Closure Denied

 

We do not do the clean break. We never allow closure. There is no neat conclusion when you have been entangled with our kind. You are not allowed the precise and final cut of the surgeon’s scalpel but instead you must be content with the rusty saw that has sought to effect an amputation but instead has merely created a grisly abomination whereby there remains tendrils attached and ragged and torn flesh. No matter how hot the water which flows in your shower and the vigour with which you scrub your reddened flesh, no matter how much detergent you apply and no matter whether you use scrubbing brush or wire wool you cannot remove that residue. We linger. We remain. We percolate and infiltrate.

This, like much of what we do, is a calculated act to maintain a connection between you and us. We can never let go so we see no reason why you should be allowed to either. The residue which we create and which you cannot remove, takes many forms. It may be the fact that we chose you when we worked together so that each day you have no choice but to see us across the floor space in the same office, in the cafeteria or striding across the car park. Once upon a time, like every good fairy tale, you smiled and you felt your heart skip a beat as you saw us exit the lift and smile at you. That wonderful smile which was just for you. Now when we exit the lift and our cold, dead eyes alight on you, the smile is no more than a sickly leer which slowly opens up across our face as we know the residue of our impact on your remains deep inside you. You are faced with this each day. It is either that or leave and go somewhere else and even though you know that the latter is probably the most appropriate cause of action, something prevents you from doing so. Is it because you still want to see us? Of course it is. You may very well hate us but you cannot still help yourself as you want to see what we are doing and allow yourself the indulgence of looking at us and remembering.

In a different way the residue may be the fact that we owe you money and you are left to contact us, despite not wishing to do so, because you want, no, because you need that money. After all, we leeched from you so successfully that we have left you in penury and you need this money to be reimbursed. Part of you would rather write it off and in doing so hope that you can scour us from your memory, but circumstance dictates the necessity of collection. We know this and we shall provide excuse and exhibit delay and prevarication in order to keep you hanging on and in order to keep the connection between us alive still. The money will be paid by the end of the week promise. Sorry but we had to have a new boiler fitted so it will be next month now. The bonus was not as large as had been promised so it will a further three months as I shall have to pay you by instalments. What money? I do not know owe you anything. We keep you dangling and pull at the connection that remains between you and I. If it is not money, then it will be possessions. We will purposefully leave our belongings in your house and you will repeatedly ask us to collect them. We issue similar excuses to the repayment of the borrowed money. I am a bit busy at the moment maybe next week. I need to collect it in a car and mine is in the garage at the moment. If the possessions are not ours at your property then we will have ensured that in addition or as an alternative we will have kept items belonging to you with us, causing you to have to keep some form of contact with us in order to recover them. We ensure we select those items which are expensive and of sentimental value so you will not be able to replace them but instead you must keep asking us for the items. We will string out the return of these items by failing to be in when you call to collect them, turning up to deliver them when you are not in, forgetting to do so and so forth. It all maintains the link between us and increases your upset, annoyance and frustration. We want to keep our residue in your life so that when we choose to make our move we can suck you back in without difficulty.

We will remain in the same circle of friends as you. With our notoriously thick skin we will still turn up to meals and drinks knowing that you will be there. You will feel uncomfortable and resent our intrusion. Third parties will try to keep the peace and of course we will maintain our façade in order to show that we are a good person and we are just trying to be civil following the ending of the relationship. You may react to this and it enables us to point out that you are unhinged, unpleasant and always have to bear a grudge. Is it any wonder that we left?

Whilst we create the ever presence so that you see us everywhere you go, in sounds, in sights and tastes, we also like to leave our mark on you, smearing you with the residue of the relationship so that you feel tainted for the rest of your life, marked with the repeated reminder that you have been embroiled in a relationship with us and moreover to let you know in the clearest terms that you will never be free of us. We can never be washed away.

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56 thoughts on “Closure Denied”

  1. I am so glad you wrote this piece, HG, as it is something I simply cannot understand. The lengths some are willing to go through – the abuse so many are willing to endure and draw out – because they want something they can never have – closure.

    I`ve never seen it explained so brilliantly as you have done here.

    I know so many who feel they are entitled to this closure, but they fail to realize, we don`t feel they are, and so, they are not.

