Yesterday I made the conscious decision to remove my ex-boyfriends from my Facebook friends list. All of them. Well, at least the ones who were actually of some significance in my life (and the insignificant ones were never on my Facebook to begin with).
Anyone who knows me well enough knows that I have no qualms deleting people from my friends list if I know that my presence or absence will give no more meaning to their lives than theirs give to mine. But when it came to these ex-boyfriends, I had to stop and think about why I was really doing it.
I initially waved these men off as being of no relevance to me or my life now — until Becca pointed out that they will only be irrelevant when I reach a point where I can actually have them on my Facebook friends list and not feel like (a) deleting them, (b) killing them or (c) writing them a long letter filled with all the things that I’ve kept bottled up inside me for the last 12 years. So I thought getting them out of my Facebook would be one step towards getting them out of my life for good, along with all the memories and the anger and resentment, and it would be a step towards cleaning up the mess that has been my life for as long as I can remember.
But then I realized that as heartily as I channeled my rage towards purging my list of these ex-boyfriends, the feeling of triumph at actually doing it would wear away eventually, and I would be back to feeling angry all over again. So yesterday, when I decided once and for all I would delete them, I made sure I wasn’t in a provoked state of mind. And when it was all over, I felt something I hadn’t really expected to feel.
Not anger, not bitterness, not even sadness or happiness. Just relief. I was finally starting to learn how to let go.
It may not have been out of complete indifference for them, but as Becca summed it up for me: “You deleted them because they all made an impact on you and you would rather they not anymore.”