Storage Locker Blues

For over a year, I maintained a storage locker in Farmington. It wasn’t a convenient location for any more than a month. It had made sense at the time Tina and I decided to rent it, since I’d just sold my Mom’s house and was moving in with Tina as a stepping stone towards getting a new home together.

After Tina and I ultimately parted ways for good, I eventually landed back in my home city of Minneapolis. For a time, I largely ignored the existence of the storage locker, with more pressing concerns cluttering my mind, but I was paying for it. I eventually came to realize that I’d paid over $2,000 to store possessions I’d not seen in a year. Not much in there was worth that much. I’d be better off buying replacements for just about anything in there than paying to store it any longer, I reasoned, so I began to go through it all, moving some things to my condo and throwing some things away, with the goal of closing that money-drain.

Every 30-mile trip to Farmington to work on that storage locker stirred up anxiety, sadness and anger. After searching in vain for family heirlooms from my grandma’s cabin and realizing that Tina had managed to remove them from my possession, going through what was left became even more depressing. I was always aware of what should have been there and wasn’t. Tina’s immaculate handwriting was still on some of the boxes and bins. “Dan’s Sweaters,” “kitchen stuff” and the like. Those labels echoed the false future I’d once eagerly believed in – the life Tina and I were preparing to build together. Those labels mocked me.

It was always stressful, returning to Farmington. Besides being a town brimming with ambivalent memories of Tina, it was a frightening place to visit. I never returned without extra vigilance. I was in a heightened state of awareness, surveying my surroundings, paying attention to faces, adrenaline elevated, ready to defend myself. I had no idea what threats could still be lurking there – what people Tina had turned into flying monkeys who might mean me harm. She appeared to be involved with a criminal element in one of her secret lives and she’d previously intimated that I was under threat from Scott (Scott himself backed that up when he suddenly started sending me provocative texts while I was in Miami licking my wounds from the breakup). Scott lived just down the road from the storage facility. I could easily encounter any number of other people I wouldn’t want to see while visiting that little town.

It’s ironic that Tina expressed fear of “dangerous Minneapolis,” when I’d first met her in Farmington and I felt far more fear in that little town than in the big city sometimes billed “Murderapolis.”

Every trip to that storage locker reignited anger at Tina for her causing me to move my entire life to Farmington where I was immediately dropped on my head, leaving me homeless, confounded and devastated.

Disposing of the storage locker was unfinished business in the effort to eradicate Tina from every corner of my life.

“Future Faking” is a particularly destructive game narcissists play and Tina knew how to use it against me all too well. Winding up homeless and stuck with a storage locker in the boonies was only the latest time she’d pulled the rug. I drew analogy to Charlie Brown always trying to kick Lucy’s football. He kept falling for it and so did I.

[Related reading: The Narcissist and Future Faking: What is it?]

Living together in Farmington wasn’t the first or even second time we’d planned cohabitation. Every time it came time to actually do it, though, Tina either acted out to sabotage our relationship or simply vanished. Before, she might have just ghosted on me right before the moving date, but this time, I was already moved in and had keys, so she ran to Nate’s hotel room and she hid out at her friend Amber’s, leaving me with her mom as a roommate – until I finally snapped and the floodgates of reality opened.

Not more than a month or two prior, Tina and I had been sitting on the patio at the Mug bar with another man and woman. They were just friends and the woman was telling her tale of woe. She’d moved her entire life to Minnesota for her boyfriend only to have him abandon her to live with another woman as soon as she’d settled in with him. Then he tried stringing her along so he could date them both. Tina and I expressed sympathy, joined in calling the offending ex-boyfriend a douchebag and the like. It was like a harbinger – or really just an example of another narcissist destroying his victim with a little future faking and perhaps Tina was taking notes.

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