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Posted: 16 October 2013 - 10:09 AM
Thank you Dianne for blogging here and allowing us to hear your innermost thoughts, fears and struggles.
Keep putting things in their proper perspective.
By sharing your journey you are helping yourself and others too.
Posted: 16 October 2013 - 08:02 AM
Haha. Karl I see I put your name where mine should have gone in writing my last post. Guess I was pretty tired.

At 8:20 this morning I get a call. "Are we supposed to deliver mattresses and box springs to your house today?" Yes. "Well I think there's a problem. The box springs are larger than the mattresses. Do you want us to bring them out so you can see them? Or I can call the company and find out what's going on. I'm sorry we didn't notice this before." Yes, please call the company. There's no point in you delivering them just to let me see they aren't the same sizes.

Didn't I just say here the other day that things aren't like they were in the *old days*? Poor quality, poor service. My son-in-law works for a large international hotel company. I know the owners. My kids went to school with their grandkids. I was able to order the same beds as in their best hotels, custom made of course. And now not right.

I can't help but think WTF is wrong with me? Bad karma? I know it's not really my fault in any way. I got the beds from them because it was at a deep discount. But still. I have never had faith in my decisions and this is just one more confirmation of that. And still waiting on that yet another part for the washer of course. Now I know why the hoard got so bad. One effing thing after another. It wears a person down.

Part of me is dead to it. And there's a part of me, I feel it coming, that wants to break down and cry. Then of course I think what would I cry about? That my fanciest, priciest washer won't wash? That my special mattresses and box springs don't fit together? What stupid, petty problems in the grand scheme of things. And I could say, well, more time to get cleared out. More time to get ready for that electrician tomorrow. Since the paths to some of the outlets are covered with dangerous piles of papers, books, God knows what. At least I have the money to take care of the problems. At least I have a house and food and lots of good things. I have the best daughters and family members.

So no tears now. I've been meaning to send a donation to Food for the Poor for people in Haiti. I'll look at their website and the catalogues they always send me and pick out some farm animals to buy. Laura and I built a house with a private latrine for a family one time. They sent us a pic with them in front of it. I used to keep it on the mantle in the library. Time to take action in that direction again. Get the focus off me.
Posted: 16 October 2013 - 02:04 AM
Thanks Karl. I can't sleep, keep getting up. So I am appreciating being able to walk in the dark without taking very careful steps not to fall. It's good to feel solid floor without anything shifting underfoot.

Laura is my daughter. She is 33 and has physical and developmental disabilities. And yes, she definitely has hoarding issues. She is extremely easy to live with. Very sweet, always cheerful and encouraging. Loves animals, books and baseball. She can tell you anything about most teams and has a remarkable memory for numbers. As I get older I find I rely on her more and more to remind me of things.
Posted: 16 October 2013 - 01:39 AM
Sounds like you're making good progress, Dianne! I hope you can adjust to seeing the empty space as beautiful, rather than wasted.

Remind me -- is Laura your daughter? Do you both have hoarding issues?
Posted: 16 October 2013 - 12:19 AM
Here's a confession. I just changed my sheets for the first time since my husband left. He told me 13 years ago this Oct 18 (Friday) that he was "not really very happy so (he was) gonna leave". Since then I've layered other sheets or blankets over the bed and filled it with junk.

I'm exhausted. Physically and emotionally. The floor has a good amount of clear space to get around the bed now. The cats are totally freaking out, spaz scaring each other to the point of fights. And their hidey places are gone. They're sneezing as much as me and Laura.

A lot is out but a lot has just been moved around messing up my clean areas. There was so much trash. I couldn't believe it. I kept sweeping and sweeping. I threw out filthy pillows and blankets.

I seem to be observing from outside myself. My feelings are there but removed at the same time. I'm too tired to care much one way or another. I sort of feel like I'm going thru the painful stuff instead of refusing to deal but at the same time I don't care. I'm kind of shut down. Think I'm just really tired. The emotions take out as much or more than the physical. But I don't feel terribly emotional. It's pretty weird. Tonight I'll sleep on a bare mattress. And tomorrow say good riddance.
Posted: 15 October 2013 - 09:53 PM
Thanks Roxie. I don't know. I don't like the feelings. It's uncomfortable writing them. But I'll continue.

Laura's room looks so great. She has done an absolutely amazing job on getting it clear and clean. She's SO proud of herself. The guys will have no problem whatsoever getting the old mattress and box spring out and the new ones in.
Mine not so much. I still have a lot to do. But here I am on the computer.

The not good feelings here are in seeing so much open space. When I got the upper front hall pretty much clear it's so wide I think that's so much usable space, I can't let it just stay open like that. My bedroom is much larger than I remember before it got trashed.

