azurelunatic: panic button.  (panic)
Last we properly heard, my partner was preparing for a highly emotionally charged stealth departure to achieve a separation from their abusive ex. (The situation is complicated. Once you get to more than one of the following, you've got a problem: home ownership, bitter breakup, long-term relationship, state-specific laws on property division, laws on property division that vary based on the type of relationship, intimate partner abuse, and probably factors that I'm forgetting and/or don't care to mention.)

As we have possibly come to appreciate, getting out of abusive relationships is hard as fuck. I would like to point out here that I did not in fact "get myself out of" my relationship with Shawn. Shawn asked me for a sexual favor, rudely ) and then told me that he and his new girlfriend were monogamous now, and thereby broke up with me. #classy

Some of the steps. )

There was a document, the Book of Shitty Compromises. Read more... )

That, friends, is what we call a shitty compromise.

My partner was training themselves to notice when they were making a shitty compromise for the sake of homeland tranquility, or at least, non-esclation. They weren't necessarily challenging their ex on things, or doing what they would truly prefer to do, but they were keeping track of those times and things in the Book of Shitty Compromises.

Also in the Book of Shitty Compromises was a checklist, the checklist of things that would have to be done in order to achieve physical separation.

In my professional life, I am pretty confident in my ability to handle logistics for things like little two-day professional conferences for a hundred or so people. That's a lot of moving parts, and (due to past experience) I can't count on me actually being there for every step of the way to direct all the people who are going to need directing. This means checklists.

I am also not the person who is the last word on decisions for this stuff. That means coaxing preferences and event visions out of the people who are actually in charge of that. Sometimes this means coaxing logistical details out of people who are used to executing the event but aren't used to articulating what exactly is needed. Sometimes that means going "Okay, when you say X, what do you have to do to make X happen?" and then, "So when you say you 'just do Y', who do you talk to about that? When does that happen? How do they know where they have to be?"

I brought those skills to bear on my partner. Y'all, if you've never had someone grill you for ... quite a while ... on the details of what you'll actually need to do in order to leave an abusive ex? This is not easy. This is very, very, very not easy. We weren't sure if I was putting too much pressure, not enough, or on the wrong place. And I am so fucking proud of them.

They thought they wouldn't be ready in January. I saw the signs of increasing restiveness in them, and ... wanted to make sure that as much as could be done, was done. Just in case there had to be an unexpected leap.

Saturday the 7th of January, they realized that they'd been pushed too far, that they were still (so, so very) scared, but they were more scared at the prospect of spending another month subjected to the ex's whims and demands and escalation. (And the ex had started escalating again. Verbal abuse, and impossible demands for the terms of the breakup.)

Having started the process to gather muscle to help move and pizza funds (much appreciated, thank you all so much), we realized that one of the bottlenecks was that my partner would have to be in about five places at once if this was going to be conducted as a pinpoint operation and possibly in the presence of the ex.

One of the ex's skills is an attention to detail that includes noticing changes (stuff moved, stuff removed) in the household. My partner got enough grief from a few small changes that they knew pre-packing was a non-starter. So they were left with a few days of tense anticipation but with few actionable items. They also weren't sure how many boxes they'd need; I am the one with the advanced spatial logic skills in this relationship.

My partner was also not rescuing all of their stuff. If they were, it would have been more work, but simpler: pack it all up and go, sort it out later. This was somewhat more strategic: pack up the stuff in order of priority, starting with the stuff that my partner would need for a few weeks crashing with a friend, and going in descending order of priority (of stuff that was theirs and would be hard to replace, expensive to replace, and easy for the ex to mess with if the ex was being vengeful) until either packing materials or time ran out. This meant that my partner had to tell people who they possibly didn't know all that well what to pack, and I could see this getting in the way of everything. They'd have to be running about from room to room directing, when it might take the entire time to corner the Antisocial Cat and get her in the travel cage.

"Can you take pictures of the stuff you want to pack?" I asked. "That won't disturb anything, but maybe I can start estimating the volume or something."

That, they could do. So as part of my organization process in the estimation, I wound up preparing a visual packing list.

I will probably use similar methods to prepare a packing list for myself, when it's my turn to move, since it turned out so well. (My partner can perhaps, at some point, give details on how it worked on their end.)

Read more... )

We gathered support: people with vehicles, people to pack, pizza money. (And a little bit of tea-and-chocolate money that was a holiday gift from a friend of mine.) They confirmed that their friends not quite an hour's drive away were still available to host them. They confirmed maximum availability. I blocked their ex on Facebook before posting a call for help, and tagged people who I suspected wouldn't be able to help, but who might have friends who would be able to help. There were a few people, and one of them was able to help with the unloading.

