Turning The Page

What do we do when we want to see what happens next?

We turn the page…itching to get the ending of “a happily ever after” or dare I say: closure?

A few days ago, I had an impromptu phone call with a gentleman whom I dated. We were bantering a bit, and I mentioned that I was blogging a dramatical series about Jon*. After he took a look he said, “You know, I’m sorry for the way things ended between us.”

I was surprised he said that! I was not expecting any type of apology, especially from him. For the record, things ended badly between us–We both (or so I thought) liked each other very much– however I went to the hospital and when I came home he did not come to see me. So I took that as a major, “I don’t care about you, the way you care about me” RED Flag (I’m seeing those flags loud and clear now) and called it off.

I went through a milder grieving process. I was sad and very lonely– and at times upset. However, I couldn’t be upset at him because you can’t MAKE someone care about you despite your willingness to go to the ends of the Earth for him/her; but I blamed myself since I allowed my naive heart to care and love him so deeply. Now I sometimes wonder how did I fall for someone so selfish and inconsiderate?

After I hung up, I had to shake my head. At the end of our relationship, I had turned the pages obsessively searching for the ending that would give me peace of mind. Until I finally realized that I needed to write my own ending and give myself closure.

At the end of a painful breakup, we sometimes demand to have the last word or receive an apology–something that supposedly will help us move on. Does it really help or does it make you dwell on the pain more? Does hearing the truth finally set you free?

Well, before it came to the phone call– he did text me vaguely stating that if I wanted to talk, he would be open to it.  And it was very tempting to respond back if only the memories of hearing the post-break up truth didn’t haunt me (Check out Ch. 15 if you don’t remember).

Meeting Jon for lunch that day, I thought we would both get some kind of closure but instead he berated me and gloated about how much better off he is now that he doesn’t have to consider a relationship with me; how glad he doesn’t have to go down that route. The post-breakup truth may not set you free, but like me, may make you feel more guilt and agnst.

Now, this guy on the phone offers a vague apologetic-sentiment about feeling bad on how things ended and missing being able to talk to someone about the things that make him weird.

Ladies and Gents, this is isn’t closure. It’s not even a real apology.

At least not for me, but maybe for him. Perhaps he felt that by expressing his “feeling bad” about the break up (without specifically stating why we broke up–i.e why I wasn’t there for you) is enough for him to get closure and get something off his chest. For me, I saw a level of immaturity and self-centeredness that is pervasive enough to blind him from seeing the real problem.

Despite the fact that he let me down, I do not resent him and in general you can’t resent someone who doesn’t learn from past experiences. They are doomed to repeat the same mistakes with a different person through their own ignorance, not yours. Thus, you cannot expect an ignorant person to give you closure so you can move on. You need to do that for yourself.

In summary, hearing his “apology” did not bring closure. If you’re still turning the pages to find that heart-warming ending, you may be surprised to find a half-assed sentiment that makes that person feel better than you. And hearing their true feelings can set you back.

So when you stop look for those magical words — write your own ending:

“She lied and and cheated. Someone like that will never be happy with what they have. No matter how much you give.”

“He’s a deusch, he’d rather snort coke and smoke with his friends than help me/stay with me.”

And then you can move on a little easier.

And when turning the page isn’t enough –you just gotta close the book on it.

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© 2012 -2013 S. C Rhyne

90 thoughts on “Turning The Page

  1. Great post. I have a friend going through something similar (and in the past, I went through the same). It sucks going through it, but if you learn from that pain, you’ll be able to be happier than you could have ever imagined.

  2. Thank you, this post opened my eyes even more. My boyfriend broke up with me 3 months ago. No apology, I am still hurting. Between still loving him and just wanting the pain to go away. I am now following your blog. Great post. Look forward to reading more of your posts.

