When it comes to this blog, there are things that I’ve been very open about with regard to my life. I have boundaries, but they’ve been tested by my willingness to be open. Perhaps my inner narcissist thinks what I’ve experienced might help someone else. Or maybe I just like to read my own dronings. To determine the psycho/social particulars of those two statements will require time and a separate post. What I will share with you now though, is an unabashed admission that I’ve been in therapy off and on since the late 80’s.
I’d like to say it’s because I’m such a fascinating specimen of humanity. In truth, I’ve lived a life typical of creative types–I have long been a very tortured soul. My last delving into the world of Jung, Adler and Freud was late this past winter and of all the sessions I’ve had in my life, I got more out of this one.
Any shrink will tell you that in order to be helped, you have to be willing to seek it. You have to admit there’s a problem. And not only that, you have to be willing to do the homework. True therapy involves deep introspection that exceeds well beyond the one hour weekly sessions in therapist’s office. This is a very painful process and one reason why so many people cease their sessions before anything has stuck.
You have to learn the hard way that pain means change and you have to forge ahead. I understood that this time. I really got into the things I was learning about myself and others. It was more fulfilling because I really wanted to get help for the problems that were plaguing me. I had to realize that if I wanted any kind of quality of life, I’d have to admit they were real and up to me to resolve them. I did and once that happened, I started acquiring the defensive tools and weaponry needed to do battle. And I assure you, successful therapy is nothing short of waging war against your inner demons.
So, in this process of turning myself to face myself, my therapist told me something that blew me away. She said in all her years in this profession, she’d never met anyone so completely out of touch with her feelings.
I was Laurie Kendrick, a witty and urbane woman who was also a deep thinker, eloquent and erudite to the gills. OF COURSE, I WAS IN TOUCH WITH MY FEELINGS!!!!!!
But instead, I learned that I was actually an excellent sweeper of all things under the rug. That’s how I’d deal with problems. Oh yeah, if something happened, I’d cry…mourn…get depressed, but instead of processing what had transpired and then properly dealing with the ensuing pain, I’d choose to place these unsavory events in an unmarked file in my brain and only revisit when I absolutely had to.
Which I rarely did.
That resulted in files brimming to the rim with nothing but unresolved relationships; relationships that just died without any real explanation; without any rhyme or reason and instead of confronting the person to find out what had really happened, I said nothing. I asked no questions. I didn’t defend myself. I felt inferior, as though I was to blame and I merely limped away, only to emerge a little later as if nothing had ever happened.
Fast forward to the late fall of 2009.
I had an opportunity to re-acquaint myself with someone who had held a very regal position in my heart for almost four decades. He started the ball rolling by walking out on me 36 years ago. He broke up with me and never offered a reason why. I was too wounded and at 14, too young and immature to ask why. I just let him go and reacted like it didn’t bother me at all. But it did. I was seething inside and it haunted me for the rest of my life.
I never thought we’d reconnect and even though I never wanted to, I’m glad we did because we talked. I asked questions and the man he’d become explained the feelings of the boy he once was. I got the answers I wanted. I got the closure I needed.
What an absolutely glorious thing to have a feeling come full circle. To have questions answered. To find that damned needle in the haystack. To apply punctuation to the end of a long, run – on sentence.
I do believe that something physical happens when you achieve closure because closure means structure. The event that once unnerved you only had a beginning and a middle. It was missing an integral part. Closure provides an ending and when realize the omega to your alpha, I swear it becomes something altogether physcial. I think the brain starts to emit endorphins once you realize you have closure. You get a runner’s high because you finally stopped running from a situation you’ve allowed to chase you for years…decades, perhaps.
I am a big believer in signs. Closure and the physical sensation of completion is one of Nature’s perfect indicators that we’re doing the right thing; that we’re heading in the right direction. There is complete removal of doubt. Certainty is one of the best feelings in the world.
But beyond that, closure is also a literal event. When we experience closure, we close the doors on the confusion of the past and that in turn, allows us to focus on the future. Closed doors let us make decisions faster. They let us see clearer and somehow, they let us experience real forgiveness.
But perhaps the best part about closed doors? They’re also extremely hard to open again. Maybe it’s just me, but I find great comfort in knowing there’s permanence to this particlar aspect to change. I like knowing that things could never go back to the way they were. For me, there’s safety in that. There is security and a sense of finality. I would imagine it would be a feeling that’s akin to knowing the man who murdered your sister is behind bars and will stay there for he rest of his life.
Under less arduous circumstances, closed doors allow us to say goodbye and good luck and really mean it.
So, goodbye and good luck, Mr. Heartache. It took 36 years for you to give me the one thing I never knew I always wanted–a parting gift of liberation and emotional unencumbrance. I have freedom and room to grow and I still believe somehow, even through the muck and mire of my life, that good things can still happen…even at this late stage of the game .
As I see it, your departure from my life means my arrival.
And for that, I am truly thankful.