Closure is an artificial construct in our society. There is an innate human need to put our past experiences in a neat little box up on a shelf and say, “Well, that’s over,” but that is not always the case. Sometimes our experiences have long tendrils that will not fit in the box. Sometimes there are leftover issues that are not ready to go in the box. Sometimes, some part of the experience is ongoing and will never go in the box. Sometimes things happen that never go away or will never be explained–there can never be “closure.” Stuff happens in life; that’s part of human existence. If something happened that is so traumatic or upsetting that you’re struggling with it, seeing a therapist is a good idea. However, know that unless you have a time machine and can go back and undo that experience, it will always be with you. You may struggle to understand or explain what happened; you yearn for “closure.” It’s human nature to seek reasons and explanations when bad things happen. Have you ever said to yourself, “If only I knew why…” S
tudies have shown that knowing “why” doesn’t really help.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there is no such thing as “closure”. These events are part of
your personal history now and there is no way to change that.
It may also help to better understand the role of therapy. Just recently I had a friend say to me, “You’re a therapist, you’re supposed to make me feel better!” Um…no. That’s not my job. In fact, my job often involves digging up things that, in the short term, may make you feel worse. The role of therapy is to help you deal with those things; to learn to coexist with them. To accept those things as part of you and learn to have a healthy, fulfilling life in spite of them.