Monday, August 10, 2009

Diary of a Recovering Child of a Hoarder

Starting February 2009 - Repost from now defunct Children of Hoarders website forums. The information is all still there though! Check it out! .
My story.

My current situation is my mother the hoarder. Everything about her screams addict except the drug is hoarding and I am the supreme enabler, at least I have been for the last 37 years.

What finally caused me to cut my mom out of my life? She stopped taking care of herself and her diabetes and finally ended up having severe symptoms. She tells me that she needs me to take care of her now.

At first I was on board. The typical enabler. She has always told me that she expects me to take care of her the way she WANTS to become accustomed. She laughs as if it is a joke, but this is typical of my mother.

I felt compelled to finally clean up her place, to make her take care of herself. The woman had to declare BANKRUPTCY because of the debt she accumulated hoarding. Everything is always 'on sale' and 'such a great deal'.

Anyway, I feel incredibly guilty for cutting her off completely but the final straw was around the holidays we had some pretty bad snow, and she was crying to me that she had no money saved, although I did help her set up a budget for herself WITH savings built in. She needed 1000 dollars which I gave her. I felt sorry for her.

In January when she was sent to the hospital, she asks me to pick up her mail and some 'packages' because she has been 'saving' so 'well'. argh. I was mad. But I ignored it because they thought she might have had a stroke.

We went to pick up some of her mail and there were more than just a few packages. Including one that was from a book club. A friggin book club!! The woman can't afford to miss a day of work due to snow but she has enough money to spend on a book club?

Anyway, I had finally had it and told her to never contact me again. I can feel myself feeling sorry for her and that I need to help her, but everyone around me keeps telling me that I was right to do it. But was I?

My mother is an adult child of an alcoholic, and I really feel like this behavior is just another form of the same illness.

I really need support that I am making the right decision. Am I?

The secret is finally out and everyone knows. I am in such a scared place right now.

Thanks for listening.
Ok, so in my recent awakening or 'rebirth' if you will, I have realized how much my mother hates my husband.

First some history. My mother really latched on to me when I left for college. The hoarding back then was just in its infancy stages (hoarding level 1). Most of the house was ok, but there were a LOT of decorations and her office was completely filled to the brim, but the rest of the house was 'normal'.

She would get mad if I went to a college party within an hour of home and she found out (my friends would sometimes call). Keep in mind I went to school 1.5 hours away. She would give me grief about it so much that I actually ended up dropping out of school to 'find myself' and moved closer to her.

Eventually, she convinced me that I hated my roommate and that I should move in with her because it was wonderful. She had just moved into a new (re: Bigger) house. 2600 sq ft for one person. I didn't see her house before she moved, but from friends I guess it was getting fairly full (hoarding at about a level 3) but at her new house, it was all hidden behind closed doors. The main living areas were fairly clean although I had never seen so much food in one pantry.

I did move in, since it would be easier with school. But it was awful. We fought all the time and I couldn't have a social life unless it was at the house, otherwise the questions started. Keep in mind I was 22 by this time.

Once I finished school (sort of) I got a job with a nice company. My mom tried to convince me to take the sure thing job which paid less, a manipulation on her part I think to keep me dependent on her. Anyway I took the good job and about 4 months later they offered me a full time position with benefits, and they loved my work ethic. It was great. Then they told me with hesitation that it was at the other end of town (about an hour away from mom) and I was excited. A good reason to MOVE. I told them yes I would take it and stayed with my cousin for 2 weeks until I could find and move in to a place.

So while on my own I switched jobs once, but my mother was always at a distance. She seemed to have given up taking care of me, although she did make a few special trips a year to help me (once on a trip to the ER, once when I accidentally didn't calculate my finances well and spent all my money, first and last time for that. Her help was taking me out to dinner...)

ANYway.. at my new job I met some great people, one of which was my future husband. We were friends about a year and then started dating. We dated for a year and then got married. I didn't want a big wedding because quite frankly I have been conditioned to think I didn't deserve anything from my mother, and as such I had a small ceremony but my husband insisted on a nice reception, which we had, paid for ourselves of course. My mom seemed happy for us.

However, the insidiousness of what comes next just makes me physically ill. Occasionally my husband and I would fight, and my mom would hear it in my voice and push to hear more, then telling me that, while she likes my husband, she can't imagine living with someone like that and that she will always be there for me. Looking back the things we fought about were pretty typical I think of a couple starting out. But at the time I was worried I had made a mistake, which opened the door.

My mom decided to move to be closer to us about 2 years after our marriage. She claimed it was because she didn't like the fact that our lives were passing us by and we weren't spending any time together. I did not want her to move closer and I told her that she shouldn't move closer just because of me, as her commute would be horrific. She said she didn't mind, she just wanted to see me. So I told her some positives, one of which was that we didn't get as much snow in the winter as she did. Oh how that comment would come back as a guilt trip. More later.

So the day before she was supposed to move out she calls me in a panic asking for help packing as she can't get it done. What a disaster (Level 8 hoarding), but I go over there and help pack up the entire house, all 2600 Sq Ft of crap. My friends and husband help out and throw stuff away without telling my mom, something I will hear about until.. well.. I cut off contact with her..

So she moves closer, and now every time I have plans with the inlaws I get this guilt trip. "oh.. you are going over there? I'll go home then. I don't want to be in the way". On the surface I was thinking 'low self esteem' but again, I am now seeing the insidious plot looking back.

My mom keeps telling me that I deserve 'better' than my husband but only when things aren't great, and in ways that were very subversive. She also tried comments like 'He doesn't like me" and "He obviously thinks I am in the way" But I was 100% committed and told her that. That is when things got worse.

First it was my husbands parents. To my mother, his father was 'the worst, always so negative, how can anyone stand to be around him?' He can be a negative nellie but he always tells me he loves me, and always tells me how happy he is that I am a part of the family. I tell my mom this and she says 'really?' and cannot believe it. Life forges on.

Then my husbands mother is 'not really very good at socializing' (this is true too) and how annoying is that? And how can you stand to be around her? I tell her of the fascinating conversations we have had and that I think the social awkwardness is just shyness or nervousness and my mom sort of gives up that as well.

We talk about my husband sister and her husband because they were spenders (ironic looking back as my mother is 10 times worse) and I would vent that I was worried about them, particularly after my sis-in-law asked me and hubby for some financial advice. I vented a lot because I was worried about them. My mother would agree and say things like 'they sure aren't very smart' and 'how in the world could they do this to their kids?' the irony I am sure is not lost on all of you.

But then she finds a foot hold with grandpa. My husbands grandfather is a horrible person. He calls my husband stupid and tells him he is holding on to my apron strings. He insults my husbands parents, never thought my father in law was good enough for 'his daughter' and is a mean person. But I tolerate him for the family. However, my mom 'reports' to me that grandpa 'touched' her inappropriately. This sets me off. I was FURIOUS with him and refused to let him into our home again, which causes strain between me and my husbands mother. Not terrible strain, but there is a distance there.

This brings us to today. When she was hospitalized, her hoarding was definitely level 10. After all the lies she told me while AT the hospital, and finding out how much she was lying to me outside the hospital, I finally cut her off (there is another thread on this topic). Then I started looking back.... I can now see all of this in hindsight and can see how insidious she was. Remember the snow comment I made? Every single year since she has moved here it has snowed (although not nearly as bad as her old place) and EVERY time I say how unusual the snow is and she says 'Oh ya.. sure.. SURE it never snows' and thinks she is just teasing me, and I should get over it. She blames ME for her move here. She talks about how much she hates where she lives. And worst of all, she still talks about how much my husband doesn't like her. My husband would bend over BACKWARDS for the woman.

