Hoarding Woes: Patience….Slow Down

The Pandora’s Box, I referred to in my last post. I opened it last night. The results highlights the complexities of family, mental health, elders, end of life and being along for the ride.

I talked to the ‘daughter in law’. She wanted to move my aunt South for the holidays. The conversation spiraled downward. My stress was immediately evident to me and certainly to her. But, the blow back was not from an indignant woman. It was from a woman trapped in the role of doing the bidding of a demanding mother in law and not wanting to go to war over decisions that need to be made. Sound familiar?

Ms. D-I-L (daughter-in-law) also is dealing with someone that is demanding, accusatory, paranoid, and use to winning arguments by churning out the anger. As I have discussed, this works. You turn away because the battles wear you out and often don’t resolve anything. They count on you backing down and you do it to spare yourself the grief and you go along to keep the peace. This is one reason, a big reason, hoarding situations go unaddressed. The blow back.

So, the conversation resolved itself last night when we apologized to each other. We recognized that we are dealing with two strong willed women. Both are independent, resentful, not healthy and don’t want intrusions in their lives from upstart kids (in their 60’s). 

The truth of the matter is for all her intrusion and pot stirring, the sister to the South is deeply depressed at seeing my aunt in the demented stage. She feels the end is near. She still resents the efforts to save her sister (my aunt) a year and a half ago when I said to put the pace maker in. Without that my aunt would not have survived. The sister believes I should not have intervened and should have let my aunt pass. All this less than living ordeal now would have been avoided. 

In the end, I saw that the D-I-L is in the same boat I am and is just trying to keep everyone happy. As a result, a price is paid. I must learn to not paint with such a broad brush….if paint at all. My frustrations and suspicions are only slightly better than my demented aunt, if I waste energy condemning right now. 

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