What do you do when you live with a hoarder? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 56 Old 09-20-2012, 02:49 PM
 
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I wanted to come back and add that although I thoroughly dislike supervising other adults in any capacity...

 

Oh boy.  We're moving.  Dh is a pack-rat.  I dread this inevitable encounter.

 

I can do this.  I love my husband. I can remain mostly calm. I can avoid dwelling on little resentments.


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#32 of 56 Old 10-03-2012, 08:09 AM
 
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Oh hey, this topic!

 

So, my husband and I went to visit his family for the first time in a while and he came out of it admitting that his family is less-than-clean-and-tidy and that he found it a little gross.  So he's one step closer to understanding why I'm on the couch drinking when I discover that he's saved the cushions from a couch we haven't had in 3 years in the attic. 

 

segolilymama, I agree, things are much better now that we've established that junk cannot be anywhere except the garage.  When I gave him the office, he took that and some of the bedroom, and you get the idea. 

 

journeymom, I find resentment has no room to grow if I'm screaming like an opera singer and throwing soft things at him.  Just a thought. 


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#33 of 56 Old 10-03-2012, 10:32 AM
 
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If the person is a true hoarder then professional help may very well be needed. Or else the underlying issues and triggers to why the person hoards won't be figured out. Therefore causing it the hoarding cycle to happen over and over. ((hugs)) I hope you get it figured out. I've known a few hoarders and intense counseling and an intervention of sorts helped immensely. However, I know some people think/work differently and the intervention may not be for everyone. Also, sorry if this has already been said or the issue has been resovled. I am having issues loading all the replies!

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#34 of 56 Old 10-04-2012, 04:30 AM
 
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*hugs*  It's hard, isn't it?  I want to also say therapy/meds if necessary if he really does fit the definition of a hoarder.  Hoarding is a symptom of OCD which is extremely difficult to manage without therapy AND meds.  I'm currently in treatment for my OCD but I'm a washer/cleaner type of OCD instead of a hoarder.  I like to purge.  Chaos and "things"  make my anxiety worse.  That said, my oldest daughter is a packrat.  She gets extremely upset when anyone touches her things. She keeps things most people would call 'junk" or "garbage" and doesn't see that they could or should be purged.  She develops emotional attachments to things which makes me concerned knowing she's got the potential to turn into a hoarder.  Her ADHD also makes her have trouble with organization and sticking to projects.  So to try to combat that I'm teaching her organizational skills(without really telling her that's why) and giving her space for her "things."  Limited space.  We live in 800sqft and she shares a room with her two sisters so she needs to keep it welll-maintained in order for me and her sisters not to lose our minds.  Her personal space is limited to her bed, a 6-pocket storage  hanging bag on her wall, a long underbed storage container, and a shelf in the closet up high out of her sisters' reach.  These places are considered "out of bounds" to her sisters and I of course.  As long as there's no foul smell coming from any of those places, I leave them alone completely.winky.gif  If she goes out of the spaces given to her, we embark on a painful and drawn-out process of discussion/purging/organization.  It has gotten better over the years.  At 12 after years of trying to manage it, she's gotten a lot better than she has ever been.  I caught her voluntarily organizing one of the spaces about a month ago which is MASSIVE progress for her.  I think the key is not to be sneaky and purge behind her back but to communicate and teach her that she can trust me with her things and that I don't look down on her for developing attachments to her things.  She trusts that I will talk to her before throwing away anything and that she always has final say and control over the things but that she has to maintain her "stuff" in a certain way to be allowed to keep it. 

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#35 of 56 Old 10-04-2012, 09:21 AM
 
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I don't think my husband fits the definition of a "hoarder", but I do think he is a packrat, and I think that an unsanitary and unclean and very cluttered environment was normalized for him during his childhood and young adult life.  Watching him readjust to a "new normal" is really helping me remain mindful of the fact that some things that are normal for me are, in fact, not OK, not normal, and harmful.  It reminds me to continue to create a better normal for our child(ren).


