Thursday, July 12, 2012

Trading Spouses

I am currently watching an episode of Trading Spouses. Lifetime channel has recently begun airing re-runs of both Trading Spouses and Wife Swap, which essentially are reality shows where two families swap wives for a week. They are usually completely opposite families with conflicting values and ideals so each wife is always in for a shock.

This episode features a well-to-do WASP family from Connecticut that I am in love with. They are basically my dream family. The father is a surgeon and the wife is a highly-intelligent woman with a law degree that chose to give up her career to stay home to raise her five sons. They live in a beautiful, traditional home that is beautiful, neat and clean. In contrast, the other Mom is a housewife as well (she doesn't have a job), but lives as a complete slob. Her house is dirty and full of clutter, nowhere near the level of a hoarder but still cluttered and messy.  This woman is nowhere near as bad as my mom was (my mom was a hoarder and compulsive shopper), but she reminds me so much of how my mom raised me.

On the first day of the wife swap, the dad and sons of the WASP family are awake and down in the kitchen at 8 am cooking a healthy breakfast. They wonder where the swapped wife is. She doesn't wake up til 11 am and a shot of her bed is shown where she doesn't even make it. Then, she doesn't even go to breakfast and just spends the whole day in the pool swimming without doing any work whatsoever, either expecting everyone else to clean up after her or just not caring about the mess.

I love how the normal family does dishes right after breakfast. That is so unbelievably cool. I first learned about this routine when I was about 12 or 13 at a friends house. I had no idea that that is what most normal people do. They have a family dinner (one that is actually cooked and well-prepared) and not some hamburger helper thrown together and some instant mashed potatoes. After dinner, the kids all help out and wash the dishes. It makes perfect sense. If you rinse of the dishes right away, getting rid of the excess food in the trash and rinsing them off and washing them then it is SO MUCH easier than just throwing them in the sink and then leaving them there, then a few days later, you have to get out your heavy duty scrubber and scrub the dishes really hard to get off the hard, crusted food.

I just love these programs because I get to watch normal families, how they clean up after themselves, making their beds and washing the dishes after dinner on a daily basis because then they have the luxury of living in a beautiful, clean environment. When I was little, once in a blue moon, like maybe once a year, my mom and I would tackle cleaning the house. It was such a depressing, impossible scary task because we hadn't cleaned in so long that there would be caked on mildew and dirt. We would have to use heavy-duty cleaning products like C-L-R-(calcium-lime-rust remover) and let it soak on the sink for hours to get rid of the layers of slime. It just seems so much easier and more efficient to just pick up after yourself every day and then clean on a regular basis.

Every time I would try to clean as a child I would be scolded and yelled at by my mother. She would yell "Why are you doing this to me NOW?" as if I just happened to pick the worst possible time to clean and there were plenty of other times I could have chosen.....except every time I ask to clean is always the worst time. She is never in a frame of mind where she is ready to clean. My mom didn't even have a job. I remember when I would do something like go grab the broom out of the laundry room or pick up a role of paper towel and my mom would give me an evil glare and ask "What do you think you're doing?" She would always yell at me that I didn't know how to clean.

My mom was a germophobe as well so she didn't only hate cleaning because it might involve discarding some of her precious junk or moving it around but also it would spread germs. She didn't let me use a sponge to wipe out the sink because she said it spread bacteria around. Similarly, I couldn't use a cloth or a rag to wipe up the counter, I HAD to use paper towel.

It was only within the last few months that I have finally given up. I am 25 and still living with my parents because I lost my job. I used to attempt to still clean up my childhood home and make it decent-or at least keep the kitchen clean because I wanted a clean place to learn how to cook in. I realized that it is a foolish thing to do. Even if I do get the kitchen cleaned it will still look terrible and trashy because there is so much clutter around. My mom has a stack of papers two-feet high on the counter so there is no counter space to cook or to set anything down. The only place to set anything down is on the stove. I always have to strategically move things around on the stove to make room for things while I'm cooking. She also has numerous precious knick-knacks sitting all over the counter wall-to-wall so there is no room.

