Writing A Letter To Get Closure

EveHarrington

MyPTSD Pro
What kinds of things do you put in a letter that is written to gain closure? In my case, this letter will NOT be given to the other person as I do not want to subject myself to more abuse. I’m looking for idea from others so that I can write the letter and put it away, without thinking every other day “I need to add something else!” I realize it may be a process, but even if I don’t hit on everything, that’s ok. I just want to be able to write about my feelings and experiences and I’m looking for things that may have helped others when they went through this activity.

Thank you.
 

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
What kinds of things do you put in a letter that is written to gain closure?
When I write a letter like this, I don't think about it. I just dive in and sort of free associate. If you are not giving it to anybody, it doesn't matter if it reads correctly or even legibly. By just *writing*, raw feelings and thoughts usually come forward, and you don't have to worry about all the mechanics. Just writing also helps to avoid censoring yourself; I tend to be much more honest and get out more of what needs to be expressed.
 

Applecore

New Here
What kinds of things do you put in a letter that is written to gain closure? In my case, this letter will NOT be given to the other person as I do not want to subject myself to more abuse. I’m looking for idea from others so that I can write the letter and put it away, without thinking every other day “I need to add something else!” I realize it may be a process, but even if I don’t hit on everything, that’s ok. I just want to be able to write about my feelings and experiences and I’m looking for things that may have helped others when they went through this activity.

Thank you.
Coincidentally I am going through the same process right now. In my case I think there is a 60% chance that I will actually send it. But I am finding it incredably difficult to write. Partly because every point I make, I can already hear the receiver contradicting it. So it becomes a question about whether this letter is for us to express ourselves, or for us to communicate with them. The two things are very different. Abusers are often not good at accepting let alone hearing or understanding our perspective, and many people warn us not to bear our soul to people who have been cruel in the past and can be cruel again. So we don't have to bear our soul. But we can tell them that what they did was wrong. And it is important for us to stand up for ourselves at long last.

One thing that I think helps me, and might help you, is to stop trying to write and just speak into a voice recorder (possibly with a trusted friend or therapist present so there is a real human listening), about events of the past and the way you feel about them. Then you can play it back and write up the transcript. Then you can edit and reorganize the transcript into the letter.

In my case the trouble is that I am a ruminator, (i.e. intrustive thoughts and over-thinking about traumatic events) so the letter feeds the rumination. My path to better mental health was to learn to stop thinking about the past - perhaps even avoid it - as it had become a harmful addiction. So for me, trying to write the letter is like a recovered alcoholic walking into a bar. But I do believe it can be the final victory; having a voice at last on the page instead of in the head may indeed be like an alcoholic going up to that bar, getting a round of shots for her friends and getting a glass of water for her self. Superhero skills.

Good luck!
 

lil_fighter

Confident
Eve, I think it's very brave and I hope you find it to be a healing process. I know that as you said you will not be sending the letter but the fact that you will be expressing those thoughts and feelings by writing them down will hopefully be a release and also perhaps help you to make sense of things at the same time.

In my case, I did send the letter to the person who needed to hear it. It was because I had abruptly cut off from them in the early stage of our relationship, without any explanation. I knew I had left them with questions, possibly upset / anger but I was so dissociated at the time I didn't realise this until years later.

When writing the letter, I free associated and just let it flow. After I had written it I re-read it and re-read it until I felt satisfied. In your case, I think allow yourself to add bits if you feel the need to and don't restrict yourself. Good luck
 

Defaultxlovee

Confident
I agree with other responses. Just want to add. Writing like this is for you. So no need to consider their reaction whatsoever. This is what you would say if there wasn't a boundary there. So maybe pretend it's what you would write on the boundary/wall that's up between you and abuser. So when you look at that boundary, whatever you've expressed comes rushing back which ultimately fuels your success of healing. If that makes sense?
 
Top