Her attacks and ultimate hospitalization (which I firmly believe was designed to force me to take care of her, which I will NEVER DO AGAIN) were all part of an insidious plot to ruin my relationship and get me back to being 100% with her. I still am in shock even as I write all these words down. I am sure I have missed facts and points, so if my story is confusing please ask, as I would be happy to fill in the holes. I just cannot BELIEVE the level of evil my mother has put upon me.

If you made it to the end of this story, thanks for listening. I just needed to write it all down and re read it to really believe it. She really does hate my husband and wants him gone. And will stop at nothing to do it. Thank goodness I have the power to stop her.
Day 1:
I started my recovery today. As it turns out, I am suffering from depression and anxiety which, according to my therapist in my eval, has bubbled over like a volcano because of the events of the last 12 days.

My place of employment has a benefit called 'short term disability' which allows for some paid time off of work. My husband thought it might be a good idea to see if this qualified but I wasn't sure I needed it. Anyway, I went in for the evaluation to determine if this is something I need and the therapist I talked to responded with "You need medication NOW and therapy NOW you DEFINITELY need to take some time to deal with this". I was scared. I knew my memory has been listing lately since I found out my mother was lying and using me. And I was crying more often. But I have always been an emotional person..

Anyway, I went back to work to get the paperwork started. I have never been great at coping, but I usually muddle through. This time though the walls started closing in on me. I felt completely trapped in my office and I could barely function. I have never felt anything like this before and called my husband frantic, because I wasn't sure which end was up or how I would sort out the myriad of paperwork that I needed to fill out.

My husband, being the kind soul that he is, made some suggestions and offered up help, and things seemed better. I got the paperwork printed, contact information for my case worker, and things were looking up.

Later I went home. It was a struggle, the drive, as it was snowing today and the visibility was poor. Ever since I misplaced my glasses (about a week ago) I have been having issues getting around by car, but I managed to make it home.

However, after arriving home, I completely fell apart. All of the pressure of no longer being able to depend on my mother, not that she ever really helped, she would just tell me how silly I was being. No longer having the only family member I have had regular contact with for my entire life, just sort of hit me. Even though I can't trust her and I know she values her hoard more than me, I just broke down and couldn't function anymore. I completely lost touch with reality, and the people who I spoke with this afternoon all handled me with kid gloves, something I am definitely not used to.

Right now I am frightened that I might be as mentally ill as my mother is. I am hoping not but that is my fear tonight as I type this up. I was going to just journal this but decided that I am going to do it here, in front of strangers who are also COH to share my story and maybe help someone suffering like I have been.

More tomorrow...
Day 2 - Part 1:
I had to go see my Primary Care Physician today as she had to prescribe the meds since it takes so long to get in to a psychiatrist, and everyone seems worried that I can't cope. I have been extremely embarrassed today. My husband has been great but is being overly cautious, which I am picking up on. My greatest fear is that he will leave me because of this, just like my dad left my mom. He assures me that is NOT the case, but the fear is still there.

My husband took the cat in before my appt. One of the side effects of my moms hospitalization is I finally saw the dog and cat. They were living in filth and the dog was so starved she had to be put down. The cat, while old, still seems healthy, although she is matted beyond belief. It took forEVER to find a place that would groom a cat at all, let alone a cat in her advanced years. Since I have no way of knowing if the cat has had her shots, we also have to get those updated. Poor kitty. They will most likely have to shave her to remove the matts. But she seems to be adjusting to her life in our home. Once she is clean we are going to start letting her roam around rooms we are in to see how she adjusts. But so far, so good. Although I will say, seeing her those first couple of nights sleeping in her cat box really made me sick. That poor cat... That poor dog...

Anyway, I call this part one only because I am waiting for a call from the psychiatrist today. I have no idea how I will respond, but every time the phone rings it makes my stomach turn... In case I need to vent more I may come back and do just that...

Thanks for listening. Also, I noticed my right eyebrow is itching a little bit. No idea why, but it is aggravating me to a factor of 10! It's the little things..
Day 3:
Turns out I didn't need a part two yesterday because the phone ringers was off. Seems in order to avoid me hearing the phone ring and my stomach jumping every time thinking it was my mother, my husband turned of the ringers on all but one phone so that I couldn't hear it if I was in another room. How difficult this must be for him right now..

Today I met with both my new psychiatrist and my new psychologist. Both seem nice and both meetings, although painful, went pretty well.

Later on in the day, though, I had a call from the insurance company about taking some time off. On the surface the case is cut and dry, but when the woman on the other end was asking me questions to prove my 'illness' (ack.. hard to even say that) I felt like a child being interrogated by a parent... One thing that has been difficult the last few days is that my life and angst if you will is public knowledge now. I have been so private about it before. Now I have to explain to them everything, from my mom being a hoarder and how she duped me into believing she was a healthy human. Ugh..

Everyone I tell seems very sympathetic, but I can't read them very well. I am still on the fence on if they think I am nuts or immature or if they really are sympathetic to my case. I have been conditioned for so long to believe I was this immature child who could never do anything right, always stressing about making sure my cover isn't blown. Can I accept myself as someone who not only can do things right but doesn't need to stress in order to make it happen?

My cookie dough in front of me says no. It says 'take another bite.'

Good news though. I found my new favorite emoticon...
Day 4:
Today was a short day. Only physical therapy for my back, no need to bring up the garbage from the last two weeks. I did have to think about it though to reschedule my PT appts so that I could make my twice a week therapy appointment.

While I was out today I felt this overwhelming urge to get home. I just wanted to get inside and hide away in there. I even was speeding! I never speed! Anyway, my doctors all think I should walk outside but it occurred to me that I have been avoiding outside for some time. So tonight, my one and only goal is to walk to the mailbox and back. I am so worried I am as mentally ill as my mother, and I guess this proves it.
Day 5:
I think I have figured out why I have this urge to go home. One of the meds I take (only for a week) is causing me gigantic mood swings. Ugh. Luckily I only need to take it a short time, but nothing is worse than waking up in the morning and feeling like I want to be a hermit...

The good news is, on valentines day I got to sort of forget about all this junk. We had great fun. Unfortunately, not a day goes by that I don't find out someone else I know is taking anti depressants. Also found out that she is going through divorce and foreclosure. A necessary reminder that things could always be worse...
Day 6:
I didn't have anything to do today and as such I was a complete hermit. But the good news is that in the evening time I did actually venture out for a walk with the husband. A walk with pajama pants on, but it was dark so hopefully the neighbors will forgive me.

I also had trouble sleeping. I think it is because my mom is leaving the hospital Wednesday, and my biggest fears are that 1) she will come over here throwing a fit or 2) she will insist on taking her cat back. I have already decided if she insists on taking the cat I will call animal control. That poor cat has been through enough.

I am still having a hard time believing this is my life. Because I have been feeling so off lately I actually caught myself trying to make our old routine happen: In the evenings we make dinner together and tell each other funny stories about our day. Well.. I don't have any funny stories... so I made some up. He laughed. But I felt incredibly guilty and ended up coming clean with him early this morning. I just needed that feeling of normal. I hope it comes soon...
Day 7:
Another day as a hermit. I did do some exercising though, and I even went for another walk. Twice as far as the mailbox this time! Still at night, although I put on real pants (pajamas should NEVER BE WORN IN PUBLIC! LOL!)

