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Hoarding Help Message Boards : Talk About Your Fears : my fears
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my fears

Posted: 12 May 2014 - 06:33 PM
Nancy I can relate to so much of what you said. I am 65, Masters degree, supported myself since 16, including all the years of college. still have low self esteem and the hoard has proven that I am a worthless rotten person. I have been with this group for a year now, and have changed so many things. I feel hope for the first time in years. People have been inside my place in past few months, still isolate but getting better. Sure hope you find what you need here Nancy.
Posted: 10 May 2014 - 07:26 PM
Welcome Just me :)
We are still a small group but the people here are awesome.
Hope to "meet" you in the Sunday night online support group. :)
Just Me
Posted: 10 May 2014 - 06:35 PM

Oh wow! I think I've found a new home ...

Just reading through all these posts, lots are describing my life. It worries me that there are so few posts though. Do many people belong to this group?

Just me ... 50s female, disabled/retired, live alone, OCD, Bipolar (manic atm, I think, after 5+ yrs severe depression), severe anxiety, psychiatrist called me PTSD at one time, have been agoraphobic, have constant pain issues, and ETC, ETC, ETC!

Bookmarking this site and I'll try to get on for the chat group tomorrow and see if there's anyone here. Man, it would be awesome to have a few friends who can understand and relate!

Hoping to see people later!


Posted: 10 May 2014 - 10:15 AM
Nancy, {{{HUGE HUGS}}} to you!!!

You are so welcome here. We have different circumstances and may be at different places in our recovery but we are all together in supporting each other. You're not alone anymore. :)
Posted: 09 May 2014 - 08:23 PM
Welcome Nancy :)

This message board is owned and run by Cory Chalmers.
Cory also owns Steri-Clean, a company that does extreme cleanings.
If you ever watched A&Es program HOARDERS you would be able to see Cory and his crew at work on many of the episodes.
Read around this site, click on every link.
There is so much wisdom contained here.
Hope you join us on "the daily chat" and online support groups.
Sincerely, Tillie :)
Posted: 09 May 2014 - 04:10 PM
I'm reading all of your posts & crying. I'm so grateful to have found this site, board and all of you and your posts!! Even though my life experiences & age (61), years of work experience (since I was 16, non stop (singled parented my then two year old son after my divorce) my education & degrees (Master's degree and much more), I've felt so so so alone, useless, spineless and awful as a mother (he's 29) and most of all, crazy and depressed (despite antidepressants) brain told me that I can't be the "only one" with these emotions, thoughts and problems. I see I'm definitely not alone as long as I reach out to you guys and your boards, chat rooms, etc. Nothing in my past prepared me for such an awful, low spot in my life and I'm struggling to get out of this place I'm in. I look forward to "listening" & learning from all of you!!! And sometimes commenting, I hope! Again, thank you to whomever sponsors or runs or coordinates these boards!!!
Posted: 02 August 2013 - 09:11 PM
Roxie thank you for the post.

My mother was not exactly a hoarder either but yes sure did have a lot... her home was huge enough to house everything but packing it all up and trying to find space for it in my smaller home is just not possible, hence the on-going struggle to simplify. I have made virtually no progress on her things because I have been trying to get my own things in order first... and I am just now beginning to do some of that since my recent move.

I do have the advantage of having a basement here, although it is too damn down there, so the mountain is not that huge in my living areas. One step at a time for me.

I share your fear of being disabled and your feelings that no one nearby would really cares about me... ohyes they say they do, but... well, you know I am sure. I, too, will leave something like a Living Well or Advanced Care Directive in case. I should have DNR tattooed on my chest hahaha!!! (Do Not Resuscitate)

Again I am grateful to be here. I know I can count on the people here to listen to me and then validate my successes, such a good feeling. My daughter will help when she can but she is so busy with her own family and work. I am working on being alright to work alone. I struggle with isolation and loneliness like so many others.

Yes vindication comes one way or another...

I am so glad you said:

I think these things we are going through have to be looked at opportunities that arise when we've become old enough, mature enough, wise enough to view them as challenges that we CAN deal with.

Yes we can!!!
Posted: 01 August 2013 - 04:21 PM
Mare, it is good to see more posting here! Keep on reading and posting!

