I’ve been avoiding writing this post all week. Sunday night I came back home after ten days in Central America with my ex, Jessie. How did I feel? I felt like it was a dream. I was incredibly sad to leave that country that I had just barely begun to know, and yet relieved to be back home and confront my life again. During that week I could see the life I would have had with Jessie had we stayed together, and it left me with conflicting feelings. Jessie left me with conflicting feelings.
It’s heartbreaking to love someone, really love them and let them deep into your heart, and know at the end of the day it’s not meant to be. Jessie belongs there, and I belong back in the US so I can fix the life I broke… It’s the hard truth that I kept avoiding by saying things like, “there’s nothing between Jessie and I.” In fact, there are lots of things between Jessie and I. There’s a whole history of moments, of laughter and love and sex and tears, where we discovered hidden parts of ourselves we didn’t know existed. There was a present, filled with tension and anger and sadness at everything that couldn’t be changed. And there was a future, one we dreamed of together, in the countryside of California and all over the world, where we started a life and a family that will ultimately never come to be. There’s a world between us, literally and figuratively, and it’s a world we both had to walk away from on Sunday.
I am a person who is without direction, ambition, or hope. My mind unravels and weaves together my experiences each day in ways that either pull me further, or further into, my depression. I don’t have much in my life—no job, no dream, no motivation, but I do have love. You don’t feel this much hurt and pain without it…because only love brings you truths so important that they become integral to your person. I have loved some wonderful people in my life, and it has given me wisdom that I will never forget. I’m so thankful I was given the opportunities to love and be loved…but the time has come to learn to love myself. I can’t keep disappearing into relationships in order to feel motivation to live…it’s time to find that motivation inside myself instead of getting it from someone else. I won’t lie, I’m terrified that I will never be able to love myself again, or find my own reasons to keep living, but I have to try.
Now that Jessie and I have gotten closure, and have freed each other from expectations and hopes of what could have been, there is nothing from my past standing in the way of my future. I can rebuild my life, with a new job, a new college, new friends, a new apartment, and a new relationship with Fred. I don’t know how any of it will work out, but I think that there is a real possibility that my life will take a turn for the better. My only goal now is to literally be happy, and it won’t happen overnight. On Monday I start intensive outpatient treatment, and while I feel dread I know it is for the best.
One chapter of my life has closed, and I do feel very sad that it is over. But maybe this next part of my life will be the best yet…
In a nutshell, that’s why I’m still here.
Sometimes on TV or movies or in novels women will talk about closure. “I need closure with this person” “We never had any closure” And for months now I thought I had this closure thing down. But maybe not…
One of the many things I thought was closure was when I finally threw out the corsage my ex-boyfriend Charles gave me last prom. I kept that sticking thing for maybe two or three months on my dresser, where the mini roses just withered and withered. Finally one day when he pissed me off, I took that thing outside, made a grand ol’ speech about how I was DONE, and threw it in the woods.
Then, I thought I had closure whenever he hurt my feelings. There was this other time in my car. I was just sitting there in my seat while he talked and talked away. The sky was gray and cloudy. “I just…feel…alone.” I admitted finally, and his answer was how his problem were so much more significant than mine, and that I was just whining, that he can get depressed too, and basically just made me feel like my feelings didn’t matter. We fought, and I drove outta there.
I also thought I achieved “closure” when I said yes, in accepting to be someone else’s girlfriend. And especially when I lost my virginity to them, instead of Charles.
But, No, No, and No. Through all of the “what happened to us?” talks, the “I still miss those times…” talks, and even the “What the hell did I ever do to you?!” fights, I finally felt closure not then, but last night.
I’ve had this uneasy feeling around Charles for a while now: (Actually, pretty much since we spilt up for good) He didn’t want it, any of it, to change. He wanted us to go back, and I would sit there in class with him thinking about how the night before I felt perfectly happy in the arms of someone who was Not him. I wanted him to forget me, and he wanted me to remember him. And maybe that was just a hunch, but he would say that stuff I mentioned before. “I sometimes miss being your boyfriend.” “We had a good relationship.” “Is he better than I was…?” “How come you never talk to me anymore?” “Do you miss me?” “Do remember that one time when we were…[insert extremely personal memory here]?” It drove me nuts. All I wanted was for him to move on like I had, and be happy like I was or wasn’t.
Anyway, so since we were still friends we would hang out every one or two months or so. Just catch up. After all, we used to talk every single day. He was my best friend, and I’m pretty sure I was his. So yesterday we hung out. Our mutual friend Brendan ended up hanging out with us for most of the evening, too. And after I drove Brendan home, and pulled up to Charles’s house, this was of course when we got the important stuff off our chests.
“I was just so scared I was going to lose you, and I ended up losing you anyway..”
“I was so insecure…always afraid to do the wrong thing…that one day you’d wake up and want someone smarter, funnier, more your type…”
“I had a lot of issues going on at the time.”
“It took me a trip to the hospital to straighten myself out.”
“My mom always says you were perfect, and how could I treat you like that? She thought we were going to get married.”
“To admit, so did I. I could see it all in my head.”
“I thought we were going to get married too…”
“It just wasn’t the right time…”
And then I knew we had been on the same page the whole time, neither one of us speaking up, neither one of us being kind to ourselves, both of us loving the other person more than we were willing to admit to ourselves. And when I finally drove home I knew that part of each of us will always wonder “what would happen if we finally got it right…?”.
I think knowing that someone was that committed to me, who loved me that much and trusted me that much, is what makes me certain of how my life is now. I think if anything, Charles’s and mine relationship taught me to stand up for myself and know that I deserve the relationship I am in now. Maybe that’s what “closure” means.