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The Rock Bottom Remainders

boxofbooksSo, ever since my husband read Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up — The Japanese art of decluttering and organizing,” we’ve been on a downsizing kick. And nothing needs downsizing more than our overwhelming collection of books.

Yeah, I know… Not the books! You don’t want to be one of those Kindle People, do you? Staring at a glowing screen like the rest of the sheeple, paying the corporate overseers for another hit of Recommended Literature. Don’t you love PAPER and PRINT and OBSOLESCENCE? 

You know what kind of people don’t have books in their house? Philistines! Ignoramuses. HGTV interior decorators with tidy surfaces and lots of negative space. People who choose a book as a Decorative Object solely because it is the right shade of persimmon. Do you want to be THOSE people? That’s what happens when you let go of your books! 

Because who are you if people can’t walk into your house and see a hundred titles on obscure South African playwrights, English roses, or Texan poets? Don’t you want everyone to know that Here Lives Two People With Useless Masters Degrees? 


We’re giving that up. Solidly middle-aged, I think we’re pretty clear on who we are. We’re people who need to get rid of shit.

So, every day my husband takes a box of books that we’ve culled from the herd and leaves it in front of his office on the square with a sign that says, “FREE BOOKS!”

But being my husband, he has to have Rules and Order, so there are Instructions. “Only one book per day, please.” This is because he wants people to Properly Appreciate the books they take and carefully consider each title. Once someone just walked off with the whole box and that sort vigilanteism needed to stop. So, if you’re on the courthouse square in Lockhart, Texas — Respect The System of the free book box. ONE per DAY per PERSON.

It’s a small town. You don’t want to put out your self-help titles or romantic Swedish massage manuals. But what’s nice is someone might come up to you in church and say, “Hey, I really loved that book on father-son bird-watching!” So far, the system is working. And we’re down a hundred books or so.

The Book Box has become a topic of conversation with my husband, and maybe a bit of a competition. I like to think my books are more popular. Cookbooks! Gardening! versus lugubrious meditations on West Texas. (Who am I kidding? He’d never part with those…) But, fact is, I too have some clunkers.

“Tracy, No one wants True Confessions of an Albino Terrorist by Breyten Breytenbach. NO ONE.”

Which brings me to today’s metaphor — being a rock-bottom remainder.

It’s funny how people ascribe value to things. (Yeah, like YOU Tracy. You once loved those books! And now you’ve abandoned them to a BOX!)

Some Book Box observations:

  • If a box is just there, people don’t give a shit. They’ll take the whole box.
  • If there are rules, people pay a little more respect to the box. They might obey.
  • If there are a lot of books, neatly lined up, people are more inclined to maintain order and choose carefully.
  • If there are fewer books, people just trash the box and throw books around. Who cares? The books are free!

Some chump lessons I have taken from the Book Box:

  • Some people are greedy jerks who take things for granted.
  • When you have rules, people treat you better and ascribe more worth to you.
  • There’s strength in numbers.
  • If people have devalued you, it doesn’t matter how great you really are, they’ll treat you like shit.

After being chumped, there are a lot of days you’ll feel like a rock bottom remainder. Just remember that you’re great work of literature, and someone, somewhere really digs Breyten Breytenbach.

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  • I read Marie Kono’s book and implemented her cleaning and organizing strategies (though I can’t fold shirts like she does). I like the core of her philosophy is to only own things that bring us joy and pleasure, and discard things that are broken, no longer of use and that we’re hanging on to out of habit or fear. I think the same applies to relationships.

    • Breyen Breytenbach’s works were banned in South Africa. I was in Europe in 1985 and found some of his books. I was so excited! I tried bringing one of them in with me on my return and it was confiscated at the airport. Not sure if that was the tipping point, but we were watched by the Special Forces branch after our return. Incidentally, I seem to remember that Breyen Beytenbach’s brother was the head of Special Forces branch or something along those lines. Weird set-up when, his brother was imprisoned for Terrorism and regarded as an “undesirable” because he married a Non-White woman. It was a draconian society.

        • Oh dear. It might be gone. Not sure if it even Made the Box. In fairness to my husband, I don’t understand his love of Texas history/poetry/landscape/paintings/Western anything. And he had to chuck a lot of his poetry books, because of his marginalia. (Do you want a book that is underlined?)

          I should also add that his love of Order makes him fair-minded and productive, and if it weren’t for flea market hooligans roaming the streets looking for free stuff, the book box would be open to all.

          Also, the book box is not about just giving books away, it’s about sharing books for greater appreciation. Maybe they’ll find their forever families.

          However, like all people, my husband has his blindspots. South African lit is one blind spot. My blind spot, however, is the size of Texas.

          • I thought you were kidding about “Texas Poetry” as a farcical example of obscurity.

            Getting rid of crap is crucial now…my dead husband took nothing with him when he left Earth and my new husband brought a lifetime of stuff with him.

        • Thanks Tracy now I have a new line for boyfriend who won’t throw out his knackered underpants. Time to visit Jesus.

          He grew up poor and won’t throw out clothes until they disintegrate…

          • Hey now, I don’t throw out clothes until they reach their deaths either, we frugal peeps have to stick up for each other! Keep my t-shirts until they will no longer stay on my body. I’m wearing one right now with more holes than cloth and it’s really soft and comfy. Unfortunately the left shoulder is about to part company with the rest of the shirt. Bonus; it’s tie dyed and 10+ years old!

  • I agree. I have held on to people who have not brought me joy in my life sheerly out of habit and obligation.

    Like the sweater that I paid way too much for and is too big and makes me look like I am going on Safari. But I pack it up and hold onto that thing because of habit.

    I am
    Learning to place more value on myself and to keep firm boundaries.

    Having said that – the bookshelf in my living room is against all principals of good interior design. It’s probably blocking all the good chi in the room – hence my lack of money in the corner of possibilities or something like that.
    I think I read that in one of my books 🙂

    • I love the description of your sweater, Lucky. I felt a twinge of guilt, reading the book, where she warns you not to try to unload your unwanted crap on family members. I read that right after I flew to visit family with two fully loaded hockey bags! We took what my sisters and mother did not want to Goodwill, I swear!

  • Very good advice to apply to the wild world of post-divorce dating. Don’t be a “Free Books” box! Have rules and deal-breakers. That will earn you respect as you respect your own worth.

    • Yes – THIS. I will never have “unspoken rules” or “understandings” in any of my relatitonships again because it’s exactly what the jerk exploited. He knew cheating wouldn’t be tolerated in the relationship, but got legalistic about it in that we “never spoke about that stuff.” Really?! I have to SAY don’t cheat in this marriage otherwise it’s allowed?