I realize in some ways I have turned into my mother, egad. She ended up living alone after a divorce. She did get out and volunteer and such (uhm, I did, too) and had a social life (I don't), but basically her fears kept her from really connecting or remarrying. She died with her stuff. It was for the most part neatly stored, but it was in excess to some extent and was definitely a barrier between her and others. However, her home was always clean and neat enough for others to visit (mine wasn't). I miss her terribly and it's been years.

My fear is becoming so disabled that I cannot care for myself. I have no retirement funds. I only have medicare and social security. Should I need long term care or such, I'd much rather be gone. I'm going to make sure my son and brothers know this. Not that they can put me out of my misery, but they can avoid prolonging it should that situation arise.

Meanwhile, I have to deal with the fact that no one here cares about me. Really. Those who do are far away. Those nearby are those who contributed to my mess by demoralizing me and devaluing me. I KNOW what successes I achieved here but it sure would be nice that that was acknowledged.

For me, in my experience, vindication comes eventually, but often much later. When the man who tried to step into my president/ceo shoes quit almost immediately, he came to me and said "you are much smarter and more wise than I gave you credit for." Thank you very much.

Years before, a case worker we had to let go from a women's shelter viciously and personally attacked me as I was going through a horrific divorce, including saying "no wonder. No one could live with you." Well, years later I ran into him at a seminar, and he came over to me and apologized and said that it wasn't true, what he'd said, and he felt badly that he'd done what he had done to me. Great to hear. A little late.

Anyway, I'm rambling. I think these things we are going through have to be looked at opportunities that arise when we've become old enough, mature enough, wise enough to view them as challenges that we CAN deal with. We can.
Posted: 01 August 2013 - 02:48 PM
Fear is a difficult topic for me so I will be brief haha.

Thank you all for posting in here it really helps me feel less alone and isolated.

Recently one of my fears has been turning into my father who I cared for the last 16 years of his life. I miss him terribly he was excellent company and so funny, but on the fear note all he really did was sit around, drinking coffee and watching tv which I now do a lot of myself.

It can be so demoralizing to have limitations yes, as we grow older we get a new perspective. I have to accept that I won't ever be able to certain things again... working with horses was also one of my passions.
Posted: 22 July 2013 - 03:29 AM
Janie and Dianne, even before I became ill and HAD to move, I had been investigating less expensive places to which to retire, and had visited some areas. After I got sick, that helped me out because I'd already eliminated some places and narrowed down to more. Being ill, I knew I'd have to live on one floor. Being independent, I knew I'd want a free-standing home. Having animals, I knew I needed space for them and proximity to a veterinarian. The taxes on my last home were already $4000 a year and they are less than 1/10th that here!!! Also, in 2000 I sold my 2 bed 1 bath home for 180,000 and purchased a 3 bed/2 bath larger home here for 80,000. All that was before the crash, of course, so I was lucky in timing.

And Dianne, I moved here with 12 cats and one cockatiel in the car. What a drive that was! But I did it. You can too.

Posted: 21 July 2013 - 02:44 PM
I always thought long hair made me look younger until I cut it a year ago to a layered shoulder length look. So many people told me how much younger I looked. :-)

I had thought I would stay in my current home until I died, but now have a totally different attitude. I don't look forward to moving, but I know it will happen within the next 5 years. This house will be too big for just the two of us when my son finally leaves home for good. The stairs are getting harder to do on a daily basis. The utility bills to heat and a/c the house are high. The cost of outside maintenance is reasonable, but still an expense we probably can not afford in retirement. Also, the property taxes are very high ($8000 a year!).

Among other reasons, part of my motivation is to prepare for a move. The de-clutter process may take me a year to complete, and then there will be repairs. Every room needs to be painted and needs some type of repair. That gives me another year for that. In the meantime I am trying to save a little money each month for repairs that will be necessary later.

My dream home would be a ranch style house with 3 bedrooms and a fenced-in yard. I miss having a dog but neither my husband or I have the physical capability to do long daily walks like we used to. And taking the dog out to potty in the dead of winter is not something I can do again. A small fenced-in yard for a dog is a must for any house we move to!!
Posted: 16 July 2013 - 09:53 AM
Janie, now I understand why *older* people downsize to a smaller home.

