Ghosting, text break ups, estrangement and the damage of “no closure”
In an age of technology, it has become horribly convenient to avoid communication and good old fashioned ‘face to face’ accountability in relationships. Relationships are not valued it seems and everyday there is an end to a relationship without communication or regard for the victim on the receiving end of these cowardly, heartless an unaccountable methods of dismissing and disposing of another human being.
Estrangement: “the fact of no longer being on friendly terms or part of a social group.” (bing.com)
When my daughter was not quite 18 years old, I had come out of the closet and in a relationship with a wonderful woman who stole my heart. I was so taken by her and in a whirl wind of a strong attraction and connection; that selfishly (in retrospect) I didn’t stop to consider how my teenage daughter and son might be affected. My son seemed find with it and he and his friends thought it was ‘cool’ to have to ‘pretty mom’s.” My daughter being the oldest and always striving for perfection; (straight A’s and never in trouble) initially appeared to be fine with my girlfriend.
That was until her friends, that she consistently sought acceptance from, disapproved. My daughter’s last words to me as she packed up her car to go live with her father were; “Mom, I can’t even hug you…knowing what you and your GIRLFRIEND do behind those doors!” (gesturing towards our bedroom) And that was it….I never heard from her again. She is 33 years old this year! For nine years I attempted to reach out to her and understand and make things right. I was not allowed to have a phone number, address or any contact with her…at all!
Recently, my son got married and my daughter came to the wedding. My son understandably did not want any drama and I was instructed that I was not to “look at her or try to talk to her.” I honored my son and daughter’s wishes and ignored my daughter. The wedding was beautiful and my daughter flew back home to Portland. I never even heard her voice and I sat two inches next to her in side by side chairs. No closure, no earth-shattering event occurred to approach or resolve the matter…nothing….
Ghosting: “the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.” (bing.com)
This is a tactic that is similar to estrangement. It is not selective to just dating or intimate relationships, it is a blanket that can cover any relationship from co-workers, friends, to relatives as well. After consistent or regular communication with someone; one day, they just ‘disappear.” Like a ghost! Without a trace for the most part!
In the recent past, I was still good friends with my ex and we shared a special connection although for whatever reason our roller coaster relationship couldn’t weather the ride. However, when she found a new girlfriend, without a word; the communication stopped. Of course, I found out that I was ghosted because her new girlfriend was jealous of our relationship and did not want her contacting me. Not even to tell me so that I could understand and have closure to the friendship.
Ghosting is such a coward’s way, along with estrangement to just drop all accountability for your actions or responsibility and move on. I often wonder though, as hard as it is to be the one on the receiving end of estrangement or being ghosted; how is it for the person who did the ghosting? Do they feel any remorse? Do they need closure? Are they just cold hearted, unemotional beings that have an uncanny knack for dismissing people?
Next up is “Text break ups.” This is just one notch above ghosting or estrangement. At least there is a “text’ that announcing the end of a relationship and if your lucky, a dialog with a reason for the demise.
Now, I am happy to say that this tactic has not happened to me personally, nor have I ever been the type of heartless person to employ this method towards anyone. Oddly enough, one day I received a text from a friend that said; “I have had it with you and your mind games! Don’t contact me! I am breaking up with you…it’s over and I am blocking your number! So, don’t bother!!” WOW! I thought! I called my friend and said, “Geez…does this mean you are breaking up with me?” She started laughing and explained that she sent the text to me by mistake. (obviously) I asked her why she didn’t meet with the guy and have a face o face break up. She stated that, “he wasn’t worth her time.” Okay, well….he was worth the time to date and get to know over however long that relationship lasted. Wasn’t he a human being with feelings that deserved a reason? Closure?
The damage of “no closure”
Having been on the receiving end of estrangement and ghosting. I can honestly say that I spent YEARS, wondering “why”, “what did I do wrong?” Sadly, I realized that I processed my mother’s death a lot quicker than my daughter’s or ex girlfriend. I felt ashamed that my own Mother’s passing was easier to get over than my ex-girl friend and my daughter! I began to understand that with my mother, she was given 6 months to live after diagnosis of colon cancer. She refused chemotherapy and I took a 6 month hiatus to be with her. Over the course of 5 months; my mother and I processed all our emotional differences and past ‘baggage.” When mom died after 5 months; I knew she was at peace and so was I. Why? Because we had closure!
I felt nothing when I sat next to my daughter at my son’s wedding this past October. I didn’t know her, she was a stranger to me. Of course, she was, I had missed out on 14 years of her life and we were not the same people anymore. I was surprised that it didn’t hurt to see her or sit next to her and feel devoid of emotion. I realized that in lieu of closure I had detachment. I didn’t have a valid reason ‘why’ someone I gave birth to, raised and loved unconditionally could be so cold and unforgiving. What I did have was the ability to forgive. Forgive my daughter and myself. What I did have was the realization that we all have our own path. I turned my pain in to gratitude for the time I did have my daughter. I became grateful that she gave me the ability to learn to let go and detach. On the surface you might think’ “and that’s a good thing?”
Yes, it is. I applied this new way of thinking to the experience of being ‘ghosted’ by the ex-girl friend. I found my closure for both relationships.
You see, it all comes down to Free Will. We can chose to imprison ourselves with endless habitual thoughts of what went wrong. All the “if only’s”; shouldah, wouldah and couldah” thoughts become torture and we make a career out of being our own jailer!
We make our own personal hell in our minds! The ironic thing is…we hold the key! We CHOSE our path through the choices we make. No one can ‘make you feel’ anything. You are choosing to feel that. The world didn’t make you miserable, your thoughts and perceptions made you miserable. Choose to find the lesson, the positive and the opportunity through even the worst scenarios to empower yourself to rise above and transform to a more evolved being. Transform your past into wisdom.
Love that song, “Free your mind.. and the rest will follow..” (En Voygue)
I realized that it was not worth ‘my time’ to be concerned with how “they” were feeling after ghosting me. That is their personal baggage to deal with. If I want to make my life better and the lives of those still in my life; then it would have to be an ‘inside job.’ I have no control of anything external. What I do have control over is what I chose to think and feel. And very important, how I respond to people places and things.
You always have a choice. Be part of the solution and not the problem. Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed. Don’t allow yourself another minute to be stuck on a hamster wheel of habitual thoughts and behavior patterns that prevent you from enjoying this moment, right here…right now. Go conquer my friend! 😊
Photo credit and more on “Ghosting” (https://miieschetalks.wordpress.com/2018/06/05/have-you-ever-been-ghosted/)