      Just after the divorce was official at the end of last year, I did a dating profile online. LOTS of messages from people I’d NEVER give a minue of my time; I never answered any of them. So, to filter things out a bit, I listed, “Dealbreakers: liars, cheaters, narcissists, not having boundaries with other women while in a committed relationship…”

      Cricket noise. Well, only one message since, and it was from an angry douchebag asking me how all that is working out for me since it was unrealistic. LOL!! F-tard. I just clicked delete. Those up-front boundaries saved me more time wasted on lying douchebags. Thank you, CL!! I get it now, and I’ll never make unspoken assumptions about my expectations in my relationships again. Ever.

      BTW – I deleted that profile; it’s a waste of time for me since putting out those dealbreakers. I’ll just wait for the right one to come along through mutual interests and volunteerism. =)

      • Just remember this about online predators — they will tell lies and ignore boundaries. They have no intention of telling you that they are a liar and a cheater. Instead they will say things like “I want a relationship with one special woman” and leave out the rest of the sentence which would probably be “at a moment in time, unless I can convince two or more of you to do a menage with me in the middle. ” Con artists are not kind — they are looking for good source — your money, your time, your energy, your sexual goodies. They expect you to tell the truth, and then they use your desires and dreams to manipulate you.

        One of the disgusting things I documented while I was on the Marriage Police force was that the ex used the dating sites as “Fresh Leads”, reviewing for new members every day. He would send out 25 to 50 initial messages every day, seeing what he could net from those who replied. He would say something like “you have beautiful eyes” or “you have a great smile” to try to get them in a conversation, and he would give them his phone number and email to try to get them to talk to him off site. If you read his profile, he sounded normal and lonely and sweet. It was all lies, of course.

        He did this while being married, and having at least one OW, sometimes more than one. The true predator uses many skills that professional salespeople use when following up on leads. Even if you have a deal today, you will always need to have potential deals in the future. A better deal may come along. The need for constant source and attention is strong. So many women, so little time.

        Chumps make it easy on predators because of our people pleasing tendencies, and our desire to be honest and straightforward and to share and to talk. We basically give away the keys to all our valuables because we are too trusting. Add the delusion that we are “special” and that we are “sexually edgy” — and we actually provide people we have never met “special, edgy” conversations and pictures and all sorts of things we believe to be “just between the two of us.” These revelations can end up on porn sites, where the predators trade experiences and pictures, because it is so much fun to brag about conquests and how getting us to cooperate is like shooting fish in a barrel.

        These ugly truths have been well documented on the news, on tv and print, and even on the online sites themselves — but chumps continue to ignore them. Understanding the dangers changes the entire dating landscape — if you are not careful and cautious, you can end up used again, or possibly dead. It is sobering to know that these creeps are out there, and very active. Be Careful!

        • Gahl!! These people are INSANE!! It’s that! That’s why I deleted the profile. They all SUCK!! Thanks for the (horrible) info; I’ll always be on high alert just because of what the x-douchebag did to me and my family, but this info you shared is unbelieveable! They mess with people like a freaking GAME. Thx, Portia. (((hugs, girl.)))

          • I had a lot of fun when a stbx boyfriend opened an online profile, I glimpsed it on his screen one day, and I guessed the password. Sort of a GF-d-day…and that was my eureka moment that the thing would not last.

            I watched as he trawled online…talk about cheesy lines and big lies! After a couple of days, when I knew I would not be hanging around for long, I got on his site during the night and messaged his potential dates and told them the truth they needed to know. I hope I saved a few good women some time and heartache.

            Then I changed his orientation to gay and he must have had some great messages after that.

            All I know of the outcome is that I ran into him a few months later. I casually asked if he was still on the dating sites, and his answer was….no THAT was not a good experience! Lol. He had forgotten I wasn’t supposed to know about that.

        • Portia: “The true predator uses many skills that professional salespeople use when following up on leads. Even if you have a deal today, you will always need to have potential deals in the future.”

          YES! THIS! Cheater would “rain check” other women IN FRONT OF ME. They would call him and he’d have a happy chat with them and somewhere in the chat would be the “nah, I can’t, I’m in a relationship AT THE MOMENT.”

          Holy fuck, how did that one happen so often and I let it go each time?? OMFG.

      • Narkles the Clown knew it was my deal breaker. It had been said, out loud, verbally and of all places, in our wedding vows. didn’t keep him from taking on the Flying Whore. They’re just bad people KibbleFree, just bad people.

        me neither arlo, me neither.

      • Dating sites are kibble farms for narcs/socio/psychos. I never got a decent response with a profile that said that I date people to see if I can marry them.

      • Wow, I’m blown away that even dirtbags RECOGNIZE that they’re dirtbags and liars, so “better not answer that profile”. That’s messed up. You’d think they’d say to themselves, “I’m an awesome guy!” and would bypass your qualifying statement.

      • Kibble Free_Mighty Me… the best comeback for the personals troll is “It filters out shite like you, so it’s working great! Thanks for asking. Off you go now.”

        There IS delight in recognizing and enforcing that boundary. Mentally clicking the delete button on cheaters, trolls and the like is a gift I give myself, and happening upon that delight randomly in my thoughts during the day is such a great booster. 😀

  • Thank you. I needed to hear this today! Hoping it’s just the Monday morning blues and it gets a little sunnier in here soon 🙂

    • I’m feeling a bit crappy today also. Yes, blame it on Monday maybe.

      Chumplady (or anyone) please can you give some practical advice on not being a discarded free book.

      Or even the other thing people keep telling me that I am which is too amazing brilliant for anyone, anyone in the world, so I have to be alone and I don’t even like cats ????

      • Don’t think like a discarded book. Believe that you’re amazing. Not everyone appreciates what you offer, but you’re not looking for “everyone” (kibbles!), you know your worth.

        And stop thinking “alone” in terms of partnership. Just get out there and be a friend and find interests for now.

      • I feel the same. Is it the Monday blues, or the feeling of being devalued for so long:(

        “After being chumped, there are a lot of days you’ll feel like a rock bottom remainder. Just remember that you’re great work of literature, and someone, somewhere really digs Breyten Breytenbach.”

      • We live in such fear of being alone and why? Speaking from personal experience, being alone is highly underrated. Actually, I love being alone for the first time in my adult life. Yes, I do have work and friends and family but, at the end of the day, I usually come home to an empty house. My last child is heading to college next year and is always on the go, so this year I am truly learning how to be alone. It is amazing! I can eat what I want, when I want, how I want. If I leave my computer in a certain place, it will stay there. No one tells me what to watch on TV or worse yet, hogs the remote.

