Hope or help for my hoarding, compulsive shopping mother? - Mothering Forums
Organize & Declutter > Hope or help for my hoarding, compulsive shopping mother?
boatrat's Avatar boatrat 10:01 PM 10-17-2009
I'm hoping that some of you who have been down this road before can share some insight or some resources that I can turn to. I'm just so sad over this situation, and I feel that it may be hopeless.

My mom started compulsive shopping around 27 years ago after the death of my youngest brother at 10 months. Initially, she was in therapy. Then, she came to the *realization* that she could get as much enjoyment from spending the money she spent on therapy shopping. This was a standing joke that she would tell at the time. Haha.

Sometime later, she became a hoarder. After the death of my father, it got out of control. DH and I filled a 30 foot dumpster with crap from her house before our wedding in order to get it semi together. This was 4 years ago, then it just got worse.

The thing is, her house is beautiful, always has been. And, it is decorated with beautiful, nice furniture. But, there is just toooooo muuuuch stuff! Too much furniture, too much mail everywhere. OTC drugs everywhere. Every drawer stuffed full of who knows what. Multiples of everything. And cleaning never ever happens, so the floors are always dirty, the toilets are dirty, etc. etc.

She remarried 3 years ago, and her DH built her a beautiful new home. $60/square foot granite countertops, gourmet kitchen, the works. I was so hopeful that she would cull down her furniture and turn over a new leaf. But, we just visited for the first time and it is just the same as her old house. Filled to the brim, and incredibly dirty considering they've only been there 1 year. The master bedroom is the most beautiful room I've ever seen, but it is littered with clothing that doesn't fit in the drawers. The refrigerator is filled with rotting food, and is just jam packed. There were 10 containers of expired cream cheese. There are 8 open boxes of cereal in the pantry.

And, her finances are a mess. Part of the problem is that she spends waaay to much on groceries due to all of the waste, shops for impulse buys like jewelry. And, she is paying 2 mortgages because she hasn't cleaned out her old house. My stepfather is currently building on a garage to store her extra crap from her old house.

Sorry, I'm writing a book. Anyway, any advice appreciated. I just am so sad and I want better for my mom. But I am afraid that this is just an addiction that I am powerless to fight.

Crayfish's Avatar Crayfish 10:43 PM 10-17-2009
I recommend the childrenofhoarders group on Yahoo Groups. Unfortunately, this isn't likely to give you information to cure your mother, because hoarding can rarely be cured. But at least you can talk to people who have the same issue with their parents, some of whom have made some peace with the issue.

lolar2's Avatar lolar2 01:09 AM 10-18-2009
There is psychiatric and psychological treatment that can help (though not cure), but of course she has to be willing. Maybe her husband can help convince her.
achildofthe80s's Avatar achildofthe80s 01:50 AM 10-18-2009
You may also want to check out the "Children of Hoarders" forum:

boatrat's Avatar boatrat 04:37 PM 10-20-2009
Thanks so much to everyone who replied. I will check out both sites that were recommended.

This situation just makes me so sad and frustrated. I definitely need support in coping with my emotions as well. Thanks again.