I've been reflecting recently on what exactly entails "closure". Always seemed like a simple concept. Sort of an idea of finality and peace about something... a sensible ending. Like having "all questions answered" kind of a thing.

Without looking in a dictionary (and doing so would eliminate the philisophical opportunities of this), I always figured this would be a decent explanation... though I'm not sure who else would agree. I use my past experience as sort of the barometer for that. Many times I would have questions about something... an event or relationship (okay mostly relationships... that's what I'm really getting to), and always have questions... What exactly happened that I didn't see? What am I not being told? Stuff like that. The answers to these and other questions was always supposed to be the "closure". Sure, things didn't work out for whatever reason... but the closure would at least explain WHY... and hence I could learn from it, and make whatever future relationship benefit from that knowledge.

Not to say I always got "closure"...hell, I got it very rarely. Some of the times where I did get it... was LONG after the fact... such as a "yeah, I was stupid... sorry for what I did." So the closest thing I ever got to "closure" (at the times it was needed)... was when I had to make it myself. Usually by soul-searching... asking myself questions, and trying to find the most constructive, understanding answers that I could. While it never answered questions about the other person... it did answer them for me, and about who I am.

But lately... I've been wondering if I need to re-define the idea of "closure"...

I shall elaborate slightly.

About a year ago... I went through the worst breakup I ever had. By far. I'm not going to bother details (because that would be 20 pages... and just about everyone that knows me (who will probably be the ones reading this) know the details anyway (from my point of view). And those that don't... it literally is 20 pages long (and the story of the story is a story unto itself), so you probably don't want to know...

But the long and the short of it is... I got screwed over. Big time. Whether that was intended by the involved parties or not is neither here nor there. But throughout the events... the final product was Me Screwed Over. The stress of it got so bad, I started having stomach pains (at least I now know where I keep my stress...) that doubled me over for a good few months. Yak yak yak camel yak...

But for the idea of closure... well, I know it was something I desperately wanted for a long time and wasn't getting. I had so many questions about what happened... why... what was the thought process... why did it happen like that... why couldn't it have been a nice clean break (which it could have)... why the lies, the betrayal, etc... Most of the questions don't even have an intelligibe answer. Just a "that's the way it is" or "it's happened before"... or things like that. They never actually answered the question to my satisfaction... but I wonder if any answer *would* be satisfying.

Working things out over the past year... I enlisted a LOT of help... cause for the first time in my life, I sure needed it. Have done a lot of talking... lot of writing... even found that I could draw (which is a positive thing... though to be honest... if that's how I needed to find out, I would have preferred to never know).

And I've come a long way... for one... it's not very often that I feel the need to talk about the details. When I do, I've been told that I sound "not so bitter"... and overall to seem to be doing (and feeling) pretty well.

I should say... it being almost a year now... is not much of a surprise for me to take this long. I *always* take a long time between relationships... granted I didn't think it would be THIS long... it's been almost as long as the time we actually dated, but everyone is different... and I know people still hurting from briefer relationships that took place years ago. And it's still really just applying to the issue of closure.

I have dated... and had a very nice time with some really cool people. And I'm glad that relationship is over... and I feel fairly confident that I'm ready to move on to the next opportunity whenever it presents itself. So, don't worry... I'm not obsessing.

But like I said... I considered redefining "closure". Because for myself... I think I've come up with the answers I'm going to... and the rare times I do think about it... it doesn't seem like enough.

I started wondering if closure is more than just ME understanding things... but would it feel better for HER to see my point of view? And not just know my point of view... but actually UNDERSTAND it? And realize why I felt wronged to such an extent? Maybe even elicit a sincere apology?

Do I need to bluntly and cruelly say all the things I felt and opinions I had? If for nothing more than to get it out? Of which... I have said. I've chatted with friends, therapists, written about it... but I always felt that telling "others" never did much good... when the person that I "wanted" to hear it was someone I never wanted to see or talk to again. I thought that she was the audience I needed... but would never get. I wonder if that's just the closure I needed.