        I know, I know, we are social creatures and are meant to be with other people. But damnit, there are far worse things than alone, things like being lied to, being devalued, being made to feel less than. Perhaps my true solitary nature is coming out, or I am still in my Greta Garbo phase (as someone here so eloquently described it), but please don’t think being alone is the most awful thing that can happen to a person. Because, for some of us, being alone is exactly where we want to be!

        • Violet you are so right! I have embraced being alone. I love being able to do what I want to do, when I want to do it. I’m pretty darn proud that I navigated the divorce waters with everything coming out in my favor. No debt, no financial ties to the ex cheater, sufficient amount of child support, and a compromising visitation agreement for the kids. I’ve purchased a house on my own and that felt AMAZING!! I love doing little updates myself and I do not have to consult with NO ONE! Damn, it feels good. I do have comfort in there are far worse things than being alone. I know ex cheater hasn’t changed and hasn’t gotten any smarter since our divorce, but I miss my family unit some days and today happens to be one of them.

          What’s that meme…”I tripped and fell into some feelings…I’m ok now. I brushed that shit off”

    • I’ve got tons of books but also RA and way back when I was reading Order of the Phoenix (hardback), I realized I was having flares from holding the ginormous book for hours on end. It took me almost a decade to break down and get a Kindle. I haven’t completely gotten over the shame but, you know, it’s a medical necessity ;O

      I enjoyed the first half of the book but I always forget to charge the Kindle…. She suggests starting with clothing but I went renegade and do books concurrently. I fill a box of books every week but we drop them at the library’s consignment store and run. Too bad Asshat is too big to fit inside a box.

      • Hah! Blurry print on the page drove me to the Kindle. Now I can adjust the font size on the fly. I’m still not giving up my paper books, and the library can expect my patronage even so. Still, I really do love my Kindle, and I’ve got a lot of nice free books on it, as well as the mind candy ones.

          • I’m on a Kindle because glasses give me a headache in like 5 minutes, been that way since I was a kid. But, I got a light that mimics sunshine so I can read most paper books without glasses and of course I can do that if I’m on the beach too 🙂

    • Oops, as usual, I posted in the wrong place but now I’ve read the other comments. You are so right, Lioness! Asshat is definitely spineless 🙂 I hope eventually, he realizes nobody wants him (maybe just his money or professional talents) but, he’s clueless. Cheaters are definitely damaged goods.

  • No,no,no, not the books! In my house the books are only going after I get boxed and carted off. Of course I off load the turkeys ASAP. You will not find a copy of “the Fig Eater” in my house. Sure, I paid money for that book, and invested a lot of time in reading it. But it sucked, so its gone. If only I had been capable of making the same kind of decision with the cheater.
    Hey, I would read about life in a South African prison. I’m afraid I would have a really, really hard time obeying the one book rule. Books are like M&Ms, one is not enough. Putting that kind of temptation in the way of your fellow townspeople is a little cruel….

    • Me, too, Marezy Doats. I am obsessed with books and will read almost anything. Alas, my X was so distressed by my number of books, and number of fish tanks, and number of cupcake tins that he could only tolerate me and the marriage by bedding any attractive university student who said “yes.”

      Since Maria Kondo advises only keep things which bring you joy, I kept the books and fish and cupcake tins and got rid of him.

      • Ha! You are hilarious!
        I think those passions of ours, that the cheaters can’t stand, get in the way when they want to turn us into an object. We aren’t supposed to have interests, that don’t involve propping them up! Silly Appliance!
        My interests really bugged him- remodeling, design, spirituality, and sewing- all of it was devalued and made fun of. I wish I had caught a clue, as to what that meant for our future together.
        Now I can persue all of that, it’s nice to not get mocked, while I’m enjoying myself!

        • I think you’re on to something there.

          Last thing about me that bugged him was that I got interested in the civil war after watching the Ken Burns documentary. What was so bad about that I can’t understand. Loads of people are civil war buffs. I wasn’t THAT into it but it really bugged him for some reason.

      • Tempest!!!! LOL!!! Same here!!!! Right down to the cupcake tins!!! I have like 6!!! When I was diagnosed with histoplasmosis in my left eye and needed expensive shots (IN MY EYE!) to save my sight, satan told the doctor – ‘That bitch reads everything! I’m not reading to her!!! Give her the shots!

        Disordered assholes! Spineless indeed!

        …my doctor (a lovely woman) despised him after that remark. 🙂

        • Jeep, I have POHS, too. My diagnosis was before there were any effective treatments for it and was told I would lose my central vision. I had to go to a specialist an hour and a half away each way – made for a very long day. Initially they tried the steroid shots in my eye but they didn’t work. I eventually got in on the trials of photodynamic therapy which turned me into a vampire for 3 days afterward – no skin exposure to sunlight. I had 9 PDT laser surgeries over the course of a few years before the dr declared it was in “remission.” My ex never ONCE went to an appointment with me. (He was “too busy” to miss work.) I had to ask his elderly mom or my friends to take me since I wasn’t able to drive home afterward.

          I also had a scare with breast cancer and had to have a deep tissue biopsy. I was scared to death. He didn’t go with me to that either.

  • Yes, rules do help us chumps avoid mistreatment. It’s still tricky, though.

    The ‘good people’ will follow and respect the rules. The narcs will *pretend* to follow the rules long enough to get in our good graces, then they will purposefully defy the rules for kicks or their own convenience.

          • My Venice Italy born grandmother told me when I was 13 “all men should be kept in a box at the end of the bed take them out when you need them and then padlock them back in” how wise. I miss her. Also karmarie ” if it has a peesh its nothing but trouble”.

              • Yes she does. Woman was loaded with wisdom. Lost her at 86. Still miss her. I m taking her maiden name as mine later on in her honor.

              • kar marie, you are so blessed to have had such a wonderful woman in your life. I had such a grandmother (mine was Irish). Big heart, truckloads of wisdom, and tough-as-nails when she needed to me. She perfected the art of the one-liner, and I miss her so much (she passed in 2000, at 83). I too am considering taking her last name as my own later, and getting a tattoo (my first) of an elephant in her honor (she loved elephants, and had hundreds of elephant figurines – some that I now have and cherish).

  • Ducks—
    ‘the narcs will *pretend* to follow the rules long enough to get in our good graces, then they will purposefully defy the rules for kicks or their own convenience.”

    Wow, is that ever a concise description of the XBF.

