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7.11.16

Musings - Why closure is a gift you must give to yourself


"Closure implies a complete acceptance of what has happened and an honoring of the transition away from what's finished to something new"




I was on a night out recently, at a crummy bar by the water with my friend Chloe. We were drinking shot after bitter shot of some lurid red spirit that I can't or won't remember the name of when I found myself staring into the face of an ex-boyfriend. In the noise and the chaos of the bar I smiled my awkward smile and said an awkward hello to match it. Although this man had long ago lost the power to hurt me I noted the intensity of his gaze and shifted on my feet as he leaned in and uttered the following words directly into my ear. "I just want to say I'm sorry," he stared into my eyes, something that wouldn't usually make me feel uncomfortable. But it did. "I treated you really badly and you didn't deserve that. You're a good person and you didn't deserve what I did to you. I've done a lot of growing up since then and I really am sorry"

He was apologising for cheating on me. For lying to me, for screaming at me in blind rages. For ignoring my calls, my texts, my pleas. For repeatedly abandoning me emotionally and literally, turning his phone off and leaving me stranded in a dark unfamiliar city on more than one occasion. For verbally and emotionally abusing me, using me and misusing me. For fracturing me as a person and then apologising as if I could fly back in time on the magic carpet of his words and glue the broken pieces of myself back together with sentiment

I should really have been very angry. The situation was ludicrously patronising. The words were as cheap as the shots I continued to drink, in greater haste after the encounter, feeling shaken. Not because he couldn't be forgiven but because the forgiveness that he seemed so desperate to take from me had already been granted to him, years before the night he chose to articulate his remorse. In spite of it all, quietly and privately I had forgiven him and let him go a long time before that night in the corner of that noisy, smoky bar. Closure. Not for him but for myself. Because that is what we all must do to cure the numbing fear that we are not enough. We may not have been enough for them but we must always be enough for ourselves 

Closure is not a gift that someone gives to you. It is not words, stumbled over, or overdue apologies finally made. You cannot wait for those things, bailiff to a debt of pointless words that may never be paid. Closure is a right which you must claim for yourself. Difficult to hear, patronising even, probably. But no less vital given the experiences that led me to this realisation. I have been hurt like you, cried like you and looked around blindly for answers, finding only myself for comfort and for strength. So I say this FOR you - when someone leaves you broken you must curl up in the smoking ruins of yourself, hold all of the shattered pieces tightly together and you must heal yourself with the lesson that it taught you. Not with the words you feel you are owed. Because when a boy I used to love walked through a dark, crowded room to pay his debt of words to me they were just that. Words. Beautiful, pointless, disposable words 

10 comments:

  1. This is absolutely beautifully written Milly. Perfectly said. x

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    1. Thank you babe, it was really cathartic to write it <3 xx

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  2. Milly this is perfectly written, you are so talented.
    This touched a soft spot with me, xxx

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    1. Thank you Georgi, I really want to focus more on my writing as we move into 2017. Maybe I'll finally get that book finished!? xx

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  3. Such a fresh and gentle approach on something that affects everyone at some point. Loved reading this :) xx

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    1. Thank you Katie, really really glad you enjoyed the post xx

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  4. Love this. I have been waiting for my own closure, some sort of apology or for someone to admit they were wrong. I realise I can't control what others think or feel, the closure has to start with me and I have to work through it myself. It's going to take time but I'll get there.

    Powerful words, great post.
    I'm glad you are in a better place

    Jenn
    Photo-Jenn-ic
    x

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    1. Hi Jen

      Thank you so much for saying that, it really is my aim to help other people work through the things that I've had to face. God knows I wish someone had talked some sense into me at times! But I guess we all live and learn

      I hope you feel better soon

      Milly
      xx

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  5. I read this post holding onto every word. You were born to write Milly, please never stop and do more like this! You have an amazing gift. Everything you said is brilliantly true xxx

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    1. Oh Leah that means the world to me <3 I really enjoyed writing it and I feel so happy when I get the opportunity to work with a meaningful subject matter xx

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