Divorce In A Box

spring cleanIt’s Spring cleaning time!  Yep, that time of year when we all get out our special mops, rags, gloves and Windex.  I was doing just that at my place of work this week and stumbled upon a couple of documents that I had stuffed in a file with my name on it.  They were divorce documents that were faxed to my attorney at one point during those God awful months.  So what did I do when I found them? Well instead of just plopping them into the shredder I sat there and read each one!  I didn’t even think about what I was doing.  I had a feeling of curiosity over my own documents!  As if I had forgotten the details they held, I angrily read them over and then, deposited them into the shredder.

Finding those documents was a not so gentle reminder that I have an entire box in my bedroom closet.  It has always been refered to as my “divorce-in-a-box”.  It holds every piece of mail sent back and forth to the all important lawyer.  Journal entries, notes for my counselor or the court appointed guardian and the dreaded photos.  Oh we cannot forget the print out’s and photo copies from email, social media and personal files.

Here’s the funny part (or insane) I have moved twice since my divorce was final, which means I have packed up and moved that box twice!  I had not one, but two opportunities to trash it, burn it, or run it over with the car.  Tonight I am asking myself, why in the world is it still here?  Why did I take the time and energy to move it and place it safely in my closet when I arrived at each new location?

If I think back to the first move into my cute cozy condo,  I can recall thinking that maybe I would be asked to recall some of that information if anything was brought up immediately following the final date.  You know, maybe if someone needed a copy of something or the lawyer just needed confirmation on an article that she may have overlooked.  I”m sure that sounded logical then.

So let’s take a look at the second move,into the home that haunts me.  I cannot tell you why I unpacked it and put it away.  I remember seeing the words on the outside of the box identifying the contents and I was emotionless.  My only thought was stick it high on a shelf and forget about it.  I don’t know why I thought just putting it out of sight would make me forget about it; that is obviously not happening.springclean

Since it is Spring Cleaning time and I am gearing up to pack up this house in hopes it will sell soon, I think it is time to FINALLY rid myself of that box.  I’m thinking a girls-night bon fire would work, or maybe just a quiet night alone with the shredder and a glass of wine.  I even thought about taking it out to the Island house that has been so helpful in my healing.  I don’t think the way I dispose of it really matters; what matters is that I destroy it so that I do not move it to my future home.  It is time to stop taking my past hurts with me and start over with a fresh, clean, clutter-free closet, heart and mind.

Do you have a “divorce box”? Share in the comments.


Courageous Butterfly



Related links/blogs

Learning To Let Go For Dummies, The Singing Paper Panda

Keep The Faith, Natural Health Synergy

Letting Go: The Easy Solution or a Courageous Decision?, Starting From The Beginning


8 thoughts on “Divorce In A Box

  1. Yes I have a divorce box and a ‘sad’ box of things from the marriage (and the photos). I don’t know what to do with any of them yet. so I shove them away in the cupboard again.


  2. Kimberly,
    This post brought me back to just a couple of weeks ago and to something I did at Christmas time.
    I don’t have a divorce box – but I do still have the “important” papers from the lawyer. I also had all the old back and forth emails between the two of us and the letters I had written to him and his “woman”. Those were not printed but kept on a flash drive. The other day my Son was at my house and needed a flash drive to put some things on for my Daughter. The only one large enough for what he needed was the one with all the emails and letters on. At the time I couldn’t let go. I too used the excuse – in my mind – that I might need this information some time in the future. After some time that day – I realized this was stupid! I would never again “NEED” this information. The divorce was done! Everything and anything that might ever need to be brought to the attention of the courts was no longer needed.
    I began by starting to reread some of the emails to decide “IF” it were “safe” to delete them. Maybe it is because I am so very anal that I did this – maybe it is because I still am having difficulty letting go of the past. I don’t know why I started to read them. Suddenly I thought STOP!! Just delete them all. You don’t need these painful reminders. So – I now have a completely empty flash dive the next time my Son needs one when he is here.
    This actually felt quite releasing for me. I have to admit that at first I had a twinge of OMG what have I done – I may someday need that stuff. But I truly believe that is my anal personality thinking – not reality.
    I have a new screen saver for my computer that I really like. It says “Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone free and…. realizing you were the prisoner!” It is a picture of a very old painted door with the paint pealing and a padlock on it. Every time I open my computer – there it is – staring me in the face to remind me that I am the one being kept prisoner as long as I cannot forgive. Still working on it – but think I’m getting closer.
    Thanks again for your wonderful posts!
    I know you will find just the right thing to do with your “box”.
    It will happen when the time is right.


