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Leaving the Past Behind

Have you ever had one of those days when you feel like you just should have stayed in bed? Well, it was one of those days for me. I woke up in a great mood. I’m finally in my new home and I absolutely love it.

The move was bittersweet and I was very emotional pulling out of the driveway with the moving truck in tow but I was excited to move forward after months…actually, years of feeling stuck.

The day of the move was overwhelming. As much as I had emotionally prepared myself, I still found myself struggling to fight back tears leaving the home I had raised my children in for eighteen years.

I was in my daughter’s old room and pulled off a middle school class picture she had thumbtacked on the wall. When I took down the picture to pack it away in a box, I saw the words in her handwriting on the wall, “I love my mommy”. It took me back to the time when we were painting her room and she joking wrote that inside her closet–perhaps as a way to mark the occasion. My immediate thought when I saw her handwriting was that I will never see this again and I wish that she were there with me. Leaving this house without her there to say good-bye felt…incomplete. Like a part of us was missing.

The entire day was chaotic and surreal, to say the least. My ex-husband and his best friend were there to do most of the heavy lifting. I was so grateful to have them there because there is no way me, the boys and my girlfriends could have handled it on our own. I was leaving a lot behind, but there was still a lot to load into the truck. These are the times when you are incredibly grateful to have such good friends and an ex that was willing to help.

As we pulled up to my new little house, I felt such mixed emotions. I was happy to be rid of the old house that became such a burden. I was happy to be in a beautiful new home that was the perfect space for my sons and me, but over the course of the next few days—I felt displaced. I didn’t know the area well and it was further away from what was familiar. I know I made the right choice because I loved this little house, but my surroundings were so foreign.

I dove into feverishly unpacking in order to make this new place feel like home. I purposely left behind a lot of things in the old house in order to start fresh and create a new space that was all my own. I love to decorate and with my new job, I knew I was able to splurge on a few new pieces.

The next weekend, I made a trip back to the old house by myself to have one last look around to make sure I didn’t leave anything behind. I walked into this empty house with just a few pieces of furniture, some decorations on the walls and wedding china I no longer wanted. As I walked through the empty house that held the memories of my babies growing up, I let the tears fall. The emptiness was suddenly filled with love and laughter remembering all the times we watched movies eating popcorn on a pile of pillows on the floor. All the times we would swim at night in the backyard pool and make s’mores over the fire pit. All the picnics we had on a blanket in the front yard. We had such good memories there and now…it is no longer our home. Just an empty place with visions of the past. I turned to leave, thanking the house for allowing us to share these beautiful memories. I don’t know why, but I left some things behind that I knew I would be back for…perhaps I wasn’t fully letting go.

So today was the day. The last day I could get into the old house to take the last few things I wanted. A couple lawn chairs, a few planters and that special little mosaic with my youngest son’s handprint next to the words, “I love mom” etched into it. I knew my ex-husband was going to come back to the house with his friend to take some of the furniture I left behind. I waited until late afternoon thinking they would be done. I saw one of his cars parked in the driveway. No big deal—I would just grab what I wanted and be on my way.

As I walked up the steps and walked through the open door, I was just about to yell out his name when I turned to see his new wife sitting on the floor of my living room with the baby in the car seat in front of her. We were both shocked to see each other. (Me slightly more than she). All I could think to say was, “Oh hi, I just came to grab a few things.” I went over to her as she turned the baby towards me and I said, with the usual “baby talk” voice something to the effect of “Hi, cutie how are you?” It was all so surreal. Here I am, in the foreclosed house that I raised my children in for eighteen years—with HER husband meeting his new baby…my children’s half-brother for the first time. I have to say he is so stinkin’ cute and he immediately smiled at me. I actually wanted to hold him and make cute little baby voices, but that would be weird.