The worst feeling was seeing how great Laura's room looked. It's just like when we first got the furniture and decorated. Her furniture is Ethan Allen. I forget what it was called but it's a pretty shade of yellow, all custom fit. A full size canopy bed, night tables, dresser and mirror and wrapping around two walls are a desk, vanity table, chests and bookcases and curved open cases on either end. The walls have chair rails and a beautiful Laura Ashley tiny blue floral on the bottom half and hand painted walls above. The walls are light blue with a soft hand sponged effect with white. Very popular around here in the 80's. There's a window seat with a cushion and that and her curtains were custom made to match the wallpaper and bedspread. The lady who painted the walls did a free hand floral, viney border up near the ceilings and down around the alcove where the window seat is. There are little white bunnies in the flowers and tiny butterflies sprinkled around the walls. I can never paint over all that. It's a work of art. The lady who did the design and paint did a lot of work for the Kennedy's who live here. She did Buffy's room too, in pinks and blues.

My whole house was Laura Ashley and Ethan Allen. Very beautiful. Downstairs has Oriental rugs and Waterford lamps are in all the formal rooms. Trashed now.

So when I saw Laura's room all I want very, very badly is to go back 30 years. I want to be that rich again that I can do anything I want and have beautiful things, fresh and new. You can't even get the variety that Laura Ashley offered back then, now. I even used Laura Ashley #1, her signature perfume. Discontinued now. I want to go back knowing everything I know from now and do so many things differently.

At least when things were junked over I couldn't see the beauty to remember and regret. I don't want to move forward I want to go back. I've always hated change. I can't even find pretty floral sheets anymore.

Just feeling sorry for myself. Now I have to go do more work in my room. Which I'm sure will cause many of the same feelings when I can see my room the way I can see Laura's room. Dammit. Mine was all blues, whites with touches of rose. Two windowseats, it's just a big, big room. A dressingroom with walk-in closets, bathroom and separate toilet room that I did with mixing wallpaper patterns but all in the same color scheme. White vanities and big open windows. It was so beautiful and fresh. The views outside the windows are expansive and surprisingly private.

I love my home. I never wanted to leave. But I let it go so badly.

Well, live and learn. I always was a slow learner.
Posted: 15 October 2013 - 02:20 PM
I not only think this is an important thread for you to continue, Dianne, but I think sharing it with us is very helpful and will continue to be. I'm smiling.
Posted: 13 October 2013 - 05:13 PM
I'm taking breaks every 5 minutes now. I want to quit for the night but I only have a day and a half left.

In the back of my mind I always thought I would get everything organized. Delusional. Now I can actually see how that could never happen because there's no space for all of it.

Again I am reminded of people on tv who held on to their dreams when it is obvious to everyone around them that it would never happen. But we really believed it.
Posted: 13 October 2013 - 04:23 PM
Yesterday I got my hair colored. Before doing that I washed it, let it dry and brushed it out. It was more than halfway down my back. Since it's always in a ponytail that lifts it several inches and I never check my back or sides in a mirror I didn't know how long it had grown. The greying at the temples was more apparent and for fun I decided to braid it like when I was younger. I liked it, a lot. Then I took a good look at my face and how it had aged. I usually manage to avoid that. Like not seeing the hoard.

There are more sags on one side than the other and the profile shows a sagging chin. I could pull it up from the other side to look firmer and think, there I am! But the hair was not the horse tail thick texture anymore. The thickness of the braids was way less than half and tapered off to thinning ends. I may have liked it but I thought if I leave it like this is that just another way of me not caring?

On the way to the salon (I am never comfortable in those) I saw a woman who looked a bit like me. Maybe a lot. Greying hair in a *who cares ponytail*, jeans and sweatshirt (for me it's always a tshirt), flip flops. Just the average, throw whatever on because I can't be naked. I feel ok like that, I thought I was past really caring much about others' opinions about my appearance but then why was I getting my hair colored? I hadn't planned on it. But the girl I see maybe twice a year now called to say she was going out of the country for a while.

The girl said way too long and took a handful and chopped it off right away. I didn't care because....I just don't much care how I look. But then why was I there? I'm always surprised to see how dark my hair is after it's colored. I decided to get a pedicure. Picked out a very bright, shiny berry color. I hate pedicures. It's like going to the dentist. But my feet looked beautiful. I didn't want to go near any dogs for fear they would scratch up my toes.

I started thinking it's so much easier to be a slob and not care. If I care, then one thing leads to another and I have to look at taking care of other parts of my body. And then I have to see and admit that I have neglected things for so long that they won't ever be the way I might want them now. If I decide to get better. So I can ~ not care, let it all go but probably feel bad deep inside which fuels the depression; or I can ~ care and deal with the feelings of I screwed up big time and my best efforts aren't going to make up for what I ruined.

