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Hoarding Help Message Boards : Welcome to the new board! : how do i escape from the hoarders prison
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how do i escape from the hoarders prison

Stuck in the middle
Posted: 31 December 2019 - 05:32 PM
Aww Tillie,

I'm so sorry. I totally understand. Limitations can be frustrating.

The excuses and criticism are challenging - they make smoke come from my ears like a train going full speed ahead. But I don't show it.

The wounds and ruined clothes are not as easy to hide. I'm proud of ya for pushing through though! Ya did it! Win!


(((Hope Hugs)))
Posted: 31 December 2019 - 02:09 PM
but the only way those things were ever going to leave the property is if I did that hard thankless work.
He just hid in his garage making excuses and then criticizing everything I did after all the work was over & done with.

Yeah :(
I've been hurt so many times trying to live with this dangerous hoard.
And my clothes are always getting ruined too.

Good luck and best wishes for you today making another stab at things.
Stuck in the middle
Posted: 31 December 2019 - 11:16 AM
Way to go Tillie!

That is hard work! Please be careful. If the body gets broken, as non-hoarders, the battle only gets compounded with more issues. I hear your pain. We might think the physical pain is worth it because "things" are gone, but in reality we must learn our limits to avoid hurting our bodies. Trust me. I've been injured. If you can, ask for help with the heavy things next time. But dang girl! Way to muscle through it!

I donate or throw away what is not mine only with permission.

Yesterday was rough. I felt defeated. So far, today is not looking all too good either. I'm locked inside my prison oasis as I type this - regrouping. Reading threads in the forum to find hope.

For anyone out there that just stumbled onto this sight looking for help, keep reading through the threads even when you're exhausted and want to totally give up. There are answers in the threads and wonderful people here. It helps to share your struggles too. Please don't give up.

O.k. I'm going to give this day another try. Out to the battlefield I go. Heigh-ho, heigh-ho.

Riding on a wing and a prayer.
(((Hope Hugs)))
Stuck in the middle
Posted: 31 December 2019 - 08:33 AM
Correction to my previous post:

.... I have full intentions of calling if
*I outlive my MIL*.
Posted: 31 December 2019 - 08:26 AM
I sure do understand grabbing those windows of opportunity/cooperation!

Just recently I had the opening to work on getting some things out of the yard and I jumped on it.
But had to move a lot of heavy filthy hoard out of the way to get to these things.
Also had to push a derelict vehicle out of the way then back out of the way again.
My body is still suffering terribly but those things are GONE.

About your MIL's things...
If you can donate, then donate.
I was not sure if that was an option for you.
I know that I can only donate or throw out things that are mine.

That's really GREAT that you plan to call for hoarding clean up services should you be tasked with the final clean up for your MIL. :D
Stuck in the middle
Posted: 30 December 2019 - 08:04 PM
Hey Tillie,

Yes. I knew that. Because after 20 years of it I learned that there are baby steps forward and multiple steps backwards. It is a never-ending cycle. At least for me. Please don't get me wrong. Some things have improved. Like you, I have claimed "space" but it is equally difficult to maintain that space.

I've also learned that when I have windows of cooperation I must muster up every bit of strength inside of me to ride the opportunity spaceship to hoarding freedom. Even if it is only shortlived. Whoop whoop! With my husband, it is all or nothing. So I jump.

Sometimes the battles must be faced in order to live a normal functional life. This is not new to my husband. And I am extremely sensitive to his level of "handling so much". Believe me, it is SO much easier to be compassionate than it is for me to fight; hence, my brain freezes - albeit rare. He has no idea why I brain freeze. I am far too sensitive of his feelings to supply him with my answer.

At the same time, I freely admit that I am not a perfect human being and this forum is helping me learn more. It is helping me cope. It is helping me grow. It is helping me to help my husband. It is giving me hope.

My husband's tolerance level is zero. So when I get a window of oppurtunity - I jump. I work hard. Very hard. Because I never know when the window will shut.

I am not sure that I can answer your questions. I need to think about that. You might recall, my MIL is a hoarder too and I just spent the last year of my life cleaning and organizing her home. So. As I think about this more....My husband received "things" from her and added these "things" to our home. Wouldn't it be wiser (and more sensitive to her) of me to donate these things instead of returning them to my MIL? That way those "things" will no longer be something that has to be removed from my MIL's house at a later time. Kinda a win win.

