October 20th: Personal Space

When my husband first moved out of our home, the absence of his presence in my day-to-day life was of course, huge but… what I hadn’t thought about… was how I would feel once so many of his personal items were gone: The bathroom now seemed bare without his toothbrush, his shaving items on the counter, his robe hanging on the door. The closet was now half empty and seemed abandoned and unused. Paintings had been removed from the walls, furniture had been taken, large gaps of what now seemed like transitional space lay everywhere around me. And though I was in pain, saddened by my loss I knew I must take to the task of making this place that was once ours… my own. I spent several weeks on this chore: organizing family photos, separating my husbands accidentally “left behind” items and boxing them to be picked up later. I cleaned out everything that was no longer useful from my past, and rearranged everything to start my future anew. I was surprised to admit it, but it was lovely to put all of my things, exactly where I wanted them, without concern for anyone else’s opinion. I couldn’t help but smile to myself with a sense of accomplishment and independence. Personal space becomes a home base of security and serenity when dealing with painful situations. It is the place we come to at the end of the day to feel soothed and at peace. – “Dear God,  thank you for giving me a place to live. No matter how small, no matter how empty… it still holds my faith in your guidance.”

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2 thoughts on “October 20th: Personal Space

  1. This was a very odd thing indeed. Like you said, there were gaps of space everywhere where his things used to be. And in the beginning it kept making me sad and cry. What used to really get me where the unexpected “landmine finds” of things of his. That was always a tear trigger and a reason to send me spiraling down for the rest of that day or evening. At the urging of my sister and my best friend, I decided not to keep our marital home and it was the best decision for me. It was too large for just me (plus the repairs and upkeep would be costly since I would now have to pay a repair person to do the things he used to do) since my kids were out of the nest. But packing up 22 years to move contained even more of those landmines finds. I moved into a totally new place that I call my little slice of heaven and I couldn’t be happier. I have purged all of his things now. I love that this is a fresh starting place for me to decorate, rearrange, etc. however I want. Yes my personal space is now a place of serenity and security for me and I love it!!! Thanks again for your blog. It helped me then and still helps me now. I am able to appreciate how far I’ve come and to know I am not the only woman who has gone through this ordeal.

    • I LOVE this post, Lisa. “Little slice of Heaven” what a difference from before, huh? I understand what you mean about triggers. My ex bought my son this used car that is constantly breaking down. It has been problem after problem. And of course… who helps him with all the fixing? My new significant other… not my ex. Last night it broke down while my son was in transit, on the freeway, and as my new S.O. and I were on the phone with Triple A… I suddenly snapped out loud and said something to the effect of, “You always let us down. Thirty years now and look at what you are still doing!” My mate of eleven years looked at me like I was a loon. I stomped out of the room, sat on the edge of the bed, and suddenly… it was like I was back in time… with my ex. Surprising how those intense emotions can return in the most unexpected moments. My S.O. came in and said, “You’re really worked up… are you okay?” I of course have enough experience, strength and hope now to share “what happened” and apologize for my outburst but I was amazed… after all of this time how a “thing” triggered me.

      Those landmines do pop up… but in your new lovely space…. they will pop up less-and-less.

      So glad we are all here and all together sharing.

      D.

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