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Lost an Important Friendship Months Ago, Still Unable to Cope.

So this story is a little long, but please bear with me.

 

Around two years ago, I moved from my home country to Australia to study. After a very stressful move, I found myself living at a residential college at my university. Naturally, the residential college had a massive drinking and party culture. I’m alcohol intolerant (think stomach pains and muscle cramps for three days bad), so I found it rather hard to fit in. Yet there was one other non-drinker in my cohort, and so we became very close friends. The next two years were probably some of the best of my life, we would hang out almost every day and tell each other everything. There was even one time when my friend told me that she thought of me as her closest confidante, which made me feel pretty honoured.

 

However, at the end of last year, a combination of factors (mostly my scholarship lapsing and my general exhaustion at the constant partying) made me decide to move out of the residential college. Fast forward to the start of this year and my friend and I are both back at uni, I haven’t seen her for a while, so I message her asking to hang out sometime. We finally decide on a day and time after a few tries. Finally, the day rolls around and she tells me she has to cancel because she’s sick, I say I understand, and wish her well. A few minutes later she messages me again, saying she may be able to manage half an hour. I respond by saying “hey, that’s great! I didn’t know how I could possibly last another week without you right?” We always used to talk to each other like this, so I thought it was fine.

 

It was not fine, my friend responds by telling me my message was super creepy and I should never talk to her like that again. I apologise, saying I would never say anything to her with the intent to creep her out, and I ask if there is anything I can do to correct this mistake. She says she is not comfortable seeing me around and she wants some space, so I say yes, and I assure her that I have nothing but respect for her feelings.

 

About a month later (so this is mid April 2018) I send another message, just asking how she is, and that I’m still sorry about my mistake. I also promise her that I am willing to do anything to make it up to her. She responds by saying that I am not forgiven, and that upon reflection over our friendship, she feels uncomfortable about ever being in contact with me, and that she did not enjoy the time we spent together. Moreover, she tells me to never contact her again, and any attempts from me to fix the situation will only make her more sure of her decision. I try asking her what is it that I do that makes her uncomfortable, since she has never brought this up with me before in the two years that I knew her, but she blocks me on all social media without an answer.

 

Sorry about this novel but I guess it is important to know the facts. It has been months since this has happened but the wounds still remain. I can’t shake off this constant oppressive feeling that what she said was true and that I am just a massive creep who makes all his friends feel uncomfortable. Even though I have received validation from my friends that I have never made anyone feel uncomfortable, I just can’t shake the suspicion that they are just saying this to make me happy. Additionally, I’m being laid low by this feeling that I don’t deserve to have friends in general and that I’m a burden on all my friends, especially since I was too stupid and shortsighted to notice that I had been making a close friend uncomfortable for two years. Honestly, I’m at a loss with myself, I can’t get this rock off my conscience.

 

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Re: Lost an Important Friendship Months Ago, Still Unable to Cope.

Hi @Supreme-Leader-Sun and a big welcome to our online community. Thank you for joining us!. 

No need to apologise for the length of your post - I can understand why the context is important to understanding the situation.This is such a tough situation, and I really feel for you Smiley Sad

Losing a friendship is extremely painful - especially when they were such a close friend for several years. To not understand what went wrong, or why they feel so uncomfortable must be so confusing!!  I'm so sorry to hear that this has impacted how you are thinking about your worth, and value as a friend. 

 

Unfortunately in life, sometimes we connect well with people for a time only to feel disconnected and misunderstood later. It can be so confusing, but sometimes there is no real resolution or clarity to exactly what happened - you can get really stuck in the "why"!

Maybe you could try to focus on the other friendships you have, and the good qualities that you know you have  - we have some content over here on building up your self-esteem that you might find helpful to look at. 

It may take you time to process and move forward, but I think it's really important to keep looking after yourself, and building on the other friendships you have in your life! 

Are there things you can do that make you feel good about yourself? 
Who are the other important people in your life? 

 

Re: Lost an Important Friendship Months Ago, Still Unable to Cope.

Thank you for your response. Yes, I feel this entire incident was far too sudden and unexpected, and honestly, I really wish I knew what drove her to make this decision. I have asked our mutual friends, and none of them have been much help unfortunately, though they have tried to reassure me that I didn't do anything majorly wrong. As for things I do to feel good about myself, well I do enjoy my job, I coach High school level debating and Model United Nations, and its really uplifting when my students win. Additionally, I guess my students are great at reminding me that there are people who rely on me and that I'm not completely worthless. I also compete in Model United Nations and debating tournaments myself (though age and time are starting to creep in on those things) so I'm pretty proud of the reputation I've built there too. I also have a lot of hobbies (origami, gaming, comic books, drawing etc.) which stop me from going completely mad. It's also a little weird, but I study to feel good about myself too, my former friend and I studied similar subjects and we used to study together a lot, and so I study to remember better days, and I've always taken a lot of pride in my work.