  • Throwing asswipe out end of year along with his books. I’ve gone through mine and gave them to the local lions club to sell to get the library going. Very tiny town.

      • I was going to brooch the topic of cheater books. If you take out the atrocity that he moved 2000 miles away and effectively abandoned his (then) 3 year old and 7 year old, he also abandoned hundreds and hundreds of books in my house. Books he’s collected through decades, some since he was 18 (he’s in his 50’s now), many since before he met me. Abandoning the kids was always mind boggling to me, but kids are work (which he despises in all forms and varieties), so there’s that.

        But to leave behind hundreds and hundreds of books? It was a large clue for me figuring out how disordered he really was.

      • Asshat was never a reader. Me and the kids are. Quite voracious. Anyhow, he is trying to take my books, the ones he never read or even touched until now. I guess his new facade is to cultivate a sense of intellectual curiosity. An inner pursuit of knowledge. This must be to refine himself from xhamster porn reenactor.

  • Yep, feel like a thrown away like a worn out first edition at present. Narcboy has been asking colleagues why I am angry at him. What? Like being a serial cheater is not reason for disapproval? He inserted himself into our group and conversation at a work event last week and I completely ignored him. Now our boss wants to have a discussion with me off campus today. Trying so hard to maintain no contact and until last week, pretty much had succeeded, no small task when you are colleagues in a very small town and campus. Am really angry and frustrated. Began immediate NC when OW showed up. Took over a program that he nearly destroyed and that’s being taken away. Trying hard to uplift the institution and community and constantly being shot down. Tried hard to find other positions but like a rare book on an obscure subject, no one wants an older academic. Cannot afford to just leave as it’d insure being financially ruined and may cost my retirement. At this point, dammit, I deserve a happier old age. Five more years of this. My heart really goes out to all of you who had kids, homes, etc with your cheaters and still have to deal with them. This is bad enough; cannot imagine what it’s like to be in your shoes.

    • You are awesome, mighty and now that your mirror is shattered I bet his mask will fall away for others too. Hold on. Karma will come.

  • Being a south african AND loving poetry i LOVELOVELOVE Breyten Breytenbach. I also read The art of tyding up and firmly believe it’s message. My house is decluttered of stuff and for the last year a cheater too. It’s magic.

      • Whop Whoop Heartchump and Sharedmarriage – Ag Man, another two of you hey! I see the Bokke are playing the Kiwis this week(end?)
        Just a quick question? Did you know that ALL South African men are unfaithful? That’s what the ex told me when I busted him – he said he was a “product of his environment and his country. ” You see, he just couldn’t help it. It wasn’t his fault.

  • I loved books and reading so much I became a librarian. Maybe if I hadn’t given my heart to Mr. Rochester at age 13, I wouldn’t have fallen in love with a lying, selfish drama king! (Must check attic again for crazy first wife). My books are my friends but I still have rules for them: they must add something good to my life and I must enjoy spending time with them. X wasn’t even a friend, let alone Mr. Rochester.

    So glad you and Mr. CL are spreading the book love.

  • I have 11′ ceilings… And we have bookcases that run all the way up the wall and are two books deep. The back books are the ones he mainly reads..crappy sco fi and fantasy. The front ones are the image management – beautiful colourful arty matte paperbacks that make us seem cultured… Such an ego. Meh. I don’t really believe in destroying books but right now burning it all down seems like an incredibly cathartic idea.

  • Ok, it’s early Monday, so I don’t have anything clever to say about the extended book box rules/cheater metaphor :).
    But I can’t completely empathize with getting rid of the stuff. Especially books.
    I had maybe a couple hundred books on my shelves. Like the CL, I was PROUD of my display of obsolete dead trees! Who care if I’m never going to reread that 600-page history of the war for independence of the Republic of Texas? Once I chuck it out, I’ll never get to read it again!
    I was the same way with so much other shit…clothes (“even though I live in the South, I might need that insulated flannel shirt if I ever travel to Vermont in the winter!”), tools, spare sheets, etc.
    The decision to declutter was rather forcibly made for me, when the kids and I had to sell our home because of the divorce :(. We moved out of a 2600-sq. ft., 4 BR 4 BA colonial with a huge shed and a 2-car garage into a 1400 sq. ft., 3 BR apt. with almost no storage. Needless to say, we had to let a lot of stuff go.

    You know what? In the end, it really wasn’t too bad. Someone else will get my beloved books. Goodwill got a boatload of nice clothes. Believe it or not, all that clutter really did weigh on me; it was a relief to live in a space in which I can find things in a pinch, instead of wading through a Jenga-like stack of crap in a closet. I didn’t realize how much I didn’t need all that shit until I didn’t have it, and then I was glad it was gone.
    Kind of like getting rid of my lying, cheating, ex-wife. :).

    • I didn’t move but Narkle the Clown did, more than my 2500 sq ft home could handle. After he left for a much smaller house and a rented storage unit, I kept finding more stuff to get rid of.

      I cleared the guest room this weekend and painted it. (It will take a whole other weekend to handle the guest room closet.) now all you see is a bed, chair and table with two storage bins under the bed. It feels good to have a clean well ordered space, mentally good. Getting rid of the cheater was great, getting rid of all the crap is marvelous!

      How many trips to Goodwill, Salvation Army or other donation entity can you make in one year before they shut the door when they see you coming?

      • Ha! I was wondering the same thing, AllOut. It’s amazing how good it feels once you finally start getting rid of the stuff. I have been making donations regularly over the past year, but got quite serious last month: I had a massive yard sale, left a ton of stuff on the sidewalk afterward for free, then left a 22-box donation on the curb for the Vietnam Vets truck later that same week. What a release! Now that I’ve gotten rid of so much, I can actually see what’s left and will be figuring out what else to get rid of soon.

        The mental well-being that comes from a well-ordered space is priceless.

  • Loved this today!

    Initially I found decluttering to stage/sell my house stressful but ultimately very liberating. And, like you, I decided to get rid of a lot of books. Honestly, it felt pretty great to get rid of those terrible self help/RIC books!

  • I took great satisfaction in dumping all his shit in plastic bags and whatever he didn’t take I dumped. It was great! Then I went through my closet and dumped any outfit that reminded me of some ‘special’ time with him, then dumped books and jewellery he’d given me (there was a very happy charity shop that month).

    Then, a couple of years later, when I could afford it, I started replacing bits of furniture and other things that were connected with him. It maybe take me another decade but the few things that are left (big ticket items) will also be replaced.

    So nice to get rid of so much stuff.

