Is this the start of something good?

So Mom has started to talk about selling the house again.  Can you imagine having to move a compulsive hoarder?   She got her most recent property tax assessment and is delighted to learn they’ve appraised her home for a nice chunk of change.  I gently reminded her that it’s unrealistic she’d get that much.

She talks about getting a dumpster.  I don’t even know how much that costs in her city, but I know it’s going to take more than one.  I offered to help her sort through some stuff, but she’s still resisting help until she has a chance to go through things herself.

There are a lot of items she talks about wanting to keep because they’ll be great in the new house.  But then there are also items she’s identified as wanting to get rid of, like the living room sofa set.  Which is fine by me.

I am pleased to hear her talk about this, even if it’s just words.  I think maybe she’s getting glimmers of self-awareness, or she’s tired of being penned in by her hoard.  No matter what, I hope this is the start of something positive.

On the other hand

Mom tells one story to me and a different story to Lynn.  I’m not sure Mom knows that Lynn told me.  Ya follow that?  It means she’s giving me the brave face while there’s something else going on that’s actually pretty serious.  I can’t really talk about that yet.  Yes, it’s that serious.  And in this case, Mom shows no self-awareness.


  1. Posted October 23, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    I can only imagine how scary this must be for you. I know she is only at the talking stage, but perhaps it will be a start.

    • Rae
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Thank you. I appreciate your kind words!

  2. LDM
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    My brother and I are in the same situation with our mother. She’s 78 and maybe starting to realize that she can’t take care of herself and has made the first comment to a family member that maybe it’s time to move. It will take at least a year to clean out her house and then I suspect we’ll have many repairs to make. She just had surgery. She won’t allow anyone to her house to take care of her so she’s staying with a family member who has decided maybe it’s time for an intervention. We’ve tried – good Lord, we’ve tried for the last 30+ years. I feel as though they are looking to my brother and I as to why we haven’t done something. How many times can you keep fighting the same fight? She’s made the choice long ago – her stuff over her children, her stuff over her grandchildren. And if you try to clean up, she only replaces the stuff you take away. You give her money to help her out, she spends it at the dollar store rather than the purpose for which you gave the funds in the first place. I’m aggravated and frustrated.

    • Rae
      Posted December 17, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

      Oh man, I hear you on all of that. And I’m sure my sister feels it even more keenly as a mental health worker…she’s concerned people will judge her for not knowing how to help Mom. But really, no one knows how to help. This disorder is still wrapped in mystery.

      Sounds like you have a huge task facing you. I wish I could tell you it would be easy and quick. How do you think an intervention would go over?

      What would be the ideal resolution for you?

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