.....Oh, and, trust me.... I have full intentions of calling if my MIL outlives me. I simply do not have the life left in me to deal with that again. I have enough hard work to do defending and cleaning my own spaces.

Great advice Tillie, thank you.

(((Hope Hugs)))
Posted: 30 December 2019 - 05:26 PM
You knew going into this that there would be times where you take one step forward and many days where you are bushed multiple steps backward.

Please stop for a little while, keep maintaining what space you can and regroup.

Choose your battles carefully. Keep them small enough to be do-able.

You need to give him some time to adjust to the new.
You have done a lot these last few days.
He can only handle just so much at a time.
Watch him and learn what his tolerance levels are to not push him beyond a limit, for now.

Little by little he will be able to handle more at a time.
This is all so new to him and he can't handle it, yet.

Yes, very important that all donations or trash items are removed immediately at the end of the day.

Can you return that stuff to his mother's house?
Maybe sneak it out of your place and back to her's?

Keep up that hard work of removing things from your clear space areas.
Stuck in the middle
Posted: 30 December 2019 - 04:27 PM
There was no hike today, as planned. Today was hard.

Let me digress. Yesterday was progress. I counted it as a win even though my husband filled the car with my things to hurt me. Some of the items were also kitchen items. Kitchen items are considered my things since I do ALL of the cooking. After licking my emotional wounds, I thought to myself, "O.k. sure. Car full. Donate. Done." ... "He needed to purge his frustration. Fine. I can work with that. Progress." ... Counted as a win.

The car never left. The place we donate to is closed today.

So. Car starts to get unloaded today because a major kitchen appliance stopped working today. Then he goes to his mother's house to bring more stuff into our home. (((Deep breath))) Although I removed and relocated these things, it was another battle for me to defend space.

Lesson learned today: Make sure to donate the same day that the car gets loaded with stuff to donate.

I. Am. Maxed. Out. This is the point where I reach out. This forum is my saving grace. My Hope.

I am riding on a wing and a prayer.

(((Hope Hugs)))
Stuck in the middle
Posted: 30 December 2019 - 12:22 PM
Well said Tillie!

My brain will not settle down from looking away. If the closet is crammed full but the door is closed, my brain still knows that there is no space in the closet. Brain goes nuts. Brain overloads. I must open the closet and make logical, healthy space before I can have inner peace. It is the same as I look around. If there are too many things my brain can't rest. I simply just can't look away to not see it. Space is extremely important to me. Just like love is.

I never thought of the ceiling quite like that. Very interesting. When I run out of space my brain finds space by spacing out. My brain literally shuts down, and I freeze - eyes wide open. I don't feel, see, or hear a thing around me. My husband literally has to "trigger" me to pull me out of that trance-like state of mind. This may sound very odd to some people, but I believe this is the only way my brain knows how to rest if there is not enough space.

(((Hope Hugs)))
Posted: 30 December 2019 - 10:43 AM
This weeks lesson is for everyone to write an essay on what "space" means to them.

I love this :D

Gives us all a wonderful perspective on the different workings of our brains.
Stuck in the middle
Posted: 30 December 2019 - 10:32 AM
Dearest Subclinical,

You did just fine. Perhaps my reply to the subject of space wasn't clear. Maybe "space" should be discussed further to help us all learn and grow. I believe the desire to "fill" "space" is an equally important subject. Whether it is empty space or a full space, both have different meaning to a minimalist and a hoarder.

For example, to me - as a minimalist, an empty shelf or closet doesn't need to be filled. I prefer space. Because to me space is visually appealing and clean. Less is more - to me. I don't have the desire to "fill" "space". I have desire for "space" because, again, space is not a "thing" - to me.

As a minimalist living with a hoarder it is a continual exhausting battle to maintain and reclaim space. When I run out of space it is like running out of air. I can't breathe. I am left with zero happiness, zen, and balance. It literally sucks the life right out of me.

Perhaps "space" is a "thing" to some people. I simply don't see it that way. Just like love is not a "thing" - to me.

