Closure is a term therapists love to throw around. One therapist I worked with in hospital told me one day, as though it was a stroke of genius, ‘What you need Laura is some closure’. I could only respond with cynicism.
Of course I need closure. If I’m interpreting that in the Serenity Prayer sense of accepting the things I can’t change. I tried recanting that prayer to myself (minus the god part, I’m not into that) but it doesn’t matter how much I say it, I can’t force myself to accept the injustice that was done to me.
I cut myself last night. I can’t say it is the first time I’ve done it lately. I was doing OK at avoiding self-harm a few months back, but now I keep having these horrendous black moods that leave me feeling as though I need to escape from myself. And cutting when I feel like that is a lot better than what I really want to do.
Yesterday I cut myself because I felt like everything was futile. For some weeks I have been contemplating taking legal action against my brother for the damage he caused me. I didn’t expect to sue for the misery that 11 year old girl suffered at his hands, I just wanted some compensation for the breakdown I’ve had this year.
In the last twelve months I have been through hell because of him. My wife has been through it too. I couldn’t work, and now can only do 50%. That means I have no career prospects for the foreseeable future. I’ll never get promoted working part time, and no other firm will employ me given my sickness record. We’ve had to spend our savings to live. That money was supposed to be our nest egg for buying a home.
Aside from the financial losses, I’ve had to live with flashbacks, nightmares and continuous fallout from my family. I tried to kill myself four times. I ended up in hospital seven times in a year. I now take five medications every day. I don’t even know who I am anymore, because I feel like an animated corpse. If those meds were taken away, I’ve no idea what would be left.
Therapy is crucial, but it is costing me a fortune. I spend over a third of my earnings on therapy right now. I can’t see that changing anytime soon; it could be months or years before I am stable enough to cope without it.
So I thought if I could just get something back from him I would feel better. I’d feel less guilty for all the stress I’ve put my wife through this year. And I would feel like there was some justice. I doubt it would be closure, but it would be satisfying to see him have to live with some consequences. And yes, there’s a part of me that wants him to suffer.
I got a recommendation and worked up the courage to phone the solicitor. He basically explained that I could in theory claim over £100,000 for what I’ve been through. Only in theory though. Because my arsehole brother has no money, and no insurance. Therefore I can’t get a penny. Not through the courts.
That was such a massive blow. I honestly thought I might be able to finally feel vindicated, to have the validation of someone official that what he did to me was wrong. I thought if that happened I could start to move on. I guess I was looking for a way to find closure. I was searching for a definitive end to this horrible chapter.
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Photo credit: Holly Victoria Norval, Creative Commons.