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Hoarding Help Message Boards : The Daily Chat : new here - need some support
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new here - need some support

Posted: 03 August 2013 - 11:14 AM
I hope lizziemeg and Jackie come back, I certainly loved and greatly benefited by your posts, Roxie, Dianne and MayMay!
Posted: 01 August 2013 - 05:10 PM
Lizziemeg, you are doing great and I look forward to hearing how the day went since the haulers will have come and removed the things you were getting rid of. By the way, I found personally that the master's degree program was easier than undergraduate!

Jackie, I also agree that Tillie has much valuable advice and example as someone who is not a hoarder but lives with one. I can tell you that arguing, demanding, demeaning, etc. absolutely do not work. A hoarder typically feels pretty awful about themselves and pretty typically is in denial about the state of things. We cannot help it. Something about this illness of hoarding does that. But if you can find ways to build his self-esteem, and to understand what motivates him, you have ways "in" to motivate him to change without any harshness. I recommend reading Matt Paxton's book "The Secret Lives of Hoarders" as it gives examples and advice to those who love hoarders.

You can raise your daughter to be a thoughtful, orderly and clean person by "rewarding" her for any steps she takes in that direction (I mean praise, mostly) and by having her work with you to accomplish things that give her satisfaction.

I also support you in declaring X parts or rooms of the house to be "clutter free" and to defend those areas. The hardest part for many hoarders is their emotional attachment to their "treasures" (which we might call junk). Letting go is like abandoning the person to whom the item is attached (e.g., his mother's things). For some, nonanimate objects have "feelings" and there is guilt about abandoning those items. For some it feels like they are abandoning part of themselves, literally. For many of us, getting rid of things means letting go of dreams of what might have been or could have been or ought to have been. Even "seeing" a mess can be nearly impossible for some of us. It just doesn't register as that.

For me it helped to take "before" pictures, but that for me was because I was more a person of squalor than a hoader (although there are overlaps). Looking back now that the major cleanup is done, I am dumbfounded by just how bad it was. Ugh. But for me a reward is the after pictures!

Come back, keep reading, asking, read books and look online for books that might help. It is such a new field (although I am sure actual hoarding is not a new phenomenon) as yet. If you can, watch Hoarders and pay attention to what Cory Chalmers, Matt Paxton and the organizers and therapists say and do. They are outstanding in how they work. I believe the show can be seen online, too.
Posted: 01 August 2013 - 04:55 PM
Hello and welcome, Jackie... I am new here as well, let's explore hahaha.
Posted: 01 August 2013 - 02:58 PM
Hi Jackie, glad you're here.

Tillie is the one with the best advice as she lives with a hoarder and knows those challenges. Look for her posts.

You'll get some understanding of how your husband thinks by reading what the hoarder people here write. It can be so complicated.

Read up on hoarding. Please be patient. Encourage your daughter to lean towards your way of cleanliness and organization by showing her that life is more comfortable and stress free when we have reasonable control of out living environment.

take care
Posted: 01 August 2013 - 02:09 PM
Hi Jackie,
Welcome to the board. I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Yeah, therapy can be very expensive. I've thought about going to see a therapist before. But then I realize how expensive it can be and how sometimes people have to keep going to a bunch of different therapists before they are able to find the right one that they feel comfortable with. And after I hear something like that, I think to myself, "it's not worth it for me. I'll just deal with my problems my own way." It's so true about how in order to keep the house clean after a clean-up the hoarder has to be able to get to the root of the problem and want to get help. Again, I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. And I hope you'll keep posting here on this board. :)
Posted: 01 August 2013 - 01:32 PM
New to this site... need help in dealing with my husband who is a hoarder.. he's not over the top, but it's getting worse. I can only control the rooms that I wont' allow him to bring stuff into.. taking such a toll on our marriage as well as our family life with our only daughter who is 8 years old. I have lived with him for over 10 years and it's getting worse.. he cleans up and throws stuff out only to bring more in. I have been searching for therapist to help, they are so expensive and we dont' have the funds to be spending $200 weekly for therapy. I also don't want to clear the house out (which I have help to do, both our families are aware of it and more than willing to help), but by just clearing out the house and not getting to the root of the problem, I fear it will start all over again. He lost his mother at age 15 and think this is part of the problem.. anything that his mother left is now a memorial more or less for her. I am on the other end of the spectrum and can toss stuff out without thinking twice. Sick of arguing with him over this and want to be supportive, but I am so worn out from trying to stay quiet and just "go with the flow" as he puts it. Need any tools or help with how to be supportive and help him get this problem sorted out. Any comments, ideas, etc. will be most appreciated!
Posted: 01 August 2013 - 10:27 AM
Hello lizziemeg and ladies.

lizziemeg, come join us in the What Are You Doing Today where! Also, keep track of the items you throw away, how many that is, and join us for the August Challenge!

I have new motivation from finding this site and am so happy to be able to express myself here and read everyone's posts.

Its a new day, new month, new goals, new victories!

Posted: 31 July 2013 - 10:46 PM
Wonderful work, lizziemeg!

You sound so much brighter! :)
Posted: 31 July 2013 - 09:18 PM
Hi ladies!
Thanks for all of the support. I've been doing cycles of 15 minutes with 3 minutes off in between, but I was just sorting through papers so I did some longer times since I was sitting down.
I'm almost finished with the actual bedroom by now - which is about half of the problem. Tackling my closet (and diving into doing laundry) is the next big job. The goal is to be finished piling up what I'm tossing by 11am tomorrow, when the junk clean-up people are coming. After that, I hope to be ready to do a deep clean with lots of soaking, scrubbing, and mopping. I also need to find some time tomorrow to set off a bug fogger to get rid of the fruit flies that have taken up residence in my room.
That's all for now - I'll check back in some time over the weekend!
Posted: 31 July 2013 - 02:34 PM
Welcome lizziemeg!

