Friend Who “Disappeared” Part I

October 3, 2007

Friend Who “Disappeared”  Part I  (for the Part II, click HERE … )

       Back Story:    I have a friend who is terrifically busy.    Many kids, high powered job, etc.     She doesn’t contact me often and has told me not to expect any predictable contact.    Still, I consider her a very very good friend.   One of those ‘bff’s and/or  “Best Friend From High School”…

I send her kids fun letters.   often.   I haven’t heard from her in a least 6 months.  I sent her kids Easter presents which I recently realized were never acknowledged.     I never kept track of how often we talk.  or email.    I never get letters (but I love to send them.)     She lives many states away.

I am just starting to get some inkling that maybe I need some acknowledgement.   Is she out there?    In the past, when I call attention to ‘Hey!   Haven’t talked to you in awhile…’   I usually get the ‘don’t expect much from me’ speech…..   Kids are sick, she’s in her car ALL the time, works 60-80 hours per week as a consultant, etc.   SO I try not to keep track.   But she also says she SOOO appreciates my friendship!  She tells me that she loves my letters…

It’s been too long.   She usually calls around my birthday and nothing this year.    Am I paranoid?    I want to send the ping out.   But I don’t want the response one more time that I can’t expect much from her.  

Now, as I write this, I am getting the indication that I have to write off the friendship.    or slow it down.    But it feels like giving up.    How much of a one-sided friendship should I put up with?    How do I communicate that I need either to know she prefers I never bother her again or keep it up?    or what?

It’s my parents and friends who ask, “So how is   _r___  doing these days?”   and I don’t have an answer.    I assume they are doing fine?  

SO, I want to write her a letter.   I just don’t know what to say or how to say it.     Am I being needy?   Do I risk annoying her that I am needy?   or am I fool.     Did I offend her in some way.   (unfortunately, it’s likely…  I apparently say things trying to be funny when she isn’t in a humor mood and she gets all grumpy about it; I don’t even realize it…  sigh)

Reviewing my words so far is telling me that this friendship has been extremely one-sided = MY side.    What do I do?    

I was planning Part II to be a draft of my letter to her.     I have a beautiful Hallmark card of a child holding a big sunflower.   The envelope is bright flourescent green.     Inside:    This card is a little visit from someone who thinks about you a lot.

Maybe that’s all I need.   Sign it and send it. 



  1. I have been on both ends of the spectrum before, both the writer and the writee. In the past several years though I have been the one who hasn’t kept in contact with old friends and hasn’t returned their emails, cards, letters, etc. I cannot speak for your friend, but only myself. I know that at times I have been in a position in my life where I couldn’t figure it all out myself, much less explain it to an old friend. It is difficult when the people you feel closest too, who known you the longest and vice versa live in another city or state. I still care about my four closest friends from high school and beyond, one I have been friends with since kindergarten, but I have not done much, if anything to maintain the friendship in recent years. Then I feel guilt, which keeps me from writing…or I feel that so much as happened that it wuold take me forever to catch them up on the interim and that keeps me from writing, or I start a letter and never finish it. UGH! All this is to say, though, if your friend is like me, she still cares about you, thinks about you often, she’s just in a differnt place in her life journey right now and that makes it difficult to connect. If you value the friendship, but can live with not having a response unless there has been a definite “fall out,” I say keep in touch! Send the card. Show you care. One day your friend will be in a different life place and she will be thankful for such a faithful friend, because chances are if she’s neglecting her friendship with you, she is neglecting all others too.

    Sorry so long, just my thoughts.

    Bop, thank you. In looking at this situation from my friend’s viewpoint, I consider the possible guilt, the energy, and even the comparison of our very different lives right now. We have joked about how we will take beach vacations together in 20 years. Good points, thanks for commenting.

  2. {curiousc} Have you considered that if there was anything you and your friend shared in common anymore, except for your mutual memories, that your lives would be entertwined and connect with each other?

    Is this a friend really a friend or, is this a habit?

    Maybe much insight would be gleaned if you asked yourself ‘why am I holding on to the past?’ For I deeply suspect this has to do with how much you love yourself and allow yourself to grow and know new things and new people.

    Your friend is most likely doing the best she can keeping up with her own life, much less yours. Wife, Mother, Business person…that’s a lot of responsibilities to juggle. You’d be the same way if your life was as full and you know it.

    When and as we grow up, we often grow in different ways along different paths. But nothing EVER diminishes the feelings we’ve had with ‘old’ friends. These are the Everlasting moments we keep with us throughout Eternity.

    Wisdom texts guide never to marry anyone still attached to their childhood or high school friends. It has to do with our emotional maturity and, when we’re ready to leave our childhoods, behind.

    Many Blessings to you…

    Be unafraid of making new friends. Give the rest of us a chance, too.

  3. Thank you Sue Ann. I was hoping you would stop by – I knew you would leave me something strong to think about. Is my friendship just a habit? Am I clinging to past memories? Do I need new friends? Fascinating twists… I’m going to ponder and write a post on this rather than just comment here. Thank you!

  4. Oh {curiousc}, you Honor me and I thank you. You are not only Precious but Sweet.

    As one engineer to another, I know you know what I mean by “translating an idea into physical reality”. It is a process of Creativity and Artistry.

    But in order to become an ‘engineer’, we’ve had to suppress the side of our nature, most connected with this essence of artistry. Our imaginations.

    Simply apply what you already know in terms of engineering, to where you allow you’re imagination to wander. And ask yourself howmany times do you imagine scenes of companionship, in the right ‘here’ and right ‘now’?

    For me, if I wasn’t in the past but, was in the present, I would thrown in distance, just to keep it distant.

    My issues was intimacy. I was scared of it.

  5. C- You do have to ask yourself the tough questions regarding your “friendship” – The questions that only you can answer as some friendships are for a reason, some season,and only a few a lifetime it takes careful discernment to decide which is which. But, I have to debate with Sue Ann. I think there is value in keeping old friends, the ones who “knew us when…,” the ones who have been in your life so long that you don’t feel the need to explain yourself to, who when you get together after a several year absence in each others lives you can pick up right where you left off. They are like family. This is not to say that there is no room for new friends, either though. They each bring different gifts to our lives. “Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” — Anais Nin

    At 35, though, in being too busy with “life” to keep up with my old friends, it is even more difficult to find time to make new friends, esp. the real life face-to-face variety as opposed to those we connect with online. My husband is my absolute “best friend” but I can’t say that I’ve really found a new female “Best Friend” since becoming an adult. Does anyone else find making new friends a challenge?

    Oh, Curious “C” since two of my oldest and dearest friends are named “Cara” and “Cindy,” both of whom have done better at keeping in touch with me than I with them, I think I am going to spend some time this weekend writing them a letter, before someone advises them to “give up” on me.

  6. Hi, I enjoy the thoughtfullness of your posts.
    I would like to ask this question: Does a decision really need to be made about this friendship?

    People, well, friends come and go at different times in our lives. Sometimes we need them more than they need us. I have difficulty with the “don’t expect much from me” kind of talk from a friend. Acceptance of what the friend has to offer seems the best road to take.

    I have expectations for some friends…knowing they can’t meet them. Then I have to take care of myself and look for other friends.

    Not to put the energy out if it’s draining me or affecting me negatively seems to be the best way to put what I’m trying to say. Taking care of myself usually is the answer.

  7. […] Part II Posted by CuriousC under Family , Learning , Misc   for Part 1,  click HERE …. […]

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