We Are The "walking Wounded"

I live not only in a sexless marriage but a relationship that exists with no affection or love. I have greived the love that I lost and the life I have now come to accept and believe this makes me another walking wounded person, hidden unhappiness, except to those that see the sadness in my eyes.

The Walking Wounded are those who believe closure exists, and who want closure, but think they cannot obtain it. They may believe closure exists in some form for some people; just not for them. Ring any bells?

The Walking Wounded long for closure; they feel less than whole because they lack it. They are stuck in a holding pattern internalizing the belief that without closure they cannot move on with life.

Their understanding of closure is shaped by the dominant narratives about grief and loss, which often get translated into the concept of closure. These narratives shape expectations for how they are supposed to grieve and what is needed in order to grieve properly. Thus, the Walking Wounded see their grieving process as stalled or impossible because they cannot find closure, which they may be convinced, is necessary.

By assuming that closure is necessary, but unattainable, they have difficulty finding language and rituals to grieve. They assume that others’ losses, which seem to have led to closure, are easier to manage. The Walking Wounded may go down three general paths: 1) They may never find what they consider closure but continue to seek it. 2) They may go on to “find closure” through creative processes or redefining closure. 3) They may decide they do not need what others have defined as closure.

Importantly, most individuals will neither fit neatly, nor remain permanently, in any of these categories. I do not fit into any but sometimes feel i fit into all three.

The Walking Wounded may increasingly feel detached from the “normal standards” for grieving and will look for new ways to heal. Creating new rituals for grieving is not necessarily a bad thing. We should be open to people creating their own roadmap. However, as a society, we tend to favor the universal roadmap that says, “Destination: closure.” If the Walking Wounded focus too intently on closure as described by standardized criteria for grieving, they may get stuck on the side of the road because they cannot follow the map. With this dominant narrative, we see a market for those selling “closure” and exploiting the process of grief.

In our contemporary society, we increasingly see people and institutions develop and sell policies, products, and services in the name of closure. All along grief’s road are people selling closure. There are no guidelines or licenses needed to promise this elusive concept. A challenging part for people is that that the signs along the road that read “this way to closure” often have arrows pointing in opposite directions.

Do you fit the Walking Wounded description? Or do you find yourself in that category? May it ease your journey to know that you do not need to reach “closure” in order to heal. Simply accept yourself as a person and a person with normal needs and desires, its not you, it really is them!

We can learn to carry grief and live with loss without ever arriving at any destination called closure. Healing is a journey, not a place. My journey has been long and winding but I am finally at peace.

btathanchocolate btathanchocolate
31-35, F
6 Responses Jun 22, 2012

All of the comments here are....worth comtemplating...it's only after reading some of these post that I now realize my 2nd wife was not only bi-polar but possibly narsissic as well.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions but I do not beleive my opinion is "bullshit" simply where I see myself and understand the situation I am in.

I tend to think that the term "closure" gets bandied about far to readily, and at its' core is a bullshit proposal.<br />
<br />
It is NOT pivotal to moving on, it is NOT a necessary part of embracing ones authentic self.<br />
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What it might be is a signpost along a continuing journey. It is NOT a destination.<br />
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Tread your own path.

Good post! <br />
I'm not quite sure where I fit in this though. It's making me think, and thats a good thing!


That sucks