I finally gave up cleaning completely when I got tired of her yelling at me about the sponge. I would use the same sponge for wiping out the dirty sink as well as cleaning the dishes. I didn't see a problem with this as both the sink and the dishes are always dirty so it's not like I'm contaminating one or the other. However, my mom screams at me that my dad washes his hands in the sink and therefore the sink is contaminated with germs so I can't use the same sponge that I wipe up the sink with to wash the dishes. The dishes are just as filthy, they sit there for days and sometimes weeks so I often find them to be filled with green mold that has an overwhelming awful stench. My dad would sometimes catch her yelling at me about this sponge business and take my side and tell her he's nuts and I am welcome to use whatever sponge I want to wash the dishes. But she still screams and yells and tells us we're both nuts.

I recall my dad saying "That's why I don't do any housework. I stopped doing any housework whatsoever in this house twenty years ago." I think my dad has the right idea. I am sick and tired of fighting with her and having to abide by her stupid rules and it's such a daunting task trying to clean with so much clutter so I'm just going to give up. Let the house continue to be a dump. At least I'm still young and will be moving out of her to have my own life :)

I just need to give up on the stupid childish dream of having my childhood home be clutter-free and clean. It's never going to happen. It's a fantasy. I will just move on and look forward to having my own house someday with my own family where I will be a model housewife and live the way I have always dreamed. I can't imagine how fun that would be to have a big beautiful kitchen that is neat and clean. Having a good time cooking meals (I don't know how to cook but I'm going to learn) and having counter-tops that are cleared off and not filled with junk. Not having to constantly shuffle around junk and clutter just to make room to chop vegetables. I can't wait.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Social Isolation

By biggest fear is turning into my mother- being socially isolated with no friends. Like I have explained previously on this blog, I have kind of been depressed and isolated myself for the past few years because I had gotten into some alcohol-related legal  trouble that was depressing and screwed up my life. However, I am happy now and looking forward to improving my life and getting my social life back.

Growing up, my hoarder mother only had one friend. Yes, one friend. My mom was married with two kids so I suppose that took up a lot of her time, but still wouldn't a normal woman want more than one friend? This one friend was rude to her many times. We will call her Susan. I remember numerous times when Susan would "flake out" meaning we would have plans to meet Susan and her daughter somewhere and at the last minute Susan would call my mom and cancel for some stupid reason like "Oh, I just decided to stay in tonight" or "Well, Ted called and asked me out for a drink." She didn't even think it rude at all to just flake out on my mom and accept someone else's request to hang out at the last minute. My mom would complain about Susan all the time behind her back and call her a "flake" but since she was my mom's only friend she had to take the abuse. It's like that saying "beggars can't be choosers." A normal non-hoarder person would have lots of friends so if one friend is rude to them all the time they could speak up and demand that they change and if they don't they could cut ties with them since they have other friends to go out with instead.

I honestly think, though, that even if my mom wanted to get friends she couldn't because she lacks the social skills and social awareness to know how to build and maintain friendships. I think this a result of her growing up in a hoarder's household herself and also her cognitive deficits. For as long as I can remember, whenever we had plans to go somewhere, it would take FOREVER to get my mom out of the house. For example, it would be Christmas and we would be going over to my dad's relatives house. We were supposed to be there at a set time but we would ALWAYS be late. Getting ready to leave was mass chaos because my mom was so chaotically running around the house trying to get ready. My dad would be yelling "Get in the freaking car!!! Let's go! I'm tired of waiting! The party started an hour ago! The food is probably cold!" She would just take forever to get herself ready and out of the door. As the years went on, my dad would just refuse to take a shower until my mother was all dressed and ready to go because he hated waiting for her. He just accepted that we would always be late.

Here is an example of why my mom lacks social awareness and therefore why she can never have friends like a normal person. It was St. Patrick's day and my two aunts (my dad's sisters) called up my mom and asked her if she would like to meet them for lunch an an Irish pub. They said it would be a really fun time as they were going to have green beer and authentic Irish dishes that they had on the menu specifically for St. Patrick's day. My mom agreed to go and asked me to go as well. When she told me about it, she had her hair in curlers and was painting her toe and finger nails and was picking out a festive outfit to wear. I did not ask her what time we were supposed to be there because my mom does not have a concept of time. For example, a normal person would say "Yeah, Kim invited us to lunch. She said to be there at 4 o'clock.". Then, I could plan on that set time. However, with my mom, I know to just wait to leave when she leaves. I figured since she was still in curlers and not even dressed I had time to take a shower and wash my hair and style it and get dressed so I did. My mom also put on these St. Patrick's day necklaces and had a few extra for me to where as well. I recall her getting a call from presumably my aunt and she said to the phone "We're on our way. We'll be right there." I kind of laughed to myself because I knew we are not on our way! We are probably a good twenty behinds behind actually leaving plus it takes 20 minutes to get there. My mom always lies and tells people "I'm on my way. I'll be there in a few minutes." So people actually think she is in her car driving and will be there in like 10 minutes when in reality she is still getting dressed and hasn't even left the house yet.

