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Waiting Game

He's still living and hoarding in the basement. I'm still with the kids on the top floor.

Nights like tonight I spend hours online, because this community and one or two others feel like company and keep me sane. It is so very hard to go to bed alone, and so very hard to think of finding someone to go to bed with, with kids in the next room and him in the basement... the process will happen, but I think healing may need to happen first.

I'm waiting to see if I get accepted to a prestigious post-graduate placement in Europe. I'll find out by March. In the meantime I continue to go to school at a local college, which keeps me busy and is fun in its own way. When you are exasperated by exams and papers you have little time to worry about personal issues.

Now exams are over, and I'm not sleeping for different reasons.

I had a conversation with him this morning. I realize that to go to Europe means selling or renting out this house - my first house I've ever owned, where we've lived our 12 years together; the only house the kids have ever known. It's no dream house, but it's what we know.

And I'm ready to move on, and terrified too.

So i told him this morning, you need to have the basement cleaned out by Feb. 1 so we can move or rent by end of June if need be.

He's been procrastinating in his usual way. After the conversation where I convinced him that selling or renting the house for the maximum amount of money could only be achieved by him getting his hoard under control, and that it was best for the kids to get the max money, he seemed on-board. He went out and purchased a bunch of bins to store stuff. He labelled the bins. They continue to reside out in the hall, cluttering up the hall. He filled two garbage bags of stuff. He put them in the hall, where they continue to reside.

I've seen this before. The room hoard never changes, just gets shuffled around. Stuff from one area moved to another. Somehow more than there was before.

We have a student helper who is GREAT at organizing and helping remove junk, she's been helping me for a few months to downsize. She's awesome, she's inexpensive, and EX agreed to work with her - then nothing. Last week when she came I told him, please talk to her. He said he will. I asked him while she was here - did you talk to her? Yes, he says.

I ask her, did he talk with you? Oh, he said hello G___. That was it. He asked how she was doing. That was his "talk" with her.

"I have to sort things out first" he always says. And it never gets done.

You may think I'm being a b*tch, a whiner, busting his balls. I dare YOU to live with a classic hoarder for 10 years, being super nice, cleaning up their mess time and again, and not get somewhat exasperated after a decade of it. We have kids. I am the person who pays the home insuance. I cannot get into that room to check electrical, or anythign else.

I put my foot down about Feb. 1. I don't know what else to do. I WILL GO TO A LAWYER IF NEED BE. I WILL KICK HIM OUT. I DON'T WANT THE HASSLE BUT WTF ELSE CAN I DO???

I will ALWAYS be the BAD GUY. But I bet you anything, if push comes to shove, I will let all our friends and family know EXACTLY what went down, they will support me. I am at the point where I no longer give two f*cks, because there's no other thing to do. He may lose it and end up in the mental hospital if I push the issue, and I no longer care. WHAT ELSE CAN I DO????

My poor kids. My poor me. I have no more pity for him.

I feel like a total sh*t. I don't even want to date anyone because I hate myself so much for what I have to do. I do have to move on and separate him from the kids, I have to do it. And I hate myself.
zsuzsilowinger zsuzsilowinger 36-40, F 8 Responses Dec 16, 2012

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Just one more thought that could assuage your desire to still be compassionate. Have the student videotape and photograph his hoard before it goes into storage. This way he can still see it all, and remember what-all he has.

Once again thank you all for all your advice and kind words. I am not responding right now because it is hard to focus on this, but what you say IS being heard.

Zsu, you've probably seen the ads for 1-800 got junk. They are terrific. They send a dumpster and 2 guys. You point at what you want removed; and out it goes. It's a bit expensive but It's a wonderful service.

I hope it doesn't get to that point with your H's room. It got to that point with our basement and attic because my ex would go to garage sales (or just walk around on trash day) and come back with stuff (furniture, lumber, fixtures) and would never get rid of it. And yes, getting the dumpster was one of those beginning-of-the-end events that the ex was oblivious about. I did it under the excuse of getting the house ready for renovations. At that point, I was already thinking that if we split up and sold the house, it would greatly benefit from some renovations first.

In the end, he'll have two choices: a truck or a dumpster.

I didn't know you had this service, but it sounds great. I was just going to say to Zsu that she needs to tell him that he has NO choice about this. IF the room is not cleared by him by 1st Feb she WILL have it cleared for him.

Zsu, be sure to put this in writing. And be sure you say in the written statement words to the effect: "As we agreed in our conversation / discussion on xth Dec., you will need to have cleared out the basement by no later than 1st Feb" or words to that effect. You need to be able to demonstrate that you have alked to him AND given him ample notice. . . .

zsuszi, it's not you, it's him.

repeating what other responders have said here. it's time to take care of your own needs and your childrens' needs. he can either cooperate (odds are against) or...be moved out of the way.

thankfully you've got the student helping you. give her instructions & get her started.

good luck. xo

"I WILL GO TO A LAWYER IF NEED BE".
Good thinking. You need to do this. There is no 'need be' about it.

"I WILL KICK HIM OUT"
Good thinking. It was always going to come down to this.

"I DON'T WANT THE HASSLE BUT WTF ELSE CAN I DO???"
There is nothing else you can do.

Tread your own path.

Zsu, I'm pretty sure you're going to eventually need legal representation anyhow, for example when it comes to child custody issues. Especially if you plan to take the children out of the country, even temporarily.

You'd get a lot of your questions answered.

<p>One of the things that really helped me was a feeling that really I had no choice, I was that desperate. And this allowed a really direct and unequivocal focus on what had to be done - no way was I going to be diverted. Perhaps you could spend some time building up why this has to happen, you have no choice.</p><p>FWIW, people in the SM would normally have to go a huge distance to become anything resembling selfish - their issue is the opposite. I know from having had a glance at the hoarder support boards that people leave for that alone (my W has a mild case, but even that drives me up the wall).</p><p>I was also wondering whether, instead of the still-intangible maybes of Feb, March and June, you can - right now - assume a particular outcome, and start today on making that happen. If he fits in, that can be modified, but I don't think you actually think he will change or cooperate (and the evidence speaks to that), so you can act now on that basis. And hold him to the 1st Feb.</p>

Sounds like you need an action plan beyond a lawyer and an ultimatum date. How wonderful that you have a student helper that you can trust--an excellent move in the self-care department. What about something like this: Give him a clean-up-by date. Tell him the consequence for no follow-through is that the student helper will go in, box up everything that doesn't look like he needs it for immediate personal care, and it all goes into storage at a specific date. And then do it. Document the conversations and bring the storage facility bill into play during the divorce when it comes time to negotiate the financial split.

And why are you not already prepping family and friends with the sad truth of your situation? Do you not need the full extent of their moral support right now?

sounds like an extremely sensible plan to me ....

Now's the tough stuff, Zsu. You may have to follow through with your threats about Feb. 1. You may have to be the bad guy and get lawyers involved. It's no longer about him. This is about your future and the safety and security of your children, both financially and physically. Living in a house with a hoarder is not good for them or you. He has proven he won't change, so you must. Zsu, the good news is that soon you get to shed this baggage. A little more effort to end this relationship and everything left behind from it will pay off wonderfully.