I’ve just began reading Lori‘s post about ghosts. Both she and Kristin have a way of capturing exactly what I am, or have been, feeling. Feelings I don’t often write about because they seem so hard to identify at the time and because, after reading Lori’s and Kristin’s words, my own seem desperately inadequate. And also because I’m afraid of being labeled a copycat, of being accused of jumping on their bandwagons.
So, today, rather than finish reading Lori’s post, I decided to try and capture what has been in my head this morning and has just now been stirred up by her words.
I wrote before about ghosts of my past life, as I unpacked boxes stored in the garage and dealt with the memories that rose up from them. This morning, I finally tackled the two years’ of filing, that has been sitting on my desk and office floor for several weeks. Apart from the fact that I hate paperwork and filing, some of my reluctance to deal with it was due to the memories that the pieces of paper might dredge up.
Paperwork in joint names. Bills addressed to him. Paperwork dealing with the sale of my home. Paperwork dealing with our divorce. Bills for purchases we made together.
Letters from the bank outlining the financial arrangements that would help me manage my (our) debts after the sudden loss of my ex-husband’s substantial income, as he was fired and then imprisoned.
A letter from the Department of Human Services, telling me that the report someone made about the state of my mental health and therefore my ability to look after my children, did not need any further investigation, as they were happy with the measures I was taking to look after myself and my children.
A letter offering me my first job after four years away from the workforce.
Bills from psychiatrists and psychologists. Letters from social workers, telling me what they could and couldn’t do for me and my boys.
Who would have thought that paper could be so powerful in evoking feelings? Or rather memories of feelings – despair and desolation, as I faced being alone, as I acknowledged betrayal; absolute terror, as I thought about the future; and terror and disgust as I thought about the past and what he did.
Sadness, as I remembered my home. My garden. My space. Breastfeeding my baby on the yellow couch in the middle of the night, wrapped in the blue blanket, watching TV.
Pride, as I picked up my big boy’s reports and an invitation to join the gifted program at another school for a term.
More pride, as I remembered our first holiday as a threesome.
Joyful glee, as I threw away bills in his name!
Frustration, as I looked at yet another child support assessment, telling me about the pittance that I am receiving every fortnight.
Relief, as I placed the last bit of paper on the relevant pile.
Tomorrow, I will put them away.
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