So I just discovered that my soon to be ex husband left the house half full of perfectly nice & usable furniture & the garage fool of garden tools (not surprised there, he never did anything in the garden or the garage). I want to sell as much of it as possible. If for nothing else, to slightly offset the cause of the engineer & new floor joists we need bc the husband refused in his gaslighting way to do anything about what I was sure were termites.

But the house. It was my absolute dream house. A rebuilt 200 year old farm house on a high ridge (important around here where it’s hilly & floody af), on an acre. I worked so hard on the inside, painstakingly painting walls (I can’t abide taupe), putting up temporary wallpaper (forking amazing stuff), looked for & filled the house with second hand but lovely pieces that only brought the beauty of the house out. I loved that house like a person. Certainly more than my husband ever loved me.

If you’ve read The Shining (& if you haven’t you should it’s one of my favorite Stephen King books), you know the premise is that memories of people, events, can stay in a place – haunt it. And that’s what I feel when I go there. All the nights I cried myself to sleep bc I couldn’t understand why my husband seemed to genuinely dislike me. I remember him screaming at me that I’m worthless trash. The feeling towards the end when his verbal abuse was…very bad, I knew he’d never try to hit me, bc we’re the same height & I’m a trained fighter & an Irish woman. He’s seen me back down a lot of men who assumed they’d be able to kick my ass. He squared up to me once, & I just let the sparkle show in my eyes, how much I love a fight, how much I’d love an excuse to exorcise my rage at having 10 years of my stolen on a lie, by a man who now scream confirming that he did indeed, always really dislike me – & as they always do, he backed down.

But although he was too smart to physically try to put a hand on me, he was completely unhinged. A completely different person. Not get all Phil Collins on you, but I could feel it in the air. Menace & malice. He’s calmed down in the year since I left but back then? I absolutely believe he could’ve killed me. I slept in the barricaded bedroom, with a bat next to bed & a hammer under my pillow. I showered with a butcher knife. I know dangerous men, I know who never to turn your back on, & that’s who he became when he realized he’d lost control of me.

And I’m afraid all of that is going to hit me like a ton of bricks when I go there to clean up the mess he left. I guess I’ll just try to steer clear of Room 217. And try not to become the haint in that bathtub.