I Feel Like I'm the Mom

my mom is a hoarder. she also has some other kind of mental illness but had never been diagnosed because she refuses to seek treatment. she has a master's degree in social work and used to be a therapist before she got fired.  she claimed it was because of her age. i had to go help her clean out her office- it was horrible. she had books and random stuff piled so high around her desk. she also had these binders she had made that had printouts of all the websites she had visited and e-mails she had gotten. she always had so much stuff- she would never throw anything away. three years ago she called me at midnight and said a pipe had burst in her house and asked me to come help fix it. after i had moved out she would not let me come to her house- she would come spend the weekends at my house. i just figured that she had a bunch of junk in there but i had no idea. she had me go through the back door and it wouldn't even open enough for me to squeeze through. the smell was terrible. when i finally got in i just started to cry. there were boxes piled up to the celing and you couldn't even see the floor. to get into any part of the house you had to climb up on a stack of **** at least three feet high- not even a trail like most hoarders have. i couldn't even get to the water main to turn the water off, it was spraying everywhere. she just had this blank look on her face and asked me why i was crying- she really had no clue. i made her come to my house and called my brother and sister and let them know what was going on. my sister flew in the next week from out of state. we had a family meeting and decided that we were going to clean her house out. my brother paid for a 25 foot dumpster and we went to work for the next week trying to clean it out. once we really got in there and had cleared enough junk away to get into the kitchen we realized that she could not even acess her fridge or kitchen sink. i had moved out of her house six years prior and when we opened the fridge there was still a bottle of booze i had left in there when i left. there were dead mice and feces and everything had turned to sludge. her kitchen sink (that had been piled high with dirty dishes) had a rusted out hole in the bottom of it.  she had a stray cat that had kittens and she kept them in the bathroom. there was litter all over the floor and it took two lawn size garbage bags to clean it all up. her shower had no door on it and did not work. there was no water in her toilet and it was also broken. she had a chow  dog that was feral and he would run up over the piles and growl. i had to take all of her animals to the shelter. it was no way for a person or animal to live. her bed had clothes piled all around it so you had to climb up over the pile and climb down onto the bed. during the clean out she would scream and yell at us and threated to run away and never speak to us again.  she actually packed her with jewlery and books and tried to run away in the middle of the night. when we tried to talk her into getting some kind of treatment she would put her hands over her ears and say "la la la la" like a teenager. there were a lot of fights and tears.  my sister (who was studying psychiatry in medical school at the time) tried to rationalize with her and ended up in a screaming match.  we went through 6 dumpsters that week. it was physically and emotionally exhausting. i would work all day and then go over to her house and clean until around midnight or 1 a.m. it seemed like we would never get done. we caught my mom head first in the dumpster on more than one ocassion pulling things out. somehow it was decided that she would move in with me and that i would keep an eye on her and take care of her. we never did get finished with her house. my sister went home and my brother decided he was done with it. i love my mom , but i am so tired of this. she fills up her room in my house and i  have to make her clean it out again. it's starting to get this smell in the basement where her room is. she keeps bringing things over from her house. she works for the same company i do now and she tells my friend that she is fixing her house up so she can move back in. she is so in her own world all of the time. she is constantly losing things or forgetting things or locking her keys in her car and calling me to bring her a spare. i wish she would get some help, but she denies that aanything is wrong with her. i asked her to go to therapy with me and she says that she can't because she knows everyone in mental health from when she worked there. i found a therapist in another city and she said that she won't go because they will just want to medicate her and she refuses to take any pills. so i just continue to clean up after her. i have to secretly throw her food away because she buys things that have expired or are close to rotten. she is diabetic and has to be really careful about what she eats. it breaks my heart. everyday i pray for strength to keep going on like this with no end in sight. i pray that i will be able to get over my anger towards her as well for putting me in this position and for not being able to take care of herself and not wanting to get treatment for a problem she denies having. it's a vicious circle.

deadlycupcake deadlycupcake
31-35, F
4 Responses Mar 22, 2009

My mother does the same thing, plugging her ears ignoring what people say...she's actually doing it as I type.

It's probably OCD.<br />
<br />
For your Mom:<br />
http://www.squalorsurvivors.com/<br />
<br />
For you:<br />
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Mates-of-Messies<br />
http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/Friends-of-Hoarders<br />
<br />
I can confidently say that the chow dog wasn't feral, BTW.

I feel your pain. My grandmother (who died in 98) was a hoarder. She would not get rid of ANYHING. Luckily my family and my uncle and his family lived within a mile and we all took turns cleaning, organizing and throwing stuff out. It is a hard task both mentally and physically. When she died and we went to clean out her house it took forever. There were mountains of egg cartons (cardboard and styrofoam), tin cans and lids, coffee cans, dishwashing liquid bottles, fabric scraps, plastic cups, plates and cuttlery, nuts...you name it it was there. My sisters husband just recently was hired to clean out a house down the street from me. A 90+ year old man lived/lives there. Awhile back his home caught on fire, they were able to put it out with min. loss but when the city found out the condition they threatened to condemn it unless it was cleaned out in 6 months or less. This little old man was climbing a ladder everytime to get in or out of his home because all the doors were blocked. on the first floor my bro-in-law said there was a 2-3' space from the boxtops to the ceiling. They have been cleaning now for a few weeks and he said it is like they havent touched it. The neighbor told him that every night after they leave the man goes out to the dumpster and drags all kinds of stuff back out and back to the house. I have no clue what the illness is that causes it but it is deff. a challenge. I think it is great that you are there for your mom! Keep doing what you are doing, people wouldnt abandon a parent with alzheimers but alot do for mental issues. Your mom needs you!