    • Glad I’m not the only one who got rid of clothing that had memories of the X.
      One friend asked me why I had no lingerie. Seriously?

      Also got rid of the china, silverware, sheets, pillows, towels…. anything he touched that wasn’t bolted down, or alive, was either ditched or recovered to hide reminders of Narkles the Clown.

      • I could ill afford it at the time, but it was very important to me that I have a new bed. The old one had been a wedding present. New bedding, new mattresses, everything. I even had my initials monogrammed on the sheets — that’s how much I wanted to make it clear this bed was mine only.

      • I understand how cathartic it might be to get rid of jewelry, clothes, pictures, etc. that remind one of a cheater. I took the opposite approach–he doesn’t control my life anymore. in any way. If I like the clothes, I keep them. If I like the jewelry, I keep it. I simply disassociate it from him and form new memories to go with the clothes & jewelry. Two can play at “You’re not the boss of me!!”

        • This works best if you know who you are. Sometimes, though, when you’re newly out of the mess, you just plain don’t know who you are, and what you like and don’t like.

          I was like that; I’d been held hostage for so long. I had to do online therapy via a really good CBT website that gave me huge lists of ‘things you might like doing’ to choose from, and this helped me to start finding who I was, all over again.

          Now that I’ve gotten myself back, I can make much more detached decisions about stuff. But not at first.

          At first, I think it’s good to purge everything away. I think that’s how you start to find out who you really are.

          And if you regret trashing a particular item, later on you can always replace it with a better one, one that is truly your own.

            • It’s based in Australia, and it’s called moodgym. Google it; all you do is register.

              This was a fair few years back now, but it really helped. I hope they still have that module in the course.

      • Got rid of tons of stuff. Tons of it. Not done yet. One thing helped was letting daughter do the picking out of stuff to be rid of. She was brutal. She knows how badly her father hurt me and did her best to help me clear things out. Would ask me dads idea or yours. If I said dad she would announce OUT!! eventually I will replace everything that reminds me of asswipe!!

        • I sold my wedding jewelry, along with every piece of jewelry he ever gave me. Used the money along with some other money I’d saved and started replacing the furniture. Didn’t even bother selling it, gave most of the marital furniture away. I kept replacing furniture until I stopped triggering. Now I’m down to just the dining room set. That’s for 2016. I repainted the house, redecorated everything, hell I even started making all of the repairs the idiot said he’d take care of and never did. My house looks so different, I’d drive past it now if I didn’t know it were mine.

  • After my daughter boxed the liar, cheater, faker’s clothes and belongings and put them on the front porch, she culled my books. Guess which one I was crying about?

    The b O-O ks !

  • Holy shit… Did this post bring up a sore spot… Not one to hoard but I do have my momentos and collections of books and …yarn. OK, maybe I am a closet yarn hoarder. Beside the point. It seemed that my ‘ junk ‘ was always disposable. I came home one Saturday am after a run to a impromptu yard sale. There on the lawn boxes of my clothes, shoes, books and the precious yarn… I do a quick pan around the garage and my exercise bike is gone as well as my rollerblades!!! His response’ you never use them’ Of course the countless boxes of motorcycle and car parts, including two engine blocks are still occupying corners of the garage… And all the rest of his stupid shit. eo you think I saw any of that money? Fuck no.
    I scooped my stuff off the lawn and listen as he is calling me a baby and being ridiculous. I was so hurt.
    It wasnt the first time that he took liberties with my treasures or ruined something that was important. I had hand painted a patio table with a beautiful scence to match our decor outside. i had received many offers from friends and acquaintances to purchases it. I came home one aftenoon and Idiot had put his engine block on it to work on it. Dented and full of oil that tarnished the finish he then later used it to cut some lumber. He took two large gouges out of the sides. I was speechless. The tears were rolling down my face. He later told me I was thankless because he finally put the trim on the bathroom door. Why couldnt I ever be happy?
    When I tossed my wedding dress and pictures of our weding in the fire pit in the back yard he screamed at me. I vaguely remember pouring the lighter fluid on it. The whoosh of flames. The tears. The look on his face. I looked him strait in the eye and let the tears fall. It was the only time I ever saw a flicker of remorse from him. Like the coward he is he turned away and walked out the door. He couldnt deal with that level of pain.
    There remains boxes filled with things that I treasure. Useless and occupying space. My space. And if I want to paint a fucking unicorn on every wall of the house I will. Dont touch my fucking yarn.

    • Oh, that is very sad. I’m sorry about your work of art table 🙁 Good for you for torching the dress in front of him. Too bad he didn’t get close enough to be sprayed with the lighter fluid….

      • Ya – what an ass! What gave him the right to sell your stuff! I would have been FURIOUS!. My dumbass did the same thing – he decided to recycle MY laptop and get himself a new one that was now password protected. So then I had to turn around and buy a new laptop! I was pissed! I’m sure it was because he was scared I would bring it in to see how MUCH he was talking on those Yahoo chat accounts I busted him on. FUCKER!

    • What an arsehole, TheClip. They have no respect for anyone else’s desires or wishes. Mine did the same thing once–threw out stuff that was important to me (including some baby booties my dead mother had hand-knitted). I went full-Gorgon on him, and I don’t believe he ever did it again.

      • Oh Tempest, I’m sorry 🙁 Too bad he didn’t turn to stone. Might have made it more difficult to go hump grad students.

    • There’s a difference between willfully and with full consensus downsizing stuff compared to some ass-wipe (your ex) making unilateral decisions about what’s precious to you. It just seems to be part of a larger insensitivity about other people — their stuff, their feelings, their money. What he did just seems downright abusive and calculated. And I’m glad he’s gone.

      Yarn is awesome. (But alas, I downsized that too. Gave it to my SIL who actually crochets. I realized I was never going to learn to knit, despite carrying around lots of Nice Wool Yarn for years. Love fiber arts!)

      • My first husband was a rage-aholic and would go insane and break all my stuff. He never once broke anything of his. Interesting….

        • Syringa, he never broke anything of his because those rages were manufactured to control you. Abusers do not lose their shit, they pretend to do so in order to get what they want from you. This is ground truth.

        • Yup. It drives me up the wall when I hear about abusers being asked or ordered to go anger management counseling, like they need help learning how to control their anger.

          They manage their anger masterfully… it is the primary tool in their toolbox, and they bring it out and ramp it up to control their victim. They know EXACTLY how to manage their anger.

      • A friend went on a Nature Conservancy service trip to Martha’s Vineyard a few years ago. On a day off, she rode a bicycle around and saw some sheep. The farm went so far as to post signs on fences saying which celebs had visited their animals. You could literally buy yarn from the shop that came from sheep that Bill Clinton may or may not have petted.