They went to see the lawyers, and signed papers and paid money for the lawyers' help in getting the ex out of their house and returning their house to them. There was no turning back now. (They still had fears and reservations, and still thought that this might be too cruel to do to the ex. Despite everything the ex had done, and the ex's continual show of bad faith.)

I realized a few things.

My partner was about to do the most terrifying thing of their life.
My partner was about to do the most terrifying thing of their life, not knowing whether their ex was going to be present to interfere.
My partner was about to do something that terrified the snot out of them, and would be entirely absorbed in the process, and therefore unavailable to do anything except engage with the process.
I was too far away to help, and my presence would only burn money and exacarbate any problems with the ex.
I was not going to be okay in the slightest. (I would prove to be less okay than the night before my surgery.)
I was going to need someone to physically be with me, so I wouldn't be alone for this.
Purple had the plague, and couldn't do dinner.
[personal profile] quartzpebble had another engagement that night.
[personal profile] jd could be available after work. I arranged to pick him up from the Caltrain station, and thence to get pizza.

The day came. Tuesday, the 10th of January. The ex had been planning to run some errands. My partner wasn't sure whether the ex would complete the errands before move time. As of 4pm, the ex hadn't left for those errands. My partner wasn't sure whether the ex would have left for those errands by move time. The ex had also asked my partner to do a grocery run, and my partner wasn't sure if that would leave time to pick up one of the people helping move.

I gently suggested that since nothing on the grocery list was super ultra urgent, perhaps the ex could pick up their own god damn groceries the following day.

"Even now, despite everything planned for tonight, I am still in the mode of doing what they want."

Read more... )

And my partner and their cat were safely ensconced in the spare room of some friends, and everyone was safe.

The ex, of course, tried to call (the call was not answered), and texted.
Read more... )

And my partner's terror, slowly, began to ebb, with every day that their ex didn't show up to throw a lawn tantrum at work.

And we are okay.
azurelunatic: Hinky: adj: pure evil fuckery afoot. Syn.: suspicious (pure evil fuckery afoot)
1) U-Haul would almost have to be the last trucking service on Earth before I would hire one of their vehicles again.

2) 10 hours is not long enough to have the truck, especially when THEIR time counts from 7am and we didn't get there until nearly 9am. (WTF.)

All stuff is unloaded from truck. Feeling what a wimp I am; feeling very fortunate to have a body on which the pieces WORK. Two sides to it. Always two sides to it. Now working on getting things up & returning truck. Things are parked in my parking spot & being shifted from there.
azurelunatic: University of Alaska Fairbanks's Elvey Building (UAF)
Did a whole lot of nothing today. That, and unpacked some things and tidied and made some floor space and called U-Haul and got ASS customer service and watched some YYH and allowed [ profile] myrrhianna to call U-Haul back and be me and called Darkside.

Tomorrow is Hauling Stuff Day.

Darkside heard me yawning and tried to bully me into bed. That made me feel warm and fuzzy, even though I protested and told him that he's not my mother. Best friends get to get away with things like that, even though I'm not obliged to follow his orders anymore. (Internal obligation, not external. I was never externally obliged to follow orders from him.)

I just unpacked literally 6 boxes of books just now. Some of them are on public shelves, because they are either awesome books, or books of general public interest (like the Harry Potter books). Some of them are in the same closet that houses the oils and will wind up housing the incense. I really do have a pretty decent library... I know I'm going to want to tag my untagged books, just so things don't get confused a few years down the road.

I have a shiny new userpic. If you recognize the building, you may well have met bits and pieces of my family. Hooray for the natural sciences, where "natural" gets stretched a bit, because space is involved.

[ profile] gameboyguy13 is coming for Thanksgiving. Hooray!

I think I will be able to actually store things under my bed! There will be room!

Darkside's family is going cellphone-only soon. This means I will have a new number to memorize. Since I do not have The Dumb all the time when dealing with him, I immediately asked for the restrictions. Tuesdays are Out. Fridays (before 7pm) are Out. He doesn't know precisely when "evening" starts, although "weekend" is pretty standard. Oh, and he's sharing minutes. (Geographic convenience had better mean more face-time. Just sayin'. I have a best friend. I value time with said best friend. So. *grabbyhands*)