......Whoa. I swear, someone could actually get their PHD on this subject. I'll just leave it at that. I've probably only confused someone.

Today is a great day for a hike!

(((Hope Hugs)))
Posted: 30 December 2019 - 10:31 AM
When my eyes glance around and see things it is like a sound in my brain.
When there are too many things the sound is very loud and makes it hard to relax or think.
With space between the things the sound is more melodious and relaxing.
My brain settles down and I can find some peace.
Often I sit looking up at the ceiling because there is usually only one light fixture in that clear space.
For me the space is a tangible and necessary thing in it's own right.

Hope I explained that coherently ;D
Posted: 30 December 2019 - 06:18 AM
I don't think I explained the space part right - imagine a shelf. On one side of the shelf there are books. On the other side of the shelf there is nothing.

I see the nothing side of the shelf as "empty" no one is using it, so why can't I put something there? Dh sees the nothing side of the shelf as full. He is using it. It is full of "space".

I see space as emptiness to move through and fill. Dh sees it as something that exists around him in its own right and is already "full".

I am sad that your dh would want to hurt you. I would never want to hurt Dh and I know he would never want to hurt me. That doesn't mean that we don't sometimes do things that are hurtful, but we don't mean to, and we feel awful about it.
Stuck in the middle
Posted: 30 December 2019 - 01:54 AM
Dearest Subclinical,

I truly appreciate your reply. I find your input very educational.

For example, attaching "more emotion to stuff". "Space is a thing". "Visually cold".

I have attached deep emotion to material things when I was younger, but I quickly learned that those "things" were not the meaning of true happiness - for me personally. Many things make me happy. But material things do not.

Space is not a "thing" - to me. Space is happiness - to me. Space is healthy - to me. Space is zen - to me. Space is balance - to me.

As a minimalist, I understand how a home can become "visually cold". I strive for a clean, healthy, happy, spacious, pretty, and visually appealing home. A welcomimg home. A place where my loved ones feel most comfortable. A home that they want to return to. A home that they visit often to find laughter, unconditional love, and to make healthy happy memories. I've always managed to find the strength to make it happen. But it has just always been a continual battle between my husband and I. I cannot put into words how unbelievably difficult this repeat process is for me.

To answer your question...Yes, I have talked to my husband many times. Most of the time I am not heard. Sometimes I am.

(((Hope Hugs)))
Stuck in the middle
Posted: 29 December 2019 - 09:46 PM
Oh Tillie, my heart breaks for you. I am so sorry that you had to go through that and live with those painful memories. 🤗 I hear your pain.

I recognize now when my husband is being evil and trying to hurt me. So even though he got rid of my things today, I hid my pain and said thank you for helping. I can live without material "things". But material "needs" are different. He didn't throw away my toothbrush.
So today I win. Even if it did hurt. We made progress.

I no longer allow pets. My husband would abuse them to hurt me if I moved something of his. How sad it is to endure such pain. It sickens me. And I am so very sorry for your loss.

Golly, I hope to never stop caring about my husband. Are there days that I hate his behavior? Sure. Are there days that I absolutely want to give up and walk away? Sure. Do I get bitter? Sure. But I hope I never stop caring for him.

Stay strong.

(((Hope Hugs)))
Posted: 29 December 2019 - 07:25 PM
That I do not understand. Sometimes dh would try to get rid of his stuff, and I would feel bad and often "rescue it" and hide it. Sometimes I would be able to retrieve things and give them back when he forgot that he "got rid of them" and looked for them.

I think it hurt me more when he got rid of his stuff than it hurt him, because I attach more emotion to stuff.

It took me a long time to understand that "space" is a thing, and that if I put something where he was keeping a space, I was actually taking away a thing that was important to him.

I wonder if you could talk with your dh about that? It isn't right for the house to be mostly his stuff and shared spaces, there should be a balance between his stuff and your stuff and some of your stuff should get to be "empty space" beyond the shared space needed to live and move.

