Sunday, April 12, 2009

Wait...But You Left Me....

Breaking up is never a simple process. And it's never cut and dried. There is not one person who screwed up, there are almost always two people who screwed up and you can waste hours arguing about who screwed whom more, but it's a waste of time and only serves to cause each other more pain, prolong the anger and slow the process of healing.

However, while two people screw up the relationship, it's rare that two people sit down, look at each other and say, "Hey, even though this isn't working anymore, I don't want to hurt you, so let's do this as rationally as possible." If you're married, then you have lawyers and a court system that decides who gets what and who pays for what and when each parent sees the child. But when you aren't married, there are no "rules" and no real guidelines, you just kind of make it up as you go along.

Unfortunately, since there can be a lot of acrimony in a break up, even in a break up between people who genuinely care about each other, things get out of control. Every word, every tone is examined for malice and even when none is intended, it is often assumed by the other person. This is how people end up hating each other. This is how the ex girlfriend and I are going to end up hating each other. I have all of her things in my house still. I have asked her repeatedly to come get her things, and put what she doesn't have room for in our storage area. It's been a month now, since she finally let me in on the secret that she was done with me, and yet, all her things, minus a few bags of clothes are sitting constant reminder of what I've lost.

I don't have a lot of energy to do things, and I'm at the point where the energy I have should be spent taking care of myself so that I can be a good mom. Those are my biggest jobs at the moment, and yet, I've got this monumental task of boxing things up, loading it in my truck and putting it in storage. I'll be honest...I've had my fantasies of re-enacting that scene from Waiting To Exhale where Angela Basset puts all of his stuff in a car and lights it on fire. I'd never go through with it, but considering that she left me, it's awfully brave of her to just assume I'll take her of her things. Luckily for her, my hurt and anger haven't dulled my sense of right and wrong enough to allow me to do it...but it's tempting from time to time.

So, let this be my admonition to you, gentle reader...If you are ever in a relationship and find yourself in the position of having to leave the other person, do them and yourself a favor...have a plan. Know where you're going, and whether or not your things can go there with you. If they can't...make arrangements for storing them some place, and don't leave it on your ex to do. Your ex should be spending post break up time doing anything but focusing on you. Unless your goal is to hurt your ex as much as you possibly can (which, is wrong regardless of what's happened and will only cause you regret in the long run)be considerate enough to take your things with you, don't leave them in your ex's possession just to rub salt in her wounds.

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