  3. Just started going through this two months ago. I wasn’t as wise as you, but waited until she found another guy to take my place before leaving me. Then she insisted she still needed me as her best friend, but that her life was amazing and she was praying I was doing great. It’s like, no, I could win the lottery tomorrow, and it would feel empty because you’re not there to share the 100 million. Though I might find a way through it with 100 million.

    Thanks for sharing the wisdom! :)

    1. Hey

      I know exactly how you’re feeling. When Jon and I broke up (i.e Ch 13) I thought about how ironic it would be if I won that big Powerball and wouldn’t give a shit!!! In fact that ticket is lying around somewhere….I’m sure she doesn’t realize what’s she missing out on. And in time she will see what a gem she lost!

      At least you know the importance of treating a persons right. and holding on to someone special!

  4. I love this post, because I felt like this at one point in time not too long ago, so you just took my sentiment right out of my head. Actually you made me think of writing my own post on my past break up. Thank you and I’m glad you got it off your chest and found some type of closure..

  5. Rejection sometimes is very hard to take. Some people do not respond in the way we can understand, so we tend to explain their actions as we understand them. This does cause a lot of hurt because the problem is never fully resolved. These situations happen not only in our love lives but in our day to day experiences.

    1. Yeh,

      In writing about my relationship with Jon, I’m starting to understand why he reacted the way he did….as well as people in general. Thanks for stopping by Leoeo

  6. This is great..sometimes turning the page isn’t enough..sometimes you do need to close the book or you keep trying to find an alternative ending. Thank you for sharing…

  7. I’m a firm believer in making your own fate, others are merely actors. We just have to take matters into our own hands rather than waiting around for someone else to make a difference. Great post!

  8. Great post. Thank you!
    Finding closure is always difficult. I suck at it. Sometimes it helps for me to see them one last time, over coffee or something, talk about random stuff and end on (semi-) good terms. That way I don’t feel the ‘need’ to see/hear them for whatever reason I can come up with. The over-coffee-random-chat helps me realize that we’ve drifted apart too far to get together again and I might as well get on with my own life.

    Same goes for some ‘friends’ who’ve broken up with me. Mostly I need to see them one last time, and afterwards I don’t feel the need to talk to them as much. I don’t know. Though their betrayal still hurts when I think about it, I feel better after having seen them. I feel like I don’t -have- to see/hear them ever again if they don’t want to see/hear me. And it’s a good feeling, really, if a bit sad.

    1. Hi hun,

      If it works for you, that’s fine!

      When I thought I was seeing Jon one last time, hearing him brag about how much better he was…didn’t help me find the closure I was looking for. So now I’d rather look within.

      You gotta be careful with ex friends and such that may still be angry, because they could take that one last time to blame you for the past.

  9. Sounds like someone’s trying to convince himself that he didn’t screw up and that he isn’t missing out on something he really wishes he could get back. Otherwise, he could afford to be decent to you over lunch. When you truly feel you are better off without someone it’s easy to be kind. Being a jerk is a defensive stance. He knows on some level that he lost out.

  10. i guess i question the whole concept of closure, having gone through my fair share of bad breakups i find myself still thinking about certain details every so often, years later. at least for me, time is the ultimate closure.

    some good food for thought, The Girl, thanks.

    1. Yep you’re right time will ultimately heal….And even though it’s not a lot of time between Jon and I’s most recent fiasco….I do feel a little better today than last month.

      1. when things are going good time just seems to zip right by, when they’re not..tick..tick..tick. i feel yer pain, i never handled breakups very well.

        glad to hear you’re doing better, hang in there The Girl.

      2. hi TheGirl

        doing better today than yesterday i hope. i just started a series today about my time spent as a kid in Brooklyn during the 60’s, Bushwick to be exact.

        thought you might like to escape for a few minutes.

        peace.

