I No Longer Need Closure

Sunset

You can’t keep dancing with the devil and wonder why you’re still in hell.

Labor Day weekend holds a certain sense of wretched nostalgia for me. Most people don’t actually keep track of break up anniversaries, but for the hopeless romantics out there – and even for those that aren’t hopeless, but have still endured the great loves – we tend to remember the dates of the break ups that left us the most in despair. And for me, the worst break up of my life with one of my two great loves occurred during Labor Day Weekend in 2011. Not to mention I randomly happened to meet someone this morning that is actually good friends with my ex. And in my lifelong search for irony, I could only laugh at the timing of the situation.

And yes, there is absolutely zero exaggeration when I say that this break up caused my entire world to come crashing down. I shed so many tears that since then, I rarely cry. I yell, I scream, I feel sadness, but I haven’t had a genuine crying session in a couple of years. I allow myself to let one tear fall down at times before realizing that crying has never gotten me anywhere other than curled up in the fetal position on my bedroom floor.

I guess the thing I’ve struggled with most in my post-breakup acceptance is that there was never any real closure. My great love and I broke up while he was still drunk and high – and that was it. I drove 200 miles home, and we have exchanged less than 100 words since that dreary day in September. In the months that followed, I felt an extreme sense of loss. This person that had been my friend for ten years, and my boyfriend for two years – I didn’t quite understand how we could end so suddenly. No post-breakup sex, neither one of us begged for the other to come back and for us to try once more, he didn’t come after me; I never turned the car around. He had cut me down so far that I had never felt so small and infantile in my life. I was literally lovesick.

And for months on end, I cried myself to sleep, I cried for all of the questions I had that to this day, are still left unanswered. I cried because he never stopped me from leaving, I cried because he didn’t try to get in touch, I cried because I missed his touch, I cried because even though he had humiliated me, even though he had made me cringe and twist into this shadow of a human being, I still found him to be beautiful. My shadow self slept in late, was barely productive, and still wondering how the person I thought I knew actually never existed. Ironically, apart from the breakup itself, it was the cleanest break I’ve ever experienced – no communication, no seeing each other, we were both left with nothing. Which is exactly how I felt for so long. I felt nothing, and I felt like nothing. Where did we go so wrong?

And those nebulous questions that had arisen nearly three years ago always appear at the forefront of my mind around this time of year. Not because I want him back, not because I miss the adoration, the deep kisses, the yearning, but because I simply just wonder. Most people struggle when they do not receive answers to their questions, no matter how basic they may be. And while the course of true love never did run smooth, do we really have to muddle our way through with this much uncertainty? With so much left unsaid, unspoken, and unexpressed?

But this year, the third year that these questions should appear, I won’t be letting them. I have realized – maybe a couple years late – that to hold on to these unanswered questions is foolish. I no longer need an apology from him to feel the sense that it is over. It’s been over for a long time now, and no conversation that could possibly be had would ever mend the hurt I felt in those moments. If anything, I owe an apology to myself for making myself wait for so long for the words that would never come. I don’t ever need to see him again – I need to see myself growing and moving forward. Avoiding the mistakes I made during this relationship. No repeats, no redos, just the reality that is and what can be. Because of him, I have become a much stronger person, I have become far less naïve, and far more guarded. But no matter the gravity of our mistakes, I no longer need him for closure. Really, we only need ourselves to gain closure for anything. When we can admit to ourselves that something is over, that some things never have an explanation, then we can ice the bruises, bandage the wounds, and accept that shit happens. And shit will keep on happening. But we can’t leave it up to others on how we will handle the situation – the handling is in our control alone. So this is me, officially locking the door on three years ago, erasing those questions from my mind, and getting my long-awaited and much needed closure.

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