Whether it was when I recently got ghosted by a girlfriend, or when I got fired from my first job, or when someone very close to me passed away before I got to say goodbye, or when a family member said something hurtful and then years later when I brought it up, “forgot,” or when I found something suspect on my boyfriend’s phone but couldn’t bring it up/get answers, or when I went through a breakup with who I thought was going to be my Happily Ever After… Figuring out how to get closure when there is such a gross LACK of it and such an abundance of cricket noise, has always been
really tough majorly IMPOSSIBLE for me.
How can you really move on, feel at peace, forgive others, forgive yourself and let go when there’s no real closure and you have no idea how to get closure?
Easy! YOU CAN’T.
Save yourself the future embarrassment, psycho labeling, FBI-OCD-must-get-closure-now stalking, searching, pain, guilt, self blame & mind f*cking madness – I’m going to break down why you want closure, the effects of not getting closure and how to get closure when you have none in 15 super simple, straight forward steps.
Why do we even want closure?
- Instead of being picky with what matters (your thoughts & beliefs, the story in your head that you keep subscribing to, quality partners, mutual relationships, etc.), you’re closure picky. You convince yourself that unless you get the specific closure according to the standards that you’ve set in your own delusion, you’ll never be able to move on. While it’s totally normal to want an answer/resolution in order to feel like we can move forward, you take it to an unhealthy level by remaining in a state of fear-based-paralysis-stagnation until you get that specific “closure” (which, even if you got according to all of your specificities, never actually leads to a feel-good, “ending.” It generally leads to more drama, more bullsh*t, low self esteem, rejection & even more confusion than before).
- You’re a closure hunter and a professional, self-inflicting pain seeker. You should have your own show on The Discovery Channel. Instead of hunting in the wild, you go “hunting” for pseudo closure on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Dating Apps, etc. You convince yourself that you’re doing a good thing; you need to go “hunting” to attain closure and you have no other option or choice. It actually has the opposite effect though. By “hunting,” you just find more and more reasons to feel pain and then by default, further blame yourself and invest emotionally.
- Escapism. Plain & simple. Hunting for closure is a total escape and a form of avoidance. As long as you can busy up your time with the closure hunting, you don’t have to face dealing with your emotions and moving on. You keep yourself busy by taking care of and bandaging the proverbial paper cuts on your hands all while not addressing the fact that you have cancer.
- You want to be right & you want the other person to recognize and acknowledge that they did you wrong.
- You want them to empathize with you and see it from your side. You also may need them to give you closure so you can feel less guilty/bad about yourself.
The effects of not getting closure:
- As long as you can convince yourself that the other person holds the key to your closure door, you give yourself a license to continue to remain invested. I did this in the past because: I wasn’t ready to let go of the relationsh*t, I was scared to move on and accomplish anything in my own life, it was much easier to allow someone else to have all of the power because mine had been depleted, I had endured too much and they “owed” it to me, etc.
- As long as I was still awaiting a “resolution” and didn’t know how to get closure, I didn’t have to fully invest with anyone else, including myself (read: get hurt again/abandoned again/FAIL again).
- Because I needed closure and couldn’t cut the cord on my own, I became addicted to seeking validation and attention from the very people who I needed to give me closure. This not only made me look weak, it was embarrassing because I translated through my actions that I needed someone to grant me the peace I couldn’t provide for myself.
- Self Blame. As long as you continue to seek closure from someone who is void of empathy or from a situation that you had no control over, your ONLY option is to further blame yourself and erode your self esteem. Remember – being a closure hunter and humiliation go hand-in-hand.
- In my quest to figure out how to get closure, I was consciously AVOIDING real closure. I comfortably resided under the umbrella of “closure,” so that I could essentially have to avoid using my own judgement and trusting my gut. I never truly wanted to get the real closure that I claimed to because I knew that if I ever got that kind of resolution, I’d have to let go, feel my feelings, deal with the pain, address my own issues and move on. “Closure hunting” had thus become my adult pacifier.
HOW TO GET CLOSURE WHEN YOU HAVE NONE
- If you find yourself in a situation where the other person treated you with a consistent lack of respect, honesty, kindness, loyalty and love, DO NOT try to get closure from them. You will just end up being made to look and feel crazy. Remember – you don’t need closure from anyone. You want it. You CAN provide it for yourself without having to engage with the very people who have hurt and disrespected you.
- Understand that closure hunting ALWAYS involves getting off of your white horse and you never want to do that because you can then no longer act in dignity and be the one that got away.
- Want to know how to get closure? Provide the closure for yourself by LISTENING to the ACTIONS of others instead of listening to empty words, lies & excuses. You’ll never get closure that you feel good about if you have to beg and plead it out of others. This is why they teach us in Kindergarten that actions speak louder than words – LISTEN to the actions of others and you’ll have all the closure that you need (while remaining on your white horse).
- I’ve learned that sometimes, you just can’t get the answers to all of your questions. Instead of humiliating myself in the process of trying to “figure out the truth” from someone that was unwilling to be honest with me (and themselves) in the first place, I began to answer my own questions and create my own resolutions by being okay with not knowing everything and grounding myself in what I DID know.
- Arguing with reality is the cockblock of acceptance (& closure!). If you are in a situation where you’re feeling guilty, blaming yourself and are no longer able to get the closure that you need for whatever reason, focus on feeling your feelings, processing what has happened and aim to stop arguing with reality.
You hold the key to that self imposed prison cell. You’ve got all of the answers; they’ve been with you all along.
+ another helpful post: Do I Have Abandonment Issues? How To Know + What To Do