Guest Blogger Article from Lukeosaurus And Me
I was best friends with someone for 10 awesome years. We met as teenagers and ended up living together in a shared house with our other friends and partners. We spent a lot of time together over the years and watched each other grow, saw each other’s relationships come and go and talked about absolutely everything. We talked day and night about anything and everything.
We were going to be friends forever, I thought. I had a kid and my friend was about to have their first child too, so we had conversations about our children being best friends. I suppose it was naive to think this way; nothing stays the same forever and I guess that even after a long time, you can still outgrow your friends.
The beginning of the end
One day I innocently tagged my friend and my boyfriend in a Facebook meme. It turns out that was a big mistake as my friend’s other half saw it and assumed that it was directed at them, even though I actually thought it related to me and it was a bit of an inside joke. It all got sour fairly quickly and said friend’s other half accused me of messaging and calling them a b****, telling my friend that I was nasty and God knows what else.
That was the beginning of the end really. From then started this cycle of me crying, apologising, being defensive, arguing and crying some more.
My ‘friend’ ghosted me then and there, despite the screenshots I sent showing I didn’t do anything. I was ghosted throughout my entire pregnancy, which was particularly upsetting because this ‘friend’ was more or less the first person I told when I found out I was pregnant after trying for months. I was so excited and I couldn’t wait to share my news with them…it makes me feel sad to think about that now.
What it’s like to be ghosted
Being ghosted by someone I was close to and had known for such a long period of time was almost heartbreaking. It feels a bit like being dumped. The emotions are very similar; you’re confused and betrayed. Someone you trusted wholeheartedly let you down and you had no idea it was coming. Worst of all, when you get ghosted by a friend, you’ve given closure and no reason as to why this person has suddenly started to ignore you. At the time all of this started happening, I was pregnant and suffering from HG so my mental health was already terrible. HG had left me bed bound, feeling worthless, useless and so incredibly lonely. I didn’t think it could get any worse, but it did.
For an entire year, there was basically silence.
Dealing with ghosting emotions
At first, I tried a few times to spark up conversations but they never went anywhere. I felt so ashamed and embarrassed and lonely. I went through stages of anger and depression, it all coming in waves and mingling with my pregnancy hormones. I felt very mentally unstable and all sorts of thoughts were constantly plaguing my mind. What did I do? Why has this happened? How could someone be so cruel? I couldn’t sleep at night; I just kept thinking that I was a horrible person that nobody liked. Was I that hard to get along with?
Could we be friends again?
One day, I got a message. My friend’s baby had been born, but he wasn’t totally okay and needed to be kept in hospital for a couple of weeks. I replied, feeling sorry for him. I guess I became a virtual shoulder to metaphorically cry on. I supplied reassurance but it seems that was all I was in the end as, very shortly afterwards, we were back to radio silence once the baby was safe at home.
Then, a few months after I’d had Oscar, I messaged him again. And we chatted and met up and went for a drink with my boyfriend. We said we’d do it again the next month but then, predictably, we did not. That was in December I haven’t seen or really spoken to my ‘friend’ since.
Ghosting taking its toll
It has taken me a really long time to get to the mental state of mind where I’m at now. During the last 2 years, my mental health rapidly deteriorated. I experienced horribly low moods, paranoia and anxiety. I felt angry, upset, betrayed and confused. I’d just had a baby and instead of focusing on relaxing, enjoying time with my family and eating healthy food, I started eating my feelings away. Predictably, I put on weight and then I’d spend hours crying about how horrible I looked – no wonder someone wouldn’t want to be friends with me.
I know that I should have gone to the doctors several times during my slump. I have suffered from anxiety, depression and postnatal depression before and I know the signs were there but, as always, it’s easier to ignore them than face up to them. People in my life were worried about me, people were sympathetic but I know that they were struggling to be patient with me sometimes. It was a really hard couple of years and, if I am honest, I still feel a lot of anger towards my old friend.
We’ll never be friends again
I know we’ll never be friends again. Even if my friend got back in touch with me, I wouldn’t want anything to do with them again. I thought I meant more to that person and I thought that they’d have more respect for me. I’ve finally learnt, after 2 years, that they clearly never respected me at all. How someone can suddenly ghost you and be so cruel is beyond me. It’s obvious that my friend never cared about me, I wasn’t anything special and I learnt that you might care a lot about someone, but it doesn’t mean they will care about you in the same way.
Advise for others ghosted
If you’ve been ghosted by a friend, my biggest piece of advice would be to just let it go. I held onto hope for so long and in the end, that was the worst thing I could have done. It dragged out all the pain and I spent 2 years of my life feeling angry, resentful and betrayed. That’s 2 years I could have been happy and carefree, playing with my kids and partner and living my best life. Also, make sure you delete them or block them from your social media – especially Snapchat and Instagram. Nothing stirs up old feelings of anger like seeing the person who betrayed you religiously watching everything you’re doing through your stories. When I recently blocked and deleted my old friend from Snapchat, it almost felt liberating. A huge weight was lifted off my shoulders that I didn’t even know was there.
I’m now feeling a lot better and I’ve made peace with the fact that the friendship is well and truly over. If my old friend ever messaged me again I’d most likely ignore it and delete it without even opening the message. But it took me a long time to get here, so don’t be so hard on yourself if you find yourself feeling the way I felt. It gets better – some people are just idiots and you’re better off without them!
Rachael is a family lifestyle blogger who writes about motherhood, mental health and family life over on her blog Lukeosaurus And Me. She is a mother to 2 boys and spends her time being constantly bombarded by her tiny humans. When she’s not blogging, Rachael enjoys getting outside and running/mountain biking, completing projects with her shiny new sewing machine and reading in bed with a bar of chocolate and a cup of tea. You can follow her on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.