    1. Ahhhh!!! You have just alerted me to the fact that I forgot about the emails. I had cleared off my flash drive last year when I got a new computer, so that stuff is gone. However the emails are still in cyber space on my account. So I guess I have divorce on the net as well as in a box.



  3. I forgot to share what I did at Christmas time.
    I had all these photo albums with 40 years of photos in them.
    Decided it was time to go through them – take out and distribute the photos or put some into the box I have with the children’s names on it. That box contains photos of the two of us that I know neither of us want any longer.
    I made up albums for each child with the photos of them.
    Any photos with just me in them I put into a photo box and I put all those of my ex that didn’t include me into envelopes for him and his Daughter gave them to him after Christmas.
    I couldn’t believe how many photos there were of just places we went to without us included. Most of those got thrown away.
    I found it very cathartic. My new home is so much smaller than my old home that I often found myself having to move those plastic containers full of old photos. They were not only heavy physically – but I think emotionally heavy.
    I feel like I’ve been thoughtful enough to not throw away memories that my children may want to have at a later date by making the box up for them. It started out much smaller than it is now – but it still isn’t all that large and contains photos and other items I think they may someday be happy to be able to share with their children – or to just look at and remember the past with fondness.
    I don’t think I have any emails left out there in cyberspace – as my old email address I had set-up to not save emails after 2 days. I admit to still having a few emails since the divorce as he has not always done things correctly with regard to maintenance.
    Just wanted to tell what I had done at Christmas time that I had eluded to earlier.


    1. Thank you for sharing Phyllis, unfortunately when I went through our photo’s I was living in our marital home with my soon to be ex. My emotions and anger were running high. I did sit down with the kids while going through the pictures but I was very angry. I started with a pile for me and one for him. Anything the kids had their eyes on they took for themselves. I did not take any pictures with the both of us in it (there were not many of those anyway). Or so I thought. Since then when I have had to look for a photo I always seem to find one that was tucked inside, and I have been setting those aside for my kids.

      I have a heavy heart today because I went about it the way I did. Having my kids by my side when I was so angry was probably not the best decision. I obvsiously was not thinking clearly during those days, but I”m happy that they were able to get the pictures they wanted.

      Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a step by step list on how to dispose of or distribute all the memories in a safe and dignified manner?




  4. Oh Kimberly, Do not have a heavy heart for what has already occurred. We cannot change the past – only apologize for it to those we might have hurt and move forward – hopefully with clearer eyes and more knowledge.
    I do not think it was me who was so thoughtful during those times. I give all the credit to God!
    This morning I awoke with a thought that I believe is yet another step in my healing.
    I thought – God gave me a true GIFT with my ex leaving me.
    That may seem a foolish thought but now I am able to look back at my life with him and realize how much I gave away of myself and got little in return.
    Sure he provided well for us financially – but emotionally he was never there.
    About 4 months after the divorce was final – a year after the ending of the relationship. He was involved in a terrible motorcycle accident. He unfortunately lost a leg. I was beside myself with grief for a while because I didn’t know how to handle not being there for him like I had been for 40 years.
    This morning I realized what a GIFT God had given me by me not being with a man who did not love me the way I deserved but who I would have had to spend my remaining days with and was even more difficult to be with due to his injury.
    He is doing OK and has made out quite well financially due to the fact it was the other persons fault – but the realization that I am FREE to be me hit me like a shinning light this morning.
    Blessings and Hugs!


  5. Kimberly,
    Just finished your book.
    Your observations were spot on for me.
    I especially enjoyed the part about forgiveness. This is something I have been struggling with over the last 3 years. I thought I had forgiven him and his mistress – and actually – perhaps I have. I am however having a much more difficult time forgiving myself.
    I am having trouble forgiving myself for staying with him so long and losing myself in the process. Almost left at 12 years of marriage but stayed. Wonder now if that was the right thing to do. Also thinking about my intuition that he was having an affair – and denying it for months – saying to myself that he was dealing with a difficult time in his life and that was why he was even more distant and critical of me than usual. But I think the thing I have the most difficulty with is my hope that we could “save” the marriage. My thoughts and request that we go to counseling to try to save a marriage that never was good.
    I wonder why!
    Was I so very afraid to be alone?
    Did I believe I was at fault and unworthy?
    I am hoping that soon I can forgive myself for my own actions and thoughts. I believe then I can truly forgive him his failures as a husband and a human being.
    Blessings and Hugs to you!
    Thanks for putting yourself out there so others – especially me – might see their own inadequacies.


    1. Phyllis, I am so proud of you! and thankful to you as well for putting yourself out there in commenting on so many of my posts. You have been such a blessing to me and we have never even met! Your comments most often help me to see things more clearly. We make a good team! Thanks again and Hugs to you.


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