Hoarders 6.7 – Terry, Adelle

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  • Cate

    I felt like we were only getting part of the story when the kids sat down with Adelle. I absolutely believe that Adelle was shocked to hear herself described the way Dirk described her, but I wasn’t sure he was wrong in his description. There’s a whole lot about the divorce and its aftermath that we just don’t know, and a great deal about Adelle as a mother that we didn’t hear. (No judgment on that, by the way – it’s absolutely not our business.) I did love Dorothy being uncompromising and in Dirk’s face, mind you. She is awesome.

    Terry’s story was hard for me to watch, not because of the animals necessarily, but because the force of her shame and guilt was so enormous. I could barely watch, I felt for her so much – it really was a world-altering process for her. I’m so glad the cats were put out of their suffering, and I’m glad that Terry’s on the road to dealing with her own suffering, too.

    • I definitely think we’re not getting much of Adelle’s story, but what can they do in 21 minutes? I do wish they were able to have just one person per show and really showcase the work done as far as therapy is concerned. I totally understand how a child can be resentful, angry and hurt by having a hoarder as a parent – it was FASCINATING to see them revert back to their teen-selves (in my opinion/best guess) as they got to the heart of their issues with her.

      Dorothy Breininger is one of my favorites – she doesn’t let people back away from dealing. They all have that attitude, but they each have their own style, and Matt and Dorothy are the best at pushing people in a way that really works, I think.

      Oh, Cate, Terry’s self-loathing was PAINFUL, no question. Just so awful to witness someone feel so terribly about themselves. I know that her story is incredibly controversial right now (wow, are people on the internet up at arms about the fridge) but she so clearly made the connection from her actions to the animals’ fate, and nothing else had done that for years. What a pitiful and sweet woman. I’m so proud of her knowing that SHE is making herself not have any pets. (Legally she could still own one or two, I’ve since learned.)

      She has a loving and supportive family, too, which we both know goes a long way to helping these folks heal.

      • scarlet_lettered

        Terri’s remorse was so real. She really made the connection between her actions and the cats’ suffering to a much greater degree than many of the animal hoarders that have been on the show. It was such a terrible realization for her, and it’s so sad that realization couldn’t have come earlier for her and the cats.

  • Dear Laura,
    You are a gem. Thank you so much for taking the time to create a bit of a manauscript for folks to read. I just tweeted your work. I really appreciate your helping us to spread the word. As always great job and thank you.

    • Thank you so much, Dorothy! I really want more people to understand that the point of the show isn’t to point fingers or exploit those in need, but to show what can change when people get the right kind of help. :)

      Thank YOU for what you do! Hugs right back at you.

  • Elaine

    Thank you for your well-written and sensitive article about Terry of Hanover, IL. A correction in this article needs to be made. I am Elaine, Terry’s best friend, who initiated contact with A&E Hoarders after her son, David, revealed to me what his mother had been doing with these stray cats. Your statement, “these well-intentioned people forget that cats are perfectly capable of caring for themselves” was something we already knew and we were not supporting nor condoning Terry’s actions. We realized she was mentally ill and these were not the actions of a mentally sane person. We were just trying to get this woman the help that she needed. We will be forever grateful for the help and support provided Terry by the Hoarders team, especially Matt Paxton. I am happy to report that Terry is doing well and will be moving out of her house this fall.

    • Oh, hello Elaine! How wonderful to hear that sweet Terry is doing well. And I should have made it more clear in the article that by the comment “these well-intentioned people,” I meant the animal hoarder. I absolutely will make that more clear. It was obvious from the show how loving and kind you, Amber and David were, how much you wanted to help. And it sounds like you did! I’m so happy to hear from you, and will make that distinction in this article immediately. All the best!

  • Natasha Cassick

    Thank you for this article. I have so much sympathy and empathy for Terry. It’s heartbreaking to see the conditions she was living in. Thank you for being so kind and considerate with this article. I felt her guilt and it’s astounding how many articles on her are basically condemning her and calling her a “freak” and other horrible things. I wonder how she’s doing now. Thank you! I read your articles all the time and thank you for being so empathetic. Kudos!

  • FOL

    Another great post, Laura. FYI…

    This episode is actually 6.8. You already had 6.7 with “Susan, Michael”. Consequently, the remaining 6th season episodes (13) are mislabelled. For what it’s worth, you’re also missing 6.6 which is “Manuel & Carla”. Any particular reason that one was not mentioned? Thanks!