Boudoir of Broken Dreams

Painting my bedroom didn’t just require stepladders, brushes and a steady hand for edges; it also needed an emotional journey into the past.  For I am a hoarder.  I hoard memories.  That cinema ticket you throw in the bin?  That’s a memory.  As are receipts from meals in tacky restaurants in foreign countries, gig tickets, comedy tickets, autographs, photographs, personal notes on post-its, postcards from places that nobody else visits, bookmarks from long-lost friends, Valentine cards from twelve year olds, train tickets, twenty year old letters from pen-pals, apologies from schoolboys who don’t want detentions … I keep everything that anybody ever gives me. 

This week I had to go through carrier bags and boxes full of memories.  And it was nice.  I like being reminded of my past and the little things that happened.  I like to remember. 

And then, suddenly … Whoooosh!  I found a photo.  And my belly did a little dance and my head did a little spin.  It was totally unexpected and, vaguely, horrid.  I love my husband.  I am in love with my husband.  He is everything to me.  But I have a past.  And part of that past, part of who I am today, is the BullyBoy.  One of the bravest things I ever did was to take control of my life and put tBuB on a train back home to his mum in the summer of 2000, following four years of emotional, mental and physical abuse.   

Being in an abusive relationship is difficult to describe.  You survive because you have to, and part of that survival involves taking the abuse and putting it into a box in your head so that you can continue living your day-to-day life.  You live for the good times, not for the bad.  Once I had the control back and was free of tBuB I had to thrash everything out in my head and most of that thrashing included the Bad Stuff, but very little Good Stuff.  I knew that I had loved him, but denied it because how can you love someone who seems to thrive on being mean and cruel? 

And then this week I found this photo of the two of us.  And I didn’t hate him.  I remembered him with fondness.  I remembered the Good Stuff, not the Bad Stuff.  And I’m not afraid to admit that I did love him, and I loved him because of the Good Stuff.  And now I’m wondering what he’s up to now.  And I feel bad for wondering what he’s up to now.  Oh, the confusion!

I looked him up on various social networking sites, but can’t find him.  This is probably a Good Thing.  I did find someone with his name (but no school or age details) on friendsreunited and had to laugh when the description given was, “Fucked up alcoholic, now there’s a surprise.” I hope it’s not him; I like to think that he got his act together and sorted himself out.  But I doubt it.


I took some random photographs of my newly decorated, and very much decluttered, bedroom.  Enjoy …




please God bless the past and the folk who live in it xxx Elsabeth


  1. :)I keep everything, too. It’s really hard. I have letters from my senior year study hall between myself and friends, movie tickets, birthday cards, childhood books, and all of that stuff that was important. I even kept a key card to a hotel room a past boyfriend and i stayed in once, until recently….

  2. I hold onto things as well, have numerous keepsake boxes, a dresser drawer full of little mementos…my husband doesn’t know that I use a whole dresser drawer to keep my secrets in…..or the hidden spot in the closet, or the hidden spot in the attic crawlspace…..but I digress. I lock them away for the same reason–I can’t let go of the past….each memento holds good and bad memories. And good for you—to be able to look at the picture of you and Bullyboy and focus on the good, not bad. I would suspect that part of being able to do that is the Bloke’s love, encouragement and support. Take care,Des

  3. I hoard like the apocalypse is coming. Which probably makes no sense.I think it’s nice that you can hold on to the Good Stuff. Too often all we remember is the bad.

  4. (Oh shite, Katie, this has bugger all to do with your latest blog!)I LOVED the comment you left.I so miss the word Chav.  An chavvy.   You rock, girly!

  5. It’s a strange situation, isn’t it ? My bully boy is likely to always be with me. Each time I see a guy yelling at his girlfriend I think ‘what if’. What if I stand in and say something, the way other people didn’t with me. I was convinced that he was going to be the father of my children, and I still want to know what’s happened to him. Seems decluttering doesn’t just happen with possessions. L xx

  6. bad memories are best forgotten. our lives are short enough as it is. fill it with the good stuff only. and yeah, i’m a hoarder too. so’s the wifey. we’re like a coupla hamsters.

  7. I keep things too… but i have been trying very hard not to lately. My place is too itty bitty for saving all those memories. :)Of course it helped that after leaving the ex I wanted zero reminders of him… that took care of getting rid of Lots… I wonder though if I will ever come across a picture of him as you did and think of the good times. Right now I can’t. I only think of how much happier I am now.

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