Saturday, June 13, 2009

The representation and power of objects

I called my mother the other day to go over last minute details of our upcoming trip. Specifically, I wanted to know if we were going to go grocery shopping there, so I could determine whether I needed to bring certain "Tiptoe" food or not. She said that we would be and not to worry about it. Half of me was glad, the other half not.

Just as I was about to hang up the phone, another conversation started:

Mom: Oh, I found that medallion.
Me (very surprised): Really, where was it?
Mom: It was in the jewelry box. Not the ballerina one, but another one. You are right--it is beautiful and quite heavy. There is no hole in it, but there is a chain with it.

I thanked my mom for finding it and then hung up the phone. As I sat in my car, I had a sudden surge of emotions that filed through every part of my body. It didn't make sense to me why I felt this way since I had originally asked my mom to look for this specific medallion.

I know it may not make sense to those of you reading this, but this medallion has a lot of history. It represents a time I wish to forget, a time of hurt, confusion, pain, and shame. I told my therapist C. about this medallion awhile back and said if I found it, I would burn it. I got this idea from a friend in college who I knew wound up burning all her love letters from her ex-boyfriend who did not treat her well. She told me it was a very cathartic experience for her. I began to think that maybe I could feel that way too if burned this piece of metal.

Now, however, I don't know. I don't know whether I am gutsy enough to burn such a beautiful thing despite the fact it represents not only an awful time in my life but a very twisted individual. I've thought about other things to do with it--pawn it, send it to
postsecret (might be too heavy for a postcard though), or maybe give it to goodwill. None of these feel "right," but at the same time I don't know what is the right or wrong thing to do.

By keeping it, it's similar to holding onto a pair of skinny jeans. Those skinny jeans torture and taunt us. They remind us of how we once were, things we once did to wear them, to belong in them. In the end, it's just a purposeless piece of fabric sitting in our closet. But at the same time, it's hard to let go of something with such a powerful meaning.
Note--*Hopefully, in the next week or two, I'll take a photo, post it here, and be able to elaborate further into how/what I'm feeling. If anyone has been in a similar situations or have words of insight/advice for me, I welcome them.


Kim said...

I often wonder what to do with certain remnants of phases of life. Being that I'm sentimental and can't part easily with things (even things that I don't like or want to think about), I tend to just shove things in shoe boxes and close them, thinking one day I'll be able to go back and "appreciate" their meaning. To be honest, I've never once opened an old shoe box. I've thought about burying them, but the concept of burial seems too much like anorexia -- shoving things down, repressing them. Burning is very cathartic. I can see how giving it away (via pawning or goodwill) wouldn't feel right. You have time to think about it. I'm sure you feel some urgency because of all the emotions that came to the surface, but maybe it'll be good to sit with them a while, then come a resolution.

Kim said...

Got your comment on my blog. I haven't read "Lying in Weight." I'll have to get it. I don't know why more people don't talk about EDs and relationships. I think it's all very connected. Well, I think any relationship chosen is reflective of where we're at with ourselves... Anyway...
By the way, I watched "Obsessed." Wow, powerful stuff! I have to say that what struck me most is that their spouses stuck by them... Kind of made me feel like I "bailed" when I should have helped my husband more. I don't know. I related to a lot of the helplessness and hopelessness with the OCD...I don't feel that way so much any more, but I still have my moments.
Ok, off to :)

Lissy said...

i liked Lying in Weight too.

have you visualized the different options in some detail and then noticed how you felt about each way of handling the medallion?

i like the idea that you're not going to do anything until you mull it over for a while.

like kim, i bury things in boxes and, most likely, never open them. there far away, but not destroyed. i don't know if that's healthy, but that's what i do.

Tiptoe said...

Kim, I'm sentimental too, so it is hard for me to part with stuff. I have a lot of mementos , cards, letters, photos, etc. in boxes as well. I don't look at them that often, but there is something about just having them. Their so personal and reflective of that time period for me.

I will definitely think about what to do before deciding. I'm hoping to mull it over with C. as well.

I haven't finished Lying in Weight yet, but so far there are some good parts to it. Another one that may be of interest to you is The Body Myth which is similar in talking about adults with EDs.

I don't think you have bailed on your ex-spouse. There were a lot of other issues at hand that he was unwilling to look at and WANT change.

Lissy, I had not thought about using visualization. I'll have to think about that more.

Dr. Deb said...

I have a two year rule. If I don't see it or use it, it goes. I am highly sentimental though, but in mind set, not with material things. I think because I grew up with parents who hoarded that I need to have minimal things around.

Tiptoe said...

Dr. Deb, a 2-year rule is good. I agree sentimentality in mind is a good thing, but sometimes, there is something about having the actual object too. In any case, it is important to figure out whether keeping it is provides positivity or negativity.

Gaining Back My Life said...

I lost about 90% of my sentimental items about 10 years ago. About every 6 months, I think of something positive that I missed from that collection. But I know forevery positive item there were probably 5 things that would negatively affect me today.

It is freeing for me. Only you know what will be right for you.

Much love,

Tiptoe said...

E, thanks for sharing your experiences. Hopefully, I'll make the best decision for myself.