Its not just family and friends who stumble through the painful transition of a marriage meltdown, it also includes the whole atmosphere around you. Our lenses alter dramatically, foisting us into seeing things in such a different way. Its like a multi-sensory seismic shift on top of a teutonic plate of moving perspectives, shaky perceptions, and growing alternatives. Everything has a different meaning. Some things become more powerfully symbolic. You can do your best to predict what may trigger your sensibilities, but you can't prepare yourself fully.
I guess this is all a part of the roller coaster ride I am on at the Camp Destructo Theme Park. Frig, I wish they would shut down the power and turn the lights off for a spell! They keep playing our songs! They keep throwing me curveball items that are attached to meaningful moments in the 25 years I shared with this man I still refer to as my husband but shouldn't. Even where I am writing this (my kitchen), all I have to do is lift my eyes and I'm surrounded by "things" that were wedding presents, birthday gifts, pieces I use when we've had fabulously fun parties. It is a minefield of memory triggers that tend to hit the hardest when I am the most raw and tired. Sweet Jesus! I'm staring at a Bugs Bunny cookie jar that seems to be smiling back at me! A birthday presnt to a Looney Tunes fanatic who despite everything still makes me laugh.
This list of these unpredictable triggers seems endless, even if I'm not so consciously aware of them because they make up my home. The esthetics of comfort which display our personalites as individual family members, and as a whole family that we have carefully accumlated are like rings inside a mature tree.......... a giving tree.......... a tree we planted together with hope and dreams in our hearts.
My home is shifting. The pictures on the wall, the photos lovingly framed and displayed throughout the house, the furniture and colour scheme, the knicknacks and dinnerware, the bookshelves brimming with favourite stories, pottery given as gifts or chosen because it fit who we were, shells picked up on beaches, candles which burned so brightly not so long ago..... all seem to have a layer of archeological dust on them now. They sit in inanimate silence, but hold stories that all seem to start with the same sentence..........."Once upon a time......" Sometimes, their silence is deafening.
It used to be that this home felt like a haven, not just to me but to my family and to our friends who have joined us in many celebrations over the years. It is an extension of us. It is an extension of me, especially this kitchen. I created this haven....... this place people felt so welcome to walk into. It used to be that I was his home. He told me so. Often. I was his home. Like a broken platter, once used to carry cheer, I have been replaced. His home is somewhere else.....restyled and fresh. It's where his heart is. Comfort in a foreign land.
My heart is here. The person I called home is gone. I feel adrift.
Its easy just to brush off the idea that stuff really has no meaning. It does and not just for me. It holds meaning for all of us. It holds meaning for my children......... much of it allows them a sense of security inside a place that is shifting. So, I can't just push it all away and start again from scratch. I wouldn't want to do that anyways, because I know my sharp jolting feelings I get when the roller coaster takes a nasty curve will eventually slow down so I can readjust my senses and fix my windblown hair.
Some of the things will be moved out to join his new home (or maybe not....his new home may not want that.) Some will be tossed onto a heap for a yard sale, refreshed by a new colour scheme, a new "look", a new feel. And some, will eventually be used over the seasons when the time is less ripe and more right and will represent a softer look back on a different time and place, when this was a dwelling for a family of four and a dog who hasn't quite figured out the lay of the land yet. We are all suffering from a bit of canine confusion.
What triggers me now, I will eventually come to terms with. What may take a much longer time to settle is the way I define home and the way he has chosen to define his. In the meantime, I think I will avoid a few cupboards and choose carefully the soundtrack of music which used to send me into a place of comfort and joy....... which used to ground me into a sense of love and belonging, until the dust settles a bit. Its the best I can do. That and sometimes gather the courage to press play on a song from our past and have a good long cry. Unfortunately, Van Morrison will have to wait a long, long time before I can return to his melodies. It just too painful.
You know, I used to LOVE the amusement park. I guess I still do. Roller coasters are my favourite rides. Water slides too! Maybe its time to chose another form of amusement.............. calm. NO! That's just not who I am. It may be what his other home offer more of........ calm. But, here? The rides may be painful and long at times, but they also offer an exhilarating array of joy and a sense of LIFE living. I'll take the Polar Express option any time over a bland merry go round.
ps. I have started making changes............. I now live in an indigo blue bedroom thanks to the help of my sister who came to visit over the Easter weekend. More to be done in there before it feels like a sanctuary again, but just by changing the colour and some of the decor I see hope through this long transitional time in my life.
I'll work towards refreshing my soundtrack too...........slowly.