Haunting.

The picture.

The eyes.

The bedroom.

The date.

Haunting.

Going through my old Facebook albums tonight (since, oh, I dunno, do I really need one THOUSAND pictures on Facebook?!), I came across a picture. From about a week before my divorce began. And I stopped. Froze. Looking at that picture. That day. It was a friend’s wedding day…my best friend from kindergarten. I distinctly remember it. It was an off day. My ex husband was off. He was distant. We went to the wedding. He texted the entire time before the ceremony started. We didn’t even stay for the reception. It was a weird day.

In hindsight.

That day, I had no idea what I was in for, less than a week or so later.

Looking at my face, my smile, in that picture. It looked so innocent. But looking deep into my eyes, I want to cry for her…the me I was then, and warn her. No, I don’t want to warn her. I want to congratulate her on what she’s become today. But I can’t. Because she hasn’t gone through it yet.

She becomes a shell of herself.

She falters.

She fails.

She cries.

Until she cannot cry any more.

She seeks solace in friends, family, and ultimately, herself. And this community of beautiful people that have all struggled before. The thread that unites her – us – together. She moves on. She moves up. She moves into her own. She becomes…me. Today.

It’s haunting to see the me I was then. I have tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. But soon, she will be gone.

Deleted.

Replaced by love. family, friends, and the most beautiful niece on the planet.

…who needs one thousand pictures on Facebook anyway?

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34 thoughts on “Haunting.

  1. Fantastic post, Jo… very well written.

    I deleted all photos of the ex-era as soon as we broke up. I’m all about cleansing… it feels great, doesn’t it?

    Sidenote: Seriously, is Kate not thinking to herself “holy shit my back hurts, quit singing these lame songs and let me take off my shoes!”?? I mean really.

    1. Thank you dear πŸ™‚ Sometimes the random last minute posts come out pretty good. I wasn’t even planning a post but then came across that pic. It is cleansing for sure. As for Kate, yes, indeed she was probably thinking the songs were WAY lame ;-P

  2. I’m right in the thick of that stuff now… I just filed for divorce today with my husband. You may or may not remember me finding your old blog back in December and realizing we had the same story… getting divorced at 29, being married for the same amount of time, etc.

    It’s been inspirational following you and watching you find love again. I’ve been separated for 7 months now and, boy, I’ve never grown so much in my life (except when I was a kid. πŸ™‚ ) There have been exciting, happy, sad, angry, helpless, hopeless, strong, crazy, every-thing-in-between moments as you probably remember having, too.

    I have a feeling I will look at this time as Haunting, too, someday but at the same time be glad I went through it in a bittersweet way. But never ever want to repeat it that’s for sure! πŸ™‚ Thank you for continuing to share your life with us!

    1. Hi there! Of course I remember you and was wondering if you had been following along still. Lurking, I see πŸ™‚ I am SO happy to hear that you are moving into a good place right now and that you filed for divorce officially. I am sure it has been a major whirlwind but the growth aspect…phenomenal, right? Thank you so much for commenting, it makes me smile to think that you are well on your way πŸ™‚

  3. This was a really nice piece of writing. I liked it. It’s amazing how pictures can take you back to a moment in time, especially when it’s a not so great moment. Good job deleting.

    1. Coming from you, one of the best writers I know (seriously), that means a hell of a lot. Thank you!! πŸ™‚ It is amazing how pictures can do that, it completely brought everything back. So strange.

  4. I read your blog every day and love it all. But this really hit home and you wrote it beautifully. Thank you for sharing this.

    1. Oh this makes me smile…thank you for commenting after lurking for awhile (though I know you comment here and there). I am so glad you love reading along! I sometimes wonder if anyone’s really connecting with stuff I blather on about, so this makes me smile big. Thank you!

  5. i kinda like looking at old pictures for just that reason – to see the evolution. i am so much more… whole, i guess. and the pictures i take with the man are so different from the ones i took with the ex. then, the ex and i looked giddy, y’know? like it was all a big game. now, the man and i, in my opinion, look centered. grounded. comfortable and real.

    here’s to growing, evolving. we’ve both come a long way, baby.

  6. This really hits home for me. I look back at pictures from a time when I was in a terrible relationship and while there is a smile on my face, you can really and truly tell that I am not smiling from within. Good for you for deleting!

    1. Wow, so interesting Heather. I know you have mentioned it before, being in a bad relationship in the past…any interest in a guest blog at some point?? the juxtaposition between then and now, with such an awesome marriage? (nothing like putting you on the spot or anything. No pressure, seriously, just came to me!).

  7. Love this post.

    I have some pictures on Facebook that could probably be deleted. I’ll put that on my ‘to-do’ list.

    1. Thank you! It was weird going through a lot of old pics from 2008, the year that it all started…I was tempted to delete all of them, but some of them hold good memories (family etc).