There are so many things in life where, as a younger person, I looked at older people and thought, why would they ever do that (cut their long thick hair, gain weight, sit around like a blob, let the house get so dirty, etc.)? Or even, why was my mother an alcoholic? I'll NEVER do that!

As I've gotten older I understand each question from the perspective of living it. My hair got thin and looked scraggly so I cut off 10 inches. I ate my feelings, got depressed, got tired, got lazy, whatever and stopped doing stuff. I looked at my mother's life from her age, her circumstances and thought, damn! No wonder the poor woman drank!

I always wanted to live in my big home until I died because of course I could always keep up with it. Yeah when I was 30, 40. At 61 I look at the smaller, well-kept homes in my daughter's neighborhood and think, I can definitely see where downsizing is a plus.

Another one of my rigid concepts blown out of the water!

Sometimes we get ourselves into a position where we don't have easy choices. I could never move 16 animals to a smaller house now. I have to wait til pretty many die off since I'm not willing to rehome them just for my convenience.

Getting locked into my situation on many levels was not something I ever considered as part of my future. Just as teens tend to think they will never die, as young to middle-aged adults we tend to think we will never age to the point where we have real limitations.

So maybe you don't have to worry too much about constantly maintaining. Maybe in a year or two you'll say to your DH, hey let's get a smaller place to live that's easier to take care of. A little garden, 1 or 2 kitties. Life can be sweet.
Posted: 15 July 2013 - 11:14 PM
Dianne, I hear what you're saying about waiting until we are older. I thought I would have the clutter gone by the time I was 40, and then 45, and then 50, and then 55 came and went. I'm hoping to get it done by age 60 now. I told my DH that everything I do seems to take 3 times longer than it did before as I tire more easily. Can't do the marathon cleaning I used to. I like your attitude about this always being on-going. I've heard that the hoarding mentality never really leaves someone who is affected. No matter how long it takes, I know I can de-clutter the house. My concern is keeping it clean. It seems like just maintaining the first floor takes all my extra energy, and don't know how I will handle it when all three floors need maintenance. Guess I will just have to deal with that issue when it comes. Maybe I will win the lottery and can afford maid service!!! :-)

Roxie, It's not that maintenance doesn't have its rewards. It's the time and energy needed to keep up the maintenance routines. If I'm just barely managing to maintain one floor, how do I maintain three floors and the outside? I can remember taking a 2-3 days to do a laundry marathon and telling myself that if I just do a few loads a week I will never have to do a marathon again. That lasted a week. And then I found myself doing another laundry marathon 3-4 months later. My DH jokes that it's either his closet is overflowing with clean clothes or he has to rummage through a laundry basket to find out if there anything clean to wear. I will definitely take your advice and do the upstairs in phases. Sometimes I can make myself physically sick thinking about the whole area and what needs to be done. I have a plan that I will share later.

I appreciate all of you here and the support you give. Its so free'ing to be able to talk about issues with people who truly understand.
Posted: 15 July 2013 - 07:14 PM
Although there are many times when the "D" is for "Damned" and not "Dear". LOL!

Will respond to other posts later. Work is really cutting into my de-clutter time lately.
Posted: 15 July 2013 - 04:22 PM
Thanks Tillie. I figured husband but wasn't sure what that D was for.
Posted: 15 July 2013 - 03:39 PM
DH is short for "dear husband". :)

DS = dear son
DD = dear daughter
SIL = son in law or sister in law
Posted: 15 July 2013 - 03:15 PM
(((Dianne))) YOU are not being discarded when your stuff goes...the stuff is being discarded. You can work toward setting more appropriate boundaries between yourself and inanimate things. It may take time, but you can do it. You are smart and wise enough; I know cuz I read your posts. ;D

My habits were only developed over the past decade or even less. Yet I am finding it a challenge to change them. Doing nothing at all is so much easier, don't you know? But even if all I accomplish today is brushing my teeth, that is forward movement. And even maybe less expensive future dental bills.

Dianne, you are more important than anything you own. Even if no one in your immediate vicinity appreciates or even knows you, you are still important. Your existence in the world has impacted the world in positive ways, and the ripple effect continues. I like that about you.

