Hoarder who just escaped eviction with clean up regressing
Posted: 18 April 2019 - 04:30 PM
Hi :) Thank you. I have always hated dealing with these types of situations but have been dragged unwillingly into them, all the while kicking and screaming internally. LOL ;D
The families I have helped saw how neat and tidy I kept my home and begged for my help to help them have the same kind of home life.
Then my SO developed a very slow growing brain tumor and as the years passed and the tumor grew he started hoarding worse and worse. After 15 to 18 years of growing, the tumor was finally diagnosed, surgery was successful but he has resisted relearning NOT to hoard. I have been struggling every day dealing with the hoarding and have read everything available and talked with many experts in the condition.
Some people hoard due to brain injury in the section of the brain where making good decisions about things like not hoarding occurs. There are many other reasons for people to hoard, not all is from trauma or growing up with a hoarding parent, etc.
About growing older and less able to do what we did in our youth... That's where I am at in my own life. It is a time to work making our life easier and safer. Easier by not having too many things in our homes to take care of and reducing other activities like having a larger garden than we can tend to. This is why so many older retired people are downsizing their homes, moving into smaller easier to maintain places. Living in a smaller space they must get rid of all the unneeded, unwanted, non sentimental stuff.
The hoarder you are helping is in denial about so many aspects about aging and hoarding and preparing financially for their future.
There is a new-ish decluttering system for people facing old age who want to live a good life. There is a book and videos on Youtube it's called "Swedish Death Cleaning". It's not morbid or sad, just a good way to look at things. Just in case you are interested.
Posted: 18 April 2019 - 08:46 AM
Hello and thanks again Tillie
Recently there and she pulled stuff from her car marked for donation-grrrrhhh. Pulling stuff back in isn't helping. Started to bring back a few boxes from other people's homes for her to look at not only hoping some will be disposed of but also to make her realize she needs a large storage unit-some progress but her pace and plans are simply impractical.
She complains about money for the future and retirement home yet her latest plan is to buy a new car yet balks at paying for a storage unit. Her current car works and she can't drive long periods of time anyway. She's also in denial about aging blaming her pace/progress on illness & injury rather than getting old. "If" I didn't get sick, fall etc. She actually says she didn't think getting old would feel like 'this'. She's had help available and willing for decades. One excuse or rationalization after another.
I don't how you do or did it dealing with these types of situations and people for any length of time but your experience and thoughts are helpful & appreciated.
Posted: 18 April 2019 - 12:36 AM
That is so very frustrating that she doesn't realize she will lose everything by trying to hold onto everything, including control of making ALL decisions and seeing who receives her donated items.
From what you've said, at the pace she is going and the unreasonable demands she's making people/authorities will eventually make the decision for her.
It is beginning to seem to me that she is done, feels she has worked at it enough and will now just drag her feet thinking the problem will just go away. She feels her problem is only those pesky people telling her to clean up the clutter.
I know you have explained the consequences to her as to what will happen, but unfortunately she is still in total denial.
Please don't let this weigh on you. When you are not there, leave it all behind you. Live, laugh, love, eat, drink and be merry.
Posted: 17 April 2019 - 12:35 PM
So true on getting the donate stuff out of sight asap. But she wants to see the person/organization getting it directly. And yes stuff she already made decisions on gets more thought if she sees it.
She's fuming now that her discounted storage is about to expire. I told her conditions aren't that great and that's why it was probably discounted so try to negotiate a discounted rate. Nope, she wants/thinks she deserves cheap or free storage since she didn't put it there herself(volunteers took it to prevent an eviction which she has to be reminded of) And since she has rent storage herself to get a room ready for cited work just rent a larger unit and we'll put everything in there neat, labeled and organized on shelves, water proof containers etc-nope, thinks she can sort and personally dispose of an entire bedroom full to ceiling in a month or two. She gets rid of the equivalent of a garbage bag every 3-5 days,not happening.
Posted: 12 April 2019 - 09:22 PM
Oh yeah, I really like that excuse. They need the piles and very narrow paths to lean on. Rather than wide clear floor space and be able to use a walker or wheelchair. LOL, sorry but, LOL...
Drives me crazy when they have to slowly sift through each and every single teeny tiny item rather than addressing larger issues. The hoarder here does that over and over again while the hoard never gets any smaller.
Great that she is more willing to donate! Try to make sure that anything they say "donate" is removed from the property immediately or it will get churned back in. Doesn't have to be taken to a donate place but must be taken out of their sight and reach.
Sad but true, the anger and rants and excuses and blaming everyone but their own actions will continue. This is a mental disorder that involves a LOT of denial. Denial that things are as bad as they really are. Denial that they are in any way responsible for the predicament they are in. We must remember that it is what it is and it is very hard to help them out of their way of thinking. If they don't want to change they won't change. Allowing somethings to be donated is a good sign that you are helping her to change in some way.
WAY TO GO!!!
Posted: 12 April 2019 - 11:19 AM
Thanks again Tillie. You get it.
Still looming issues but some of the cited issues were finally addressed. But still a lot of stuff.
They insist on getting rid of things their way. One item or piece of paper at at a time. I told her to speed sort, go right for documents that have no value and are a security risk with social security numbers, birth dates, old addresses etc. She only has her life savings to protect as does the rest of her family. She has documents going back into the 70s probably earlier with no importance today, not talking about deeds or insurance policy type information either.
