For the past year and a half, I have fought closure; kicking and screaming, heals dug in, eyes squinched shut. I have seen closure, and I have looked at what lies on the other side. I could see it as if I were looking through a big picture window. I wasn’t sure I liked what I saw on the other side.
Closure: 1. bringing to an end; a conclusion. 2. A feeling of finality or resolution, especially after a traumatic experience.
Finality after a traumatic experience. Yes. But why wouldn’t I want that? Why wouldn’t I want “finality after a traumatic experience?” That seems like something I should want and desire; to finally bring a traumatic experience to an end. So what was stopping me?
To be able to walk away from a situation, whether that means to physically walk away, or to simply disallow a situation to take up real estate in your head, you have to be able to have acceptance.
Acceptance – the mental attitude that something is believable and should be accepted as true.
I resisted acceptance, too. Actively and blindly, I resisted seeing the things right in front of me that were “believable and true.” I clung to a fantasy that was my perception of reality. I now know why. If I let go of that illusion, delusion, fantasy, I was going to be forever changed.
Closure has been right in front of me for a very long time now. Closure was a gate, and all I had to do was enter. Instead, I circled around and around. I pretended to ignore it. I refused to look in that direction. I shuffled my feet and whistled a tune, all in an attempt to avoid acceptance. Acceptance meant letting go. Letting go meant that I had been WRONG. Letting go meant that I would be forever changed.
Letting go meant that my illusions turned into disillusionment. Letting go meant that my optimism and belief had been unfounded. My trust turned to distrust. My happiness turned to anger and resentment. The truth had been turned into lies. What once sparkled and glowed was now a crappy blob of dryer lint. Of course, I didn’t want to accept all of these things! I knew what acceptance meant for me, too. Acceptance meant that something essential about myself was going to be forever changed and not in any good way.
I’m not sure if I am making myself clear. I liked who I was “before.” I imagined who I would become on the other side of all of this, and it scared me. I liked trusting people. I liked believing in the good side of life. I wanted to be an optimist. I didn’t want to be wary. I didn’t want to distrust. I didn’t want to be cautious. I wanted GOOD to prevail over EVIL. I wanted a fairy tale. Mostly, I didn’t want to be forever changed.
I have taken that step, and walked through the gates of acceptance and closure. Yes, I have changed. No, it doesn’t feel good. It feels empty and sad. I do distrust in the simplest moments of happiness or kindness, but there is something else. This is important. Who I was inside has not changed. The essential ME has not changed. I do still want to believe in good. I still see good all around me, but there is a new dimension beginning to emerge. Maybe it is a new depth of empathy, but I’m not really sure. I am recently equipped with something, as of yet undefinable, that feels gentle and sympathetic. I look at the people around me and I wonder. We all have a story inside. We all need kindness and love. Some of us deserve it.
This past weekend, I took steps back into my life. I reconnected with old friends. I listened to great music. I spent time with people I love and who love me in return. No, acceptance and closure are not easy things, but they are so very much better than the gray, stark landscape of denial.