When you are facing your parents hoarding situation, it can really be difficult. A few of my own responses have been tears, sighing and wondering how the hell you are supposed to do something helpful or useful.
If you are looking for some relief and perspective, here are some things that have worked for me.
Detach With Love.
Detaching with love within hoarding situations means we acknowledge the situation and that most likely we won’t be able to change it.
Yes. A Big Sigh here is warranted!
It also means we are AWARE that we didn’t cause the person to hoard.
When we detach from the situation and the outcome it is somewhat easier to breathe and then we can step into caring for ourselves.
I call this “Extreme Self-Care” because we often need to counter-balance the neglect we may have experienced growing up in a hoarded home.
Healthy self-care to me means, taking a bath or having a cup of tea.
In “Extreme Self-Care” we may need a bath, a cup of tea, a walk and an additional hour of silence, just to get back to a sense of balance. To satisfy our own need to feel well, healed and on an even-keel again.
Pursue External Resources & Help.
Knowing and accepting that we may NOT be the best person “to help.” It’s likely we have exhausted ourselves with the talking, suggesting and listening. At that point it can be very valuable to reach out for help and reinforcement.
Maybe we call an exterminator, or give the person that hoards a book or article, or a resource. Maybe we call a friend or neighbor in the area and ask them to check in on our parent.
We can only do so much for our parents that resist any attempt at assisting them.
Step back. Do some Extreme Self-Care. Take a deep breath and rest. You will be glad you took the time to recover!
Tammi Moses is the founder and Chief Encouragement Officer of Homes Are For Living, LLC which is a Veteran Woman Owned & Operated business located in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, WA. She provides consultations, assessments and workshops on the issue of hoarding and inspiring others to take their adversity and use it for the greater good. She is the voice of #AKOPTH-Adult Kids of Parents That Hoard. She is also a voice & advocate for #YLITH – Youth Living in The Hoard. You can connect with Tammi at firstname.lastname@example.org on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.