Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sticky Situation...

I just saw this on YouTube and I loved it.

Well, it reminded me of... ME!

Just for fun I'd like to dissect this video...

Right up front, he tells us that his StepMom has agreed to let him go in and "clean" up a room.
As long as doesn't throw anything away. Right.

Been there, done that. I PROMISE he is throwing stuff away that she does not know about. and I say go for it! Just be careful, because if she thinks that even ONE tiny thing of importance got thrown out, it's over! Hoarders never forget... they're like elephants.

Let me interject something of importance here... I like what this guy is trying to do. I can see that he cares about his StepMom. He is keeping a very level head about all this. And that is hard to do, really hard. I am just taking his situation and using it as a comparison to mine. So expect cynicism, not criticism, oh and a healthy dose of sarcasm, and possibly some humor. These are my coping mechanisms. Enough said.

Back to the video...

He mentions "the woman on Oprah"... where do I even begin.

First, have you ever met a hoarder who admitted that they have a problem. I want to know, have you? I just don't know where Oprah gets these people. I will say that it is possible to find a hoarder that will admit there is a problem, but in the next breath they will let you know that it is not their fault. I repeat they believe it is not their fault! So I'm skeptical of these "before and after" magical fix ups that you see on Oprah. I'm not saying that what you see is untrue, but that there just has to be a lot more footage on the cutting room floor, so to speak. I think these shows mean well, they really do (well some of them), but I've done the amazing cleanup. I've repainted, remodeled, and recarpeted my Mom's place. Was she grateful? Not even for a second. I have spent the last 3 years listening to her blame me for every single thing she has been unable to find in "the abyss" (that's what my Dad calls it). She's never been able to find things before in the mess, but now I've given her the perfect excuse...

"Jamie must have thrown it out".

I am so sick of hearing that. I am sick of the phonecalls at all hours pleading with me "Where did you put the [fill in the blank] when you cleaned out the storage room"?

I cleaned out the storage room 5 years ago, and this was yesterday she asked me that. What am I supposed to say?

I'll tell you what I don't say "Mom you live in such a disaster, that there is no possible way that you could have found that in the storage room even before I cleaned it up"! "Never mind that I threw [it] out because it was covered in mice crap and filth, because you wouldn't believe me anyway"! "Because you are CRAZY"!

I really should have taken pictures.

Oh yeah, and it usually only takes about 2 months for my Mom to get the place looking exactly like it did before we cleaned it up.

At the end of the video, he talks about using the Socratic method in reasoning with his StepMom about the mess. He thinks maybe he can lead her to come up with the answers herself. I'm skeptical of this, as with most things having to do with hoarders, BUT I am thinking of trying it out with my Mom. It can't hurt to try something new. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thought for the day... "You can lead a horse to water, but you CAN'T make it drink".

That's all.


You may not believe this (after reading all my previous rants), but I am a positive person. I am a "glass is half full" kinda gal. Often I run into people who are rude or insensitive, sometimes someone else's child is mean to one of my children, bad things happen, and so on. When faced with these things I find myself thinking "They must have had a bad day" or "Maybe a bad life". I always explain to my kids that there is probably a reason that "that kid" was treating them like that, "Maybe", I say "Other's haven't treated them well and they don't know any better". More often then not, I give people the benefit of the doubt.

That is until it comes to my own Mother.

I get so angry with her because of the way I grew up, because of all the things I missed out on, because it seemed like she didn't care.

I can't tell you what a relief I felt the first time I realized that Mom's problem might be a disease, a mental illness, not her fault. My Dad had listened to a radio show where they discussed OCD Hoarding and he sat my Sis and I down and told us about his discovery. I thought for the first time, maybe my Mom does love me more than all the junk piled up in the house. Something in her brain is just keeping her from showing it. I thought , great! Now we know what this is and we can fix it. If only I had known...

what I know now.

It's much harder than you think.

To cure someone of something they do NOT believe they have.

One of the reasons I am writing this blog is because I just know that something good is going to come from it. What I've been hoping and praying for, is that after I get it all out in the open here something in me will change and the anger I have towards this illness my Mother suffers from will dissipate. And I will evolve. Like a caterpillar, I will break out of this cocoon and emerge a strong and beautiful butterfly.

So when I read the response by Ariane Benefit on a previous post I was taken by surprise. Part of what she said practically shouted at me, I mean it might as well have been bolded and in all CAPS. Maybe here is part of my answer...

"This may sound weird, but I often think I was lucky in a weird way to have gotten the worst part of life over when I was young and now in my late 40's it just keeps getting even better. How many people have "idyllic" childhoods and spend the rest of their lives feeling like the best time of their life is behind them? I'd rather be me." Ariane

Thank you Ariane. Thank you for helping me to find something positive in my past. Thank you for helping me to get a little closer to my goal. I still have a ways to go, but for a minute there, I felt like I could fly.