I can't believe it has been a week since I cut my mom out of my life. Admittedly, it has been easier with her hospitalized. When she gets home I have no doubt that she will end up homeless or dead. I just can't see how she can hold on to what she has when she is already in bankruptcy and is spending like mad again buying more things.

On the brighter side, the cat is doing well, although we can see that is is not trained very well. Because she is old it is a hopeless fight. It is almost easier to just let her sit on your lap all day because at least that way she is quiet... We will never be able to let her roam the house without one of us there to keep an eye on her, but that is ok. Taking care of her is a labor of love at this point. That poor cat has been through so much. She also is finally gaining a little bit of weight. I am going to take her for a checkup in the next couple of weeks to make sure she is doing ok.

I still feel crazy all the time. I know logically that I am not, but all the time I think about the parallels in my life and my mothers life. It scares me. I can see aspects of her in me and it makes me want to snap out of this stupid crap! But I still can't remember where I put the keys or my workout bag... How does someone with an elephant memory forget things like this? What if I am this way forever?
Day 8:
I realized I was avoiding my aunt to avoid having to hear about my mother. She was supposed to be released on Wednesday and I fully expected something, a phone call yelling at me, or a visit to the house screaming, or something of that nature. My aunt did say she would talk to my mother about not contacting me, but I just cannot believe she didn't freak out. That is so unlike her.

Anyway, I have had trouble sleeping as the day of her coming home got closer, and the last two nights have been awful. I have an extra anti anxiety med to take to help me sleep if I need it, and I had to take the max dosage, and I still woke up panicking. The first night I woke up dreaming about how it felt to see her place when we picked up her pets the first night she was in the hospital. I will have nightmares about that for the rest of my life. The second night I woke up worrying about what I am going to say if I do ever see her again.

Since I was so nervous about my mothers release, I decided to keep busy purging the house. I purged a million books, knick knacks, old computer hardware, cooking supplies, etc. Now they are in piles. They still need to be removed, but it actually made me feel better. I can see how someone can slip into being a hoarder, it was hard to make some of the decisions, but when I became objective, it was silly to hold on to 20 candles when I never burn them anymore! I also went to the container store website and picked out some items we have needed for a long time, and DH picked them up this morning so I can't wait to implement them. Details in day 9.

For those who have followed along so far, thanks for reading. I am really only doing this for myself right now, not replying to the comments much (although I am reading them and taking them to heart, thank you). I was going to do this in a word doc for myself but I thought perhaps my story of recovery from this entire mess might actually help someone else to feel less alone as bb143's message helped me feel my first days here.
Day 9 - Part 1:
Well, now I really can't sleep. Today was just a normal day. Therapy session then back home to relax. Which gave me time to worry about my mom again. I thought maybe, maybe I was lucky. Maybe she would just realize the mistakes she has made and leave me alone. And she did. No calls, no showing up, which is great.

The problem is she is telling everyone who will listen what an awful daughter I am. My aunt called to warn me about it, saying that this is her way of retaliating she thinks. I am not sure. Anyway, I am so mad I could scream. She tells my aunt I never do anything for her. Are you kidding me?? Who packed up your entire hoarding home in one day because you were too 'overwhelmed' to do it yourself? You know she complained because things weren't packed properly? Are you freakin kidding me? How in the world could I pack up that much stuff and pack it perfectly? Sure we had some help, but come ON. And who gave you thousands of dollars because you couldn't make it on your bankruptcy budget while missing work or couldn't afford to pay your lawyer or couldn't afford to pay your mortgage? Who invited you to my friggin in-laws parties so you wouldn't feel left out?? I MEAN COME ON! How much am I expected to give up of my life so that YOU can be LOVED enough. GOOD RIDDANCE!! I hope the door doesn't hit you in the a** on the way out the door lady!!

I simply cannot believe how evil she is. I cannot believe I have let her do this to me for so long.

Luckily, everyone close to her that I know realizes that I do quite a bit for her, and sympathizes with me. Even her best friend. My mom decided that she hates her now too.

How much time I have wasted.. it is so hard because she has been there for me when I needed her. That just is very very rare. Like when my husband broke his leg and I started having severe abdominal pains. She drove over and took me to the ER. This is why I feel guilty. She does do some things for me but the problem is, she demands SO much in 'payment' for that. Ugh!! I hate her for making me feel this way. I hate her for manipulating me, and for making me believe I was never good enough. I hate her obsession with things and the fact that she would choose that over me. And I especially hate the fact that now my greatest fear is realized. When it comes to family I have no one. Thank goodness for my husband and his family. If it wasn't for them, I would be totally alone...
Day 9 - Part 2:
I cut off ties BECAUSE she is a master manipulator. I had to. Just being around her made me feel awful about myself. It seems every comment was designed to make me feel bad about myself, even the compliments. I still am having a hard time accepting this situation.

I hadn't considered PTSD, although it very easily could be. My therapist described it as this turmoil that was always below the surface, and then when my mother faked her stroke, the volcano just exploded.

I just wish she would stop talking smack now. I am guessing she has done this before and I simply didn't know about it, but my aunt called last night and told me about all the awful things she said about me. She assured me she knows they aren't true, but some of them were just awful. I have always felt she didn't really love me but then felt bad because she does help me when I need it (rare). Now I realize that she really doesn't care and that I can never do enough unless she can take care of or rescue me, which as a functioning adult is something that I really don't need anymore.

At least I am starting to sort it out. And the memory is getting better, although I still seem to misplace at least one item every day.. lol.

Luckily being off work I have plenty of time to run around the house looking for whatever it was that I misplaced.
Day 10:
Today I saw the psychiatrist again. I asked her some questions about what is going on with me. She explained that I do not have clinical depression but I do have clinical anxiety. I am still not 100% sure what that means, but I am guessing it means that I am being overcome by anxiety and cannot pull out of it by myself.

She also tried valium to help me sleep at night. I haven't taken valium in years but it sure makes me feel like a 'bad' housewife from the 50's...

I started the day out pretty strong actually. I was still angry (and tired, hardly any sleep) but when I started driving to my appt today my typical way (avoid freeways, route with the fewest lane changes) I saw my mother in me so strongly that it made me almost have to pull over to vomit. I can definitely see the OCD tendencies in myself. So I threw caution to the wind! I used to drive on the freeway all the time and only stopped once I had someone in my life who let me stop driving (my enabler husband! who knew!) and so I turned left instead of right, and jumped on that freeway and drove to my appt. I was a little nervous because of all the traffic, but it went really well, and on the freeway you get these wonderful views of the mountain ranges in the distance. It was gorgeous!

I know it sounds like a really dumb thing, but my gosh it was the most exhilarating feeling I have had in a long time...

After arriving back at home I sort of slid back into my bad thoughts. Being alone with your thoughts is really a dangerous situation. The downward spiral happens so much quicker than when you have something distracting you. At least later tonight we will be with friends...

Tonight, we bowl... (code for playing rock band.)
Day 11:
Thought a lot about the hoard today. I couldn't get it out of my mind. I keep flashing back to that first day when we picked up the pets after her supposed stroke. That feeling of fear just overwhelmed me. All I could say was 'oh my god! oh my god!' over and over again. It still sometimes wakes me up at night.