(((Janie))) Am I understanding correctly that it is the maintenance aspect of things that really concerns you, because you don't get as much "reward" out of maintenance as you do in purging? If so, perhaps you could build in natural rewards so that maintenance is easier for you? Or build in challenges (liking "going green" in cleaning)?

As for the upstairs: looking at it as a whole sounds like too much for you. So leave those doors closed and just concentrate on something smaller? If you have a lot of things that are best purged, maybe you could get a bag of big stickers of one color, and place stickers on anything that should go. Then you can get help to get them out of the house, even if it means renting a dumpster or hiring a hauler. With fewer things, it will be easier to clean, too.

YOU and DH deserve a clean, inspiring, nurturing bedroom and bath for yourselves. He may or many not care, but some part of you does, indeed.

As for the repetitive nature of housework, well, doesn't that apply to a lot of life? Eat? Sleep? Work? It all has to happen over and over again. I know I myself have in the past been annoyed with the "time wasted sleeping." Uhm. Really? Really! Now I'd like to waste some time sleeping. hehe
Posted: 15 July 2013 - 10:08 AM
Hi Janie ~ You're right in going slowly to build good habits. Fortunately a lot of us have the ability to do that before we're caught in a time pressure situation.

I think, unfortunately, a lot of us wait until we are older before we get to the point of needing to change. Then not only do we have the mess but we also have to deal with limited mobility, fatigue or needing help with things that we used to be able to do ourselves to clean.

I understand your fears, especially when there is a good chance that you really can make your goal, which I think you absolutely will.

I wouldn't say I have a real fear of not getting my house done. I pretty much know I won't. Like I know I'm never going to be 110 lbs again or work with horses.

So maybe the best we can hope for is to say I'll try to do this much today, maintain each day and try to do a bit more the next day. Take a few days break when needed then get back to the turtle pace. It will be ongoing until we die.

It sounds like you have an excellent system going with getting things out of your house. Maybe it will take more than a year before you get the upstairs in shape but that's ok. You and Diane have the commitment and action going. So in spite of your fears I know you'll make it.

I'm so glad you're on this board. Your posts are insightful and energizing.

p.s. what's a DH?
Posted: 14 July 2013 - 06:10 PM
Hey Roxie ~ the rational, logical part of my mind knows *things* don't have feelings. But maybe the emotional, child-like part of me thinks they do. Kind of like as a kid you don't really believe in Santa (but maybe you should just in case?). It makes no sense but what part of hoarding really does?

Like some people do with animals, they (people like me) tend to project their feelings on whatever the object is and think/feel that the animal/object/person is feeling that also. It can make for a compassionate person but it can also cross into a bit of problematic behavior. For me I'd rather err on the side of kindness. But I'm trying to be more rational and balanced.

Like the other day when I stopped traffic to get that goose. In hindsight it was very stupid. I couldn't stand to see the poor thing flounder but really was it a smart decision to slam on the brakes in 50 mph traffic? 6 cars behind me piled in a zig zag, horns blared, and the people in the left lane who had to swerve to avoid my open door were put in danger too. All for a goose that wasn't going to live. But really wasn't it all for my feelings projected on what the poor bird was going thru ~ the fear, the pain, the confusion of being on the ground having no instinct on how to handle the situation?

There was something in me that said that's so sad but let it go. The other part screamed, help that goose! Was helping the goose worth the possible injuries and trauma of the people I put in danger?
No way. I thought about what Tillie said about the hawk eating the baby robins and the circle of life. It's so sad but that's the way life is ~ harsh and heartbreaking. Ya gotta deal.

Trying to figure the point of my ramble.....

In understanding myself and trying to live more in balance I need to accept that throwing something out or letting something pass away doesn't mean I am being discarded or abandoned.

Because those are my biggest fears. It's happened over and over and it kills some of my heart each time. I have to work harder at separating me from the natural circle of life stuff whether it's a dying bird or time to throw out an object which has served its purpose.

