Why am I the guilty one?

springrozOctober 3, 2012

We finished (finally!!) moving a couple of months ago. We moved 1000 miles, over a 6 month period. We began the process one year ago this week.

As soon as we started thinking about selling and moving, I started purging. I donated clothes, etc, almost every time I went to town. We had A LOT of stuff. DH and MIL keep everyting, even used toothpicks. They cannot part with anything, rationalizing that it was expensive, or old, or will be a antique someday.

DH would not let me clean out the junk drawer in his presence, afraid I may throw away a screw that was important, but had been in that drawer for 8 years! So, I did not touch it. Garage, did not touch it.

The new house has very few closets, and precious little storage, which was probably an unconcious choice on my part... Or passive-aggresive.

Now, it is all my fault that they did not take the time to sort through and give it away. It is my fault that MIL does not have a closet full of cartoon video tapes, boxes around every wall full of broken glassware and silverfish, and furniture with drawers that did not have handles.

Really, I get snide remarks about this stuff, i overhear her telling relatives how horrilbe I am, I had ALL this time to move, and I could not even have garage sale, and I am a bit tired of it. DH is starting to understand a little bit, that to take care of myself and my family, I can no longer be surrounded by STUFF. Somebody has to take care of the STUFF, and I can't do it anymore.

Thanks for letting me vent........


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Maybe the caffeine in my coffee hasn't kicked in yet, but I keep re-reading your post and can't figure out the story. Did you get rid of their stuff or did you bring it with you? Are they complaining because the stuff is there or because the stuff is gone?

All that said, I know how exhausting it is to move. How old is your MIL? Frequently what people complain about is not really what they are upset about.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 9:42AM
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Are they angry because you threw something away and now they miss it? Just watch some of those Hoarding/Buried Alive type shows. Compare the "before" and "after" shots. The "After" always looks so good and even the worst hoarders say "I'll never let it get bad again." So they should be grateful to you, not angry. If anything important was thrown out, think of the used toothpicks. Everyone deserves a new fresh toothpick...By the way, I know what I'm talking about. My Hoarder Mother had an entire kitchen drawer filled with used bread wrappers and such...

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 10:36AM
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Thanks for reading.....graywings is correct, the problem is not the stuff, it is me. But if she does not want to live with us, we will arrange for her to live where ever she wants. When DH mentions this, then she starts apologizing, and wanting to stay here "if we can just put up with her a little longer". She is 83, and fairly weak, so she has no daily activities. Meals, TV, and crochet are about it for her.

I have let stuff slide off my back with her for years, but cannot accept that I was wrong to move out of a house that was unhealthy, and needed to be torn down, into a nice ,light filled home with few obstacles.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 11:40AM
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Your MIL probably doesn't even realize just how much she complains. Sometimes, because it is the only thing happening in their life, they just seem to repeat the same old things.

Hopefully it helps just to get to voice your problems. Have you tried journaling? It might help to just be able to write it down.

And as Jannie mentioned, watching a hoarding show will definitely give a person incentive to clean and pitch stuff.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 1:38PM
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Still not sure if they are complaining because you got rid of their stuff, or because you didn't. But you have my sympathy. Moving is stressful enough without dealing with the other things. Also very frustrating when you would like to simplify your life and family members put up roadblocks. I watch "Hoarders" all the time and the one consistent thing is the aggravation of the family members. I wish I could offer you something other than a sympathetic ear.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 7:16PM
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but cannot accept that I was wrong to move out of a house that was unhealthy, and needed to be torn down, into a nice, light filled home with few obstacles.

It sounds like the OP cleaned out and got rid of their stuff before moving.

Good for you!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 9:12AM
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Help us out here. Is your MIL complaining that you got rid of the tapes and boxes of her stuff, or that you didn't sort their (MIL/DH) stuff before the move? I'm a little confused.


    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 3:21PM
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Nancy, I get it.
You cleaned out yours, but they wouldn't let you clean theirs. They moved everything >>DH and MIL keep everyting, even used toothpicks. They cannot part with anything, rationalizing that it was expensive, or old, or will be a antique someday. I can only picture the garage sale MIL claims you "wouldn't even have". It'd really be like that show. She'd run out, grab some broken cardboard box, clutch it to her chest, scurry into the house, screaming, "It's MINE, MINE, ALL MINE YOU CAN'T THROW IT OUT!!! IT's VALUABLE!"

Hang in there, my friend. I'm sure the change of moving is freaking her, and she doesn't know how to verbalize it. You being an easy target all your married life just continues on. At least DH is finally getting a clue.

Give up the guilt. That is self-induced. Go into your Ah-MAZE-ing kitchen, make some coffee/tea/espresso/margarita and enjoy the peace of a beautiful, light, clean space.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 10:53AM
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