I Got Closure After Three Years of Being Ghosted
Published in Her Point of View
For days, I looked at the text that said everything I wanted to know for the last three years. It wasn’t the closure I had dreamt of. I didn’t feel relief for long. Instead, the sadness, anxiety, and feeling of inadequacy that I spiralled into three years ago resurfaced.
In 2019, I was ghosted by my long-distance boyfriend. The day before, nothing crazy happened. We had spent all evening texting and nothing felt off. It was nice to be in a relationship where I wasn’t being manipulated. Even if he was 6 hours away from Lagos by air, in our colonizer’s land.
Our relationship was not perfect. We had been through a loss of a parent, massive academic stress, and the trauma that followed them. But things were really good. Until my texts stopped delivering the next morning. At first, I was not worried. A dead phone or spotty WiFi connection was not unexpected. But when my texts weren’t delivered a few days later, it became more serious. Something must have been wrong, I thought. So, I reached out everywhere I could. But just like my texts, it wasn’t getting through. The only thing I couldn’t do was to purchase a plane ticket and visa to find him.
I realized that I had been ghosted when I reached out to his cousin to check in with him. I was very worried and wanted to know that he was okay. His cousin, someone I had gone to secondary school with, replied to me a few hours later. He’s fine. Nothing’s wrong.
My heart shattered into a million tiny pieces.
Blame Hollywood but I thought closure would feel better than this. Nothing prepared me for a time capsule back to 2019. Over the years, I have unintentionally built repression of memories as a coping mechanism to deal with pain and trauma. So, this was kinda new.
From wondering what I did wrong, and what was wrong with me. It was incredibly underwhelming, and overwhelming all at once. It was like being 20 years old again, staring at my phone and wondering what went wrong. It was nice to finally get a WHY, but it didn’t make me feel any better.
I am confident. But even I didn’t feel like I could survive this. I now realize that it was a blow to my self-esteem. I cried a lot. I was struggling in plain sight. I’m not the most open with my feelings. I tend to feel like people have way too much baggage to be concerned with my pea-sized one. Only about two friends knew what was happening. And it was deliberate.
I had gotten a lot of flak for being in a long-distance relationship in the first place. I didn’t share my life on socials but people were bound to know I was in a long-distance relationship. I was judged and made fun of for it. When I got ghosted, it was my business and I was going to deal with it.
For almost 36 months, I had wondered why. Finally, it was staring at me through a LinkedIn message and yet, it was not enough. When it hit the year mark, I started to open up about being ghosted. Not as a conversation starter, but when it came up in discussions about men, and love. I had come to terms with it, and it was refreshing to hear that I was not the only one.
The day before, I had told my roommates about it and they wanted me to know why too. It was too crazy not to find out. So, three years later, I texted Hi on LinkedIn. After the most awkward how are yous, I went straight in with the result of many Google searches. Many variations of ‘How to get closure professionally after being ghosted’ later, I sent this.
‘… I texted because I’m not so sure what happened. And so, I’d like to get your perspective and clear the air’.
He told me it wasn’t me. It was him. He didn’t say it that way, but that’s what it came to.
It felt like utter crap. At first, it was great to hear him say it. But after the high, the lows came and they were very low. Even as I write this essay, I can’t help but cry. I can’t even tell you why.
My reply was curt.
‘…I don’t completely understand but it happened. I sincerely wish you the best in everything.’
And I do, surely, I do. But, sometimes, I wish I hadn’t held it together in the conversation, or at least after the reveal.
Sometimes, I wonder if I would feel better if my reply had not been so composed and almost novel-like.
If I wasn’t trying to shield myself again and wanted to let things go in my big girl pants.
What if I had told him how hard the last three years had been, instead?
How I had been filled with questions I wasn’t sure I could answer.
How I looked in some of the wrong places because being ghosted by someone you loved messes with you emotionally and mentally.
How I have fallen into situationships almost routinely since then.
He mentioned that he had wanted to reach out during the last three years. But I seemed to have moved forward (on socials, I presume), and he didn’t want to continue to bring me down. I wished I asked how and why he thought it was appropriate to check my Instagram stories constantly for a few months in 2019/ 2020. It almost drove me mad.
Why did closure feel like I had opened up a rotting can of worms?
I wish I could tell you that I figured it out. That I realized that closure is a sham, and you really give yourself closure. That no matter what your ghoster tells you, it’s on you to bring relief to you. On some days, I’ll tell you that. On other days, life is a shit-show and I still think that closure is needed. A conversation about what happened matters. Because what happened to you, or didn’t was real and your feelings were real. So you deserve to hear the real reason it happened.
I still don’t have it all figured out.
Edited by Yetunde Onafuye
Yetunde is a storyteller, podcaster, and a graduate student with interest in the social and political history of post-independence Africa. She’s also the co-lead editor at Sisterly HQ. In her free time, she reads and reviews books, engages in social volunteering, and watches tons of dramas and TV shows. Connect with Yetunde on LinkedIn and Instagram.
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