Posted: 14 July 2013 - 10:01 AM
I have doubts and fears about finishing my house de-clutter project. I basically have the first floor done and have a maintenance plan in place. These rooms are what I consider public areas and never quite got as bad as the upstairs bedrooms or the basement. Which is why I started here. They are visible rooms and were the easiest to tackle. Also, I didn't have to make a lot of decisions because if I didn't want to decide, I put the item in the basement or the garage. (Yes, I know churning isn't good!)

The next phase is de-cluttering the 2nd floor which has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. The last time I remember cleaning any of the upstairs rooms is back in 2006, before I started working again. (I quit working during 2000-2006.) That's seven years of crap I need to deal with. As of right now, neither of my children are living at home. Their bedrooms are total chaos and the doors to their rooms remain shut so I don't have to be reminded of what is in there. Their bathroom door is only open so that their cats can get to the litter boxes. The master bedroom and bathroom aren't nearly as bad as the kid's rooms. Not an overly huge amount of clutter (at least not visible), but lots of dust and dirt. And large pieces such as my son's old dresser, a broken TV set, a sink top, a mirrored bathroom cabinet, my daughter's desk, and other items that got moved into my bedroom because there was no one to help bring the pieces downstairs at the time they needed to be discarded. There is also a lot of painting supplies and tools from when the kids bathroom was remodeled in 2006.

Why am I mentioning the condition of the 2nd floor? Because it scares me. These rooms aren't seen by anyone other than immediate family and I can easily block them out. I'm afraid I will lose momentum because "they don't matter". I know the master bedroom and bathroom should matter to me, but right now I'm not in the frame of mind that I feel I am worth a clean bedroom yet. My DH doesn't complain, so there is no real motivation from him.

As I'm getting used to daily maintenance of the first floor it takes effort to do it. I fear that I won't be able to maintain more rooms as I continue on. I don't want to de-clutter upstairs and then not make the effort to keep it clean. I've been known to go on a cleaning binge and then once something is clean I neglect it until it becomes a big problem again. I'm afraid I will never find a good balance. I don't want to set myself up for failure, but I can only go on past experience. This is one of the reasons why I'm taking this slow. I'm hoping I can set up new habits gradually. But there is always that little voice in my head telling me that I will never change. That the first floor will go back to being a mess because I won't have the energy or desire to clean it because my main focus will be on de-cluttering the upstairs. Okay, I feel that I am whining now so I will stop typing. I just hope some of this makes sense and some of you can relate.
Posted: 13 July 2013 - 03:44 PM
Dianne, I do not share your sense that all things have feelings, but I can share that as a child, I believed that my stuffed animals came to life while I slept. So of course I mothered them. So maybe that is a little bit like you.

I also care a great deal about animals and try to help them out. For our Christmas trees, I always went for the worst looking one so I could decorate it and make it proud (oops, that must mean it had feelings, right? LOL).

My biggest fear right now is going back to squalor. Another fear is lurking: now that someone can visit my home, no one will care to show up.
Posted: 08 July 2013 - 08:24 AM
Hi Texas,

Lots of interesting stuff here and lots of people who understand. It feels safe and good to connect with others like this.

Best of all we can help each other out of the fears. :)
Posted: 07 July 2013 - 03:58 PM
Wow, I had not idea how much any one could be like me. On the outside I have always been a roaring success, Big in NYC, Well conntected with my White House/Congress jobs in DC, ultimate insider in Alaska, one of THE family's in Texas.....but inside me and in my house...eeeek!

The burying the animal thing: that was my major hope as child: I would drive all over with a large shovel in the trunk of my car and some comfortable bags and I would scoop up every animal I found and give it a good burial. At 25 I realized that it was not possible to "fix" them all. so I decided to have 15 cats and find someone to marry us. I was a flight attendant so it would have been cruel to be gone so much from the cats so I abandoned that dream.

I have really wrestled for 20 years with the idea of items having feelings. I am so much better on that now. However I am stuck on being Wasteful if I throw out anything that ANYONE anywhere could use. 15 old jars...someone could decorate them and use them in a big party as center pieces and soemone might ask me to do that at any time now. I have nice white 1/2 gallon milk jugs that could be cut down and made into great matching pots for plants for:"someone", I do not want those planters, but someone would surely love lthem and nned them. You are so right it sounds so CRAZY when you write it down. I will stop here but there were so many things you sole about that reminded me of all the "things" I do and think. thanks for listening.