Great advice from the ladies here.

My advice would be try to stop looking at the giant picture. You don't have the time to let your energy be drained by how you got to this place and what your fears may be for the future.

Right now just do. Plenty of time later to decompress and look at things when you're not under the pressure.

But some quick reassurance ~ you made the right choices at the time to focus on what took priority in your life. Even if the daily things were left to pile up. Now those have priority and you have made another right choice in that your focus needs to be on clearing.

In your other post you mentioned you were 24 and moving to start grad school in Sept. Sounds like you will be under pressure again. If at all possible give yourself a little time for just you before then. Even half a day to relax and think and make a little plan for your new start.

Post here and get good ideas on juggling all your responsibilities. You are young, you recognize you fell behind, you have people who can help. We all feel sick with fear sometimes. Here we can help each other get past all the obstacles.

As my darling, little grandson says to me, "UUUU can DUUU it!!" :)

Posted: 31 July 2013 - 01:51 PM
Good thoughts are with you today from all your new friends on this website. Please try not to let shame derail your progress. You are not the only one who has let the busyness of life get things out of control in your apartment. Shame is not a great motivator. Accept the help from your friend. I believe that what comes around goes around and some day she will need for you to do something to help her out.
I, myself have gotten bogged down the last couple of days. It is cool and rainy here today and when I let the dogs in from their run in the yard, they tracked in mud. I have to mop the kitchen floor.
But I am extremely happy that since I have decluttered the kitchen, I CAN mop the kitchen floor. That would have been impossible a month ago.
Check back in and let us know how you are doing.
Posted: 31 July 2013 - 01:12 PM
Hi, lizziemeg. We've all been there, either as hoarders ourselves or when living with someone who is.

Priority can be (your choice):

bag up any garbage you can see
toss anything you really do not need or will not wear or whatever
do 15 minute intervals with a short break in between
it helps if we can "come clean" with at least one person we trust...scary as it may be
once you are moved, stay in touch here for follow-up support so you can relearn good habits and not be back at square one a few months from now

you CAN do it!
Posted: 31 July 2013 - 12:27 PM
Ditto on what Tillie said.

Also don't feel bad after throwing away things, just let them go. Make fast decisions. It will be faster and quicker & you will get rid of things you don't need anyway. All those unnecessary objects. Hiring a company to haul things off will really help with your speed.

Put on some peppy music, Sing "Another One Bites the Dust" as you toss things away & GO FOR IT.

You can do this>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward & Onward to better things.
Posted: 31 July 2013 - 11:18 AM
Hi Again Lizzie :D

Word of advice...
Get off the computer!
Grab a bag, box or bin and start filling it.
Work at this for a solid 15 minutes.
Take a small break. Breathe, drink some water.
Then get back at it.
Times a wastin! ;)
Posted: 31 July 2013 - 11:07 AM
I posted this on the cleaning up board this morning. Thanks to Tillie for re-directing me to this part of the forum!

Hi everyone. I could really use some positive thoughts in the coming few days. I have a big move in about two weeks, and before then I have to go home to visit a sick family member. So I'm now down to having only two days to get everything clean so that my landlord can come in and do some repairs while I'm gone and my housemates can show the room so that someone else will rent it.
As far as hoarding goes, my room isn't the worst, but it's the worst that I've let my living environment ever become. This spring I lost a lot of my motivation, and with health and family problems, it became easier and easier to push all of my feelings to the side and deal only with what absolutely had to be taken care of. That meant that ignoring the state of my room became a way of life. I haven't washed clothes in over a month now, and haven't taken garbage out since then either. I had my mom and my best friend come and visit me at that point, and since they both stayed with me, I was forced to clean up enough so that it just looked like I was being messy. However, I procrastinated then, too, and a lot of the garbage just got shoved into my closet, which is now about three feet high and a mixture of garbage, clothes, and other junk.
I've hired a junk removal company to come tomorrow morning and take away many bags of garbage (making loads to the dump here is expensive and my car is pretty small, so it seems more economical), but now I just have to get moving. I managed to make a few bags last Friday, but stopped after that. I have massive guilt about this and am completely ashamed. I have never really had friends over to my house; my room faces the balcony, and since my landlord never did buy the right sizes of curtain rods for the windows, I live in total fear that someone will go out there and look into my room.
I was supposed to leave to visit my family last Saturday, but at that point I procrastinated with cleaning until Friday morning. I looked around at the mess, and completely broke down. I called my mom, who saw me do this in my last apartment and helped me clean it up. This last time that she visited I refused to let her touch anything, because once she starts cleaning she won't stop until it's perfect and we would not have had time for anything fun. It was her vacation, so I was not about to let that happen, although now I too regret not asking her for help ages ago.
I don't know exactly what has triggered this behavior in me, but I know that it has to end now. I am only 24 years old, and moving to begin grad school in September. I am tired of living with the constant fear that someone will find out that I'm a hoarder, checking my phone non-stop to make sure that I don't get called or get an email evicting me.
I have a friend coming over this afternoon. She volunteered to help me pack, and I didn't want to turn down help, but my room is in no state for anyone to see it. My goal, for before she comes over, is just to get the actual bedroom and my bathroom clear and tidied up. I will stack garbage bags outside so that they're out of the way, then begin the laundry that I need to get done that's on the floor of my room. I want to have dishes soaking so that I can wash them and chat with her while she's here. Then tonight I need to conquer my closet.
Any words of advice and/or encouragement are more than welcome! I am scared to be honest about my problem with people that I know and consider friends, because I am so worried about being judged and because I feel so guilty. But I really do need support right now!
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