  8. Whoa. I have chills reading that. I can definitely go through my facebook albums and find some of those very pictures – where your eyes deceive that smile on your face. The sparkle complete burned out, the smile half-hearted and semi-forced. It pains me to think about that time, my heart felt SO heavy every single day as you went through the most painful part of your divorce. I woke up and that heavy feeling was there, and went to bed with the same feeling. And I wasn’t even the one going through the divorce, you were. But I felt it so deeply. And I am so amazed at how far you’ve come (I know, I say it all the time…) and so proud and most of all SO happy that you’ve landed at “you” again – an amazing you, and a loved you. xoxo

    1. Thanks sis, for bringing a tear to my eye with your comment. Thank you. I felt badly that you were going through this just as much as I was when it was really tough for me, but in a way, it helped me through it, because we could commiserate more together and get ourselves through it. I am glad I landed at me again too and sometimes I just need to remind myself of where I’ve come from. I don’t even know the me I was before. At all.

  9. Wow. And I thought I was the only one who did that. Not on Facebook. In life. I look at the old me. And I compare her to the me of today.

    What I love about it is that every time, as much as I’d love to avoid that pain, there’s no way to do that and still end up being the me I am now, the me I’m happy with and proud of. It’s all worth it.

    Big hugs to an amazing woman. I love the you of today. I can’t wait to meet the one of tomorrow. You only get better and better.

  10. Oh my goodness… another post that makes me cry!!!

    I feel this way about the first picture of us as a family of four. It was Easter Sunday and my little one was barely 3 months old. I found out later that afternoon that my husband was having an affair. *sigh* I can’t even look at that photo without feeling everything you describe here. My daughters LOVE that picture… they were so little, so sweet, so cute… I’m trying to see it through their eyes.

    Beautifully written, sweetie. So powerful.

  11. I was looking through my old FB pics the other day too…but was thinking something way different. I kept seeing how happy I was…how full of a life I’ve led. And even though I’m not at all where I thought I’d be, romantically-speaking, I cannot deny that God has been very faithful to me. So then I started thinking that if He’s been able to work out all those other things in my life, just maybe He’ll bless me with a good husband and those kids I’ve always wanted. So for me, it was a reminder to be patient. The past appears to be evidence of the greatness that is ahead.

    1. That is a wonderful way to look at it, Akirah! And ya know, in so many ways, so very true. I am glad you look at things so positively, as you should!

  12. I was asked today if divorce was easy. I said that it was the hardest thing I’d ever done and I still have a part of me inside that is hollow from it.

    It lives between my rib cage and I can normally ignore it – but every now and again something will be said or done that makes it rumble at me.

    It sounds like you went about everything positively though and have become and stronger and better person because of it.

    1. Spencer, the way you describe the feeling of divorce – the space between your rib cage – is such an incredibly good way of describing it. It is indeed always there, always a reminder in some form, whether good or not so good. The trick, I guess, for me, is making it always a learning experience. Ya know?

  13. Jo. This was such a strong post. I read it last night just after you posted. Hehe, I love email. I actually got yelled at by my hubby for not listening to him, because it was THAT deep.
    Part of me felt the pain you felt…isn’t it amazing that someone can write words on paper (or a blog) and do so in such a manner that someone can literally picture you seeing that photo and looking deep into yourself? I could see the image in my head, and while it’s not a happy image, it turned happy when you remembered everything that you are now.
    My parents just had their divorce finalized last month…after 30 years of marriage. And what comes to mind is that somewhere there’s someone for each of them (my dad probably found her…she’s the reason it happened). Knowing that the pain you go through will make you stronger, wiser, and happier in the end kind of helps you get through it, right? I can tell from every post involving M that you’re truly happy and where you were meant to be.
    That delete button just cleared more of the path you’re headed down right now. ❀

    1. Melissa, your comment is so so touching, I can’t believe you were that engrossed that your husband thought you were ignoring him. Apologize to him for me πŸ˜‰ As for your own story, wow, that has to be tough, after 30 years. But to your point, there is someone out there for both of them, I believe that. And the delete button…DID continue to clear my path. So true. XO!

  14. I hate that haunting feeling. I delete all my pictures of an ex immediately from FB. They are still on my hard drive though. Deleting those pictures is much harder. It’s like I’m actually deleting that part of my life. I know that sounds weird.

    1. Doesn’t sound weird at all. I know I have some stored somewhere on a hard drive (external) and part of me hasn’t looked at it because I know there are wedding pics on there etc and I just don’t need or want to see them…but I also don’t know that I want to delete them either.

  15. I wish you lived in Tallahassee, FL so we could be friends. I’ll be 32 in November, I feel our lives are quite similar, keep writing, it helps me tremendously!

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