Friend-Dumped

My friend dumped me.

coffee cheesecakeThis week officially marks an anniversary I’d rather not think about. It’s been exactly one year since I lost my friend. No, she didn’t die: I got dumped. Being dumped is always terrible but in this case, she didn’t even tell me what I had done that was so wrong. As far as I can tell, I lost my friend simply because she decided I wasn’t worth keeping in her life. Suddenly ten years of friendship didn’t matter to her anymore. But those years still matter to me. And even though an entire year has passed without her in my life, it still hurts.

At first, I didn’t even realize what had happened. We live far apart but every year, I come to visit family in the city where I went to college and we always see each other. As my visit approached, I emailed and texted her and tried to make plans. There was no response. Then when I was actually in her city, I texted her and I called her and there was still no response. It was so strange. In the past, she had always answered me right away. Our yearly meetings were something that both of us looked forward to. We always made a point to get our kids together. Finally I wrote her a text and told her I only had one afternoon left to hang out before I went home. She said she couldn’t make time for me. She said she was too busy with work, with her husband being in graduate school, and her kids’ busy schedules. I said I understood. I said, “Hopefully we will get together soon.” But in the back of my mind, the whole interaction, or really it was the lack of interaction, bothered me. Something wasn’t right.

Several months passed and I wondered from time to time why I still had never heard from her.

Then one evening she made some strange comments on an article I posted on social media. It was like she was attacking me. I was still confused. So I emailed her and asked if something was the matter, if it was more than busyness that prevented us from hanging out when we had the chance. Finally she admitted that it was. She told me that I had said some things that upset her and that we had grown apart; my values had changed.

In one email, my friend of ten years dumped me.

I’ve had friendships break up before. I’ve even initiated the break ups, casting people out of my life. Is this how it felt for those friends? Maybe this was karma. Either way it was terrible. But I thought there must be some way I could fix this whole thing. I had no idea what I had done to deserve this. It must be a misunderstanding. I begged her to tell me what exactly I had said. I told her, “I say stupid things all the time and I’d like to apologize.” But she never responded to any of my emails. It’s been one year now, and she’s never said anything again. Presumably she’s moved on with her life. She doesn’t miss me and she doesn’t care. But I still think of her often and it always hurts; a little stab in my chest, like being pricked by one of those tiny plastic swords they use for skewering olives in a martini.

Finally I put a few pieces together and I think I figured out why it was that I got friend-dumped. It was nothing that I said and nothing that I physically did. I saw that sometime last summer, her husband had deleted me as a friend on Facebook. Combined with the post she had chosen to attack me on, I realized that this person had chosen to end our ten year friendship because of some articles I have posted on social media.

Yes, just let that sink in a minute.

I posted an article or two about a controversial subject and just like that, one of my longest-standing friendships was over.

I had always known that we didn’t agree on this subject. And even though it is something very important to me, I had always been willing to look past our difference. In fact many of my friends and I hold differing beliefs about this particular topic, which is why I had never discussed it. Also, I don’t usually use social media to post about political issues, precisely because my friends and family hold such diverse views and have gotten into intense fights in response to the very few conversial things I’ve posted in the past. This is why my post must have taken my friend or her husband by surprise. But I believe in being friends with all kinds of people, especially those who think differently than I do.  It challenges me and makes my life richer.

I know that you are probably thinking that I am better off without a friend like this. That obviously the whole relationship meant more to me than it did to her and I agree with you. But even though I try so hard not to think about, even though I’ve tried to put the whole thing in the past, I often still find my thoughts drifting back to her. Like when someone pronounces the word sauna as sa-ow-na like she always did. And suddenly I’m thinking about how we used to sit together steaming naked in the dark. And then I can almost smell the cardamom from the Turkish coffee that she used to brew. And try as I might to hate her, I just can’t. And that just makes me feel so pathetic. I was dumped! I should hate her, but I don’t. Instead I miss her.

I’m the loser that still wishes we could be friends even though she hates me for no reason.

I’ve tried to give away the handmade gift she gave me for our wedding. I didn’t want to be reminded that I asked her daughter to be my flower girl. And when I unpacked the clothes for my second child, there were the hand-me-downs she brought my firstborn when I was a new mother and I was so grateful that she forced me to be brave enough to take my tiny baby out of the house. But I didn’t want to be reminded of that either. So, I threw those tiny, fancy clothes into a donation bin. I don’t want the memories woven into their fabric.

I’ve had friendships end before. I’ve had friendships crash implode in fiery infernos. It’s usually a mutual thing. Sometimes it’s me that messed up; sometimes it’s me who closes the door. But always there is an explanation. Always there is closure. I hope that somehow these words find their way to this woman and I hope they make her cry. I hope that she feels sorry. Unfortunately I don’t have high hopes for that.

