Last November I completely redecorated & refitted out my study - I think after splitting up from my husband earlier in the year, but staying in the family home, I needed something that was mine, a symbol of a fresh start on my own. I love that room, it is still easily my favourite room in the house. What is it about that room that is so different to the others? Well for a start it's 'mine', and done to my slightly quirky taste - the rest of the house is still full of the safe, compromise, furnishings, the ones I didn't really like, but at least we could agree on. On one wall there is a picture montage - some painted by myself, some by my children, some small prints or postcards that I just liked, and one containing the message my old therapist wrote down for me when we parted that just says "I believe in you". I don't need that message anymore, but it's sincere and warm and there if I should ever fall into a dark place where I lose my self-belief and need that encouragement. All the pictures on that wall exude warmth or love or caring in some way. also in the room are my big orange reading chair, which is just full of warmth & energy, and a big bowl full of layered gravel and cacti - I do wonder whether they are there subconsciously because they are resilient, the always manage to keep on going and stay alive regardless of what is going on around them.
Well since then I have really toyed with leaving the family home, because I can't afford to stay there with the girls without some financial support from my ex-husband. He never directly uses that against me, but I do worry that if I ever do anything that displeases him, that he could pull the rug from under our feet. In a way I feel like it stops me exerting my "no" as forcefully as I would if I wasn't dependent upon him in that way. He says that's me putting my pride ahead of the girls' welfare, I don't see it as a pride thing at all, but I do agree that my girls benefit from staying in their home.
Recently though, I have found the confidence to believe, that even if he did pull the rug from under our feet financially, that somehow I would find a way to stay here (I've looked into refinancing and that kind of thing), and so in the last few months I have finally started to settle and started to accept that this is MY home, it is no longer OUR home (as husband & wife)... and with that new found ability to feel ready to settle and stop worrying about the future and the 'what ifs', I have felt like it's finally okay to make it "my home" (well mine and the girls'). I no longer need to hold on to all the trappings of my marriage that fill this house, I can let go of it all. And so I am gradually trying to work my way around the house now, as much as finances will allow.
We re-furnished and decorated my eldest daughter's bedroom over the summer, my younger daughter doesn't want new furniture just a declutter and walls painting - which we are mid way through, and my own room is next on the agenda - I already have the new furniture stored in my garage ready.
I find it quite easy to part with stuff. There's only one thing so far that has bothered me, and that was a card and note that I found, from him, from when I was pregnant with our first child, thanking me for having his child, saying how excited he was, how much he loved me and promising to take good care of us both forever. It made me feel betrayed, like he'd betrayed both me and his girls. I toyed with keeping it so that our eldest would know that at least he felt that way at one point, but then what if it made her feel betrayed and let down too? I didn't want her to feel that, so I binned them.
As things are at the moment I have bags and bags of things that need rehoming. I could easily find homes for everything, between a local "buy, sell, swap & give away" group that I'm part of, and a couple of charities that I often pass things on to, but my youngest is insistent that she wants to do a 'car boot sale' (I guess that would be a 'trunk sale' to you?)...so they are here, cluttering up my house (as the garage has my new furniture in), and driving me insane - but until we've finished going through everyone's bedrooms there's no point in paying to take part in a car boot sale.
Interestingly, I really don't like selling our things at a car boot sale - I'm going along with it to please my youngest and let her get a feel for how it is to wheel and deal and be enterprising, I think it will be a good experience for her. My own feelings are that the cost of those items is a sunk cost, I never bought them expecting them to have a resale value, and it pleases me to give them away to people who otherwise couldn't afford them ...I like to think that maybe one day if I was in that situation that there might be people out there who would do that for me too. This is an area where I'd really quite like to say "no"....no we're not selling our belongings, we'll give them to someone less fortunate than ourselves, and I can have that room empty and tidy again within a day.... but I won't assert my no, I will support a 6 year old in her wishes to explore trading and the ways of the World.