In the interest of full disclosure, I think dh has too much space now and he thinks I still have too much stuff. He is probably right, but I might be too. Sone areas of the house feel visually cold to me.
Posted: 29 December 2019 - 06:08 PM

I know well that sting. :(
Steven has gone behind my back and given away most all of my treasured possessions.
That was even before I even started decluttering the house.
He did it to gain more space for his ever growing hoard.
All that did was make me not care at all any more about anything material or him.
He also killed my cat.
Ran her down in the driveway, something totally unforgivable.

Please pace yourself or you will get burned out.
This is not to be done as a speed race, slow and steady is best.

Take care and stay safe.
Stuck in the middle
Posted: 29 December 2019 - 03:02 PM
Today was a rough one - to say the very least. But. The car is full with yet another load of things to donate. I am exhausted to no end. And although my Husband took the reverse approach today and loaded the car with my belongings, I just rolled with the his punches. Since I am a minimalist, that hurt. But that is o.k. I. Will. Win. I will not give up. I. Will. Not. Give. Up.
Posted: 29 December 2019 - 02:48 PM
Thanks Subclinical for clarifying "p expletive"
Isn't autocorrect wonderful? ;p
Stuck in the middle
Posted: 29 December 2019 - 12:59 PM
Dearest Subclinical,

Way cool! I did not know this: "I think it is good for us to have non-hoarders who want to work with their hoarders." That is an awesome stepping stone! I am incredibly proud of you!

I am very sensitive to people's happiness. I just want the best of the best for all humans, no matter their struggles. I'm here for you. I will be your cheerleader too. 😊

(((Hope Hugs)))
Posted: 29 December 2019 - 11:59 AM
Stuck in the middle,

I think it is good for us to have non-hoarders who want to work with their hoarders.

Sometimes they can say things that we wouldn't be able to hear from our own partners.

It also helps us be more introspective and analytical as we attempt to explain. And explaining to someone who isn't fighting with or being critical of US lets us be more honest.

As I thought more about the potty training analogy, it is really relevant. A lot of the things I did at first were entirely to please dh. But now, I have come to see some of the value in empty spaces - much like a child who no longer wants to walk around in wet pants.

Also, I don't know how "p expletive" ended up in my post. It was supposed to say "people" as in, I needed to make room to put a queen bed in a room that had a twin so my married child could come home to visit, for example.
Posted: 29 December 2019 - 10:23 AM
Hello :)
You are so very welcome (((HUG)))

This is what I love about this site.
Everybody is so helpful and accepting of each other and there is such valuable wisdom shared here.

Both sides get to vent their frustrations and from this we all learn so much more about all our struggles.

We all sincerely want each other to succeed and to be healthy and happy.
We are all working on digging out and together we CAN do it.
Stuck in the middle
Posted: 29 December 2019 - 09:53 AM
Dearest Subclinical,

Thank you for the eye-opener. Great advice! I will continue to be the cheerleader and learn to be even more sympathetic. I must stay firm too. It's a difficult balance. None of the hoarding issues are easy for either the minimalist or the hoarder. This forum is helping me to understand that at deeper levels.

Today, so far, has been WW3. I'm not naturally a person that argues, fights, or stands my ground. Doing so makes me physically sick. So this battle is incredibly difficult for me, especially since my situation involves 2 hoarders.

I, by all means, never want to come across on this forum to hurt any hoarder's feelings. I do however need a place to vent, share my battle cries, grow, and learn. That's why I choose this thread for support.

Again, thank you. 😊

(((Hope Hugs)))
Posted: 29 December 2019 - 07:50 AM
Hi Stuck in the middle,

I am the hoarder in my house. I have been working on it a long time, and it is still a struggle every day. But things are better.

I have been motivated by wanting space for the p expletive I love to be in my life.

I also love my husband and want him to be happy, but sometimes it can be hard to understand how your stuff is making someone else unhappy. You can think "don't YOU want Me to be happy? Can't you see how much it is hurting me to get rid of this stuff?"

It is fantastic that your husband is working with you, even grudgingly. You mentioned children, so I am going to guess that you went through potty training. Helping a hoarder clean out can be a lot like that. - you need to praise and reward the behavior you want to see - a lot. It doesn't make sense to non hoarders that you would need to cheer and celebrate things like a clean table or even a discarded envelope, just like you wouldn't cheer if your dh used the potty. But for a toddler we would cheer and sing because it is a totally new and difficult skill for them. They are learning to be aware of themselves and their behavior in a whole new way and to take action to please these around them. Emotionally and developmentally the same things are happening for a hoarder.