I am also really angry that we still don't know if something was wrong, or if she was faking the whole thing. The doctors said stroke, but said that it didn't present like a normal stroke because it was affecting multiple parts of the brain that are in different areas. Then they said that it could have been because her meds were off because she wasn't taking her insulin.

But, the biggest thing I did today was I stopped keeping the 'secret' with someone that my mom insisted not know anything about her ever. My grandma. My dad's mom. My mom hated them and always talked badly about them and my father, but in a very passive aggressive manipulative way in order to get me to hate them. I never hated grandma (grandpa was a different story, but he is gone now. ). , but I sure didn't think much of my dad because of the way he left my mom...

But now that I know my mom lies about everything for sympathy and help and whatever else, I had to know the truth. And to get the truth, I had to be honest with my grandma about how my mom was living and the lies and everything else.

Well, my grandma went on to tell me the story of what happened when my parents divorced, and it was very similar to the recent events with my mother. My aunt said the same thing but I was still in a bit of denial. Hearing it again and realizing my dad didn't abandon us as my mom insisted really made me both angry and sad at the same time. While my dad is definitely far from perfect and has some issues of his own, it still would have been nice to know him. Even just a little bit.

So I asked for his email address. I guess the worst thing that can happen is he says 'no don't contact me'. My grandma is asking for it as we speak. We'll see what happens...
Day 12 & 13:
Still no contact from the hoarder (thank goodness). We decided to wait to change numbers unless she starts calling, but we did all the research and can have our numbers changed with one call.

I emailed my father. It was so hard to put into words how angry I was with my mother for lying about how my family feels about me, and how sorry I was for being so angry with HIM all of these years, and how that really was an extension of her. I haven't gotten a reply back yet but he uses the library computers so he may not have checked it yet...

Still, I went back and reread the letter he sent me when I was 16. It was such a sweet letter, but I remember my mother getting all pitiful looking when I read it to her and then she told me about why they got divorced. Her version of course, which made me angry and ignore the sentiments in that letter. Of course at this point, I didn't know or realize what she was doing or what she HAD done to me. I bought it hook line and sinker, and had anger towards my father for YEARS. His parents too. I thought 'screw them! if they don't love me that is THEIR LOSS!'

Of course, later I found that Shocked his parents do love me and that my mother is a big fat liar. :grumpy:

I don't even know my father, but my grandmother said she didn't know if he would want contact with me in the past with my mother present (not sure if she prompted them or ?), which made me sad. But then she called him to ask about an email address and called me back and said he was thrilled I wanted to contact him.

I feel like everything I have ever known is false. Also, since being out of the hoard, the cat has been thriving!!! She wants our attention all of the time!! It has been great fun. We have had to retrain her a little bit though. She was used to getting her water from a running faucet all the time.. She just sort of stared at her water dish like 'what am I supposed to do with that???'

I think she is still not sure what to do with things that are clean though. Whenever we clean her box, she runs to see just what we are doing, and then hops right in. lol.. Also she likes putting her food in her water dish and chasing it around in there.. never seen anything like it. She doesn't do it all the time, but every so often she will. It totally cracks me up.
Day 14:
Well, my mom finally called. Luckily I didn't hear the phone ring but when I looked at the missed calls I saw her name. My husband checked the message and because I like to torture myself I asked him to tell me what she said.

Typical guilt trip. Some of my favorite quotes: "Everything is falling apart" "It's not my fault" "I tried to return the stuff I bought" "Even aunt [name removed] won't help me"

Ack. I shouldn't have asked. Now I am all worked up and angry that she would even try this sort of thing. What a joke. I used to feel compelled to help her, but right now all I really feel is anger that she would do something like this. She didn't ask about her cat, or me, or anything else for that matter. She is so completely self absorbed. I can't even believe it...

On the upside, I have been emailing my father, and so far things are going pretty well. He was definitely excited to hear from me. He told me about some of my mom's behaviors before she was hospitalized in her 20's and my aunt was right, the behavior was EXACTLY the same.

Got new meds to help me sleep. I was still waking up in the middle of the night in a panic and unable to fall back asleep. Hopefully these new meds will work. I'll write more tomorrow. Thanks for reading.
Day 14 continued:
Well, it is 1am and yet again I can't sleep. Seems that my mom's timely message really is getting to me, even though logically I know there is nothing I can do to 'fix' her. She will continue going bankrupt to buy more for the hoard until she loses her home and everything in it....

I told my husband to delete those messages and not tell me what is in them anymore. I can't take it.. Here I was waiting for this shoe to drop and it totally hit me like a ton of bricks, and right now I just don't know what to do. Plus, I am loopy from these damn meds, but when I get into bed my mind is going a mile a minute. I actually canceled my physical therapy (unrelated) appt tomorrow because I was afraid I would be too tired after being up all night.

ARGH!!! I feel so selfish for thinking this but how in the world can she DO THIS TO HER ONLY DAUGHTER!?!?!?

I will never understand her.. I am so angry right now. I am angry that she is still trying to continue to ruin my life. I mean come on, everything is falling apart because SHE is making horrible choices. I loved the comment of 'its not my fault'.. Really?? Because from where I am sitting, every bad choice you have made is 100% YOUR CHOICE. Nobody is forcing you to buy all that garbage, nobody is forcing you to take every vacation day you earn, nobody forced you to move an hour away from work, nobody forced you to do ANYTHING. You made these choices. You lied to me, used me, discarded my feelings as well as some of my things to the hoard, and quite frankly you sicken me.

Wow.. sorry about that. I typed it all out and then reread it. I thought about deleting but why bother... She will just attempt to hold me hostage with her guilt and manipulation. I guess a number changing is in order...

Day 15:
Last night was definitely a bad night. Since she called the cell, I went ahead and turned it off, and also told my husband to check it and delete any messages from her tonight.

And we are going to change the number. So at least she can't get to me that way anymore.

She has definitely trained me over the years to be her enabler. I am staying strong though and not speaking with her at this time, since I don't trust myself not to get angry or start justifying my position, which my therapist thinks is bad for me to do, since she is so used to manipulating me to get her way. She was told not to contact me by my aunt and of course didn't listen. If I need to I will call my aunt and ask her to talk to her again, and if it becomes harassing I have no qualms about calling the police, but that makes me incredibly sad.

What really drove the point home for me was the fact that she said her life is falling apart and it is NOT her fault. Give me a break! I understand that someone can be mentally ill, but being a hoarder and a manipulator means you still have your faculties. When the mirror is held up, you should still be able to see it, particularly if your LIFE is falling apart as she says...

It is just so frustrating. And I am having a difficult time separating my emotions from the situation. I still respond like the enabling daughter...
Day 15 continued:
This day was spent mostly moping around the house. I canceled my dr appt that day (physical therapy) and just sat around.. moping.. But actually it felt great to do it. I still thought about my moms call but slowly it started to fade. I started keeping my phone off and only turn it on for emergencies. So far.. so good. No more messages!

I also spent some time emailing my dad. He is such a hippie! But I have to say that he is hilarious and has been so open and accepting of communicating with me in my preferred form (email). This way I can go back and take a look at the emails again and reread them. While I enjoy a phone call, I can't record it for posterity...
Day 16:
Spent some time purging the office. This felt SO GOOD. We got rid of a TON of books. I never realized how pack ratty my and my husbands tendencies are. We both had books from college that we never cracked and didn't even remember taking the CLASS. We also thinned out our software collections. We still had games that haven't played on our computers since before we met.. No joke.. I mean how sad is that?? I saved my favorites only and the rest went bye bye. It felt VERY good.

