One of the best things I ever did was insist that the narcissist remove his stuff from the house we once shared. He hoarded everything from old movies and magazines to food and broken appliances. Nothing of his was ever thrown out, not even shoes the cats used as a litter box. I couldn’t stand the sight of his things and felt like they were swallowing me up in the shadows.
I asked him politely to get his things, but he refused, so I packed up everything and moved it to the garage. Even a two-car garage was not big enough to hold all his stuff, so I asked him again to get his things, and still, he refused. Ultimately, a court order was necessary to motivate him to collect his precious items.
The entire situation was just another way he sought to control me. If I had his things, then he always had a reason to come back and badger me. For years he accused me of still having some of his stuff and even enlisted our young son to smuggle things out of the house to him. Fortunately, our son quickly realized he was being manipulated and told me.
It has been almost eight years since the relationship ended, and just this past summer, the narcissist tried to get my now teenage son to take things from the house to give to him. In truth, the narcissist has multiple storage sheds full of things – so much so that he doesn’t know what he has or where it is – yet he fumes over the possibility that I still have some of his things.
His things are toxic to me, and I want nothing of them, but to the narcissist, they are treasured memories. He holds onto clutter as he holds onto dysfunction and hate. How thankful I am to be free of him and the clutter he finds so valuable.