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#36 of 56 Old 10-04-2012, 10:27 AM
 
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I don't think my husband fits the definition of a "hoarder", but I do think he is a packrat, and I think that an unsanitary and unclean and very cluttered environment was normalized for him during his childhood and young adult life.  Watching him readjust to a "new normal" is really helping me remain mindful of the fact that some things that are normal for me are, in fact, not OK, not normal, and harmful.  It reminds me to continue to create a better normal for our child(ren).


I can't seem to find the post I made several years back about about this topic.. but we MDC moms were gently urging a very messy mom to clean up her act, if not for herself, for the kids. I made some profound remark, that I can't seem to find by searching just now that " your home is the literal "home base" for all your children's memories. How will your children create a peaceful, clean environment with their spouses/loved ones someday if they were brought up in mess and chaos? Naturally some moms thought this was a "guilt trip", other moms used my words to help keep themselves on track. Your kids get just one childhood. It needs to be a happy, well rounded one with the usual "come over to my house" kinda stuff.

My house is tidy. Not a showplace, but decent enough to have company over at the drop of a hat. If a neighbor or friend surprise me, the worst you are gonna see here is a sink full of dishes. My kids had lots of friends over when they were small and we still host teenagers a couple of times of month for movies or hanging out.

Back to the thread topic.. I don't live with a hoarder. All of you who do are amazing people. You must really love your spouses. Stay strong for your kids.
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#37 of 56 Old 10-04-2012, 10:35 AM
 
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Something fun if the excess involves books, why not set up a little free library? www.littlefreelibrary.org then others can take them from you...

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#38 of 56 Old 10-04-2012, 10:43 AM
 
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Something fun if the excess involves books, why not set up a little free library? www.littlefreelibrary.org then others can take them from you...

I love those. There's one near me and all the young adult books my college daughter doesn't want anymore are being filtered over there two or three at a time and I get to pick a new book while I'm there.
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#39 of 56 Old 10-04-2012, 11:33 AM
 
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Oh boy.  We're moving.  Dh is a pack-rat.  I dread this inevitable encounter.

 

I can do this.  I love my husband. I can remain mostly calm. I can avoid dwelling on little resentments.

 

Hang in there. I'm a pack-rat and moving is hell. I'm sure it's just as bad, if not worse, for dh. We've only moved twice, but we survived both of them. smile.gif


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#40 of 56 Old 10-04-2012, 07:53 PM
 
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My husband has these tendencies. He say he just doesn't see the stuff/mess. Because of this, he has bad habits about throwing stuff away. It's getting better mainly because I'm going through our house and garage like crazy decluttering. He has a few boxes out in the garage and if he doesn't get to them soon, I will go through them and toss out any obvious garbage. Then move the contents to where they belong in the house or garage or put them in another box for him. A lot of times it feels like musical boxes, but it is the only way for me to stay sane. We moved two years ago--both our home and business to one property--and it was crazy-awful! I had a six-month old and 2 1/2 year old. There was no way for me to go through everything at that time, so we took everything with us. Life has settled somewhat and it feels so freeing to get organized and get rid of stuff. My husband is happy about it too and fortunately it is not upsetting him or anything (so I don't think there are any mental health issues). He gets really excited when I find things he's been missing for awhile.
 

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#41 of 56 Old 10-05-2012, 08:15 AM
 
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 A lot of times it feels like musical boxes

 

Musical boxes,  I like that. 


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#42 of 56 Old 10-05-2012, 10:17 AM
 
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Musical boxes,  I like that. 

And as in the game musical chairs.. it implies that some stuff does go "out".
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#43 of 56 Old 10-06-2012, 05:26 AM
 
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I can't seem to find the post I made several years back about about this topic.. but we MDC moms were gently urging a very messy mom to clean up her act, if not for herself, for the kids. I made some profound remark, that I can't seem to find by searching just now that " your home is the literal "home base" for all your children's memories. How will your children create a peaceful, clean environment with their spouses/loved ones someday if they were brought up in mess and chaos? Naturally some moms thought this was a "guilt trip", other moms used my words to help keep themselves on track. Your kids get just one childhood. It needs to be a happy, well rounded one with the usual "come over to my house" kinda stuff.
My house is tidy. Not a showplace, but decent enough to have company over at the drop of a hat. If a neighbor or friend surprise me, the worst you are gonna see here is a sink full of dishes. My kids had lots of friends over when they were small and we still host teenagers a couple of times of month for movies or hanging out.
Back to the thread topic.. I don't live with a hoarder. All of you who do are amazing people. You must really love your spouses. Stay strong for your kids.

