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I Dont Want To Hurt Her....

I have been married for almost two years now and my relationship with my husband is fantastic. We are both successful and highly motivated in life. When we first started dating, I loved his mom. She was kind and very understanding of our need for space sometimes. That all changed when we got married. We got married in a tropical location, meaning that all of our family had to fly out. My MIL seemed happy to be there at first, but as our wedding/honeymoon week progressed, she made us miserable. Keep in mind this was supposed to be our HONEYMOON/wedding. When we wanted to go to the beach alone, she would insist in tagging along. Hot tub time? Count her in. Awkwardly busting in on us while we were in our private suite? Check. I understand she probably had a hard time letting her son go. I get that, and we can laugh about it today. However, it gets worse. Later on in the week, she just started to get mean. She rudely screamed at me at a nice dinner one night because she didnt like how I was eating my food. It caught everyone off guard because it was so unexpected. She started making snide remarks about my own mother. She constantly snapped at me over nothing. Fast forward to the present. My husband and I made a cross country move so I could start professional school. My MIL told us we could stay with her to save money which was very kind of her. We discussed our concerns over whether or not there would be enough space in her small home for two more adults and our young child. She insisted it would be okay, she had made plenty of space. We pack up and drive across country, get to her home, walk in, and SURPRISE! Wall to wall stuff. I'm not talking clutter, I'm talking hoarding. It was overwhelming. There was no space even for one suitcase of clothes. She told us we could shove our stuff in the last little edge of the packed to the ceiling garage. We did. I sucked it up and tried to be patient. She kept promising she would clean up. I offered to do whatever I could to help. It never changed. My toddler would find things like pills in random places, scissors, and once a knife just randomly stuffed in a pile of clothes. I constantly worried he would end up buried in a pile of clothes. One night I just had a breakdown. I told her I couldn't take it anymore, the environment wasn't good for my child. She blew up. Got in my face, inches away from being physical, and hurled some of the most hurtful insults about me and my family. After this, we moved out. She badmouthed me to her family. The truth is, Im still angry. I feel as if she misled us into moving in with her, and I dont know how to help her without hurting her.
biochembetty biochembetty 26-30, F 5 Responses Feb 5, 2013

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You run into all kinds let me tell you!!!!! Gotchya'....:)

I hope bio that things are improving for you. Keep us posted.

Retiresome, what are you ranting about? Congrates on your reasoning and advice, however you are not the only person that has experience in the field. I always believe that there are more than one approach to any situation. Speaking for myself, I value your opinion as well.

I won't go into the field of experience I have/had but I do also have a degree in human behavior/Rehabilitation and have been in the field for over 30 years.

Bio, good luck!!

It was some stay at home mom that said my experience is BLAH....BLAH....BLAH.....LOL

She wanted to live and let live and leave the hoarder in the clutter,mold and rats.

Retiresmesoon you are somewhat right about the anxiety disorder. More specifically however this behaviorial disorder has been linked more to Compulsive Mental Disorder (DSM-IV/300.23). Hoarding Disorders usually interconnect with other disorders such as: bipolar, social anxiety disorders, depression & OCD. Other traits associated with Hoarding: avoidance, anxiety, indecisiveness, perfectionism & poor socialization skills.

It appears that the parent displayed bipolar when she went from kind and understanding to outraged inappropriate behavior. Her anxiety may have put some emphasis on how the mom viewed her relationship with her child-perhaps as a possession - perhaps.

One treatment for Hoarding when we look at family intervention taking place, is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. Albert Ellis, Ph.D originator of this approach in the 50's and medications would definitely be a great place to start.

HI,I have been in the Psychology field for 26 years so I may have a few ideas to consider.

Let's cover the behavior at the Island wedding.Immediately I could see that your MIL was melting down because she has a MAJOR ANXIETY DISORDER.She was out of her environment and she probably didn't have any medication like ( ativan or Zanax ) to keep her calm.

That makes more sense what you get to her house and find that she is a hoarder.

THE DANGERS OF HOARDING: First of all the piles of junk block the air flow and mold starts to form.It not only contaminates the items it also can KILL A BABY or adult when it gets air borne into the lungs.

Next we have fire in a hoarding house.Can you imagine tring to find bodies in burning heaps of junk ? Forget getting out alive and you can expect a fireman to likely die and not get home to his wife or children.

So, you were sane and you got out of that danger zone.NOW,....if your hubby hates his mom then just ignore the danger she is in........IF,....he cares about her MENTAL ILLNESS and the dangers then report it to the Health Department or Fire Department.

WHY, should you report this ? WELL,these Hoarders will make a million excuses to not clean it up.They are suffering from Anxiety and Depression and frozen in the clutter.
When they have to clean it up you may not want to be around because they need a therapist with them.They will cry,scream .&..GET ANGRY AS HELL !!! That is the anxiety talking and they want to save 99 % of everything even moldy items,feces,junk,unneeded papers etc...etc.

Hoarding is an illness, it would take an "act of Congress" to help her. Is there other siblings/spouse? Where does your husband stand on the issue?

Your child is your first priority, moving out was the right thing to do. I am gathering that you live in the same area as her. In some way, your husband prior to marriage enabled her somehow, therefore her anger probably stemmed from her knowing that he would not be there as her support unit.

A tough situation, but your husband and other family members would have to intervene and help with her recovery. Good luck, but not your fault or problem. Ugh...Keep us posted...