So we finally pull into the Irish Pub's parking lot. I open the door and get out but my mom says "Wait! Let me get situated first." Yes, she has to get situated. So I wait as she straightens out her outfit and puts lipstick on in the mirror.

Finally, we walk in and see my two aunts sitting there with a bored, tired look on their faces. My aunt says "Did you get lost???" My mom has a confused look on her face and replies "No." I realized then that they were probably waiting for us for like two hours. My aunt politely said "I hope you don't mind but we already ate." The waitress was clearing away their plates. My aunt is a classy woman so I'm sure she had waited a long time to order because she would think it rude to order before guests arrive, even if the guests are late. So it was probably annoying for my aunts to sit there for so long, wondering when my mom was going to get there since they didn't order their food. My mom and I ordered food and my aunts stayed with us until we were done. They talked with us for awhile then after we got our check they left. I realized they were probably anxious to leave as they were in that pub for like three hours by that time. After they left my mom turned to me and said "What is going on? Kim acted like this was going to be so fun, like we were going to drink green beer then I get here and she leaves right after!" I didn't even try to explain to her why. She just wouldn't get it. Explain to her that these two women were bored waiting for you for two hours? "You acted like you were going to be there in a few minutes when in actuality it was going to be an hour and a half. When you arrived, you were so late that they assumed you had gotten lost. But when you said a simple "no" they just assumed you are a really rude person or just plain crazy."

When I was a teen I was brought up on my mom's weird social habits. I think she didn't know or follow basic social etiquette and she was always chronically late and making people wait for her. I absorbed what she did and thought it was normal. For example, I recall being 14 and my friend and her mom came to pick me up to go to the movies (the Mom was driving us since we were only 14). My friend rang my doorbell but I wasn't ready yet. I didn't have a concept of time because my mom never taught be about time. Since my mom is a hoarder, she HATES when people come to the door so she is really rude and cold to my friends when they ring the doorbell. I'm sure it went something like, my mom opening the door barely a crack and coldly telling the girl that I would be out shortly. So the girl went back to wait in the car with her mom. I think it was probably 20 minutes before I went out to the car. It was all I knew-how my mom had raised me-no concept of time or people's feelings about how they have to wait so long for you. I didn't even think to apologize for making them wait. If my mom were a normal mother, she would have opened the door with a big smile on her face and introduced herself to the girl and invited her in and said something like "Oh, I'm sorry but Kelsey is going to be awhile. Why don't you come in and sit down?" If she realized that her mother was in the car waiting, she could have invited her mother in too. Then she could offer them something to drink and chat with them so they aren't bored sitting in a car waiting for me. Also, my mom could have made friends by being friends with my friend's mothers. I think a lot of housewives do this. They may not have many friends in their neighborhood or move to a new town where they don't know anyone and their kids have friends from school so they start chatting with these moms as they are dropping off the kids then the moms strike up a friendship. Not my mom. My mom HATED my classmates moms.

She had a term for mothers that volunteered at their children's schools. She called them "busybodies". Basically any women that were social and went up to and were friendly to other kids' moms or volunteered to run the classroom Christmas party was a "busybody". She acted like they were just "social climbers". Maybe these moms were lonely and desired to have friends and they were just being friendly? I remember the kid across the street from me was like 5 years older than me so I wasn't friends with him but he happened to have a swimming pool. One day my mom began seeing how my next door neighbor lady would walk over there many times with her kids, who were much younger, and go swimming in the pool. My mom peeked out  her window like Mrs. Kravitz and scowled "Oh, look at that busybody! She is such a social climber. She is only talking to that woman to use her pool!" Or the woman could just be lonely and looking for a friend and enjoy socializing with other people-and hey, if they have a pool then that's great. What a great way to socialize, laying by the pool.

