By week 3 of life on my own (02 October 2011) I was starting to feel just a little bit angry. I thought of the years stripped away. How could I ever think of them with fondness and happiness again. My childhood sweetheart where the love was supposed to continue forever; the future we planned together of travel and time with the grand-children; our home together; our four beautiful children; the support on projects we gave each other over the years; the trials; the triumphs; the holidays; the camping; the support for him; always, always, always being there for him …… yet he dumps me like a limp cabbage. HOW could he do this to me …………Yes, the anger definitely started stirring inside of me.
Message to self.”Self, channel this anger energy into something positive”
And I did. ……… I started to clean.
I cleaned out the cupboards of the house. I took everything out, washed everything, cleaned down the shelves, and put back only exactly what I needed for myself. I packed away everything else or threw things away. “If in doubt, throw it out” was the motto I followed. I tidied, I washed, I vacuumed, I packed away boxes of “stuff”.
I decided to keep only a quarter of what was there before. Half for him then I got rid of half of my half. I worked right through the night and the following day and the following week. I continued until I had finished. There was now space on all the shelves for me to start again. I put all the “reject” stuff into boxes to be taken away. This was good therapy. It felt good. In fact, it felt strangely fantastic.
Later one of my sons came home and helped me halve the videos and DVDs. We cleared out my husbands music collection, his CDs and his books. It was symbolic for me. I was ridding him from my life literally, metaphorically and emotionally.
This was still only week three and I was still in pain and utterly raw inside the whole time. Many things made me sad and I could not face them. So I made a “sad” box. If I came across something that made me too sad to leave out yet too precious to throw away, I put it in my “sad box” to look at later when I felt I could deal with it. That time has not yet come. This included some photos, gifts and jewellery that only yesterday held a special place in my heart reminding me of our time together and now I did not know what they would mean to me.
If there was anything that I found uplifting in those painful early weeks, it was the action of spring-cleaning the house; of ridding myself of the painful reminders of the happily-ever-after that now would never be; of re-claiming all the space as mine; of starting new beginnings. This was the beginning of me for moving on as me.
So ended the third week of life on my own.
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Sad box was a very clever idea.
I still have not opened it. Perhaps I never will.