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I spent the last two years cleaning my mother's filthy house with 50 years of hoarding. I also updated it, sold it at great pains to myself and found her a place to live. Two years of 10-15 hours a day unpaid slavery and endless emotional abuse from her. I'd come across the country to help her after I lost my job and divorced. With all I did I lost my health. I never told her I was coming forever, but she kept insisting I stay to take care of her. When I left a couple months ago when the abuse was too much, she refused to send any of my mail and won't let me get the belongings I left there. How can I get them when the spiteful witch won't let me. (Yes, I have siblings who refused to help me, though they are much better off and all set for life and lived within hours of her whereas I was across the country. She always favored them though -and badmouthed me to them all while I was slaving on her house. None of them will do anything to help me.) TMI, sorry. Do I have to call the police to intervene? I'm afraid because she'll stop at nothing to destroy me for not staying to help her. (ps I'm a small old woman unlike her).

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Mary mary...

You definitely can't get the years back, no. This is certainly true.

"... she's succeeded in destroying me."

I've nothing against a bit of melodrama! You go ahead. It can be most therapeutic, and it is *fine*. How you feel is how you feel.

Only... She hasn't succeeded, has she. Here you are, alive and typing, for one thing.

I think you are attributing too much power to your mother. If this has been your lifelong habit, it will be a very hard one to break. But one possible baby step for you might be just to look at the obvious little things - like that you're breathing and you're thinking and you're online - and realise that you are very much NOT destroyed.

Now then - those things. If you don't mind saying, what sort of things are we talking about?
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marymary2 Apr 12, 2019
Wow, Countrymouse. I have been reading your fabulous answers to others question for a few years now. You're so helpful. Thank you - and to honor your time answering all of us (hopefully not as dramatic as me - I had a very bad luck week!) I'm going to put your advice into practice - probably will print out to read every morning. Many many thanks.
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I believe you can have your mail redirected so that it doesn't go to her address. Go to usps.com, and on the home page, next to the USPS logo, you will see a tab called "Quick Tools". Click on that, and you have the options of Change My Address or Hold Mail.

Recovering your possessions from her house...

A quick search turned up this:

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Civil Standby 
This mechanism is available in cases in which an encounter may turn violent, aggressive or otherwise problematic. It usually consists of a sheriff or police officer accompanying the person who is wishing to reclaim property to the property. In some jurisdictions, the individual is instructed to stay near the property until an officer can be dispatched. 

This mechanism is also used in instances in which a person is legally barred from having contact with another person and serves an exception to that ban. This process may be triggered when the defendant’s attorney in a protective order case requests it so that the defendant can retrieve his or her necessary belongings or by calling the non-emergency number for the local law enforcement agency. 

The process afforded in the jurisdiction may limit the amount of time that a person has to retrieve his or her belongings, such as 15 or 30 minutes. Often, the individual can bring a third party with him or her in order to speed up the process and to have an objective witness of the events. 

********

So. You can go to your state or county's law enforcement agencies' websites and check whether this is available where you live; but it might be quicker and simpler to contact your local police force and ask them.

I think the advice to have a calm, supportive third party with you is a very good idea. Do you know anyone who knows your mother who might be prepared to help? It doesn't have to be a particular friend of yours, just someone who's sensible and able to handle stress.

But are these possessions really important to you? Would not thinking about them any more be an option?
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marymary2 Apr 12, 2019
Thank you. I guess I've lost everything then - the years I waited on her (decades more than the two I downsized her, per her request), my belongings and my mail. It's so depressing all she's taken from me that I just don't see any point to anything. Now that I think of it, if I used the civil methods she would take me off her will - which as you say in your last line is what I should consider accepting. I spent 60 years doing her bidding to the exclusion of having any life. Now in the end she's succeeded in destroying me. Sorry for the melodrama. I'm just depressed beyond hope. I appreciate your excellent answer and three options (4 including mail change which I've done but wanted to get the mail there) though.
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My guess is you were not even on the will when you were her caregiver. Mean people do mean things. Are any of your items so precious that you cannot live without-- you've not had them since you moved and you are surviving. She may have thrown them out as soon as you left just to spit you. My mean mthr would have!

