Letting Go

There is so much context to this phrase, and so many ways to look at it. 

I want to speak about one part of letting go that is a very easy first step to do.

Let me ask you this… how much stuff do you still have in your life (physical) that is related to your past?

Do you still have your wedding band?  Towels, linens or furniture from when you were married to your toxic ex?  Do those items reflect who you are today?

To me, one of the first powerful steps to letting go is the step of letting go of those physical items in our life that are subconscious reminders of our past.

Over time, I have gone through my house and purged… physically, mentally and emotionally.  I gleefully replaced the bed, mattress and linens from my marriage (even if you replace it with the cheapest IKEA furniture ever – isn’t that better than sleeping on something with toxic memories?).   I’ve gotten rid of extra wedding invites that were sitting in a bin downstairs, old stuff left from the wedding itself.  If there was decor that was reflective of my ex.. trashed. 🙂 

It seems so simple.  It is SO liberating.  Try it 🙂


14 Responses to “Letting Go”

  1. Tamara says:

    The best advice I was given when leaving my NPD husband was to buy new bed linen and to wash all my clothes etc in a new brand of washing powder that didn’t smell anything like what I had used. I had tried for a long time to ‘fix the relationship’ before I left. Finally I understood that it would never change, so leaving and getting my new single person’s room in a share house set up, with it smelling and looking so different, allowed me to strip off the old me and step forward into a new life. It was scary but the surroundings supported me. It was clear that things HAD finally changed.

  2. I was glad to stumble upon this blog post…quite by accident. I struggle with the issue of “the stuff”. I left with just what I needed – escape from the potential violence (unstable spouse – guns involved)…After a year, the divorce is not settled…I have been too afraid to retrieve my things from the marital home – everything I owned was there. I have rebuilt with the help of my family and friends, but my heart still misses the things my children (from previous marriage) gave or made for me that are still there. I will most likely not receive these things back as the Narcissist thinks they are his…he is a very sick and disturbed person – about on a 5 year old (or younger) level of being able to understand the difference between his things and others’ things. Anyway…just letting you know that the grass isn’t completely green on the other side – everything I have is toxic free – but I miss my own things…

  3. Adriane says:

    You know it is so simple but it works. I packed up the things I needed to function in my physical life. They were things I needed to function with my boys. The kitchen table, the couch, TV, etc. Just functional items nothing with emotional attachment. I left all the pictures of us together my wedding dress. The one thing my ex did was take my ring. I really wanted it back to sell it. However, I am okay with letting that go since I really didn’t wear it after the affair. I even signed over the house in the decree. I wanted out. Letting that go allowed me to move on more quickly and avoid foreclosure because in the future I can turn any physical house into a home. Great insight. However, I kept my handbags and shoes because those can be traded at this great second handbag store since I haven’t been able to buy myself something nice on a one person income. 🙂

  4. LorraineD says:

    The hardest part of “letting go” for me was realizing that I WASN’T letting go. I kept praying that my ex would let ME go. “Please let him let go” and then it hit me, he can hold on as long as he wants. I’m letting go of all of it. Letting go of the hate, the disappointment, the embarrassment, the fear, the anxiety. I packed all of his belongings and gave some back to him during one of his impromptu visits (that have since stopped thanks to what was supposed to be a restraining order but, instead, turned into one of the agreements of the divorce – that he only come to the house to pick up/drop off the kids and that he only go to the front door). The only pictures of the two of us are in the kids room just so the kids can have some. All of my pictures are gone. Tossed. “Lost”. I only struggle with letting go as it relates to my two children, 5 and 8, now. My ex talks to me like I’m his slave and keeps the visitation schedule at his convenience. Initially, and at the suggestion of friends, I thought about not letting him have the kids on his non-prescribed days, but the boys would be devastated. He’s “Disney Dad” and every visit with him is wonderful and fun. It would be unfair to deny them that, I think … but wonder if that’s still me holding on. So, I write all of this to say, I agree, whole heartedly, about letting go, and getting rid of – effectively evicting your ex from your house and your head. I just keep finding his “stuff” in little places in my mind and have to work diligently, vigilantly, to get rid of all parts of him so I can completely disengage, wish him well in his life struggle to be him while having a happy life and raising happy children.