Posted: 26 March 2013 - 09:26 AM
Hi Catzforme,

I have never been diagnosed with OCD but I expect it's there. I LOVED hanging PERFECT closets and cabinets and drawers. Hangers were perfectly spaced, Tupperware was color co-ordinated, recycled egg trays kept my daughters' little socks and barrettes organized.

As time went on and I began losing control of controlling everyone and our environment I started giving up and things got messy. Then life got a lot messier and loss of control gave in to hoarding and guilt. I swung from one extreme (perfection) to another (chaos).

You made a great start by canceling your newspaper delivery! And by coming to this site! Read all of Tillie's stuff ~ she has great advice and tips.

It sounds like you do a tremendous amount of caretaking. I do too. So it's very important that you take care of yourself too. Whether it's the basics like healthy food, exercise and good sleep or when that's too hard to keep up with, then just a little *me time*. This week I have major stressors so although breakfast is diet coke with caffeine and high sugar/caffeine cookies my private time will be a few broken hours on this site. I'm in a room where I can push stuff in front of the door so no dogs or cats can push in. Normally they're all over the place but I can't deal with anything else right now. After I get my bit of privacy then I can go back to the extreme caretaking.

Coming here reading gives me the little bit of excitement I need to get going again. Even if it's just maintain for that day. When that gets done if I can do one tiny thing extra even better. Try to shut the guilt out for awhile. I grew up religious too and if I think about the wreck I've made of things it goes to a terrible place. I've been good at denial with the messes so now I just apply that denial talent to the guilt. :)

Keep reading and posting Catzforme. We'll all improve together. :) Dianne

Posted: 23 March 2013 - 04:38 PM
So looking forward to meeting you in chat tomorrow! :D

My cats have not torn up the furniture but the drapes look a bit snaggly from them sticking their claws into them then just sitting there hanging their arms while they rest.

And one cat (as a kitten) has removed some wall paper from one corner in the hallway.

To train them I yell "NO!!!!" and clap my hands very loudly whenever they tried to claw the furniture. Scares them good. :)

Gave them catnip coated scratch posts and scratch boxes all around the house.

And if a cat is particularly persistant in trying to claw the furniture I use a squirt gun on them.

I also sprayed the furniture with heavily scented sprays that the cats disliked.
They absolutely hate Renewzit fabric freshner.

I only had to do some of these things until the new cats learned not to put their claws on my stuff. :D
Posted: 23 March 2013 - 02:19 PM
Thanks Tillie for the encouraging words and tips. I'll plan on joining in on the online support group. :-)
Have your cats torn up your furniture?
Posted: 23 March 2013 - 11:42 AM
Hi Catzforme :)

WAY TO GO! on switching to paperless newspapers!

I too have 5 indoor cats and feed feral cats in the yard.
Pets do need a lot of care and attention.

Did you know that many hoarders and messies are perfectionists?
They want to do everything perfectly so when they don't know what to do with items they let them sit until they figure out the most perfect way to deal with them.

You have made a great start by cancelling the paper newspaper.
The first thing in such situations is to work on stopping new things from entering the home.

From there you work in baby steps clearing one very small area at a time.

A square foot of clear space or even just one small table top.

Make decisions as to where the items should go.
Into another room, donate or trash.

Get those few items where they go.
Into the other room, bag or box for donation or into the trash and out the door.

Work for only 5, 10 or 15 minutes so you don't get burned out and discouraged.
Look at the job you have completed and be proud of the progress.
One baby step at a time. :D

Please come to the online group chat Sunday at 5pm PST.
The link is on the right side of this page, just click the red box that says "ONLINE SUPPORT GROUP".

