Before Briana Barksdale could move on with life as a divorcee, there was one thing from her past she needed to let go of.
Over the weekend, the 34-year-old Houston woman held a “divorce garage sale” to sell “bad memories” of her past.
But the main attraction wasn’t the items for sale — Barksdale also decided to torch her wedding dress.
“This is for every woman who has ever been in a relationship that was abusive, that hurt, that they shouldn’t have stayed in, that they didn’t know how to get out of,” Barksdale told CBS-affiliate KMOV.
“It was a really rough situation, it was a bad situation — there are still criminal charges pending so I can’t talk about a lot of it, but yeah, not a great guy,” she told the broadcaster.
According to KMOV, Barksdale finalized her divorce on Jan. 31, and ended up selling some of her ex-husband’s possessions at the garage sale.
“This is symbolic of freedom. This is symbolic of moving forward,” Barksdale told USA Today. “This is symbolic of letting go of the past and moving forward to the future.”
According to the paper, Barksdale sold everything from a computer for $30 to some items for 50 cents.
And while Barksdale chose this unique way to move forward with her life, others have opted for divorce parties and divorce cakes.
Last week, 36-year-old Nicole Niesne of Saskatchewan threw herself a divorce party, after being married for 13 years, Inside Edition reports.
At the party, Niesne had all of her friends attending wear their own wedding gowns to celebrate.
Last year, the trend of divorce or “freedom” cakes were also popular, a customized way to mark the occasion.
“Divorce selfies” were also another way for people to show the possibility of having an amicable divorce and staying in each other’s lives post-divorce.
Relationship coach and matchmaker Carmelia Ray, says with social media in particular, people are a lot more open about their divorces.
“We’ve gotten rid of the privacy aspect of relationships and the idea of a divorce is so common,” she tells Global News. Ray adds although divorce can sometimes still be seen as a failure (and the stigma that surrounds it), people are willing to leave something that isn’t working out.
“It takes a lot of courage to get out of a relationship,” she says.
And while there are different methods people take to move forward with their lives, Ray says she appreciates Barksdale’s version of a cleanse, and says it is needed after a breakup.
“A cleanse typically starts with social media and then a physical one,” she says. A physical cleanse includes removing objects that remind them of their ex, moving out of the house or even changing the bed sheets.
And before you move onto another relationship, Ray suggests creating a visual inventory of your last one. Write down the pros and cons of the marriage and reflect on each point.
“Look back on the positive things and learn how to change your perspectives … rather than thinking of it as a waste.”