A love/hate relationship

When I left home at 18, I felt such a great relief at being out of the reach of my HP (hoarding parent). I would later find out that much of my mother's personality that drove me crazy was due to untreated bipolar disorder, and not necessarily her hoarding issues, but what I knew then was that if I didn't get out somehow, I would lose my own mind.

But shortly after leaving, as the holidays approached, birthdays were celebrated, and I realized that my support system had been dramatically pruned, I missed my mother--the good parts of her--deeply. For all the bad that I had survived, she was my mother. I loved her; I hated her.

I've read stories and blogs by other COHs who share a similar experience with their HP. On the one hand, the condition of the home and the insanity that hoarding marked drove them crazy. They hate how this mental illness has robbed them of a "healthy, normal" childhood, and yet as the same time they want nothing more than for their HP to have something better. That is the love component.

Above all, I hate what mental illness has robbed my mother of, my childhood of, my family of, but I still love my mother. And I've learned to accept her where she is. It's what I wanted her to do with me--accept me as I am.

Tough conversations have been had; hurts have been revealed. I've watched my mother's eyes fill with tears as I recounted actions or words that destroyed my spirit. And in these tears--hers and mine--hate has been replaced with appreciation and love.

I will never be able to forget what happened; but the pain is less today. And love is so much more!


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