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Is it worth opening old wounds to (attempt to) achieve 'closure'?

(55 Posts)
AudreyII Tue 16-Sep-08 18:57:30

Ten years ago someone very close to me hurt me really bad. Today I received contact from him via facebook and I'm in a real dilema as to whether to reply. It will involve facing some long-buried demons, but is it worth it? I think I'm strong enough, but don't know if it is worth the risk? If he says sorry and admits his part in it then I will be happy but it's risky. I have a huge weight in the pit of my stomach just thinking about him.

Cloudhopper Tue 16-Sep-08 18:59:13

No. My advice - Ignore and bury head back in sand. smile

True closure is not caring any more.

solidgoldbrass Tue 16-Sep-08 19:02:01

Thing is, it's very very likely that he has contacted you via facebook in the spirit of 'hmm, wonder whatever happened to Audrey?' ie idle curiousity more than a wish to make amends for whatever he did - and if you reply by demanding an apology/explanation he may well think you're nuts for bringing up something that happened 10 years ago and stop all contact rather than giving you the answers you want.

(I am not saying you are nuts for still remembering whatever he did - well, unless it was something trivial like buying you milk chocolate when you prefer plain - just that he may have forgotten about it or not thought it a very big deal.)

TheProvincialLady Tue 16-Sep-08 19:02:11

If he didn't say sorry and admit his part in whatever took place in his opening gambit to you, you will never know whether he is planning to do so. You could make yourself very unhappy over this. The best thing is to block his profile completely, so you can't contact him and he can't contact you.

AudreyII Tue 16-Sep-08 19:02:43

I think I might - it's a risky strategy really isn't it? The only thing that's making me wonder is that I'd really like to get rid of the 'kick in the stomach' feeling everytime someone mentions him, which in a way would be me not caring anymore. I still have a very negative reaction to hearing his name

AudreyII Tue 16-Sep-08 19:04:29

solid - he's made contact because a mutual friend tagged both of us in an old photo and I don't think he'll have forgotten what he did to me either

TheProvincialLady Tue 16-Sep-08 19:05:16

If your feelings are that strong over him then I doubt that anything other than joint counselling is going to change that kick in the stomachgrin

If you ignore him you are in the stronger position and can hold your head up. If you get in touch and make demands on him re apologies you will likely end up looking and feeling very sad.

Cammelia Tue 16-Sep-08 19:05:27

the fact that you still "care" is the reason why NOT to give him the time of day. Move on.

AudreyII Tue 16-Sep-08 19:05:44

and has only 'made contact' in that he's commented on the photo saying he was young and reckless then and is wanting to be more responsible now and asking how I am.

Tortington Tue 16-Sep-08 19:06:37

no, dont reply

AudreyII Tue 16-Sep-08 19:07:26

is that an apology? I'm not sure? bearing in mind it was on another freind's photo was it a 'coded' apology? am i reading too much into it?

TheProvincialLady Tue 16-Sep-08 19:09:54

Yes you are, sorry!

BBeingpatient Tue 16-Sep-08 19:12:39

the opposite of love is not hate it is indifference

bumbling Tue 16-Sep-08 19:13:12

Nope, don't reopen old wounds. Nothing good will come of it.

AudreyII Tue 16-Sep-08 19:15:27

being patient - I want to be indifferent so as not to feel the 'kick in the stomach'

AudreyII Tue 16-Sep-08 19:15:55

but 10 years on I am still feeling it...

BBeingpatient Tue 16-Sep-08 19:29:06

well its funny this thread should come up, i think every one has someone like this, mine happened to come up to me when out about two weeks ago and after three years of silence spoke to me like nothing had changed so i had no choice but to talk to him, and im gonna go against the grain and say im glad, its noce to know theres no venom and also to see that it was just a phase as i see him as a person now not some god....tho ive only seen him the once and just said hi on face book, i think you know your own capacity, you have to be able to leave it to keep it to that impersonal online level otherwise you are not ready to do it

AudreyII Tue 16-Sep-08 19:40:59

I am happy for it to be online, no chance of meeting in person (don't think we live close anyway) just want to clear the air - I think the bitterness is affecting me more than it should. I no longer want to punch his lights out (I did for a very long time - though I am not violent and wouldn't have done it that was how strongly I felt I wanted to hurt him) but I still feel quite hurt about it all. I wish in many ways I'd had the strength of character back then to stand up to him, but I've only learnt the strength of character as a result of him...oh it's not easy to explain, sorry! It's that strength of character that is making me want to 'close' it.

AudreyII Tue 16-Sep-08 20:40:53

Aargh - keep going back to facebook and looking at his message...can't seem to step away

solidgoldbrass Tue 16-Sep-08 20:43:59

Unfortunately, another person can't actually 'give' you closure. At the risk of sounding a bit wanky, you can only find that within yourself. If you can't get over whatever happened after 10 years then you might actually benefit from some sort of counselling because life is too short to waste on fretting about something that happened, is over and cannot be changed.
Now I appreciate that I do not know what this man did to you (and there is obviously no need for you to say what it was if you prefer not to) but from the way you talk of 'clearing the air' my guess would be along the lines of a relationship that didn't work rather than him having robbed you of all your savings or executed your pets.
I think that it is very very unlikely that you will get the response you want from contacting him - I sort of suspect that even if he says he is sorry for what he did, you won't feel that it's 'enough' (because what you really want is for him to not have done it). So I think you would be better off leaving him alone and working on getting over it for your own sake.

warthog Tue 16-Sep-08 20:51:40

no, don't do it.

i had a similar situation, well, not quite as strongly as you i think. i didn't do anything about it when i had the chance, and in retrospect i'm glad i didn't. in a way it would have been giving him more power by admitting how affected i was. he has no idea now, and i've got over it.

AudreyII Tue 16-Sep-08 20:57:53

It was a very intense relationship which looking back was very controlling and took over my life for a year and kept me away from other friends, including one who actually needed me more than this man did which I still feel guilty about (and actually he did steal money from me too). It's the emotional side that stil hurts - he used me, I know it (now) and he knew it (then) I hope for his sake that he has grown up otherwise there will be a trail of people like me who he has used and left behind. Actually I think it's more about me getting my head round how he treated me (have realised that now from trying to word this and am actually wondering if it was bodering on being an emotinally abusive relationship) rather than 'closure' from him. Sorry for the rather garbled post.

solidgoldbrass Tue 16-Sep-08 21:01:51

Then the last thing you need to do is contact him. He may well have put the message on facebook deliberately to see if he still has any power to manipulate you: he dangles the possibility of an apology, you get in contact, he starts playing with you again.
Walk away and stay away.

AudreyII Tue 16-Sep-08 21:02:42

warthog - I didn't approach him a few years ago when I saw him from a distance in the street because I was scared of what I'd do (was still at the stage of wanting to punch his light out) and I'm glad to this day that I didn't but I'm now wondering if he's grown up and wants to make ammends?

sickofthisrain Tue 16-Sep-08 21:05:08

Please don't reply. I know how tempted you must be but it may well kick off a chain of contact you really don't need.
Delete the message and keep congratulating yourself for being strong enough to do that.

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