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There are 3 people I need closure with. As I approach 30 it feels more and more like something I need to do. But how weird is it?

1st. I needed closure with my Grandpa - he has passed away. We never seen eye to eye and he could be down right cruel in his actions and words towards me describing me as my mother (this will make sense soon). For this I just went and sat near his grave and apologized for not trying harder to be around despite his hurtful comments not so much for his sake but he LOVED and spoiled my kids so for theirs and now that he is gone I hope he can see me in a different light.

2. My Mom. She has been out if my life for 2 years fully and I’ve stopped having panic attacks. Before closing the door I asked her repeatedly to just stop. Stop making plans and canceling, stop nitpicking me to no end, stop nitpicking my kids, stop trying to manipulate us into not seeing other family members, stop allowing her boyfriend to threaten us. Just stop. The woman is sick. I need closure, I feel like writing to her and explaining why we closed the door, call her out for never really being a Mom and to request her to stop trying to give my kids gifts and money at family functions (always been a manipulation tactic and Im worried it’ll come back on them in their adult years should they have a relationship with her then). I guess I’ve never really called her out. My dad was a drunk and unkind to me, I raised my sibling. I just always wonder if she even knows. Is a letter a bad thing to write and send? People please stop me or suggest? I’m not sure I could talk to her in person without blowing up. Is a letter a little messed up?

3rd. An ex. We have not been together for 12 years. I am happily married for 10 as of July this year. I have no desire to disrupt his life or mine. I never did apologize for my behaviour over the 8 measly months we were together, I hurt him mentally,
I was mentally unstable and just a teenager with a drinking problem and no idea what a healthy relationship was. He could have pressed charges with how it ended but instead he pushed for mandatory counselling, I would not be sitting here with all I have if it was not for his decision in that moment. Is it weird to fire out an email 10 years later with a sorry I was a trainwreck & for any heartache it brought you and thank you for forcing me to get help? I say 10 years not 12 as he got in contact with me 10 years ago to hook up and I told him to go home to his fiance. I’m not interested in having a friendship or anything like that I just want closure. I want to apologize for what I did and thank him. Thats it. But is it to weird?

I have discussed these things with my husband and he said if its what I need for closure then do it, he also supports me even if its not the right thing. These things just keep me up at night, I’d like to close the doors fully and move on without the nightmares. Its like a little movie in my brain when I try to sleep and its just time to make peace with the past so to speak.

Please weigh in on this.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you.

That was the original plan so I wrote them and need to burn them or send and I just don’t know why its such a struggle.

I definitely do not want to open the doors I more so want to nail them shut and be at peace with them.

I do have to see my mother at family functions. I think hers is more to try and stop her from trying to wedge herself into my kids lives (at least until she is medicated)

My ex lives near by and we pass each other awkwardly in the grocery stores.

That just makes me want to be like “hey hows it going? Sorry you dated me when I was a sick child. I’m healthy now so thanks for that push I needed that” not really stuck in line conversations Previously it was out of sight out of mind been eating at me for 3 years now.

I know I’ll never forget but a I also feel like a great deal of gratitude and regret with the situation. Not the type of regret for a do over just the type I should not have done that or been there the way.
 

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Your mother doesn't care. Writing her will do nothing but show her the power that she has over you.

As for the ex, you living a life of normal relationships and actions are enough for him to know that you appreciate his choice. He does not need you to tell him. Honestly, that letter is the most worrisome to me. If I was your husband, it would bother me as it is forging an emotional connection with someone you see, have been with, and is still around.

Your best bet is to never send either. When I mentioned boxes being opened, what good will come of sending the letter to him? You will feel less awkward? I don't think you will, to be honest, and you are already devoting too much head space to him. It is not a good thing to continue to dwell on.
 

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''Closure'' is a mis-used word that's tossed around the pop-psych world. Often it's coupled with some sort of gesture, grand or otherwise.

The closest thing to real closure is gaining an understanding of the situation that brings a measure of 'peace of mind" with it. For example, your Grandfather.

As for your mother, there can be no peace of mind, unless and until, she seeks expert help and it can be verified to have worked for a period of five years. You made the right decision when you cut her out. Writing a letter to explain why will not work, it only opens the door. If you allow this woman back into your life, I would consider it a betrayal and abuse of your own family.

As for the ex. Padlock that door, wrap it in duct tape, encase in concrete, then toss into the abyss. If you want to thank him, choose instead a deity of your preference and thank them. You can appreciate his actions at a pivotal time in your life, and be thankful and grateful, but please do not open that door. It would be dishonouring and disrespectful to your husband.

There's a radio personality who says you have two chances at having a happy family life. The first is out of your control, the second is in your control. You've beaten the odds. Go forward, and leave the rest in your rearview mirror.
 

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Thank you.

Sometimes a person just needs a soundboard.