Yet, while speculating it... I can guess that it would *feel* good to do that... but thanks to Murphy's Law, we know it probably wouldn't work out that way. Maybe her reaction would be so cold that it only incensed me more... or maybe she'd break down crying, apologizing up and down saying that she's a horrible person. *shrug* Who knows. But I don't think either of those is something I want or need.

I know I can create the opportunity for that... I can get in contact with her, face her down and tell her all on my mind. (But that's a lot of work to just be consciously cruel, no matter how much it's deserved) But I did mean it when I said I didn't want her in my life. Yet, in a way... we ARE in each other's life. Because we have mutual friends. (The really ironic part is that I became friends with those people AFTER said breakup... again, long story.) Though I can avoid her in every way possible... eventually, we WILL run into each other.

And we did... at a wedding. (Definitely a place where I would never start drama) There was a polite smile and hello. And that's what it was kept to. And I was even uncomfortable with that, quite frankly. And I'm told that even though she still wants to be friends with me, she will never make the approach to me... because she figures that since "I was the one who was wronged, she'll wait until I approach her."

I can understand that logic. But there's the counter-argument: If I was the one who was wronged... why the hell do *I* have to be the one to make the uncomfortable approach???? That's the one I subscribe to, and hence I do not intend to (of which I can be very stubborn when I want).

Yet, I did hear (from third-party) that she did walk by me several times on purpose... to give me the opportunity to stop and talk to her. Of which I never did. Don't know if I was just told that for my benefit or whatever... (can't think of how it would)... but it was grapevine.

Why mention this all now?

Well... I realized earlier today... that the one-year anniversary of the breakup is just a few short days away. And just prior to that realization... my stomach started acting up. The sure sign of my stress from this whole last year... pain that I haven't felt in several months.

Now whether my body's internal clock went off because of the time of year... or if I got the mild pains BECAUSE I was thinking about it...or if I just ate my Salmon a little too fast... don't know. Or even if it's just for general stress issue... not related to her... because this has been a year of change... and with change comes stress. And I've made a decision to change something very significant... my location.

And I don't mean just get a new apartment...I'm talking a full-on Latitude Adjustment. It's something I thought about heavily... and made the decision because I feel it's right for ME! (And I'm making it a point to do more things for Me.) So while I feel good about it... the logistics of that can always be stressful.

So maybe it's something... maybe it's nothing. Maybe I'm at the end of that saga... maybe there's more to come. Maybe "she" will hear about this and read it. (Not sure how she would, though) Maybe she doesn't give a flying leap. I don't know. But I think Closure is starting to seem like an intangible idea... something we tell ourselves to try to move on. Not something you can put your finger on... but that we need all the same... and hence near impossible to find.

Providing that I'm making any sense... what do you think?

And a shout out to the GG blog... they seem to like me there. :)


Single Stephanie said...

Yes Brian we do like you at the GG blog :)

I can totally relate to where you are coming from here. It has been two years since my breakup and it took me just about all two years to heal wounds that were made during the 4 year relationship. Closure is a very tricky thing, especially, when we can't do the things we feel we need to such as screaming at the other person or hurting them (emotionally) as much as they have hurt us. It is SO hard. You are doing the right thing though, you have to talk about it and get it out or else it will grow inside of you take control. For me music was a hugh form of therapy for me. It helped me to hear words that I wanted to hear (although not from that person) and to say things I wanted to say. I hope that you find your closure so that you will be open to receive love and happiness that you deserve.

Single Stephanie said...

Darn it! I posted this long comment and it didn't go through! UGH! Damn technology! GRRRRRR....
I will try again...

Single Stephanie said...

Me again....
OOOPS! Sorry Brian... it's been a rough Wednesday already. If I had seen the "waiting for approval" thingy at the top I would have known why my comment didn't appear.

I hope my little tantrum won't keep you from approving future comments.

Thanks ;)

V. Riley said...

Not at all... I find it entertaining. :)

Snooty'smama said...