When I went no contact with mthr, I knew I would as giving up the large estate she would leave. She'd already destroyed almost every keepsake I ever had. After we rescued her 8 years later, I had people search the house for my baby pictures and photos of my dad who died when I was 6. Nothing. It's ok- those are just earthly. I can be upset at mthr for doing that, but it won't bring them back. I put my trust in the great Judge to work it all out in the end.

When I walked away, I walked away from the pain mthr inflicted every day I knew her. I was left with nothing but bad memories. As long as I avoid those bad memories, I am in a better place despite *not* having keepsakes. Stay strong, stay separate, and rejoice that the day of reckoning will come. Blessings to you!
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marymary2 Apr 12, 2019
Thank you. Great advice. I'm so sorry you had to go through that. (And I understand the destroyed childhood photos - same here.) I guess I'll live without the stuff. A lot of it was income tax related - supporting documentation and the like that I cannot duplicate. So if I'm audited, oh well. I'm sure you are correct: avoiding is way better than contact, even though we still carry our pain. Cheers.
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Really, is being beneficiary of her will really important. I think my self esteem and health are. Maybe when I was younger I may have done what you did and maybe you had a good reason but at 69, no way would I. Actually I don't deal well with people like your Mom. For one thing, I don't do well in confrontations. So, I tend to stay away from people who try to abuse me. I have done the cleaning out bit. Actually, almost done with Moms house. That is a big job and then to get not even a TU.

Call the PO and tell them Mom is refusing to give you your mail and see if they can do anything.

Really, I am so sorry that this has happened to u. Parents seem to target the one "good child". The one they know will do because its the childs personality. They just do without question. You do realize that Mom can take you out of her will just because.

I have lost jobs and I was divorced with one child. So I have been there and learned only I can control my life. Only I can depend on no one but myself. I do for others but I always wonder who will do for me when I am elderly. Hopefully, my 2 girls but they will still be working. I did remarry to a good man. He has made sure that I will be comfortable if he goes first. But please, get your life back together. Let the past die. If your relatives are toxic, back off. Find new friends or hook up with old ones. FB is a good place to hook up again. I say this because I have a friend who does nothing but complain. Its always poor me. Right now she is 70 yrs old with Parkinsons. Yes, she is homebound but she does get out. She complains, someone suggests and she shoots that idea down. She expects too much from people and then whines when they don't do what she thinks they should. Right now I am waiting for an apology for accusing me of something I had nothing to do with. The message she left was nasty. Years ago I would have said sorry just to keep the peace but not now.

I would call the cops and ask that they escort you to get your stuff.
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worriedinCali Apr 12, 2019
She needs to put in a change of address with the PO. If she calls the PO, that’s what they will tell her to do. And they’ll tell her to call the cops about the mail mom won’t give her.
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Dear Mother,
Sorry, but when I put in a change of address for myself, the post office sent your mail to me. They must have erred, thinking it was for the "family" to be moving.

There appears to be a check for you in your mail, and I will be forwarding that immediately, upon receipt of my belongings and any mail you are withholding from me.
Unless you need help with your own mail, and need a POA , in which case I can forward the mail to your designated person.

I have contacted the U.S. Postal Service that a dispute has arisen over you holding my mail from me.

Please send my mail to the following P.O. Box.
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marymary2 Apr 12, 2019
Thank you for the novel reply. I might be too cowardly to up the ante that much, but I love the idea!
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Mary, there are people who have fires destroy their records all the time. If you are dealing with taxable income in the last 7 years, most of that can be reconstructed through records requests. You can order a transcript of your taxes free from the IRS proving you did file and how much things were. Big things like home sales can be reconstructed from attorney records. Fir mthr's stock records, we use a sale price that's what it was when we know she owned it, even if that price is high. She bought these on the 70's before computer brokers. Now we can just call the broker and find out if it was in the last 20-25 years.