This site has helped me a lot because people here will continue to cheer for me and support my growth even when the people around me are tired of doing so because they think I should have "gotten it" by now.
Stuck in the middle
Posted: 28 December 2019 - 06:40 PM
Tillie!!! 😊

Yep. 1 whole car load! It was so unbelievably cool! How are you doing? Your words of advice literally saved my sanity and I want to thank you from my whole heart and soul. You are an angel. Really, you are.

Many (((hope hugs))) to you! I cannot thank you enough.
Posted: 28 December 2019 - 06:28 PM

A carload to donate.
Hope you had a lovely hike :D
Stuck in the middle
Posted: 28 December 2019 - 10:48 AM
Car is loaded with more things to donate. Another win. I. Am. Tired. But today I will hike to purge the stress. Stay strong people. Stay strong.

(((Big Hug)))
Stuck in the middle
Posted: 27 December 2019 - 05:16 PM
Thank you Tillie! Aftermath sucks. The battle to keep it gone sucks. Dealing with the mood swings and second guesses suck. But. I will count today as a win. There was only 5 Hiroshima wars. 5 is good. I am absolutely exhausted to no end. But. I won. ...Hope...
Posted: 27 December 2019 - 02:50 PM
Wonderful that you were able to remove those appliances!
That is a fantastic beginning! :D


Wishing you all the best.
Stuck in the middle
Posted: 27 December 2019 - 01:14 PM
Great advice Tillie! I especially love that you wrote: ..."but eventually I won"... THAT is HOPE. Thank you!!! I sure did need that! (((Hugs)))

Like you, I simply cannot live in clutter. I am a minimalist. I reached the point where I *thought* about suicide but I would never do that. I could never do that. It is not the answer. But it scares me when I start to think about that. That's when I typically reach out for help. Then I stumbled across this forum and it is helping. I do have "coping mechanisms" like OCD and stress-starving which I have learned to live with my entire life. It just works for me, it is a part of who I am, and how I cope. Hiking helps too. Anyhow...

Today was a good day. My husband was kind enough to hear my cry. We got rid of gently used appliances. One step forward...and hopefully only a few steps backwards this time.

Eventually, "I. Will. Win." ....Hope. I like that.
Posted: 27 December 2019 - 11:14 AM
OK, you asked...

He was mean and nasty, crazy, irrational and irate even before I started to reclaim the house for humanity.
He was always losing things in the hoard and then blaming me for it, saying that I moved it or threw it out, I never did.

I started small so that the battles would be small and not a repeat of Hiroshima in WW2.

Yes it was ugly but I had chosen my battle and would not back down.
My Battle cry was "I LIVE HERE TOO!!!"

Every time he would keep trying to reclutter the newly cleared space I would move whatever it was to his areas.

He eventually learned that I would not back down.

He learned NOT to try just dropping things in these spaces.
It took a long time but eventually I won.

I did not toss out anything of his, just relocated it little space by little space.

I really wanted to do it fast but he would have probably have murdered me.

I had hoped that having the main areas of the home clean and livable would have motivated him to declutter his areas but it didn't.

Living with a hoarder and seeing all the hoard in the garage, carport, yard & his bedroom has made me a minimalist with my own things.
Some people change and start to hoard themselves and stop even trying to clean around all that mess.
I just could not live that way, ever.

This is why you need to go slowly, one small area/battle at a time.
Stick to your guns, defend the clear clean space at all times.

Yes, there will be ugly nasty mean fights.
But you do have rights

Rule number one is to never throw away or donate anything that is their own personal property.
But you are allowed to relocate it out of community spaces.

I had to do this because I was suicidal.
I had the choice of ending my life or having a face off with him no matter how nasty he got.
For me it was life or death.
I chose life.
Stuck in the middle
Posted: 27 December 2019 - 09:19 AM
O.k. New day. ...I. Am. Exhausted. As I write this from my prison oasis I am already dreading another day stuck in Hoarding Hell. I don't want to unlock my bedroom door, walk through it, and face the messes again. Oh, but, I will. Because I don't give up. I. Will. Not. Give. Up.

