Tonight’s title is from a Joe Bonamassa song, and seems appropriate.

It’s the second part of my post from last night, and although this hurts to type it, I know I need to do this, not just for me, but for those that read this: so you know everything, but also for those that are in the situation I was in; to give you courage that you can do this and build a better, happier life.

It was an early start that Monday morning, we had a minimum 4hr drive in front of us and none of my stuff would be packed and ready, I also would have to do a handover to the rescue of my girls. I don’t really remember the drive down to Plymouth, my friend did the first 2hrs- the part my ex would always do & we swapped at the ‘halfway’ point like I would have done had it been me and him. My heart was racing when I pulled up outside what used to be my home; we had no idea if my ex would be there, or what state the house would be in.

A quick glimpse in the window confirmed he was out; the living room door was shut over to keep the girls out from the living room. I unlocked the door and stepped in; first thing we all noticed was the smell of alcohol and cat wee; great, so that confirmed my suspicions that he’d turned to drink again to cope and wasn’t caring for the girls like I did.

The girls were pleased to see me, and although the were well fed, the house wasn’t aired and open. A quick scan round and we started to plan what rooms to start emptying first. I went and dug out the cat carriers, gave each girl a quick cuddle, slipped their collar off and popped them in their box (I’m crying as I type this). I didn’t have long to wait for the person from the rescue to turn up and take my girls away; I think I just about held It together as I passed them over and signed the paperwork; and then that was it- they were gone, and my heart broke.

I lost the plot somewhat after this, and I can’t thank my 2 friends enough for taking over and taking control; I would have quite happily have just sunk to the floor and cried my eyes out.

The next kick in the teeth was that I had under estimated how much stuff I had…my friends gently pointed out that there was no we would fit ALL of my stuff into one car in one go; I started to panic, time was ticking, I was tired, angry, scared and I was hurting, I could have happily have thrown the towel in there and then, but again my amazing friends stepped up and took over; they guided me, they took over the packing and let me wander round the house in a daze; picking stuff up and putting it back, trying to make an on the spot decision about what I wanted to take and what I should leave.

I was clock watching; panicking when anyone walked past the house, we had no idea if my ex would come home for lunch or if someone would alert him and he would rush back.

Turns out you can get more stuff in a Seat Leon 1.9 TDi than you think; I can’t thank my friend in Plymouth enough, if she hadn’t taken the day off work to help us; we wouldn’t have got all my stuff out- she loaded her car with my things that they persuaded me I would not need straight away; books, cds, shoes, handbags. We took a breather and found we’d got all my stuff out that i’d wanted/need and we had time AND space to take stuff that we hadn’t thought essential; pillows, duvet covers, bedroom curtains- things that would help me settle back in at my parents and make my room my own again.

Anything I didn’t want to take back with me; pictures, ornaments, my wedding bouquet, got binned. By the time we’d finished the house looked bare, and I allowed myself a little giggle; wishing I could see the look on my exes face when he stepped through the door and found the house had been stripped of all my stuff without his knowledge. (Please note- we only took or binned my stuff, which was pretty much 95% of items in the house, if I could have taken the furniture as well- then it would have been empty! )

With the cars loaded, the girls gone and the house empty- I allowed myself one last walk round; one last goodbye to a house that had been my home and life, it was just an empty shell now.

I’d pre-written a note to my ex, and once i’d locked the door; i slipped the key in the envelope, sealed it and with a deep breath- posted it through the letterbox, hearing it land with a clunk on the floor behind the door. That was it, it was all over. We had managed to do it within a few hours and without my ex knowing.

I drove out of Plymouth for the last time, car loaded up but a huge weight off my shoulders. We made good progress home, and was back by approx. 8pm; tired, hungry and relieved it was over and done. I’d been home about 10mins when my phone went; the ex was calling, so he’d obvs just got home, I answered him with it on speaker phone so my mum could hear and did allow myself a chuckle when his opening comment was “well, I’m surprised” , he didn’t say much more than that- I could hear him walking round the empty rooms, he asked where the spare key was and once he got his answer- ended the call, and that was it.

It took me days to unload the car, and to unpack it all into my room; clearing out stuff as I went. 2 days after I’d been to Plymouth and got my stuff, I went for a job interview and was offered the job that night- and that’s the job I am in now, so my luck had already began to turn for the better.

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