On the other question, there are quite a few important people in my life, and they have been great at making sure I don't feel lonely. I hold leadership positions in two university clubs, which means I end up shmoozing with a lot of people. I also have a few close friends left over from my days at the residential college, though we don't live there any more so I don't see them as often as I used to. Additionally, I made a lot of friends back in my fighting days as a debater, it's odd to see so many former opponents become good friends. These people are all wonderful, and I love them all dearly, it's just my former friend occupied such a massive space in my circle (in fact, a mutual friend of ours once compared us to an old married couple) and its hard trying to fill that space, especially when I have creeping suspicions that I don't deserve these people and their friendship.

Re: Lost an Important Friendship Months Ago, Still Unable to Cope.

Hello there @Supreme-Leader-Sun

 

I'm sorry about losing your friend. Losing a good friend sucks, especially when you have no idea what you did wrong or if you did anything at all. It is very strange that she ghosted you after two years of seemingly a great friendship. The fact that she has never mentioned this to you before it also strange. 

 

Maybe she thought you were creepy but never had the chance to speak to you about it? But even that's stretching it because you say you two spoke nearly every day. It sucks that she didn't give you an explanation and just blocked you. Pretty unfair, at least it would have given you some closure and helped you move on. I guess there's nothing you can do right now. I get that not thinking about her is hard. Maybe now is the time to re-evaluate your life goals and friendships and focus on those things that are most important to you to keep your mind off of your friend. 

Re: Lost an Important Friendship Months Ago, Still Unable to Cope.

Thank you for your advice. Honestly, I'm still very confused, my friend and I used to be very open with each other, she shared a decent amount of personal information with me that I doubt she would share with someone she was not 100% comfortable around. I guess it really is this lack of explanation that is really doing me in. Our mutual friends have told me she hasn't really made any effort to talk to them too, so I'm really left in the dark with no way of reaching out.

 

Additionally, I know it's foolish to take her statements personally but I can't shake this feeling that I am a burden on all my other friends and that I don't deserve their kindness, especially if I am a creep. This feeling has increased this semester, mostly because I have a subject with her and every time I see her I feel overwhelmed by guilt. Also, we both are graduating soon and I can't help but feel empty over all the plans we made that will never come to fruition (unless by some miracle we go back to speaking terms in the next three months). 

Re: Lost an Important Friendship Months Ago, Still Unable to Cope.

Hi @Supreme-Leader-Sun,

That's such a hard situation and it is completely understandable to feel confused right now- it is so difficult when a friend pulls away, particularly when they turn the blame onto you. From what I have read, it sounds like she has also pulled away with other friendships too, is this right?

 

Reading back over your posts here, I can hear how much her words have impacted the way you feel about yourself and I am really sorry to hear this Smiley Sad No-one ever deserves to be made to feel like this.

 

I am wondering if maybe there is something more that is happening in her life that is making her see her own relationships through this lens, especially if she has been out of contact with other people too? What do you think about this?

 

One thing I can hear in your posts is the sincerity and genuine compassion you have for your friends. Any person who is willing to put the time and kindness into their friendships like you shared you have done these last few years, deserves friends that are willing and able to put that same compassion and kindness back to you Heart While I may not know you very well, I believe that you are worth it and hope that it time you will find people who are willing to go the extra mile for you Smiley Happy

 

You mentioned having to attend classes with this person this semester. How have you managed this so far? Are there things that you can do for you to reduce the impact seeing this person will have on your wellbeing?

 

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Re: Lost an Important Friendship Months Ago, Still Unable to Cope.

Thank you for your response, reassurance like this is exactly what I need in these testing times. On your first question, we had a circle of mutual friends who lived with us at the residential college; some of them have moved out and some of them still live there with her. I have asked both groups and the ones that moved out have told me she has made no attempts to initiate contact with them and when they bump into her in class, she usually only holds short conversations with them before walking away. Additionally our mutual friends who still live with her say she doesn’t attend meal times with them any more and she tends to stay in her room and keep the door locked. Honestly, I wish I knew more, when we lived together, we were very open with each other, and now relying on our mutual friends to drip-feed me information is doing me in.