    I`ve seen people drive themselves to the brink of insanity in the name of closure. My hope is that with this article, people will begin to realize and understand it something they can never and will never receive from your kind and so, there is no point making themselves suffer.

    (Although, it is ever so satisfying to watch them suffer as they beg, plead and dig their heels in – unable to move forward – unable to let go. Either way, we win.)

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    1. The only way to closure I found, is through the victims psyche, dissecting how and why they are attracted to the Narcissist and the Narcissist choose them. There is no satisfaction to ever be gained from the narcissist, this can only be attained through unlocking the chains of your own heart and healing the past from childhood on up, changing thought patterns addictions, etc. to emotional highs and lows these relationships provide. To accept reality, life in it’s real form, not in fantasy form, either the narcissists or the victims, to allow the mundane every day-ness and find the simple beauty in just that, it’s amazing what the ability to “just be” does to a soul.

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    2. B&T what do you mean by these comments ?

      One second you say that “My hope is that with this article, people will begin to realize and understand it something they can never and will never receive from your kind and so, there is no point making themselves suffer.”
      And the next saying “though, it is ever so satisfying to watch them suffer as they beg, plead and dig their heels in – unable to move forward – unable to let go. Either way, we win.)

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  2. Very well written and right on with my husbands exes characteristics. Since we cannot go completely no contact because of the children, if we let her know we was aware of what she was and called her out on it, would it stop the harassing or make it worse? We already try to ignore her and not feed her with any negative or positive drama of any kind but when she gets ready, she still stirs the pot regardless and I’m so tired of it. My husband was married to her for 10 years so she gives him like this unimaginable anxiety to where his whole personality changes and I just get completely pissed off. She can’t just show up at a school function without having to come try to say something. The court papers say no harassing the other party though but not sure the extreme of the statement.

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  3. Singing:
    “Let it go, let it go
    Turn away and slam the door
    I don’t care
    what they’re going to say
    Let the storm rage on.
    The cold never bothered me anyway”

    ****shudders****yes…I quoted a Disney song up in here.

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  4. He loves cars. He lives on land with a large shop, but left cars at my house taking up my extra garage space! One day, he ghosted me. Without a word, he walked out and stopped contacting me. I was left with his stupid cars!!! Both are cars that he plans to restore one day. A muscle car in pieces and an older luxury sedan. The nerve of that guy!

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  5. I have come to accept that a non-closure is my closure. You’re right, there is always going to be a residue left from an entanglement with your kind even when there is no contact at all. By seeing narcissists everywhere even when there isn’t, or being unable to fully trust myself or somebody again is the price I will be paying for a very long time. However, I am hopeful that with the passage of time, the wound will close itself and become imperceptible.

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    1. Hello Anne.

      I’m with you on this.

      Only last week a newish freind of mine messaged me about some arrangements we’d made for later that day .

      My mobile was charging upstairs so I didn’t hear the texts come through. Within the space of an hour the messages had gone from ” Hi how are you ? ” to ” so & so was right, you’re taking the piss out of my kind & caring nature ” blah blah, simply because I hadn’t replied straight away.

      I’m not saying she’s a narc but the my alarm bells rang & we are no longer friends. I’m saddened by it all but I suppose this is how it has to be for now.

      I hope in time all of us will heal & move on, though sometimes it feels like an uphill struggle .

      Take care.

      Not So Sad x

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      1. The volume of text messages and the reaction of the sender to a lack of response or the speed of response are useful indicators which present as a red flag. Naturally, In isolation once cannot state this equates to a person being a narcissist but nevertheless it is an indicator of self-centredness and impatience at best and being of our kind at worst.

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      2. I did see it as a red flag HG because of the speed she turned nasty because I hadn’t messaged her back . She then went on blame shift saying she was feeling uncomfortable with the situation and accused me of harassment because she didn’t agree with my replies .

        As I said I can’t say if she is or isn’t a narc but I don’t need people like her in my life . Once upon a time I would’ve given her the benefit of the doubt the empath that I am, but not any more

        I’m learning & it’s all thanks to you Mr Tudor 🙂 Thank youuuuuuuuuuu .

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      3. So Sad, I know someone like this. I am almost positive she’s Borderline- some of the traits are very similar to a narc. Borderlines can be toxic in their own way but not even close to what a narccan do. Good luck with your situation.

