My Own Elephant

I have these bins. They sit in my living space. They are my very own elephant in the room. I put the bins in my living space to give me reason to go through them. I did not put them in the garage or storage space for a reason. They contain Ex’s things, some of my things, but mostly Ex’s or photos of him. They have also housed the notebooks that the detective studied as evidence when Ex died. 

The notebooks contained his writing, horrific spelling and all for the Dyslexic man. They have remained in their plastic encasing, sealed with a red “Evidence” tape until tonight. I have put off opening them for the last 4 and a half years, almost to the day.

I considered not reading them. I considered just throwing them out. I still could. Ex’s dad asked me to send them to him after Ex died. I made no promises about the timeline. I feel obligated to send them because I said I would. I still feel undecided about sending them.

They bring me no joy, and I should therefore get rid of them. 

Ex filled the notebooks with words of hope to the Russian and Ukrainian women to whom he wrote weekly and met on a dating site. In the back of one, he expressed his pain.

His dad caused him so much pain, physically, emotionally. He never got through it. He didn’t feel like his parents loved him. What a horrible feeling! I can’t even imagine. I do not want to send the notebooks and cause more pain in the world. I also feel like his dad should know.

He also wrote about how he didn’t think I loved him. Ever. Eight years of marriage. Together for nearly ten. It wasn’t easy, but to think I didn’t love him at all. I feel like I just swam in tar.

After he died, his family told me that I made his life better. He had the happiest moments of his life while he was with me. And I question that. Maybe he did. Maybe he didn’t . Maybe he married his mom, so to speak. I know we didn’t have an ideal relationship, didn’t communicate well, but it wasn’t all me and it wasn’t all him. Despite that, we made it work for a pretty long time.

I have to take what he wrote in context as well. Ex probably wrote those few words during some of his darkest moments where his thoughts could only go one way: down the toilet.

Since Ex’s death, I have reminded myself to remember the good times and let go of all the bad. I think I’ve done a pretty good job at forgetting a whole heck of a lot. His sister told me that Ex was one of the most difficult people she ever knew. It made me feel a lot better to know that I wasn’t the only one who felt that way. 

Reading Ex’s writings reiterates to me how important it is to tell and show the people I love that I love them. I want Little Guy to grow up with no doubt about that. Apologizing can also go a long way. I read that I never apologized. I’m not sure if it was directed at me or Ex’s dad. Either way, an ‘I’m sorry’ would have helped a little. 

Onward and with less stuff, I will conquer my elephant in the room. The bins will turn back into bins rather than bins that make me take a deep breath before opening them. I hope that the bins serve as moving vessels and remain empty during my next lease. It’s time for the elephant to go, so I can just be me again.


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