Today I am going to donate a car full of "things". This might sound easy to some people. It should be simple. Don't use it. Get rid of it. But a hoarder puts up a fight.

Tillie, you suggested small change. How did you manage to even clean off his table or move anything of his without him getting outright mean, crazy, and beyond irate? Both my MIL and my husband go bonkers if their things are moved. Is this a typical behavior that Never goes away? It's like telling a spoiled brat to put away their toys and all they do is throw a bloody temper tantrum. Every. Single. Time.

If I was a hoarder, I'd hoard nothing but hugs so that I could give them all away to people that needed hugs.'s time for me to unlock the door and get busy.

Stuck in the middle
Posted: 26 December 2019 - 08:23 PM
Tillie...I wish I could give you a big ole hug. I. Am. So. So...sooo very Sorry for the loss of a loved one and being tasked with "cleanup". You! Are! Amazing! Don't forget that!
Stuck in the middle
Posted: 26 December 2019 - 08:10 PM
Great advice. Thank you! I broke down tonight and cried hard. Very very hard. My husband has never seen me cry that hard since my brother died. I don't cry easily. My husband cared. Maybe there is hope.
Posted: 26 December 2019 - 07:57 PM
Thank you (((HUG))) :)

I too was tasked with the possessions of a deceased loved one.
That really IS the hardest job any one ever has to do.

I treasure my memories.
Don't need things to trigger them.
If some day I lose my memory (dementia/Alzheimer's/etc.) it will not matter because I will also forget that I ever used to have them, so it won't hurt.


If you do start to do a major declutter, relocate items to other locations,
start very slowly.

I started with the coffee table.
Bagged or boxed up all his treasures.
Labeled the bags and boxes.
Put some of them in his bedroom and some in the garage depending on what was in them.
A few days later I did the end table on his side of the couch, same method.
Slowly but surely I decluttered the livingroom which is where I sleep, by the way.
He had the livingroom so cluttered that at that time I was reduced to sleeping curled up on only one end of the couch.
Now I can open the hide-a-bed feature and sleep properly.

Then I would pick an other area/small space and clear it slowly and methodically in the same way.

They need time to adjust to any changes. They hate change.

Once I decluttered an area, never throwing away anything of his, just relocating it, I would immediately remove anything new he tried to place in the clear spaces.
Yes his spaces became even more cluttered up than before but the main living areas of the home became livable.
Plus I could then clean properly.

You are more than welcome to join us on the daily chat thread.
There we give each other support and suggestions.
But any suggestions are just suggestions, never demands. :D
Stuck in the middle
Posted: 26 December 2019 - 07:20 PM
Tillie.. I see that you actually care here on this forum. If you need anyone to talk to amytime..I. Am. Here. For You.
Stuck in the middle
Posted: 26 December 2019 - 05:03 PM
I learned a very valuable lesson in life years ago. A lesson in life I learned when my brother died. He was my savior, my happiness, my everything. We were the best-of-the-best of friends. Out of a family of 5 siblings, I was designated to go through and "salvage" his belongings. It was one of THE hardest things that I had to do in my long list of Hard Knocks in life. In this lesson, I was The Hoarder. I wanted to take, keep, and hold every "thing" that my brother held...that he touched...that he made. I filled my car. And Left. Then I donated to family members "things" that they wanted. Since then, we have all relinquished all of his "things" and we are only left with memories. Good memories. Great memories. No "things".

In this lesson, I have learned that it is not the "things" that make us happy. It is the memories. Family. Love. And I learned what NOT to do to my children. That is to NOT burden them with getting rid of my stuff. It is hard enough to lose a loved one. It's equally difficult to go through their things.
Stuck in the middle
Posted: 26 December 2019 - 04:49 PM
I learned a very valuable in life years ago. A lesson in life I learmed when my brother died. He was my savior, my happiness, my everything. We were the best-of-the-best of friends. Out of a family of 5 siblings, I was designated to go through and "salvage" his belongings. It was one of THE hardest things that I had to do in my long list of Hard Knocks in life. In this lesson, I was The Hoarder. I wanted to take, keep, and hold every "thing" that my brother held...that he touched...that he made. I filled my car. And Left. Then I donated to family members "things" that they wanted. Since then, we have all relinquished all of his "things" and we are only left with memories. Good memories. Great memories. No "things".