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      4. I was pretty upset about it at the time Cody because I trusted her. In a way I miss her but not enough to ever have contact with her again.
        It made me realise that I’m stronger emotionally than I thought . That can’t be a bad thing. 🙂

        Thanks for replying, i really appreciate it xx

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      5. Hi So Sad,

        I had one of those kind of friends at one time…but we weren’t friends for long! She was a bit too high maintenance for me. Needless to say, dropping her did wonders for my stress levels. Good for you for listening to your alarm bells and enforcing your boundaries! These boundary violators need to be put in their place (for a change)! 😠 I like how you signed off as Not So Sad. 👍😊

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      6. Thank you ann,

        Yes that’s it exactly, boundaries . She overstepped & where once upon a time I would’ve ignored it to keep the peace I just felt I couldn’t.

        Some people say that after abuse you can become a stronger person. I believe I’m starting to & last week proved it . 🙂

        I hope things are as well as they can be for you ann . Thank you for replying .

        And yes signing off with Not So Sad now . xx

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      7. Good morning, So Sad! Things are going very well, with me! Thanks for the wishes! And I hope they are the same for you.

        We are always a work in progress until our last breath. I have learned that feelings of resentment is an indicator that a boundary has been violated and should be listened to. Peace is not the absence of conflict. It comes from doing what is right. So good for you!!!

        I agree. When you’ve been abused and beaten to the ground, there’s only one way to go, and that’s up! 😎🙌

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      8. OOh well done ann !

        Keep up the hard work . It’s worth the end result 🙂

        I have my up & down days but more up than down . Yay.

        I’m getting plenty of attention from the opposite sex but enjoying my freedom & peace of mind too much to even think about giving it up yet 🙂

        Thanks again for replying.

        Take care of yourself ann.

        Not So Sad xx

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  6. Well I do have to challenge your assertion at the end, ‘we can never be washed away’. I’m thinking that within the context of the analogy you’ve employed and maybe in your mind, that’s what you believe. Personally, this is not my belief. So on that point, we disagree.

    As for the rest, in my unfortunate experience I have found this to be completely true. Elsewhere, (in ‘About’), I outlined the ‘money’ problem that I had with the narc. How he used that as a way to maintain a connection between us, meaning that I had to contact him, whilst simultaneously accusing me of harassment.

    As it stands, the narc retains some of the money, (quite a sum). Reading this validated my suspicion that aside from allowing him the illusion of the ‘upper hand’, ‘getting away with it’; this also means that there exists a connection, however tenuous. Though I am no contact, of course, the fact and existence of this money still owed means that the situation/relationship was not concluded in its entirety, with money owed having been paid, neatly tied up. There is a lingering sense as well as all the left over feelings that I must deal with.

    As for ‘closure’, I realised that this was an alien concept to the narc and that I had to make my own closure which I continue to do.

    I posed this question before; Is it the case that the Narc must always be the one to end things on their terms? Whatever the cost?

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    1. We always end it on our terms even if your perception is different. We have to remain in control. So even if you escaped us, we would twist it around to suit our purposes.

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  7. I have not contacted him nor has he contacted me in 2 days. I was hoping he would be a man about it. I would like a formal ending but if not I will create my own closure when I hit the block button.

    HG….my question is…what is my next best step? I need to make it his decision so hopefully he can just go. But I am not going to sit here in this grey area for too long. I have a few things of his that I am planning on mailing to him. What gives me the best chance at a peaceful resolution? I don’t hate him and I don’t want either of us to have any more pain than necessary. He is who he is. I am who I am. I drew a line in the sand and I am standing my ground though.

    Thoughts?

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    1. There will not be a formal ending in his mind because the Narcissistic Relationship continues always. From your perspective return the items you have referred to and implement No Contact. Apply the principles of my book of the same name, read Exorcism, Smeared and Black Hole to deal with the next stages of what will happen. Your best chance at a peaceful resolution is to maintain no contact. Do not get drawn into a false promise of closure from him, you will not get it and all you will get is hoovered. Your statement about not wanting him to have any more pain than necessary is typically empathic but to be blunt, he is not your concern, you are. Build those walls, do other things to remain distracted and prepare yourself for the smearing and hovering. Applying what you have learned will minimise the aggravation leaving you with more energy to focus on yourself and your own recovery. Keep contributing here as it will maintain your resolve to keep him away from you. Also do not despair if you suffer some kind of relapse, nobody crossed the emotional sea at the first attempt.