  5. Michi says:

    I have totally done this over the past 4 years. I’ve never heard of anyone else doing this so I especially enjoyed reading your post. I just recently found more little things and have thrown out, donated, or shredded those things.

  6. linda says:

    Thank you for the this interesting topic called “letting Go” I believe the most difficult thing for me is letting go mentally & emotionally, when someone close to you such as your spouse/ex spouse becomes treacherous and betray you that is one of the most difficult emotions to deal with because if we’re not careful and prayerful then those negative emotions can ultimately cause one to do serious harm to another. Which is often what a “narcissisist” person wants, they want a reaction to pull you into their world to cause chaos and confusion.

    Letting Go of the past is taking it one day a time and knowing that whatever we have that reminds us of the past cannot control you now is the time to move on mentally and emotionally, spiritually as well to focus on what makes me happy and cutting off all communications that reminds us of our past as much as possible.

    • Hi Linda, You are so right in saying that it’s not easy. It was years and years in the making for me personally. Letting go of physical items is a good start, because there’s often an emotional connection to the physical items. The real mental work of letting go is tough and best addressed one step at a time.

  7. JenelleMarie says:

    Been missing you! Glad to see you back.

    This has been something over the last year I’ve slowly done due to finances. Last month I replaced the final piece of furniture (a huge sectional the ex had picked out but I bought) and replaced it with something smaller and more ‘me’. My home is truly ‘mine’ and the freedom to breath is so cleansing and amazing. And I look around with pride at the humble yet loving home I’ve slowly assembled on my own, which clearly revolves around my children.

    Ironically enough after picking up the children and getting a request for child support (he’s not paying now) via email and contact from my attorney I received a scathing email from the ex on how I must be just fine as I’ve bought $10k in new furniture and items which he proceeded to list off (funny since he only see’s the front living room standing from my doorway when he picks up the kids, so clearly must be grilling the kids about it). Little does he know, I spent no where near that and I am frugal and a bargain shopper who sold everything that was replaced. But the greatest part of this, was I didn’t even bother to respond. I realized I no longer care what he thinks of me or have the desire to engage in the ‘fight’. Let him think what he wants, I have my home that is all my own and zero input from him will ever matter again in regards to the sanctity and peace of the home I work to provide for our children. Letting go is so beautiful and healing.

    FREEING!

    • Yay! What a great update about you. I assume you got the new little one delivered to her parents?

      I actually love it when there’s the ridiculous accusations made about me, and then the dispelling statement of proof I can make behind it. I’m glad to hear you don’t care what he thinks… I got to that point too, and it is wonderful 🙂

      • JenelleMarie says:

        Still holding steady at 40w1d, we are all just awaiting her and parents are being really good about juggling anxiousness to finally hold her and realizing this is normal for me to go overdue.

        That’s a great point! The accusations really do make him look silly and his true colors come out, because even if a judge questioned what I was spending $ on it would all be documented for far less and the judge would look at him like he is crazy! Plus I have it in writing that he’s refusing to pay and he’s trying to justify it. A bit comical. I think getting past that hump of letting go really, really changes your view on how you view the entire situation. 🙂

  8. Snails 67 says:

    This is so true! I just got rid of a few more things — lingerie that had made it to the back of the drawer that never fit to begin with! I also sold my wedding ring (although that was to pay legal fees…bummer).

    I didn’t think I’d ever be one to burn pictures because I want to preserve memories for my kids, but I did that last summer and IT felt good too. I only got rid of ones where it was just he and I, but there were plenty of those to crisp up.

    It’s essential to get rid of stuff that has negative meaning attached to it. It does really feel liberating. In fact, I kind of want to find some more stuff right now…

  9. KariJo says:

    LOL…I have the cheap IKEA furniture for just that reason! I sold my entire bedroom for a ridiculously cheap price just so I didn’t have to spend another night with it. I sold all my jewelry as well. The only thing that I have left is the picture albumns. I had a double wedding with my sister (who is still married) and my daughter was in the wedding so I am having a hard time getting rid of those pictures. I have the books deep in a closet because they do cause me stress when I see them. I found purging stuff to be excellent therapy.

    • Maybe you can purge those books over to your sister’s house 🙂 Certainly she wouldn’t charge you storage, and your feeling of negative energy in them won’t mean anything to her!


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