My mom hates people that are friendly talkative and social. At my dad's family gathering, a woman was playing in the pool with a 4-year-old girl, joking around with her, splashing around, swimming with her. The little girl seemed to really be having a good time and we were all watching this interaction as we were laying by the pool. After we left my mom said , "Oh Cheryl was just monopolizing the situation! Trying to show off like she is so good with kids when she has no kids of her own and she had her tubes tied. The woman, doesn't even like kids, she's just a busybody." My mom thinks that anyone that is social is not genuine and only acting that way to "show off" or climb the social ranks. Can't woman, even if she doesn't want kids of her own, enjoy splashing around in a pool with a little girl for a few minutes?

My mom always hated the fact that I wanted friends. She acted like wanting friend is some extreme luxury like wanting a bright-red corvette. She acted like having friends over was something you didn't need and only busybodies and social-climbers had friends over to their houses. I think it's because she formed emotional and sentimental attachments to objects and she didn't have a need for people in her life. She liked material things rather than people. She didn't realize that some people actually do become lonely if they are alone and desire to have meaningful relationships and genuinely enjoy the company of other for its own sake, and not what things those people have or their social standing. So she thinks that anyone that is friendly or social is a "social-climber" ie trying to manipulatively gain something from another person.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Hi. I am 25 and the daughter of a hoarder. I left home at 18 and lived away at college for four years but am back living with my parents. I hate it. I did have a decent job but was laid off so I'm currently collecting unemployment as I look for work.

I will begin my story when I was two years old. I remember the time my dad and I went to look at the house we currently live in before we bought it. I remember entering through the garage and a nice man offering me some juice from a sippy cup. I recall gazing into the living room and seeing a neat, tidy "homey" living room with family pictures on the wall and a fireplace. Next, I remember a housewarming party where lots of nice adults and kids came over to see the new house. Everyone commented on how nice it was. I have a vivid memory of a woman opening the dishwasher and commenting "Oh, what a nice dishwasher." I then remember lots of great, warm memories with adults coming over and my parents having get-togethers. These couples were my dad's friends as my Mom has had only one friend her whole life. They brought their kids too and I had lots of playmates to play with. I remember lots of bonfires, bbqs in the back yard, fires in the fireplaces. The adults and the kids would sit at our dining room table and eat together. I remember being really happy.

However, these memories begin to fade as I'm maybe 5 or 6. Next, I remember a typical day being driving with my mom in the car and going to pick up my grandma (her mother). My grandma's house was a big, two-story 4-bedroom house, but it was filled wall-to-wall with boxes. I didn't know the term "hoarder" at the time. I just knew that the only room that wasn't filled with boxes was the kitchen. When we would visit at my grandma's we would just stand in the kitchen. We couldn't even sit anywhere. So naturally, we didn't visit much at my grandma's and instead we would always go hang out at restaurants, the mall, or stores. So we would go out to eat then next we would go shopping at department stores where my grandma and my mom would go off to the jewelry department. A picture comes to my mind of them hovering over the jewelry counter intensely studying all the different jewelry. I remember them being big gaudy large stoned rings. I remember them always showing off their rings to one another by feigning their fingers and admiring their rings. I just don't remember them ever really talking about things other than jewelry and what they were going to buy. I remember sometimes we would have to go find a pay phone (this was back in the early '90s) to go call my "trowel father" is what they called him. They talked so negatively about him. Well, my dad would later explain to me that almost every day my mom would leave to go shopping with my grandma and not come home until 9, 10, or 11 o'clock at night. My mother didn't work and when my dad came home from work he wanted to have a family dinner. My mom never came home until very late so we would be depressed and just sit in his chair and drink beer alone waiting for us.

Slowly, our house was filling with more and more junk. I guess I didn't really realize that this was abnormal at the time. I never really went to other people's homes so I just assumed this was normal. I remember getting a new toy almost every day. Money was never an issue. I never realized that toys cost money. All I know is while my mom and grandma were at the jewelry counter I would go to the toy isle by myself and look at the toys. Naturally, I had a million toys all over the house. I had a huge unfinished basement filled with toys all strewn about. We had a 4-bedroom house and so I was an only child at the time so there was a playroom set up for me. My mom always insisted that we must keep the box to every toy we ever purchased because they were "going to be worth money someday." I have this vivid memory of my mom and dad yelling in the basement, standing over a heaping cardboard box filled with bright pink barbie doll boxes. My dad said they were junk but my mom said we had to keep every box as the barbies with their boxes were going to be worth money someday.

