Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Getting the courage to cut back … and out !

This picture of a wall-mounted soap dispenser is the closest I could find to the one my psychiatrist brother-in-law had in the bathroom of his home-based office back in the late 1960’s. I remember being quite impressed with it and it plays a prominent part in this little story.

My sister and he were married for about 35 years before she got the courage to finally divorce the SOB (Scathingly Obnoxious Brother-in-law). That was in the 1990s and she moved to a small house crammed to the ceiling with “stuff” from her past. She knew she had to get rid of much of it, but that seemed impossible to her. We’d been brought up with the philosophy of the Depression years … that you never throw out anything that might be of use “some day”. This included the gallon jug of liquid soap that was used to refill the dispenser in her ex-husbands office. In her mind it would be a “sin” to discard it because it was still half full of perfectly usable soap, although the dispenser was long gone and just looking at the jug brought up painful memories.

Her “ex” had completely undermined her self worth and it would actually be four years before she could summon the will and the energy to tackle her mess. But healing was taking place and the day did arrive when she took the first tentative steps. I was overjoyed when I received a letter from her telling me that she was in the process of cleaning out, cutting back and reorganizing her life.

 I knew she had it licked when I read her last sentence that said: “Guess what? I finally threw out that gallon jug of liquid soap. I’M FREE AT LAST … THE SOAP AND THE BASTARD WHO HAD IT IN HIS OFFICE ARE BOTH OUT OF MY LIFE !!”

PS: she went on to get her Masters in Social Work and held a prestigious position in that field well into her 70’s . The “ex”? he faded away but I’m sure his ego kept him afloat somewhere !






Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Love the post. Just tell it like it is.

2:51 PM  
Blogger ellen said...

Oh, Ginnie...I love this. Kudos for her. I can well understand what she went through, and she came out of that awful relationship so much the better. I would use other words to describe him, but it might be a bit too rude.
xo, Ellen.

3:27 PM  
Blogger NCmountainwoman said...

Great post! Amazing how some little thing can suddenly indicate something so liberating.

4:09 PM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Enjoyed the description of SOB in this post. Good for your sister in tossing out the bad.

6:40 PM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

Great post and I love your version of SOB.
Sometimes it takes time to rid ourselves of what is toxic but it is eventually such a relief. So glad your sister reached that stage.

4:21 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

Good for her. Funny, I wrote about egos today.

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Psychiatrists can be obnoxious and I am sure being married to one is difficult. The shrink David and I saw for marriage counseling years ago (and both detested) was shot and killed by a patient last year. I am still trying to feel badly about it. Ain't I awful?

Regarding your SOB how beautifully you put it. My EX was and SOB too, but he was a Marine officer of sorts (not to cast aspersions on members of that outfit).

David is much nicer. Dianne

12:48 PM  
Blogger troutbirder said...

Well said! I'm not a sterotyper nor one to easily cast unfair aspersions on a group but personal experience with psychiatrists and psychologists lead me to believe many were screwed up when in college and enter those fields to find out what was wrong with themselves....;

3:13 PM  

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