The Night The Stuff Went Down

I think I’m having decluttering remorse.
Almost like waking up after a blackout, trying to remember each item I tossed.
“I threw away what last night?”
I don’t really need to item by item remember, because it ALL went.
What was in the last room that I attacked with the rage born from exhaustion and frustration?
Just everything I had thought was important enough to move from house to house, even if I never opened the boxes.
The next day was moving day, and I thought the last room would only take a few hours. Although the anxiety I felt every time I went in there over the past year should have warned me.
It was just a corner filled with boxes. Boxes I hadn’t opened since two houses ago, some hadn’t been opened for twenty years.
I had spent the last three weeks decluttering. Selling and giving away the contents of a ten-room house, cellar and garage.
I was on a roll. How hard could this last corner be?
I had thrown away my wedding heels a few months ago, so I thought I had toughened up.
The contents of several boxes had been scattered for weeks, opened and left, the victim of my confusion. Well, I had no choice now.

Tonight, was my deadline and I dug in, armed with kitchen trash bags. It didn’t take long for me to go downstairs and find the huge, green bags.
I always knew I was a good packer, but I don’t know how I fit so much content into those boxes.
I filled at least six green bags with CD’s and cassettes and that was just the beginning.
Some of the CD’S had been special to me. Our ten-year anniversary by Alabama I had signed, “Then Again…Forever, you and me.” I kept that one.
I had listened to and loved each CD at some time in my past.
As I looked through them, I was overwhelmed by how many there were and I began to grab handfuls, shoving them into the green bags.
So many material things I no longer needed or wanted, but surely my frustration added volume to the trash pile.
I was angry, and I was sad, and I just wanted to be free from stuff. Too much stuff.
Our mind is like a computer and it captures every little thing we have ever done, seen or felt and much of my frustration was because I was replaying those memories as I threw each thing away.
My wedding dress got special treatment. It was 3:00 a.m. and I walked outside and hung it on a tree beside the yard sale.
My neighbor was still outside because she was getting ready to have a yard sale with me, and she said, “You have to take a picture,” and of course, I did. As I took pictures, I realized that I was trying to capture my emotional whirlpool in a snapshot of a wedding dress.
The dress had fit like it was designed for me, draping my tiny hips, and it had made Mum smile, because back then, I seldom wore dresses. As I ran my fingers down the silky dress, I could see her smiling face.
I remembered the day I went shopping for it with my mum and how proud she was that I was marrying such a good man, a man who worked and took care of me and my three kids financially.
She special ordered artificial roses for my corsage and for the wedding, because I was allergic to flowers and I remembered how the florist thoughtlessly sprayed them with rose perfume and I sneezed all day.
I threw the still rosy corsage away too tonight, along with a box of wedding day souvenirs.
We never dreamed thirty-eight years ago it would end this way, my wedding dress hung in a tree for a yard sale, all alone in the dark. Us, living in separate houses. Big ouch.
Couldn’t hold on till morning. Needed to let it go, let it go.
He was here helping me finish up the packing and for the closing, and I couldn’t afford to show any weaknesses in front of him. It was a real test.
His heart was hurting as he saw me throw away our memories.
The picture Mum bought me because she thought it looked like us, my IHRA umbrella and hundreds of presents he had bought me.
I think it hit him hardest when he saw my books start to go. Fifteen house and thirty-eight years, and through it all, he’d been complaining about moving my books. I always found ways to resist his demands to get rid of the damn books, because I loved my books. I had learned that if I carried the boxes in and out of the moving trucks, it wasn’t as bad, but even then, the “weight” it added bothered him.
I usually soothe him when he’s hurting, even if he’s sad because he hurt me, but not anymore. Not anymore. Recovering codependent, yes, I am.
Now, as I rerun the night of the huge declutter through my mind, I am proud and sad and proud.
I let it go, I let it go.
I let it all go so I could move on, move into my twenty-foot Coachmen Nano Apex travel trailer and on to the next chapter of this story I am living as I create it.
I took pictures of things that touched my heart as I tossed, and that was enough stuff, for me.

 

 

Advertisements

( #10 SHE Saga) Let It Go, Let It Go

20190819_154223

I feel numb and She is hiding.  I know she’s furious with me and she didn’t believe that I would go through with my plan to get rid of everything that I didn’t absolutely need or want…before we moved into our tiny home on wheels.

I guess it was my turn to pitch a fit. It happened when I was decluttering tonight, when I was down to facing the boxes that I hadn’t unpacked in over ten years.

She objected over every piece I tossed. She cried. She screamed.

She was so upset that she had me walking in circles, holding things to my chest, paralyzed by grief and indecision. After about an hour of circles, I snapped.