        I kept a little yarn in case I need to hog tie Asshat. Dunno why, we have lots of sheep around here. I just ran back inside from photographing them walking past my house.

  • I threw out all my “getting over infidelity” ,” how to make your marriage stronger after infidelity” type books in the trash last week. I did not want them falling into the hands of any poor chump who thought they had themselves a bonafide unicorn. And I have made good use of my fire pit after kicking dumb ass out.

    “If people have devalued you, it doesn’t matter how great you really are, they’ll treat you like shit.”
    Yep ^^^ This really hits the nail on the head.

  • On our high school principal’s recommendation (!), I read the Art of Tidying Up. She lost me at thanking my socks and placing them lovingly in a drawer. I do feel imprisoned by the clutter, and struggle daily to move it out of my life. I am trying to live more with less.

    Four years ago, I moved across the country with one of our two daughters for “pilot season” here in L.A. She and I lived in a small apartment in Hollywood for six months, while my STBX and I traded places every few weeks so that we would each spend equal time with each daughter. I look back on that time in a small apartment fondly. At first, I thought it was because it was a small space with very little (manageable) stuff in it, and we had a very simple lifestyle. Since D-Day, I have seen my past memories in a different light, and realized that the biggest piece of clutter that I didn’t want around me was the cheater. That was what was so special about that apartment. When I was there, I was free from the cheater cluttering up my life.

    One of the more difficult tasks that I find now is making sure I don’t just chuck out ALL of the family memories from my brain. I do see things more clearly, but just because he was texting multiple APs on our trip to Spain, doesn’t mean that I can’t take pleasure in some of the beautiful things that I saw, learned and heard while I was there. Separating the wheat from the chaff…..

    • I’m having trouble with the family memories too (and the photos) Suffragette.
      Right now everything that has to do with him goes in a bag and I will deal with it later.
      Do I really need to save pics of my wedding or other adventures we had, for my kids?
      If the kids are in them I keep them but the ones of Narkles the Clown?
      How many pics do I save for the kids?

    • I’m with you, Sufragette. what to do with the memories, that are now tainted with the knowledge that he was screwing someone either before, during, or after every major family event, every vacation. I can’t think of those memories happily anymore, unless they were just with my children and cheater wasn’t in the picture. I also inherited a love of geneology from my father, so tossing out family pix and documents seems un-scientific. The memories end up being collateral damage.

      • “The memories end up being collateral damage.” Exactly Tempest.

        After finding out how duplicitous my STBX turned out to be, I can’t help but feel so many mixed (and intense) emotions when something triggers a previously fond memory.

        • This is so true. I feel every memory is tainted by her lies. I keep some great ones with just my girls, but anything with her or her family is being forgotten. They are just so distasteful now, when once they were so nice. All of our 30 year history together meant nothing. She just walked without looking back.

  • I still live in the home we shared, so this is a subject I really think about a lot.

    He left in a hurry to copulate with the succubus and left a ton of things behind. For the next four months he would only contact me to request I pull items from the debris of my wrecked life he’d forgotten.

    So I made it my mission to purge anything he’d touched. Short of burning down the place. Anywhere his ass had been recovered or gone. The kitchen items he bragged to others he was doing without because he pitied to me, set to charity and trash. Some things I replaced as budget allowed.

    For some reason I didn’t mind the electronics and appliances, but seeing a certain pair of tongs or a potato masher would make me weep.

    There is no logic to it. To this day if I find something in the kitchen that came from him I gleefully toss it in the trash. I don’t weep much anymore. I am making space for the now and tomorrow!

    • His keeping his stuff there is a deliberate kibble strategy. See he has to ask you about that potato masher! Don’t you STILL HAVE IT? It’s a foot in the door to your life.

      Slam that sucker shut.

      • It’s been shut since a year ago. I only have spoken to him by email twice in that time. But I know what you mean. He fully intended to casually pick over the rubble of our life together when he pleased. I made it clear to him he was not welcome on my property, ever, once he drove away in his UHaul. The only thing I let him come back to get was his Christmas Ornaments. Left them in the shed and told him to come get them while I was out of state.

        Like him insisiting I stole his Green Card, or “accidentally” taking my son’s baby book and asking to drop by with it. “Mail it.” I said. I sincerely doubt I’ll ever need or want to speak to him ever again.

        • This sounds so familiar. After my cheater wife left she would ask our daughter to bring her this shirt or that pair of shoes or whatever. Finally I Hefty bagged all her shit and told her its in the garage and she has one week or its getting donated. Enough of that shit.

  • Just did some life decluttering. An old friend, whom I had known for 30 years.., whom I hadn’t taken a good look at her character in a long time. Once upon a time I would have sworn she was an honorable person. Now I found myself on the devaluation slide, with the gaslighting, mind fuckery, her being impossible to reach then calling four months later as if nothing happened, trying to use me and being ticked when I said no. That’s when I became no longer useful. I didn’t really see her for what she was until I looked through recovering chumps eyes. Yikes…..covert narc! For a while I thought she had just lost her mind due some stressful circumstances she had put herself in, but when I evaluated our “friendship”, there it was staring me in the face. After I refused to take her call knowing she was going to verbally abuse me, she sent a nasty letter full of narc ploys. I have gone no contact. Of course we haven’t been around each other physically in over ten years so perhaps I couldn’t see the mask slipping.

    Chump Lady has really helped me refine my picker.

    No more room in my life for toxic people, and I refuse to do the pick me dance for anyone. I am a good person and play nice with others. I am enough, just as I am. I treat others with kindness, courtesy and respect and I expect the same.

    Thanks for the education Tracy and Chump Nation.

  • Really starting to feel better since I rid myself of that walking skid mark that is my ex. I have also managed to cut my huge book collection in about half, by asking a girlfriend to stand over me like a prison guard, asking me the same question if I faltered: “Have you read it in the past three years?” Fortunately, I donated them to the local library so others could enjoy them, and I have visitation rights! I have a handful of addictions – books, documentary videos, photography equipment, musical instruments, rescue animals, and Nutella (which for me is crack-in-a-jar).

    • Thanks, Boudica, now I feel not-so-crazy knowing someone else has multiple collections (including many of the same addictions–books, rescue animals, videos–both documentary & indie films).

    • So Boudica, you kept the ones you had not read in three years and donated the rest? I’m confused, I only keep books I might want to reread at some point – the longer I have the book the more likely I’ll read it again. So how did that work?

