How To Move Forward When Closure Is Not An Option

Hello and welcome back to The Post-It Note! Today I want to talk about closure and more specifically what happens when you don’t get the closure that you feel you need to move forward and also what steps to take to move forward on your own.

It is innately human to need closure and have things come full circle. When it doesn’t end that way, we tend to feel lost, empty and even more betrayed because we weren’t able to reach the why. The why is the meaning in all of the bad because when we go through something painful or traumatizing, we believe that there has to be a reasonable explanation as to why we went through what we went through. When we do experience the why in all of it, we call it closure. A page is turned and we can finally move on.

All of this being said, what happens when we don’t get our explanation of the motive that is owed to us? What if the person who hurt us the most decides that they don’t want to give us an answer, or worse, is completely unable to?

A girl seeking closure

I experienced this first hand when I was in my second year of college. I was in the fifth year of a mentally abusive relationship, that happened to be my first real and serious relationship. After I broke up with him, the abuse didn’t stop, he spiraled downwards into a really deep and dark depression which ultimately took his life.

In his mind, he created a narrative where I was the only one who could save him. After his death, I received a letter from him and a check for $5,000. I can’t remember what the letter said, but I remember feeling sick to my stomach about keeping the money, so I sent it back to his mother.

After this experience, my entire mental self was shattered. I grieved for him, his family, his friends, and I was angry and bitter that my first relationship, the first boy I had ever loved wrecked me and made it almost impossible for me to love again. I had so much that I needed to tell him, but he took his life and I carried an open wound of regret and sorrow that I could not make it work, could not save him and that somehow, it was all my fault.

I realized that everything that I was holding on to was doing nothing but poisoning my system. I could not properly move on because the person that I needed to help me close this chapter, finished the book prematurely. I had so much to say, and no one to say it to.

I ended up writing a letter to him and it was incredibly painful. I still remember my tears falling on the page as I wrote. I was able to get everything off of my chest and onto paper and I just needed to let all of that pain lift for a moment.

Once I was done, I put the letter away for a few days. Once I was ready I read the letter and then burned it, along with the letter he sent me. Watching those pages burn in my little metal bowl was a moment of cleansing and purification, a physical act of turning the page so I can begin the process of healing.

If you feel you have been wronged by someone and you can’t seem to move past it because they won’t listen, give you the satisfaction of closure, or they are simply unable to. You have to find the strength to turn the page on your own, without their consent. One way to do this is to write a letter and destroy it. I found that to be a very helpful way for me to move on. You can find any method that works for you.

A pathway to healing

Here are some steps that you can take to make the process easier:

Acknowledge what happened, and how you were hurt

You can do this verbally, or you can write it down, just make sure that you do this. In order to move forward, the entire experience has to be acknowledged.

Identify your pain

This step is more mentally proactive than the first step. You will need to be prepared to go deep and be honest about how that experience really messed you up. 

Release it into the universe

The acknowledgment and identification of pain can be extremely agonizing, please don’t hold on to what you are feeling, you have to let it go in order to move forward. You can do this in many ways, I chose to burn it away, you can meditate on it or simply forgive that person for hurting you. Do what works best for you.

Move forward

This is going to be the longest step because you need to heal and repair any emotional and mental damage that was done. This process can take some time and if you find it difficult to move on after you’ve given yourself closure, you can reach out to a professionally trained and licensed therapist for assistance in navigating your healing. 

I hope you enjoyed this article! If so, please don’t forget to like, share, comment and subscribe! For more inspiration and fun, click the image below to follow my Instagram @thepostitnoteblog!

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