One thing life has taught me is that not all relationships continue to flourish. Recognizing that and being able to move on from toxic relationships, or those that don’t contribute to your growth or well-being, is a very brave thing. The question that often lingers in our minds after we learn to accept this is “How do I accomplish this when formal closure isn’t always an option?”. It’s a fair question, and not being able to answer it right away can be terribly frustrating. It is not, by any stretch of the imagination, weird to feel the need for closure; I believe its a necessary part of the relationship cycle. But the issue many of us have isn’t with closure per se, but more about redefining what it is in an attempt to move forward.
Certain things come to mind when we think of closure. Perhaps an image of two people sitting down and talking, laughing, crying, or arguing in order to get to a place where everyone can come to accept the end or shift of a relationship. Maybe it ends with a hug or one last kiss, maybe it doesn’t. It may still hurt, but at least both people can accept that its the end. Its always hard to create new beginnings when we are preoccupied with old endings. That’s why, no matter how much it hurts, they realize its necessary to the healing process and it must be done.
Life (always) does its thing, and sometimes closure isn’t in plain sight. But, equipped with a new outlook, we often are able to achieve some aspects of it that we may have never even been aware of. Closure isn’t some grand gesture or conversation. It could be something as simple as setting new boundaries, or saying “no” when you’re a serial people pleaser. It could be going through the belongings of a friend or loved one who’s life was cut short unexpectedly. Or sharing a few nice words through a Facebook message to a friend you haven’t spoken to in years due to a pointless feud.
I was in a relationship, for a short time, with someone who I cared for dearly. It ended just as soon as it started because of one main thing, infidelity. He cheated on me, with more than a few women, contracted an STD, and tried to give it to me out of spite because he was upset I broke up with him. Craziest thing I’ve ever experienced in my entire life. And to top it all off, one of the women he was cheating with was pregnant with his child. He got her pregnant while he was begging me to take him back.
He was a flight attendant for a popular airline, and he explained to me (once I dumped his ass) that every time he flew to a different city he’d stay with a different woman. And they’d have sex. Unprotected. And, because we were in a committed relationship, he’d come home and have sex with me as well. I was so hurt someone I loved had betrayed me in such an awful way, I’d never felt pain like that in my life. And I was disgusted that he could be so careless as to put the health of myself, his, and these other women at risk. I was absolutely floored that he would go so far as to attempt to give me a disease, out of spite, because I was tired of dealing with his shit and left him. Against my better judgement, I kept communicating with him in hopes of receiving some sort of apology. He gave me some brisk “I’m sorry”, but there was no empathy behind it. It was more of a “I’m sorry I got caught, and it made you upset. And for calling you all those terrible names. And for getting one of my side chicks pregnant. Oh, and trying to blame you for this burning sensation when I pee, even though I know I didn’t get this from you. Can we move past this?” rather than a “Shaniece, I am so sorry I put you at risk, for squandering your trust, and hurting you so bad. Can you please forgive me?”.
I had to come to terms with the fact that I may never get that apology. For so long I was plagued with the idea that him doing that, admitting to his faults because he was wrong and meaning it, was the only way I could begin to rebuild myself. But that wasn’t true at all. It hurt, and it sucked, but I began to move past it. I made a conscious decision that this one bad experience was not going to define me as a person. I wasn’t going to hold onto that hurt, the anger I had towards him, or let bitterness change who I am. And I definitely wasn’t about to let it stop me from finding a healthy and meaningful relationship. I kept telling myself that I’d be fine, and not too long afterwards I began to believe it.
I haven’t stopped dating, and I really don’t see a reason to. As cliche as it sounds, everything happens for a reason. You just have to trust that God has your best interest in mind. I didn’t exactly get the closure that I thought I deserved, but the end result was the same. I got past it and I’m a happier me. I’m actually glad things didn’t go how I initially wanted them to. Because, if I’m honest, the grand apology I was wishing for wouldn’t have made me feel better. Nor would it have changed anything. I’d still be hurt, and mad as hell. And he’d still be a lying, cheating, no good bastard. Everything that was supposed to happen did.
The road to closure very rarely is an easy or clear-cut one, but I’d admonish you to look at it through new eyes. As you start or continue your journey through it, remember not to be so hard on yourself. Don’t overlook your successes, no matter how big or small they are. Everyday is a victory. Meditate on the truth that you possess the ability to find closure, on your own, and in ways that go beyond your wildest dreams. Revel in the fact that you are in control of this and no one else. And when you are successful in achieving this closure, always remember that you are the one who made it a reality.
Stay beautiful loves ❤