Strategy. Stealth. Silence.
I’m a samurai on the move. Literally.
The time is arrived to make my exit from the house of the loud queen dictator, also my abuser and roommate who committed assault almost two weeks ago.
My safety through the move, and regaining it once I’ve moved, is paramount. I cannot risk inflaming the roommate or endangering myself further, knowing not what she’s capable of, thus she’s unaware that I’m springing. Mum’s the word.
Strategy and silence. I can pack only when she’s absent form the house, which is rarely. Her working at home doesn’t support my cause. Fortunately she goes to feed her mother in the assisted living facility — bless her heart for doing that — every day at noon.
For that hour she’s away, I work fast ‘n’ furiously, organizing, packing, even cleaning as I go to save myself the need later.
And yes, regardless of her abusiveness and overall hellish experience this has been, I’m leaving the space shiny, clean — in fact far cleaner than I found it — and readied for the next roommate’s occupancy. Because that’s who I am. Where spaces and places are concerned, always the highest road even when people treat me like dirt.
Nighttime is the only other opportunity to pack. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever packed up a place making veritably no sound at all. It is a challenge, even for one with natural strong stealth powers!
To be successful, one must practice hyper-vigilence. In my situation, that means ears attuned to even the slightest change in sound in the house. The roommate crossing the living room (adjoining my bedroom). Because the floor’s carpeted and thus muffling of footsteps, a super-keen ear is called for.
Or a light switched on in living room or kitchen. A signal to stop. And be still. And breathe breathe breathe.
Last night I was up into the wee hours packing stealthily and got quite a lot done under the constraints. I can make no sound that might awaken the roommate who — and here’s a complicating factor — has oft spoken of her troubles sleeping. Fits and starts the night through.
See, packing in the midst of a snoring grumbling bear’s a whole different ballgame than that where the players are all insomniacs!
Which adds additional pressure to be quiet as a mouse and hyper-attentive (an additional stressor) as I go about doing what is needed: exiting asap.
I have to plan and conduct this move around the roommate’s schedule. At this moment, I’m watching the clock. It’s coming up on noon. Within the next 30 minutes, she should be leaving to feed her mother.
I’ll wait briefly to make sure she doesn’t U-turn for a forgotten item … then spring into action. Pull the car up to the front door driveway … and fast! fast! fast! load in the heaviest boxes. Reason is their loading is the most challenging and apt to return huffing and puffing.
And huffing and puffing I can’t have — I can have no sounds — during my only other open slot for multiple car trips: around midnight, when she’s in bed.
One hour around noon.
A couple hours around midnight.
These are my only slots for packing and moving! Depending on how much I can accomplish within those constraints, this process of clearing two rooms plus all that’s mine in the kitchen may require a few days. Piecemeal moving it is.
Speaking of the kitchen, that’s an essential ingredient in the strategy. Since I must maintain appearances of “nothing’s different, everything’s status quo,” I can pack the kitchen only at noontime when she’s gone … and only as my final load, as I’m turning in the key.
Because, well, you know. She opens the fridge and freezer. Finds everything on my half gone! All the foods in my cupboards, boom! Vanished! Pretty obvious something’s up!
I could pen an ebook on the strategy of moving in silence and stealth. It could be useful for anyone needing to flee abuse or violence in the home!
However, I’ve got one thing that most people don’t have. No, not a bevy of friends supporting me (I don’t). Not a magic wand (I wish! Sorta.) Neither genuine suprahuman powers of invisibility.
What I’ve got that most people don’t — ESPECIALLY folks in their late 50s like me! — is:
No bed. No furniture. Everything I own can be trekked by a Subaru AND is carry-able by me alone. Heavy some of it? Yep, you bet!!!
However, in my nomadic spirit, fierce independence, minimalism and exceptional anti-clutter nazi-ism, I’ve designed it at this time of my life to be able to move and need no one. And to move on a dime.
Or a chargeable misdemeanor of assault and battery as the/this case may be …