We didn't have time to finish and clean up though because our weekly visit with our best friends was happening that night.. Also something I really needed. I pushed for something other than rock band this time so instead we played Train (dominoes) and Settlers. I ended up winning settlers at the last minute. It was a close one! But boy did all that playing hurt my back! ACK! Can't wait for physical therapy!
Day 17:
We finished the office on sunday. My desk is SPOTLESS. All the little trinkets and sticky notes I was holding on to got a home. We have an inbox again!!! And finally I can see that I am indeed NOT my mother.

We also found some great stuff of my husbands that he thought he had lost. He was thrilled. I couldn't be happier.
Day 18:
Today was my first day back in the dr appt daily routine. I did some extra things too that sound dumb but were actually big accomplishments for me. I have been so out of it lately, and today was the first day in a long time that I couldn't stop smiling... The sun was out, it was just the right temperature out for me, there was just enough cloud cover in spots to block the sun from being in my eyes, I hit every light green or green within seconds... I felt so good I joked with my husband that I should buy a lottery ticket, so I did. One scratch and one for the mega millions.

On the downside for today I saw my therapist, and although mostly a good session I did have to talk about the contact my mom had with me last week. ugh... I just wish I could forget her but of course I can't, and I feel like I am waiting for the point of contact (her calling me)... my therapist suggested I write her a letter explaining my new boundary and asking her to respect it. I am still not 100% sure about this, it might open a door, but it can't hurt to write it, I can always make the decision of whether to send it or not later...

I have never had to write anything like this.. if you all have suggestions I am open to them. Basically I was told by my therapist to not try to justify my actions, but to explain my needs firmly. Every time I start to write something down, ultimately I get to a 'how could you do this to me' moment and I realize I am saying the exact wrong thing... So any input would be appreciated.

I decided to try some cadbury mini eggs today. I need to stop the junk food train but it has been slowing down so I thought hey.. why not treat myself. Easter is but once a year and those mini eggs are the best candy I have EVER had.. hahaha!
Days 19-22:
This week I had a flurry of doctor appts. There were, however, a few good and bad things that happened...

On the good side, I had a mistake with my prescription from the eye doctor and I didn't totally freak out. This may sound small, but I have been so overwhelmed lately that I really thought I would. But I didn't. My new eye doctor is so NICE and I know I am a hard person to give an eye exam to (I can focus through lenses that aren't right for me, with some work of course). I should have new glasses early next week.

My dad emailed again and so far things seem ok. He is funny. Actually in some ways he is a lot like me. This made me feel good.

No contact from my mom thank goodness. It looks like she is respecting my boundary, at least so far.

Today my cell number gets changed (for free since this is the end of my contract today! yay!) and on the 12 we are doing the double line phone deal that crayfish suggested (at least I think it was crayfish)... We just decided it is better to be safe than sorry. Changing numbers was the easiest way to not have to worry every time the phone rings. Plus, since I want no contact, I have to be serious about it. I felt like I wanted to hold on to the old numbers in case she needed something. Old conditioning... We have finally pushed past that.

Now the bad... In my therapy appt on Wednesday I got pretty upset. We got to talking about how my mother isolated me from the family and how I felt when certain family members died. Well, how my mother responded too. When her brother and his wife died (both in the same year unfortunately) my mom told me that their two kids were pulling away from us because we reminded them too much of their dad. It was odd though, because they were spending a ton of time with their mom's family... but I accepted it as fact and didn't think anything of it. Of course, I asked my aunt after all this stuff blew up if they really were pulling away because of that and she said no, she just saw them last week. So that was all a lie. I have missed them SO much...

The other bad is that it seems my father may have been sicker than my grandmother let on. His notes seem fine so far, but a couple of comments he made made me a little nervous. But hey, it isn't like we are visiting in person or anything.. just email.

It is weird. I know he has his own illness. I catch myself justifying it away.. like, he claims he no longer live the normal societal life anymore by choice. Granted his is more extreme, but I have ALWAYS bucked normal society because there are so many things that regular society does that makes my skin crawl.. But is that me justifying? Or am I really mentally ill? Or am I trying to make my dad less weird in my own mind?

Also, his note seemed totally normal, but at the very bottom in tiny type he wrote that he controls the world. Like this "I control the world!!!" only smaller. If someone who wasn't ill wrote that, I would have laughed. But all I can think is, what if he is sicker than my grandmother let on? What if he really thinks he controls the world?

Maybe I am reading too much into this. I don't know. All I know for sure is I can't wait to get my new Dior glasses. (They are so cute!!!)
Day 23-24:
Sunday wasn't the best day for me. I got a phone call from my aunt on Saturday informing me about the state of my mother. It seems she has not been going to work and when she tried to go a couple of days, she was forgetting everything. Her symptoms sound similar to my own (forgetfulness brought on by anxiety) There is a part of me that feels incredibly guilty, but yet there is another part that feels better than I ever have felt.

Also she is completely acting like a child. Apparently she told my aunt 'fine. someone is coming to take all of the stuff today. It will all be gone'. My aunt of course asked if there was anything I wanted. I told her I would love pictures, but at this point I think my mother would destroy them out of spite.

I felt really good after the conversation on saturday, or so I thought. I also called my grandmother (fathers mother) to give her the new numbers and I talked to her. Really talked. No hiding the family secret, when she asked about how my mom was doing I laid it all out on the line. I also told her how much I loved her and how I am sorry it took me this long to realize what she was doing, and that I wished we had been closer when I was growing up. She told me I had nothing to apologize for and said that she never wanted my mom to feel like they were intruding, which is why I only saw them once a year, but she realizes that mistake now...

Anyway, after these things happened, that night I had great fun with friends playing games and staying up a little too late (Daylight savings time and all) and on sunday I just felt spent. I could not get into a good mood, no matter what I did. I feel like my husband and I aren't really connecting on days like that, and that makes me worry. He of course assures me that he is 100% happy, but I have to wonder if he thinks about what life would be like with someone normal...

It has been snowing here quite a bit as well.. It is so nice to see it and watch it, and not have to worry about the phone calls from my mother crying and telling me how she can't afford to miss anymore work etc etc. I am finally free to enjoy the snow....

I tend to go into my cave when feeling down. It is very isolating. I have always had guilt about being with friends when I am down. It is hard for me to be my bubbly self and I am afraid they won't want to hang around.

Wow.. I just reread that and it sounds so 7th grade..
Day 25
I had a complete meltdown Tuesday night. I realized I was telling everyone "I am getting better" every time I talked to them, when really I was not. I still cannot perform series of tasks. So, for example, I can write a check and put it in an envelope and mail it (small task as there is a mailbox at my therapists office) but I can't find a recipe (decision), buy the ingredients (go in public) and make dinner (complex task). I actually tried to 'fake' this by buying some fresh pasta and some light alfredo sauce and a bag of caesar salad. I said to my husband "see? I got dinner!" but I still couldn't follow through to MAKE it. And to be fair, the only reason I was at the store was to pick up a new prescription... (pharmacy is located inside)

Anyway, I melted down tuesday admitting all of this to my husband. I think what set it off is that day I met with my psychiatrist who was talking to me about when I go back to work, etc. I got totally freaked out. I can't imagine trying to work like I am right now. But when I tried to subtly mention that to her, she seemed to think it was best. Then the meltdown because I realized I was telling HER how much better each day had become, when it simply wasn't true...

