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Old 08-18-2017, 10:24 PM
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"O you must wear your rue with difference".
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Old photos.

What do you do when every photograph you took in the past ten years is one that makes you cry because it's a memory you had with your STBAXH?

I love my photo album, but every one is a good memory related to him. I wish I had taken photos of him high, or injured, or taken photos of the horrible mess our lives were reduced to in the past few months. The only visual reminded I have of how bad things got is that in some of the latest photos, he looks gaunt, grey, sick, and his eyes look like they have given up hope. When I see those photos, I know for sure that his torment was greater than mine, and that he wished he could change his life. Still, I only took photos on "good" days. If we had a good day, and he was doing better, I would take him to a restaurant and get the camera out because I was always so happy those times.

The early days were really... I miss the early days, before he became a full-blown addict. You know, when it wasn't so frequent. When his cheeks were still rosy. When I still smiled in photos and I looked like a girl, still.

I wonder if I'm going through a mid-life crises.
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Old 08-19-2017, 05:26 AM
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Ophilia

I have all of my photos. Some are printed & framed. Countless others are digital.

The non-digital photos I put away several weeks ago in a storage container. That container also holds various other mementos of her. Other things she gave me along the way I still have out.

I read somewhere might have been on SR someone saying burn it all - get rid of it. I am not doing that. I cant look at the pictures. My pictures are mostly from happy times - but unlike you, not all of mine are pleasant reminders. Many are not.

For me, some of the things she gave me are still out. I see them but don't dwell for more than a few seconds on them. Pictures both good & bad - I cannot look at any of it now. She is part of me - she is part of my life. There may come a day sometime in the future when I will want to look back but I am not sure.

I know my limits - I stay away from the pictures.

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Old 08-19-2017, 05:44 AM
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O,
This is all part of the healing process. Embrace that you loved this man, and there is nothing wrong with that. Some people will never truly know what love is all about, your were lucky, even though it hurts.

It took me about a year and a half, post divorce, to go through 34 years of pix and send them to him. Anything with me in it, I did not send. Just him and his family or his kids. I then mourned my loss and put them away, again. The majority of my pix, axh had a drink in his hand or I knew he was off getting stoned at every party or event I was at, I could see it in his face.

I didnt get rid of my pix, just tucked them away. I also did not delete the family pix on fb. He was my past, and to me deleting them would mean to my kids that our family never existed. We were a famiy, not always healthy, but we were once a family.

Put the stuff away, don't obsess over them, and come back and visit them in 6 months when you have more time under your belt. You will be ok, in time!! Hugs!!
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Old 08-19-2017, 12:21 PM
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Because we have children together, I've kept most of our pics up. I did destroy a framed wedding pic, and was actually surprised at how long it took me to do it. But it was really freeing to smash the frame. I'm also surprised at how long it took me to stop wearing my wedding ring, and then how long it took to finally sell it (but I'm kind of proud of myself for the self-control it took to wait and get some money back, rather than smash that up as well!)

I was recently filling up a collage frame with my kids and had originally wanted to sort through the photos first, so as not to tempt them to include pics of my ex. But I felt that wouldn't be fair. Sure enough, they chose to include two pics of him.

The first: a picture of him at their 2nd birthday. He was all decked out in an army outfit, army boots. I remember thinking in that moment, "WTF does he think he's doing? Where does he think he is right now?" But my denial was so thick I wouldn't allow myself to see the obvious- he's high as a freaking kite and not thinking at all!

The second: our trip to Disneyland. Man, he was skinny! And that smile on his face says one thing: "I'm so high right now." And there I am smiling my head off, as if to say, "Everything's fine! Really, this is a happy moment! I keep telling myself that, so it must be true!"

I'm kind of glad I let the kids include those pics. They help me to see the way things really were, instead of allowing my warped memory to continue to spackle the damages.
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Old 08-20-2017, 09:52 AM
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Here's the thing...

What you're about to go through -- what you're going through -- is going to be highly unpleasant, and sadly, there's no ducking it. But it's important that you understand that it's normal. When people we love are no longer a part of our lives, for whatever reason, it hurts and it's supposed to hurt. And it doesn't take much to trigger those awful emotions. It can be a photograph. It can be driving by a place where you have good memories. It can be a smell. It can be hearing a song that reminds you of that person.

For me, music is a trigger. I was in a sub shop this past week and a song came on that reminded me of my AXGF and her various infidelities. Five and a half years after that breakup and two and a half weeks away from getting married, it still makes me really, really uncomfortable, so I got out of there.

One book that helped me understand loss and how we can deal with it is Ghost Rider by Neil Peart, the drummer of Rush. He lost his daughter and common law wife within a ten month window starting in August 1997. Devastated, he packed up some things on his motorcycle and began what ended up being a 56,000 mile journey. And although he's happily remarried and has an 8 year old daughter, he still has his triggers. His view is losses are like scabs, and it doesn't take much to tear those scabs open. I think he's dead on the screws right.

So do a lot of self care and do what you need to do to get through your day. It's not going to be easy. Some days will suck. But whether you're aware of it or not, you're going to be OK.
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Old 08-20-2017, 10:34 AM
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"O you must wear your rue with difference".
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Zoso thank you for that. That's what I'm feeling now. Loss. Grief. I never wanted this. That book sounds interesting.
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Old 08-20-2017, 11:48 AM
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probably a good idea to tuck those photos away for now.

unless we all go get lobotomies, we are going to have memories. good ones, bad ones, random ones. by being grounded in TODAY, we can keep the past AS the past, just part of our never ending journey.
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Old 08-21-2017, 01:11 AM
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"O you must wear your rue with difference".
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Lobotomies. Maybe that needs to come back in vogue.
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Old 08-21-2017, 03:35 AM
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Sadly I fear a lobotomy for either myself or my husband wouldn't stop the pain of accepting this marriage is heading downwards.

I packed away my past when I married and now we are separated I know I have to pack away those memories too. It's raw but I take strength from those here who have the experience to help us through.

Great thread. Well done on the pictures with kids thing, you are doing this!
Pack the rest away for now if the grief is too much.
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Old 08-21-2017, 08:35 AM
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I gave my ex-fiance's mementos to a trusted friend of mine who lived several hours away from me. I had the comfort of knowing that I didn't destroy them, but it was such a schlep to go see those things that I never bothered.

I donated my engagement ring to a local charity - the thought that others could find some good out of our failed relationship was comforting to me. My friend retrieved it for me when I was ready and then I let it go.
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