What happens now? I’m trying to figure things out. There’s a lot to think about and do.
First and foremost, I need to get out of this marriage, legally. Financially, I can’t be tied to him. With all the things he’d kept hidden from me these past years, I don’t know what he might have going on that I’m unaware of. Hidden credit cards? Secret bank accounts? I don’t know. Sure, I could walk upstairs and log into his laptop, but I’m not ready for that. I know I’d find more than I bargain for, and I’m not ready to get answers to questions I won’t ask yet.
This week, it was time to update my medical benefits offered by work. I took him off my plan, and doing so marked just the first step in getting away, in a legal sense, if not an emotional one.
Emotionally, I need this for closure. I know if I went to see him, it would only be the two of us sitting there in the visiting area, staring at the table. I would cry in the same quiet way I did in those first few recovery months, when it seemed like all the sadness I carried just overflowed and spilled out at random times for seemingly no reason. He would probably sit across from me, not saying a word. I’m sure if I asked him for answers, he’d tell me the same things he’d told me every time in the past: he doesn’t know why he did it, he was bored.
I can’t keep the house, that much is obvious. Even if I could keep paying for it, I don’t think I would want to. A week after I found the condom, I suggested we move the bed into another room. At the time, I also did my workouts in that bedroom, and every time I was alone in there, I’d see the bed, and I’d remember. Ideally, I would have burned the bed, and the sheets, and the pillows, but that wasn’t something we could afford to do. Moving the bed into another room made it easier for me, I couldn’t see the bed unless he was with me. This time, it’s not just the bedroom that holds the memories of what happened, the entire house is a symbol of us, and I don’t want us. I want me.
The difficult part is having to go through everything. We both have collections of our own, but there are some things we’ve collected as a couple. I need to go through his clothes and box them up. I need to figure out what to do with the massive Lego collection he’s amassed over the last 16 years. There’s boxes of books to be gone through, and a collection of plaques and awards he received in his younger days – ironically, awarded for being a fine, upstanding citizen.
I wrote earlier about feeling like I was going through all the stages of grief during the first major issues between us. The same is holding true today, for the most part anyway. I’m still mostly in denial; denial that this is how it all ended, and how truly and incredibly fucked up everything was, and still is. While talking with my mother recently, she said “it feels like there’s been a death in the family, but there’s no body.” She’s absolutely correct. If there was a body, I’d know for certain where to go from here. I could plan a service, have a decent idea of what just happened in my life, and maybe get some sort of closure, and work on moving on. I could sort things out and reminisce over happy memories while packing things. Our families could lean on each other for support, and have one of those memorial services where everyone eventually ends up in the smoking room telling funny stories about the deceased.
Instead, he’s still in the Department of Corrections’ intake center, and I don’t know what the future holds for him. If he had died, I could just donate his things, sell off the collection, and move on. Now, I have to box things up and keep them around the house, reminders of the absolute chaos he left in his wake.
To the left, to the left, everything you own in the box to the left.