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Hoarding disorder - any kids/family members? - Page 7

post #121 of 135

I'm nodding along to just about everything you're saying. Your parents sound SO much like my grandparents. I really wish I could help my family, but it is such an emotional disorder and they have to be the ones who want to change.
post #122 of 135
I'm glad I found this thread.

My MIL is a hoarder of many aspects. She hoards stuff,books,animal etc.

She right now is in an apartment that doesn't allow pets so we don't have that issue...she lives in filth( with pets she would sleep in the bed even if they went potty in it ). the family cleans her place and moves her when she gets evicted : but it just keeps happening again and again. We know she needs help but *sigh* she doesn't want it. If we report the mess she would just get jail time etc...and that wouldn't actually get her help.

She just had a heart attack so she isn't taking care of herself either...but what to do really?

With two small kids I cant handle her here. Also she was in prison years ago so that negates allot of aid she might get....so self destructive.
post #123 of 135

Sorry this is so late.

A list of resources for hoarding and squalor can be found at http://www.ReclaimingDignity.com. Squalor Survivors is only one place to get help. There are others.

Just in case anyone is having trouble and don't want to come forward.
post #124 of 135
I don't know if I've ever posted on this thread before. But, in the case that I haven't...

I'm the daughter of a hoarder (my mom). It's a HUGE elephant in the room between us. And it's a source of MUCH anger in me towards her.

I'm a member on CoH, and I'm going to psychotherapy.

Anyway, Just wanted to toss my hat into the ring. Glad to see I'm not alone.

post #125 of 135
My mom was a packrat and so I have had to unlearn my packrat ways.

Last week while I was having BodyTalk done I learned that two of the bones in the front of my head got stuck because I was constantly walking on eggshells as a child. Because these bones got stuck I was unable to breathe fully and had a hard time letting go of things.

What a revelation. It all made sense. I hated gym class because I could never keep up. And for years I was berated for not being able to let go and/or forgive and yet I just could not do it.

After having two Reiki sessions while crying and bathing in a green (heart chakra) colour bath I was able to finally forgive. I found myself saying 'I forgive, I forgive.' :
post #126 of 135
Originally Posted by amydawnsmommy View Post
After having two Reiki sessions while crying and bathing in a green (heart chakra) colour bath I was able to finally forgive. I found myself saying 'I forgive, I forgive.' :
I'm envious of this in a lot of ways.
I will be honest, I'm not ready to forgive my mom. Mainly because I see her doing the same thing with her parents now that she did with me. It's this horrible, cyclical thing she does. I'm angry and I want to be angry with her because when the anger subsides, I'm left with some pretty heavy guilt.

But then there are parts of me that want to move on from all of this. I want to deal with it and let it go.

post #127 of 135

What a relief!

Hello Everyone!
I am extremely relieved to find a forum of this particular topic. It really hits home for me. I totally agree with the comment that "hoarding runs in families". For as long as I can remember growing up, my parents always collected stuff, we lived with tons of things. A lot of which they purchased and others things they found in the street being thrown out as trash. My father would always say one man's junk is another man's treasure. I never understood why they would grab things that in my mind were only making our home more crowded and messy. I believe it all started with my father, and then my mom, and now it's my 2nd oldest brother. My gm from my mom's side also is a hoarder to some extent so she must of started it. I never understood how people can live in such conditions and feel good about it. It was harder when I arrived to high school and I was too embarrassed to invite any friends to my home. It was then that I said to myself, I will never be that way ever!! It's was really hard to grow up with hoarders. Now as an adult I find myself trying to help my mom to change her way of collecting and keeping useless things. I sometimes wonder if she died God forbid what I will have to deal with besides losing her of course. I have ultimately figured that this is also a behavioral problem, most hoarders in my opinion are so use to doing what they do that they don't even realize how its not important to be so attached to insignificant objects. It's really a difficult behavioral mental condition to change. The person has to also be willing to want to change just like alcoholics.