Like my body. Like the house. Like my life. I guess I have to make a commitment that I'm going to be better (and really work at it, not just fart around) or I can continue down the path til I die. And as if trying to get better wasn't challenging enough I also have to figure in what will be good enough for me? So I don't get sucked back into that trap of doing it for others. Part of sinking into the isolated hole was the good feeling that I don't have to deal with others now unless I choose to. I don't have to look a certain way to be *normal*. But swinging to the other extreme hasn't made me happier.

So I'm filling the truck with more stuff for the dump and the storage unit. But at least my feet look pretty and my hair is loose. :)
Posted: 13 October 2013 - 02:16 PM
Thanks Tillie. Yes, digging out, seeing, feeling......that's exactly what I'm doing. Truly digging. Crazy. Thank you also Diane. No pictures. As part of my stagnation I never learned how to work a digital camera. I haven't taken pics other than a few on my cell phone in many years.

I mentioned I was ashamed at the amount of clothes I'm bagging. They're going into black trash bags, clean, dirty, brand new. No real decisions, just getting things clear for bed people. Between the storage unit and home I have many, many dozens. To see them getting piled together is awful. So much waste. With everything mixed in I had no idea. The same with shoes and bags.

The cats of course are curious and underfoot. I stepped on a tail, hard enough that she went into feral mode. Clinging with claws from all four paws and biting. I shook her off and blood was running down. (I'm wearing shorts.) I couldn't get mad, I'm still in kind of shock mode at the mess.

I hate to admit this but that threatened visit from the insurance company is what threw me into high gear. Maybe threats that come from family members just aren't enough. Or the feelings those threats causes immobilize us. It takes something much stronger to make us move.

I saw Captain Phillips last night. To see the level of poverty that drove those young pirates to feats that were fearless and desperate and blindly determined gave me a lot to think about. It shames me to think that I lay in my bed, wallowing in my hoard, the wealth (although squandered) piling up around me feeling sorry for myself. Wishing I had even more space so I could store my things better. Of course those thoughts spiral into so many others ~ taking my health for granted (not the best but still so much better than many others), wasting time, wasting food, wasting money.

Again this isn't really depressing me right now, just kind of in wonderment about it all.
Posted: 13 October 2013 - 01:42 PM
Dianne, I am so happy to read your post and it inspires me to keep going. You are facing a difficult painful realization, and continuing to deal with it, so proud of you Dianne. Did you take pictures? Pictures to help with reality check. I also was amazed that there was squalor under my clean piles, so happy you are being honest with us and yourself, hugs to you my friend.
Posted: 13 October 2013 - 11:31 AM
this is all part of the decluttering and relearning process.
To finally wake up and actually see things as they truly are.
To question our selves looking for answers as to "why?", "how?"
Our brains are amazing! We can look without seeing things that would cause us negative feelings.
Our brain's way of protecting us from emotional pain/trauma.
This is the hardest part of digging out, seeing and feeling.
Be proud of yourself and your efforts to make these changes for the better.
Be kind with yourself, you are only human.
Posted: 13 October 2013 - 11:19 AM
Another day of concentrated work (meaning no maintenance just dejunking) and writing.

I am surprised and ashamed at the amount of trash and clothes I am digging thru. I'm so grateful that it isn't worse ~ finding breakables like light bulb packages, perfumes bottles, plastic water bottles with some water that are still intact; somewhat crushed but not leaking. Broken hangers that could have cut our feet badly. The layers of soft things protected them.

I haven't gone to the storage unit in over a week. The bags are just being hauled to the basement. I didn't want to do that because at some point all that junk has to be hauled back up. But I'm just going for fast.

The fog is lifting a bit and I'm seeing what is so clear when I watch Hoarders on tv ~ how could others have gotten to that point ~ that point is in my house too. What? Me? I'm a bit befuddled. Like I'm looking at someone else's life. Now that more floor is clear I can't put one foot down without picking it up and having it covered with dirt and grit. (I always go barefoot in the house.) Things that don't belong in a bedroom ~ junk mail, Christmas supplies, 2 Mr. Coffee makers ~ I'm shaking my head.

I guess the basic hoarder questions ~ how could this happen, how did it get so bad, how could I have been in so much denial as not to see it? ~ are coming up. Really? Not to see it? I'm sure a normal person would say how could you possibly not have seen what was happening?

I thought I was doing so well considering. But whatever I was considering obviously it was very wrong. I'm not depressed about it, just kind of shocked. So many thoughts and feelings. I should probably just put it in a private writing to myself because this will be so long. But because it's going to get deeper than I cleaned this, this and this which is all good for reporting progress, I figure I'll put the gut part of this process out there and hope it can help someone else.
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