 

I talked to him about this again.  He seems to understand that I can't deal with so much "stuff", the "stuff" makes it hard to keep the space clean, and the really important stuff would be easier to find if there was less "stuff" in general.

Like you, I am most comfortable when my home is in "drop by" condition.  It usually is.  But right now, the door to the office is always shut.  I gave him the office.  Now the walls and carpet are stained.  Until I got in there with him, there were boxes cluttering the perimeter of the room, and a pile of papers under the printer.  The closet was crammed full.

I think the staining was what made me realize that he needs my help.  I had a 2-day long meltdown when I went in and moved the furniture he had in front of that wall stain.  I nearly cried.  I drank.  I screamed, I yelled, and I accused.  I need to be less judgemental.  His mother and I don't have a great history, and frankly, I'm a judgy person.  We talked about it again recently, and I think I did a good job of relating to him, of reserving judgement on people... OK, admitting that I should be reserving judgement for situations and not for people, and agreeing that the entire house must be organized and sanitary.  I told him again that I wish his childhood had a clean house in it.  I told him that I once loved someone dearly who lived in outright filth. 

I had agreed the garage could be "his", but it's become a hazard.  He lacks the ability to organize his own possessions.  But we're in it together, and I told him that I would help him stay clean and tidy, and I had no intention of making off with all his treasures.  He admitted the garage is not enjoyable, and seems to have accepted help.  He seems ready to really work at it constantly.

We can do this!  I have realized that I cannot have cream walls, carpet, sheets or towels.  I have realized that he is not actually trying to undo all my hard cleaning work just by existing.  I've remembered that I am married, and for us, that means until death.  I will eventually stop thinking about burying him under an avalanche of his own technical equipment and leaving him to starve.  We can do this!


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#44 of 56 Old 10-08-2012, 11:38 AM
 
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I just read a book recently about decluttering -- the book wasn't super helpful for me, but there was a wonderful bit in the introduction that stuck with me.  The author said she had started her adult life as a terrible packrat, and it was interfering with all parts of her life and her marriage because they were just drowning in her stuff.  And one day, her husband sat her down and said to her, gently, something like, "All of this clutter is getting in the way of the extraordinary life I want to have with you."  This, she writes, was the turning point for her in her pack-rat habits, and she was able to change them altogether.  

 

DH and I have had conversations like this, too, and this language was helpful for me. We both like having people over for dinner, for example, but when there's piles of stuff on every surface because there is literally nowhere else to put it, then we're both embarrassed to invite people into our home.  So our extraordinary life is being curtailed by our stuff.  It's gotta go.  

 

It helps me to try and keep things in some perspective.  When we got married, DH had been living here 6 or 7 years already, and the house was a total bachelor pad.  All of his bills and other papers were piled on the dining room table and chairs.  He stored tools and broken appliances in the pantry, rather than food.  He had a kitchen drawer dedicated to plasticware, because he never bothered to use or wash real forks or spoons.  His Christmas decorations were stored in the bedroom closet.  Over time things have gotten much, much better, but now I have new clutter problems that bother me.  I've found that I have much more patience with the current clutter-battles if I remember where we started!  

 

In terms of actually addressing the behavior, one other piece of advice I have is to try to identify the motivation for keeping it.  Ask the hoarder (or yourself): Why am I keeping this stuff?  Is it sentimental attachment?  A fear that others may not value the item(s) in the same way that I do?  Am I afraid that I will not have the money to buy this again if I decide I want it later?   Do I have trouble figuring out where it all should go?  Is the pile of stuff just too big for me to get motivated to clean it out? 

