dealing with my mother's hoarding and compulsive shopping - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 8 Old 11-23-2008, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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so i haven't lived with my mom in 10 years. before that i lived with her for 6 years with my first H and his DD. we emptied her house, cleaned it, fixed it, etc. (for 11 years after my dad died she just filled it up with crap, didn't do a damn thing to maintain it and it was literally falling down)

when my dad was live her complained about her shopping but it wasn't too out of control and the hording thing was non-existant.

after he died, she kinda went nuts. she bought bought bought and started hording. (my grandma, her mom, was the same, her house was tiny and took the whole family 8 months to clean out)

anyway, we are now back here with my DH and 2 DC becuase our house sold and we couldn't close on our new house. and holy &%$# the house is PACKED to the gills, despite the fact that she had a pipe burst upstairs 5 years ago and the entire place was emptied and remodeled. so it's taken her just 5 years to fill the whole hous eup again... there is no where to put anything away, all the cupboards, drawers and closets are bursting and there is candy hidden everywhere. there are tons and tons of gagets in the kitchen, dispite the fact that she doesn't cook and i had to move 18 bottles of shampoo/body wash to give the kids a bath. (that's just the begining)

anyway, i am overwhemled and a bit angry (she told me she blew through her inheritance of 100 grand in 6 years.... gee i wonder why) about all the money she has spent. also the place is really really dangerous for my toddler. i am having to clean clean clean just so she doesn't kill or posion herself.

what can i do to deal? it's just insane.

(PS i am adopted and so missed to hording gene, it drives me a bit insane. though i am frugal and thrifty and known to save things like glass jars and plastic bags and things i can make something else out of... like sheets into baby butt wipes.)

we could be here just until the beginning of december or much longer if our house deal falls though

"Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift." -- Mary Olivercoolshine.gif

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#2 of 8 Old 11-23-2008, 01:00 PM
 
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Is your mom getting any kind of mental health treatment? IT sounds like she needs it. I wonder if she wouldn't be better off NOT living alone right now- some kind of assisted living facility might be a good fit for her.

For the time being, as you're living there, I think you should just start cleaning and decluttering. I'd try to give away as much usable stuff as possible- sure, she could use the money this stuff could sell for, but it might not be worth it- just get this stuff out of the house! I'd try offering things on a local Freecycle or Craigslist- just to clear stuff out of the house and get things to people who could use them.

Ruth, single mommy to 3 quasi-adults
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#3 of 8 Old 11-23-2008, 02:40 PM
 
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I would recommend that you visit the Children of Hoarders website and also join their Yahoo group. These are for adult children of hoarding parents, trying to come to terms with and deal with the problem. You'll find support and advice from people who are going through the same things you are.

Wishing you a positive and peaceful outcome!
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#4 of 8 Old 11-24-2008, 02:06 AM
 
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my mom is the same way. It is extremely hard to see, and even more so to live with.

Mommy to a wonderfully passionate little one
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#5 of 8 Old 11-24-2008, 05:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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[QUOTE=Ruthla;12667021] Is your mom getting any kind of mental health treatment? IT sounds like she needs it. I wonder if she wouldn't be better off NOT living alone right now- some kind of assisted living facility might be a good fit for her. QUOTE]

heh heh, that's a good one. you haven't met my mom. : usually people have to actually agree to move into a facillity right? my mom is no little old lady. she never remarried after my dad died 27 years ago becuase she'd had enough of someone else telling her what to do... she does what she wants to do, it's her house and her money, right?

i'd never try to change her, it's like rearranging the stars, can't be done.

i just want to be able to stay here without loosing my mind!

"Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift." -- Mary Olivercoolshine.gif

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#6 of 8 Old 12-12-2008, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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i realized yesterday while speaking to my mom on the phone that she is really in complete denial about the condition of this house and her behavior. she really does have NO INSIGHT into what she is doing and what results her behavior has. (this was while speaking to her about throwing out an entire cupboard's worth of expired food)

this surprised me. i thought she knew and didn't care. in fact, it seems clear she doesn't know.

this depressed me, and made me wonder what, if anything, i can really do.

"Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift." -- Mary Olivercoolshine.gif

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#7 of 8 Old 12-19-2008, 04:28 PM
 
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Does your mom have a charitable streak?

I know this is in no way a long term solution but perhaps you could come up with the "GREAT IDEA" to box up lots of the food, toiletries, clothing etc and donate it to the local food bank, Christmas hamper or homeless shelter. It might temporarily reduce the clutter at least and help others out in the process.
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#8 of 8 Old 12-19-2008, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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that's a great idea.... sadly i have thrown out tons of food because it's all expired. we tried a few things that we couldn't find expiration dates on them and they were yucky. so i threw it all out. and the clothes are so old too. i bagged up one closet of clothes and gave them to goodwill, because i know they sell the stuff for rags no one wants. that leaves....3 full closets that aren't her bedroom closet and the basement. heh.

we did donate lots of kitchen gadgets and about 15 boxes of books to the library and homeschool group. i cleaned out another kitchen drawer today and DH shredded 2 big boxes of papers and receipts with account numbers on them. fun on a snow day.

i ordered some organizing things for her cupboards... a tiered rack thing for canned goods and a drawer organizer for spices. i hope this helps.

i was praying we'd be moved into our new house by the time she got back from florida next week, but that's not happening. so, i'm likely going to have to take valium to live with her. the first time she goes out shopping i'm gonna hit the roof!

"Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift." -- Mary Olivercoolshine.gif

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