How I did it: It took me a long time to even have the strength to begin this after our breakup. It was probably 6 months or more before I could look at the stuff from our time together. First, I went through all my stuff and separated out his stuff and threw it into boxes indiscriminately (about 2 boxes' worth of stuff). I cried and consumed copious amounts of red wine. Then I let it sit on my living room floor. I went about my life. I invested my time in things that mattered to me. I started dating again.
Then I went through the boxes and threw out some of the stuff, so I had one box and some books. I waffled. I swore to send it to him. I made it my personal challenge twice and failed the challenge twice. It sat on my living room floor some more. My ex got engaged. I gradually cut off communication with my ex and made space from him. I ignored his stuff some more.
I asked him what I should do with the stuff. He said to give it to his dad. I contacted his dad, who never answered me. Then, I asked a friend to help but she didn't have time.
Finally, I threw out some more stuff and got everything in one box. I bound it with copious amounts of packing tape. I checked with my ex about his address and put it on the box. I finally had a day off work so I checked the USPS holidays, but they were closed so I checked with the Postal Annex and they were open. I carried the 38 pound box 2.5 blocks to the bus stop. I got on the bus with it. I carried it another 2 blocks to the postal annex and sent it off to Denver the cheapest way. I texted my ex the tracking number and told him it will arrive on Thursday. Read how I did it… 3 years ago
The post office is closed today because of the holiday, but the Postal Annex is open. I’m getting on the bus soon with my big box and sending it off to Denver. And then I’m going to get a massage!
I’m grateful for this goal. Discussions with people in my virtual and non-virtual lives have helped me to define my ethics, my feelings about my ex, and my strengths and weaknesses as a person. I have met some of my favorite 43T friends through this goal.
I exchanged some text messages with my ex yesterday to confirm his address. It was a year ago this weekend that he left me. So much has happened in the past year. And though some of it has seemed bad, all of it has been good. I realized yesterday that for the first time in the past year, I am truly grateful to my ex: both for our years together and for leaving me, for knowing when I didn’t that that was what needed to be done.
It’s Thanksgiving in Canada, where I grew up. And I’m thankful. Now I know why this box has been sitting here all this time. Because I want to send it with gratitude, and to really, really let go. Deeply. And forever. And walk forward into my new life with a song in my heart. 3 years ago
I realize this is getting a bit ridiculous. I guess I had to work through this problem in my own way. I like the way Mr. Average put it in his comment on one of my previous posts. Sometimes doing nothing can be the right answer. Well, I thought the lesson here was that I need to learn to ask for help… but although I’ve had two people SAY that they’d help me with this, neither has actually come through.
So I decided that the universe is telling me instead to be strong and deal with my own shit. ;-) Without avoidance and in spite of obstacles. That only I can finally get this stuff out of my life. Today, I finally did one last go-through of the box and managed to get everything into the one box for the first time. It’s taped with about half a roll of packing tape and addressed and ready to go. Tomorrow is a postal holiday. If I can find a courier or postal annex open, I’ll take it there – and if not, I’ll get up early on Tuesday and send it. It’s going to be a challenge getting such a heavy and awkward box there on the bus, but I figure the effort is my last bit of suffering needed to get him out of my life and move on completely and cleanly, for once and for all, with a clear conscience. 3 years ago
again today. Was hoping to take it to the post office this morning. It closes at noon. My bf slept over – was planning to head out early this morning to get some stuff done but ended up staying until 12:30-ish so no go on the post office trip. Shoot. 3 years ago
Which is probably a good thing! But I’m embarrassed to fail a second personal challenge on the same goal. Pathetic! I was so sure my ex’s dad would just come over here and take care of everything this week.
Doh! Personal responsibility it is. Tomorrow, I will find someone who can help me take the stuff to a post office or postal annex or at least to work where I can prep a shipment and have it picked up. I will swallow my pride and ask a friend or colleague for assistance.
Sheesh. 3 years ago
Do I nag the dad, or do I just wait for him to contact me? Still no word. Funny, now that I’ve made my move I’m just dying to get that stuff out of my place, after putting it off for so long… Patience, silly woman, patience! 3 years ago
The men in that family… I tell you! I’m just so thankful that soon I won’t have to deal with them any more.
His dad didn’t reply to my email but rather spoke with my ex, and then my ex sent me an email saying his dad would pick up the box and drop off my TV box, which he’s been storing there. Well, fine. The sooner the better. I’ll happily take my stuff back too. But why can’t his dad just reply to my email or call me and arrange the pick up?! Why go through his son, who lives in another city?
Gosh I hope these guys don’t make me miss the deadline on my personal challenge… again! ;-) 3 years ago
OK, so I’m a bit ashamed of my lack of progress on this. It is partially just procrastination, I admit, but also I have this enormous heavy box of stuff and no car with which to take it to the post office. I can’t carry it on the bus. I didn’t want to saddle my ex’s dad with the cost of sending the box, but I realized that it’s better to give it to him than it is to have the stuff continue to sit in my living room.
Yesterday I emailed my ex to ask him whether he’d rather I leave the stuff with his mom or dad. He replied that I should leave it with his dad, and he’d ask him to send it. So I emailed his dad this morning and asked him if he’d come pick the stuff up at my place. I have a good relationship with both my ex’s parents, so I’m sure his dad won’t mind – and he lives not too far from me so it shouldn’t be too much trouble for him. Now I just have to wait to hear from him. Maybe he’ll even come get the stuff today! 3 years ago
How I did it: After we broke up, I couldn't bring myself to get rid of his things for a few months. He left things at my place that he wasn't coming back for. Then, as I started dating again it felt really weird to have his clothes in my closet so I called Big Brothers to come pick them up.
It felt great to have closets back again. About nine months later, I went on a trip to Argentina. When I got back I noticed all these things of his I had "missed" so I gave those to the Salvation Army and claimed my home back again.
It felt good. Read how I did it… 3 years ago
I guess I’m just reluctant to deal with it. Yesterday, I went through the box and realized that some of it was truly garbage – so I got rid of that, and got everything else (except for some books) to fit into the box. I will contact his dad today and see if he can get the stuff. 3 years ago
I found out last night that my ex is ENGAGED. I need to get his stuff out of my living room ASAP. 3 years ago
and it’s taking all my focus and energy. As soon as summer semester is done, that stuff is outa here! 3 years ago
I still haven’t sent the stuff. I guess I’m a bit intimidated by the shipping process, especially because I don’t have a car (and I think it might be weird to ask my new boyfriend to drive me somewhere to ship my ex’s stuff). Also, I just plain had no idea the best/ cheapest way to do this. Today I was walking past a postal/ shipping store and stopped in to ask for information. The woman there was really nice, and told me about my options (shipping methods, packaging, etc.) – but of course I didn’t have the stuff with me so couldn’t send it on the spot. It sounds like Fed-Ex Ground will probably be cheapest – and although it’s a bit expensive, I still think it’s worth it to get this fresh start. I’ll just pack the stuff up and take it on the bus, I guess. Soon. 3 years ago
I have a huge pile of his stuff on my living room floor. Maybe I can get the boxes to send it this weekend.
Many people are asking me why I’m paying to send his stuff instead of just destroying it. Two reasons:
- I don’t want to play dirty and disrespectful just because he disrespected me.
- I had to go through all the pictures of us together, the love letters, etc. I think he should have to look at this stuff too. I don’t think it’s fair that he should leave it all for me to throw away when he’s the one who left. 3 years ago