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