Circle Time | Moving On Without Closure

 

I’m super excited to continue our new Circle Time series! Like the first Circle Time post this will be more of a life update but we’re gonna get super personal! This post will probably be one of the most personal posts I’ve written for Thanks for the Marmalade; so, bare with me while I channel my inner Carrie Bradshaw and cue the Pat Benatar cuz we’re gonna talk about L.O.V.E!

We’ve never talked about love and relationships on TFTM but the topic of closure and the journey of moving on after a breakup has been on my mind. Living authentically is the goal here at TFTM so I would be amiss to not talk about my how I’m struggling to frankly get my shit when it comes to dating. More to the point a situation that I’m currently working through. I’ve wanted to share my thoughts on this particular relationship in the past but could never find the words. However, I’m older, braver and much more confident now. Hindsight is everything my dears so I’m gonna get real introspective about how it’s taken me two years to let go of the past and move the hell on.

I was involved with someone two years ago who I was slightly crazy about, long story short we both weren’t mature enough to navigate shit – especially myself. It ended with what I thought was uncharacteristic behavior of the other person and worsened over time when it became apparent I wouldn’t receive any answers as to how we got to that place. I had my ideas but never really knew the truth. It was the not knowing the truth, not knowing his thoughts and basically what the fuck happened that was the worst. I went on resolving myself to the fact that the dude was a dick and that I had to move on and create my own closure. Here’s the thing though, we live in neighboring cities (both very small) and know the same people so creating my own closure became a full time job.

Creating closure out of nothing can be a long process, yes? Especially for women it can be easy to fall into spirals of shame, insecurity, general sadness and fear of being pathetic obsessive freaks who can’t take a hint. Yeah, I went through all of that. Plus, it wasn’t like I could ask our mutual friends about him – nor did he have any social media accounts for me to stalk when super crazy – for all I knew he was like, ‘Deuces! Watch me gallivant all over the place!’ That’s basically what I had decided was happening and comforted myself with daydreams of getting the answers I wanted. Over time the daydreams and general angst abated and I went on with life, became interested in other people and kept it moving.

I will say, I have always been good at living life and handling myself without a significant other, that’s never halted my journey of discovering my authentic self. My life changed tremendously for the better yet I faced incredible tragedies and failures before celebrating immense victories. All the while I’m living life that old relationship is still there in the back of my mind, that door I attempted to close, a general darkness surrounding the situation. It felt as if the door I kept trying to close was too heavy and simply appeared to close but remained cracked open. So I began to wonder, is it possible to completely move on without closure? Does time and maturity heal everything – will I just wake up one day and be like, ‘hmm, oh that shit, yeah I’m over it.’

The past few weeks I’ve been stewing over the possibility of moving on and closing the door alone – made more urgent by my recent reconnection with the guy I was involved with. We’re attempting to be friends to eliminate fear of overlap and create a sense of normalcy between us. Here’s the thing though, our reconnection included a phone call that deconstructed everything that I thought happened with us leaving me flabbergasted and in shock. The phone call gave me that long awaited closure, brightening up the darkness that surrounded our relationship but also left me with something new to stew on. If there was never a fundamental but only situational reason for us to breakup, would we still be together? More to the point, what’s stopping us now?

Admitting that those thoughts have gone through my mind is terrifying and exposing but none the less accurate. Whatever happens I’m moving on feeling a bit lighter and clear headed. I did learn that I need to do away with feelings of shame and inadequacy and that my girlish freak outs or frankly general human emotions are valid because they are mine. Most importantly that everything is as significant and influential as you allow it to be. Even more importantly, Taylor Swift can suck it cuz she ruins everything!

 

I hope you enjoyed our second Circle Time chat, bring snacks next time cuz I have a feeling we’ll get even more personal. Have you ever been in a similar situation? What are your thoughts on moving on and closure? Leave me some below and lets talk!

C

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2 Comments

  1. Natasha
    January 17, 2018 / 1:57 pm

    I was ghosted by my first love and first serious relationship pretty recently. It was only about 5 months but he had seemed so serious about it up until that point that the thought that he was trying to break up with me in that way didn’t cross my mind as something he would do. Obviously something was up so I asked to see him so we could talk about it and he refused and broke up with me over text. I asked some questions about it like why and when he started feeling like he wanted to break up but I ended up with more questions than I had answers. His reasons felt flimsy and he didn’t even explicitly say he was breaking up with me. He’s always been bad at communicating and seemed like the type to not want to confront problems so even when we discussed it I felt like I had to fill in the blanks. I felt like I facilitated the breakup all myself. It was difficult to deal with because I still never got a clear answer on what he was thinking and feeling so I blamed myself. For days I thought “If only i hadn’t said this.” or “If only I had been better.” I felt so alone and hopeless. I went to a therapy appointment that went really well and I was feeling good about the situation for the first time. I felt like I wouldn’t be unhappy forever and in time i’d be able to move on even without all the answers I felt I needed. Of course hours later he texted me and I felt what little progress I’d made that day drain away. Against mine and everyone else’s better judgement I kept talking to him and have been since. It’s been a strange experience because he talks to me as if we’ve always been friends and like we never dated/broke up. With everything about the end of our relationship having been so confusing and hurtful though I have a hard time feeling like I’m talking to a friend and it just feels like my boyfriend’s talking to me. I still really care about him and would like to be friends with him but weeks later I’m starting to feel like that’ll never be able to happen on my end. I don’t feel like I got the closure I needed and because of that I can’t move on. Talking to him is clearly prolonging all of this but I can’t bring myself to stop. I’ve wanted to ask him a few times if we can maybe meet up and talk or talk on the phone, but I’m pretty confident he’ll just ignore it. I’m again starting to feel like there’s no way for me to really move forward and move on. I feel like talking to him is always going to keep these lingering bad feelings in place and I feel like if I stop talking to him that I’m going to regret losing someone I cared so much about. This is all wildly new to me because I’ve always been fine being by myself and I’ve lost friends and potential partners before. I just hope I’ll be able to make the best decision and eventually when I think about the relationship I’ll realize that I hadn’t thought about it forever and that I’m over it.

    • Chloe
      January 17, 2018 / 3:45 pm

      Thank you for sharing Natasha! I completely know where you’re coming from; for a long time I just felt like telling him, ‘be a man and handle your shit!’ Luckily it was a little easier for me to move on feelings wise because we weren’t in contact until recently. Yeah, continuing to talk regularly sounds like it would undo whatever progress you’ve made. I can’t imagine how difficult it is to find closure alone whilst talking to the person who refuses to give it.

      I’ve learned to just do what I need to do for myself and practice being kind to myself. It’s so easy to blame yourself and fall into a hole of ‘what ifs.’ Thank you for telling your story Natasha! Sending love and light your way!

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