Sunday, 16 July 2017

How I Dealt With Being Ghosted By A Friend

Ghosting. A quick google describes the term as meaning 'the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.' (Google 2017). Most of the time people think of ghosting as a way that people escape from online dating gone poorly, or from a potential partner they aren't interested in. They simply stop texting back, or replying online, and the guy you met on POF gets the message you aren't interested, without having to do the awkward conversation about how it's not you, it's me. It's an easy out. And I've totally recommended people do it before when they've met people who turned out to be hideous who wouldn't take no for an answer, it can be a safer option to avoid someone who is being emotionally abusive, or relentless in their desire to contact you when you don't want them to. Ghosting is something relatively new to our society with the rise of social media and online dating, but ghosting isn't exclusive to intimate relationships. I was ghosted by someone I considered a dear friend, so here's my story.


For ease, I'm going to call my friend Laura throughout. Laura is not her real name. I met Laura when I was about 19. We had a lot of mutuals, and were both going to university but commuting from our home town rather than living in halls. We spent many afternoons drinking soft drinks in the pub (I was teetotal at the time), I would cat sit for her when she went away on holiday, the night her then boyfriend proposed I was one of the first to know, when I left my last relationship she was there for me, and then suddenly, silence. 

At first, I figured she was really busy. She had a new job, she wasn't much of one for social media, we just kept missing each other. Then there was a night out in which a group of us met up and Laura was there too. I walked in and waved a hello and she looked right through me. It was weird, I told myself she must not have seen me, despite the fact that there can't be many other 5ft 11 women with pink hair in our home town. We didn't speak the whole night. I tried to get her attention a few times but she wasn't having any of it. I have social anxiety, and really worry about social situations, so the longer the night went on, the more I panicked and didn't dare go over.

The next day I told myself I must have done something to upset her, or maybe she'd had a bad day. I went back over our last conversations and nothing struck me as something that could have been misinterpreted, or accidentally offensive. And believe me, I poured over them. As time went on, we'd be involved in group conversations and she would completely ignore my responses. It truly was like I was a ghost, like she couldn't see what I was saying, or that I was physically in front of her even. Mutual friends noticed her ghosting me and asked her what the problem was, she claimed to have no issue and was fine with me. This went on for a long time before I did anything.


After a year or more, I couldn't take it any more. I couldn't see her name pop up on Facebook and know she was ignoring me. I couldn't be in the group conversations and have her act like I didn't exist. I couldn't bear to allow her to continue to ghost me any more. It hurt too much to see someone I had cared about so much act like I didn't exist. I spent so much time wondering what I had done to deserve being ghosted. I cried too much for the end of a friendship.

For my own mental health, after much heart break and upset, I decided that the best thing to do was block her, on all social media. Almost immediately, I felt lighter. No longer seeing her name, being able to actively see her ignore me, it made being ghosted so much easier. I could no longer see her ignoring me. I took her power away by blocking her when she was making a show of ignoring me. It was one of the best decisions I could have made, and it made grieving the end of the friendship easier. 


It has been several years now, and I've still not heard from Laura. We've been at gatherings together, we've even been out for meals together in a group, and she's never so once so much as looked at me. While I blocked her on social media and highly recommend this to anyone who experiences ghosting from this end, I've never changed my phone number. If she wanted to talk about whatever happened she could. But I guess she doesn't want to. Blocking Laura was 100% the right decision for me. It enabled me to be able to process the situation properly and move on. It was a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. I was no longer tormented by even the sight of her name, which had previously broken my heart every day. I was able to remove myself from the situations that caused me pain, and I am grateful for that block feature!

A friendship ending can be harder than a relationship break up. It still involves betrayal, heart ache and pain, but sometimes it can seem so much more unexplained. You have to take care of yourself, and being able to block or mute people on social media can be a fantastic tool to help self care. I never reached out and asked what Laura's issue was, because I just couldn't bring myself to do it, and she was so adamant to our mutuals that there wasn't an issue. I don't regret not reaching out. And now, several years later, I don't miss her, and it doesn't hurt like it did. Now I look back and know she wasn't the person I thought she was, because a real friend would have told me if I'd messed up so we could deal with the situation, not just vanished. If I screw up, call me out on it. That's what real friends do If she didn't respect me enough to tell me what was wrong, I didn't care enough to ask.

Stepping away and blocking her was the healthiest thing I could do, and it's made my life a lot easier. There are still times we are in the same place or invited to the same events, and she still ignores me and acts as if my smol giant plus size self is invisible. And that's OK. I deserve better than that, and I have better than that. And I won't let someone treat me like that. I have no interest now in ever trying to resolve what happened, because as far as I'm concerned, nothing did. I will happily burn that bridge, because who wants a friend who can treat them like that?

I never thought I'd be ghosted, because I always thought it was something that happened in dating, but it's not. If you've been ghosted by a friend know that you deserve better, and please do not blame yourself. Sometimes people have their own issues that they can't deal with and they take it out on you, or they just aren't the person you thought you knew. Hit that block button and free yourself of that pain, and know that you are not alone. You are not alone, and you deserve better.

Much love,
Kitty xxxx

8 comments:

  1. What a bizarre situation, and how hurtful it must have been to live through. Ignoring the calls, texts and posts is cruel enough, but ignoring you in real life, too?

    I know you well enough to know that there is nothing you could have done to deserve that. Well done for taking back control, and getting through it.

    Lis / last year's girl x

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    1. thank you so much lovely <3 I really appreciate it xx

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  2. I've had friendships end and it's often more painful than relationships ending. I find it mad that she ignores you in real life, but I'm glad you could move on and process it x

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    1. Yeah it's a bizarre one! Thank you x

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  3. Crikey, I get that friends grow apart over time it's natural, but if something's caused so much upset to someone to cause them to want to ignore you for eternity, you'd think something would be said!
    It sounds like you're better off without her, if people don't give you opportunity to explain yourself in a close friendship (especially if you have no idea what it is you may have done), then they ain't worth having.
    Well done on getting some closure on it though and taking control for you!

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    1. Thank you. This is the thing for me, if my friends screw up, I tell them so we can deal with and either move on as friends, or end the friendship if we can't

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  4. I am so sorry a mate would do that to you but sounds like she wasn't such a great friend after all if she didn't feel she could come and chat to you about whatever it was that put her off suddenly contacting you! Blocking was the best thing you could do x

    Miss Kitty Kaos - Adventures Of A Riot Grrrl

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