I talked with my therapist the next day and admitted to her what I had been doing. I was so afraid she would be mad at me... leftovers from my mom I guess. Anyway, of course she wasn't mad, but she did tell me repeatedly she was glad I came in (I had told her I was tempted to cancel...)

Right now I just feel like I will never be myself again, although last night, finally, for the first time since this all started, I actually fell asleep with 10 minutes of hitting the bed.. I guess I have been holding on to this lie too long... somehow I knew deep down what I was doing even if I didn't realize it.
Day 26:
I really thought I was the ONLY one dealing with this kind of thing, these kinds of emotions. I have been told I "Think too much" and I am "Too sensitive", even by friends, boyfriends, etc. They never understood my perspective. For my entire life I was trying to be perfect for my mother, because that was the only way I felt loved. I felt like I was doing this dance where I was holding up all of these spinning plates in the air and I had to keep each one spinning.. This of course was probably exacerbated by the fact that my mom and dad divorced when I was 3. I developed a terrible stuttering problem. My mom was also having her breakdown at that time so she wasn't normal. Looking back I can see how I am so messed up... :angry:

Oh well. Time to have more coffee. I did finally buy something for myself (involves venturing out in public, buying something I don't need, talking to the check out person, taking it home and giving it a home) which is probably the most difficult task I have done recently, which gives me hope. A week ago I wouldn't have had the nerve.
Day 27:
Well what goes up must come down. Couldn't sleep at all last night, even with the medicinal help... I am worried about Tuesday. Tuesday is the day that I get reevaluated. I am not sure why I am so worried, since the fact that I am this worried signifies that I might not be better yet...

When I made the appointment she had made a comment. Well many obviously.. but one that stood out. While we were talking she said 'with the way you were the night after the first evaluation, I am guessing you aren't ready yet, but we will know more when you come in'

I can't remember if I posted the results of that night.. I think I did. That was the meltdown with the paperwork and the calling of doctors night. I couldn't get a hold of a psychiatrist from the list, I couldn't get the paperwork filled out because I couldn't make sense of it. This was at my worst obviously, and it was probably the scariest night of my life because here I was, completely freaking and I had no control over it... I ended up calling the evaluation person I mentioned above and asked her for help, crying of course.. and wailing a bit I would imagine.... so I guess I can understand why she thinks I might not be ready yet (although thank goodness the wailing seems to be on the back burner!)

I am worried that she will say "All well!" and I will go back to work like this.. failing miserably...

I am worried that she will say "You aren't even close to better" meaning I am not making progress as I should. Makes me feel like a failure.

I am worried that she will say "You are faking I know it!" and chastise me. Because there is no clear cut "sick" or "healthy" I am feeling fine when I have zero responsibility, as soon as the tiniest responsibility comes into play, I feel like the world is caving in. But when I am feeling fine, I feel guilty for being on leave.

I am worried that I will have to be on short term disability for longer than the 3 month period, and will eventually have to go on long term disability. This makes me worry because I feel like I will be this way forever.

I just want to hide in my house until it all goes away...

Ugh.. Bad day today.

I printed them out. Embarrassing to share with someone in person, but now I feel like I have to do it. It is hard to articulate it in actual words out loud, but for some reason typing it was easier...
Day 27:
Well, it looks like I am now off for a bit longer. That is both a relief and makes me a bit anxious. I am sure my boss is wondering what the heck is going on.. hehe

The only tasks I have really been doing are purging. My therapist thinks I have a bit of PTSD from seeing the way my mom was living and realizing it was now going to have to live with me (before I knew the stroke was fake)... Possibly I guess. I do have flashbacks to it.

Because I never want to live the way my mother does, I keep purging, purging, purging... I read some of your stories and I thank goodness that my mom had the decency to hide it to 1-2 rooms while I lived at home. Gotta be thankful for the small things.

I sometimes wonder if she even knows what she put me through. The evaluator said that basically it is as if I now have to learn a whole new way of thinking, because with my mom, I felt like I always had to be perfect, and just about every authority figure I picture as "my mom" so I feel the same need to be perfect. It was the only way to please her and get love from her..

Wow.. the realization of that really hit me over the head just now.. I do the same thing with my husband, and if something isn't perfect (say, I drop the jar of pickles and it breaks) I completely freak out. Hmmm.. connection! Perhaps that is why!

Ack.. I am really messed up and didn't even know it. I was listening to a song by madonna (laugh if you want) called "Oh Father" and it sort of shocked me when I heard it. Replace father with mother in my situation...

It's funny that way, you can get used
To the tears and the pain
What a child will believe
You never loved me

You can't hurt me now
I got away from you, I never thought I would
You can't make me cry, you once had the power
I never felt so good about myself

Seems like yesterday
I lay down next to your boots and I prayed
For your anger to end
Oh Father I have sinned

You can't hurt me now
I got away from you, I never thought I would
You can't make me cry, you once had the power
I never felt so good about myself

Oh Father you never wanted to live that way
You never wanted to hurt me
Why am I running away

Oh Father you never wanted to live that way
You never wanted to hurt me
Why am I running away

Maybe someday
When I look back I'll be able to say
You didn't mean to be cruel
Somebody hurt you too

You can't hurt me now
I got away from you, I never thought I would
You can't make me cry, you once had the power
I never felt so good about myself

You can't hurt me now
I got away from you, I never thought I would
You can't make me cry, you once had the power
I never felt so good about myself
Day 28:
I had a rough day after viewing the video. I hadn't actually seen it until today (I lived it of course, but that is another story)

Before viewing that video, I questioned whether my mom was 'really' a hoarder. I mean I thought she was, but as time went by I started doubting myself. My mom doesn't collect her urine in bottles. My mom doesn't have stuff stacked to the ceiling... etc.

I realized, while viewing a slideshow on hoarding, that my mom's home was worse than the home in question (this is not to minimize the pain of the person who posted the photos... you inspire me with your strength) and I started seeing things in the home that I had missed while there, like the bags of adult diapers everywhere...

I never in a million years thought I would have to deal with this. I think finally today I accepted it completely. Even though I said it before, I never really believed it.

For most of the day I was numb. I went to therapy and had a hard time talking. I forgot things that I normally take with me. I met my husband for lunch and ran into my boss (ACK!) but actually, that was a good thing, because it snapped me out of my funk. I started wondering if he thought I was nuts. My husband assured me that I looked sufficiently sad (Because, and I can't believe I am saying this, but I thought he might think I was faking the whole thing. I am sick in the head! My work wouldn't give me time off if I was faking! These people are psychiatrists/psychologists!)

What a day.. Then I came home and played some Sid Meier's Railroads. For some reason, that helps me relax. I am such a video game nerd.

I felt like I am baring my soul, my shame. But at the same time, I am shaking this off saying "This is not my fault nor my legacy"

Thanks for listening....
Day 28 continued:
When my apartment used to get messy (I thought this was normal of course) I would make a floor plan and clean by grid. That way if I only wanted to do one grid square in a night, I could, and it would take me minutes.