  • When I threw out cheater #2 I did a massive one day clearout of all his stuff. No sorting needed, just everything went. Down the road from my house was a bin that was labelled “for African orphans”. I put loads of really good clothes in there. I often imagine some dude wearing his shorts in the dusty Sahara.

    Still gives me a chuckle.

  • I’ve decluttered quite a few times over the years. As for a counter-point, I’m always surprised how many times I now need things that I gave away or donated to good will, but now I can’t afford them. Prior to having kids, I gave away musical instruments, keyboards, sony playstations and the like to my nephews and nieces. Now I have kids of my own, and I can’t afford to buy them instruments and games etc.

    Anyhow, I suppose I should be happy my nephews and nieces were able to enjoy them.

    I don’t think I can ask for guitars and keyboards back after 8 years 🙂

    Or I agreed with cheater pants to get rid of things I really didn’t want to get rid of, like my ice cream maker and book shelves and the like. Now the kids want to make ice cream at home.

    And yes, you can be sure who I blame my financial situation on (rhymes with egg-beater).

    • Buddy, you can make ice cream without an ice cream maker. My mom had some old cookbooks with recipes where you put the mix in the freezer, let it get slushy, stir, repeat and then enjoy. I’m sure the interwebz has a similar recipe somewhere. If it’s like my house, the kids will start fighting over who gets to stir the mix next time!

      Also, I furnished my “separation apartment” via Craigslist. Still have the hugeass entertainment unit that I got for less than $50. Now I use it to dehydrate stuff from the garden and hide the hands-off-you-can’t-have-it treats. I mean, what twelve year old would think of looking among the dried tomatoes and pickled zucchini? BWHAHAHAHA!

  • This spring I put in new flooring and moved out of my house and took loads of stuff to the local Women’s Shelter store. Now boyfriend, soon to be husband has moved in with me and we’re going through all of his stuff and taking more things there. We’re all on a first name basis. I’ve never been a pack rack. I have the opposite of hoarding. I give away things I need. I kill myself. I’ll go looking for something and realize I gave it away. Ha! After I got moved back into my house after the new flooring was installed a friend made the comment that my place would really look great after I got my stuff moved back in. I thought, ‘it already is moved back in.’ I do better where there is no clutter. Also where I live people have little ‘lending libraries’ set up in their front yards. All kinds of cutesie little houses made with interesting objects telling people to ‘take one, leave one.’

    • We had those boxes in Indiana but now, here, the only people who passed by my house this morning were on horseback (one was on foot) herding bands of sheep. I’m not sure they want my books. I used to use BookCrossing but I doubt anyone in town does it but maybe some day. I had the cute little bookplates and everything but I may have tossed them all while purging.

  • I have a little bench by the door (to the left, to the left lol thank you Bey, love you mwah!) where I put all his random crap to be picked up. I call it the good riddance spot. If it doesn’t get picked up in a day I trash it, with pleasure.

  • Laughing. I am moving soon and between my two kids and I have already recycled more than 150 books…and yet my shelves are still overflowing 🙂 I read my books to shreds!

    • After I went over to the Dark (Kindle) Side, I realized that my tattered copies of things like Wuthering Heights could be crammed onto a Kindle for free. I got rid of a bunch of books that way but I still hung onto my few favourites. Even after I paid for Watership Down on Kindle, I kept it. I think I missed the point of purging…. I have to purge Little Elf’s bookcases some more. He is a voracious reader and he does have my old Kindle (had to get a backlit one as I am batty – crazy AND blind) but he gets lots of hand-me-down books and gifts.

      • Come to the Dark Side! We have large books in a 12 inch, less than a pound format!

        I went Kindle when reading the Game of Thrones series. So much easier than carrying some huge tome on a plane. The only part I don’t like is if one wants to flip back to look at a previous passage or map or illustration, it’s not real smooth.

        That being said, I do have some books that I’ve kept over the years and will never part with, including the red Betty Crocker cookbook that was Mom’s wedding gift in 1951.

        Back on topic, the crap I threw out when I packed to leave Cheater #1 was breath taking. Newspaper full of silverfish and earwigs, his trumpet from high school (no case, just thrown in a box), mismatched socks, all kinds of clutter. Not worth the garbage can space nor effort to take it down to the curb. And after I moved back into the family home, once I bought him out during the divorce, I found he had taken all of the stuff he had agreed to leave when he vacated, including my CDs, gifts my parents had given me, etc. Oh, and the spineless bastard didn’t even own that. He blamed his brother who helped him pack. Yeah. Right.

        However, the karma bus did drive by later. Fast forward ten or so years and he has three (!!) storage lockers and no money. He offered to let me take what I wanted before he had the garage sale. There were my CDs, in the box marked “Blondeness’ CDs” and the other boxes, all also clearly marked, with my things. I breezily mentioned that, oh, I’ll just take my things that are *clearly marked with my name*, asshole. No, I muttered the last word under my breath. I still shake my head that he carried those six or so boxes around for ten years, three houses and countless girlfriends just to spite me. Weirdo.

        • LOL, I still have the red Betty Crocker cookbook my Mom gave me so many years ago. How can I throw that away! Some things have meaning beyond their intrinsic physical value (or lack thereof). Jedi hugs

  • I’m feeling snarky…

    Guinness world record for the thinnest book:

    “Personnel integrity, and words of truth spoken by cheaters”

    How to section for cheaters:


    “Chump then dump; a beating cluster B’s manual for success”

    Cooking section brings us:

    “Sad sausages, smothered in a two fucks not given gravy”

    Technology Today magazine:

    Recently, Japanese scientists have developed a high-speed camera that captures one billion frames a second. It is believed that within this century, frame rate speeds will increase sufficiently, to actually capture the instant a cheater does not tell lies.


  • “After being chumped, there are a lot of days you’ll feel like a rock bottom remainder. Just remember that you’re great work of literature, and someone, somewhere really digs Breyten Breytenbach.”

    Just last night my bestest friend gave me his own version of the remainder talk. This was a perfect compliment to what he said.

    I haven’t read all of the comments yet but I was laughing my way through the ones about online dating sites. I put something on my profile about “if you know who Chump Lady is and how wonderful is the land of Meh, we need to talk.” Talk about crickets… LOL I’ve given up on online dating but not on finding my own Breyten Breytenbach lover.

  • I’m trying to figure out how to declutter/despouse my iPhoto library. I don’t want to delete a decade of my history, travels, etc., but I do want to sort it so pics of his sleazy mug don’t pop up randomly. Any advice, chumpy geniuses?

