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Hoarding Help Message Boards : The Daily Chat : Clearing Out Our Mental Hoard
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Clearing Out Our Mental Hoard

Posted: 11 June 2013 - 02:00 PM
Dianne, your idea of printing out a little "bulletin board" of accomplishments reminds me of something I did at the very worst of times during my divorce (many years ago).

I cut out and made a collage of people I KNEW loved me, and I put that collage in a prominent place so I could glance at it often and know that I was loved despite being abandoned by my husband. It helped a lot.

Maybe that's an idea for other things besides people? Photo collages instead of the actual items? Sure would clear a lot of clutter!

Posted: 11 June 2013 - 01:56 PM
Yes, Mariana, Tillie is a wonderful "boardee" here and I look forward every day to reading her posts and those of others.

Tillie, whether or not you realize it, you ARE inspirational for me every day.

And Dianne. Your kindness warms me. And with your own wounding experiences, I KNOW you understand. (((Dianne))) I cannot thank you enough. After I wrote what I did about the cat rescue work, I realized that there was a ton more that I accomplished, so I think your idea of at least writing it all down might help me. I did it. Yes, I did it, despite all the handicaps and countless hurdles along the way. Yes, I've paid a huge price, but to hold one of those saved animals is all the pay I needed or will ever need.

I rescued a few dogs along the way and that was a whole other adventure. :D
Posted: 11 June 2013 - 06:45 AM
Dearest Roxie there aren't enough words to thank you for all the hard work you did on behalf of 1,000's of kitties!!

Please print in colors and with font you like on an 8 x 10 piece of paper a list of what you were responsible for and initiated. Then frame it and put it in a place where you can look at it frequently as a reminder that you accomplished a huge amount and that it mattered!

Because of your efforts thousands of cats will live and find loving homes. Many more thousands of people will find love and companionship with those cats that will help their lives blossom so the people can go on and spread the goodness to others.

And to do that while struggling with your own pains and illnesses is even more noteworthy! Truly you were given the strength that comes from the source of love and selflessness.

Many, many blessings to you, Roxie! You are an inspiration not just for animals lovers but for all who give their heart and soul, time and energy, financial support and even their health to help others in need!!!

Posted: 09 June 2013 - 06:57 PM
awwww how sweet of you, blushing ;)
Posted: 09 June 2013 - 06:03 PM
Tillie: thank you for your reply ( I feel like I am communicating with a celebrity!) I guess it's true that not much can be accomplished until the hoarder really wants to change. Unfortunately the actual hoard is just the tip of the iceberg. You are always so supportive, positive and cheerful offering kindness and acceptance rather than judgement. You come across as a truly nice person. I know you help so many people. I can almost see your smile when you post.
Posted: 09 June 2013 - 05:47 PM
Wish she would post an update and let us all know how she is doing.
She came by here once but did not return.
She was wanting to declutter but she was not ready yet to dedicate all the time it was going to take.
I fear that she quit. :(
One thing she was doing was running away from it all by finding so many outside activities to do rather than spend time working on her clutter.
Hopfully she will some day be truly ready and we can all welcome her with open arms. ;)
Posted: 09 June 2013 - 05:36 PM
Tillie: on one of the other message boards (A & E I think) there was a poster called " New Life" whose posts at times sounded frighteningly desperate. You and a few other regulars to that board were very supportive and caring, even getting her in touch with Cory Chalmers for help. Haven't seen anything from her for a long while. Do you know if she is all right?
Posted: 09 June 2013 - 04:56 PM
Every cat you helped appreciates all you have done for them.
Posted: 09 June 2013 - 04:54 PM
Hi Matiana :)
You are most welcome to join in here with us all as you down size for your move.

Everybody, hoarders to minimalists all have those million decluttering questions and struggles to deal with to reach our goals.