“Stop! Stop, leave me the f… alone,” I screamed as I dumped another pile of boxes in the middle of the room. When the pile was gigantic, I sat down beside it with a kitchen trash can beside me.

She left and the silence was eerie.

I quickly filled that kitchen bag, so I went downstairs for the green yard bags and I kept going.

I dragged at least six green bags full of papers, memories, CD’s and tapes down the stairs tonight and out onto the front porch for trash day. Plus, containers and boxes full of stuff.

My wedding dress got special treatment. It was 3:00 a.m. and I walked outside and hung it on a tree beside the yard sale.

My neighbor was still outside because she was getting ready to have a yard sale with me, and she said, “You have to take a picture,” and of course, I did.

As I took pictures, trying to capture my emotional whirlpool in a snapshot of a dress, I remembered the day I went shopping for it with my mum and how proud she was that I was marrying such a good man, a man who worked and took care of me and my three kids financially.

I remembered how happy she was to buy the dress for me, and in 1983, $27.00 was a lot of money.

The dress draped my tiny hips like it was designed just for me, and it made Mum smile because back then, I seldom wore dresses.

She special ordered artificial roses for my corsage and for the wedding, because I was allergic to flowers and I remember how the florist thoughtlessly sprayed them with rose perfume and I sneezed all day.

Our mind is like a computer and it captures every little thing we have ever done, seen or felt.

I threw the still rosy corsage away tonight too, along with a box of wedding day souvenirs. We never dreamed thirty-eight years ago it would end this way, my wedding dress hung in a tree for a yard sale, all alone in the dark. Big ouch.

Couldn’t hold on till morning. Needed to let it go, let it go.

He was here helping me finish up the packing and for the closing, and I couldn’t afford to show any weaknesses in front of him. It was a real test.

His heart was hurting as he saw me throw away our memories.

The picture Mum bought me because she thought it looked like us, my IHRA umbrella and dozens of presents he had bought me.

I think it hit him hardest when he saw my books start to go. Fifteen houses and thirty-eight years, through it all, he’d been complaining about moving my books. I always found ways to resist his demands to get rid of the damn books, because I loved my books. I had learned that if I carried the boxes in and out of the moving trucks, it wasn’t as bad, but even then, the “weight” it added bothered him.

I usually soothe him when he’s hurting, even if he’s sad because he hurt me, but not anymore. (Codependency, which I’m recovering from, one day at a time…amen.)

I probably went too far tonight, when I shoved She away with all my strength.
She left, but I know she will be back, so I’m going to enjoy this time without her.

It’s the first time in forever that she hasn’t been challenging me, quietly or violently.

(# 1 SHE Saga) She Wants What She Wants

Link above will take you to the complete list of She Saga posts.

Death of a Marriage, Rest in Peace. 1978

Death of a Marriage, Rest in Peace


I didn’t even know that you were sick
and now you’re dead.
Destroyed by a disease born
inside two people who couldn’t see
that love should come first
forsake all others, as God said.
But there is so much I didn’t know about you.
I never guessed that someday you would be deceased.
How can I bury you, when to me you’re still alive?
How will I ever feel whole, with part of me
inside your corpse, which hangs in the closet of my mind?
JM, 1978

The Wedding Heels

I’m trying to de-clutter my life and unravel my mind.
Yesterday, I threw my thirty-five-year-old, size five wedding heels in the trash. I tried on a lot of shoes before I found the perfect heels. They were important. My future mother-in-law bought them for me. She wasn’t impressed by her son marrying a woman with three kids, so they were a peace-offering.
The heels have stuck around. They made the cut every time I packed. They have been with us to fifteen houses and a dozen apartments.
I had hoped to wear them again, maybe on an anniversary, but that’s not going to happen.
My feet are no longer small and petite, and my husband and I have separated.
I looked at the shoes laying there in the trash, taunting me, reminding me of my wedding day, and I pushed them in deeper. I instantly panicked, but I took deep breaths and I walked away.
Later, I carried the bag outside to the trash can.
Today, I was out front tearing open the trash bags. Coffee grounds, dog’s pee papers, egg shells and dirty paper plates, I found.
No shoes.
I gave up easy, compared to my norm.
I’m not a quitter. I held on to those heels for thirty-five years.
I stopped because I knew it was hopeless.
I could save the heels. But I couldn’t save us.
I’m strong and I’m weak. I’m resisting the urge to go back out there now.
I just want the trash truck to come and take the heels away before I give in to my compulsion to bring them back into the house.
If I can leave the heels in the trash, maybe I’ll make it through this after all.
P.S. The trash men came and the shoes have gone to their final resting place.

To Do More…

I feel the strands stretch
as I leave you at the airport
tearing, ripping, bleeding
straining to be released
struggling to break free
before I bleed out.
Driving away in tears
begging God for healing
aching to be, to do more
than simply survive.