Right now, I am visiting my 2nd oldest brother because he desperately needed my help in cleaning out his apartment. I am not sure if his condition is "hoarding" or just a plain "slob". He called me in desperation to come help him, but it seems like he is not ready for change or not willing to change. The reason I say that is because I have been here for 12 days now, and for the first 8 days all I could do is wash his clothes, yes non-stop laundry. He tells me he has not done laundry for 1 yr now. I was so shocked when I first arrived that he lived in such terrible conditions. The negative energy I felt in his apartment overwhelmed me so much, that I almost took an earlier flight back home. Just seeing this situation is depressive, recently he ended a long term relationship with his gf of 6 yrs. She left, and well I am 100% sure that the apartment was messy when she was living with him, but it got worst when she moved out. I even found lots of clothes that belonged to his ex-gf. I believe a combination of depression has affected him also. But he's the type of guy that dislike going to the doctor for anything, let alone telling him to go see a doctor for therapy.

What bothered me the most is that I love my brother, I admired him for starting his own business and making a living with it and how he's allowed his home to get to this condition. His business is the only thing he definitely makes sure to take care of it seems these days. But when I ask him questions about how did it get this way: he saids he does not have time, that he's a busy person, he runs a business etc... But his excuses for me is non-sense to some extent. Here is a few examples: instead of washing clothes every week like the majority of the population does, he would go out and buy clean clothes and just leave the dirty laundry in piles; When he eats, he would leave the empty take out containers in the LR & BR instead of throwing it in the trash. In the kitchen where he has his W/D machines, the floor was covered of piles of dirty clothes and grind. Floor looked like it was not washed for a few yrs. So after throwing out expired cans and spoiled food in the kitchen, I tackled the washing of the floor while doing his laundry. Considering how much I have done, his place still looks like a mess. Anyhow, I took the initiative to clean completely the kitchen, laundry and bathroom. But now, as I need his assistance for the rest LR/BR and hallway regions it looks like he's avoiding it or just plain lazy. Even when I ask he creates excuses. I read that you have to let the hoarder participate in the cleaning up, this way the individual begins to establish a different form of behavior and also does not feel like your not being considerate to his belongings. Has anyone else read this?

I am afraid that he was not mentally ready to clean and my time here trying to help his situation was a waste. I even suggested him to move to a different apartment, but my husband stated that even if he were to move in this mind frame he can possibly do the same in the new apartment. So if that is the case, then it would be useless to try that route. So now I am left with my arms crossed as the rest of things needs to be done with him, since throwing out or giving his things to Goodwill on my own would create even more tension.

Anyhow, thanks everyone for creating such a forum. It definitely has helped me cope with the situation I am currently dealing with now, and it is what has kept me from jumping on the next flight back to my home. I try to think that any little bit of cleaning I can do will definitely help him in any form. I just fear that if not a lot more gets done before I leave, it will return to what it was when I began.

Thanks for listening! I appreciate your stories, it helps me realized that I am not alone in this! Plus that other families deal with similar situations.
post #128 of 135
Ladybug22, your story makes me feel so sad. I know hoarding runs in families, but my brother and I seem to have escaped our family tendencies so far. The thought of a sibling living like this is heartbraking.

You are a saint for helping.

eta: there could be an element of him not knowing what to do/how to do it, my brother and I lived in some pretty icky apartments when we were younger before we figured out that we had to clean up ourselves if we wanted things to be nice. Flylady helped me figure out what to do and how often, maybe you could look into some books like hers or something by Don Aslett?
post #129 of 135
Hi, I was thinking about everyone here and wondering how you are all managing through the holidays. I live in a different country from my family, so I don`t get to see them. It is my sister who is a hoarder. She is poor, but I just cannot get her any THING for Christmas. So, I sent the family a nice rib roast, organic grass feed beef, for the holiday meal. Seems it was tasty.

