reply to post by femmefreud
You knew this was a LONG TERM PROJECT.
You knew this would not be easy.
You knew y'all have barely started.
You knew youngest daughter was more than grieved and had more than a few issues with mom.
You knew mom was an Olympic class rationalizer and denier.
Take some slow breaths . . . 6-8 seconds in; 6-8 seconds out for 30-90 seconds.
YOU HAVE DONE A GREAT WORK SO FAR. YOU HAVE BEEN AND ARE LOVING, RESPONSIBLE, AWARE, INFORMED, PERCEPTIVE, DISCERNING, CARING, PATIENT, PERSISTENT,
THOUGHTFUL, RESILIENT, RIGHT, HAVE MOM & KIDS BEST INTERESTS SELFLESSLY AT HEART, . . .
The 14 y.o. daughter alone is worth it. The older daughter alone is worth it. The son is gone from the home but his relationship with his mom needs
progress. The mom alone is worth it.
I don't know if it's workable, or not . . . something to give a lot of thought, and were it me, a lot of prayer to . . . I might say to the Mom,
I want to offer my home to your daughter for 3 months. She is more than a little exasperated with all the hoarding and the friction it causes. This is
not good for her at this age of her life.
You also don't seem to need both the hoarding and her to deal with. How about we see if she would like to live with me for 3 months to give you that
long to get your act together vis a vis the hoarding? When you have the home liveable and presentable again, then she would move back.
Then, you could have a new relationship focusing more on what she needs in a mom these last years of her growing up--years which are racing past . . .
for the moment, while you sit stuck on top of a mound of junk ignoring many great needs your daughter reasonably and rightfully has of you.
It would give her a desperately needed break from the stress of the hoarding and you AND HER HOME CONSUMED by it 24/7. It would give you a chance to
focus on getting your own act together without having to deal so much with a desperately needy teenager.
There's a Bible verse I've often fell short of . . . BE NOT WEARY IN WELL DOING.
YOU HAVE STARTED ON A GRAND WORK. Now is not the time to bail out. Rescuing lives . . . so long as you take care of yourself first . . . is a worthy
What happened with son coming home for Thanksgiving?
What's going on with older daughter? Isn't she "living" in the home, too?
I wonder . . . where does your friend like to travel to?
What would happen if you, with her agreement, 'abducted' her to a weekend or 3 days away somewhere with you driving. Taking her away for some
serious reflection . . . and lots of driving hours where she'd be a captive for meaningful dialogue. Preferably maybe to the mountains or the sea
I'd draw her out on her failed marriage; her relationship with her own dad and mother; ATTACHMENT DISORDER issues--WORTH LOOKING UP, I'M CONVINCED
ATTACHMENT DISORDER IS UNDERNEATH THE HOARDING DYNAMICS . . .
I might come up with some vivid imagry . . . about her heart . . . say she has a dozen rooms in her heart . . . that Daddy didn't fill with Daddy
love like he should have . . . and hubby didn't either.
And, consequently, she's been stuffing barn yard lots full of poo into all those rooms because the hollow emptiness is sooooo painful. Only the poo
doesn't really help that much either--it's just better than all the totally empty hollowness . . . slightly.
Then periodically as fitting, I'd chide her . . .
Ahhhhh, I see you're still stuffing poo in your heart. What's the balance today--did you throw more out than you stuffed in or vice versa? How does
it smell? Did you rub some in your hair for a real earthy mousse?
I think I'd also insure that I had a meal alone weekly with the 14 year old whether she lives at your house, or not. And I'd affirm her up one side
and down the other with virtually no negative input unless she asked for your honest opinion about something. Just love on her and affirm her.
Give her thought strategies to turn mom's poison off in her mind. Teach her to let mom's mental illness junk be mom's junk without her taking it
on. Help her understand that mom cannot "make" her angry or depressed or whatever unless the daughter GIVES MOM THAT POWER. She does NOT HAVE to let
mom be IN CONTROL OF DAUGHTER'S EMOTIONS.
I might also experiment erratically . . . with paradoxical comments . . .
Ahhhhh, I see it's piled higher and deeper again today. Which barnyard did you get this lot from? Did you hire a front end loader or a dump truck?
When do you think we should schedule lighting the match? I understand poo burns real well.
Of course, I wouldn't go that route if I thought there was some chance she'd actually light the match.
If I felt she was being particularly cloaked in denial, I might catch her in her chair and either carry or 'knock over' piles and stacks in her
direction or so it would be difficult for her to get out of her chair.
That is, going with the resistence sometimes is the only option. The more one pulls to pull the person away from their resistance, the more they pull
the other direction. Sometimes, the only solution is to push them wolesale into the pile of poo, so to speak.
In this case, maybe literally.
What would she do if you piled her chair with stacks of stuff and all around it and in front of it so she could not use it.
Then just made the observation that you thought she preferred her house and furniture to be UNUSABLE given all the evidence. And help her FEEL AT THAT
MOMENT that her daughter feels that way about the whole house 24/7. That the daughter feels as
SHUT OUT OF HER OWN HOME AND HER MOM'S LIFE [BY MOM'S HOARDING] AS MOM FEELS WALLED OFF FROM HER OWN CHAIR AT THAT MOMENT.
IF I THOUGHT THERE WAS NO OTHER WAY, I might even beggin carrying stuff from the garage and stacking it in the bathroom and all over the kitchen floor
and counters so it was difficult to get to the fridge and the sink etc.
When she fussed, I'd just observe that she seems to be hell bent to end up in an assisted living home with this home condemed and that you thought
you'd just help her hasten things along.
TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS.
You are on the scene. I'm just throwing out a range of suggestions.
You are in a VERY STRONG POSITION. No, we can't wave a magic wand and change people, thankfully. But you are THE ONE POWERFUL REDEMPTIVE FORCE IN ALL
THEIR LIVES. AVOID DISCOUNTING THE CLOUT AND POWER YOU HAVE.
You will know when to add some firm pressure and when to back off a bit. You will know when to experiment with paradoxical things and when not to.
WHEN YOU DO use paradoxical things--it's best to play them straight as though quite sincerely . . . including to the right moment for things to sink
in. Then, leave it hang there as the person's choice to go that route or change.
I think one of your more important and powerful things is to be a resource for the 14 year old regardless of what mom does or doesn't do. I'd
certainly go over the materials you've collected on the hoarding disorder with the 14 year old. She desperately needs help in making sense out of all
the craziness as well as help in KNOWING that it's NOT her fault at all.
PLEASE BE SURE YOU ARE TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF. This may be a very important expenditure of time and energy. Yet, you MUST take care of yourself and
your other priorities. Otherwise, you're no good to anyone.
God be with you and them.