We don’t need permission to move on.
In the name of needing answers, we can become gluttons for punishment. We go back to the same people, and allow them many different opportunities to inflict upon us similar heartbreak. This idea of needing closure, insisting on a finite end to the matter keeps us from moving forward with our lives as we remain psychologically bound to people who have likely already given us ample cause to cut the cord.
The irony is, we often go in search of closure hoping that we don’t get it. What we really want is for that person to tell us that they still love us, don’t want to lose us, have changed their minds or otherwise object to going separate ways. We want repair. We’re holding the door open hoping they come back. When they don’t, with reluctance we go to close it but poke our heads in to make absolutely sure it’s what the other person wants.
For some reason, being treated poorly, abandoned and left to feel unwanted isn’t enough. We have to know, “why?” As though it matters. We’re compelled to double-check on whether or not the relationship is over, even though this fact has been repeatedly solidified by behavior. We need to hear what’s already been shown.
Especially in cases where everything felt healthy, happy, and genuine — we get stuck in a limbo, struggling to understand how it all went wrong and unable or unwilling to let go until an explanation is provided. However, no justification ever suffices. It doesn’t make us feel better. Nothing unbreaks our hearts.
Needing someone to confirm what we already know or substantiate our decision isn’t closure, it’s permission. We want them to tell us it’s ok to move on, either by reiterating that the relationship has run its course or by reinforcing our motive for deciding it should end. We want to leave the situation certain that we made the right choice, or have been left without one.
Understanding can go a long way to healing. A final sit down and hash out of events that have transpired can sometimes offer this. But more often than not, we’re left just as confused and possibly even more hurt. This is because people don’t always know why their feelings changed. They haven’t a clue why they did what they’ve done or even what they want. So, they can’t give us the answers that we seek. They don’t have any.
We make ourselves vulnerable only to have our feelings disregarded, again. Rarely do we obtain heightened clarity after our closure. Little of value is accomplished, but we fool ourselves into believing this is an important step in the process.
We are stymied by circumstances that seem unresolved only if we allow ourselves to be. Any response that is not a ‘yes’ is a ‘no,’ even if just for now. That’s something we have to acknowledge and act accordingly. There are times when resolution must take place within. We must learn to accept unhappy endings, truths that have been revealed and apologies we’ve never received. For ourselves, it’s important to recognize when we’re seeking validation disguised as finality.
I’ve been in situations where I went to someone that I used to know, requesting insight into the manner in which things fell apart. I thought this was something I needed to be at peace with it all. Never have I received any solid feedback. The responses were almost always vague in nature and left me unfulfilled. Then, I realized I went to these individuals more so to express what I was thinking, in hopes that I was wrong. Because I didn’t like how being right made me feel. I didn’t really believe anything substantial would come of the interaction. I just wanted to be heard.
There is such a thing as connection. Emotional ties are real and formidable. It’s not always easy to break any type of bond, especially when we don’t want to. Perhaps an opportunity to lay down the burden of uncertainty can help. Reassurance may push us forward in the process. Sometimes, we just want a proper goodbye. But I am mine and you are yours, before anyone else’s. We don’t need to be set free by another human being.
Move on anyway. Let go anyhow. No sense crawling back to a person just so they can hurt us some more. The healer of wounds is time, and space that we don’t allow ourselves when piling on one disappointment after another.
Closure isn’t an inherently fraudulent concept. It’s just not worth the weight that we give it — Nor the power that we relinquish to others in its pursuance.