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Hoarding Help Message Boards : Welcome to the new board! : Ideas Please: Made an huge mistake with my hoarder sister
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Ideas Please: Made an huge mistake with my hoarder sister

Posted: 20 October 2012 - 02:17 PM
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to ALL for your replies. SO HELPFUL. Thank you!!!

Am continuing to work on backing off her house/living issues and instead focusing on doing fun things with my sister, like going for a walk, a movie...anything non-house related and just with her as my sister. This really does help me see her as my sister again and I shall try and keep that view no matter what.

Thank you all so much. Your time and advice will continue to help me so much.

Best wishes to you all,

Posted: 29 September 2012 - 08:13 PM
Jenny got to sign-offs!

Perhaps, both were meant to be :)

Posted: 29 September 2012 - 08:10 PM
Jenny -

Did you know that most everyone that has "lost it" with their "living in clutter" family member has no idea the damage done? You, on the other hand realize the harm done.

Forgive yourself.

Apologize to your sister, and on her terms (make an "appointment" to apologize). Be ready to listen and without judgment or defense. Ask for a second chance.

You are not a bad person & neither is your sister. Your sister deserves better; however, clutter is not just about the stuff, it is an external expression for what is going on inside a person.

Sending you warm wishes and hugs,

Be well,
Posted: 19 September 2012 - 10:33 AM
You need to let go. Trust me, I didn't learn to do this until my 40's. I had many arguments with my hoarding mother sometimes the police where called. I had so much anger. Well I learned to let it go.

There is absolutely nothing you can do or anyone else for that matter. There is no meeting with her, discussing things, trying to help.

Let go and pray for her. I do not speak to my mother anymore and I do not go to her house. That's it. If she dies like that and I never speak to her or see her again I am OK with that. I have to be for my own sanity and for me to move on.

It's not your fault and it's not your responsibility to be a codependent. Therapy might be good for you to get past the issues.
Nicole Henderson
Posted: 05 September 2012 - 05:54 PM
Hello, Jenny!

First of all, I would suggest that you allow her some cool-down time. What you did - while not the exact right thing to do - is not something that should ruin your relationship! I personally think you both can get over this little argument and can come to an agreement that while negative things were exchanged under pressure, you are not in the wrong here. As a sister, I can relate to you; no matter what I should always root for my sibling, right? While that's true, you also should not encourage her to destroy herself and her life the way she appears to be doing.

You two should meet up over coffee or some other casual place and talk this over. Not just the outburst, but her problems and how they make both of you feel. It isn't about just you or just about her; hoarding affects everybody involved.

I wish you the best of luck and please keep us all updated!

- Nicole
Posted: 04 September 2012 - 09:08 PM
Maybe you should apologize, and tell her that you love her and want her to have a good life. Perhaps you can suggest therapy or help her go through her stuff. I would go over and tell the neighbor that if he wants that wheel barrow held for his friend, then he needs to put it in his own house as your sister doesn't have the room. Tell him that if he sees something in the trash he wants, he is welcome to take it as long as it goes in his house and not back into your sisters. I don't know how far away from your sister you live, but it might help her if you are able to spend time with her.
Posted: 04 September 2012 - 03:39 PM
Hi All,

I've made a terrible, cruel mistake and am at a loss for how to go on.

For the past 20 years, I've watched my beautiful, intelligent, inspiring older sister slip deeper and deeper into a total mess. Professionally, she is still doing well. Personally, she seems to have allowed herself to become the world's ragdoll to be stepped on, used and taken advantage of. She is a kind, kind, person with a beautiful heart and never says "no" to anyone. I believe this is her way of helping the world but not seeing that it is also at her expense. For example, a neighbor is taking advantage of my sister's property- "renting" her driveway to someone else and not even giving my sister the money. This is my sister's driveway. Not his. (Just showing this as an example). She doesn't want to say anything to him for fear of "upsetting the neighbors". The inside of her house is a disaster. FULL of items that belonged to previous generations of our family (understandable- she loves our family, loves their artifacts b/c they remind her of them...). So much stuff that her house is dirty- there are bugs crawling in places that can't be cleaned. Some rooms you cannot walk through because of "stuff". She sleeps ontop of a bed covered in dirty clothes.

Several year's ago, when she bought this house, I painted her bedroom and set it up so she would have a nice, peaceful place to relax and rest. (And I hoped re-generate her spirit). Now it is the absolute chaos room in her house since this is where she has to stash as much as possible in case people come over.

Everytime people come over to her house, she is in a panic. It's such a stressful ordeal for her...this cycle never breaks.

The past few months, she has started taking things off the street. A bicycle, bags of items that her neighbor (the one who rents out HER driveway) gives her as he cleans out his own cluttered house. She is taking them all and putting them in her basement.

Her personal hygiene is almost nothing and she looks like a mess. She has told me that "no one wants me, so what's the point."

I know this has to be depression and there is much psychology behind it.... I have tried to help her by not judging, understanding, and trying to support her and build her self esteem.

I know I cannot/should not impose my own beliefs on her, but I believe if we start feeling positive, and surrounding yourself with a positive, clean environment, it invites positive things and PEOPLE into our lives.

This past summer, I spent 3 months cleaning up the outside of my sister's house. Landscaping, repairing things that had gone to rot. Hoping this "clean exterior" would start the positive energy flow around her.

Two weeks ago, she agreed to throw out an old wheelbarrow from her basement. It has been in our family for 20 years, repaired many times, and is now broken beyond repair. she put it out on the curb for the recycling. (this was no doubt an huge step for her- letting it go).

Her neighbor (yes, that guy) put the wheelbarrow back on my sister's yard. He did this three times. Apparently, he has a "friend" who may want the wheelbarrow and he wants my sister to "hold on to it for a few days" for this guy. My sister now will not let the wheelbarrow go. She wants to hold onto it "in case this guy shows up" and so she doesn't upset the neighbor.

I know it's not my house or my neighbor. But that was it! I JUST SNAPPED!! I told her I'd had it with her being a pushover and taken advantage of. I told her she was living in filth and had no respect for herself. And I told her how sad, and disgusted, I was to see her like this. She has so many dreams for the future, and I told her they won't come true until she starts giving a damn about herself.

As her sibling, I should be in her corner no matter what. I don't know what else to do. Having said those horrible things, I feel I may have pushed her even further into whatever despair is going on inside her. (She says she is together and doesn't need any help).

I'm so frustrated for her. Our mother is a hoarder too, and I can't share any of this with her (it is met with "rage" against my beliefs).

I just want my sister to have the life that she wants. (Family, children). But how the hell is that ever supposed to happen for her in this mess?

Sorry for the long rant and vent. Thank you for listening.

Any suggestions how to help/proceed from here after I've said such hurtful things to her?

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