I remember my parents fighting all the time and my mom always had a loud, belligerent voice. The fights would start out with my dad complaining to my mom in a normal voice. Then she would become enraged and her face would turn bright red and she would start yelling and screaming and walking around. My dad would yell back "Shut up! The neighbors are going to call the police!". She would yell and scream some more. My dad would just put his hand over her mouth to stop her from screaming. One time she called the police on him and he was arrested for domestic violence for putting his hand over her mouth. My mother declined to press charges but due to mandatory DV laws the police were mandated to press charges. My dad went to jail for a few days and has a domestic violence conviction on his record now. They then went to mandatory counseling and my dad told the counselor that my mom was a "pack-rat."

The big thing came when my mom discovered little cassette tapes and pictures hidden away. I recall being in the car with her as she frantically drove with me to a parking lot to play the tapes. She was crying hysterically. My dad recorded all the conversations he had with her to show the counselor how irrational and belligerent she was. She could never hold a conversation without screaming and yelling. My dad would try to hold a calm, rational conversation but all she did was yell. She also found pictures of our house, filled with junk and tons and tons of toys around. I remember my little sister and I each had a bicycle parked in our living room. I didn't think there was anything wrong with that. It's all I knew.

Later, my dad explained that during this time he wanted to divorce my mother because he had discovered $50,000 in credit card bills that she had racked up on junk. Just random clothes, toys, and junk from department stores, toy stores, jewelry, etc. She racked up all this debt without ever telling my dad. My dad said she "spent money like water." He said at the time he earned $120,000 per year but he was in debt from all my mother's reckless spending. Plus, the house was filled with junk. I just always hear him yelling "I married a pack-rat from hell" or "I married a scatterbrained idiot". I think that scatterbrain idiot term describes my mom very well, even to this day. She can never hold a conversation while sitting down. She always has to be standing up when talking. When you try to reason with her, her thoughts are so scattered and her face turns beat red and she has so much anger and rage and starts yelling. She has no organization whatsoever.

Also, my dad later told me that at the time he offered to hire a maid to clean the house for her. My mom refused. She didn't want anyone coming into her house and she didn't think there was anything wrong with our house. Finally, when I was seven my dad got drunk one night and randomly bought a cottage about an hour away from our house on a lake. It was in really poor shape and that was all he could afford since my mom spent all his money. For the next several years, he flipped the cottage, putting new flooring, walls, completely gutting it. It was his safe haven and his bachelor pad.

Initially, when my mom learned he bought the cottage she was excited and thought it was a red light for her to go out shopping and buy new furniture. I remember going with her to look at dining room tables, couches etc. She also starting buying little cottegey knick-knacks like little ducks or outdoorsy type decorations to match the cottage feel. My dad got mad at her about this and explained that it would take at least two years before the cottage was even finished and ready for furniture so she needed to stop buying things.

So after that period, my dad would work on the cottage all the time, fixing it up. My parents stopped fighting because they worked out an unspoken, "truce", if you will. My mom was allowed to continue to have our house be a dump as long as she didn't bring any junk to the cottage. My dad began to entertain at the cottage even though it was technically not finished, like we still had ply wood for flooring and no walls. My dad became much happier and put all his energy into the cottage.

However, as I got older I got upset about our house being a dump. I used to have the daughter of my mother's one friend (My mom has had only one friend the whole time I have known her). This was when we were both like 12. This friend would always make comments like "Why is the floor so dirty?" etc. I began to realize that my house is really dirty, junky and filled with crap-not like the houses of other people. When I was in 8th grade I finally got some friends. Prior to that I was really shy and withdrawn and didn't know how to go about making friends. I think it's because we never had any outsiders into our home and I was never really around people other than my parents or relatives so I didn't learn basic social skills. Well, anyway, by 8th grade I finally had a group of girlfriends. We would have lots of sleepovers were we would go to one girls house then the next week we would plan another sleepover. They were so much fun! However, one time I remember being depressed because we were all on a conference call and one girl in the group that was kind of brazen and direct, said "Hey, we've never been to Kelsey's house. Let's go to Kelsey's house next sleepover." I panicked and FREAKED OUT. I recall looking over to my parents eating dinner (fast food) in bed and I was mortified of my new friends seeing my junky house. I quickly stammered and tried to come up with an excuse like that my little sister already planned to have her friends over and they would annoy us or we are having "renovations". I used that one all though out high school lol.

