Engaged in Transition

“You can’t always get what you want but if you try sometimes, well, you might find you get what you need”

My father is a marriage and family therapist, and that made for a very interesting childhood to say the least. One of the things my Dad always emphasized was the apology process. It was important not just to say sorry, but to say what you were sorry for. Quite often my brother and I found ourselves at the “closure table” in the hallway. (We weren’t allowed to leave until we had apologized, forgiven, and moved on.) I grew up expecting an apology and a reasoning for wrong doings. While this practice certainly helped my relationship with my brother, and has taught me a lot of things, I’ve struggled in some other areas.

Thoughout my life, I’ve had good friendships fall apart. I began to question myself. What was wrong with me? Why did my friendships end so badly? I went to counseling for a while to talk through my issues. (On a side note, everyone should go to counseling. It’s just good practice to take care of yourself. End the stigma.) In counseling, I learned a lot about myself but also came to the conclusion that, sometimes I’m doing everything I can. Sometimes things end, and it’s not by fault of anything that I’m doing or not doing. Yet, I still found myself unable to let it go. This week, I realized why that is. I was wanting my “closure table” where I could talk it all out, forgive, and move on. I expected closure, on my own terms.

I used to think that everyone wanted the same type of closure, but this week I realized that’s a hefty assumption. We all have different types of closure. For some, it’s an apology and a rational, for others it might be just an apology, or maybe even none at all.

As I’m graduating, there are several areas of my life that I feel need closure, but I think maybe a more accurate statement would be that there are things that I need to come to terms with. I don’t have to have all the answers. People don’t owe me explanations, just as I don’t owe others explanation of my personal actions. (That’s not always true, but usually we don’t need to justify the actions of our personal life to those who aren’t involved.) I’ve always expected people to justify their actions to me, or at least give a reasoning for their actions, but I shouldn’t. That’s just as simple as it is, but that’s what makes closure hard. This is another opportunity for me to grow and learn. I don’t like it, but I need it.

– Delyn Bull

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