 

On your second question about what is happening in her life, I’ll try to reveal enough information about her without making her identifiable. I do understand that a few months before I met her (we met in early 2016), her parents went through an extremely messy divorce, and since her father was the sole source of income for the family, her family’s financial situation deteriorated dramatically after the divorce. She has told me that she is estranged from almost all of her family except for her mother and sibling. Additionally, she was coming to terms with her asexuality when we met, though this didn’t seem to be a huge source of stress for her as time went on. Finally, she always rubbed me off as the kind of person who puts a lot of effort into her academic endeavours (she’d often skip mealtimes and forego sleep during exam periods), so it may be stress from the fact that this is the last year before our graduation. These could all be sources of stress that drove her to making the decision to cut me off, though obviously this is all conjecture and speculation.

 

On your third question about seeing her in class. Thankfully, the class we are in only convenes once every three weeks. Furthermore, even when we were friends we’d never sit together mainly because we’d bicker about where to sit (I always wanted the front row since I have a visual impairment, and she’d always want the back row because she felt anxious about having so many eyes on her), and we still sit in those same positions so we don’t have to face each other. Honestly, the main problem is every time I see her, I feel overcome by guilt, especially when I think about her words that she always felt uncomfortable about me and that she didn’t enjoy any of the time we spent together. I consider the time we spent together some of the happiest days of my time at University, and I’m saddened that she didn’t feel the same. Usually, I try talking with my other friends or try occupying my mind by thinking of clever and witty Yoda-esque proverbs I can say to my students when I’m at my job. Thankfully, this whole incident hasn’t damaged my academic performance (if my grades are anything, it appears to have improved), but I do notice that it takes a lot more effort for me to get through coursework nowadays; this could easily be attributed to the fact that these are the last, and logically, the hardest subjects of my degree, but I do feel that I have lost a little energy and passion as a result of this incident.

 

Wow that is a long response, sorry about that. This entire ordeal has left me tearing my hair out.

Re: Lost an Important Friendship Months Ago, Still Unable to Cope.

@Supreme-Leader-Sun 
Thank you for your response! The whole situation has clearly, and understandably, had a big impact on you - and I can understand that you need to vent a bit about it. Sorry to hear that it's effecting your energy levels and passion , Smiley Sad - though a massive well done on keeping up your academic performance!!

I'm wondering if it would help to talk to a professional about this at all? To get it all off your chest, and talk through some different ways of thinking about it, and coping strategies to move forward?

 

Re: Lost an Important Friendship Months Ago, Still Unable to Cope.

Thank you for your response. I have met with a counsellor at my university, though this was only short term (2-3 appointments). Additionally, I’m not sure if I can seek regular counselling, especially after my family’s reaction to finding out I had sought counselling at uni. My family tends to be somewhat stuck in tradition, and so there’s a bit of a taboo around seeking counselling. While they weren’t angry, my parents did try to push me to attend as few appointments as possible. Also, a cousin who I’m close with did  say some pretty hurtful things when I mentioned I had gone to counselling like “you went to counselling? Wow, you blew this out of proportion so much,” and “she wasn’t even your girlfriend, she couldn’t have been that important to you, two years of friendship is nothing anyway.” I’m not an Australian citizen yet, so finding counselling would require money that I don’t have and the closest sources of funding are reluctant at the best of times.

 

Anyway, after seeking short term counselling at university , it may have helped me rationalise some of my friend’s actions but it didn’t really help me find closure. I know it’s stupid and futile but I just wish I could talk to her and find out why, but she has blocked me on all social media and I don’t want to create a scene by confronting her up on campus, confronting her would probably lead to her saying even more hurtful things anyway. I’m just stuck in a constant state of “why?” And I can’t cut myself loose.

Re: Lost an Important Friendship Months Ago, Still Unable to Cope.

Hey @Supreme-Leader-Sun, I am sorry to hear this is what you have experienced. I know it is difficult when you deviate from the tradition of your family and friends. Please know that you are allowed to seek counselling for any issue whether it is 'big' or 'small'. If it matters to you, then it is important and worth talking about. Have you heard of Lifeline? It is not professional counselling but it might provide some comfort as I acknowledge your lack of funds. They might also be able to talk to you about other options available.

Ultimately, it sounds like you are stuck with wanting to know what has happened in order to move on from the situation. From what you have said, it sounds like you are not likely to confront her and are unable to talk to her. If this is the case, how can you get through this without having an answer? How can you manage your feelings throughout this?