I should note, first, for the record that I'm back. Second, I must say thanks for all the kind thoughts and support, which did help more than I can adequately express.
I did what I could, which wasn't as much as I would like. And then I left, knowing that what was left to be done had to be done by my parents, that it would require them to want to change things themselves. I do not have high hopes for these changes to ever happen. The last visits to my mother in the hospital were tense. On multiple occasions, they devolved into arguments at the thought that some her precious things were being moved. Worse, that some of them might simply not be there.
There's something to note about the logic of hoarding that allows it to completely ignore considerations of the laws of thermodynamics. Somehow, it seems to say, that if you just twist things the right way, everything will fit even though there's only a prescribed about of volume to be dealt with.
I brought back with flea-bit ankles, smoke-filled clothing to be washed, a sense of guilt that I was abandoning my parents - particularly my mother who will have to use a walker for quite awhile - to an inevitable accident, and the secret fear that I'm becoming a hoarder, too. Do I need all these books? These CDs? Is the comfort I take from old photographs just the start of these things? Or am I just a slob? There's a feeling of lingering depression, too, that I can't quite shake. I feel like I'm going through the motions at the moment, and little things that I can usually shake off - like someone pointing out that my eyes shake, particularly when I'm especially focused - cut me to the core.
I've taken the weekend to focus. No work: just visits with friends, swimming through the humidity, sleeping late in bed, reading and listening to music. Thinking about what I can possibly throw out. Do I need a couch? Is there a reverse condition to hoarding? I remember thinking at some point that there should be opposites to every medical condition. I wish, for just a moment, that I had the opposite of hoarding. That I needed more space around me. But then I think that's probably how people wind up in cabins in Wyoming or Idaho, and that's never a good way to start.
In need of revision
5 hours ago