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psychlady, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 6893
Experience:  Psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of a variety of mental health issues.
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Other than get on with my life, what do I do now? I typed up

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Other than get on with my life, what do I do now? I typed up a letter outlining to my son quoting authorities that he qualifies as a hoarder and asking him to clean up his garage before his father passes away (we have been socially embarrassed for years). There are more pathological problems in our otherwise wonderful son and his wife.. He works overtime all the time, and we never get to sit down and talk. I asked his pastor if it would be wrong to confront him after the perilious birth of his baby while he was not working, and I was advised that sometimes a person is more receptive when vulnerable. Wrong, wrong. He is so hurt and angry..we did agree, though that we love each other, and that he has a right to live the way he wants to. Thanks, C
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  psychlady replied 6 years ago.

Hoarders are very hard to reach because their idea of normal is so skewed. The problem is that if he doesn't want to change then he won't. You can't shake him into reality. There is never a right time to reach them or force them back into reality. You may have to accept him where he is. Sometimes acceptance can be very difficult but if that is how he wants to live then you have to decide what your boundaries are in partially accepting it, You have to decide how you will interact and where this can and cannot happen. You are not endorsing his world you are just simply having time together as two relatives do. He has surrounded himself in a world of staff, and that is the way he chooses it. Offer to help him when he is ready. You can't change anything until then.

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I agree, but I left out a very important part---I am so torn up now. I have told my husband that I cannot feel comfortable for quite awhile around him and that I do not want to go to his house, just see him, say at holidays at his wife's home.. My husband says I should not let this fester. I can't pretend that both my son and me are distressed, so I cannot deal with close contact with him right now. Is this okay for me to feel this way for now? Thanks.

Expert:  psychlady replied 6 years ago.
You shouldn't go to his home if this makes you uncomfortable. There is no shame in not wanting that environment when visiting. His coming to you is part of being a hoarder. Do only what you are comfortable with. If that means suspending the relationship than that is what this means. You can feel any way you want. You owe no one interactions out of obligation
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