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Should I try to get closure?

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  • #38844
    Chelsey
    Participant

    So the first person I ever truly had deep feelings for decided (since we were doing a very long distant thing and since she just got out of a very long and bad relationship without any time for herself) that she could not get close to me. She wanted to end it and just be friends. She said she wanted to keep talking to me though and I said I couldn’t do that and I hoped we could meet up and be friends again once she returned. It turns out, she’s only coming home for a few weeks and then moving all the way back across the world again.

    The issue is, when we left things, I didn’t let her know how much she actually meant to me and how much she hurt me. She pulled me around for too long because she was lonely and was using me for that. But I was in love with her, even if it was only a few months. I feel like I let her get away with it and I didn’t stand up for myself. I feel the need to find some sense of closure. But I’m not sure if I’d be able to say everything I want to say to her in person. My therapist recommends I write an e-mail saying everything I want, and then if she wants to meet up with me in person, then at least I already said my peace. She also thinks seeing her in person could be good because I haven’t truly broken down or accepted it yet. Am I crazy for wanting to get closure? Because, really, she may not have anything to say except, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you.”

    From your experiences, have you tried to get closure and it ended badly? Or does it help in the long run, even if it hurts in the moment?

    #38846
    John
    Participant

    Write the letter if there is something you need to express, but don’t send it.

    To write a letter and send it primes your mind to expect a response and perpetuates the agony. Even if you say to yourself, “It’s okay if she doesn’t respond,” a small part of you will hope that she does.

    I’m not sure where this concept of “closure” has come from and why it’s infiltrated the world of psychotherapy, but I personally think it’s bunk. I’m not a therapist, but in my humble opinion, trying to achieve “closure” is a rehashing of the past, it’s clinging to something that once was, and is now gone. It prevents people on both sides from letting go and moving on.

    To borrow Matt’s term from another thread, I’ve been down that mental maze before; “Everything will be okay if they know how I feel….I’ll feel better if they just understood what they meant to me…If they just apologize, I’ll feel better…If we could just be friends, the world will be normal…blah blah blah.” Total and utter B.S.

    Breaking up is painful. It sucks. It hurts down to the very essence of your core and being. And you know what, it’s suppose to. Why? Because it meant something. It was powerful. It was special. It was important. There is no “Let’s just apologize and be friends” like we see in movies and sitcoms. To be honest, that kind of attitude and approach actually insults the relationship and debases the experience.

    This relationship is a learning experience. It says more about you than you may realize and therefore, use this experience to look inward. Looking to the other person to help you find inner peace and equanimity is a distraction from the work that needs to be done within.

    You can working with your therapist by asking, why did you develop a relationship with a person who, in hindsight, was so unstable and broken? What unresolved issues might you have that propel you into unhealthy codependent relationships? How can you find more stability in your life without a relationship?

    My experience is that for better or worse, people attract their perfect match. Broken people, attract other broken people. Strong and stable people, attract strong and stable people.

    This relationship is over and, someday, you’ll find someone else. So, what kind of person do you want to attract?

    #38851
    Matt
    Participant

    Chelsey,

    You are not crazy for wanting closure! In agree with John that perhaps closure is something you won’t find with her, but within yourself. Consider that you’re in pain, and when we are in pain we become selfish. This is normal and usual.

    Its also not surprising that after a long icky relationship and breakup that the heart needs time to heal before it can reopen. I wonder if you’re seeing it as “she hurt me” instead of what’s really there. You were more emotionally available than she was, and you invested more than she did. That’s not her fault, its not really anyone’s fault. Its just the way your feelings of love met poor timing and unhealed history in your partner. You saying “she hurt me” only furthers the myth that she is in charge of your feelings, leaving you a victim to the closure. If “she hurt you” then only “she can heal you”.

    That’s only a codependent myth, however. You loved, found out it was unrequited, and so became painful instead of ecstatic. I’m really sorry for that pain, too many people in this world suffer from it.

    Perhaps the closure will come from recognizing that you want a loving partner who is emotionally available. She wasn’t one of them, so perhaps it is ok to move on with the lesson learned. Now you know more clearly what you are looking for, all you really have to do is stop looking backward into the past and look forward.

    I hope you find peace in the present! Its available inside you, you don’t need her or me or John or your therapist to give it to you. Its in your nature. Others might help try to remind you, but its inside you already.

    With warmth,
    Matt

    #38852
    John
    Participant

    @Matt Well put! 🙂

    #38905
    Chelsey
    Participant

    All very good advice, guys. And it’s interesting…this person has co-dependency issues that I didn’t know about until the very end, which is what resulted in our parting ways. I’ve never been in a relationship so I definitely don’t see myself as having those issues. But again, for some reason, it’s hard for me to let go of this one because it was life-changing. I guess I have to try to see that as a positive thing. I also never thought I had issues with self-love, so I’m not sure where these awful thoughts are stemming from, the ones that say I obviously meant nothing to her since she said she wants to be close friends. Because like you say, John, that debases the experience. But I also have to try to remind myself that’s her co-dependency talking.

    Anyways…I am still struggling with the realization that she is coming home for a few short weeks before jetting off forever. I think I just have to take it day by day.

    #362278
    Canadian Eagle
    Participant

    Chelsey

    Did you ever get closure …… I find that if some captured your heart, a part of your heart will always belong to them ….. in time you come to treasure these memories

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