Although we hardly spoke, yesterday was filled with anger, remorse, self-pity, regret. I knew what I had to do but wrestled with inner conflict all day. Finally I quietly said, you need to find another place to live.
All my fears of danger were unfounded, perhaps I was projecting my ex-husband’s alcoholic rages onto him. But I remain aware of the unpredictable nature of alcoholics. So let me not speak too soon, as he’s already phoned me twice since last night.
I was given me the impression I would be turning him out onto the streets, homeless. But he phoned his boss, who sorted out a temporary living arrangement for him. He went to the shops and drew out his share of the rent for February, telling me it’s the least he could do after all he’s put me through. He asked if he could leave now and come back during the week for his stuff. I stayed firm, and said no, it has to be done today. I didn’t want him having reason to return.
He’d bought a tablet in my name because he has bad credit. I made sure he gave me the tablet since I would now be liable for it (I take full accountability for my own stupidity). He handed it over without complaint. He didn’t have much – a few rubbish bags of clothes, a duvet and two pillows, some bath towels. I tried to help by putting his pots and pans in the bakkie. You can keep those, he said. I won’t be needing them. I wondered if that was another veiled threat at suicide. But that isn’t my responsibility anymore. I have my own suicides to avert.
Throughout, I kept fighting my eternal urge to apologise. I wanted to say – I’m sorry, stay, I still love you, I don’t want you to go, please don’t drink so everything can go back to the way it was before, please don’t leave me, I don’t want to live here alone. But I didn’t. I simply cried. For the loss of hope, dreams, broken trust and grief .
From start to finish, it took about one hour. We barely spoke. We both cried in our final goodbye. Well, I had never really stopped crying……