I am in your court on this one. By the time my marraige was basically over I had alot of pain due to stress. My doctor tried to help with medication, but it just made me feel not-myself. So the best medication I found was forgiving & forgetting. I'm not talking about saying that what she did to you was right, just that it's over now and you have grown to understand that you won't be accepting of that behavior any longer. When I let go of that anger that was causing the stress, and I stopped thinking about all of the crap that happened, I felt a whole lot better.
Yeah, it took me almost 2 years to get straight with my life, but I found myself stronger and more capable of controlling what I will accept behaviorwise from others.
I think that your choice to make a clean break and move east is a good idea. Distance is a great help because you can get away from those everyday reminders.
I hope it all works out for you, and just my opinion, but she doesn't deserve to be friends with you if she can't apologize first.

V. Riley said...

Well, I won't deny that the drama of the last year contributed to the decision... but it wasn't the deciding factor. Not by a long shot.

I don't feel (or want to feel) as if I'm just running away to get away from it. No, looking at what I want to do... I'm just changing tactics to get there... and maybe getting back to my roots, per se. And I do miss Halloween in New England. :)

Snooty'smama said...

Well we are glad to be getting some talent back here on the east coast, for whatever the reason is.
And BTW...the trees here in PA are absolutely gorgeous right now...sorry you might miss some of the color. When do you plan to move?

Single Stephanie said...

Yes Brian, I agree. There is nothing greater than an east coast Halloween! This is the GREATEST time of year. I love it.

nosecurityissues said...

Yes Brian, we do like you on GG's blog and here too. Isn't it great to get it out and get it out so eloquently??? Isn't it wonderful to not try to put on that brave face and pretend it's all well and good when it's really not???

Closure is good and it's something that can be achieved. I believe that the way you make it a point to let it out will go a really long way in the long run. So far, you're doing a pretty good job. I encourage you to be strong.

nc_chick_35 said...

i commend you for knowing when you needed help to get over this, and taking action on that feeling.closure is personal and intangible.i hope you find that kind of peace.i have always believed that bad things happen to teach us to appreciate good things when they happen.if you look at every experience as a learning experience, then you grow as a person..sounds to me like you are growing quite a bit,laying groundwork for true happiness.and good for you for taking the time to heal from that relationship.so many people get involved with someone too soon after a relationship ends, and dont let themselves fully heal, and end up in a string of bad relationships,because they drag the same issues into the next realtionship.you are on the right track,to healing, and having a better, healthy relationship in the future.that is alot to be proud of.this girl didnt break you,though it may feel that way.she made you stronger, and better able to see where you WANT to go in a relationship, and what kind of person you want to be with.dont cry because its over,smile because you survived, and came out better in the end.have a safe trip home.

Joy said...

Hey there! Just saying hey to the one and only Brian!

Married for Decades said...

Oh, Brian, I can identify with so much of this. I mean, obviously, I haven't broken up with anyone for a long time, but I had two bad breakups, and both took me forever to get over. And I don't mean completely, I mean to get sort of functional, in romantic relationships -- it took more than a year each time. And I always got the stomach issues, too, which makes you really miserable, on top of miserable.

I often wondered if I would feel better, or satisfied, if I got to tell these guys exactly how I felt, and why. And I finally concluded that I would not feel satisfied by a conversation like that, because these guys had already proven to me that they didn't feel things for me the way they professed to feel. And therefore, they were unlikely to "get" my conversation with them, and then I wuold feel worse.

Could have been a justification, I don't know, but I decided it wasn't worth it.

Nikki said...

Found your blog through GG, actually. :) Just wanted to say that this post was very awesome! Many of us have been, or are there, I'm glad you are taking such a positive approach.

nc_chick_35 said...

im so sorry to hear about your poor kitty..you have my deepest sympathy..i would be devistated if anything happend to my dog or 2 cats..your friend is brave to risk getting scratched to save her..i hope his health continues to hold up..****hugs**** hope your day get a little brighter sweetie

Snooty'smama said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your kitten.
I will say a little prayer for you tonight when I hug my B-man.