My best friend ghosted our friendship and our life is one of the unsettled rocks I carry in my heart. How can someone who was so close to me for so long just up and vanish?
But I’ve done it too.
Not as dramatically, but it’s easier to be the one doing the breaking up than the one getting broken up with. The friend I ghosted (for the second time) recently emailed me a short cheesy friendship video and now I’m left thinking and feeling something I can’t understand. My instinct was to write back hastily, only I wasn’t sure what to write. I’m mulling it over and instead, writing about it publicly because apparently, this is how I cope with life now.
This email from the forgotten friend got me thinking: Did I actually make her feel sad or is she just feeling rejected and instinctually wanting something back because I denied her? Like the finger you impulsively tug back when someone pulls it. I started an internal cross-examination, a self-inflicted friendship trial. Could I have made her question her behaviors and inadvertently judge herself too harshly for something our separation had nothing to do with? None of those thoughts was my intention. There was no passive aggression involved unless you consider the desire to avoid confrontation passive aggressive (GUILTY).
I simply didn’t want to be her friend anymore because it had felt one-sided for a long time. Additionally, I didn’t feel good about myself around her and whenever we made plans, I dreaded seeing her because of how I would ultimately be made to feel. I could have delivered an oration to her about how I felt and perhaps guide her to be a better friend, but I didn’t want to invest in it. At least not now. I also knew she had been told similar things in the past by other people, my husband for one, who was actually her friend first, but she actually ghosted on their friendship MORE THAN ONCE. She had also been given a long break up letter from her own best friend – and she read it to me. She had a habit of reading me other people’s private emails and telling me I was the only one who saw it – until I met another friend who told me she had told her the same thing.
I knew I could never email her a goodbye letter; it would end up on the Internet. (So I put it here instead?) My actions seem childish maybe but in truth, I didn’t feel like the one missing out on the friendship and I’m not saying that to be mean. I’m saying that because I never felt well wishing from her end. I was a notch in her belt, someone to show off to other friends or someone who will be a cheerleader no matter the weather. I cared and gave my heart and for the majority of our relationship, I felt like I got a scattered distracted mess who was looking to absorb but not give her heart in return.
In truth, I attempted to ghost the friendship once before but somehow got wrangled back in again because I felt bad after receiving a different brand of manipulative confessional via email. This year, as I began my 365 project, I knew from her end, I’d either get well-versed critiques, whereas it was actually veiled criticism, or else insincere praise. I chose not to share with her when I posted my pieces on Facebook. [Obviously, my blog was still public.] Eventually, she realized she was blocked and deleted me too and I felt relieved.
Now this email arrives trapping me into an admission. Silence confirms the ghost; responding creates a dialogue. It’s painful to kill a friendship or watch it slowly die so why not make like a ghost and rest in peace.