 

After asking a lot of these questions, I identified which of them apply to DH and to which items, and I purge accordingly.  For him, a lot of the trouble is this last one -- he just can't get motivated to clean it out, so he justifies keeping it with all sorts of other excuses.  When I provide the motivation, he does pretty well about getting rid of stuff.  He's always a bit grumpy about it, and complains later -- "I still can't believe you made me get rid of my ________ [treasured piece of junk]" is a common theme in our house -- but the important thing is, he's part of the process, he agrees to the change, and in the end, I have one more drawer or corner or closet or shelf available for our family's needs. 

 

DH also gets anxious about change.  He does not like anything to change in the house, and he'd rather keep something junky than change the order of things in the house.  In order to get him to make any changes or throw anything away, I have to first remove it from its 'home' and put it somewhere else.  It is easier for him to let go of something if it is not in its accustomed place anymore.  This worked great when we had a garage sale -- I took everything of his that I wanted to get rid of and put it in the garage, and then told him that I was not getting rid of anything unless he gave permission, so then he had to go through it and "save" everything he refused to part with.  I couldn't believe how much junk he agreed to sell once it was already in the garage (and saving it would mean that he had to put forth the effort to bring it back inside and find a place to put it).  

 

Oh, and one more thing -- I've found that DH is much more willing to sell things than he is to give them away.  I think he figures that if someone is willing to pay good money for something, that person might value it as much as DH does, and therefore he can let it go.  Garage sales, Craigslist, Ebay and consignment sales have been wonderful motivators for me to persuade him to get rid of stuff.  And the extra money comes in really handy, too. 


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#45 of 56 Old 10-08-2012, 01:18 PM
 
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I took everything of his that I wanted to get rid of and put it in the garage, and then told him that I was not getting rid of anything unless he gave permission, so then he had to go through it and "save" everything he refused to part with.  I couldn't believe how much junk he agreed to sell once it was already in the garage (and saving it would mean that he had to put forth the effort to bring it back inside and find a place to put it).

 

I like that.  I wouldn't do that with any of dh's truly personal things, like clothes or the things on his dresser.  But things that are sort of his, like tools and household stuff in the garage, computer equipment in the office -things that are needed for living in this house- I think he'd work with this. 


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#46 of 56 Old 07-29-2013, 12:16 PM
 
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Someone in my home "collects" things such as tires, magazines, auto parts (for cars we have never owned), cars, wood and so on. The problem I have with this is that these collectibles are/have been taking over more and more of our yard and my side of the garage and a bit in the house but not much in the house thank goodness. Various items have been tossed in the hedgerow of our yard. There isn't any walking space in their side of the garage, one must carefully step over, on or around things. Some items are brought home in cardboard boxes which are then just tossed here and there, inside or outside, either in some hodge podge pile or starting a new pile. These piles have no organization to them. All of these collectibles sit and rot, collect water and I am concerned for what I consider health concerns (cuts, mosquitos, etc) not to mention it has ALL become more than an eye sore. I have tried reasoning with this person but the points don't seem to get through to them, even after they have been hurt while rummaging through their piles. There is sharp metal, broken glass, mice and bees in any of these piles. At one point we had rats in our garage! I have tried to help them by tidying up some of the piles and was asked by said person if I needed a wheel barrow. I feel like junk is taking over my life! Is anyone else feeling the same way?   

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#47 of 56 Old 07-29-2013, 12:41 PM
 
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If you haven't already, I think it's fair to talk with your lovedone about how it's all affecting you. you have talked about the mess, the safety aspect, the icky rat issue. It is not at all fair to make you live in that mess. It's unacceptable. You can communicate this lovingly but firmly.

From there you take the next step.

