You might be expecting a ghost story, it being almost Halloween and all. But, no, I want to talk about something that’s happened to me and I just wondered if it has happened to you.
Have you ever been ghosted by a friend? Or a love interest? Anyone?
I’m not talking about spooked by. I’m talking about abandoned by. All of a sudden. For no apparent reason. If not, you are quite fortunate. It is not fun.
This has happened to me twice, both times by long term friends of 12ish years and 25 years, respectively. Both live in other cities.
I’ll tell you about one. We were soul buddies. Shared every secret, many heartaches, and lots and lots of laughs. Attendants in each other’s weddings. “Adopted” children of each others’ families. Like that. There was no doubt, on my part anyway, that we would be friends forever. Little old ladies together. Even though we didn’t live in the same city, distance never mattered one bit.
And then, all of a sudden, poof.
Complete radio silence. At first I thought, she’s busy or maybe she’s lost her phone. It’s not like we talked every day. We were the kind of friends who could go without talking for months and pick right back up where we left off.
So I waited a few weeks and called her again and left a drawn out message: “Yo, friend! What the heck? Why haven’t you called me back? Are you ok?” Still nothing. I emailed her. No response, but maybe she changed jobs. I mean, surely this isn’t on purpose, right? So I tried emailing her husband. “Hey, what’s up with Sally (not-her-real-name)?” Reply: “Sally’s just fine.” “Oh, ok. Well, ask her to call me!” “I sure will.” Yet, no call.
Long story short, this went on for awhile. I even told her answering machine that I was sorry for whatever I’d done. Pathetic, right? Finally I got it through my
thick head: She’s gone. She doesn’t want me in her life anymore.
I was stunned. I don’t mean this in a conceited way at all, but who doesn’t want to be friends with me? I’m awesome! (don’t answer that)
I was a little bit thankful when the term “ghosting” came along. It’s a lot shorter than I-had-this-great-friend-like-a-total-bestie-then-all-of-a-sudden-she-was-nowhere-to-be-found.
Wow. I won’t lie, it was a blow. I thought back over all our last interactions, searching for clues. What did I do to deserve this abandonment? It wasn’t like we’d had a big fight or anything. And I get that friends grow apart. I’ve heard the old some-friends-are-for-a-season thing. This wasn’t that. This was an amputation.
Y’all are gonna think I am the world’s biggest whiner or needy or whatever, but I grieved the loss of this friendship. Even years down the road, I would think about her. Wonder what she was up to. After awhile I put on my big girl panties and (emotionally) moved on.
That was years and years ago. More than ten, I’m sure.
So why bring it up now, ya big baby?
Because I ran smack into her yesterday. #3 and I were doing the college visit thing. We were in a group presentation, and there she was. With her husband and her son. I know after all this wingeing you are worried that I created a big scene and slobbered all over her and otherwise made a fool of myself. But, no. We are strangers now. And that’s how I treated her and it’s how she and her husband treated me.
On the walk back to the car I told #3 about her, about our friendship, how close we were, and about the ghosting. That it hurt. You know what she said? “Well that says a lot about the kind of person she is.” My girl is so wise.
All this time my focus had been on wondering what I did wrong. It never before occurred to me that it might be my friend’s failing and not mine.
I wouldn’t normally post something all heavy like this. Cause I’d rather post about happy stuff. Like food and books and Janie (what has that little bundle of love been up to?) But, it occurred to me that I may not be the only one this has happened to. And that I may be the only one with a brilliant daughter to ‘splain things.
Plus, I have this Bible verse app that sends me a verse every day. And this one popped up today:
MaeMae said, “Sounds like God sent you a special verse today.” MaeMae is always right.
Shout out to all my “old” friends who I rarely and maybe never see. I know I could pick up the phone and you’d be there for me. And I for you. Especially my womb-long-friend Jamie, Melissa, and my ride-or-die homie, Chrissy. <<mwah!>>