  11. Writing your own ending is the best way to turn the page. It’s not always easy, and it doesn’t help when those bad breakup boys keep turning up to “just see how you are.” They (i.e., Jon) are stuck on the treadmill of solipsism and denial. You are moving forward on your own path, out in the fresh air and sunshine :)

      1. That’s the key: go slow. Often we expect too much of ourselves, try to “get over it” too fast. One of the best things you can do for yourself is write it down … and you have been doing that :)

  12. Learning and not dwelling. I like that!
    Thank you for liking my post today. After coming here and reading yours I am even more honored that you took the time.
    I followed you because you are a stellar writer but also because your thougnts resonate with mine.
    I turned the pages back a bit and let someone re-enter my story for a while. I thought we had written our ending and yet we never had and so my decision to let him back in and see how quickly we could turn the pages ended up being a stuck bookmark for a while.
    It felt good to hear that I was the one who got away and that his life was better for having known me but had sucked ever since because he let me go was validating but it didn’t make me as happy as I thought it might. I was sad for him and for me and have realized that the ending is not always so easily written.
    Love your posts! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hey CoastalMom,

      Thanks for following me and I can related to you about complicated relationships.

      Sometimes when you think you’re moving forward, you’re really just jogging in place. And sometimes, we think we want to hear some sort of validation from our ex’s but it doesn’t alway give us that satisfaction. Letting go will truly heal.

      Good Luck on finding your ending!

  13. Definitely sharing this.

    I love your post. Thank you for the insights. It really is mental waiting for an apology that is either half-baked or simply isn’t an apology — if ever it comes at all.

  14. I keep looking for answer as to what I did, where it went wrong. I mean, how can a 20 year relationship end in such a way without me knowing where it was headed? Was I truly that blind to my own faults? What was my contribution? Why do I still mourn and yearn for my relationship? Where are my answers? Nothing he ever says makes any sense to me at all!
    Writing my own ending is something I have never considered. Thank you for that. I’ve been searching a way to let it go. Sometimes it’s the simple case of giving yourself permission. I needed to be reminded of that. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leading me to this post.

    1. Hi Meg,

      It’s very normal to want to question ourselves and demand answers, however that will make you crazy because most of the times you will not find the answer that YOU’RE looking for.

      It’ll never make sense what he’s saying and no matter what he tells you; you may not be satisfied, or it would lead to more questions. Thus, keeping you stuck instead of moving on.

      Give yourself that and good luck on your journey!

    1. Why disappointed? Keep blogging and creating good content for your readers, and in the end its not about having a lot of followers, but putting stuff out there that your followers care about and read.

  15. Hello!

    This was incredibly relatable and found at the perfect time! Its been a while since the break up of my last relationship, but it just wouldn’t seem to go away. I let the ex know that I needed to cut off communication and for a while things were getting better. Then he felt the need to make sure I had his number, because I posted a FB status that I lost all my contacts. Then he needed to tell me about someone at work. Then he liked one of my FB postings. Although its been almost 5 months it still hurts to hear from him.

    After a particularly restless night, and therefore a painful day of work, I deleted him from FB and called to let him know. The whole, beat him to the punch reasoning. I let him know this is it, it ends now. He told me he missed talking and it hurt because we were such great friends. But we weren’t. Great friends don’t treat you that way.

    It is so important to pursue what you want, or don’t want. No one else is going to do it for you. I’ve closed that chapter and though I have grieved plenty, I haven’t let it consume me. Onward and upward!

    1. Ouch! That really hurts and that type of shenanigans speaks that he isn’t over you, especially if he has the need to tell you about his romantic pursuits.

      I’m glad you’re getting over him, (cause if it were me and Jon* said he would get back together, I don’t think I could turn it down like that) and you can see through the thinly veiled attempt to be “great friends” especially if it was a bad break up. Some people gotta know that you can’t hurt and crush someone like that, and then just get together like nothing happen.

      Plus, he’s realized what a great catched he missed out on!

      Hooray for picking up the pieces of your soul!!

  16. Wow, your life seems to have had quite a bit of relationship drama, at least compared to my life. As long as you learn, as you have, then keep on trucking along, follow your new rules and good luck to you.

