This is an excerpt from my memoir I’m currently working on…Keep in mind, this was prior to marrying the ex. I had discovered he was living in his car so I invited him to stay with me. Mistake #1.
One day, while I was at work, my ex decided he would go through my things; clothing and all my other personal belongings and by the time I got home, he had a few garbage bags full and tied off. Usually when I got home from work, I’d go in to my bedroom and change in to my gym clothes and head to “Nehemiah’s”; a local gym. As I entered my bedroom, I saw J sitting on the edge of my bed and three very large garbage bags sitting in front of my closet. I initially thought he had emptied out his trunk, which held everything he owned, but no, it wasn’t quite that simple. He had a strange look on his face and so, silly me, I asked, “What’s goin on?” He said, “What do you mean?” I asked, “What’s in the bags?” His answer didn’t come quick enough, and I began tearing open one of the bags. Imagine my thoughts as I realize this bag was full of MY clothes, not his. I stuck my hand in and pulled out some of my clothes, looked over at him and asked, “Are we moving or something?” He said, “No, why?” I said, “So then why are my clothes in this garbage bag?” He asked me to sit down so we could talk. The level of “what the hell” kind of confusion, swept over me and I instinctively began to wonder, again, what I’d gotten myself in to. I took a deep breath and sat down on the bed next to him. Before he began to speak, I looked over at him and realized he looked different and I didn’t recognize him as the person I left there, that morning, when I went to work. Not knowing what all this was about, I didn’t know to be fearful or concerned in any other way, so I decided to hear him out. He began by asking me if I knew what “modesty” meant. I simply said, to be sure I’m right, let me get my dictionary. He grabbed my arm and said, no, you don’t have to do that. So the conversation went like this. “Your clothes are very immodest and so I cleaned out your closet and that’s what is in all the bags”. I’m not sure what, if anything, I said in that moment, one by one, I continued to remove my clothes and once again, silly me, I asked, “What is so immodest about my clothes”? He was quick to answer. “Well, look at them, they look like something a prostitute would be wearing”! Oh my god. I just about jumped out of my skin! I almost couldn’t breathe so I left the room and went outside to get some air.
Flashbacks of some of the horrible things my mother called me, including whore and slut, all came rushing back to me. I didn’t know what was going to happen next, and looking back, I know I wasn’t prepared for all this.
When I returned, he was still sitting in the same place but he had placed my clothes back in the bag and pushed it over next to the others. Truly, I didn’t know what was going on and I’m a pretty smart gal. I decided that no matter what, I was not going to allow him to throw away my clothes. I had worked long hours and I paid good money for them. So before I began unloading the bags, again, I pushed open my closet and looked inside. Most of my clothes were gone! Empty hangers hung where my clothes had been and the shelf above the rod was also empty.
At this point, I’m pretty sure I realized I was dealing with a control freak but oddly I was still willing to hear him out. So I turned to face him and I asked many more questions, some of which have slipped from my memory and I’m certain that was due to the stress of the moment.
I remember telling him, though, that I was going to be keeping the majority of my clothes and that if he didn’t like it, he could leave. The look on his face was priceless. He looked as though someone just knocked his ice cream cone out of his hand. The immaturity was beginning to show through but I was still thinking I needed to try to make this better. I suppose it was then that I discovered I’m a peace maker and not a fighter and just wanted to keep things calm.
Whatever it would take.
So I switched up the dynamic of the conversation and as I emptied the bags onto my bed, I slowly began to rehang my clothes and return them to the closet. He had something to say about every piece of clothing and as he spoke of his concerns, I attempted to give meaning and validity for why I needed to keep these clothes. Some were for work, others for the gym and then the rest were just casual. Ever hear the phrase, “Every day is a school day?” Well, I learned a lot that day; some good, some bad and some just straight up crazy as hell! But in the end, I did allow him to throw out some of my clothes. That was the crazy as hell part!
At the bottom of one of the bags, I discovered that he had also decided that I owned some things that were or could be considered evil or possessed. Wow! Really? OK There was a Ouija board, some jewelry, and some other gifts I had received from family and friends.
This was the beginning of the best grooming I had ever heard of and most certainly my first encounter with a holier than thou hypocrite! I was beginning to think I was not as smart as I once thought. The delivery process of his M/O was definitely not polished in any way, but somehow he was able to convince me that I owned some things that were just not acceptable, “in the eyes of God”.