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#48 of 56 Old 07-31-2013, 08:08 AM
 
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  I took some time this morning to "reinspect" this mess. It is even worse than I had realized. There are unusable vehicles, not only are they unusable they are STACKED FULL of car parts, boxes of this that and the other, some stuff in boxes some not, things are infested with bugs, bees and mice. There are at least 100 tires here in stacks and piles, some are just tossed here and there. Some tires are so old that they have severe weather cracking, they can't be used. Truck bed liners, we don't own trucks. Heavy duty workbenches, metal shelving units, car parts, wooden pallets, lawn tractors, pieces and parts of lawn tractors, piles of firewood that was unusable are tossed here and there, even in large amounts in the hedgerows. Speaking of hedgerows, I noted odd and end garbage (coolers, playground parts, plastic containers, 55 gallon drums, etc) have been tossed in there as well. There are trailers (tow behind car type) containing vehicle motors, wood stove and goodness knows what else, I didn't remove tarps to see, I just couldn't take anymore. Our basement is a disaster because he does not keep things picked up and orderly, the basement gets wet and things get ruined and moldy. I have cleaned and tidied down there a few times but due to my severe mold allergies my allergy specialist has strongly advised me NOT to go in the basement anymore. Since I stopped going down there a few of my items have become ruined when the basement flooded 2 months ago and he had put my things on the floor down there. I mentioned that he needs to clean down there since I can't, nothing has been done.

  He states that he brings all this stuff home to scrap and/or make money from. This stuff has been collecting/piling up for so long that I think the situation has become a much deeper issue, perhaps an addiction to "wheeling and dealing", control/power. Any thoughts there? He spends countless time on eBay and craigslist, reading "wanted" ads in papers, on the phone making deals and unknown amounts of time running around to make these deals. If I mention anything about any of this he gets mad/defensive. He must be bringing most of this "stuff" onto our property when I am not home. I feel like I am at a loss. I spent 4 days clearing one 12'x12' area in the yard, pulling scrap metal, plastic parts, pipes, heat ducts, wooden pallets, etc., out of a weedy area that is supposed to be lawn. I carefully put everything I found in a large pile then cut down the weeds and raked the area. I also cleared the area in front of the garage because I couldn't get to my bay door without tripping on stuff he has piled in the area. He watched me do a bit of this while he was on his phone and finally asked if I needed a wheelbarrow...heavy sigh. I firmly stated that what was needed is a trailer to move this #%@& out. He went and got the lawn tractor with a little trailer and let me fill it a few times and he would drive the tractor to dump the trash, none of this stuff was mine. There are many more that need to be cleared. I NEED HELP PRACTICING WHAT TO SAY/HOW TO APPROACH THIS ISSUE WITHOUT BECOMING A SCREAMING MANIAC. I want to continue to be patient and calm, I believe there is a way to get this worked out but I don't want these messes around anymore. People have asked if we own a junkyard others have said "what the bleep has happened to your yard, it used to look so nice" and men with trucks have pulled up to the house asking if they can take stuff. HELP :/

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#49 of 56 Old 07-31-2013, 10:46 AM
 
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P.S. He began collecting this stuff several years ago. When I first started feeling the "clutter" we discussed that he would keep his items in a specified area which was an area of about 12' by 12'. Periodically I would have to mention that these items were getting a bit "out of control" and have to address the issue several times (for weeks each time) before he would somewhat clean up the area. Now I am finding that he must have been (and still is) bringing stuff home when I am not home and just dropping it where ever. Even his daily vehicles are FULL of stuff, junk food wrappers, car engines, transmissions, brake rotors, tents, clothes, cans/bottles, tools. I don't feel safe riding in his vehicles. He has lost a few valuable items because he can't find them, we might not ever know if someone just walked up and took them or if they are simply "misplaced". He keeps trying to convince me that we need a barn, call me pessimistic but I think I already know what would be  in that barn and what would still remain collecting in the yard and garage.  

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#50 of 56 Old 07-31-2013, 05:02 PM
 
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 I NEED HELP PRACTICING WHAT TO SAY/HOW TO APPROACH THIS ISSUE WITHOUT BECOMING A SCREAMING MANIAC. I want to continue to be patient and calm, I believe there is a way to get this worked out but I don't want these messes around anymore.

 

 

You need to talk to a therapist for exactly this.  Both of you together or just you alone.  A marriage counselor or a one-on-one type.  Yes, discussing this with your dh calmly is more productive than screaming.  But your screaming maniac urge is completely understandable (I think, anyway).  And a little impatience might be good. 

