On the Subject of “Ghosting”

I read an article on Refinery 29 UK the other day about being ghosted by a friend. First of all, I had to look up ghosting because I’m not what you call “hip.” Also, I had a feeling I knew what it means just from the context clues in the headline, but I wanted to be sure. If you’re uncool like me, ghosting is basically when someone disappears from your life without letting you know, without a real reason. Most commonly it’s used romantically, with a hook-up buddy, significant other, etc. The article written by a young woman who was ghosted by someone she thought was her best friend, until she up and disappeared from her life without a trace. Not only did I relate to that ordeal, but the writer talks about how a breakup with a friend is worse than a romantic breakup with a significant other. I’ve written about that before, but boy did reading it from someone else stir up some hidden (aka buried) emotions.

I’m not trying to be a broken record or reopen closed wounds, but I think “ghosting” is really important to talk about. While I have been able to get over the loss of a friend, many haven’t. Hell, I’m not perfect, it still gets to me sometimes. I think that hardest part about being ghosted by a friend is the uncertainty of it all. You have no idea what happened, you doubt everything, and even worse, you blame yourself. There is no reason for why a friend leaves your life. More importantly, there is nothing you could do or could have done to make them stay. People come and go from your life without an explanation, it’s life unfortunately.

The author of the article got some kind of closure, her ghost returned and gave an apology, a half ass one nontheless. Since my last post in October 2015, I’d like to think I’ve grown up. That post was about my journey to happiness, specifically how I got over losing 3 close friends who “ghosted” me. Well, now I know it’s called ghosting. Regardless, I still think about them a lot, but in different ways. Specifically, there is one that I miss the most out of the three and it’s still hard to picture my life without him. He was my closest friend, the one guy I’ve ever felt like my whole self with, but yet we’re not friends anymore and I can’t even tell you why. I thought I got my closure with him a year ago when I finally saw him again at a bar, but after reading that article, I realized that maybe I never got closure after all. I know its silly to hold onto feelings from a friendship that ended two years ago and was just a friendship afterall, but I think I have a right to. He was my best friend, the closest guy friend I ever had. But after two years of solid friendship, one breakup to someone who was also my best friend, it was all over. Nothing, I heard nothing from him. And he didn’t get it, it never hit him and it probably will never hit him. While I can now live with that because I know what it’s called (thx Refinery29 UK), it’s still a tough pill to swallow.

I guess after all this time, I don’t want anything from him anymore. I don’t want answers, I don’t want his pity, and one of the hardest things to say, I don’t want his friendship anymore. I love the memories that we share and the past that we had together, but I realize now that it must remain there, in the past. This ghost will no longer haunt me because I say so.

To all those out there suffering from a ghosted friend, it won’t get better right away. I can’t promise it will even get better a few years later, but it will get better eventually. When/if the friend tries to reconnect, stay strong. Do whatever you choose, but try to do what’s best for you: the past you, present you, and future you. It might be easy to let this person back into your life, but it might not be the best for you.

Dear all the ghosted friends out there, I will never figure you out and I know that there may be more ghosts in my future and there’s nothing I can control about that. I now understand that it’s nothing that I’ve done so I can’t blame myself. Go ahead and remember and enjoy the memories, but don’t forget the bad they caused too. It won’t be bad forever, that I can promise.

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