I just hated how I was different and could never have friends over. I lamented to my mom but she didn't care because she didn't have many friends herself. She only had one friend. This friend was a single mom and a chain-smoker so my mom would go out to the bar with her a lot. My dad didn't like this friend. I recall a time during spring break when my sister was about 8 or so. She was playing at a friends house during spring break (they were off of school) and I think my mom was supposed to pick my sister up at like 6 o'clock or so. My mom, her friend, and her friend's daughter were all out to a bar/restaurant. My mom explained that it was time to go pick up my sister. However, my mom's friend talked her into just staying. She said "Oh, she'll by fine with them. Have a good time." So my mom ends up going to pick up my sister at 10 o'clock at night. She is shocked when the mother opens the door and asks "Where have you been?" The mother explained that her child's bedtime is 8pm every night so she put her child to bed and then was up in the living room reading a book with my sister as they were waiting. My mom was outraged and complained about this mom after we got my sister home. She couldn't understand why the mom was so mean and weird.

My mom never had any concept of time. My dad always would say "timing is everything". For example, when I was 12 I remember taking tennis lessons with my mom's one friend's daughter. I think they were maybe once a week or every other week. I remember always being a half hour late for the lessons. I think the class was an hour long. I remember walking and the instructor kind of had this annoyed look on his face that I was late. He always had to take extra time to explain the lesson to me as I came in halfway during the lesson. I didn't think anything of this. It was all I knew. Looking back, isn't this insane?????? Those lessons were probably expensive and I'm sure they made my mother pay for the full hour even though she was often only there for a half-hour. Why wouldn't you want to get your money's worth. Also, my mom didn't work so why couldn't she get me to lessons on time?

I also remember staying home from school a lot in middle school. I just did it because I could. Sometimes I would just feel like staying home and watching TV or reading a book instead of going to school. I would miss like 20 days per semester. At the time, I just thought this was normal. I didn't know that it was weird to miss so much school. I would just say "Oh, I feel sick." And my mom would call in for me. I didn't think it was a big deal because my mom didn't think it was either. Kids at school would always come up to me and ask "Why are you never here???". I was smart and when I took tests I did very well. It wasn't an issue of me hating school I just didn't know you had to be there most of the time. I recall a teacher approaching me and saying "Do you know that when you get to high school the teachers will just drop you if you don't show up and you will get an F?" The teacher's words didn't really sink in because all I knew was what my mother told me and she never made an issue of me missing so much school. I also didn't have many friends or talk to other kids so I didn't have anyone telling me there was an issue.

Now, I explained how my dad kind of stopped caring about my mom's hoarding because he had a cottage but when I was about fifteen had a recent revival of his quest to clean up the junk in the house. I recall my dad and I requesting a "family meeting" and us all sitting in the family room. My dad explained that we need to work on getting all the junk out of the house. I explained that I would like to have a normal house where I was allowed to have friends over. My mom would begin screaming and yelling and wouldn't sit still for very long before she would run upstairs and slam the door. She would come back intermittently and yell and scream at us. We would yell back to her that we just want a normal house without all the junk in it. She didn't seem to listen and refused to at least have a rational conversation without yelling and screaming then running to her room to cry.

Hmmm, so I will fast forward to our "huge fight" when I was fifteen where my mother told me she hated me and she will NEVER forgive me.One day when my mom was out shopping, he rented a huge trailer and my dad and me cleared out the entire basement. We saved important things like family pictures of course and things that were of value. I LOVED how fast my dad worked like how he was so organized and efficient. He could look at things and quickly discern which was trash and which was not. See, the basement was filled to the brim with mostly toys, totally chaotically strewn all about. Many were from when I was like two-years-old so they were in played-with, very poor condition. I had grown up with my mother's habit of becoming emotionally attached to objects so I admit that it was kind of hard to throw away all my dolls, even though they were broken and in poor condition I was attached to them. However, that attachment was replaced with the EXCITEMENT that maybe I would have a clean house and I could have friends over like I had always dreamed. To my astonishment, my dad and I cleaned out the entire basement in a whole day! My mom had been "working on it" for about ten years but we did it in a day! Everything was so neat and tidy. All the family pictures were organized on a shelf in bins.

