Fire, fire in my heart
Consumes my mind, consumes my soul
It all burned in a fire, I’ll have you know
I tried to save it but burned my hands
My mind raging hot,
I could feel the angry heat against my skin
Yet I cannot let it go.
Until it’s ash, until it’s blown,
into crumbled bits of the unknown,
fire burned bright, then black as night
then it’s gone, I’ll have you know
This weekend my husband and I were attending a backyard BBQ party and I was introduced to a whole group of people I didn’t know. I’m an introvert, and honestly have trouble talking about myself, but I have a past, and an interesting one at that. While in a conversation about New Zealand, a place I lived for almost 8 years, there of course came questions to why I no longer live there, and what happened to all my “stuff”.
There was no easy way around this answer. My “stuff” is currently being held hostage by my ex-husband’s family. I had a whole house full of personal belongings, clothing, musical instruments, artwork, jewelry, kitchen wear, bath mats, duvets, sheets, beds and couches. You know, everything that you would fit into a house. In 2009, after the collapse of the economy, my then partner and I set out on multiple adventures across New Zealand, Australia, Canada, USA and Mexico on motorcycles, and I haven’t been back since.
I tried to get my “stuff” back. Believe me, I did everything but fly to New Zealand to try to retrieve my happy memories, but to no avail. Emails went unanswered, shipping quotes fell to the way side and the “certified for sea travel” crate I spent $500 on sits at a relative’s house somewhere in the north island. Oh the frustration, the angry emails I sent my exs’. I felt shut out, on the outside, I was no longer part of the inner circle of narcissistic abuse, therefore I was no longer a malleable mind under their control. The thought of my “stuff” sitting around in a storage locker, within my ex’s control bothered the shit out of me. He had no idea what this “stuff” was worth to me, or did he? Of course he did, he wanted to hold all the power. The mind games I played with myself, and that he played with me were insufferable.
Our relationship was troubled from the beginning, but I was so brainwashed into thinking that my ex was someone else, that I couldn’t see him for the narcissist that he was. I would believe his lies and half truths until my soul was eaten from the inside out. My journey back from the dark side began, and I emerged completely scathed, unable to breath, unable to let go of the idea of my past, and unable to indistinguish my own heart and mind from those of my abuser. I was a shell of person I once was, and I believed that he had held all the creative power, the intuition, the control, and I was nothing without him. This, I learned on my healing journey was how narcissists work, they cut you off from your family and friends, gas-light you, and make you believe you can’t function without them. I feel ashamed that I allowed myself to get sucked into his suck hole. But I know I’m strong and am currently clawing my way out. I’m shifting my focus to not letting him hold any of the power.
When I told my story, I explained that the only way I can feel closure in this area of my life is to think that everything was lost in a fire. I have envisioned this frequently as I pictured hot flames engulfing my cello, the 10,000 year old arrowhead I found in the back yard when I was 12, the beautiful artwork I purchased from money my parents gave me as a wedding gift, 15 years of photos, travel trinkets I had collected from around the world, happy memories that I personified into my material belongings. It makes me cry. These happy memories were all that I have been holding on to all these years because I’m so afraid to let go of what never was, and what will never be. I felt like an elephant frozen in place but no longer with a leash, but because I was brainwashed into thinking that leash was there, I felt I couldn’t move. The memory was ingrained into my mind of past abuse and I could not shift out of it.
I don’t know how long it will be until I won’t feel emotional when I think about my “stuff”. But the fire analogy certainly works. I can reminisce, look on lovingly into the flames and believe my “stuff” has gone to a better place. We are born into nothing, and leave with nothing, only the memories are what we hold on to. I work on making those memories ones that bring me joy and fill my life with love. Sat Nam.