two people talking on cell phones. A woman that is crying and a man that is stone faced.

I Never Got Closure, From Him

It’s probably no secret now that my life has been filled with trauma, at times, way more than I bargained for. But I never thought something that made me feel so amazing at one point would make me feel so small and low.

A new relationship

I had crazy relationships with most of my exes, ones that were riddled with domestic violence and toxic behaviors. So when I met Matt (name changed for story), I felt like I was on top of the world.

Matt was everything I thought I needed for me and for my child. Matt was the first person I dated after my son’s father, and I was really looking for someone to sweep me off my feet. And he did.

Matt was not the typical guy I dated. He had this magnetic personality and everybody loved him (or so I thought). Matt would open my door, order my food for me, and take me on great dates. He was truly so charismatic. He had me wrapped around his finger.

Our love was fast-evolving

Now, I will admit that I did not ask Matt for HIV tests when we started dating, but we did share standard STD tests before dinner one night (pretty romantic stuff). We were both negative of all STDs. (And I did have a negative HIV test at this time.)

Since our love was a fast-evolving whirlwind, we left protection out of our sex life. I realize, now, this was not the best idea. But at the moment, I thought that this relationship was something long-term.

I found out he was cheating

I was smitten over him and, for the first 9 months, he even had my family and friends fooled. Even when I continued to wear the rose-colored glasses, everyone slowly started to take theirs off.

My best friend stopped hanging out with me, stating that “all of my free time was for Matt.” My family started to call his bluff when he showed up late to my birthday dinner - which I delayed for him - after being unreachable for hours. (I just found out that my sister thought something was off with him; she thought that I seemed “so happy,” so she pushed her feelings to the side.)

And really, it was not until things started to become super apparent that I eventually took the glasses off and found out he was cheating. And not just cheating, but in another relationship the whole time. The stories I could tell.

Making contact after my HIV diagnosis

After getting tested, finding out my diagnosis, and having several mental breakdowns. . .I reached out to my estranged former-beloved Matt. I was past the pain of Matt’s cheating and our break up at this point. .. and was at the crossroad of hurtful thoughts and personal pain.

I called Matt, already hot from the tears that streamed down my face. I was mid-sniffle when he answered his phone nonchalantly like I was the biggest bother in the world. I stumbled over my words multiple times, wiped tears from my red swollen face, and told him the most devastating news that I had come to know. Matt was no longer the beautiful charmer from the past love. He was cold, careless, and annoyed. He answered my tears with denial, of everything.

I gripped the phone with sweaty palms, screaming at him to “get tested and prove it!” He vocally shrugged me off. I was furious, but the fire built inside of me more when he told me, “I’ve never had anything. I never did anything. Maybe, when you were being dirty. . .you got something.” He hung up. I called, over and over. Left messages screaming at him, “Tell the truth, and stop trying to reverse everything.”

His words still replayed in my head, and for one main reason... He never said that he was sorry.

He never once said sorry

From the day I found out that he was cheating, to the day I found out that he had given me HIV, and to the day I called and told him. .. He never once said “Sorry.” I never once got an explanation, a reason, an apology, or any closure. I have carried his words, his lies, and his hurt with me through breakdowns, therapy, and my personal healing journey.

It was not until last year that I wrote a letter to him, forgiving him of all the hurt and trauma he caused me. I thanked him in the letter for the love we shared, the lessons I learned, and the apology he had given me. I forgave him of all his wrongs, and for one main reason, for me to get right.

I never sent this letter. As a matter of fact, I burned it.

The chapter of healing

I realized that if I actually sent this letter, I might open up Pandora’s box of venomous words. And through the years of trying to heal my trauma, I learned: I wanted closure. But, I did not need it from him. I did not need anything from him because this was my life and my journey.

I learned that I had to forgive this person for the pain I had felt because I needed to not feel that any longer. I needed to heal from the pain, whether he gave me closure or not. So I finally closed the chapter on Matt so I could begin the chapter of healing, for me.

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