Strongbad really defies description. I tried describing the show to Darkside, and completely failed to get across the essential Strongbadiness of it all. Strongbad is really awesome ... from a twelve-year-old's description of awesome; wacky hijinks ensue. I had to bring up the concept because I am contemplating dressing as The Cheat this year. Halloween falls on a work day, and more than just me will Get It, because work knows and loves Strongbad. I mean, if one of the widely-used internal tools has a picture of Trogdor to help people navigate.... I already have the costume; it just needs a little touching up, with cardboard, construction paper or something, markers, and a little hot glue. More people would get The Cheat at work than they would "skyclad", I think, although that one would have the Pagan Dude rolling in the aisles, especially if I convinced [ profile] hcolleen to do what Sis did, and wear the night version. (A few years back, I wore my pale blue silk skirt with a bright blue cotton shirt painted with clouds and sun. Sis wore a black outfit with a reproduction of Van Gogh's "Starry Night" painted on it. It was cute.)
azurelunatic: "I span two worlds: Day / Night". Images of Aurora Borealis, Fairbanks hills, Phoenix sunset.  (Fairbanks to Phoenix)
On Monday, [ profile] hcolleen expressed that she was thinking of moving out of the place where she is currently living. By 2pm on Tuesday, we were ass-deep in the alligators of the living room area of my tiny studio apartment, arranging things and tossing things and doing all manner of other random things in pursuit of Cleaning House and otherwise making it possible for her to move in.

Tonight, I'm up a little later than I might be. The first installment of Stuff has arrived: there are two large boxes of manga and books, plus one backpack of same, and then two travel bags (the under-the-seat-sized kind) full of clothing. Tomorrow we go in for the rest of everything.

[ profile] hcolleen is organizing and decluttering me with a deft and merciless hand. There is a surprisingly low amount of whining on my end of the process. One of the first "casualties" (one I was glad to see go)? The TV. Neither of us watches it, really: we have computers, what need for TV have we got?

There is a surprising amount of room in here right now for a studio apartment with two full-sized beds in. It will lose that feeling once her computer desk arrives tomorrow.

Yes, Darkside knows about this new development. I called him and told him, briefly interrupting his family celebrationings. It is my Rule that he learn about certain things soon, if not First. (I have held off on announcing some things to LJ until he'd heard them first.)

Apartment already feels a lot brighter and cleaner. Three bags of assorted reusable clutter have been sent to the communal laundry room for distribution to someone who can use them already. More will follow. I am temporarily keeping some of the romance novels, for further instructional reading.

Stopped mid-afternoon to eat. Considered recruiting [ profile] trystan_laryssa. Realized had left cellphone at home. Came back home. Alas, no connection was to be had. Cleared off bed from stuff that had accumulated, got [ profile] hcolleen back to the soon to be former home, collected the aforementioned items to be put away here and gotten out of the way now, and on my way back, stopped in to see if [ profile] trystan_laryssa was busy. Got shanghaied into family fireworks outing and dinner. Hooray fun happy fireworks time! Got shanghaied into game, also. Starts Monday. D&D. My character, for a change of pace, is going to be a fighter. Maybe a paladin, but definitely a fighter-jock short on philosophy and long on redshirting, and tough enough to take being hit with a brick.

I'll have to tell Darkside about this one too. I about made RC snort fries out his nose when I pulled out the usual "but I'm not gaming yet" line. "But... I am someone special!" he declared.

I had streamers from the explosive little popper-things all over my hair, mostly because I snatched them out of the air and put them up in my big claw-clip. Fun times had by all. Now, bedtime. Shower good; I was all over sweat. There's a dust storm going on out there now, so I'm glad I got those boxes in while I had the chance.

The comfy-chair has been relegated to the porch, and sits in state under the yellow expanse of slicker-cloth left over from that The Cheat costume. Good job I put that on, or it would have been ruined in the dust storm. Not that it's not already on its last legs, but still.

Day 3

27/2/05 14:37
azurelunatic: Animated woman's gloved hand dripping with her own blood.  (bleeding)
Figment came over last night to help move stuff. This was a good thing, because I started majorly freaking out. I tend to do that.

Sis and the gang came over a little earlier this morning, and she found that there had been a hole punched out of her wall. Punched, because it's fist-shaped. She did not do that. I did not do that. The Little Fayoumis did not do that (it's at the wrong height, he lacks the arm strength, and it's too big to be his). It had been covered over with a picture, the one picture that [ profile] marxdarx had not taken down. She called him about it, and he denied having done it.

And that, of course, has severed ties between him and us entirely. It could have been no one else.

Most of everything is moved, except for a few little odds and ends here and there, and the last of the essential stuff that involves the phone line and the shower. I'm exhausted, dead on my feet, but still moving things and myself. It'll get done.

Darkside is excused from It's Your Duty As A Best Friend To Help Move; What Kind Of Friend Are You?? because of his help last weekend above and beyond the call of duty at the expense of my cordless phone's battery.


azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
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