It is funny. A while back I stated that my mom didn't REALLY become a hoarder until I left home, but the truth is she was, just more of a level 1 or 2. There was still enough space to stuff everything when guests were coming over, but living in a mess was 'expected'... and I didn't realize it was wrong until I started living with someone else..

Egads. the discoveries I am making.

Thank you all for being a part of it.
Day 29:
When my husband and I first got together, he wanted to take me to a fancy restaurant but I was uncomfortable because I didn't 'deserve' it. In my mind anyway. I thought that everyone there was 'them' and I was 'us'.

It has taken me years to even buy something for myself without running it by my mother, and with large ticket items I still do. And when I am going to buy something large (I really want a hot tub) I hem and haw over it forever, trying to find JUST the right one, after all, I don't want to waste the money.

My therapist says to work on being 'good enough' instead of 'perfect'. I haven't figured out what good enough is for me, as the shoving stuff away when guests came over was 'good enough' for my mom.. that is NOT good enough for me.

I got this line from my mother. "Lived in". Also, she came into some money at one point and then the complaint was always 'if I just had a bigger place' which she found and filled up completely and refinanced so many times that she couldn't afford it anymore with her credit card bills from buying all the stuff!!!!


My aunt told me she actually got a total in 5 years of 250,000. And 15 years later, she had to declare bankruptcy because she was 80,000 in debt....

My mother...
Day 30:
Well, I have to say that watching the movie has changed me somewhat OR the medication is finally working as it should...

I have been feeling good! The weird thing is.. my emotions aren't so extreme. I thought that was normal, or that made me special in some way, like I could 'understand' peoples situations better than others.. Apparently that isn't what normal people have to deal with.. oops.

I used to listen to songs that brought back memories and they would bring a tear to my eye. After watching the movie and feeling down, driving in to my appt a song that is very meaningful to me came on, and not a single tear. Of course I was a bit numb, but in the past that would have brought me to tears and I would have had to pull over. I was sad.. but I was still in control. It was the oddest feeling.

I have been ruled by my emotions only for so long that I wonder how I got as far as I did in life with them so raw.

Anyway... the other thing I did was totally try to take over making dinner the other night. I know it sounds strange to be so happy about that, but I love to cook, chop, etc and since this event occurred, I have avoided it at ALL costs.. The most I could do was open a can and put it on the stove.

My husband wanted nachos, and asked me to help him. I said 'is it ok if I just watch?' and he said 'yes'. So I watched. He was browning the taco meat, and the sad little tomato was just sitting on the cutting board, waiting.. my instincts just took over and I pulled a knife and started cutting it up. It was weird. Halfway through I wanted to shout OMG do you see me? DO YOU SEE ME? but I didn't.. I finished and then cleaned up the mess. Then my husband was having some trouble with the taco seasoning (he didn't add enough water) and so I asked him if he wanted help. At first he objected (his normal response) but then all of a sudden said 'sure!' so I took the pan, added more water, finished off the meat, assembled the chips (he shredded the cheese) added meat and cheese, baked it off, pulled it and added tomato and the rest of the toppings (I prefer these cold) and voila. We made nachos. Together.

And it was the most liberating feeling I have had since that time I drove on the freeway... hee hee!!!
Day 31:
I made a casserole today, but it completely wore me out (mentally) and I was a couch potato the rest of the night. Then sunday I got to do what I love (stay in all day and play video games) but I realized the danger of that because today I had a therapy appointment, and I skipped it...
I just didn't want to leave the house today.. I have no idea why. I have also been craving sugar to the EXTREME... supposed to be a side effect of the meds but it is out of control. STUPID EASTER!!! Why must they have dove chocolate bunnies??? WHY!??!?!

I also get stressed watching someone 'clean' who is random in their cleaning. For some reason, I feel this need to be orderly with EVERYTHING. Someday I should upload some pictures of my drawers. You would all die. I have dividers, and everything has a place... It is sickening...

But it makes me feel like I have control.
Day 32:
It was interesting today. I had to see my primary care physician about my blood pressure (high.. shocking...) and she asked how I was doing, and that I looked more relaxed. She had originally prescribed me the 'emergency zoloft' but that was almost two months ago. Anyway, she sat and talked with me about what happened for quite some time, and you know, I didn't cry ONE TIME. Normally at the doctors, if I get told I am doing something wrong (in this case, not watching my diet) I get upset and cry, because I feel like I am somehow now a failure and hurt my mom (or the person of authority, whoever it is)

Anyway, I just said to her 'sorry, I am still recovering from clinical anxiety, and one of the side effects is that I haven't wanted to cook at all. My husband tries, but our meals haven't been healthy lately. Perhaps there is a medication I can use to help until I get back into the swing of things.'


My doctor looked at me like 'wow' and then asked her questions. I guess she anticipated me crying, as I have before. It is funny, I have complete control over what I do. The doctors can't force me to do anything I don't want to do. And yet, I still would always feel like a failure.

I decided to celebrate with a little video gaming. But first, I accomplished two things on my list of 'to do'. Research and contact piano restorers for an estimate on fixing the innards of our old piano, and Look up and request more information on rehabilitation equipment from

I accomplished two things! And I paid a bill this morning! OMG! I am becoming myself again!! Better than before!
Day 33:
We did get a sun break yesterday in the afternoon.

I just went outside and stood there.. basking in it.. hehehehe

Didn't sleep well last night. Had an early appointment today and it made me nervous, which made it hard to fall asleep. Husband helped by rubbing my feet (for some reason, this knocks me out.. HAHAHAHA)

I am not sure why I am nervous. I have 3 appts today (the most of any day) and one starts fairly early (9:30) although I got up and got ready as if it was at 9:00 because I totally forgot the 30. ahh well.

I also started a new task regularly. Taking my blood pressure. I have high blood pressure and we are trying to get it regulated (the situation with mom didn't help, both with the stress and with the poor eating because I wasn't cooking).

I have done it 3 days in a row, am and pm. The numbers aren't great, but the fact that I am doing a daily task without forgetting or if I do forget, immediately dropping everything to do it, makes me feel like I have accomplished something.

These ups and downs I am having feel odd, but I am guessing that I had them before, I just didn't notice them as much because I wasn't thinking about them... In fact, my husband thinks they might be less. He would know. :rofl:

Maybe I am bi-polar like my father.. my therapist thinks my mother might be too. I still fear being mentally ill, but so far, so good.
Day 34:
I got a call yesterday from a hospital in Nevada that my father had checked in to a hospital, and while there he fell and had a skull fracture and concussion, and did he have any metal in his body? They wanted to do an MRI.

First of all, why in the world did they call ME?! That was just odd. I haven't seen the man more than 2 times since I was 5 years old, and we only recently started communicating.. I told them I had no idea and gave them his mothers number.

Then I talked with my grandmother which was interesting. My dad apparently was thrilled that I was talking with him, but he told her it was only going OK the communiation. I am guessing that is because I told him his mails were scaring me a little bit. I guess he went off his meds though (I had no idea) and so.. that explains a lot.

He also told her she 'lied to me' which is hilarious. She told me he thought he was god. He said thats not true! and then proceeded to tell me that he is God's God.. seriously. This is what he thinks. Yes I can see how she 'lied'... I mean come on... its like pot-ay-to po-tah-to.

By the way, I had a convo with my hubby about my personality and if it was 'changing'. I haven't felt as funny or as quick witted as I used to be and it was bothering me.

