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Hoarding Help Message Boards : The Daily Chat : Am I an object in the hoard?
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Am I an object in the hoard?

Posted: 20 February 2018 - 07:24 PM
I will look into the book- thanks for the recommendation! Thank you all for your response and understanding.

Much love to you ❤️
Posted: 19 February 2018 - 06:05 PM
A very good book to read is
"Digging Out"
Not that it changes anything but it does help you to understand the hoarding condition better and gives a lot of helpful advice.
Posted: 19 February 2018 - 04:38 PM
Anon, I am the hoarder. I am married to possibly the most patient man in the world. I am much better and our home is merely messy with some overburdened storage areas now, but it has been a years long process.

I guess some people can just do a sudden big cleanout and move on, I don't know. I would not be the one to talk to about that.

Nor do I have any insight about professional help. I would resist it fiercely.

What I do know is that investing your time, energy, heart, and soul into an outcome YOU want for someone else is a fool's game. He has to walk his own path.
Posted: 19 February 2018 - 03:02 PM
Thank you for your reply. I didn't realize I was being so counterproductive. I guess I didn't see by offering my suggestions that it could be seen as an attempt to control him. I wish he would speak his mind more clearly. Yesterday I was asking him if he could talk to me more a little bit about what he is thinking, so I can understand better, because as I mentioned he refuses to seek professional help.
Thank you also for your advice. I wish there was a way I could understand better. I want him to have a happy and normal life, but I don't want to say that out loud to him because I don't want to make him feel worse. Do you have any experience trying to convince someone that maybe a professional could help? Or why that would be beneficial?
Is there a thread started with maybe some positive phrases or phrases to definitely avoid?
I love him and I want to do what I can for him- respectfully and within my boundaries- even though our relationship may not be able to continue. I see myself as the only person who can help him- no one outside of his family knows of this condition.
Posted: 19 February 2018 - 04:56 AM
It is the illness. He is not ready to change. An ultimatum won't work. And even if he was at a point where he was able to start changing for you, it is likely to take years.

You suggesting things to get rid of or places for items to go is actually counter productive. The desire to discard an item has to come from him - if he expresses ambivalence about something "I don't really need this book anymore, but I don't know what to do with it." You could offer possibilities, but "your cousin would like this book." Is felt as you trying to take his belongings or control him - taking away his rights to his stuff and his own decisions. You become a threat and he doubles down in defense.

He probably does want you there, and he probably believes that there is room for you, and he might actually be making progress although it is too small for you to see. But unless you can accept always living apart, it is time for you to move on.
Posted: 18 February 2018 - 08:01 PM
Am I wasting my time?

TL;DR- lvl IV hoard relationship advice...
Long term hoarder boyfriend, seems unwilling to change. After 7 years, we still don't live together because of the hoarding. I attempt to be supportive, and he perceives it as an attack. I am worried I am another possession in his hoard. Do ultimatums work?

I began dating my boyfriend 7 years ago. I met him on a vacation, and fell for him in such a way that I moved across the country for him. I worked very hard to be there with him. I had to work 2 jobs so that I could afford rent- this is LA!

He inherited a home, but it is so hoarded I could not live there, and to be quite honest I wouldn't want to live there. I didn't care, I just loved him. He inherited the home from his deceased (of 20+years) grandfather. This home has since become the second family home, as his parents are also hoarders (or at least tolerant/ contributing to the problem), and their "main family home" is hoarded 10x as bad (I am sorry- I am new and don't know the proper levels of severity). The main family home does not have a functioning kitchen, so the family usually comes together at the second home. They were very slow in letting me into their daily lives, which i understood afterwards. It took about a year for them to let me into their homes. Once I discovered the severity, and after trying to internalize my anxiety and do everything in my power to not be judge mental, I began to worry about what was causing this, if it was just years of disorganization or if we lived together would it look like this? I am a neat freak- by my own standards, and definitely by my boyfriends. I cannot stand dust, or clutter. I like things to look fresh and inviting. I suffer from anxiety which I have pretty well controlled, but the environment of both of the homes is very triggering for me.

Anyway I got so financially strapped that I had to move back across the country with my parents. He told me he would clean the house so that I could stay with him. I saved up again, got a better job, moved back. The house looked worse. The second bedroom was no longer in use. It was so full you could not go in or out- at all. I decided I needed to get an apartment for myself again. I got an apartment, and it is more expensive than ever before. He tells me he is cleaning, and that I am welcome to move in. And now, I am back in the same situation I was 3 years ago. I am financially strapped again and he is saying that I could sell my things and move in with him, into his grandfathers home. I don't have a problem getting rid of my things. I like doing it, it makes me feel relaxed and more free from attachment.
But there isn't anywhere for me to move in. Literally no place. And part of me is so offended, and another part of me just sees this as another part of the illness- that it would be reasonable to bring a person you love and care about into that environment.

But even though I help him clean every day, we get so little done. I try to be supportive while we clean. I never try to throw anything out. I will make suggestions, "I know a little girl who would really like these toys..." "these kids computer games would sell great at a garage sale!" "Would you consider donating this to goodwill?"
I am met with comments that I am pushy, nagging, judgmental, and that I don't care- that I just want to throw everything out. Which are things I make sure to not be.
I feel like I am trying to hard to be supportive, and I am met with opposition. I understand it is sensitive for him. When I ask him what he would like me to clean he tells me to dust off his VHS tapes. Half of which are blank and unmarked. I spend hours dusting tapes. I ask if we should digitize the tapes, so that he can keep them on the computer or on discs. He says nothing and tells me to put them back where I found them.
Even when I wear gloves and a face mask, my mucus becomes coated in thick dust. And I am coughing and itching for hours. This explains his breathing/allergy/sinus issues.

I feel stuck. He knows what this is doing to our relationship. I am worried he doesn't care about my life or well being as a person and sees me as another one of his possessions that he treasures and can't let go even if we want to live different lifestyles. I want to live a life free of material things. I would be fine living in a van- I don't need much. He will never leave his nest. He has told me this. I love him so much and can't tell if this is his illness, or if this is just who he is. I don't know if I should give him an ultimatum. I know those don't work. But it's partly the only way I can bring myself to break up with him. I want to help him so bad. He refuses therapy, professional help- even these messaging boards which i direct him to frequently to help normalize the situation.

I am so sorry this is so long.
Just needed to vent.
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