How often do we actually get closure on anything? Do we really need it? What do you do with all of those feelings if you don’t get closure?
These are questions that I have been grappling with lately as a few things have ended without my definition of closure and I am struggling to move forward completely. I have always thought that I needed closure. I need to understand why things go awry, why they change. I am sure a piece of it is my insecurity and inner critic that harps at me that I need to understand what I could have done differently so that the person’s feelings toward me wouldn’t have changed. Friend or lover, I have these feelings of not being good enough, not being enough. I fight for relationships long after they are dead because of this sense that I can’t give up, I can’t lose this person. Attachment to what I thought or expected something to be hangs over my head.
I have never been a “move on” person. I have always been a “hanger on” kind of person. I fight for friendships long after others give up. I certainly fight for intimate relationships long after they are actually over. The feelings of inadequacy that come with any relationship ending weigh heavy on me. My focus tends to be one of “why don’t they love me anymore?” And that feeds the beast…the inner critic, the gremlin of “I’m not lovable.”
What does closure really do to that inner critic? At times, it has validated what the critic tells me. I remember my ex-husband telling me that he didn’t want to be married anymore. My negativity (which was due to being depressed) was too much and he wanted out. He didn’t want to work at it, he wanted out. I found out after the fact that he was having an affair. So, that critic had a field day with that closure! I heard, “you aren’t good enough,” “you aren’t lovable,” “another woman is better than you.” I would say closure wasn’t really helpful for me in that circumstance. There have been those relationships that I closed, I stopped fighting for and the closure of those shut down that inner critic. I worked hard at not letting the critic have it’s way with me, instead I focused on all I did to try to save the relationship and the other person wasn’t worthy of my love and care.
There have been times when the closure has helped me move forward. Most times that is with family issues and some friends. The closure comes without the big conversation but with me finally seeing the person for who and what they are. Once that is seen, I can walk away feeling okay.
So closure can help or hurt me depending on what is said, how honest the individual truly is versus deflecting their guilt and blaming me. And trust me, I blame me often. I also know that any end usually takes two parties. So there is this cause and effect thing that happens. I am working hard at not letting things effect me the same way, and not allowing that critic from taking charge. My need for closure is starting to wane, at least with some relationships where I have given every opportunity for either the closure conversation or for the friendship to continue only to find that the person is incapable of having that conversation; or renewing their commitment to the friendship. I believe that is because they think I will never really walk away. I’ve got news for you, there is a moment in time when I’m done and I will walk away.
I have one relationship where I thought we were reconnecting and would get together. The person could never make time. Everything else in life was more important. Even as all of their kids are no longer living at home, there didn’t seem to be time. I could see on social media, however, that there was time for a lot of other relationships and outings, just not with me. This one, I got closure on. I was making the reconnection more important than they did, it was time for me to stop. I walked away. I haven’t heard from them since I stopped reaching out. And I’m okay with that. Their loss. I’m not the person I used to be, I’m better. They lost out on a relationship with someone who I think is pretty damn cool!
I guess closure really isn’t about understanding all the reasons for something to be over but more about getting to a place where you can be ok with it being over. Your attachment to the outcome is no longer important and the inner critic no longer has a voice.
I will take that closure and move on. I am always working to be better than I was the day before. I am stronger than the power of the inner critic and I am stronger than the need for the other person to explain!