Actually, no weirder than seeing my ex-husband’s new wife sitting in my living room packing up my old things to sell on eBay. She was literally showing me all of MY things saying how she was excited to sell them. She even asked me where my couch cushions were so that she could sell my old couches. I felt like I was in the f’in Twilight Zone. In what universe does someone think that this is okay?  It’s one thing for my ex to be doing it, but it felt like a complete invasion of privacy to have his wife going through my things…OUR things in order to make a few bucks selling them. I mean they live in a big ass house, drive a Jag, a BMW, an Audi and couple motorcycles, but you need to spend all that time and energy to sell some old shit on Let Go? They must be hard up for money to go through all that trouble…I’m sorry…now I’m just being catty.

Needless to say, I got the hell out of there as fast as possible. I wanted to avoid the awkwardness of him returning to the house with the truck to haul off our wedding china and glassware she was wrapping up to sell. I shoved the lawn chairs into my truck and sped away. I wanted to stop by Bed, Bath & Beyond on my way home to grab some things I needed for my new house. I thought this would be a good distraction from the mind fuckery I just walked away from back at the old house. As I browse the aisles, looking for a lampshade and a new throw blanket, I try to wrap my mind around the fact that this woman has some pretty big balls to go into my house and rummage through my things. I mean, perhaps you can’t comprehend what that must feel like. Imagine for a moment you’re me. You go into the house you shared with your ex-husband, to find his new wife packing up your things to sell online. Don’t get me wrong…I don’t have anything against her…I actually kinda like her, but who the hell does that??

To make matters worse, here I am in Bed Bath & BEYOND my wildest imagination and the douche bag I dated last summer walks past me with the woman I saw him with at the bar while I was dating him. Um, Universe…are you f’in kidding me right now?? What are the chances of me running into him right now? I’m still trying to process the other bullshit and now you throw an ex-whatever he was into the mix? I wanted to escape. I dreaded the thought of running into this guy for months because we live (lived) in the same town…and NOW I have to run into him. I knew I should have stayed in bed. I waited until they left down the aisle and then I figured the safest place would be to hide in the curtain section—that way I could easily hide behind one of them if they passed by.

As I turn the corner, there they are again looking at the wedding registry kiosk. Is that cheating bastard getting married again? Is that his wife that he never actually divorced? My mind was racing and so was I—speeding down to the check out with my lampshade wishing I could put it over my head. I run to my car trying to gather my thoughts wondering why the hell the universe was messing with me today. I’m not proud, but I waited in my car to get a better look at the woman he was with. I wanted to know if he was lying all along about actually getting divorced. After all, I’m the one that fell for his lies and will go to hell for sleeping with a married man! What the hell was I even thinking dating that man…and I wonder why I have trust issues?  Perhaps it’s because I keep meeting men that are lying cheating bastards?

Well, I made it home and immediately poured a glass of wine. My nerves were shot. I took a deep breath and realized that all of this represents the past that I want to leave behind. The broken down house, the drama, and the shitty men. This is my new beginning and it feels good. I have a beautiful new home, a new job that will pay the bills, kids that I adore, family and friends that have my back and a dream in my heart for new love and a fresh new start. Perhaps today was the final good-bye to the past and letting go of the woman I once was. I feel a transformation taking place in all aspects of my life. I’m not the same woman I was a year ago and I’m certainly not the same woman I was five years ago.

I’m ready to make real change and that means cutting ties with all things that don’t make me feel whole. Cutting ties with the things that prevent me from fulfilling my true purpose. It’s time to dig deep—learn what the past has taught me and finally move towards what I know deep in my heart I’m meant to become.

No more excuses. No more escaping. No more fearing the unknown. Just taking charge and making every step count. My story is not an easy one, but it’s a story that needs to be told. It may help others who share my circumstances or it may help others that need to choose a different path. Either way, I hope to help a few broken souls along the way. We’re in it together one way or another. Sharing our stories unites us in our journeys towards strength and renewal. If there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s that staying stuck is the worst place to be. We need to spread our broken wings and learn to fly again leaving the past behind.

With Faith, Hope, and Love

~Teresa

 

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