Well, when my mom came home it was World War III. Her eyes became large and bulging and she turned beat red. She frantically started yelling and screaming as if she had discovered that we had killed someone in our basement or something. She was hysterically crying for days like it was a huge crisis. She complained that she had sorted all the good toys from the bad toys and had planned on which ones were going to be saved and which ones could be given away to charity. I don't even think those old broken toys were even good enough for charity. Anyways, this is not true as there were no clear piles or "sorting" going on it was just one huge heaping mess. She screamed at me and told me she hated me and she basically disowned me as a daughter. She said that she could never forgive me for going behind her back and scheming with my father to throw all her things away. She said she would never forgive me and our relationship was strained for many years and still to this day. She would be mean to and always glare at me. She got on the phone with her family  and told them how terrible I was. I remember when I saw them in person they looked at me with disbelief and said "OMG you let your dad throw out your barbies????? How could you?" Sure I had been raised to be attached to my toys and even at fifteeen I still was attached to my barbies and did wish perhaps I had saved perhaps 1 or 2 bags of my favorite ones but I didn't even care. To this day, my mom still laments to this day to her family (which are all hoarders) of that awful day when my dad and me "buried" all her stuff. All her stuff is JUNK!!! We didn't even get rid of all of it. We kept all the holiday and halloween decorations and old clothes. We just got rid of the old toys and the stuff that is clearly junk like old boxes. Isn't it strange that my mother is attached to old toys that weren't even hers? They were MY toys, not hers.

I just have this memories of cleaning my room when I was little and putting a pile of trash into the trashcan. I would throw away real trash but also old little toys that were broken. For example, I would go to McDonalds or Burger King several times per week and get a happy meal so I always had those little toys. They probably are worth nothing since they were FREE with the meal. My mom insists that I must save every one of them as they are going to be worth money someday. I remember I would take my trashbag full of trash and put in the side of he house with the other trash. She would barge into my room and pour out the bag of trash and complain that I was throwing away things she paid good money for. I just always felt like I had WAY too many toys. They were everywhere. I didn't want to keep all those little plastic toys you get for like a buck at the dollar store. She screamed at me that I don't know how to clean. She said that while I throw things way while I clean, you actually are never supposed to throw things away but rather but things in their "rightful spot". I just felt like I never had enough spots for things.

So, I will fast forward a little bit here. I did get some friends in high school and went to college and graduated with a liberal arts degree, which isn't really useful in today's economy, where practical majors are in demand. Also, I started drinking and partying in college a lot and get two DUIs so it's hard for me to find a decent job. I was laid off and am on unemployment. And yes, you guessed it, I am living with my parents lol. At least I am only 25 so I'm going to try to get friends again. See, I got kind of depressed because I got into trouble, (I won't get into it), so I kind of withdrew from everyone. I also gained 50 lbs but I have been losing and only hae 20 to go to reach my goal weight!!!!!

I am really motivated to get a life meaning getting friends again-like calling my old friends from high school. I think they will just think we lost touch as most of them went to different colleges. I am sure I can get a social life going again. I want to get a job and my own place and I want to get MARRIED and be a HOUSEWIFE as my job. I took a few courses in feminism in college so I know allll about the working mother debate but I want to be a SAHM mom because I will be able to do everything I was never allowed to do as a child.

I will have a beautiful, clean, home. I will have a nice husband who earns a great living but despite that I will still be frugal and not spend a lot. I will clean all the time, wear an apron like they did in the '50s. I will have a dining room table that is cleared of junk and I will learn how to cook!!!!! I will spend all day preparing a homecooked grand meal and when my husband comes home I will have the kids neatly dressed just like on Leave it to Beaver and they will be nicely all washed up and sitting at the table and we will have a nice family dinner sitting at a dinner table!!!!! I will actually TALK to my kids as my parents never talked to me.I will ask them how their day at school was and what they are studying and who they are friends with and what their names are and would they like to have their friends over for a play-date. My mom was always out shopping all the time. She would either take me and I would sit in the car for hours alone or I would be left home alone. She said that the state law is that when kids are ten-years-old they are allowed to be home alone. So that was the magic age. My sister and I were left alone when we were ten.