He started to laugh and said 'haven't you noticed us laughing MORE?' and I said 'nope' and he said 'you have been in a great mood, and are still as funny as ever!'

Which means a) yay and b) I am apparently not aware of how much I am laughing..
Day 35:
Had a bad reaction to the new sleeping medication. It is making me agitated and shaky. Weird.

I called my Psychiatrists backup (she is out of town) and he was zero help, so I ended up calling my therapist and leaving a message. I was so overwhelmed and crying.. ack. This is just awful.

I feel like I made a huge step backwards... And now I won't be sleeping well until the 13th, when my doctor is finally back.

I hate my life sometimes... :grumpy:

My therapist did call, just told me to stop taking it (um.. duh?) and said she would see me monday.. *sigh*...

I have been feeling so good, I hate feeling 'not right'.. This makes how I felt before feel like a dream.

I am crying at the drop of a hat, and I can barely hold my head up.

At least my heart stopped beating so fast... That was awful...

My demons are definitely winning today...
Day 36-46:
First, I really did have a huge set back with that medication, however in doing so my therapist recommended an out patient facility for 5-7 days to help me deal with my issue. I was terrified at first (hospital = crazy in my eyes) but I am actually glad I am going. I am starting day 3 tomorrow.

I finally cooked a meal and ENJOYED it. At least for a short time. I made a berry/yogurt/granola desert for tonight earlier and it felt GOOD. I also made some side dishes to go with the leftover meat. Near the end I was a bit tired, but it all came out at the same time perfectly cooked, which made me feel really good.

Still no contact with my mom, but my dad unfortunately is in the hospital and it isn't looking good. Apparently he was off his meds and got in a motorcycle accident, had a bad concussion but went to walmart and freaked some people out (not surprising, he looks like a hippie santa claus and thinks he is god) and fell there as well. He isn't opening his eyes or eating, and they have him on a tube for food.

My mom on the other hand has moved next door to some friend of hers about an hour away, and now plans on selling her house. She is no longer telling everyone how awful I am, and my aunt tried to convince me that she really was just sad about losing me, but in all honesty I don't think she thinks she has done anything wrong. Typical. Also she is trying to get on disability so she doesn't have to work anymore and that makes me angry. She couldn't get more money directly from me so now she is going to take a handout which is still MY MONEY. She can work just fine, she just doesn't WANT to and she is jealous of the fact that I was going to quit work if I got pregnant. Like everything else, she is jealous of anything I have. Why did it take me so long to realize this?

In my therapy session today I showed the video I shared here previously (minus sound) for a presentation on loss. It was difficult and heart wrenching to share it, but I think it made them understand the horror walking into that situation unprepared can do to you.

For the first time I really am starting to feel better. I still have a ways to go, but hopefully it will happen soon. Looks like I will be returning to work mid may.

Wish me luck.
Day 47-57:
Well it isn't looking good for my dad. He is bleeding into his brain, so recovery hope is non existant at this point. I was blaming myself, but this therapy outpatient stuff I did helped me look at that and realize that it was his choice to go off his meds. His choice to ride the motorcycle. All his choices. All I did was email him.

I finally talked to my mom... After the outpatient therapy was done I was on an emotional high and called her to leave a message. She called me back (on the phone with only an answering machine) and I called her back and we talked for a bit.

She kept insisting how much better she was doing, but that my aunt was yelling at her all the time. Instead of my normal response (get angry with my aunt) I said 'that doesn't sound like aunt [insert name here]' ... she was silent on the other end. She told me she was doing better and she had pictures for me. I said 'thats great, the only pictures I have are...' and described 3 pictures. She says 'those are the only ones I have too'.. um.. no. You had drawers and drawers of my childhood photos that you refused to part with... And slides that my dad took from when I was very young... :cry:

She then started lying about everything and I finally just had to hang up. She claims she is selling her place near me, but there is no way she could get what she paid. She claims her real estate agent is cleaning the place out for FREE, but there is no way anyone would do that for free, particularly in this market.

I really just don't understand the constant lying. When she was at the mental hospital they called it something.. I can't remember the name. But she just keeps it up and keeps it up.. I just don't get it.

Anyway, today isn't the best day, but I am starting to realize that 1) I am really affected by cloudy days, and as such I am getting a sun lamp. maybe that will help! and 2) being isolated at home isn't good for me because I really start feeling down, but the motivation to get into the world isn't there right now. I cannot wait to start back at work again.

The mother I knew is dead to me unfortunately, and is going to have to stay that way. I sort of feel like I am dealing with someone with dementia or alzheimers, meaning that although she is my mom, she is no longer the same person. It actually makes it easier...
Day 58:
Ok, so first of all it isn't so much the weather as the change in weather that is coming. I had a therapy appt on monday and was really grouchy, then tuesday it went from sun to rain.. hard rain. I saw my therapist again on friday and she goes 'you are right, you DO predict the weather!'

Had anyone else experienced this?

I have talked to my mom a couple of times. She is losing her home to foreclosure but refuses to see it, but she did ask the folks clearing it if they would keep their eyes open for pictures. yay! Of course, I hope that isn't a lie or her way of controlling me... We'll see.

Her 1 bedroom apartment is already so full she can barely get to the door. I was on the phone with her when work brought a box of her stuff by, and she was struggling to get to the door.

The interesting thing is she is still trying for disability, but nothing so far and work let her go. So what is she going to do for money? She claimed she had some money, but my feeling was if she did, why in the hell did she need mine!!!!

Ahh well...

The good news, my dad did wake up, but he does have brain damage. Probably a good thing, since his brain wasn't helping him in any way...

As for the hoarding thing, my mom does tell me she is getting help, but I doubt it. I thought about asking where the auction is so we can maybe buy back some of my things that I am sure she held on to and kept from me... family heirlooms and such.. wow.. I just can't believe it.
Day 59-79:
First, sorry I haven't been around. My life has been very busy lately!! First, my mom is the same, but I no longer care. I now tell her when she is being 'bad' lol (her word, not mine) and she accepts it and stops the behavior. She is on a new medication which appears to be helping. She also finally got disability, so that stressor is gone (although it still makes me angry she is on it, but not very often.. hehe) but anyway..

I still haven't seen her yet nor do I want to, but I am not upset about that anymore. I even gave her my real phone number (progress!) and we talk about every 2-3 weeks. I like this relationship with her. If she starts guilting me I tell her, if she doesn't stop I hang up. Period. It has worked.

My dad is in rehabilitation for his brain injury. He has been improving a lot but still has slow speech. Still, progress is progress.

I finally quit my job. It was making me so unhappy that I couldn't take it. Ugh. But since quitting I have felt so much better. I can actually spend time cleaning the house now, so I don't feel so icky about it. And my husband gets dinner made almost every night, which he loves. hehehehe I am a 50's housewife. :rofl:

I think I am at the point where I am going to end this thread. I feel like my life is mine again. Like there is nothing I can't do. I am no longer being told I am not good enough from my mom OR my job, and my husband was worried about it but seems to be much more accepting of the whole thing. I am honestly incredibly happy about my life right now!!!

To those still struggling with this mental illness, take heed of my story and know that the only way I got happiness was from letting go of the responsibility of taking care of my mother and letting go of the ANGER about my past and what my mother put me through. I started writing this diary when I first made the break, and it was an uphill climb to get to this point, but it was entirely worth it. I have finally let it go.

I think I am going to go outside today and enjoy the sun. :yay!:

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