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  8. I had to give myself that closure, and permission, pretty much, to start letting go. He will always be part of my story. I’ll always be marked. I know that. But at least I can start to move on. I’m just thankful that he operates more on apathy and inaction, and hasn’t tried to talk to me again. I think this would all be so much harder if he were like the first ex who was confrontational and would hunt me down to fight. I took the steps you suggested to reduce that ever presence as much as possible. No contact has been more about me keeping myself away from him at this point.

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  9. I’m laughing at myself right now bc after this last blow (the final blow) before I knew what he is and how he truly thinks, I asked him to write me a closure letter. I of course got no response back on that. Now it does seem so silly to even have asked but I’m also relieved that I know the true reasons why he does what he does.

    He left his stuff all over my house and has not even bothered to ask for it back.

    Came over a couple weeks ago to fix the sprinkler system. Conveniently didn’t have his checkbook so I had to write the check. Told me he’d pay me back in a couple days. A week later I had to ask for it and instead of bringing it to me you deposited it directly into my account (Power?)

    For being so clever, narcs sure do have the same bag of tricks. They however work very well until you begin to realize exactly what they are and even then you can get sucked into their darkness…why I’m addicted to this sight and every word that leaves HG’s pen!

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  10. I don’t need closure… I run at the first sign of abuse…. Sure it’s in my nature to want to help, to understand, to reason, but never do I feel the same once I have seen the truth and the mask come off… I want a love story, not a horror story…

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  11. I believe closure for each individual can be as different as their fingerprints. Typically one needing closure, is being on the receiving end of being cut-off from a deeply personal relationship whether intimate partner, friend, parent, relative, etc. It’s seeking some kind of validation of worthiness for the time invested in the relationship. I personally, would not dole out such callous disregard for the emotional well-being of another person unless I am in a circumstance of endangering myself or that of my child. That’s what my moral compass dictates. One of placing a value on integrity, compassion,and virtue. At this stage in my life, I am mostly surrounded by people with the same core values. Like attracts like. So, it is shocking if one flies under the radar operating on a different level and embracing the cutoff with just a swift delete when they’re done with someone demonstrating the complete irrelevancy of the relationship. But even with that, over time, you can get over it, because you realize the truth you would hear from them will be hurtful tenfold and would gouge the wounds even deeper.
    It’s when they keep sniffing back around. When they can’t hammer the last nail in the coffin. When they can’t articulate with their words why they can’t stick around but they can’t say a formal good-bye either. They perpetuate false hope. It is a horrendous violation to another human when they offered a loving, respectful relationship. It’s downright immoral.

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  12. You are for sure not a horror story 😂😂😂
    But the words above give a cold feeling 😰😞…
    I agree with B&T 100% in what she says EXCEPT for the part of satisfying to watch.. This part is also cold 😰

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  13. Those who have no regard or respect for others, also have no need to provide closure. They take and when they have used what they need, they discard. There is no closure of the discarded. The only one thag can be afforded is the one we provide to ourselves, by ignoring hoovers, not seeking answers or goodbyes and moving on with No Contact. We can not judge Them by our own thoughtful standards of saying goodbye, informing why we must break up or leave them. We are respectful of others feelings. They are not, to them we have no rights, so thusly have no need to provide us closure. Do not further heartbreak and emotional anguish. It does not serve us well. I know.
    End the story.

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    1. It was fitting. He never said good bye at the end of our phone convos. I brought it up and be claimed to not know about it. Then I told him it felt like I was hanging up on him to which he laughed. A couple of times i said goodbye and then hung up. The phone would ring and it would be him asking why I hung up on him. It came to the point where i asked him if he had anything else to say and waited for a response. Funny, considering he was the older guy and trying to mold me. Smh. So fitting that I told him I was hanging up.

      I saw him a few years ago, back at college. I was thinking about moving back and changing careers. That’s where he found me and he was more than a decade older than I was when we were dating and that was 25 years ago. I froze when I saw him. He smiled at me and I pretended not to know him. What I wanted to do was say….eeeewww, watch out ladies…creeper still be creepin’ after all these years. Don’t ever win a chess match…oh wait, he won’t let you…he will just throw the pieces in the air.

