Today I received an email from an old friend. I had written to her the night before to ask after her as we hadn't spoken for about a year and I wondered if she was feeling so bad that she didn't feel able to contact me as she suffers from (unacknowledged) depression. I tried to contact her several times before but had no answer.
The response came as a surprise and a shock. Not only was it a rejection (Please don't contact me again etc): but it was written in such a way as to have no regard for my feelings. There is honest and there is brutal. This hurt me more than her telling me that she didn't want to know me any more – something I had suspected.
It was really unnecessary to address me in such a blunt and uncaring way and it put into question what over 12 years of friendship had been about. She said that we no longer have anything in common, but for me difference is something that can make a relationship more interesting so that's not an issue. Friends are very important to me, as I don't have a partner, children or much close family so the loss of one of my social group can really affect me.
I could say to myself that it's her depression talking and that I had been valued as a friend in the past but I wonder if I was just a "project" for her as she was the "well" one and I the "mentally ill" when we first met.
I worry that she is such a loner now with few social contacts that no good can come of it but maybe that's just how she is – she prefers her own company as some people do.
So, now I have to let go not only of a person who meant something in my life but also of what the relationship meant – I can't know the reality of it as far as she is concerned. Can we ever be sure of how people feel and think about us? I doubt it. As my therapist said; really, we are all alone.
I will try not to take the rejection personally as that will only do me more harm. So, it's up to me to be a better friend to myself than she has been – I deserve that and at least I'm going to stick around for the rest of my life.
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