 

Go see a counselor. Your dh's issue is over the top.

 

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#51 of 56 Old 08-01-2013, 11:30 PM
 
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If he is a true hoarder and not a pack-rat...BIG difference, only professional help and his desire to change will help.  My FIL is a serious hoarder and we made the big mistake of trying to get involved/help.  It only made the problem worse and he is nowhere near self-awareness or wanting to change.  I liken it to my chocolate/sugar addiction (funny...but not...).  I am not ready to give up the crap I eat and when I get unwanted encouragement to change my habits it only increases my anxiety about the issue and drives me straight for more.  I am glad to have self-awareness and am seeking help to understand the basis for my problem but I am not ready to change and no one can do it for me.  Hoarding is not just about the stuff, there's a lot more going on beneath the surface.

Best of luck with your DH, it's a tough road for all.


Mom to DS 9/18/09 and DS 3/28/13
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#52 of 56 Old 08-04-2013, 10:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanfordAndWife View Post

I NEED HELP PRACTICING WHAT TO SAY/HOW TO APPROACH THIS ISSUE WITHOUT BECOMING A SCREAMING MANIAC. I want to continue to be patient and calm, I believe there is a way to get this worked out but I don't want these messes around anymore.

 

 

I'm afraid that this is not unlike "What do you do when you live with an alcoholic?" The irrationality, the unlikely plans for what to do with the stuff, the defensiveness, the failure to comply with agreements about boundaries, the time-consuming focus on acquisition, it all sounds like classic compulsive hoarding.
 
Compulsive hoarding is a mental illness, and even if the professionals won't call it an addiction, it's very much like an addiction in the sense that it _rewards_ the person, and so they generally don't want to change. Are they addicted to the stuff? To the jumbled thought process that a hoard creates? To the control? I don't know, but something about the hoarding is deeply rewarding to them.
 
The professionals may tell you to "get him to seek treatment". They may tell you to "respect his decisions" until he learns to make better decisions. When the hoarder won't accept treatment, or when they do and they just make it a stalling tactic without cleaning anything up, the professionals don't seem to offer any solutions. Meanwhile, you're living in the hoard. 
 
It's rather as if an alcoholic not only drinks, but forces his family to drink. As if the experts were warning you that you have to respect his decision to order you to consume a fifth of whiskey, warning you that if you refuse to do so the alcoholic might have a nervous breakdown.
 
It's also rather as if the experts believe that the alcoholic drinks because he just can't quite work out how to get himself a glass of water, and that the cure consists of teaching him how to do so. Teaching organization and how to decide what to dispose of is beside the point until the person truly _wants_ to dispose of things. 
 
It's highly unlikely that the hoarder will clean. It's actually surprising that he lets you do any cleaning; typically, a hoarder will protest about having the piles even moved.
 
You may have to start cleaning, full-force, and defending the cleaned areas. Or you may need to start to dissolve this relationship. I'm sorry to be so pessimistic, but people have lived their entire lives with hoarders, and children have lived their entire lives growing up in hoards, while they cling to tiny fragments of hope. I'm not saying don't hope, I'm not saying don't seek therapy for him, but I am saying don't hope forever. And particularly if there are children in the house, please don't hope for very long at all; please get them out and create a hoard-free life where there will be hope.
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#53 of 56 Old 08-05-2013, 08:02 AM
 
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BTDT.

 

When we moved into our house, he had "his room".  All his stuff would go into his room.  The rest of the house was neat and tidy and cleaned regularly.  Over the next few years, his stuff overflowed from his room, to the bathroom next to it, to the laundry room and garage, to the family room, to the bedroom, to the kitchen and dining room, and finally to the kids rooms.  My oldest forbade him from putting anything in her room, ever, but he did it anyway, because "it was the only space available".  Whenever I tried to tidy and clean, he would erupt in a rage.  Our social life died.  The kids never had anyone over because they were so ashamed.  I tried my hardest to corral and control the stuff, but could never win.  He always brought in more that he removed.  the county came and took away a whole bunch of stuff he had on the driveway, but he blamed the "leftist liberal pigs trying to control his life".

