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Two words (((Dinah))) irrational fear

Posted by 64bowtie on September 24, 2004, at 19:22:52

In reply to Revealing family secrets, posted by Dinah on September 23, 2004, at 9:48:22

(((Dinah))),

You know by now I care toooo much to be hurtful toward you. So whatever I might say here is my attempt to be helpful and constructive. I have known folks who were "path people" hoarders over the past 30 years. This includes, much to my "blushing" embarrasment, a gal friend (long ago in college). She claimed storage companies were just a rip-off, and she needed stuff from time to time. I outgrew her excuses, and her.

For anyone naive to the problem, this is not clutter!!! Clutter can probably be cleaned up in a couple of hours.

Story 1. A friend of mine told me his odessy day by day as it unfolded. He helped clean up for a reclusive elderly lady who had a four unit apartment complex, living in one unit. She had passed away amongst her stacks of precious clutter and for three weeks, her cats "got hungry". There were some cats that had died from disease or starvation long before amongst the stacks of stuff. A couple had been crushed when stacks fell on them.

It took four roll-off style dumpsters to collect all the stuff from the four apartments. They found $8,000 in cash and $30,000 in uncashed checks amongst the "C L U T T E R". The newspaper interviewed the relatives who unanimously related that this lady had an IRRATIONAL FEAR of being "without", so she kept EVERYTHING!

The clean-up lasted two weeks. My friend almost became OCD himself feeling he couldn't ever take enough showers to be clean again. He had been a Marine Master Sargeant in Viet Nam, so he adapted, improvised and overcame.

Story 2. I have a friend I look in on a couple of times each week, who sometimes can't get to his front door through the cluttered stacks and duplicate furniture pieces. He had a stroke recently that has left his tear duct glands not functioning. He claimed he needed $4 for eye drops (he's a chronic gambler). I found 3 eye dropper bottles on the floor in his kitchen amongs papers and un-openned mail under his kitchen table.

Will he go blind before he changes his ways? I hope not, but probably. He is 82 and an ex-fighter pilot from World War 2. We all admire him in many ways. He didn't start hoarding till 10 years ago. Now he can't manage and will surely die amongst his "STUFF". I hope not, but fear so!

(((Dinah))), none of what I said here is for entertainment. This is "Blood and Guts". No matter how tyrannical your Mom may appear to you all, the local health department can set her straight without you fearing reprisal. You will be praised by all for being "sturdy"; as sturdy to your family as you appear to us herein. Trust me. Its not as if you are trying to steal inheritance money by selling off her precious "gems". You'll be helping your Dad with his quality of life, a little.

Rod


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