Sometimes all we need is a little companionship along the way. :)
Posted: 09 June 2013 - 03:28 PM
My husband recently retired and we knew that we would eventually move to be closer to family. We had already downsized to a smaller home at our last move ten years ago, getting rid of lots of clutter and unecesary furniture. Over the last year we have made a real effort to donate a great deal of furniture, clothing, kitchen goods, etc to charities and church sales. Should be a snap to pack up the rest easily, right? Well there still seems to be so much left that we don't want tote to our new home.
So why am I posting on this site (the first time ever, on any site) ? I am not a hoarder but watch the shows and read the message boards as many do. It is very stressfull and exhausting going through this decluttering with a "normal" amount of accumulated stuff. Deciding what to donate, getting it bagged, to the car, and to the donation site takes an awful lot of time and energy. Reading the efforts of the posters to this site and the challenges they face has been truly inspiring. You are all trying to take control of an overwhelming situation sometimes with physical ailments, depression, lack of support. I guess all I want to say is keep up the good work. I wish you success and peace.
Posted: 09 June 2013 - 10:35 AM
Dianne, thank you so much. Your words helped me heal a bit. I do know that my work saved the cat rescue agency and that in the process we helped or saved 1000s of cats. But for the most part, at the end no one gave me credit for what I'd accomplished (a couple of folks did). That hurt. I did the work despite having disability level CFS and SAD and a bit of arthritis. I had to lay down and even sleep at odd times, but worked around that.

With CFS the hardest thing for me has been and still is knowing when to push myself, when to stop, etc. But that is very common with folks with this illness. Most of us were high achievers before struck down.

I learned all I could from the vets, researched and wrote up proper nutrition, stimulation, handling, etc. I wrote policies. I wrote manuals for cleaning, intake, adoption, etc. I created all the forms used to this day to process incoming cats, log medication for ill cats, adoption applications and adoption contracts, etc. We went from an agency that was a pigpen mishmash of unkempt cats with cats dieing every day, to no deaths from mishandling or lack of medical care, and a newer bigger place and proper medical room, etc. I was proud of what we'd accomplished.

Still, it is hard to have personal rejection after all that and to have the same people who went through it with me ignore or downplay my role in it all. All I ever cared about was the welfare of the animals.

So your words help. I'll try to find ways to salve the wounds and still feel some esteem for what I was able to accomplish despite illness.
Posted: 08 June 2013 - 04:10 PM
Just getting back to your post Roxie...

Whenever I volunteered it was always with full commitment. My time of deepest betrayal with volunteering came when I immersed myself in a religious group. A few years later I left, shattered, confused and deeply angry. That period of time had followed the years long divorce (betrayal of an even deeper kind) and I was just done with the world.

I tried connecting one more time and although it was a paying job with animals, that was deeply disappointing also.

Over the decades I have seen so much deception. so much theft, so many abuses and I am not the type of person to look away. The biggest group I took on was the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

There are people and groups who are always looking for *new blood*. They will drain you physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and financially. It leaves you exhausted, withdrawn and depressed.

A time of wound licking and searching for how we allowed ourselves to be victimized like that is part of the process of healing. In the meantime our daily lives can fall apart around us. Whether it's hoarding, drinking, etc. we find a way to protect ourselves against the assault of betrayal.

The most important thing to take away is that you were amazing in saving that organization. You had a huge heart and your intention was to serve well. They took advantage and betrayed you. Whatever their reasoning was it's important for you to know you were damn good. You can walk away scarred from the experience but a stronger woman for it. I absolutely hated all the bad shit I went thru but in time I have accepted the lessons I needed to learn. And in that acceptance of learning you're able to thank God or the universe or whoever for the experience and start to forgive. Forgive others, forgive yourself, forgive life.

And keep reaching out because you're a woman with much good to offer those who are smart enough to appreciate it.
Posted: 05 June 2013 - 05:21 PM
Wow Roxie I can so relate to all of that! Want to write more but will have to later.
Posted: 05 June 2013 - 01:25 PM
It has been a long time since anyone posted on this thread, so here I am. I'm concerned about those who only came once to post. If you are here and reading, please say hi and let us know how things are going. We do best when we help each other along, I believe.

I believe I emotionally shut down when I went through a deep betrayal after a long time of being mentally, physically and emotionally drained by volunteer work and the grave responsibilities I undertook voluntarily to "save" the organization. I did do that but then everyone sort of turned on me and I felt bereft and alone. I just shut down and things here in the house went from bad to worse.

