It finally happened- well, let me clarify: I think it happened. I saw my ghost. Not like the ghost of me, but the ghost of a friendship that once was. Ghosting usually occurs in the dating world, but in my case, it was a friendship. Our friendship ended suddenly, with no explanation, and it at times left me heartbroken and confused. How can you be so involved in someone’s life and suddenly gone? I’ve had years to digest this situation and formulate my conclusions on friendships, and I still don’t know what happened.
She and I worked together, and we quickly became friends (even though she didn’t initially want me hired). We ate lunch together, planned events together, even outside of work- we spent regular time together. She attended my kid’s first birthday party, and when she had her first child, I was at her house as soon as she would allow. We had dinner one night, and I seemingly thought it went well, but that was it. I texted her checking in- no response. I invited her to things- no answer. What did I do!? After you’ve been on the receiving end of ghosting, it sends you into a bit of a tailspin: where did I go wrong? Did I say something? Was I too opinionated? And then it flips the script: I don’t want her in my life anyway, she was too high maintenance. I didn’t like so and so in her life- no biggie. And then there are those moments, plentiful in the beginning, of wanting to text her and tell her something that had happened. Or asking her what someone’s name was because she was the absolute best at that stuff. Then I would need to remember- she was gone.
It wasn’t just me who got ghosted. We did things as a couple- so my husband lost a friend, my brother lost a friend and in reflection, we have all admitted that we thought it was something we had done. Each of us had spent hours pinpointing where things had possibly gone wrong because we each cherished these relationships and it literally dissipated overnight. Years and years of friendship- weddings, babies, trips, trivia nights- apparently not worth it to them to keep up. What had I done? But then, one morning or evening- heck, I don’t remember- an angel came to me to drop a truth bomb: Lady, you do not even need her in your life. And suddenly- I knew that much was true.
Sometimes friendships expire. It wasn’t her fault or my fault, and there was no one to blame, per se, but we had outgrown one another. Instead of wondering what I had done, I began focusing on the awesome things that make me- me. You know all those articles you have read lately that tell you your blunt, overly honest friend is your best kind of friend? That’s me. I have no problem telling you when I think something is right or wrong- but I’m not mean about it. But I’m also wicked sensitive and good at knowing when people need extra coddling. I’ll walk your Grandma to her car and drop an F-Bomb twenty seconds later- you know, once Grandma can’t hear me. I can be a lot to handle- maybe a blessing and a curse.
So now, when someone exits my life, instead of wondering what I did for months and years, I embrace the sudden life change that now allows me to develop new relationships. Sometimes closure isn’t possible. Sometimes I don’t get to know what someone else is feeling and thinking. So when I saw her- well, I thought I saw her- I had to remember exactly how okay I am without that friendship in my life. At the end of a Target aisle picking up my 85th birthday present for my kid’s classmate, who knew I would have been having such gigantic life reflections- but there I was. And quite frankly- here I am, still relieved and in such a great place to say- I am so okay without it.
Totally resonates with me. A year and a half ago, I was devastated by the loss of someone, and it was confusing and heartbreaking. Early on, wanting to figure it out, salvage it, resolve or apologize for whatever I did wrong. For months, wanting to text to get one of her recipes, or tell her something I saw at a store that she would have loved. It was a huge grieving process. But at the end, I realized that the friends that remained have became closer, they affirmed me, and reminded me of my value. A year after she up and left, I felt like I had multiplied the number of wonderful people and support in my life, and I realize that life is better now, without her. And that the journey of self reflection I took, and all that I gained, was worth so much more than that relationship!
I am so glad you can relate and furthermore know YOU ARE NOT ALONE!! <3 Such an unexpected process to endure as adults- but yet here we are.
Sadly, have been the one to do
this many times. Takes so much effort to be a good friend when you have a staggering depression. Never want to burden others to it, so hide it until too much.
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