    • Personally, I deleted all pictures, both physical and electronic of her. I sent her all the photo albums to do with as she wishes. I have decluttered all reminders of her. It took a while to find them all. I just wish I had never met her.

      • “I just wish I had never met her.”

        Yep, I hear you. I left the albums with my ex-whore, and everything I had from 46 years on this rock, and nearly 24 years of marriage fit in a 14′ Uhaul with room to spare. I got the fuck out, and never looked back. I was always a minimalist (ex hated that) despite the financial ability to not be. Now it’s turbo-charged, and I feel so much more at peace.

        Having been with a truly kind, compassionate, grounded women for the last two years really plays with your head; why could it have not been her/someone like her, so many years ago? Oh well, the dark chapter is closed, I’m grateful for so much, and life for all of us chumps goes on… Stay mighty my friends.

        • I’ve had those same dark thoughts, 5Jump. And when I do I realize that finding a good relationship at any age makes my complaints about a prior bad relationship (25 years in my case) sound like entitlement, like complaining that you were almost 50 years old before you won the lottery.

          As the Good Book says, houses and riches are the inheritance of fathers, but a good wife is a gift straight from God.

  • How does one purge, de-clutter and/or donate all the shit they’ve collected in their mind? I can deal with all of Bozo’s stuff (including lots of books) he left behind and apparently was too good for after leaving his wife and young sons for his married Ho-worker….but it’s all the images, emails, texts, tainted memories and moments that I can’t clear my mind from that cause me the most distress and heartache. I’m haunted by all the details of his 4 year affair. I’d like to just gather up all the mess in my head and either swap it for a new one or recycle it. It’s one of the worst parts, not being able to escape the noise in my head. My heart just breaks over and over. The triggers don’t have to be tangible objects…it’s my own damn mind. Is this normal?
    At this point I wish I could actually read a book without my mind wandering to the past or the wretched details of the affair. FML.

    • Me too lemon two and a half years out still can’t get the clutter out of my head but I’m working on it when I can say: asswipe who?

      • That is the $64,000 question. By getting rid of all the reminders, things have gotten better. But when something triggers me, or every night in my dreams when I think of her (fondly sometimes), l just want to cry. It still hurts so much. I do have confidence that “asswipe who?” (Meh) will happen some day (Tuesday).

        • Marked the wounds are still raw, the scars will run deep, it will affect every relationship if any in the future. He taught me to trust for the first time and then destroyed it. I too have dreams and still cry over what was and could have been, the first 25 years were fantastic, then he changed into something I no longer recognize and no longer wish to be around. Time does not heal all wounds time will just make it easier. The love that was will always be the scars will remain. I pray for the day asswipe who? I will pray for you too. Its so wonderful to know we don’t suffer alone. The best to you.

  • Unwanted books (wash your mouth out, Lola) can be recycled in other ways.

    For example, RIC books from your Amazon era can be shredded and used for mulch in the garden if you live in a water-shy area.

    Or, you can compost those shredded books.

    Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Actually, ashes can be good for the garden as well, in some cases.

  • Just this past weekend I bought a new ‘boyfriend’ insulated flannel shirt. It replaces one my ex-MIL gave x and I used for walking the dog. I was asking myself, why do I still have this reminder? For $31 I have a nicer, lighter, warmer better shirt, and the old one is in the church donation bin where innocent people will not be harmed by its use. If only all of the post-cheater clearing off was so easy!

    I’m doing the Kon Mari tidying thing, too. Loving it so far.

  • Yes, the mind….the constant thinking about it drives me NUTS! He has “moved on.” Gramps is now traveling with a 40 year old. This week he is taking her to Vegas to show off to his “buds” and play in their annual golf tournament. I would give anything to stop the painful garbage that swirls through my head. It is exhausting. How do you Chumps manage this (HUGE) piece of the afterlife?

    • Blown Away, I don’t know what you have been through so far…but…just this morning I was thinking about the events in my own life that have brought me to this point…especially after reading CL’s post today…and I realized how lucky we are! Regardless!

      Think about what it would take for you to treat someone you love the way that you have been treated…yeah…you couldn’t do it cause you actually CAN love – selflessly!! – these disordered turds do not deserve our consideration. Any relationship they have is unhealthy for whoever they are having it with. They do not deserve our awesome love and respect.

      We are lucky to have gotten away from them and their disturbing, disordered lives.

      I hope you walk in the sweet sunshine of your freedom from that hellish abyss forever starting today!!!


      • Thank you Jeep. I am trying to get to Meh…but it has been very slow going. Perhaps the fact that it was a 46 year marriage and betrayal on every level…physical, financial, emotional, not withstanding betrayal to his children, family and friends. I know I should not give him a shred of what is left of me, but DAMN…it was my whole life!! I am still just blown away by what the scumbag all did!
        My thoughts and memories of SB are the last pieces to put in that box on the curb marked “Free.” Hoping the Gold-digger will pick it up!

        • God Bless you! I understand, I do…I was with satan for 36 years…married 30…and suffered the same abuse, emotional, mental, financial and, for the last year, physically…he decided that beating on me was a good idea for some reason…entitled child, cowardly boy man got caught YET AGAIN. And I completely understand where you are and why you are there…they were our whole lives for so long and we loved them. We loved them so much we were willing to try to work it out and we couldn’t – cause one can’t work on a marriage alone – that is what they were asking of us. Just shut up and take it. Not acceptable!

          I do know what you are going through and I do know where you are right now. I was there for a long, long time and I get it. It is going to take awhile and you should take as long as you need to get through it. I hope you are surrounded by plenty of supportive people that are there for you whenever you need them.

          If it goes for you like it has for me, at some point your satan is gonna come back around and try to get you to come back to him…don’t…just say no! It will just start all over again and be worse this time and you will have to go through all this hell again…save yourself from that, just say no. And stay no contact no matter what.

          You will get there. I still have bad, really bad days, but I rally quicker every time now. You will too!!!! I promise!!!!

          (((Hugs))) 🙂

  • This is perfect! My mental image of him will now be the empty skeleton! I love it…
    Thank you for reaching back Jeep.

    • You are welcome! I was awe struck by the image and the accompanying description…wow! Whoever drew / wrote that has to be a recovering chump! It is too much like what I have experienced with satan…

  • I spent all week last week listening to the audiobook of “Tidying Up” in the AM before work.

    Tackled clothes on Sat & paper on Sunday. Skipped books all together as i too recently moved from marital home to apartment with my kids. Discarded most of my books before listing the house.

    And then i check CL & read this post that hits exactly where i am on my journey.

    Another example of finding my tribe here in chump nation. Grateful to you all.

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