    1. Thanks John Harper! I’m not dramatic person, but yeh this experience has been an eye opener for me and I’m definitely learning more about life and emotions.

  17. writing our own ending for closure (head or on paper) is a great empowerment tool when we are left hanging with the wtf’s and the why’s. It’s hard to close the book on someone when the last page has trailed off to blank. Without the closure, it’s hard to forgive, harder not to beat ourselves up.
    Wonderful post!

  18. I like this one. It all has to end sometime right? It is much lighter on the shoulders to let go then to “dwell” on the weight that you carry. take it from someone who knows.

  19. I can feel you. I’ve been there so I should know. Lol
    I tried reaching out to that person for over a year – through text and email – asking him what I could have done or said wrong (because he just suddenly got angry and I was clueless as a newborn baby), but I never got a response.

    I really thought that people who are older than me are mature and understanding enough, but man, I was wrong! Lol

    I got over that person after a year and 3 months; I know that is awfully long but what’s important is I got over him. I neither resented/resent him nor I told myself that he’s a douche or whatever – I just told myself that things happen for a reason and surely, God has an even better plan for me, for us. I told myself that I can never let myself settle for anything less than what I deserve. I got to love myself more than anyone else.

    I like your page and the way you write. Hope to read more of your posts :)

    1. Hi Hun,

      Askimet sent your post to spam, so I’m getting it today.

      I’m sorry to hear that you’ve gone through that, the fact that he can get angry one day and never speak to you again…At least that’s a red flag to you that this person is unstable at least and emotionally immature at best if he can’t even confront a problem or have basic conflict resolution skills. Thus, in the long run it would not have made a steady relationship if he would bail at the first sign of bad times, and you would have been more hurt given the amount of time you two could have been together. We all get wiser with age, but its not guaranteed for everyone; and don’t think that it was too long for you, we all need our time to grieve there’s no set time limit. And I’m really glad to hear that you’re at this stage now and doing a lot better! Happy Weekend, and share with your friends!

      1. I like the fact that you really take time to respond to the comments, that’s very important for readers. :)

        Yep, that’s exactly what I thought. It actually feels as if Katy Perry’s “Hot N Cold” song is all about him for it describes exactly what he was doing. Lol

        Anyway, thank you for responding. Hope to read more from your page! :)

  20. Hey! Thanks for your comment on my blog. Yes, we do talk about the same topic here. “you can’t MAKE someone care about you” That’s so true.. I hope I’ll be able to close the book very soon.

    1. Hey NeedleStiks!

      I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying the story, it’s my pleasure to visit your page, let me know what you think once you’ve caught up!!

  21. It’s amazing how an ex can be so “in left field”. My ex husband refuses to visit his daughter. Granted we moved 2500 miles from him but that’s not an excuse. He has told me several times that he doesn’t want to see me. Ok, you don’t have to see me but your daughter would love to show you where she lives. None of that matters to him.

    Like you said, it’s up to ‘you’ to move on. I did that and haven’t regretted doing so.

    1. Hi DanceMom,

      I’m glad to hear you’re moving on but kids can really complicate that. I don’t know why men aren’t as emotionally attached to kids as moms are; I remember when my parents separated calling my dad to come pick me up on his weekends, and he lived ten minutes walking distance….he missed quite a few weekends or would pick me up late (Saturday afternoon instead of Friday afternoon etc…)

      My mom would say that men did that (particularly Caribbean men) to punish the ex wives more so than the kids, so that they wouldn’t have free time to well “see other people.”

      I dunno if that’s true or not, but I guess it made me feel better knowing my dad was avoiding ME.

  22. I think you make a god point about closure. Too often we feel we need the other persons to close a romantic chapter of our life. Sometimes that is exactly what we don’t need. I’m a supporter of closure and two people being willing to reflect on their time with another person and talk about it; however, I have learned that in done situations a clean break is just what the doctor ordered. Insightful.

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