Week 3 – Upping the Ante – Or Not??

Since I started this “challenge” of sorts, I have had high aspirations that my mother will see the progression we have made and will slowly want to contribute more as time passes.  On the contrary, I’m guessing my mother hopes that I won’t show up anymore.  I figure that we are going to have to clean up the house at some point, so I might as well make it easier for myself in the long run.  In the end, I’m hoping she will not resist as much as she has in the past.  My mother is a stubborn person when she wants to be.  Since she has such an attachment with newspapers, I figured they would be the easiest item to follow in terms of goals. Not to mention, they are everywhere!

This week I decided to hand my mother 3 bags to fill with newspapers (I’ve been giving her two for the past two weeks).  I’m not sure how she’s going to react to this, but I’m surprised when she takes the bags and agrees.  By “agrees”, I mean her giving me a look like you have to be kidding me and and then letting out a long sigh.  I’m interested to see if she actually fills all three bags.  I’ve been trying to use a more positive approach towards my mom throughout this process, so I’ve decided to be ridiculously enthusiastic and supportive this week.  If you know me, this is not normal in any way.  My mother saw through this front immediately, but I tried to be supportive, “Yeah!!, You have done SO well,  One more bag would be great!!”  Needless to say, she was less than amused.

I let her be with her newspapers and went upstairs to check out what was the only clean room in the house when I moved out 5 years ago.  This will be referred to as my brother’s room, since it was his room while we were growing up.  As soon as I walk into the room, my nose begins to run from all of the dust.  I climb over boxes and random items that are haphazardly placed around the room to some boxes piled up in the corner.  I find a bunch of old pots and pans from my grandmother and great aunt’s houses.  Unfortunately there are boxes and bags of seemingly valuable items teetering everywhere.  I decide it’s best to leave them for now.  Eventually my mother joins me upstairs and carefully eyes my every move.  I explain that there are a lot of items I would like to take to my house to sort through.  She responds with the fact that most of the breakable items (about to crash to the floor) are worth money.  She has avoided responding to the fact that I want to take items out of the house.  In the end she has not said no.  I see this as a positive response, grab a box of my old stuff, and head downstairs.

At the bottom of the stairs, I find the two bags of newspapers I had asked her to fill.  One of the bags is partially filled with some sort of packing paper.  I ask if this is a rebellion against me for requesting three bags next week.  Once again, she is not amused.  I take out the filler and ask for more newspapers, this is not acceptable!!  She proceeds to slowly go through additional newspapers one by one to put in the bag.  As I wait I tell her about a news story I read earlier about a woman who was found dead under her collapsed piles of “stuff.”   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2101763/Hoarder-Margareta-Scheibe-72-decomposed-bags-trash-piled-ceiling-home.html   I receive the death stare.  Well then, I scour the room for some non-newspaper Items that she may be okay to part with.  I find some old microwave meal boxes sitting in a pile and ask if I can take them.  She responds that you can enter the codes online to get free boxes in the future, but she hands me a pile of boxes who’s codes have already been entered.  Score!!  I feel victorious.  Dad is asleep, so nothing on that front.  Oh well.

This week – 2 bags of newspapers

Total – 6 bags of newspapers


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