Letting go. I’ve had to do a lot of that over the last year. Well, honestly I’ve been doing it for a couple of years, just different things and at different levels. Almost 100% of what I’ve let go are things that brought negativity and ugliness into my life.
I think I started the process of letting go when I decided to go through my house room by room and getting rid of unneeded and unwanted stuff that was just sitting around. It began a purging, of things first and then activities and finally people. Getting rid of the stuff in the house made me feel less weighed down.
The next big purge was stepping away from a lot of my online activity. I’d been a part of and/or ran several online forums. In the beginning, at least one of those places was supposed to be a private place about community and support and caring within a group of people I’d grown very close to through another forum. It was a wonderful place, full of comfort and healing and the occasional harsh reality checks when needed. That changed when we started an open second forum to replace the original place that brought us together after it closed. Our first became a place for doing nothing but complaining about the second place and all the drama and BS that went on there.
I had been doing some incredibly stressful and ultimately hated volunteer work along with dealing with the start of, rather the major escalation of, OC’s issues all around the same time. It all became too much and too overwhelming. There was so much negativity surrounding me, I was always pissed or upset or stressed out and I didn’t have the energy to focus on any one thing. Dropping the volunteer project relieved so much stress, I felt like I could focus more on OC. The same with the online stuff, though I missed what I had when that community originally formed.
With each thing or person I finally managed to let go, I felt lighter and happier. It was such a relief to have all the clutter and ugliness and toxicity out of my life. I really felt like I was done with it after the blow up with my family and then OC leaving. Sadly, I’m still dealing with it.
One of the other things I’ve had to let go of was my perceptions on the people in my life and what roles they play. I thought I’d managed that. That I’d gotten to a point where I no longer held unrealistic views and beliefs, but I realized that I still have them. The medical stuff that came up with OC the other day really forced me to look at it, along side the fact that we are still hanging on to so much of his stuff.
When we cleaned and packed up his room, I kept everything but the actual trash (even though there was a lot that really should have been tossed). The last time Hubby talked to OC, OC said he only wanted a couple of things, but I was hesitant to toss anything else out even though he never said he wanted it. I managed to let go of the bins of books, which we took to a charity, and a handful of really old toys that were broken and gathering dust in the basement, but I couldn’t get rid of anything that I thought might hold some personal import to him. I finally figured out why.
I am sentimental. Things hold memories for me which means those things become important to me. Much of those things have lost their meaning now that all the BS with my family blew up and I realized that just because it had meaning for me, it didn’t have that same meaning to anyone else. None of my kids are overly sentimental and even if they were, those things do not hold the same meaning for them because they do not have my memories of them.
I didn’t quite make the connection with all of OCs stuff. For me, I felt that at some point in time, this stuff would have meaning for him and he’d want it. I could not imagine throwing it away when there was that possibility, so I’ve held onto it. I realize now, I was still holding onto this perception or ideal of OC that didn’t exist. He is the least sentimental person I’ve ever known. He does not give a single crap about anything we still have, so why become an unpaid storage unit for what is essentially meaningless trash?
Hubby has pushed me for the last few months to consider getting rid of at least some of the stuff (it truly is on the nasty side), but I’ve not been able to do so. This last week, with the talks about the insurance and OCs behavior, I finally realized what I’d been doing and decided I needed to let that go, too. Other than the stuff that he has specifically asked for and a few other things, everything is going. I’m letting it go as I’m the only one that any of it matters to and even then, it really doesn’t. It is just stuff. It isn’t OC and hanging on to it changes nothing.
It is hard to keep letting go. At times, I wonder if I’ll have anything left by the time I’m done. It no longer really feels like a relief, but just sad instead. Oh, I still feel good about clearing out what is weighing me down, but this has been harder than some of the others. It is just one more step towards letting go of a child that wants nothing to do with me. That isn’t something that should be easy. Doesn’t change the fact that I hate having to do it.