Unresolved Issues and Closure

By definition Closure is:”an often comforting or satisfying sense of finality”

It’s kind of a rare thing to feel like you have everything in your present life together. I still have bills to pay and less money coming in, but as far as my well-being goes, I can’t really complain much at all.

I exercise every single day. I don’t smoke and I quit drinking. I watch less TV and sleep better than I have in years. I’m very grateful that my biggest problem of the day is what I will have for lunch or dinner, because I know that many don’t have it so easy.

No, the things that bother me are deep in my mind. Issues from past relationships and friendships, things that I wish I could resolve but I either don’t have the courage to or I know it would be almost meaningless.

The unresolved issues I have built up over the years have set up permanent residence in my head, even though I have moved on in my life with success in marriage and my career. But if that’s true, then why do these things linger around?

Having “closure” usually gives you the fuel you need to move on. It’s a definitive act that allows you to let go and finally get over whatever your problem is.

How do you get closure, when in some cases you don’t even know where the person is? It’s important to you, but is it important to them? Would they even care, or think you’re nuts for holding onto something for so long?

If I could, I wish I could put all the people I need to talk to in one room. I’d sit at the front in a chair, with my list, while all the people I needed to talk to waited in line to hear me spill my guts about how I wronged them, how I wish things could have been different, and ask if they’re OK now. You know, because I’m sure they’ve been waiting all these years to hear this from me. (sarcasm alert)

In other cases, I’d like to tell people how much their actions hurt me. I’d tell them that I moved on, but that they needed to to understand how they hurt me. Closure.

I really don’t know what someone’s reaction would be. If someone I knew came up to me and wanted to apologize for something they had done in the past, I suppose I would listen to them, and probably thank them and let them know everything was OK. Closure.

The reason it eats away at me is because I can’t accept the fact that the other person is OK and it doesn’t bother them. Sure, they would be happy with an explanation or even an apology, but the real problem is on my side, because I need the issue resolved.

I need the closure, not them.

Do you have anything you can’t let go? Wish you could tell the person but can’t for some reason? Let me know in the comments.


3 thoughts on “Unresolved Issues and Closure

  1. Fantastic blog post. We all have things we fantasize about doing differently or changing or telling to people to even the score, to apologize or to get it off our chest. I think you covered it rather well, but I would leave you with a possible warning: Don’t hurt others because your need to have closure is thought to be more important than their needs to privacy, peace, or happiness.

    A few years ago I was contacted by an old friend from high school, I wasn’t that close to him, but we were friends. I had always enjoyed his company, wished him well, and remembered him fondly. He told me about his current 12 step program, how he was working a program to conquer his demon(s) and that part of his program was that he make amends for old wrongs.

    He informed me that it turns out that back when we were in high school he had done some horrible things, things he had always wanted to apologize to me for. He had spread rumors and lies about me. He had tried to get my other friends to turn against me. He had tried to break me up with my boyfriend. He had tried to hurt me. Intentionally. He hated me.

    He offered no excuse, he only apologized. I should have been able to accept this apology, to tell him it was in the past and I forgave him. I was a successful grown-up by now. I had kids of my own, I had a great career, great family, everything I wanted. His past behavior didn’t hurt me any longer and it didn’t thwart my progress in life. I should let it go and give him his closure.

    The truth is, I cried when I read the message he sent me. I cried myself to sleep that night. I cried every time I thought of it, of him, of my old friends, of anyone who knew about it. For weeks. And I still cry when I tell the story.

    I was thoroughly beaten by having my memory of this “friend” taken away from me and replaced with a malicious enemy trying to hurt me. I had to reevaluate all of my friendships from that time and wonder who was really my friend. I was made to look at my memories with suspicion and contempt where before there was none.

    It was unfair. He should have kept it to himself. Any “amends” he was making was not to me. He used me to make himself feel better after using me as a punching bag all those years ago. It was STILL about him. Still, after all those years, he couldn’t be thoughtful enough to do the right thing that would not hurt the people he thought he cared about.

    Not that I would think you would do anything like that guy, but I do think it is not as obvious all the time that the things we say and do can have an affect other than what we intend.

    1. Thanks for sharing that, that is exactly one of the many issues that can surface from coming clean. It’s not a black and white issue, it’s one that needs to be carefully thought out considering if the information is going to improve just your life, or both of your lives.

      It sounds like your ex-friend’s confession was more of the selfish variety, and should have just kept to himself.

      I don’t have anything quite so mean to say, but who knows how people actually feel. Even something I consider to be lightweight may have been causing someone else harm for a long time.

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