Baptism in Boxes
The last few weeks have been draining. She left with a suitcase full of clothes and a laptop, and pretty much nothing else. I have had to go through the house, room by room, and pack away all her things into boxes. All the sentimental items and meaningless day to day objects going into their final resting place. Or the final resting place for me anyway. They went into the garage for her to pack up and take, and the last part of that journey is unknown. Photos, little gifts, hairbrushes, books, all souvenirs for a live now over may be kept for the memories or end up in a trash heap. I have no idea which.
Making rapid changes quick is key. Processing the disaster isn’t as hard when you’re not in the middle of the rubble any longer. A bomb has gone off in the town square of your life, and when you see the cleanup and rebuilding, the healing is expedited.
The first few days waking up alone, and have the sinking panic of ‘Oh, shit. That actually happened. She’s actually gone’ are the hardest. Rolling over at night and smelling her pillow was enough to launch a dagger into the heart right before bed. Getting rid of the things that would remind you of that life are necessary. With the changes made the mind can focus on what can be better, and muddle through the ‘what is’ much easier.
The future is still unknown, but there seems to be more hope. I’m going through this at 38, but it is better than 40. Or 45. Or 50. Losing that attachment is painful. It’s like an amputation, and you have to adjust to life without that extremity.
I fall back mentally to when I was single and living in this place alone. There were days in the marriage where I looked at them through some rose-tinted glasses. There’s a level of freedom that comes with it, and no accountability to anyone but yourself. Total independence. That has been a breath of fresh air recently.
The hard part, the part often overlooked, is the loneliness. That lack of intimate connection is now gone. The comfort of having someone you love near you, and the sense of security that comes with it, has been yanked out like a rug under your feet. You fall on your ass and it echoes off the walls because there is no one else to hear it. And that’s where it leaves you - on your ass, in the middle of the living room, sobbing from a traumatic emotional injury. You hit the bottle a little as a tourniquet. Anything to help stop the bleeding. Eventually though you have to square your shoulders and march through this mess, because the only way out is through.
My mind starts spinning, looking for causes, and ways to fix what is broken. To find a solution to make this part of me live again. After weeks of rolling it around in my head, I still don’t quite understand her reasons why. They’ve ranged from a “we’re just two incompatible people that are comfortable in a co-dependent relationship” type line, to a “I need to see the world and live in other countries and immerse myself in other cultures for years to experience life and find myself”, and “I’ve got special professional skills now, I can help children everywhere, this is my calling”.
I try to piece this together and mentally connect the dots and look for actual reasons because those are horseshit. But it doesn’t matter. I don’t understand and probably never will, I just have to handle my situation one day at a time and one box at a time.
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