Tying loose ends and cleaning up your life?

This is a bit personal, but I think some of you might have experiences with things like this.

There is a lot in my life that has gone wrong. Not.. hardcore wrong, but there are things in the past that weren't finished. Or at least it's what it feels like to me. And There are things I want out of my head.

There are three people I've had fights with. Those three were very close friends to me. One was the kind of friend that's actually just a b***ch and a user, but she still was my friend.

Another I lost contact with over her withdrawing from social life, the real world and just anything that even comes close to "reality" and "seriousness".

And the last was my best friend for over 8 years and we had a fight because I forgot about her birthday and she felt neglected and called me egoistical and unattentive and all that rot.

Like I do with a lot of things I can't change or don't have the energy to work on, I accepted their wish to not have contact with me anymore and tried to forget. Thing is... during my therapy, it became obvious that all of these are still issues that are festering in my mind and even if I spend little to no thoughts on them, once I do start talking, I break down in tears and sobs after the first few words.

I want that to stop. But I'm weak and I feel I'm doing them wrong. I have troubles sorting my own feelings out. My therapist has only started scratching at the surface, and I am scared of what I might have been bottling up inside of me. You see... I'm almost never angry. I'm a mild person that usually alway is the one to take a step back and compromises. I can't handle my own wrath so I simply started not becoming angry anymore. I think I haven't even yelled at anyone for the last 15 years.

I fear I have a lot of anger inside that will explode at some point. A part of that anger is connected to those broken friendships. A lot of anger is directed at myself for failing and for being wrong in my actions.

You see... I'm a person that hates being in the wrong. I hate having to apologize because that would mean I've made mistakes.

And... I realize that might be an awful character trait... I don't make mistakes. Like... of course I do, I make mistakes in tests and I sometimes answer questions wrong or get lost because I mixed up some street names, those kind of mistakes? But.. I don't make serious mistakes.

I can't be in the wrong with important things.

..losing track a little.

Have you been in a situation where you needed to end things? Openly cut inactive connections? I'm thinking of writing them letters, telling them of my feelings and my part of the story and tell them they will not be part of my life anymore.

It might sound superfluous to open up old wounds and maybe reignite old fights or friendships...

but I feel like I can't let it rest until I have a real closure.

I want to clean up my past so I won't have to carry those things on my shoulders anymore, they are heavy enough as it is.

Do you think this is a good idea? Do you think I should let it rest? Have you had similar experiences?

Hi Dwaggie ( I just sit here and say your name out loud- it is so cool!) I agree with what Avenk says about opening old wounds, not only for you but for the other person/people involved. You have to weigh what is going to help you more and help you to become a healthier, happier person. Talk therapy definitely helps close the door on a lot of things but just know that it is not always a comfortable process and it takes time. I know what helped me dealing with childhood sexual abuse is writing a letter to my abuser as part of my therapy. I was never able to send him the letter as I didn’t know where he was but the letter writing helped. And when I was done and I had read it over a couple of times, I ripped into tiny pieces and threw it away. All this is not to say that feelings don’t still arise stemming from that but they are way less intense and almost clinical, if that makes sense. When I talk about it now, it is basically reciting facts and all the anger and sadness is gone.

That being said, I believe anger to be a good thing in the appropriate situations. When you bottle that anger up, it leads to more depression. So, write your letters and then send them or not. And have some good crying, screaming sessions with your therapist. And I hope that you find your way to a happier, healthier state of mind.

Dwaggie,

It's always harmful to bottle things up inside you. It's like poison. This is a good discussion because mostly everyone has things that need to be put to rest. They do harm to you and you should find a way to release them once and for all. I know I've neglected to take care of a few that keep popping up in my mind. I did write a nice letter of apology to my second husband about a year after we divorced. I wanted to be fair and not blame him for everything because it takes two. It lifted all the bad feelings away and he responded by telling me how much it meant to him to recieve the letter and how much it healed him finally. He had been suffering same as me. It can heal the wounds.

But some are not so receptive, and in that case, I have written letters and then burned them. The past has to be dealt with if you want a different kind of future. That how I feel. I've spent years cleaning things up. It's been such a help to me and I'm not done yet.

You said you haven't yelled at anyone for fifteen years. I'm not into yelling but I know that you need to tell a person what you think in a nice way and not hold it in, even if they don't like what you say. It avoids all this pile up of unfinished business.

As far as being wrong, I'd hate to tell you how many times I'm wrong, but once I started admitting I was wrong, it was a big load off. Just to see the look on their faces when I said "I'm wrong" is priceless because most people expect an argument. Try it. It's liberating.

Take care,

Ally