I have no catchy title for this......

Looking at all those clothes in the basement was to much for me to deal with today. There is a long, long, story somewhere in there, but right now, I just have the time and patience for the cliff notes version.

When I moved 5 years ago from Texas, it was a very strange time of my life. I had been living with someone for 7 years who was an abusive alcoholic. The last year we were not really together- we lived in different cities- but our lives were still intertwined (houses, cars, financial stuff) I left on a 3 month journey back to my hometown- to "find" myself I guess. I wasn't working and didn't plan to for a while, so the timing was perfect . After 2 months of hanging out and just being me- I met my husband. Totally by chance, but I knew the minute I laid eyes on him that he was for me. (we had gone to High school together, but back then I thought he was such a preppy ass.) Ok, so maybe not the minute, but within the first 12 hours or so.

I had to go back home to Tx. and do a little soul searching- figure out what I wanted to do. I really didn't want to move to Michigan. I loved (and still do) Austin. I had lived there for almost my entire adult life. But he could not move, his father was dying. After being apart for less than a month I decided. I had a huge yard sale, packed a u haul, hooked my jeep to the back and drove to Michigan by myself. (driving those huge trucks is NOT as hard as it looks) I took everything that was mine in the house. I was afraid to leave anything behind. Like somehow, my ex would use it against me or something. I don't know. I can't explain it. I think I was insane at the time. I brought plastic plants here. I brought broken things. I brought EVERYTHING.

We rented for the first year and so a lot of my stuff stayed in the boxes and tubs. That should have been the clue to me that I really didn't need everything I had brought. We got married, and bought a house, and I got pregnant (surprise, surprise) in the first month. So a lot of things didn't get unpacked, just stored until "later." We had all the time in the world we thought. Then, when I was 4 months pregnant I had a severe car accident- lost control of my jeep on the ice on the freeway. Spun around, rolled down a hill. Totaled the jeep. I ended up the hospital- I was lucky, not badly hurt and the baby was fine. After more tests though, they found my cancer.

I have/had invasive cervical cancer. I had to wait for treatment- obviously. The part they needed to treat was being used. I was on bed rest and waited. I got as big as a house. Finally I had a c section and radical hysterectomy and my baby. He was/is perfect. I think I am still fine to this day (Dr visits every 6 months and blood work confirm this to be the case) But, until last spring, I honestly just didn't have it in me to worry about boxes of crap in my basement. I had other things to worry about. But, I also worry that if anything happens to me- someone will have to deal with this. I think it should be me.

So, I'm going to do a little at a time. This stuff represents my old life, my past. I think I can re work some of it into my new, improved life. But a lot just needs to be moved on. Maxwell is right about that. Holding on to items from your past just keeps you in the past and doesn't allow you to move forward. I think I am ready to move forward.

Thanks everyone.


drwende said...

Speaking from experience with exes -- you were absolutely right to leave nothing behind in the custody of yours. Moving everything was, at the time, the logical action. (Where would you have found the emotional energy or time to sort through it back then?) They find a way to use it against you, even if it's something as inane as a plastic plant.

So you haven't really been stuck so much as trapped in the vortex of accelerating events.

You're still alive after all. Given your adventures, this is major and wonderful and a cause for celebration.

Bear in mind that, if you're pretty confident that you're going to dump whatever's in the basement, you don't have to go through it. You can get someone to haul it away as-is and focus your energy on determining what suits your life and your body and your tastes now.

lorijo said...

thanks. Looking back it must have seemed insane to watch me pack. I remember my girlfriends going "are you SURE you want that?" to some rather crazy things. After a few no's they just gave in and helped load the truck. I gave away a ton of stuff down there too (we had a great thrift that was a benefit organization for AIDS. ) I just didn't want to leave anything. He didn't deserve any of my things anymore.

But, in 5 years I haven't once thought- hey I should have brought ....... (fill in the blank)

I never thought about being in a "vortex of accelerating events". I like that line. It fits.

I think I do need to go through everything. Only because I packed in such haste. I have a plan to do 1 tub (rubbermade size) a week. Even with time off for the Christmas holiday, I will be done no later than end of march to beginning of April. I believe I will have one garage sale of this stuff- whatever doesn't sell gets carted off to St. Vincent de Paul.

Alana in Canada said...

You have been through more in the last few years than I've been through in my life-time. You are a strong woman. I like your plan of one box a week--if that feels right, then it's right.
I wish I had more to say, a pithy word of insight or an experience to share, but I don't. I just want you to know I'm with you (as much as I can be from the end of a key board).

smallcitybeth said...

Oh my. Oh wow. Just thinking of what you've been through -- oh my. But how blessed you are now, to have your husband and son!

Doing the basement stuff bit by bit is wise, if you do have to go through it. Pick a time when you're feeling particularly strong, and ... well, I was going to say pick a time when Sweetie-Son isn't there to say "what's that?" "Can I have it?" "Why?", but when is there ever a time like that?

Just do what you can. My mantra over the last several years has been "Do what you can, and let go of the rest".

We're here for you. Wish we could be there for you.


lorijo said...

Thank you! I have never felt very strong actually, I just did what I had to do. That doesn't mean that I didn't scared- or still don't. But I can't let that stop me from the job that I have to do.

Alana in Canada said...

"I can't let that stop me from the job I have to do"--you see, right there: that's strength. We don't always have it, all the time. There are seasons when it is best to be a willow rather than an oak--but the underlying determination and grit "to get on with it"--that's the strength.
For so many years I wandered down a dark destructive path, it is a miracle I'm alive....they were not years of strength and grit.
Resolve. That's where it starts...thoughts change, and then, slowly, actions too. It's a process, sometimes a very slow one and only observed from a long way down the road, or by an outsider. So, yes, you're strong.

smallcitybeth said...

Yes, Lorijo, you are strong, and Alana, you are wise. Those are very wise words.

CQ in DC said...

a box a week is a wonderful plan. you were indeed "trapped in a vortex of accelerating events"- be happy and proud to be where you are today, and know that we are all supporting you from afar.

lorijo said...

Thank you everyone. Your words of support mean a lot. I think that all of us are strong, everyday in our own personal ways. And we are all strong for undertaking this task of trying to better ourselves for ourselves.