I discussed it with my husband a few times over the last month just something about actually seeing my 30th coming, 10 years of marriage coming, 3 kids, self employment and loosing a son that was not mine but was like mine this summer has brought this up and hubby is ok with which ever direction I go.

Its like my Mom is the person that was never there and encouraged a reckless lifestyle followed by years of bugging me to leave my husband. If I stayed in the path she wanted I’d be dead in a ditch. And I hate her for it. I hate when there is a gathering and she tries to give my kids things. I don’t know how to make her stop and just stay the F away. I’m tired of being somewhere the kids should be able to run and play freely while we catch up with the GOOD people in the family but instead I am steering them away from her and her boyfriend. so we just don’t go anymore. My biggest fear is they will make a connection with her and I never want them to go through a minute of what I did.

Then the ex. There was NEVER emotional feelings involved my from my end. I was to unhealthy to be able to feel anything it was a convenience for someone splitting half the bills. I was reckless and had no self worth. I’d be dead in a ditch if he had not spoken to the cops and asked for counselling vs charges. For that I’m thankful, not desiring a relationship I’ve just never known how to express that gratitude.

My husband gets it, he knew me during the time of recklessness And seen me with the ex and knows there was no attachments with the ex.

My husband and I connected as more than friends after I was stable and on a good path we’ve been together ever since.
 

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I think you need to forgive yourself for the past. That is more important than apologizing to an ex. Stop beating yourself up for not cutting out your mother sooner or for being a mess of a person. You have grown, you have learned, and you have improved.

Forgive yourself for the past and strive forward in the present.
 

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I think you need to forgive yourself for the past. That is more important than apologizing to an ex. Stop beating yourself up for not cutting out your mother sooner or for being a mess of a person. You have grown, you have learned, and you have improved.

Forgive yourself for the past and strive forward in the present.
Perhaps you are right.

I’ll need to work on figuring out how to do that.
 

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There are 3 people I need closure with. As I approach 30 it feels more and more like something I need to do. But how weird is it?

1st. I needed closure with my Grandpa - he has passed away. We never seen eye to eye and he could be down right cruel in his actions and words towards me describing me as my mother (this will make sense soon). For this I just went and sat near his grave and apologized for not trying harder to be around despite his hurtful comments not so much for his sake but he LOVED and spoiled my kids so for theirs and now that he is gone I hope he can see me in a different light.

2. My Mom. She has been out if my life for 2 years fully and I’ve stopped having panic attacks. Before closing the door I asked her repeatedly to just stop. Stop making plans and canceling, stop nitpicking me to no end, stop nitpicking my kids, stop trying to manipulate us into not seeing other family members, stop allowing her boyfriend to threaten us. Just stop. The woman is sick. I need closure, I feel like writing to her and explaining why we closed the door, call her out for never really being a Mom and to request her to stop trying to give my kids gifts and money at family functions (always been a manipulation tactic and Im worried it’ll come back on them in their adult years should they have a relationship with her then). I guess I’ve never really called her out. My dad was a drunk and unkind to me, I raised my sibling. I just always wonder if she even knows. Is a letter a bad thing to write and send? People please stop me or suggest? I’m not sure I could talk to her in person without blowing up. Is a letter a little messed up?

3rd. An ex. We have not been together for 12 years. I am happily married for 10 as of July this year. I have no desire to disrupt his life or mine. I never did apologize for my behaviour over the 8 measly months we were together, I hurt him mentally,
I was mentally unstable and just a teenager with a drinking problem and no idea what a healthy relationship was. He could have pressed charges with how it ended but instead he pushed for mandatory counselling, I would not be sitting here with all I have if it was not for his decision in that moment. Is it weird to fire out an email 10 years later with a sorry I was a trainwreck & for any heartache it brought you and thank you for forcing me to get help? I say 10 years not 12 as he got in contact with me 10 years ago to hook up and I told him to go home to his fiance. I’m not interested in having a friendship or anything like that I just want closure. I want to apologize for what I did and thank him. Thats it. But is it to weird?

I have discussed these things with my husband and he said if its what I need for closure then do it, he also supports me even if its not the right thing. These things just keep me up at night, I’d like to close the doors fully and move on without the nightmares. Its like a little movie in my brain when I try to sleep and its just time to make peace with the past so to speak.

Please weigh in on this.
Closure is a delusion if it requires another person. You won't find it in your deceased grandfather, you won't find it in your mother, and you won't find it in your ex. None of those people can give you what you need, and frequently when we seek closure we get the opposite: a realization that they either just don't care, won't respond, or won't forgive you.

Find it by making peace with it and just moving the hell on. The problem isn't closure, the problem is that you haven't let it go.
 

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I think you need to forgive yourself for the past. That is more important than apologizing to an ex. Stop beating yourself up for not cutting out your mother sooner or for being a mess of a person. You have grown, you have learned, and you have improved.

