Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Photo Album

Adult children of divorce have a hard time looking through old photo albums.
We turn the pages and find people who look familiar. We know their names and faces and they have funny hairdos and strange clothing.  As we look at the pictures and see things we remember, part of us smiles and part of us cries.
Although photos capture people at a moment in time, they represent much more.
They represent shared life.  As an adult child of divorce one of the things we have to accept is that we can share life with those we love, but in a divided way and not in a united way like the people in the photo album.

It has been said that a picture paints a thousand words,  or speaks a thousand words.  Photos must mean alot to people because we pass photos on from generation to generation.  We preserve them and we spend a lot of money capturing pictures of an event sometimes.  The person on the photo represents a thousand words and memories to us sometimes.  They serve as a part of the person at that point in time that we can capture and take with us.

When adults face their parent's divorce, we realize that often the people we see are not the people who are now.  I have read many posts by adult children of divorce on Yuku and references are made to my "old" dad and my "old" mom.  People who have changed drastically and the photos serve to remind us of a shared life that is in the past.  Even if a relationship exists between adult child of divorce and parent ,  it is a new and different shared life, that is often strained by new and different shared life experiences among the other parent and the siblings.

Michr on Yuku says  :   "...I can't go back and look at old photos of my family anymore."
Doid19 on Yuku says :  "I still can't watch my wedding video or see any photos of my family together that day without crying."

For many months I felt the same. I avoided the photos albums like the plague. Finally I decided that I needed to appreciate the shared life we used to have and force myself to look through them and remember.  I don't know when things truly began to change in my father, but as I looked at each page with images of important and unimportant times I was able to appreciate times that I believe were truly happy and meaningful to all of us.  I was able to grieve photos where he was not there at an event or where his look was dull and distant....wondering if the emotional separation had begun already then.  And now I am able to look at recent photos in my photo album and realize that I still share life with those I love.  We just may not be in the same photos anymore.

So, if you are an adult child of divorce who is blessed to have pictures of the past that remind you of happier times, look at them and be thankful you had that time.   If the photos tell of times that were bad, look at them honestly, face it and move on.  Looking at a photo album from the past can be painful for an adult child of divorce, but hopefully we can be strong to face the past as well as the present, and the future and we can determine to share as much of life with as many that we love, as we are able.

NEXT POST   :     The Pathway 

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JANUARY TOPICS : Help and Hope
Bonds Unravel


MARCH TOPICS: Accepting Change
Forgiving Parents
Time For Serenity
Things/Objects of Meaning

Photo Album

JUNE/JULY : Reflecting and Writing Again

Acods and Listening
Acods and Materialism
Acods and Identity

Serenity Prayer Worksheet
ACODs and Simplicity
A New Look to the Blog!!
Serenity Prayer Extended Version/Worksheet
Why do we Blog???

ACOD Serenity Prayer
ACOD Fathers and Mothers
Things Still Aren't Right This Christmas

Grandchildren of Divorce
ACODs and Affairs
Keep Going
ACOD Forward and Back
Lord' Prayer ACOD version
Ripple Effect
Grief Revisited
Too Many Choices
ACOD Times To Remember
Telling the Truth
Behind the Curtain

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