One time when my sister was 11 my parents were away at their cottage and my sister decided to stay home alone all weekend. She called and said she wanted to have a friend over night. My mom said no at first but then finally caved in and told my sister it was fine. Well, my sister's friend's dad came to pick her up the following morning and I guess perhaps they slept in late and didn't answer the door so the dad became worried like maybe something was wrong. He got our home phone number somehow and called the house phone but of course my parents were away and my sister didn't answer. The dad then walked into the house and was IRATE to find out that there was no parental supervision. My mom complained to me about how absolutely "belligerent" this dad was and how strange he was. She didn't think there was anything wrong with two 11-year-olds being home alone together. Yes, she thought it wasn't the best idea but she didn't think it was THAT big of a deal. Can you believe that? Shouldn't the parent at least by notified that there will be no adults around?

My parents never were involved in my life or took an interest in who my friends were. Isn't that weird? I remember going to my friend's house and meeting their parents. I think my friend parents talked to me more than my own parents! My friends parents seemed to want to know who their kids were hanging out with and what kind of kids they were. They wanted to insure that their kids were hanging out with good kids that would be a good influence on them.

My parents, on the other hand, just didn't care who I hung out with and what what I did. How could she, though, even if she wanted to? Friends were never allowed inside so she would never be allowed to meet them. She explained to me her parenting philosophy and why she think she is such a great mother. I don't really tell my mom was a bad mother I think she was. Well, she said that you should raise your kids as "mini adults" and let them do whatever they want to do as teens and have total freedom. Otherwise, if you don't do this, they will "rebel." She explained this to my aunt (who is also a hoarder). She agreed. She lets her teenage daughters do whatever they want and never checks in on them or asks them who they are seeing etc.

I remember my high school graduation. My parents did go to watch the ceremony and after the ceremony all the kids went to the front lobby to have their pictures taken with their friends. I stood there with all my best friends from high school. All their parents rushed up to them and gave them flowers and many of them even had their grandparent there, too. They're parents looked so proud and took pictures of them. My parents didn't come up so then I thought maybe we were just not finding each other. I left my group of friends and began looking for my parents and couldn't find them so finally I called them. They explained that they were already leaving the parking lot. They said they wanted to "beat the rush of traffic" so they already left. I felt so sad and alone and went back with my friends. My friend's mom took made a copy of picture of our friend group and even put it in a frame for me later that said "graduation:best friends". It was so nice!!! I actually now have a picture of my high school graduation.

My parents just never talked to me as a teen. And yes, you guessed it, I did get into trouble and started hanging out with bad kids who did drugs and drank and drove drunk and I got two DUIS and had to go to outpatient rehab, do community service etc. That is why I am still dependent on my parents because I can't just go out and get a good job like normal people. I have a criminal record.

My mom says to my aunt. "Just remember, they always come back," when explaining her philosophy that it's normal for kids as teens to never talk to their parents and be out with their friends at all hours of the night. Then, when they are maybe 22 or 23 they come back to the family. My mom thinks my "coming back to the family" so to speak, meaning me coming back to live with my parents is a sign that I am doing well in life Wrong! It is because I can't get a job because I have a criminal record and employers think I'm an alcoholic even though I quit boozing several years ago.

But, I don't really care that much about not being able to get a good job because I don't want to be a career woman anyway. My plan is to find a nice man to marry because my true dream is to be a housewife and have kids and be involved in their lives and INVITE OTHER LITTLE KIDS OVER AND HAVE PLAYGROUPS SO MY KIDS ARE SOCIALIZED and have friends instead of forming sentimental attachments to toys lol.

At least I am still 25, right! I am very pretty and only have 20 more pounds to lose. It's like I'm starting my whole life over after having so much trouble with alcohol, the wrong crowd in college.

So, that is my introduction. Feel free to comment. I will be adding more entries about what is going on in my life, dealing with my hoarder mother today and her effed up family and also other memories I have from childhood. I have figured out that I never got ANY attention from my parents growing up, especially as a teen, so that is why I was so lonely and would look to things like parties and alcohol to fill he void look to boys and become obsessed with my boyfriends. Now, I want to be an adult and grow up and have MY OWN FAMILY!!! Ok, thanks for reading. It's great to know I'm not alone and not the only one that grew up in a filthy house filled with useless junk.