I was home this summer, and had a bad incident with my sister. She is convinced I gave one of her skirts to goodwill. We had been cleaning up stuff from my grandmothers room (which was a mini apartment attached to my moms house). I did not think there were any of her clothes in there, and I apologized. But... I think she is still upset about it. I just don`t get the focus on *things*. I guess that is the problem, she thinks it is normal to hold on to everything, I want to let things go...

Anyway, hope you are having a joyous holiday season.
post #130 of 135
Originally Posted by momof1sofar View Post
I just saw the trailer for a documentary on one family's struggle with hoarding disorder, called My Mother's Garden. It is gut-wrenching but SO relevant. The film is in post-production right now.

OMG. I did that to a family member once, and this film's trailer is so powerful.. Thank you for sharing it with us.
post #131 of 135
My mother is staying with us for a month or so and has brought us a whole lot of stuff. I'm starting to get overwhelmed because dd is now old enough to notice and miss if I get rid of anything of hers....Living in a very small house is good in that it forces me to NOT be a packrat, but bad in that it gets crowded so easily that I get anxious. I really do get anxious over the least little bit of clutter and crowding. It's totally a backlash against how I was raised, but I don't want it to affect my relationship with dh and dd! I wish I could just be normal.
post #132 of 135
When toys go *missing* at our house sometimes I blame DH and sometimes I said it has been put away because there is TOO MUCH out. then if it is still around (ie not donated yet) then we decide together what to put away and get the other item out. Good luck it is hard having family visit, even though it is wonderful in many ways.

post #133 of 135
I’ve only read the first page so far, but I am interested to read further…I am lucky that no one in my immediate family is a hoarder, but my mom's sister (my aunt) and her husband are both TERRIBLE hoarders...the kind with too many things choking every room and too many pets, creating messes and squalor. They literally ruined two houses with all their C.R.A.P. I think that their hoarding profoundly affected their kids...all three are insane neat freaks (go figure).

From what I can see, hoarding is definitely tied to depression and OCD tendencies. I also think that some hoarding may be tied to poverty or a feeling of having been denied things in the past. Having grown up poor, I can say from experience that it is hard to pass up a “good deal”. After I got married, I had to train myself not to constantly stock up on things during sales. While it’s a good idea to have a few things on hand (after all it’s human nature to stock up and plan for lean times), too much of that is unhealthy. I probably would not be so aware of my own behavior and tendencies if it were not for observing my aunt and uncle’s destructive hoarding behavior. I strive for a happy balance in life.
post #134 of 135
Originally Posted by momof1sofar View Post
I just saw the trailer for a documentary on one family's struggle with hoarding disorder, called My Mother's Garden. It is gut-wrenching but SO relevant. The film is in post-production right now.


Wow, thanks for this link. What a powerful documentary.
post #135 of 135
I haven't looked at this thread since I posted over a year ago.

Mom is still living with her elderly parents (89 and 82 years old - both in failing health.) She recently retired from her job of 30 years. And now, to make up for lost time, Mom wants to take Willow (my daughter) to spend the night some nights and wants to take her to the zoo or museum, things like that.

Over my dead body.

The two cars that she has are full of stuff. All along the dashboard, in all the seats except the drivers seat. And she doesn't use carseats in her cars. No way. No. Way. is she taking my kid.

But when I politely explain or offer alternatives, she gets upset. Fine. Get upset. If only one person is going to be the "adult" in this relationship, it's going to be me.

I learned that she has not only cluttered up (and I'm talking floor to ceiling, here) my grandparents' home in the majority of the living spaces (their bedrooms are clear.) But she's also "trashed" the garage, the 800 sqft garage/house in the backyard...and multiple. MULTIPLE storage units. I have no idea what I'm going to do when she dies. There's stuff in there that I want (photographs, mainly) but it's mixed in all the "paperwork" and newspapers and magazines...

Sorry... I'm pretty much just "Stream of Consciousness"-ing this. I'm just... catching up.
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