Confessions From the Daughter of a Compulsive Hoarder

Author Mary Pflum Peterson describes her complicated relationship with her mother in her new book, "White Dresses."
2:59 | 09/23/15

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Transcript for Confessions From the Daughter of a Compulsive Hoarder
between a woman and her mother who descends into hoarding. Marry Pflum is a producer at "Gma" and wrote "White dresses: A memoir of love and secrets, mothers and daughters". The secret and pain and their love. For most people white dresses signify special occasions like weddings or first communen but for Mary they represent the unbreakable bond between her and her mother Ann. In her new book aptly titled "White dresses" she phrases the complicated but loving relationship with her mom. When I was writing the book the white dresses told the story of our lives, other collect erv life at mother and daughter. My mother taught me to love all that white represent, cleanliness, innocence, simplicity, sophistication and above all, possibilities. A devout catholic who for a time became a nun and celebrated teacher to Mary and her older brother Anthony but Ann was hiding a dark secret. She was a compulsive hoarder. The floor surround the television was piled high with blankets, towel, plastic bags filled with this and that. The dining room was unrecognizable. Mary says her mother's condition started spiraling out of control after the breakdown of her parents' marriage. One that ended when Mary's father revealed that he was gay. Before he left, things were picked up. And after he left, it changed considerably. Reporter: Her mother's hoarding got so bad, Mary says she wasn't even allowed in the house for the last ten years of her mother's life. She did not want me home. The last time I was home I was pretty horrified. Reporter: But even as Ann's hoarding was out of control, Mary and her mom remained close. Well, I could talk for hours a day about ear infection worries and the best means of combating the croup. More and more I was losing her to that house. Reporter: When she died five years ago Mary was racked by guilt and grief. I so wanted to save her before she died. What's that you got? Reporter: Today Mary is a wife and mother of four young children. Her youngest named piper Ann in honor of her mother. My mother may not have had the happiest life, but it never impeded her ability to love and to love with her whole heart and soulalloween because I think when you're an actor you're always like in a costume so I try not to do that and I don't like everybody goes out on Halloween so I try to stay home. Oh, all right. Well, I'll let you know what I end up -- Yes, I'm sure you're going to do great. Okay. Well, should we turn the table es BAC again so that I can kick -- all right, we're turning the tables back again, thank you

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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