I was digging in my closet today and I found boxes of ornaments I had bought when I was still with my ex. Hallmark ornaments. Star Wars ornaments. All sorts of nerdery. I knelt there in the closet and I took them out of the box and I started crying. I started thinking about how I ended up with the ornaments in my possession again and I remember hanging some of them with friends on the tree the last Christmas we were together. The only time I was happy was when friends were there. When I was alone with him, it wasn't like that.
I couldn't bear to put any of them up this past holiday for the simple fact that it just didn't feel right hanging them up yet. The smell of his house was still on the boxes. I guess he thought he was going to get to keep them. No. Mine. He got to keep too damned much of me. I've finally reclaimed it all. Except for a Disney Couture Tinkerbell blouse. I consider it lost. I liked that shirt.
I guess I'm finally speaking honestly about things because I have to get it out. All of it. I don't care if he reads this. I don't think he gives a damn about anyone but himself deep down. He treated me like that in the end, and I let him. Even people close to him have said what a selfish ass he is. God knows I know it more than anyone else.
When I got most of my things from his house, he actually helped me get them out to my car. The last time I went there to get the straggling items remaining he said I wasn't allowed in the house and I would have to get them off the porch after a certain time. Off the fucking porch. He treated my clothes like trash. All balled up in trash bags and thrown in like something you'd haul to Goodwill. I can remember pulling up to his house and watching him pull away with his girlfriend. I parked my car at the curb and lugged the last few bags to my car. I sobbed and screamed into the steering wheel of the car. I drove to the park nearby and sat and watched people playing with their kids and I wailed because I knew I didn't matter to him. I had never been anything but nice and I (well, my things) were curbed like trash.
There is a part of me that still clings to that rage and grief. God knows, it's not healthy. I think what causes me to become so upset is because I gave and gave and gave and have nothing to show for it. When I work on something for a while, I usually have some sort of thing to show. A needlepoint. A model. A poem. From that disaster, I have nothing but anger.
The worst thing is that I miss Fritz, his dog. That little hairball stole my heart. He showed me love when Frank ignored me. When Frank would talk down to me, Fritz would sit outside with me and lean against my leg while I cried. When Fritz was sick or tired, he would come looking for me for comfort. I cry sometimes at night for him. An animal that probably has no memory of me. I have a whole box of toys and collars and treats that I'll never give him. Last May, I bought him a new chew toy and big rawhide bone for his birthday. I didn't have the heart to take it to him. Knowing that his birthday will be here soon makes me miss him more.
In just a few weeks, it'll be the anniversary of the break-up. Frank dumped me a few days before my best friend Rebecca's birthday. We still had the party at his place. I remember thinking, "I should just cancel, but I can't do this to Becca." So, I faked happy one last night for all my friends. I laughed and tried not to cry. I acted like everything was ok. I remember I barely ate that night. I remember when everyone was inside and it was just Fritz and I for a moment. I remember I looked at Fritz and I thought, "I'm going to miss these moments." I once asked Frank if I could come see Fritz sometime. He looked at me and said, "He's just a dog. You don't get to see him."
I don't know why I keep bringing things out of me. It's like I'm emotionally taking my pain out to the curb. I have this horrible habit of keeping everything in. I'm all about keeping up appearances. I guess I'm trying to rationalize it by saying that after ten years of repression and silence, I'm trying to pull it all out of me. Every held back tear. Every bit lip. Every time I chewed the inside of my cheeks raw.
I let myself be mistreated. I let myself be degraded. I let myself hold everything back. I let myself be changed. I let myself start to hate myself. I let myself question who I was.
Now, after all of what I went through, I find myself standing on my own emotionally for the first time without fear of judgement. I am not as perfect as I wish I were. I am fractured. I am damaged. I am weird. I am a nerd. I am flawed. I am not the daughter my mother wanted. I am not a huge success. I am not normal. I am a horrible singer.
I do have friends and people that care about me. I just hope they still accept me as I continue to find the me in me.