I've had lots of counseling so I understand a lot about myself. I have serious physical limitations due to CFS and SAD, etc. I had to finally come to the realization that nothing would magically get done and I had to take responsibility to reach out and just feel my feelings as we progressed through the cleanout. Now I battle with day-to-day work and follow up work and wanting to shut down again.
Posted: 27 April 2013 - 11:19 PM
So glad you're here Kclynne! :)
Posted: 26 April 2013 - 08:50 PM
My issues have always started due to depression. Not clinical depression, but depression none the less. First it was my now ex husband leaving for Kuwait 1 1/2 months after we were married and 3 weeks after we found out I was pregnant. I was scared and alone, only 21 years old, 1 year in the Air Force, no family around. When I'm feeling good about myself my house is nice. When I start to breakdown mentally and emotionally I neglect my home. I crave being around people, and the more depressed I feel the less time I spend at home. When my I left my husband after 6 years of marriage I wanted to drive myself and the kids off the bridge because he stole my life from me, and I lost my identity. Fast forward a few years, my fiancé walks out on me for the woman he had a child with behind my back. I came home and everything was gone. I had a total breakdown, and I couldn't even take care of my children. Fast forward two years, my life was going well, and my children left for the summer to be with their dad who they hadn't seen in two years. I couldn't stand being alone in this big house. Once again, I craved being around people and my home got neglected. Add to that my son going through puberty, which is screwing with his meds, and his autism meltdowns are sporadic. I met a great guy, but never let him in my home for a while. When I did I closed off my kitchen, which has become my hoarding space, and lied to him telling him that it was under construction. Most of the rest of the house was live able. Almost 2 months ago, my son was on a 3 week long meltdown, and I finally snapped. I took it out on everyone including my bf. He tried to help me because he knew I was having a hard time and he saw the real reason the kitchen was closed off. Last week he finally broke down and told me he was uncomfortable being here. I ad a long heart to heart and realized I was still dealing with my own inner issues.

I decided shortly thereafter that I was going to start working more on me. After one week on working out at the gym I'm feeling much better about myself, and he and I are talking about things more and I think he understands. For me everything is centered around my emotional and mental health. When I truly feel good, my home shows it. I'm working to get back there.
Posted: 08 April 2013 - 11:15 AM
hello, interesting topic. My piles have kept me in shame and fear so I don't have to face life and my difficulties relating to others. Now that I have found this site, and am willing to change with the support of others here, my life feels so much better. I have gone to therapists for years, but now that I am cleaning up my space, I am healing inside, I have fear that I will stop, as long as I write daily, I can continue healing. I have started to believe I am doing this so I will feel more comfortable, not for approval of others. First I have to believe I deserve a different.better life. Love reading all the opinions and journeys we each take. Hugs
Posted: 07 April 2013 - 03:10 PM
Sorry about those weird characters in the last sentence of my post. Not sure what happened. /color]
Posted: 07 April 2013 - 03:07 PM
Hi Andrea,

I can't watch the videos you suggested; no speakers for my computer.

I'm not sure I agree with hoarder healing beginning with letting the first person in their home and feeling the shame, fear, etc. I feel enough of that already. The last thing I want to do is feel it in front of someone else.

I understand what you mean but for me it would be crushing. Too much explaining to get into here.

I've been working on mental cleaning for decades. Again it would take too much time to go into all the things I've tried, to better my life.

What seems to be working for me right now is from the outside in. Instead of all the mental processes I'm not thinking too much. Just trying to take a lot more action. The more action I am taking the better I feel mentally.

Sometimes working from the inner (mental) to the outer (physical) works. But it's easy to get tangled up in all the whys and get overwhelmed.

I love to read what is working for other people. So whatever inspires each individual and can possibly help another is great! It¡¦s a good suggestion for a new thread! :) ?º

Posted: 06 April 2013 - 05:55 PM
Mental and emotional stuff is what gets stuffed first. Finding places to store my emotional baggage while trying to perform simple daily living tasks is like trying to wade through a hoarded kitchen and trying to find a clean cup. I live a physical life with blinders on so that I don't trip up emotionally.

Any of this sound familiar to anyone else? I thought it would be nice if we could inspire each other. I'd like to start a thread about coping mechanisms for our mental stuff vs. our physical stuff.

Maybe like me, a lot of you live with SHAME and FEAR. And like me, worry about anyone finding out our secrets or seeing us as we truly are because, "I don't think they would like me very much, let alone love me, if they knew the real me".

Ever notice that the people on hoarders/hoarding begin to heal the moment they let that first person walk into their homes and they let themselves feel the shame/fear/vulnerable?

I'd like to recommend two TED TALKS from BRENE BROWN. They are each twenty minutes, but worth it (in my opinion) see for yourselves. :)

Here are the links if the enbedded video doesn't work:




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Hoarding Help Message Boards : The Daily Chat : Clearing Out Our Mental Hoard

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