Identify what is most important )0( Eliminate everything else
The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world. Dr. Paul Farmer
The suffering of others is not alleviated when no one knows about it.
There is no one right way to live. Daniel Quinn Ishmael
The only thing that you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right sort of people.
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be. Kurt Vonnegut

Monday, July 15, 2013


I have too much.

I thought that I had sold most of my art stuff at the rummage sale at the old house last year.  I was wrong.

I have finally decided to unpack, in support of staying here, even with the uncertainty about where I will find a job.  Should I move, I thought, at least things will be organized; and coming across stuff for which I had no immediate use it could go to the women's shelter for their art programs or to the charity shop that helped me so much last summer.

Bless my friends, the ones who went into the old house when I could not, boxed up art stuff and took it to the storage unit place.  They were just looking out for me, but in the boxes today and am finding things that were supposed to be sold or donated last year.  You know, it was difficult enough to let all of the crap go last year, and now I will be doing it again.

I am hoping for an easier process of divestment, but I have to admit that seeing some of those supplies and materials is making all parts of me tingle, as well as triggering too many unpleasant memories.  I have made doing this my goal for the week.  By the end of the week there will be boxes and bags ready to drop off to the shelter and shop.  I have just put in an hour and a half and I am exhausted.  Partly because of the insane heat today, near 100F and probably higher with the heat index, whatever that is. 

The toll of this stuff and all of the connections to that other life are, gosh, so many feeling are flooding back.  I know that I miss parts of that life.  There are moments when I cannot deny the loving feelings I still hold for my former husband.  Habits are hard to break, and developing new habits that do not pull be backwards are even harder.  I still have moments when I think that it must not have been as bad as I remember, that he really did not do those things, that I was mistaken, I just misunderstood, and then I spiral back into how everything would have been fine if only I had been able to do things right, be the right person with the right habits and had been less concerned with my own needs and more invested in what he wanted.

And, I stay there for a while.  All of those feelings come right back, and along with them are all the things that were said to me. 

I was never good enough. 
I never did anything right.
I was ugly and useless.
No one could love me someone as disgusting as me.
I could never do anything worthwhile, nothing that anyone else would think important.
I was stupid and no matter how many books I read, no matter how many workshops I took, nothing that I tried to improve myself could, would ever work because I was incapable of improving.
I was a waste, a drain on his resources and I really was all of the names he called me.
I was stupid and ugly and useless.

When this happens, it lasts shorter and shorter times.  I get over it more quickly.  Unfortunately, the process of doing that is the next step in which I then remember that my other life was terrible in ways I am still unable to express.  I take responsibility for my part in the dysfunction of my marriage and all of the poor, stupid and foolish mistakes and choices I made.  I have forgiven him for everything that happened.  It seems impossible, but I have.  I think that forgiving has made it possible to move on, try my best to craft this new and amazing life and maybe someday fully forgive myself. 

I never used to have goals.  That whole concept seemed pointless in a life that did not allow for doing what I needed to do to achieve goals of any kind.  I suppose that wanting to survive and doing what I could to make that happen is a sort of goal, although I never thought of it that way.  And, now, I have the actual, real, true goal of getting rid of the rest of the art stuff.  I found a package of pastels that I might keep, and some coloured Sharpies.  I found some genealogy paperwork that he had done and had left behind at the house because it was about my family.  When I found that my first thought was that he must have cared about me if he would do that in addition to the research he did for his family.  I mean, that could be possible.  It is entirely possible that there were times when he did care about me, maybe even love me a little bit.

I wish I could remember some of those times.  I think they would go a long way in helping me find the good times during all of those long decades.  I remember times when there was pleasure in doing things with our daughter; I just cannot remember enough of them that include him.  I have so many memories of times when I loved him, I wonder where the memories of being loved in return might come back to me. 

Get rid of all of that stuff. 
It either fits on the shelving I bought, or it goes.  By Saturday.
Anything left, examined or sorted or not, goes out on the curb by Saturday evening.
Get over my feelings of loss and attachment to stuff.
Think about how my issues with abundance are stopping me from moving forward.
Keep reminding myself that stuff is just stuff, that I that this stuff was already gone, and that keeping any of it is a burden that I am no longer willing to carry.

Stuff.  Lordy.


  1. What ARE you thinking?! I was glad you were enjoying the course training and I laughed at the flea episode, though I did sympathise. Don't you climb into that hole you are digging now or I might have to boot you out of it. You are a good person who helps others that was caught in a bad part of life for a while. Doesn't change who you are at your core. If others can't see who you are then it's their problem for missing out on knowing you and the ones who do see and stick around, even though there may be big gaps between when you hear from them or see them, are the ones who matter. Don't dwell on what might have been re other's feelings towards you as that leaves too much to chance. You've set some goals that are achievable so complete them. Live up to the standards you set for yourself as they are more important than everyone else's ideas of you! Cheering you on from Oz. Hugs Robyn

  2. Having to let go of friends has been one of the saddest parts of this. Staying true to myself is difficult.

    Thanks for the support. I just keep getting up every day, doing what I can and trying to avoid wallowing about all of the many things on which I am still working.

    I meet with my therapist this week to discuss where and how this training might help me find a job. I had lunch with an old friend who is staffing a new department in a transitional living program. It sounds interesting, but I really do not want to have to work alongside and under her. Yeah, selfish and picky, but after a couple of weeks I would want to stab myself with a fork.

    By the way, I am comfortable declining this job, in support of doing what is best for me, and as you say, not falling in with the ideas of other people.

    1. I have friends I like that I'd probably stab with a fork if I had to work with them, or live with them! Some things are better appreciated in small doses :).

  3. everything Farm Fancies said^^^
    are you sure you want to get rid of the art stuff?? - you are so good

  4. I have to. The people who packed up and stored this stuff for me packed even things I had put into the rummage sale stuff.

    It really has to go. I will keep a few supplies and materials that I can do with the boys, but the rest, just has to go. I have only so much room in this flat and it really is in my best interest to let it all go. As much as possible will be going to a shelter and a charity shop.

    I decided, whist having tea with a friend this morning that everything else will go to the curb on Saturday and that I will put a notice on Freecycle. With any luck, someone will fetch it and not leave too much of a mess behind.

    I used to be good. I think I may have lost my muse along with my missing faith. I am trusting that something new will come along to fill those gaps. I have been thinking along the lines of volunteering at the veterans' center and the day center for those who live in night shelters.

  5. fair enough, you know the best for you :)