Friday, February 23, 2007

Advice for the Mother of a Hoarder

Hi Everyone,

Kathy, a mother of a hoarder, left the following, heart-wrenching comment on The Hallway post below:

I'm a 52 year old widow...boy does this hit home...

My deceased husband had this problem, and left a large mess with 2 large piled storages,toys toys, books, magazines and on...

And what is now horrible now is my 23 yr.old daughter has this disease, and put my apartment in hell she has no place where her bed was cause of the mess, and sleeps next to her sister. And is ruining my 2 other children's lifes along with mine... This has destroying our lives...

I can't reason with her, i want to die when i look at this stuff... And none of it is functional... I am afraid the manager is gonna kick us out because of it... I think she has every beauty product in the world, and all it does is pile up... And jewelry, etc...

I don't have the money to get her help...There is no one i know that come here and help...I can't even kick her out. My husband passed this bad habit/disease on to my kids!


If anyone has constructive advice to share with Kathy, please comment on this posting, or send an email to me at h0arders0n at aol dot com, and I'll add it to the comments.

Thanks for your help!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Too little, too late.

YouTube user JaclynFett left the following comment about "The Empty Nest" video at the video's YouTube page:
"Don't let this happen to your parents."

How can you say this over and over. They do it! I didn't do it to my mom's house, she did it! Don't let it happen is too little too late.
I admit that Jaclyn's comment stung a little when I read it, but once I got over myself, I realized that I could have been a little clearer about what I intended when I said, "Don't let this happen to your parents."

Since YouTube only allows 500 characters in a comment, I'll respond to Jaclyn here:
Hi Jaclyn, I absolutely agree with you -- it really is too little, too late, and it's not the child's fault that the house gets uninhabitable. Unfortunately, when one is a child raised in such a situation, it is hard to figure out how to intervene -- or even if it is possible. When I was a kid, I so badly wanted someone to take me out of that house, but I was too terrified to do anything about it on my own.

It is such a twisted, tormented situation, and the parent will often push every psychological button the kid has. So many years are lost to useless churning and frustration, and I guess that's my point: SOMEONE needs to intervene sooner, rather than later. In my case, I wish I had the courage and the knowledge to do so for myself twenty five years ago!

PS. The "this" I was referring to was the "letting the situation get so bad that the parent is found dead in a pile of trash and then the child is left to deal with the hoard." When you're a child, it's almost impossible to do anything about the situation, because you don't have the resources or capability. When you're an adult, however, you do have a choice between taking (probably very painful) action or walking away. I guess we each have to weigh which approach hurts the most.