In this lesson, I have learned that it is not the "things" that make us happy. It is the memories. Family. Love. And I learned what NOT to do to my children. That is to NOT burden them with getting rid of my stuff. It is hard enough to lose a loved one. It's equally difficult to go through their things.
Stuck in the middle
Posted: 26 December 2019 - 03:55 PM
Tillie. I. Hear. You.
Stuck in the middle
Posted: 26 December 2019 - 03:51 PM
This is my story. This is the year that everything has got to go. I won't leave them. But if they don't like it, they can leave me.
Posted: 26 December 2019 - 03:10 PM

I know, I truly know...

So sad living with someone who will not hear me or see me.

But I am living my life for myself. Doing what I need to do for me, my health, my sanity.
Otherwise it is just living for him and ALL his stuff.

We cannot help anybody or contribute to others if we first do not take care of our own selves.

Please take care of yourself. :)
Stuck in the middle
Posted: 26 December 2019 - 12:42 PM
I. Am. Not. Giving. Up. I. Am. Not. Giving. Up. I. Am. Not. Giving up. I understand that hoarders have different brains, broken brains, and I am sympathetic to that. But there comes a time in life that we all gotta dig deep and fix what's broken. I've been broken. I dug deep. I fixed it. Me! Why? Because I love to contribute to the happiness in the lives of others. I'm not a selfish self-centered person.

Because I happen to love two hoarders in my life, I suffer. I have pain. I have days that I actually think that their hoarding is going to break MY brain. Not yet though, but close. Although, I did end up in the hospital recently because it's taken a toll on my health and it's starting to kill me. But. I. Won't. Give. Up. I. Am. Not. Giving. Up. Even if it does kill me. I will continue this battle.

It's just so disheartening that hoarders find "things" far more important than family. It's sad that they don't know how hard it is for the people around them. Or they do know that their hoarding hurts everyone but they just don't care enough to dig deep and fix what's broken. Pretty selfish. Pretty self-centered. Pretty broken.

Hoarding doesn't fix the broken. Hoarding breaks the unbroken.

I. Will. Not. Give. Up.
Stuck in the middle
Posted: 26 December 2019 - 10:25 AM
Thank you Tillie. Great advice. I tried the claim one area, an oasis, but it only makes me feel imprisoned in a bedroom. Clean, yes, but ya might as well just lock me up and throw away the key because it feels like a prison cell. I do go on a lot of hikes away from it all. Helps in the moment.

I'm plumb tired of taking a stand. So so tired. I'm not the give-up kinda woman. Therapist amd counseling never worked. I don't believe in ultimatums. And I won't leave him or my MIL. How does a person put themselves first?

My MIL was in the hospital fighting for her life for a whole year. Because of the condition of her home, it was mandatory that I clean it and organize it without throwing away her "things". She has returned home and is well again...and back to hoarding even more things.

There has to be a miracle solution somewhere out there.

I need God to take the wheel because all my tires are flat, I have no spare tire, and I'm running low on fuel.
Posted: 25 December 2019 - 11:15 PM

It is hard and frustrating and so very discouraging.

Try to stake claim to one area of the home.
Make yourself one tiny little oasis of calm.
A place you can get away from it all for even a little while.
Think about all your options.
Take a stand and fight? Lay down and give up? Leave it all behind? Find a therapist for you? Go to couples counseling?
If you give him an ultimatum you must be prepared to go through with your threats, so don't do that.
Empty threats often backfire.

