I was reminded of a conversation I wasn’t supposed to hear  today.  The conversation took place over forty years ago… One of those family gatherings, the ladies  were in the kitchen doing meal prep, men and children told to stay out-of-the-way…

I was in the next room and heard my name mentioned, so I slid over to the doorway to listen…

“Don’t you think Steve is just a little bit smarter than Doug?” grandma said to my mom.

“Now mom, they both get A’s and B’s, so I would say they are about the same! ”

“I don’t know, I still think Steve is just a little smarter!” grandma snipped back.

My brother Steve favors my moms side of the family. His  features and hair remind me of  Grandma’s first husband. (grandpa died when my mom was a little girl, so  I get why grandma might have been just a little more partial to him.)  Fortunately for me, I have a good relationship with my mom, and after everyone left that day, I told mom I’d heard the conversation from the other room, we talked about it and mom assured me, she was not one to play favorites.

After that, however, whenever I was with that grandma, to the day she died,  I knew she had her favorite, and it wasn’t me. 🙂

We went to hear some live music last night. Talented couple of musicians but by the end of the night, I had had enough. It was all original music, a lot of it written during darker periods of the lead musicians life.  He would give the backdrop to the song and after a while I would think to myself…“Not another dark one.”

Told my wife on the way home, “That guy is an angry man.”

Even though he’d written those songs (I am assuming) to help release the pain, it didn’t seem to  be working.  You could almost feel him trying to suck every little bit of empathy out of us as listeners…

I felt sorry for him.

I thought about those of us that are bloggers today.   Some of us, coming out of really painful situations write in an attempt to release the angst.  There is something healing that can happen when we share our hearts and  a random stranger comes along and  enters our pain.

That can be a good thing.

Once in a while I will stumble across a blog that is full of negativity.  I don’t stick around.

Where am I going  with this?

I’ve been able to process grandma’s crap and can even joke about it now.  On the other hand, there is another area of my life I am stuck in, and have been for years…I have another class reunion coming up and I am loath to go. I grew up in small town USA and every five years, I wrestle with whether or not I should go to my class reunion.  Most years I end up going, because I think to myself, I am a bigger man than that.  I do not want to turn into a small negative person the older I get.

I hesitate to write about it here, because I don’t want to be the negative musician I went to hear last night.

I know the issue is forgiveness.   Handful of encounters that continue to play on the loop in my head.  No one knows about them but me.  I don’t even want to tell you about them.I know the answer..I need to forgive…not for their sakes but for mine.

Any suggestions on effectively bringing closure to old hurts?

What do you do?  I am especially interested in hearing about old wounds from your days in school….




11 thoughts on “Closure

  1. I write music about it…and make polite people listen to it for hours! ;-P Actually, I find writing about certain things has helped me get past a lot of crap. Sometimes just writing is enough. Sometimes I have to release it into the universe for someone else to read to really have closure. Dunno why that is, though…

    Liked by 3 people

    • Maybe I’ll just have to write a specific post about the crap I am still hanging on to, and put a disclaimer on it on the front end, so if people want to skip that one they can. I am so ready to be done dragging this stuff around.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Rather my beliefs are the reality of their lives or not, and I will never know, I have come to a point that I assume those who were unkind to me- hurtful, belittling, mean, even angry, likely were dealing with issues of their own and their way to deal was to lash out. I don’t think that I have any long term grudges or feelings of negativity harbored for school peers, but I definitely have familial issues from the past, my mom mostly. It took a long time, and a lot of processing along with the realization that she lived a life more lost and alone than I could ever imagine. It does me no good to dwell on her abuse towards me so I have worked to let it go. Perhaps maturity helps as well. Even 15 or 20 years ago I would not have written the same thing that I write now.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A lot of my emotional ‘pain’ came out in my music as I sat and played the piano for hours at a time. Mum and Dad always knew when I had something on my mind, not because of what I played, but the way I played it. Having no access to a piano now (though Hubby has said he’d happily buy me an electronic keyboard, but I’ve gone down that road and it doesn’t work for me, plus there’s nowhere to store/put it), it sometimes comes out in my writings here and my poetry.
    My class had a 25th school reunion in 1997. I did not get an invitation, though it wouldn’t have taken brains of Britain to find me (c/o my parents as I had an unusual surname). I found out about it because one of the company messengers was a fellow classmate’s father. His daughter kept in touch with me for a while afterwards (2 months actually) so I heard a lot about that reunion and the lives of several in my year. She had gone into the police force after leaving school, was unmarried, and working in the child protection unit at the time.
    All the swots that had made me feel inferior, lacking, stupid and inadequate didn’t appear to have particularly rocked the world. One bright spark of yesteryear was on her fifth pregnancy and third husband, I was sad to learn that an outstanding athlete had been knocked down and killed on a pedestrian crossing when she was 19, someone else had four children, two of which suffered permanent ill health, and from what I was told, no-one seemed to have achieved the school’s targets of producing umpteen nurses and teachers, the conversations being all about families, marriages and divorces (every day stuff, not careers). The old gangs were all mentioned of course, the blondes, the toffs, teachers pets and the geeks, who had kept in touch over the years and were at the reunion in full attendance but you know, I wasn’t really interested. Probably why they didn’t think of me in the first place as I didn’t fit in anywhere at school.
    I don’t know if your reunion is likely to be similar, the same as I don’t know how any of my 1967-1972 class have done over the years in their private lives as I’ve never met any to ask. I have no ill feeling towards them and wish them all well. One thing I do know though, this “lowly lower class pupil” looked down on by others who only wanted to know her for what they could get, is proud of her life and achievements. Even the bad things that I overcame to become the person I am now had a purpose, and I actually LIKE the person I am . Judging by the support and best wishes we’ve both had since we came here, so do a lot of other people. And that’s what matters. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      • You’re most welcome. In my teens, I kept a ‘moan book’ and in it I’d vent everything. No-one ever read it except me, and when I re read some of the stuff I’d written, it made me laugh….. and helped too. the good bit was as I tore out the pages and ripped them to pieces, my anger and frustrations went with them.
        You’ll get there. Everyne has a different time frame that’s all.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. The hurt shouldn’t be yours to bear but theirs.
    Your anger is righteous only don’t let it cloud your life.

