Invasion

Something is not quite right here.

As of this evening, there’s a strange Ukrainian girl living in my childhood bedroom.  She’s only there for a few months, and is going to pay a few hundred a month in rent, which my parents are being kind enough to default over to me.  She works with my brother Joey, and her apartment lease was up a few months before she was ready to leave the city, so she needed a place to stay.

Here’s what makes this slightly uncomfortable: there’s a strange girl living in my childhood bedroom, and she works with my brother Joey.

Anyone who’s ever been to my parents’ house can attest that my room there is like a really big time capsule of the first quarter-century of my life.  There are photos from high school and college, crates of schoolwork and old diaries, clothes I no longer wear but can’t bring myself to get rid of, and a row of pink paper camels stuck to the wall above the door.  There’s also a ton of stuff from my wedding, which I asked my mom to make disappear for me several years ago, but which somehow has not disappeared yet.  There’s my wedding dress, for crying out loud.

And my brother Joey got into the company he works for because my ex-husband worked there first.  And works there still.  And therefore, works with this strange girl who is now living in my room.

The whole situation gives me the heebie-jeebies.  Like, I want to physically shake it off of myself, but can’t.

So I’m feeling a little off-center, like I have this unfinished business of cleaning out my closet (literally and metaphorically) to attend to, which I now have to put on hold for a few more months, during which time I’ll only be growing more uncomfortable.  I don’t know why I keep picturing this stranger going through my stuff, reading old letters, staring at the pictures, checking out the trashy lingerie my ex-husband gave me, which is currently stuffed into the bottom of a drawer…  Probably because that’s what I would do, if I were in her situation; I feel like it’s basic human curiosity to want to get a glimpse into a stranger’s life.  Then again, I lived in someone else’s room for a few months myself once, and all I remember looking at of hers was a certificate hanging on the wall, and all I remember thinking was, “So that was her maiden name.”

Still.  The imbalance of my chi, or whatever, has left me feeling shy and clingy.  Like maybe I won’t leave the house while Doug’s at work tomorrow – even though I know it would be the best thing for me; or like I want Doug to just stay home and cuddle with me all morning before I have to go to my therapy appointment, where I will undoubtedly spend the bulk of my hour talking about this.

Sigh.  I really do need to roll up my sleeves (or put on my haz-mat suit, if you prefer) and clean my ex-husband out of my life once and for all.  I keep putting it off and hoping there will come a day when I no longer have to deal with it, but I know that isn’t true.  And if I’d dealt with it in the first place, I wouldn’t be feeling so out-of-whack and vulnerable right now.

This sucks.

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5 Responses to Invasion

  1. Arohanui says:

    Oh I totally get why you feel vulnerable about this. I wouldn’t be able to cope with a stranger having access to all my personal things. This is probably the perfect time to clean out your childhood bedroom, get rid of bad mementoes and put your beloved sentimental items into storage (like in a box in your attic?). You may find it unexpectedly therapeutic…and empowering.

    • Marie says:

      Yeah, unfortunately, she’s already living in there. So I have to wait on the cleansing for a few months – but I’ve already got a friend lined up to help, and OH there WILL BE VODKA.

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