My husband and I have made it through this past year of “marriage”, and are into our second year since D-Day. We both work to process, heal, and grow from what has happened as a result of the trauma of infidelity. We each have improved in different ways in this past year, and although not perfect or complete, we’re in a much better place. A long road lies ahead, but it seems like we just might make it.
A year of recovering from trauma means many areas of everyday living have been neglected. The yard work is waiting for us. The garage is a nightmare. The driveway has new cracks that need repair. The room that flooded just before D-Day has been gutted, but not rebuilt. And stuff has accumulated like has never accumulated since the inception of closets!!
Spring is here and no time like the present to pull myself up by the bootstraps and start wading through the ocean of books, craft supplies, clothes, and on it goes, that have started to pile up around the house. I have a room that’s for reading and painting. It’s a real luxury to have such a room. I’ve let it get filled up with stuff I don’t know what to do with, and now the room is literally unusable. Just looking at the room triggers a flood of overwhelming anxiety. I tried last March to get into that room and clear it out, and last March there wasn’t even half of what’s in there now. The pain of unfaithfulness stopped me in my tracks, and the room just sits as an ever present reminder that my life is hard.
I have been surprised at how much I have lost feelings of sentimental fondness. I am not sure when this started to happen exactly, but gifts that were reminders that I’m loved and cherished are now just things. Pretty much anything accumulated prior to D-Day is meaningless to me. I’m not trying to be cold-hearted at all. I’m not wallowing in self pity. Looking at these things leave me feeling empty and wanting to start fresh.
I’ve given back my wedding rings to him. I don’t want them anymore. I can’t even bear the sight of them. They represent a life of not being interesting enough, pretty enough…fun enough? I hope I never see those rings again. I hope he’s never foolish enough to try to get me to wear them again. It’s a cold day in hell sort of thing.
Our “wedding anniversary brandy decanter set” is grimy and dusty and is begging me to toss it. The two glasses, decanter, and small desert plate set is oddly missing one of the glasses. Nobody seems to know where it is. I can’t imagine using them again. Donating to the Goodwill seems best. I’m not sure how he will feel about that, so for now they can stay put.
I went through some cupboards today to see what else can be donated, and everything I touched that used to ignite my creativity to decorate or entertain is just waste. I have a couple of big boxes of items for a garage sale, and a nice big box of excess to donate all ready to go. Who needs a cake saver when they don’t eat cake anymore?
I have pulled a teapot that I bought for myself and put it in the garage sale box. My husband later gave me two matching rosebud vases, and I’ve kept them…but I don’t want them. I’m not trying to hurt his feelings, and at the same time they mean nothing to me anymore. I gave my china to my daughter, and she is ecstatic. I have inherited my mother’s china, and it has taken over the space the china set my husband bought me used to occupy.
I don’t need flower pots because I’m not in the mood to fuss with plants on the deck. That hasn’t changed in two spring seasons, so I think those pots can go. Goofy little plastic bears holding fishes can move on as well. I’ve changed gears to quietly feeding and watching the birds.
The fun cookbooks that used to sit in a fun wire basket on top of the fridge have been moved to the pantry closet. The autumn season popcorn tin that was next to the cookbooks is in the donate box. The tiny bird plates that hung on a plate holder next to the refrigerator are off the wall, boxed back up, and have joined the garage sale box. Two empty wine bottles sit in the windowsill next to the refrigerator, from our trip to Napa Valley about a year before D-Day. I’d like to put them in recycling. The reminders of that trip just irritate me now; pictures, mementos, the whole nine yards.
I’ve already gotten rid of our every day dishes set. I’m staring at the glassware, and they are next to go. The hot pad holders and food containers and all of it — I just want to dump it all and start over.
I feel like I’m drowning in an ocean of reminders of nothingness. I feel that clean slate would do me good. I’m not quite sure how to go about it without it seeming vengeful, spiteful, or attention seeking. That’s not what I’m feeling.
My whole being is quietly screaming, “I won’t go back there ever again. I won’t be willing to experience this again. I cannot live and be loved the way I was and was not. The past can pack itself up and take a hike. Memory Lane is a spoof. A farce. A trap.
I just don’t want this stuff anymore.