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Hoarding Help Message Boards : How to Help a Hoarder : 9 year old about to confront mother about filthy apartment
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9 year old about to confront mother about filthy apartment

Posted: 21 June 2019 - 06:42 AM
So, if your daughter has full physical custody, she would have the option of giving you temporary physical custody while she worked on her home. This means that if things do get to the point where the home could be deemed unsafe for the child, she has a proactive option that doesn't involve social services taking him to his father.

This is a good thing. It sounds like you would be able to provide your grandson with a safe, secure base and time with both of his parents.
Only the grandma
Posted: 21 June 2019 - 06:32 AM
My grandson's father is not so bad. He loves him and the other boys. Works hard at being a good dad. I've always encouraged as much contact as possible. If the other side of the family are good people they need to be in his life. He is especially close to an uncle on his side of the family. I've offered to let him stay at my house if he ever wanted to come for an extended visit. He has never said 1 word to me. ??? I don't know why.... So he sees him maybe 4 or five times a year. Doesn't have a car of his own. That makes it hard. We do 90% of the driving for the visitations. Not sure of custody arrangements. She has physical custody. Visitation is open. Any time he wants to take him he has been able to. Just not friendly to us at all! To the point of not taking to me at all when dropping off or picking up. So you can see why I don't think I would be able to communicate with my grandson if he got custody. Grandparents have NO rights at all. Grandson loves to visit them but doesn't want to live there.
Posted: 19 June 2019 - 05:09 PM
That is so wonderful that your Mother apologized to you.

It makes it so much harder to deal with anything when people put the blame on innocent bystanders.

Only the grandma
Posted: 19 June 2019 - 07:14 AM
Thank you for that. I've been crying a lot this past few days. The stress is overwhelming. It's all I think about.

It's hard for other family members to see this as a mental illness. I know it's more than just being lazy. My mother actually apologized to me for telling me it was all my fault when she was growing up. Couldn't get her to do anything I needed her to do! I kept telling everyone that I thought that something was wrong with her. She looks normal, acts normal. Therefore you are doing something wrong. Definitely has severe ADD.

I also got him a phone this weekend. He can call me if he needs to escape. His mother was extremely mad. I knew she would be but decided to suffer the consequences of her anger because his safety and mental well-being is more important. He is so relieved to have that lifeline! Takes away from the trapped feeling he has.

Got to go to work...I'll check in later. Thanks again
Posted: 18 June 2019 - 09:17 PM
I have known my best buddy Nate since he was seven years old, he's now 35.

Nate's mother was a hoarder who never cleaned.
The house was filthy and stunk to high heaven and she was not kind to him.

Nate's parents were divorced and his father lived just down the road from me.
Every chance Nate got he was over at my house.

On his 18th. birthday he moved out of his mother's house and has NEVER gone back.

He asked me how to keep house, mainly how to keep the stink away because he said that was the worst thing growing up.

Nate is doing GREAT!
Bought a house and has a growing business repairing small engines like lawn mowers & snow mobiles, etc.
He is very happily married to a lovely lady.

He calls me his Mother. Has absolutely nothing to do with his birth mother.

He is almost a minimalist and has always kept his homes immaculate, even with 3 dogs.

He grew up in horrid squalor and has moved far past it, as have many other children of hoarders/squalorers.

I feel for your Grandson but even if he must live in those conditions until of age, he WILL BE ALRIGHT.
Mainly because he has YOU in his life.

There is a special website just for "Children Of Hoarders".
Maybe they have more to offer your Grandson.

Best of wishes (((HUG)))
Posted: 18 June 2019 - 08:37 PM
I am not saying not to let him speak his truth. I think if is great that you are backing him up on that. I am just saying that he needs to understand that his mother is ill and he is a kid and it is not his job to fix her or "save" her (nor is it right for him to have to life like that.)

The adults are screwing up. I would be honest with him about that. But it is still not his job to do what the adults should be doing. And he needs to know that no matter how much his mother loves him and wants him, she may not be able to change. That doesn't mean she doesn't love him or that there is something wrong with him. It does not mean he failed.

I am glad he has people he can count on in his life. The father complicates things. Does he visit? Have partial custody?
Only the grandma
Posted: 18 June 2019 - 08:24 PM
I can't say I disagree with you that a 9 year old should have to shoulder this responsibility. But this is his life! This has been his whole life. This was not our original plan. I was going to try AGAIN. But we all know you can't reason with mental illness.
My grandson was all for it. We talked it over at considerable length, it was decided. Later in the day he said can we talk about this again? Of course we can! You can talk to me about it all you want. He said you can't do this Grammy, I have to. She is not going to listen you. I know that. It must come directly from me. I just don't want to be alone when I do it. I told him I wasn't so sure that was a good idea. Too much for you to deal with! He insisted... He said I was going to wait till I was 13...I'd be taller than her and she would have to look up to me while I told her my feelings about how we were living. It would make me feel like I had some control over my life. But I cannot live like this for another year let alone 3 1/2 years. I want to plan what I'm going to say so I don't forget anything and write it down and practice out loud so I feel confident. And I'm not going home after my speech because she's going to be really mad and yell at me. I'll give her 2 days and then we can go check the apartment and see if she actually cleaned it. She'll have cooled off by then too . We left it at that. I had him all weekend to keep him away from his house. Then my mother took him for the next 3 days to keep him away longer and give him a nice break. He's going on a trip in 4 weeks and will be gone for a month ( he'll be staying at 2 beautiful ( and clean) houses. We are using that as an excuse to keep him.. she doesn't have a clue. So I gave him another day and said This isn't chiseled in stone, you can change your mind at ANY time and I'll do it. He said No way. My mind is made up. I can do this. I'm actually excited but scared. Still remember you can back out anytime and we can still get this done. He said okay I'll keep that in mind but I need to do this. It affects ME. And it needs to come from my heart.