    Words are just that, words.
    The saying goes “Sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me.”
    I often say that words hurt those who let them.
    The secret is to recognise that your mind is the one causing the hurt, not the words.
    Once you have done that it’s game over regarding insults.

    Liked by 1 person

      • No chems.
        They are the worst thing in the world for a troubled mind. On that you’ll have to trust me.

        The company of loved ones and friends is best, all telling you the truth you don’t want to hear.

        The truth being that you’re an OK guy and one stupid person’s view is just misguided and WRONG!

        Then it’s your turn, TO BELIEVE THEM!

        Have faith in your friends and loved ones (and I know you know about faith!)

        After all, you answer this, what possible mileage would they gain by lying to you ????????????

        Liked by 1 person

  5. That s a tough one. My high school class had a thousand people. I’ve never been to a reunion. Most of those people weren’t my friends. There’s a small group I reunite with semi regularly. I was shocked to discover they like me. Probably because I never liked myself.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. All I can say is this: the phrase I’ve repeated over and over to myself is, “living well is the best revenge.” (This is not what forgiveness looks like,by the way, because “revenge” probably does not belong in the same breath as “forgiveness”– it’s just a step to get you there). I went through a period of time where I was absolutely beset by resentment. I was hurt, and resentful, and hurt, and resentful, and got angry every so often for variety. 😉 But mostly, I was playing a loop over and over. (This, for me, involved in-laws more than school people, but I imagine it could be similar?) I felt I’d been done wrong and wrongly misjudged. The only advice I could find was pretty simple: go live your life, live it well, live it in a way you feel good about, aim for happiness and integrity– and then, eventually, the power that those others’ opinions once had over you will simply disintegrate. I don’t know how to describe the realization I came to, (which I can hold on to MOST of the time), but it’s something like this: I am only bothered by “their” opinions so long as I allow myself to believe that they are somehow better than me. Or that they know something I don’t. Or somehow have some authority I don’t. Because otherwise why would I care what they said or did? I am the authority on my life. I know how close my relationships are to my kids and how proud I am of their attempts to be good and kind and loving people. I know what my parents and brother and friends think of me and my attempts to be a good daughter or sister or friend. I know how I’ve gritted my teeth and gotten through difficult situations and gone on and on when I didn’t know how I would keep going. I know what my intentions are and were. No matter what it looks like from the outside, I know myself and am quite proud of many things and choices in my life. I personally think you are amazing and you and Micaela are up there in my pantheon of “people who have chosen to live in a super-admirable way and have built a life worth emulating.” So what do people from high school know about you, and by what authority do they pass judgement– then or now? You are living the best life you can and that is the best revenge ever…maybe they thought they were talking to someone small back then.. but you know just how LARGE you are LIVING, by your own amazing definition! [on a separate tack: if people really wronged you, on purpose or through careless malice, I am a strong proponent of holding people to account. You may not get a particular result by letting someone know they were jerks, but by letting them know, you also aren’t letting them slide. Sometimes we were to weak, too confused, too hurt, too unsure to speak up for ourselves– but if we aren’t now, it’s not a bad thing to do, even if only so we can register, “hey, I saw what you were doing there…you shouldn’t have done that. I didn’t deserve that.”) But I guess I think ultimately that is often unnecessary…because they probably WERE careless, stupid, young, unthinking, stuck in their own worlds, whatever. If, for instance, they seemed to take some pleasure in hurting you, you can only assume that they didn’t feel much empathy directed at themselves, so never learned to feel it for others. Their loss. You KNOW you live in a world where empathy matters, and that’s something good for you. You probably weren’t the point back then– their own ignorance/confusion/hurt/anger was the point– all of which had nothing to do with you! So then you look at them and you can move on. Your life is all the justification you need for your existence and value. In the end, they just don’t really matter. (and, perhaps, you can even wish them well as you realize that you are very satisfied with yourself– and that, perhaps, you have what some of them aspire to. According to YOUR idea of success, you are one…and, oddly enough, you may even be a success in ways that some of them are just discovering matter). Excuse, as always, the long response. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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