I am moving this week. After months of waiting, I am finally moving out of the apartment that’s so deeply tied to my abuser and the hell he put me through. I am not moving that far, just to the other side of town. But I am hoping that a new apartment with a blank slate will give me a chance for a fresh start.
I’ve been anxiously waiting for this moment for the last 4 months. And I think the reality is finally starting to sink in – I will no longer have to park in that driveway where the cops pulled him away from me the night we broke up; I will no longer have to sit in that living room where we danced and laughed back when things where good; I will no longer have to walk down those front steps where he first kissed me on New Year’s Eve; I will no longer have to go in the back door where he tried to break in when he was having one of his temper tantrums; I will no longer have to sleep in that bedroom where so many of those threatening conversations took place. Almost exactly a year after we broke up, I am walking away from this space and the memories I’ve attached to it.
Don’t get me wrong. I know that the memories will still be there. I’ve learned that nothing is going to make them magically go away, as much as I would like them to. But at least I will no longer be in the physical location where these events happened – where everything started and where it all came crashing down. Yet, for some reason, leaving this place is giving me mixed emotions. I am grateful to be getting out of here, that is for sure. But there is a very, very small part of me that is sad. I am leaving behind one more piece of my life that was so strongly connected to him.
Somewhat ironically, in the process of packing, I seem to have lost one of the few mementos I saved from our relationship – a keychain he made for me with both of our names on it, a gift that most boyfriends would give to their girlfriend in maybe middle school or high school. But I thought it was cutest and most endearing gift I had ever received. For one reason or another, it served as a reminder of the good times we had together, the times when he seemed so incredibly sweet and I truly believed we would last forever. But maybe this keychain, and the false hope I attached to it, is one other thing I have to leave behind. I guess sometimes, you have to let go of the good, as well as the bad.
And to be perfectly honest, I have had a pretty hard time “letting go.” I don’t know that I ever truly will, at least not entirely. But I hope that moving to a space that is completely mine, a space to build new memories, will bring me one step closer.