Hoarding Woes: Family Affair or Partners in Grime

Two women from South Ossetia (I Just Liked It)

Did I fail to mention my recently passed mom’s sis is a massive hoarder too? Yes, and although she is of a different stripe (more organized and slightly less messy) she has just as much stuff. She too has spent a fortune on stuff, but still intends to resell her stuff to make a profit from the initial investment. She has not held a sale in 10 years. She is soon turning 93.

Recently, Easter, I found her barely alive and hypothermic. She had suffered some stressor that caused her to fall and become subsequently buried in stuff. She was so much buried that as I tried to find her in the dark (no lights plugged in to save electricity) all I could see was part of her face and a knee with my flashlight.

So, I summoned the EMT’s and Firemen. They could not get a backboard or gurney to her. I helped extricate her by assisting the two firemen as they struggled to carry this small, 100# woman over mounds of stuff, sliging on the ubiquitous plastic bags and uneven footing. She came back from the brink.

No one, to include my hoarding mom, had been in my aunt’s house. I miraculously found a secreted key and made my way in to find her. Despite the fact her life was saved, she asked me a hundred times over who came into her house and what did they touch. She is in a safe place now, but insists on going home. She is an addict in withdrawal.

Now, I have the task, the responsibility, the duty to make decisions for her welfare and again I am facing the same head shaking, the same denials. This time, I hold the keys. The keys to her house. The keys to those that would bring her home and the keys to her safety and well being.

My mom’s partner in grime…her life long shopping pal…is in a position I could never get my mom into. Her dignity, happiness and safety are important to me. Her addiction, at 92+, is….well, wish me luck. I have two homes full of stuff.


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