Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sometimes I feel like screaming

Today there was more progress than before, amazingly. I did have a mini breakdown in order to achieve it. After threatening to throw everything away while she went to work, my mother then proceeded to tell me to find my own place to live.

If you didn't catch it before, I was recently hit by a car, and now have at least three doctors appointments a week. I can't afford an apartment and I don't have the faculties at the moment to maintain a therefore it was an empty threat. I returned the favor with a not so empty statement: if I move out and the house still looks the way it does, I'm going off the grid. That's right, I've done it before. If she doesn't get the house into a place that is livable, I will move out and not contact her again. I have no compunctions about doing it since she causes more pain in my life than pleasure, and it will finally be me doing something for myself instead of her.

I think she actually took me to heart on it, since I have disappeared previously. She got a bag and started gathering stuff to be thrown away. UNFORTUNATELY another rodent died int our house. Yes, the smell is atrocious. I can't stand being forced into that kind of situation. My sanity holds on by threads and one snaps each day.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Day 3

Day two didn't go over well at all. Mother decided that talking on the phone for hours on end was more important that doing her share of the work. Unless she is monitored at all time she refuses to clean anything up. Half of me wants to email photos of the downstairs to a therapist to see if they will take her on pro-bono. I could get her admitted, but I don't want her in my life anymore, if she's going to bring this amount of clutter into where ever I am, then I don't want her to be there to begin with.

Day three on the other hand, came about with her sifting through my trash. She was finding useful objects buried among my rubbish. I almost had to physically rip the items from her hands because she was so set on keeping them. Of course, harsh words were traded. When you are at your wits end, you fear it will come to violence. She actually started screaming at me, "Get your own house." I don't need my own house, I'm fed up and I'm doing it hard way. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Last Straw

For several reason not pertinent to this blog, I moved home this spring. I had decided to make peace with my mother and her hoarding, as long as I had my room as a sanctuary, I would help her with her financial problems and mind my own business about the rest of the house. I viewed it as renting a sleeping place at a hostel, not something I would have to deal with much, especially since I had procured a job and was well on the way to helping out my financial situation as well. Then I was hit by a car.
My life drastically changed. I went from only sleeping in this house, to being confined to the Mazeland everyday, with my only sanctuary being the multitude of doctors appointments to help my healing process. The lack of breathable space in this environment was so suffocating that at points I caught myself daydreaming about it catching on fire. How lovely it would be to burn down and we could start from scratch.

Then the rodent died.

The day before I left for the Halloween weekend at a friends house (a much needed escape for me) the smell of death started to permeate the air. I warned mom about it, and then left for my weekend away. When I came home, it was still there--she had just gotten so used to it that she no longer sensed it.

I couldn't take it any longer. I had had enough. I started watching back episodes of Hoarders on A&E to get the psychiatric tactics for dealing with hoarders and I came up with a game plan: One bag a day. Mom actually agreed to the deal. Every day I will stand there, making no comment holding a garbage bag. She has to fill it with whatever she wants, and I will take it outside to the bins until we find the offending body. She actually made me agree to eat yogurt for my health as a compromise...done!

So far we are one bag down, and hopefully the streak will keep up. She understands if she leaves me for the weekend alone, I will bring in others and she will have no say in what is thrown out. But, for now, it seems to be working.

I plan on photo documenting the process from downstairs (even if there isn't any). Here is the photos from today

The Fall

For as long as I can remember, my mother's home has always been cluttered. She didn't like to do dishes, there was always a pile of papers on the dinning room table, and the laundry was never quite complete. It was annoying, but manageable.

Fall 1996 things started to really change. Mom bought a house of her own instead of apartments that she had to keep clean to impress the landlords. The extra bedroom should have been a red flag. On moving day, anything and everything that was not of everyday use went into that back bedroom. Before long, it was filled to capacity, where even the door wouldn't shut, and there was still more objects to be moved into the house. She decided to split the living room in half and use the back portion of it for "extra storage."

While things were starting to get messy, the junk was still relatively under control until 1998. That year mom got severely sick. She was on the couch for three weeks, barely able to move let along do any menial house chores. Half her face fell victim to Bell's Palsy, taking away her major source of comfort: smoking.

With the illness other changes started in her life. The illness had been harsh on her stomach which she blamed on her antidepressants, so she quit them. Without their aid the house fell apart. Where there used to be a table covered with papers, there became a mound of papers hovering over another mound of more nefarious objects. There was no longer a living room with functioning furniture, just piles of extra stuff that "could be used for something someday." The kitchen disappeared, it became a stove surrounded by tinder just waiting for a spark. Each year the piles grew until there were only pathways throughout the house, a lone rocking chair for television viewing, a computer screen glow back-dropped in a file clerk's nightmare.