A Natural Hair and fashion lifestyle blog based in Sonoma County, in the heart of Wine Country. Amber serves up inspiration for winery tourism, vegetarian recipes, style, and skincare.

Closure to Goodbye



Sometimes, I write essays and then hesitate on publishing them - this is one of those essays. Originally written in October-November of last year, I had hoped to be able to publish it after my November court date: but my permanent restraining order request against this person was dragged out all the way until June of this year...I am relieved to say, on June 2nd, 15 months after this whole ordeal began, I was finally granted my request. To read the whole series, please start with The Relationship Essay

If you believe yourself, or a loved one to be in a dangerous, or abusive relationship, please see my resource guide Warning Signs: How To Identify Toxic and Abusive Relationships (Though originally published in 2016, it is updated regularly.)

And now the essay:

It is a strange, and perhaps even beautiful thing, when those outside of myself request closure for a relationship that they have followed along with through my essays. To have my own writing quoted back to me because it resonates with you helps me know that perhaps I am not as isolated as I often feel.

So, I will tell you now: the closure to the relationship explored in my three previous essays does not exist. Ending a relationship is never easy; but it should never end with police, court orders, a month of hiding - of not being able to come into work or drive my vehicle, and now finally, restraining papers. The years of 2018 and 2019 saw so many lines drawn in the sand again and again and again, until finally I found myself in trench so deep it was fit for war. My “closure” will come from a judge, via court order, sometime this afternoon.

Eventually, closure will come in the sense that time will someday unplug me from the outlet of memory from these events. But the irony is this: time does not heal all wounds. It only fades memories.

I want so badly to be writing from a different place, emotionally. I want to be able to say “I was in a valley, but I have made it through. I am past this.” Instead, it is the Dry Creek Valley that I am in, speeding down Highway 101 in the triple digits, with the sun setting behind me, and tears streaming down my face. I am tired. I am drained, and at times I feel hollow and lifeless.

When it comes to abusive relationships, what no one prepares you for is the ache: the complete mind-fuck of missing the intensity of everything. The terror of furious arguments; the heightened anxiety that has you shaking, fearing for your safety - and for me, hiding away, trying to become invisible, to being found and caught - and what eventually lead to a surrender and submission to hopelessness, to passionate reconciliations. How you became accustomed to always being on edge and high alert, or how you began to operate like the hellish existence and complete oppression of free will was the new normal. The emotional bruises that occur...the possession, the heartbreak, and the inner negotiations that take place. You start to believe you deserve this. That abuse is in your DNA, and that you’ll never escape it. 

You begin to reason with yourself, telling yourself you’re in control of what happens to you, that you will make things better by ‘starving the bad behavior and rewarding the good’, until a series of events proves that you’re so far gone that when a stranger steps in and hands you a mirror…you realize just how fucked your situation truly is...and you’re left marketing your relationship issues like a new advertising campaign to try and grapple with how you arrived to this strange reality.

Recovery isn’t a steady climb. It’s full of valleys and canyons...and landslides. Abusers aren’t abusive to everyone, or even all the time, so you question your sanity and logic. Surely it isn’t that bad, right? You try to gain your power back by telling yourself that you’re the dangerous one - you’re the bad bitch under the guise of sweetness. That he’s finally fucked with the wrong woman: that you’re the one that will bring him to his knees. You want your Lifetime Movie Moment.

But the truth is you can’t make someone repent for sins they refuse to acknowledge. You’re not street-smart enough to outsmart a street rat. Do you want to be? YES. God yes - anything to give you some fucking sense of control and validation. No one prepares you for the fact that you’ll never get it. You simply have to rebuild with what’s left. Another notch in his belt, another “crazy” ex that he’ll destroy online, making people believe the lies that aren’t remotely true. He’ll paint himself as the victim, and you the villain. He’ll use your story for sympathy on the next girl. Under his pouty moody images and memes online his friends will chime “fuck that bitch bro!”. That’s the way it goes. You have to let it go.

I want to tell you that I no longer believe in love...but that wouldn’t be true. Instead I will tell you that I am ashamed to still believe in it. I am angry about this. Because if I still believe in the possibility of love, it means that I still have the possibility of experiencing this hell all over again - and indeed, in part, I feel that I already have. Is it possible to believe in something, but never act upon it? Can I be agnostic about love in a Gnostic world?

I do not know if I can forgive this. Truthfully, I couldn't forgive while in the relationship; my resentment for his betrayal is what led to all erasure of him online, and exclusion from all events- a validation I knew he craved. It was a cruel punishment that I felt justified in. Even now, he will always remain nameless, faceless. If hatred is indeed disappointed love, then I must admit: I hated him. In my last essay I had written that I did not hate him...I see now that I did. I have to find a way to let this go, and to eventually find my closure to goodbye. I have no love left in me for him. What I want is the complete removal of him from my memory. I want no evidence of his existence anywhere near me.

I find comfort in knowing that eventually, my memories of him will fade. Eventually what once made me cry will become a punchline, a joke. The days that pass without a thought of him will eventually become weeks, months, and years. I’m looking forward to it. I just have to get through court first.

Photography: Sosatography 
© A•Mused

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A Mused Blog | A Northern California Sonoma County Blog