Also found a drawer half empty. I told her put stuff in there. Work on getting rid of the piles. Get stuff out of boxes. Nope, wants to go through the entire drawer first.
And 5 months later her vendetta against the agencies that inspected/condemned her place has not subsided a bit. And yet no lawyer just rants & diatribes.
She's also begging for stuff removed by volunteers, she says she needs them to lean on because of a disability. Told her you can't argue you are functional or independent yet have piles of stuff/skinny aisles to lean on. They'll say move into a handicapped equipped facility rather than live like a hoarder.
The only progress is she more open to the idea of donating stuff. She had plans to sell it, ain't gonna happen.
Posted: 06 April 2019 - 04:46 PM
No good deed goes unpunished.
So sad for the people who allowed them to store items in their home.
Since the stuff's owner has so many excuses not to move the stuff I believe the homeowners should contact an attorney to set up a formal eviction proceeding.
The hoarder would be given three months to remove their possessions and if they don't comply within that time limit the homeowners are them allowed, BY LAW, to dispose of the items in any way they see fit.
It will be considered abandoned property.
I really feel for the kind souls who allowed their home to be used in this way for such a very long time. But enough is enough.
Hang in there and make sure to make your health, safety and sanity number one priority in your life.
Posted: 06 April 2019 - 02:48 PM
Still dealing with the same hoarder. Someone who let the hoarder store stuff at their house for over decade now wants it out. Oh the humanity. One excuse after another. Then they're upset it's been moved around the house over the years. We tried to tell them things change over a decade or so. They're upset it's not in the same exact spot it was left years ago. Had to remind them areas have to be cleaned, maintained, other people have stuff and theirs had low priority. It was supposed to be a few year temporary fix for the hoarder to find a bigger house for all their stuff. I think a decade of leeway is plenty.
They're now playing up the disability/health angle. They don't want the homeowner to move so their stuff won't either. Their plans to get rid of it are impractical and time consuming even for a healthy person. They complain they'll need storage unit money for private nursing and a down payment on a nursing home unit. But that could be years away. And more important that's their problem.
Posted: 07 March 2019 - 10:51 AM
This is all so typical of a severe hoarding mentality.
Unfortunately, we as an individual can not do anything but stand by and watch as their lives go completely down hill.
The ones with any kind of power to make changes in the situation are the authorities, agencies. But unfortunately many agencies do not understand that severe hoarding is a mental illness. So they simply punish the person with threats, fines and/or jail time.
So very sorry you are in this position and have to listen to the verbal tirades. Just remember that this severe hoarding is a mental disorder. The person needs to accept professional mental health care.
To them, everybody else is wrong. Their possessions are all valuable, useful, wonderful and necessary. The way they have them stored is logical to their mind. They believe people coming in are there only to be cruel and also to steal, so they hold on even tighter. They see us as being illogical, wasteful and mean evil thieves. This is why they respond with such anger toward us.
It is hard for anybody who has been living their life independently since adulthood to admit and accept that as we grow older there often comes a time when we are no longer capable of living our lives as independently as we have been used to. Add in a severe hoarding disorder and it just exacerbates the whole situation.
Posted: 07 March 2019 - 08:24 AM
They are just bitter at this point. They do have health and legal issues which they refuse to address. Their stuff has priority.
The big thing is they don't realize they need to be inspection ready year round. Especially with their health and age. Even if they intend to clean up they can't let anything go. Every item brought back from storage or pulled from a pile must be placed under the premise of what would an inspector think about it's location. When you point that out you get a diatribe it's their place and can do what they want.
Posted: 06 March 2019 - 05:52 PM
When they do not want the help and fight you at every turn there is nothing you can do to get them to change their minds or quit blaming "the system" for all their problems.
Since she refuses to work on making the home livable/passable there really is nothing else for you to do except let her face the consequences of her actions/inactions.
Yes, she needs professional mental health care especially if she may be threatening self harm, suicide. But getting her to seek any is probably futile.
Please take care of your own self. It's upsetting being in this position. Make sure you have emotional support in real life and make the time for fun recreation and rest. (((HUG)))
Posted: 06 March 2019 - 12:02 PM
Hello, I previously posted about a hoarder who rejected help but got enough last minute help to escape eviction about 3 months ago.
Well their attitude is deteriorating and they really feel persecuted & victimized. They don't get it. They also keep on playing the what if-if this person hadn't come in to her home she never would've been reported. That person was a police officer assisting an ambulance crew. Her attitude toward local government officials is worse than a militia held up on a mountain top.
Part of the help she received included putting stuff into discounted storage. She is more worried about getting stuff out of storage rather than work on her home continuing to reduce the piles & volume of stuff inside. She is not convinced or accepted that more organization ie more shelves, cabinets, drawers etc would eliminate/reduce the piles of smaller boxes of stuff. She has unused plastic storage-she says doesn't want that stuff as decor. That's not her 'style' yet she tolerates piles of stuff and/or in cardboard boxes. Her place won't be clutter free until she passes or moves(probably forced). Her goals of magazine cover appearance are totally unrealistic or impractical.
I'm not a professional but she needs a therapist or something because she goes into angry rants in a flash, frequently the same one, still doesn't realize the gravity of the situation with follow up visits over the next few months. She refuses to consult a lawyer for numerous issues. Her independence and delusional self reliance take precedent over all else. She talks about death or dying every time you see her. I just tell her I'm not going to clean anything up if I find her-just call 911 the people she despises.