Sunday, April 7, 2013

And we are at that point again.

My mothers apartment is at that point.


Where I won't go in voluntarily because of the smell.

She didn't move in that long ago.  I remember when she did I was conflicted and torn.  Between the promises that I'd go and clean house every few days or that I was gonna let her be.  Between keeping her hoarding practices to myself or to tell or warn  . . . I don't know . . . *somebody*.

I did go and empty her trash for a while.  Clean up a little.  She got a small Chihuahua.  I made sure his area was cleaned up for a while.

But I stopped by the time mom started duck-taping her fridge and freezer shut.  She absolutely refused me to clean out her fridge.

Per norm.

She hoards food among other things - and this small and wonderful town obliges her inclinations with free food distributions up to 7 times a month.  And at one particular place they get all the flowers from a certain store that are considered "old" - and so my mothers home is full of rotting food, bread, and dead and dying bouquets of flowers still wrapped in their cellophane.  Oh the irony.

There have been a couple of times she has gone out of town.  My friends and hubby both encouraged me to go in and do a purge.  But I was very happy not to.

And you children of hoarders know why. Don't you?!

Because she would be spitting mad at me, it would be major work with major yuck, and then in no time flat she'd bring it right back to where it is now.  Pointless.

Rot  now or  Rot later, what does it matter?

Once, dropping off some blankets she had washed and left at our house I was walking out of her now 75% cluttered full apartment and was passing a full paper grocery bag full of near completely brown bananas.  I was mid reach to pick it up and take it out to the dump on my way out when I stopped myself.  She'd hate me.  Even if she let those bananas go liquid before doing anything with them.

She's getting older now and recently I called to tell her I'd pick her up.  I went over there and she didn't answer her door.  So - concerned - I went in.  Right outside the door I could smell food rot.  Moldy food.  Inside I was greeted with a tower of something and right in front was a bag that was topped with a loaf of bread 80% green and white with mold inside the bag.  Didn't look like it was ever opened.

I turned and left it.

Yay for me.

I guess.

But now that the rot and the smell are hitting the red zone - I'm feeling conflicted again.

It's not safe.  It's not healthy.  If she OWNED the home I'd let her rot her happy days away - but she is RENTING.  There are neighbors and owners to consider. Roaches and such . . .

Who do I talk to.  How?  Do I need to at all or just let nature take it's corse?

I don't know today.  I'd like to hear from other COH or professionals that have experience in this.



TC said...

I don't have experience with your situation (yet) but my question is whether you think that she will listen to anyone else. Do you think she might listen to the landlord (fear of being evicted), a social worker (e.g. adult protective services), the health department, etc?

Evilisa said...

I'm wondering the same thing TC. Fear of eviction might force her to do a small purge. Maybe.

I will be surprised if one of her neighbors doesn't complain.

Thalia said...

Are you on the children of hoarders yahoo group? If you asked the question there you would get so much help and so many different people supporting you. I would guess the short answer is that yes, you can contact the authorities (anonymously, even) about her hoarding being a danger to herself and her neighbors, but it'll depend where you are. There are so many people there with exactly the kind of experience you're asking about; I really very highly recommend the place.

Unknown said...

Today, I feel the same way as what you blogged. Im not saying I dont feel it any other day. But today, I just had to google to feel better that lead me to your blog.

I had this discussion with my sister and she asked me, so whats your formula? I swear there isnt any solution to our mothers problem. Its either we stay out of it or we move out ( in your case, be glad you dont live with her.) They create the problem, and as much as even GOD wants to help them, they are going to refuse. And I swear I dont know why its me that has to feel this resenment, anger, hatred towards her or this filthy house. Its her house, but i live here and despite of her house, I also contribute alot to this house. But because Im not the one who has this hoarding problem, and because this house is owned by her, she wants me to believe, that Im the one who has the problem. That isnt a solution either. So Im just gonna be angry til I can afford to buy a house.