Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Cheap Thrill of Moving

When I left Bill, back in March, I threw some stuff into an overnight bag and stomped out over to my sister's spare room. When I decided to stay gone, my daughter, Jessie, went to the house and packed up my computer, clothes, and a lot of furniture, piling it into her red Chevy truck.

My sister, Sarah and Jessie, and I completed the move the next day via a small wood trailer we own and two trucks and two cars. I can't believe I had that much stuff. And it hardly made a dent in the house. You could hardly tell I was gone.

I packed up my bedroom, clothes, etc. Monday. I've got boxes piled down the hallway of this small trailer---eleven in all, plus three laundry baskets and two garbage bags full of clothes and bedding.

I was thinking how I'd come to live with less LOL. I even took a bunch of stuff to DI and a huge heavy box of really cool books to the public library, trying to simplify.

I've heard people who move a lot don't have a lot of stuff. Well, maybe 20 more moves and I'll eliminate a box. Stuff multiplies exponentially!

Bill's bringing over the truck today and we'll see how much we can fit and move. It's weird to think of moving back into one's own house and I wonder how the neighbors will take it. I wonder if Bill will feel lessened for having to move his wife back into their home.

As I said, we're fairly well known in the community, mostly out of longevity, not out of riches or accomplishment or stature, and it's been embarrassing to have our problems made so blatantly public. Actually, I've been uncustomarily reticent on the subject (except here LOL). I usually blab to anybody about anything but this time, even when people pry (and hell, yes, they do) I will not discuss my marriage with just anyone.

I've written already about the hungry look in the eyes of some single women (and you know, my heart goes out, I was single and lonely once and I understand that Bill seems like Gregory Peck reincarnate to some)---and the men who've flirted (I'm fairly certain that the cute(sort-of, in a scruffy, convenience store worker who's trying to get sober kind of way)guy who works at the local small hardware/toy/dishes/little bit of everything store has a crush. Well, he did call me "Baby" the other day. To which I said, "I bet you call all the little old ladies who come in here "baby."

I've had people be extra kind and cheerful without mentioning my problems, but I can tell they've heard. They give me a little hug or squeeze on the arm as we pass in Wal-Mart. Others give me dirty looks and shun me. Really. Sometimes I feel like a celebrity with the furtive stares. I feel sorry for those who are trying to work out these most painfully intimate and sensitive problems with me staring at them via the People magazine.

We haven't been out in public together since March. Not once. I wonder what that will be like. I wonder what it will be like to have someone around all the time instead of this delicious silence, this delicious freedom of leaving a half eaten sandwich on the nightstand alongside the glass of milk when I turn over and go to sleep.

I'm afraid. I haven't changed much, nor, I suppose, has he.

I'm scaring the crap out of myself (catastrophizing, my AA sponsor calls it). So I'll go back to what's gotten me through the last six months: doing what's in front of me and leaving the rest to the Lord.

Crap. The sink is full and here I am blogging. Off to the real world. Anybody got any good boxes they can drop by?


Marta said...

I was moving once and asked my visiting teachers to bring me boxes from the liquor store, because those are the best boxes for moving. They laughed politely and told me I was so funny. I told them I was serious, and they laughed harder, and would not get them for me. You could try that, or just go yourself. That would give the shunners something new to chew on. Ok, tomato boxes from the grocery store are good too, but not as abundant.

Bookslinger said...

annegb: I seemed to have missed these last few posts since you moved out.

Sometimes it takes the wife moving out for a while for a husband to get his wake-up call that he needs to make adjustments.

I helped a married sister (sister in the church, that is) move out, and fully expected them to get back together. They did.

It's a negotiation tactic, and should be used as a last resort. But sometimes, like in any other kind of negotiation, one party has to demonstrate that they are willing to walk away before the other party will budge.

The reluctant party is then forced to consider which they would rather do, a) work out some concessions/compromises, or b) lose the deal entirely.

You and Bill have been together for, what, 20-some years now? That's pretty good evidence that things can be worked out. If he's not (and you're not) doing hard drugs, or patronizing prostitutes, or molesting children, or turned gay, or robbing banks, there's an excellent probability that you guys can work things out.

annegb said...

I had tons of boxes. My visiting teachers kept exclaiming over my cool books :)

I didn't move out as a negotiation tactic. I moved out in a panic as an act of absolute desperation. I had to run, to get away from the mass of contention and shouting and nerves my marriage had become.

I'm not sure it's any better now. I didn't come back because this is where I wanted to be. I came back because I felt this is where I should be. And because I didn't have the moral courage or stamina to say I want out.

And because I kept thinking, "what if I'm wrong? What if I make this final and regret it?"

So it was easier to come back and live tenuously and falsely than to make the final break. I felt that the time had come for a decision and if I didn't give this a try, I might regret it later. How do I know if we can live together unless we live together?

My moods fluctuate incredibly, but for now, things are fairly stable. I know how pathetic this all sounds. It's the best I can do. I have enough "Mormon" left in me to try to honor the family the best I can.

Bookslinger said...

Annegb: within the last 2 years, have you and Bill actually sat down face-to-face with a professional marriage counselor for a paid session?

annegb said...

Yes is the short answer. The long answer is yes, in the last 27 years we've been to so many counselors I've lost count. We went to Marriage Encounter.

One problem, I think, as far as the counselors go, is that usually they are my counselors and Bill goes to see how he can support me in becoming mentally healthy.

He often didn't make the appointments. He was lazy about it.

I think he's still in deep denial about why I left.

But I'm not sure about the "marriage" part of your question. I wonder if there's a difference.

I've been urged to get a divorce by two of the counselors. I think Bill would be shocked to know how happy he could be with another woman.

annegb said...

Although, there are two sides to everything. Looking at it from his side, he's a good "normal" person married to a nutjob.