I Threw Your Picture Away


I am unreasonable.  I just am, it’s probably a product of being an only child, or maybe it’s just my sweet Southern nature, or maybe it’s just in my DNA.  Whatever the source, I am just an unreasonable girl.

The good news is I recognize this feature, but it still doesn’t stop me from sometimes getting on a kick where I see something that offends my senses so much that I want it eliminated as quickly as possible.  So I’ve found this situation, and I need a remedy. But this situation just hasn’t been eliminated as quickly as I’d like.  So I’m not sure what to do.  On the one hand, it seems silly to complain.  But on the other hand..well.

My aunt and uncle still have pictures…multiple pictures…of The Boyfriend in their house.  Yes, I am in these photos too, but that isn’t the focal point that my eyes are drawn to when I glance at their walls and tables.  A wall of a million pictures, and my eyes dart between  specific ones, each of a ‘happy’ couple staring back.  High school graduation, summer vacations, football games.  There he is, smiling…all jolly and shit.  And it’s all over the house.

I haven’t even approached the subject of The Friend being in a significant amount of photos that outnumber The Boyfriend.  If I can’t get The Boyfriend out of their house, I can’t start a fight about The Friend yet.

In the first weeks after the break up, I went to their house and saw the pictures and cried.  I wandered through the halls and looked at the pictures longingly.  But this didn’t change the fact that they kept them hanging.  And then later as things grew less painful, I was angry.  And I asked them to take them down.  No results.

I proposed a compromise of cutting him out of pictures, of putting stickers over his face.  I even said the photo of my college graduation is fair game to stay, as he is in the photo but not technically posed with me. Just his big fat hea..nevermind.

Ultimately my aunt and uncle have told me it’s silly and they’re not taking them down.  But I was there at Thanksgiving this past week and saw the pictures and it still hurts my feelings that they’re up.  It’s not so much that he’s in them, it’s that my family just doesn’t understand why I am bothered by it.  Sometimes it’s like my family misses him.  It feels like when I left, I hurt them too. It wasn’t enough that I hurt him, or myself.  I hurt an entire family of people who grew to appreciate him. Sometimes it’s like they don’t get what I’ve been through.  The pain, the tears.  I realize if I told them the whole story, the real truth, they might be more sympathetic.  But then again, they might not.  I’m not a very innocent person in that saga.  There might be less loyalty if they knew the entire truth.

I get that he was a big part of their lives.  He was a big part of mine too.  You don’t date someone for years and not form bonds.  I suspect they loved him.  It’s only natural.  But things end, and they have to trust me that it’s for the best.  They should see what a new person I am and that should be enough for them to know that it’s better now. But it’s not.  And the pictures hang there, frozen in time.

People hang pictures because they’re happy memories, right? Mostly because the snapshot shows a happy person staring back.  But when I look into my eyes in those pictures, there’s nothing there.  Nothing.

How long will the pictures stay up?  Surely to goodness, if I ever find another boyfriend, they’ll not force me to show him those pictures will they? Will they?!

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4 thoughts on “I Threw Your Picture Away

  1. Pictures of exes are the worst. I recently cleaned out my room after a break up- I felt like I was an exterminator, I turned everything over so gingerly for fear that a picture of *him* might jump out and bite me!

  2. My mother used to keep pictures of my first boyfriend up in an act of protest because she hated my last boyfriend so much for not visiting. She still had a Christmas ornament with his name on it that was on the tree last year. We broke up in 2006.

    While her intentions are completely different from your family’s, I can understand how you feel. When I saw those pictures, or when she compared my Ex to my boyfriend-at-the-time, it made me feel like she was blaming me or subliminally telling me that I made a HUGE mistake. I hope that once she meets my current boyfriend, she’ll finally get over my Ex. But I’m not holding my breath. ;P

    1. It’s hard when a family becomes attached, isn’t it? Maybe that should play into my other post about when to meet families?

      On a personal note, I know that you did what you did for a reason. And even if your family misses him or keeps pictures, you’re a courageous girl to go out on your own. Just like I am 🙂

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