Hello sweet intelligent d harriet!
I really believe you are right. She does feel like she is helping or being kind. She really does. I will look at her giving dds and us things from this positive point of view. It doesn't mean I have to keep it. My girls say I should keep some of the things but I know I had gotten buried and need to live with what is important to us. I have also kept the really important things that she also thinks is important.
Example from yesterday of something that is so important to her - she got a 8" glass candle from her d sisters daughter with my sweet aunts picture on it. It is very precious to her and rightly so. when my, I can say now, d uncle died he also had a candle and she took his candle with the picture - she tossed the candle but kept the 8"h x 4" w picture. She wanted me to take it and wanted to buy me a candle so I can put it up because it was important to her. This seems a sweet gesture but this is constant - I told her thank you, but that I had some nice pictures of her d sis that I cherished. For d mom I will put up a pictures of her, now gone, siblings - (my d aunts and uncle)
I agree totally about the burden because of trying to ease our children's burden. I have struggled with dd younger's dd need to keep everything - it actually hurts/overwhelms her. I tried to curb her hoarding tendencies by being respectful and let her make choices. I should have gotten someone to help me guide her through this. She couldn't get rid of anything, even her meals her dinner right away. I wanted her to trust that I would ask her. She had/has worth in everything and her ADHD and her creative brain and my having too much stuff, and activities, fed into the problem. I closed her door to her bedroom and let it be for such a long time and her stuff built and poured into the house. It was so much she couldn't think of what to do next, d mil's loss/uncles loss/her illness turned into depression. Then our "d cats" brought mice up to her room where they had tons of places to hide. I agree totally, my constantly digging her out of her room and stuff only enabled her. I thought I was helping her because she really she really saw tremendous loss and importance in her stuff. I really think I should have gotten a specialist that helps children with her stuff - everything (not a little) was important. I should have let her be uncomfortable and learn to make choices from a very young age. I actually thought I was helping her but now I can see that was not the right thing to do. She is such an amazing person - so intelligent, kind and insightful. I am just not exactly sure how to help her now as it is so so uncomfortable for her. I am working with a therapist to help me help her with this.
I didn't know how not to bring into the house myself - it was neat and clean but way way way too much stuff. We played all the time when they were young because I didn't want them to have the discomfort of not having friends (dd younger was shy at the time) and I felt guilty if I worked all day because I had too much stuff to clean and move around besides my care taking and babysitting. (lol if I could go back there would be a lot of stuff, and things I did out of my life) - I wouldn't have babysat thats for sure, because that wasn't for my d kids it was for me and my creative outlet, or did scouts as much. We did so many "field trips", learning, researching and art etc. if I could go back I also would only keep 1/8 of the stuff.
I definitely was all dressed up with a dirty neck - I forgot that one lol. So true for me on a lot of things w dd's. Lol I didn't know how to do it myself so I could I help them. thank you for an A HA moment for me when you said
"let them off the hook"
so powerful for me because I have done this all their lives. I was strict about working on being a good person but house responsibilities I let them off the hook constantly. They are great people!
I didn't know your dear mom was a teacher... very sweet that she kept the castle for so long - my dd older did this and I remember her saying oh I was ready to let it go - lol I wasn't lol. Your calendar is huge d Harriet! Right now mine, knock on wood, isn't and for the first time in years I am able to be at the house. I couldn't do this for so so long.
I ALWAYS enjoy your insight - I learn so much from you.