Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.

You can read the start of my journey here.

Monday, May 3, 2010

I. Am. SO. Impressed.

We had a Monday Morning Meltdown before school today. Our middle daughter was upset she couldn't help her younger sister get ready for school and raged for a full 30 minutes. Her meltdowns are brutal. She gets right in your face, turns different shades of red and purple and yells, "NO!" as though she's been through a self-defense class and has actually been attacked. The yelling and crying is accompanied by clenched fists and the occasional hop up and down as she tries to get herself together.

She tries to keep herself under control and not hit me, but this morning she was so angry she shoved me by the shoulders while I was sitting down. I felt her fingerprints for several hours due to the fibromyalgia. The meltdown lasted lasted for 30 minutes straight. There is no talking with her. No reasoning. She is out of control when it happens. When anyone does try to say anything to her they are met with an ear piercing, "NO!" If she starts moving towards her little sister, one of us moves between them. She's never attacked her sister (only me and her dad once), but we know she could do serious damage, if she did.

We're breathing a collective sigh of relief that it's over. We're hoping it means she's done with meltdowns for another month. We're hopeful that by then the Theanine will have reached it's full potential, and she won't have another episode. That sounds... heavenly.

Her meltdowns drain me physically and mentally both. So this morning, I went back to bed for awhile after we got the girls off to school. When I woke up, I got busy in their bedroom. When they got home from school, I had our middle daughter help me finish things up. Then all 3 of us went through almost everything that had been in the bedroom and sorted it.

Our youngest, who is non-verbal would sign her version of "finished", if she no longer wanted an item. She put the toys she wanted to keep in a basket. Our middle daughter is verbal, but she does struggle with words and how to say things. So if she didn't want to keep something, she'd say, "Keep it. NO more!" and wave her hands in her way of she was done with it.

I was in shock and so very, very proud of them. I made sure I told them. Often! They easily got rid of 2/3 of their toys! (1 huge box that we sorted when my mom was here that was 2' cubed, another box that was at 75% the size of the first box, a big black garbage bag of toys (I ran out of boxes) plus a sizable box of wooden blocks. They also got rid of at least 15 pair of shoes, flip flops or slippers.

Things that they were never able to part with before were gladly put in the box of toys to donate. The hardest thing for me to see go was a little die cast dump truck with Big Bird at the wheel. It was our oldest's favorite toy when she was tiny. All 3 of the girls played and played with it, and I was shocked when our middle daughter said, "Keep it NO more!" It's the only thing they got rid of that I thought twice about.

And I've thought more than twice about it. It's one of only 3 or 4 times I've had physical symptoms when getting rid of something. I'm still contemplating having it returned to me. I have slight heart palpitations knowing it's gone, and my mind keeps wandering and wondering, if I made the right choice to give it away. I may just ask the person who has it now, if they'd mind taking a picture of it and emailing me the picture. I really should have done that before I let it go out the door, but I didn't want the girls to see me struggle with it. I didn't want them to see me search through everything they'd given up only to retrieve it.

Our oldest and her husband came over, loaded all that we'd gone through into the back of our car, and dropped it off at my friend's house for her and her kids to go through and take what they wanted. They will pass along what they don't want to friends or family or donate it for me.

It is no longer my problem.


I am so excited and happy about dehoarding their bedroom. I still have to clean out the closet and a small toy box, but compared to what we've already gotten rid of, that ain't nothin' but a thing!

And I am so impressed with the girls and how they shone that I don't have adequate words!


  1. I'm so happy for you! I need to give away a lot of what we have. It's starting to feel very heavy. All the books I have collected but I know I'll never have time to read them.... It's time for them to go.
    All the toys I've saved of the kids because I love them....It's time for them to go too.

    Congrats and hugs!!

  2. You are doing a great job with the decluttering! I know it probably isn't a word, but you're doing great! Those middle daughter meltdowns sound so frightening for everyone! I'm sure it freaks her out, too! Hugs to you and your family!

  3. So sorry about the meltdown.. but you know, between her daddy being gone and the stress of that added to the getting ready for school stuff... It is probably a lot for her to handle.

    They did a great job of helping you and tossing stuff out!!


  4. The amount that you and the girls got rid of today is amazing!! And a picture of the truck is a good idea.

    Did you take "before" pictures? Even if you never post them, just for you to look back and see how far you've come? To see exactly how proud of yourself you should be?

  5. Bravo! Not an easy thing to do, you have every reason to be proud of yourself! Well done!

  6. Yay!! Good for you, that's awesome!!

  7. What a story! It is nice to finally let go of things, but like you, certain things I have a hard time with letting go of. It took me a year after my divorce to go through 12 giant boxes of stuff I could not deal with. I ended up getting rid of at least 11 boxes of stuff. I still have clutter but now what's left is organized for the final day. Congratulations~!

  8. That does sound like quite the meltdown . my Ashley had one yesterday too she is only little so hers involved crying and rocking but she stopped once I placed her in bed know she was over stimulated and tired. It's hard to image what her meltdowns will look like when she is older. Sounds like you did a great job with the toys good for you. Your blog is great I'm so glad I found it.

  9. Momster-it's the stuff I've saved for our oldest to use when she has kids that's the hardest to get rid of for sure. I wish you the best in your endeavors!

    Portia, Ami, and Sherry...the meltdowns are scary for everyone. We're very, very thankful that they don't happen as often as they did a few years ago due to medication allergies. And thanks for the encouragement. :)

    Fern - I'm not going to get it back. My friend is going to take a picture of it for me, though. :)

    Happy...good for you! I'll be there 'someday' too! :)

    Thanks everyone for all your encouragement!!


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