It will be ok.
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marymary2 Apr 19, 2019
Sometimes it's really really good to hear(read) another human say "it will be ok." Because I know in reality it will be, but I'm at the end of my rope so prone to catastrophizing, as the youtube videos call it! Thanks, Surprise!
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Marymary,

You could sweetly explain to your mother that you'e been advised to have law enforcement accompany you to pick your things up from her. Say you don't want to go that route but that you will if she doesn't cooperate within X amount of time. Then do it. You can send her a letter if that's easier. These people are cowards and that will probably scare the crap out of her.

You deserve to be in your mother's will after all you've done for her. Tell her that if she treats you less than the siblings in her will you will sue her estate. The estate can pay the resulting legal bills and her executors can attend court and absorb the stress of a legal fight.

Before you tell your mother this, prepare. Spend a little time each day recording all that you've done for her, how she treated you throughout your life and all about your family. Be factual, not emotional. Keep a draft and add to it as you think of more--there will be a lot. This can be used in court later--the judge will draw his or her own conclusions.

Then interview attorneys who understand personality disorders and abuse and have successfully challenged inheritance cases. Keep a list of the 3 or 4 best ones. Pick tough attorneys to counteract your tendency to be too nice and back down.

When you talk to your mother you can tell her that you've got a XX-page outline of her abuses and a list of tough attorneys. Remind her that lawsuits can drain whole estates and that you will proceed if she's unfair to you. If she does disinherit you and you don't have money to sue, attorneys often work for a percentage of the award.

You deserve to be a equal (at least) heir because you've done so much for your abusive mother. Your health is ruined, you are getting older and you need this money for food, shelter and medical care. You should not have to live in a van and dumpster dive in your old age because your mother was mentally ill and enjoyed mistreating you.

You and I are the same age, have the same sort of "mother", and I am following the above-outlined plan. My NPD/bipolar/demented mother favors my drunk, meth-head, mean siblings and always has. Her friends are amazed when they meet me because I'm a decent person and she'd sold me as the "problem" all these years.

It's time to stop giving to mummy dear because you will never convince her to treat you well. Get tough-tough-tough and from now on protect yourself!
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marymary2 Apr 16, 2019
Thank you for your well thought out answer, Davina. I'm going to reread your advice many a time to move forward. Best to you.
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Marymary, from what you have described as a mother, you are better off never looking back.

However, the items you say are there could be used by an evil person to do great harm to another. Can I recommend that you put a fraud alert and a credit freeze on all 3 credit agencies and talk to the IRS about steps you can do with them to prevent someone else from filing your tax return.

If you decide to go get your stuff don't give her a warning, show up and get it. A warning gives her time to do her dirty deeds.

I have a mother that is not as good to her children as an animal is, so I understand the hurt and precautions you should take to protect yourself.

You will look back one day and be thankful that you escaped with your life and sanity, the rest is just stuff. You can do this!

Hugs!
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marymary2 Apr 19, 2019
Thank you. Good advice. Hugs back to you!
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P.S. This forum is a literal life saver with many caring, smart and helpful souls!
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Mary,

I am so sorry that you have these memories of your mother. I wish you all the peace, joy and comfort that the world has to offer. Take care. Mega hugs!!!
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marymary2 Apr 20, 2019
Thank you for your well wishes, NeedHelp. I wish you all the best too.

She's spending Easter with her two loved children (who do nothing for her) without a care in the world about me - who is alone, without a home (I'm staying with my abusive ex-husband until I can get my health problems under control) in an unfamiliar city. So hearing that I can be wished well by others helps a lot. OK, end of my pity party! I think I had a mini stroke again today so I'm celebrating that I'm not dead yet! Have a great weekend!
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