Forgive yourself for the past and strive forward in the present.
Forgiveness is giving up all hope of a better past.

It is not for them, but for you. Forgive so that you can let them go.

Would counselling help? Sometimes we need flip these things on another angle with help from someone removed from the situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I used to go to counselling.

The one I seen years ago and up to just
over a year ago has retired.

I’ve tried a few others and to be honest they ask so many questions it feels like I’m reopening the gates of hell and I don’t make another appointment, I end up leaving full of panic and anxiety something I’ve been fully without since cutting off my Mother outside of a few failed appointments.

My other options for sound boards are my Grandma (Moms mom) and the situation kills her so we don’t talk about it.

My Aunt (moms sister) who like grandma is “its still your mom” so we don’t talk about it.

My husband - who is all just all around maybe too supportive of what ever a I feel is needed to keep moving forward. So he is not a great soundboard.

So my other option is TAM. Strangers are generally more honest anyway as non of you are attached in anyway and we all come from different walks of life with various insights which is invaluable really.
 

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Your grandfather: Forgive him. He treated your children well, and they have happy memories of him. Be thankful for that. (My mother hated her father, and I heard about it we'll into my 30's. He was wonderful to us grandkids, and I got sick if listening to my mother trash him. I finally the her, "I realize that you had issues with your father, but you need to understand that he was a loving grandfather to your children. When you trash him, it hurts us. It's not how we knew him, or want to remember him."
It took her a bit, but when she realized that he was loving and kind to us, she let go of a lot of her anger.
My paternal grandfather, I will never forgive. Instead, he ceased to exist in my life. He wasn't worth the memories, even painful ones.

Your mom: You are likely to open a door, and with it comes all of the emotions better left locked away. Write a letter and burn it. Indulge in primal scream therapy. Whatever helps you move on without her in your life. Contacting her is unlikely to resolve anything, and will only allow her more emotional space in your life than she deserves.

The ex: Leave him be. As much as you want closure, you do not get to disrupt someones happy life to get it. It's not okay to subject someone to even the possibility of emotional pain, and bad memories, so that you will feel better about something you've done. He doesn't have to forgive you. Your closure should not become his problem.

Move on, and let him live in peace.
 

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You poor, poor woman, you been a doormat and made to be inferior your whole life. By manipulation and control. You already have met the goal of clousure. And because they have successfully made you their dog to kick around.

Don't give them crap, your grandfather,( rest his soul) will stand accountable as l believe in my faith. And as to your warped mother, just tell your children when granny give them something because they are special and have everything other kids are missing. That you are going to help them take what they received and give it a boys town that helps little children who are without their mommy or daddy.

Donate it all even the money, you don't have to it. Don't give your mother the satisfaction of causing another scene, for you or your children to see.

And to your X, let dead dogs lie. He wants to hookup that it and that is allowing someone a chance to use you. Don't touch it ever nor give it another second of your life.

Your husband has You to thank for loving him, and he loves you too. He is going to let you do anything it would take you to heal, but as l see it you already have because you have crossed that bridge and are seeing a new you.

You are loved and adored by your Husband and your children,

🤔THAT'S ENOUGH CLOUSURE FOR ANYONE. 👍
 

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Ask God for help to forgive yourself and to forgive them. I cant see any harm in writing and sending a letter to your ex, but the other letters just write them and burn them.
 

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When it comes to your mother, writing her the kind of letter you are talking about is not going to get you anything that approaches closure. She is not going to read the letter and suddenly understand your point of view. Instead it's going to open a hornets nest. She will be furious at the letter. She will not understand what you write and just think you are crazy, or ungrateful, or some other unflattering thing. It will most likely motivate her to work even harder to win your children over, to prove that you are the problem and not her.

Instead, put your effort into helping your children understand where there grandmother is coming from, the harm that she has done, and how they can be strong and not be sucked into your game. It's your children that need the help. Not your mother.

In 2016 I had a health crisis. Out of nowhere I got a letter from my ex who I divorced in 1996 because of his abuse and his cheating. He apologized and told me that he was just going through a miserable time in his life. He knows he screwed things up. He never apologized for anything specifically, only in a general sense. I suppose he thought I was going to die and he had to get closure. I have never replied to him. What am I supposed to say? Before his letter the whole thing was buried under years of living since that time. Since the letter every so often I think of his letter and feel guilty because I cannot think of anything to reply to him except something like "yea, you screwed up and hurt your son and me." In some ways his letter was good because at least he finally admitted that he caused serious problems, but in the letter it was all out of his control because he was just miserable. Sometimes we just need to let the past go. Now I have the guilt of never having answered his letter... ugh.
 

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Do not let someone else (family or not) guilt you into doing something that might do more harm than good. Let go of guilt--you have made the best choices you could with the resources you had at the time.