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      1. Great analogy as well, the not saying goodbye to end conversation, similar to their finesse of silent treatments and discards…then turn around. And make it like you disconnected on him. I don’t like to end conversation first, CN was sweet with phone calls and even messaging…he would do a countdown and then poof at end, it always made me smile, he knew I didn’t like to end calls or messages first… Well except when In a rage, he had no such sweetness. i wonder why he even bothered doing that for so many years…it did please me, I will admit. It had an innocence about it that appealed to me.

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  14. Thinking about my N not giving closure to me and he thinks he is forever connected, he also feels this way with all other women he has been with since me and before me. Sick!
    This thought alone gives me the strength to give myself closure. I look at him as a walking time bomb for an STD or something worse.

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  15. Since you won’t give closure, I must take it. The credit goes to you…and me, but mostly me. I never begged you for anything. I wrote off monetary debts. Some things are more important than money. I’d rather live on the streets than be attached to you. Here is a bit of me attached to the tentac..tendril. Something for you to remember me by. Forever yours…and i mean forever.

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  16. Prickly. It was easy to leave N1. I was young and stupid or smart. It is all really comical now in a sad way. I saw him a few years back. He was OLD and looked old and still trying the same old things. Sad really. With N2 stupid feelings got in the way but never anymore. He will be celebrating a milestone bday. The last one pissed him off. Part of me wants to send a card. I won’t.

    PS. Don’t get old.

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  17. HG, thanks for this great article! I’ve read a lot about the “Mixture” that’s instilled in us when we dance with a Narc. I expected that mixture to trigger old feelings of love that would make me see my ex through rose tinted glasses upon seeing her again. But during my recent hoover I felt an immediate downgrade in my self-esteem, a sense of confusion and blurry headedness and difficulty to concentrate on day to day things…and sure my mind was preoccupied by her in terms of trying to find answers to why, what and how type questions, but I didn’t feel love or longing to any appreciable degree, rather a sense of pity for her. Is this a normal reaction to the activation of the “Mixture” and, other than continuously reminding myself of the facts of what I’ve learned about Narcs to keep perspective, is there anything I can do to limit its effects?

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    1. Your sense of pity for this person is a typical empathic response. In terms of limiting the effects you need to keep in mind that this person is not deserving of your pity and you have been conditioned to feel pity in order to keep you around and to make you susceptible to a hoover. You need to put some ice around your heart with regard to this person and applying the suggestions in Exorcism will assist with this task, as well as realising that you need to aim to apply logic rather than emotion to the situation as you sail across the emotional sea.

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  18. HG,

    This has been one of your most helpful posts. I’ve re-read it multiple times. Thank you for this writing.

    Despite knowing this, I constantly fight the urge to send him one more e-mail, not only asking for closure, but reminding him how much and how well I loved and adored him. (Even though he has threatened, verbally abused and mentally tormented me.)

    Why is this? We in America want to know why we feel compelled to reassure your kind of our love when we know it’s not really requieted?

    Best.

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  19. Interesting read.

    Three years ago, I had an extremely exhaustive, emotionally abusive acquaintance/relationship with someone who claimed to be schizophrenic (as well as boasting about having every existing mental illness), and although I tried to move on, let go and face the fact that it’s pointless to confront him and seek closure (I tried to do so over the course of months after deciding to not see him anymore, via messaging), he has still left the residue you describe. Our acquaintance lasted only for about half a year and I had to quit it abruptly, when it became unbearable.

    I just was so confused, angry and drained, still am to this point and being highly sensitive I can’t just shrug off what happened – as silly as much of it was – without a sense of closure.

    He still contacts me from time to time, and I try to ignore it, but all to often I still feel the temptation to contact him, just to clearly speak my mind, get the things off my chest I never managed to state clearly (or at least think I haven’t) and at the same time have the underlying fear that it would be pointless and just start the same old to-ing and fro-ing over again. It’s such an exhaustive dilemma really.

    But having finally identified many of his traits as narcissistic, I think it might help me better understand all the little mind games he constantly played, and letting me see the whole situation a bit clearer retrospectively. Gonna definitely check out the rest of this site.

    I’ll probably have to abandon the hope of clearing up things with him, but I have no choice than to come to terms with it for myself. I know it’ll eat away at me for the rest of my existence otherwise.

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