 

I finally packed up the kids and a UHaul and moved out.  I had to do it without him knowing because of his rage.  His first call to me that day was NOT about the kids, but about the "assets" that I "stole".

 

Fast forward more than a year later.  The hoard is worse than ever.  The hallways are nearly blocked.  Only one (of three) showers can be used.  The kitchen is a fetid mess.  My oldest spent the afternoon over there and came home starving, saying "I don't trust the food at Daddy's"  (he can't throw away expired or rotten food, either).  My younger son asked me one day "how does Daddy wash the floor or vacuum?".  When I relied "he doesn't; the floors haven't been cleaned in more than a year", he was disgusted.   One daughter spent the better part of a day cleaning and organizing the kitchen.  It was sparkling and tidy.  She was thrilled.  After she left, he went thought the trash barrel, and reclaimed much of what she threw out, and called her, furious, that she would throw away "valuable" things (like empty fast food cartons).  The kitchen was disgusting again in less than a week.  She was devastated, and has sworn never to make the effort again.

 

When he wants to take all the kids somewhere, he asks to use my car, since his are full of crap and he can't sit more than one other person in them (yes, multiple cars).  

 

Sadly, I still own half of that house, and the value is dropping like a stone, due to his inability to maintain anything because of the stuff.

 

He claims he does not have a problem, that I am the one with the problem. ALL his stuff is valuable, and he is  generating income for the family by selling it (which he rarely does), or by using the information he finds in the newspapers/magazines that he collects.  In his mind, he is the genius that sees the value in the things he picks up that everyone else would throw in the trash.  It is all "useful" and "valuable".

 

He will not change.

 

My kids are soooooo much happier living in a place where they can play freely, invite friends over, not worry about the food they eat or the wrath of dad if they inadvertently move something. Instead of walking on eggshells 99% of the time, it is only about 5% of the time.  So much better all around. 

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#54 of 56 Old 08-06-2013, 02:23 PM
 
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Wow, Sweetpea, what a horrible situation. I'm glad you've moved yourself and the kids out and are experiencing some order and calm.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wookumus View Post

If he is a true hoarder and not a pack-rat...BIG difference, only professional help and his desire to change will help.  My FIL is a serious hoarder and we made the big mistake of trying to get involved/help.  It only made the problem worse and he is nowhere near self-awareness or wanting to change.  I liken it to my chocolate/sugar addiction (funny...but not...).  I am not ready to give up the crap I eat and when I get unwanted encouragement to change my habits it only increases my anxiety about the issue and drives me straight for more.  I am glad to have self-awareness and am seeking help to understand the basis for my problem but I am not ready to change and no one can do it for me.  Hoarding is not just about the stuff, there's a lot more going on beneath the surface.

Best of luck with your DH, it's a tough road for all.

 

 

Read this, it's amazing. http://tetanusburger.blogspot.com/2011/01/demand-resistance.html

 

You too, sweetpea.  Her father sounds like your dh. 


Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#55 of 56 Old 08-09-2013, 07:33 AM
 
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My user name is perfect for the "situation" and I am glad someone else gets a kick out of it as much as I do. The theme song dances around in my head too, frequently (lol). I have mentioned to dh that I want to put a Sanford and Son sign on his vehicles, he doesn't find it as amusing as I do...oops. I must keep a sense of humor, even if it's only to myself. Dh took a few items that I "tidied up" to the scrap yard a couple of days ago <insert applause here>, however I noticed this morning that he has placed 2 more lawn tractors in the hedgerow since then >heavy sigh<. 

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#56 of 56 Old 08-12-2013, 09:35 AM
 
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I visited the web site you listed...the next thing I knew it was 3 hours later. WOW, eye opening and very interesting. Thank you so much for sharing it. I couldn't stop laughing hysterically at the web sites name. Whatever "name" people may give this situation that so many of us have to live in because someone else has a problem, it is difficult to go through. It's helpful to know that I am not alone. I am not a "neat freak" but I do think things need to be clean and have a tidy place without posing a physical or health problem.

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