I hope that by sharing this story, I can stop just one woman from being so hurtful to another.I hope we can all just realize that no matter how bad a person is, the least we owe them is an explanation.

8 thoughts on “Friend-Dumped

  1. I love this! I have been on both ends of being dumped. Please don’t assume she doesn’t pine for the friendship. I still am riddled with guilt over my silence and lack of explanation to a friend that I disappeared on years ago. She finally showed up at my house and I still could not put it into words. It was just a parting, like a boyfriend.

  2. Omg, I relate to this SO much!! It’s so amazing how no matter how much better we are without someone in our lives, we can’t help but be brought back to the good times, and miss them. I think that’s to remind us that we are human and there’s still something to learn from that friendship and interaction. I’m sorry for your friendship loss, even though it sounds like it was a major loss for her more than anyone. Keep speaking your truth regardless of who decides to support you or not. ❤

  3. I wonder what the disagreement was about?

    I’m on the other side of this situation, ready to dump a former best friend of 10+ years over several things, but her politics has been a major contributor. From my perspective, she knows we vehemently disagree on a set of political issues – I am liberal, and to be frank she is kind of a bigot – and she also won’t just not talk about them to me. It makes it so I don’t feel good after talking to her, I feel kind of sickened by her views sometimes and ashamed of myself that I don’t push harder to stand up for people (eg homeless people who she thinks are undeserving of her tax dollars). On top of that, I find she is more self-absorbed.. I’ll ask about her pregnancy and we’ll chat all about that, but there’s no “and how are things with you..” to reciprocate.

    I honestly have no idea if my friend actually realizes how she’s acting, I have tried to talk about it but she steamrolls me and doesn’t get it. When I end things, I can see her being confused as to what happened and I’d probably do the same thing – ID a relatively simple reason instead of cruelly unloading everything on her for a friendship I know would not be saved.

    I’m NOT trying to attack you or claim I know your situation or beliefs, and I do realize that forcing a one-on-one convo about an issue is not the same as a Facebook post. I guess I am just giving my view from the other side that sometimes a disagreement like that is really more like the straw that broke the camel’s back than the entirety of the situation. Or if it’s something that is important to her and one, or both, of your viewpoints are extreme, that major disagreement might not be overcome, especially since you’re understandably not hanging out as much (so not enough “good” times to offset the “bad” of your disagreement).

    If it’s any consolation, it sounds like you were just in different places in your lives and this was an easy thing to point to show why the friendship ended. It’s painful from the other side too (I know firsthand!) so you’re likely not the only one who mourned the loss..they probably just mourned it before dumping you.

    PS SORRY this is long.. I guess I needed to vent lol.

    1. Don’t apologize for writing a long response. I really appreciate it! You have an interesting perspective. I have also “dumped” friends before and had friendships end. Like romantic relationships, each situation is different and no one is completely without fault.
      I wanted to write about this particular situation for a few reasons
      1) writing is therapeutic. I found myself thinking about the whole thing, stalking her Facebook page, etc. I needed closure.
      2) publishing this piece would hopefully get the conversation rolling about this issue. It has been written about but not often and I feel like almost everyone has had the experience of friendship ending either because they initiated or being “dumped”. In my case, I’ve had both happen.
      So, I’m so glad you read the piece and I’m glad you relate to it even though you relate to my former friend. I don’t think ending a friendship is bad or makes you a bad person. In the situation I wrote about, my former friend never bothered to tell me exactly why she stopped talking to me. I was left to put the pieces together myself. That lack of closure has been the most hurtful and insulting part of all of this. If you choose to end the relationship with your offensive friend, I hope you tell them exactly why so that they have an opportunity to apologize and to make changes.
      Thank you again for writing such a thoughtful response!

      1. thanks for your response!! It definitely is really therapeutic to write about it.. honestly, I already feel better. I read a bunch of articles and posts on losing friends in the transition to motherhood and it’s amazing how different everyone’s experiences are, even though the end result is the same.

        It’s helpful to hear about this type of experience from your side (obviously every situation is different, like you said, though!). I wasn’t sure whether it was more hurtful to just sort of ghost her or to like, list my complaints but then be like “sorry I don’t think this friendship will work” so any capacity to change is theoretical for other friendships in the future (I do want to say I know my friend won’t change since she doesn’t listen when I have tried to bring it up. That’s just not her personality, which is why I’m letting the friendship go). I think I’ll come up with a tactful explanation that covers the gist to be fair to her.

        Thanks again, I really appreciated your post+reply.

      2. No matter what you do, it’s obvious that you are putting a lot of care and thought into how you handle this situation. Good luck! I hope that it is as drama-free as possible. I would be interested to hear what you decide and how it works out.

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