anonymous said...

I've read through your blog today and can relate to so much you say. My Mom was a mid-level hoarder which I think, in some ways, made things worse. I am the child who took care of her as she aged and when I came to visit would, as an adult in my 40's, have to sit on the floor because her dolls and teddy bears and stacks of papers got the chair and couch. And if I moved them, it was being disrespectful to HER. Because she lived in a mid-level state of mess, it really did feel like she was making a clear choice as to what was of value and what wasn't. It also struck me that the blame game is an issue with hoarders. I had never heard that before. I thought that was an entirely different thing my Mom did. (This from the child who gave her mother diabetes when I was about 10. Yes, she blamed me and believed it.)

In respect to your family, I am taken by the power your Mom seems to have. I don't know if she would see it that way. But with others in the house, it's her issues that control everyone else. Reading it as an outside party, I can see where it might be a hard habit to give up.

Thank you for your work.

Anonymous said...

I really liked this post and the previous comments. Jamie, I admire your honesty and humor in writing about this stuff. I especially liked the "WARNING:" part and the part about getting over the anger.
I'm dealing with my mom's hoarding issues right now, and as you all know, it's frustrating, among other things.
I especially liked the point the last poster brought up about the power in having one person's issues controlling an entire family.
Right now I'm trying to help my mom get healthy, but there are no easy answers. She was much more sick than anyone realized. Also, the hoarding was so destructive,and on so many levels, more than I would have ever imagined. I will never understand how she lived the way she did. Just confronting the damage of what she'd done was too massive an undertaking for any one person because of the physical labor alone. Trying to figure out a long term solution to give her the opportunity to get well and be safe is taking some time as well. She's obviously not able to help herself. It's a lot to deal with.

Anonymous said...

The " yet so much has stayed the same" section could have been taken out of my own mind! Those exact words... Parents out of town... Desk still a mess... Why on earth can't I get it together like everyone else?? Right now, I could be cleaning my apartment, but it won't happen. Don't get me wrong... It's nothing like my parents house, but I feel like there are still hints of the problem hiding in plain sight. Like my desk, closet, or car. It scares the heck out of me! I remember when I was little, and there was just one room of chaos in my parents house. Then I look at my closet, and wonder if somehow I'm destined to follow in their footsteps. It sounds crazy, and the truth is that i feel like I've gotten a lot better about things over time, but the fear is still there. I've never told anyone about my parents, not even my best friends... How messed up is that? I feel like if I tell them, somehow they'll see it in me... In my messy car, or they'll notice that that darn wrapper is still sitting on my living room table a month later. Really, I've just managed to "bury" the secret... For now. Here's to hoping it'll continue to get better and better!