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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