We would love to "see" you there! :D

Sincerely, Tillie :)

P.S. don't worry about the double post. I always need to refresh the page to see if my posts posted.
Posted: 23 March 2013 - 01:56 AM
Oops! I accidentally posted again after not seeing my message. Please delete one of my messages. Thanks!
Posted: 23 March 2013 - 01:35 AM
Since I was young, I had a very accute sense of right and wrong and growing up religious only added to my extreme feelings of guilt for doing anything I considered "wrong." In college, my friends called me their conscience. I didn't find out that I had OCD until my 30's when my son was diagnosed with an extreme case of OCD. It all made sense, the constant handwashing, brushing my teeth after every time I ate etc. except I had always heard that people with OCD were expected to be very clean and organized. What was wrong with me??? My son, who is now an adult, and I both live very cluttered lifestyles. I have trouble tossing all the papers, ads, catalogs, and magazines I accumulate weekly. Every surface in my small house is cluttered with "stuff." My husband and I are too embarrassed to have friends or family over. I took an important step yesterday when I contacted the newspaper to have it switched to the online edition. It is not only much cheaper but also doesn't come with all the ads that I allowed to clutter the house. Not only do I work but I also take care of my retired disabled husband, our five indoor pet cats and approx.10 more outdoor feral cats too. I can't stand the thought that the cats will most likely be "put down" if I take them to the local animal shelter. My feelings of guilt consume me when I look at my cluttered house and I end up crying but I can't seem to figure out where to start.
Posted: 23 March 2013 - 01:33 AM
Since I was young, I had a very accute sense of right and wrong and growing up religious only added to my extreme feelings of guilt for doing anything I considered "wrong." In college, my friends called me their conscience. I didn't find out that I had OCD until my 30's when my son was diagnosed with an extreme case of OCD. It all made sense, the constant handwashing, brushing my teeth after every time I ate etc. except I had always heard that people with OCD were expected to be very clean and organized. What was wrong with me??? My son, who is now an adult, and I both live very cluttered lifestyles. I have trouble tossing all the papers, ads, catalogs, and magazines I accumulate weekly. Every surface in my small house is cluttered with "stuff." My husband and I are too embarrassed to have friends or family over. I took an important step yesterday when I contacted the newspaper to have it switched to the online edition. It is not only much cheaper but also doesn't come with all the ads that I allowed to clutter the house. Not only do I work but I also take care of my retired disabled husband, our five indoor pet cats and approx.10 more outdoor feral cats too. I can't stand the thought that the cats will most likely be "put down" if I take them to the local animal shelter. My feelings of guilt consume me when I look at my cluttered house and I end up crying but I can't seem to figure out where to start.
Posted: 18 February 2013 - 12:28 PM
Wow I was so surprised to read that some people felt like their things have feelings. The first time that happened to me I could only have been about 3 years old. I threw a small, empty bag of potato chips in a creek and as I watched it float away I started screaming because I thought it was dying. Not sure how I knew that concept but it was awful. My Dad pulled it out and tried to explain to me it had no feelings but I still thought it did.

Stuffed animals had to come in pairs so they wouldn't be sad at their separation on the shelf. If there were 3 left they all had to come home. That went for real animals too. I always got them in pairs. I have 4 vehicles because I don't want to make one feel bad by getting rid of it after it took such good care of me for so many years. I could give so many other examples. One of my daughters is the same way. I've never talked about that because I thought it was me being too weird.

When I took in animals I almost always took the runtiest, ugliest one with the most problems. Or the oldest who was unadoptable. Or the abused who needed much physical rehab. I have one very large German Shepherd who is considered dangerous. Of course I have his bigger brother too. I feel like when an animal comes to me no matter what the problem it is my responsibility to care for it for life.

For years I couldn't open mail. I had been going thru an extremely difficult divorce. It made me physically ill to deal with attorney stuff or bills that I had no money for. When the electricity or phones were shut off then I knew it was overdue. But I couln't throw stuff out either because it was probably important.

I couldn't pass a dead animal on the road without moving it and arranging it's body in a safe place to the side. I thought how awful for that poor body to lay there exposed and fearful or on hot asphalt and being treated like it had no dignity. Sometimes I brought them home to bury them.

I can't cremate my dead animals because I don't want the fire to hurt them. When one is buried I have to wrap it in a very soft blanket to protect it from the cold ground.

Just writing this is kind of mind-boggling. Would a *normal* person do that stuff or believe that books have feelings? My God I would never throw out a book! I think of myself as pretty insightful with my problems but now I'm feeling pretty stupid. :(

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