You said you spent a year cleaning out and organizing your MIL's house.
When somebody does all the work and the hoarder doesn't help, the hoarder never learns how to keep the home clear & clean.
Doing the decluttering and cleaning is what helps them learn how not to clutter.
Decluttering does not come naturally to them, their brains naturally don't think like ours do.
It is a very hard and emotional thing for them to make those keep/toss/recycle decisions.
But they can work through it and face their fears and learn a new way of evaluating their possessions.
It's in the doing the tasks where change takes place.
But again, they must be willing and want to change.
Stuck in the middle
Posted: 25 December 2019 - 10:25 AM
Thx for the reply and words of encouragement. Like you, my husband has a 1,500 sq ft shop that he is allowed to hoard to his hearts content. Yet still, the battle to keep our living space (our home) clean is a full-time job in of itself. I'm just really tired of the battle. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one struggling, although I wouldn't wish this upon anyone. It's unbelievably hard at so many levels.
Posted: 25 December 2019 - 10:15 AM
Hello :)

There comes a time when we must do what's best for our own selves.
A person who hoards will not change willingly if they do not want to change.
A very good book to read is "Digging Out"
it was written for people in our situation.

Without therapy with a therapist educated in the hoarding disorder many hoarders don't even know how to stop.

The hoarder here refuses to change, refuses therapy too.
What I did for my own sanity was to make "NO CLUTTER ZONES" in the house and defend them at all times.
He has learned not to even try dropping things in these areas.
The livingroom/dining/kitchen/bathroom/hallway/pantry and my room are all "NO CLUTTER ZONES".
He has the huge garage/carport/yard where he can and does hoard to his heart's content.

Good Luck and best wishes.
Stuck in the middle
Posted: 25 December 2019 - 09:24 AM
I'm so overwhelmed I don't know where to start. In a nutshell, I just spent the last year of my life cleaning out and organizing my mother-in-law's house. I've been married to her son for 20 years. He's a hoarder too. I'm to the point of just walking away from it all. Every time I make a room livable it gets messy again. It's taken a toll on my health, my emotional well-being, and my overall sanity. I question whether to hold onto hope that it will get better or just walk away.
Posted: 10 January 2019 - 09:17 PM
Hi Grace.
I feel your pain. I grew up with a hoarding mother that always complained that the cause was lack of help with the housework. When she was at work long ago my dad, brother & I cleaned & got a great start on tackling the mess (in 1 room anyway). We'd worked hard & were proud. She came home & freaked out screaming at us & brought it all back in. I realized at a very young age that there was more to the mess than her excuses. I too will be stuck dealing with her hoard when she passes since I have little to no hope that she will change. I've attempted to help her clean her hoard numerous times but to no prevail. I agree with the poster that said to start in the bedroom. You will sleep so much better in a room free of clutter. Work as much as you can in a day, but don't get to the point of exhaustion & become overwhelmed. Take breaks. Cleaning a hoard is mentally & physically demanding & is emotionally dofficult as well. Slow & steady wins the race. Start with removing obvious trash 1st & discard. Clear an area for boxes or bags labeled; sell, donate, trash, keep. When you're almost done for the day deal with each box/ bag & put them where they go, if possible or keep them together in their respective categories as they will fill up fast. Putting items where they away gets easier as you go & have a good start on each room. Once you have the bedroom clutter free, use the closet or dresser to keep the important paperwork you mentioned. Be glad that the hoarder isn't there to hinder the process. This is your home now & you will be so much happier without him & his hoard! You can do this!! The poster that mentioned dropping off his belongings to him, I wouldn't put forth that much effort, I recommend a large flaming bag of poo in his porch instead!! : ) <3
Posted: 02 January 2019 - 10:11 AM
Hi! I'm new here and just reading through the boards.

Have you considered taking the worst of the worst of his junk, bagging it and leaving it on the doorstep where he now lives? Make certain there are things with his name on it inside, so he can't claim it's not his!

I think that might be cathartic. Plus, kinda fun and it sounds like you could use a little fun.

Take it from someone whose ex- walked out on her and left her with less than nothing! :)

Good luck to you in this new year.
Posted: 13 November 2018 - 11:37 PM
Thank you for your advice. It really helps to know I have support. I guess It is hard because he chose all of this stuff over me and now I need to find a way to get it out..I will try to refocus again and try not to get so depressed. I do have a lot of papers and things to prove what he did .storage receipts and credit card receipts . I need to find a way to store them so they aren't in the way but still available if I need them.. I have no money. He wiped it out and left me in debt. I will try to take at least something out to the garbage right now. Thank you for being there for me.. I appreciate it.
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