He is not your typical 9 year old. He is extremely intelligent. He shocks my husband and I every Saturday when we have him with something he says or does that is way beyond his years.

The authorities!!! No way. He is scared to death they will take him ( they won't. The apartment isn't that extreme.) And then...he has the authorities telling him tough shit kid you have to live with this. How will he feel then?? Remember I tried to get help from them once. A teacher called once, a neighbor called once.A policeman knocked on her door while dealing with a neighbor who died in his apartment (she called 911 when she saw all the flies on his door) the policeman was there for a couple hours and asked to use her bathroom! He HAD to have been shocked at the condition of that apartment if not the horrible smell! Nothing happened. How many chances do they get to help this kid. I called the city after a hurricane and all the ground floor apartments were flooded and everyone was evicted ( she is on the 2nd floor) I told them about the horrible roach infestation. I was told the city decided to condemn the entire 360 apartments in the complex. They changed their mind...I called back and said what about the roach infestation??!!! They said can't help you. I read them the codes saying the premise must be free from vermin and bugs. They said that is only the common areas not the inside of the apartments. I gave up on that. Nobody cares.... if the child is fed and not being beaten everything else is acceptable.

So I'm not a mandated reporter. It's summer there's no teacher to tell ( we asked him if he ever talked to anyone at school about it) he looked horrified. Ahh no way she'd kill me. He's been instructed that what goes on in there home is their business not anyone else's. And he isn't due for any vaccinations and never gets sick enough to require a doctors visit so that is out too. Neither of them have insurance so ....

She's ruining this amazing child. He shouldn't have to deal with this. I could tell something was wrong when she dropped him off this weekend, why can't she? She is not a bad mother. She's just very lazy. A hoarder? I think so... garbage mostly, I don't think these things have sentimental value to her! She has had some over-purchasing issues when she has money.. Beads for making necklaces and jewelry. I sucked all that crap up in the vacuum. It was strewn everywhere. Currently it's makeup! Oh and cats. Had 2, one ran away, found one half dead and nursed it back to health, took a kitten from a shelter that was having issues being caged. Then another kitten that she just liked a lot . She did find a permanent home for the last one. So just 3 at the moment....

I don't see this ever ending for any of us. At 9 years old he realizes this too. His alternative is his father. Lives 2 hours away. Has 2 other sons and fights continuously with his girlfriend.... he'd be going from one bad situation to another. Plus we'd never see him again. They wouldn't allow it. My daughter would probably kill herself if she permanently lost custody. I couldn't live without either of them in my life.
Posted: 18 June 2019 - 10:23 AM
This is not his responsibility. He is a child. His mother is mentally ill. If she were an addict, would you let him confront her and ask her to choose him over the drugs?

As a teacher, if he told me these things, I would be required to call for a welfare check. I'm sorry it didn't work last time, i'm Sorry the system failed him. Call again anyway.

Or help him tell other people who are required to call - his pediatrician, his teachers, the school nurse.

If the apartment is a fire hazard, you can call the fire department.

Do not let him try to make this his responsibility. I knew a child who got so desperate she set the house on fire to get herself and her brother removed. She saved her brother. She went to Juvvie for arson.
Only the grandma
Posted: 18 June 2019 - 06:49 AM
My daughter has been extremely messy since she was 2 years old. Never could get her to pick anything up, take care of her dirty dishes, clothes or garbage. Everything ends up mixed together on the floor. Now a single mother, nothing has changed. My other daughter and I have cleaned out her apartment at least 6 times. I'm talking 30 + 30 gallon trash bags each time. She got very very angry. We didn't throw anything of her stuff away...just GARBAGE. You'd think she'd be grateful for the clean fresh start and try to maintain it. Nope.

So now her baby is 9 years old. He came to me this past weekend and started complaining about his mother. He sobbed for an hour trying to tell me about the condition of the apartment. He doesn't want to live like that anymore. He's very angry at her for not picking up anything. The only clean room in the house is his. Only one of the two bathrooms work. Roaches everywhere. The flies are what really bother him. She's put fly strips everywhere but are so caked with flies no more can stick to it and she won't take them down even at his request. I could go on and on....

He's decided he needs help. He wants to confront her with myself and husband present because he is afraid. He's going to tell her he's not coming home until the apartment is completely clean. He wants to be specific about each and everything he expects to be done. He writing his "speech ". And is going to practice it to make sure he can get his point across. He's so grateful he has someone in his side now. He's adamant about not contacting the authorities. Don't think they would do anything, it's not as bad as the hoarders show. I have called DCF before and I was berated for turning in my daughter and not cleaning her apartment myself (I already did many times) Nasty Nasty people. I'll never go that route again.
I can't legally take her kid from her. Did that once too....she threatened to call the police. I said go for it. I'll tell them your 2 year old is in danger and needs a welfare check. Let them see your apartment. She cleaned it up. I gave her her son back.

Looking for any advice anyone would like to offer. Would really like to see results this time but not hopeful. Thanks for listening.
Hoarding Help Message Boards : How to Help a Hoarder : 9 year old about to confront mother about filthy apartment

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