Closure is letting go of what once was. Don't stir up what has been dying for the good of all. Accept what has happened in the past--none of us is perfect. If you wish honor the transition away from that which is finished by burning a letter, releasing some balloons, planting a tree, or giving to charity, etc.--do so if you need something symbolic.

Now embrace/focus on the good in your life. Your husband sounds like a gem. Tell him how much you appreciate him--regularly.
 

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Closure is a delusion if it requires another person. You won't find it in your deceased grandfather, you won't find it in your mother, and you won't find it in your ex. None of those people can give you what you need, and frequently when we seek closure we get the opposite: a realization that they either just don't care, won't respond, or won't forgive you.

Find it by making peace with it and just moving the hell on. The problem isn't closure, the problem is that you haven't let it go.
I absolutely agree with this.

However, I still get the need for the "ritual" of closure. I have always found the remembering of things that have hurt me in the past needs to have a door shut on it in my mind.
Write letters to all three- saying fully what you need to say.
Don't actually give/send them to the person you wrote them to. Instead, decide what type of 'ritual" or "ceremony" you will hold, for yourself, privately, to dispose of the letters. (burn them, toss them in a river, blast them into space, whatever). You do this for yourself....not for others.
Give yourself permission to let go and the ritual serves as a reminder of a change you have made in your life. It's worked out well for me because I no longer dwell on the hurtful parts but remember how I loved/cared for myself and considered my own feelings important enough to make things better.
I was hit on the head with the heavy ends of butter knives as a child and remembered, briefly but it was there, every time I saw a butter knife. I tossed them all out into a river along with some other things and didn't keep any butter knives with metal handles for about 15 yrs (plastic handles on them were okay). They don't daunt/bother me any longer because I acknowledged what was occurring in my mind every time and made a conscious decision to move on from it. I now remember what I did for myself instead of what happened and can smile because *I* control my life and what happens to me now.
 

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I absolutely agree with this.

However, I still get the need for the "ritual" of closure. I have always found the remembering of things that have hurt me in the past needs to have a door shut on it in my mind.
Write letters to all three- saying fully what you need to say.
Don't actually give/send them to the person you wrote them to. Instead, decide what type of 'ritual" or "ceremony" you will hold, for yourself, privately, to dispose of the letters. (burn them, toss them in a river, blast them into space, whatever). You do this for yourself....not for others.
Give yourself permission to let go and the ritual serves as a reminder of a change you have made in your life. It's worked out well for me because I no longer dwell on the hurtful parts but remember how I loved/cared for myself and considered my own feelings important enough to make things better.
I was hit on the head with the heavy ends of butter knives as a child and remembered, briefly but it was there, every time I saw a butter knife. I tossed them all out into a river along with some other things and didn't keep any butter knives with metal handles for about 15 yrs (plastic handles on them were okay). They don't daunt/bother me any longer because I acknowledged what was occurring in my mind every time and made a conscious decision to move on from it. I now remember what I did for myself instead of what happened and can smile because *I* control my life and what happens to me now.
Rituals are good.

A girl I was dating after I divorced drunkenly threw my wedding ring off a bridge into a river. That felt like closure.

I think I also burned some letters my ex wrote me on the bbq. That felt good too.
 

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Just keep up good boundaries with your mother. If you don't see her often, there is no reason to really worry about the children being drug into her life over a few gifts. Don't send that letter. Like EleGirl said, she will not instantly see how she hurt you from your perspective. She'll just feel attacked, and brush off everything as coming from an angry, ____________(fill in the blank) daughter.

You might want to read a few books on codependency, as your writing your mother a letter spelling out everything seems codependent. I'm sure you've told her everything at one time or another that you would be writing in the letter. Why do you want to tell her one more time? Your focus doesn't need to be trying to get her to understand your whys anymore. You just need to be consistent in keeping her out of your family's lives. The only hope of her understanding, much less changing is if she wrote YOU a letter telling you how sorry she is for how she has treated you over the years, but you know that is never going to happen.

Regarding the ex. Let it go. He doesn't care if you are sorry or not. He just hopes you straightened out your life, and that is why he asked that you get mandatory counseling when he broke up with you. Since you live in the same town, and you even run into him at the grocery store, you can be sure he knows that your life has turned out well. Your apology is for your own conscience, not for him, because he doesn't need one. Straightening out your life is an ascknowledgment that you knew you were a mess and needed to fix yourself. He already knows that you aren't the person you used to be and that you are probably ashamed (and sorry) about how you behaved when the two of you dated.

I'm glad for you that you turned your life around! Keep looking forward, and don't forget where you came from, but don't let shame draw you backwards. As Tasaduro said, forgive yourself. I might add, be thankful that you changed, and that you have a better life than you would have because of it.
 
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