Several months back I mentioned that my ex-husband was going to become a father.
I was a bit angsty about it then and when my ex actually sent me the news that they’d had a boy and a picture along with my birthday message on the day of my birthday (not the best timing, I must say!!!) back in January, I got all angsty again.
My first immediate thought was to go and buy him a gift and send it. My second immediate thought was to send him back an email congratulating him on his new arrival.
But in reality, I couldn’t bring myself to do anything – not even send him an acknowledgement that I’d received his email. And now it’s July.
Every time I’d sit down to write something, I just didn’t know where to start. The birth of his child just seemed like the final nail in the coffin that was our relationship and I suppose a part of me was wanting to deny that the whole thing had happened. Out of sight, out of mind and all that kind of stuff.
That doesn’t mean that I didn’t think about it over these last few months. Very rarely has a day gone by where I haven’t had at least a fleeting thought of, “I wonder how he’s going” or “I should send him an email”.
But I haven’t. There’s just something stopping me.
Now that six months have gone by, I’m wondering whether extricating myself from his life was actually the best thing I could have done – in the sense of giving him closure. I didn’t want to exactly say, ‘You’ve got your life and I’ve got mine. Goodbye and good luck!’ and I probably haven’t got the guts to say that anyway, but I’m wondering if my silence has inadvertently given him that message.
It also got me thinking about friends in my life who were once part of my life, but are no longer. Should I still call them ‘friends’ and worry about the fact that I haven’t sent Christmas cards/email/texts to them for months or in some cases, years, or should I just accept that they’re no longer part of my life and move on.
M deleted his Facebook account months back. At the time he said it was because he didn’t think Facebook was ‘doing anything for him’ but I think it was more because it was a constant reminder that his friends weren’t contacting him. I’m not saying that he got less out of Facebook than he put in it, but there was obviously some reason why he deleted his account. I think M actually did much more with Facebook than I ever have, but I’ve never thought about deleting my account.
But I also don’t delete old phone numbers from my contact list or throw away email addresses scrawled on the back of a napkin that I got from someone I met in a pub 15 years ago.
I find it hard to cut people off. To let them go.
Even though they may have never really been mine to begin with.
And just in case you wanted another gratuitous trip down memory lane photo: