As some of my regular readers may know, back in late 2014 when my depersonalization was first diagnosed and at one of its strongest points, I made the decision to pull away from my friendship with The Man I Once Loved. This got interrupted when I flew home to be with my dying grandmother, as he showed kindness, and kindness is good, and I am quite the forgiving person at heart, so I thought maybe I should give him another chance.
In the following months, I felt like I was the one often initiating the conversations. When some Russian friends came to visit New Zealand, we had a party, and I sent him some photos, and it felt like an interrogation from the Gestapo followed. And, in the final text in mid-2015, he promised he’d be back in touch, so an experiment came into play: let’s see how long it would take him to respond.
A year passed, and I’d heard nothing at all.
So I wrote him a letter, and told him how hurt I felt, and pretty much recapped our entire relationship how I saw it: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
I wasn’t dramatic or angry or anything; I merely laid out how I felt. Mainly, I felt I was putting a ton of energy into our friendship, and he seemed too busy (at best) or too disinterested (at worst) to respond with even half the energy. At the end of the letter, I wrote I wasn’t telling him all this to hurt him, or make him angry, or make him sad, but only to relay my feelings about us. And that my take on us was that it was time to give us some space. If we returned to being friends, that was fine, or if we decided not to talk, that was okay too.
Most of all, I wanted to express how I was feeling instead of “ghosting” him. He’d meant too much to me and we’d been through so much that I couldn’t merely disappear into the ether of life without letting him know why.
He didn’t even have the courage, or the strength, to respond.
That hurt me to be honest, because I thought he was a lot braver than that. I thought he felt more of us than to let it slip away, because he’d previously worked so hard to resolve things when things got rough between us in the past.
Between the years between my letter and now, the games started.
The likes on Instagram (my profile is an open one).
A blank Christmas card, my name and address written hastily on the outside, no message inside.
Again, I’m a forgiving person. That doesn’t mean I don’t allow myself to be angry or sad or frustrated with someone. Hate expends so much negative energy, and I don’t want or need that in my life.
But then, a terrorist attacked our city, and killed a good many people.
The Man I Once Loved broke the silence and reached out. The first part of the message was from a place of concern; the second part of the message was about him and his feelings and his reactions to my letter; and the third part was about trying to reconcile things and get back to where we had been before this all started.
I wrote back. Resume the “ghosting”. No response.
Now, I have to admit that I drafted and revised a text / email explaining how that made me feel about a million times. At first, it told him that was it; I needed to walk away. And then it softened to an “I don’t know how I feel” as there was a bit more distance between the emotions of the attacks and his text and the present. I mulled over sending the message a million times, but I never did.
A few weeks ago, a house exploded a few blocks from home. I was getting calls and texts from all over the world as it made the news, so I thought I would pre-empt another text from him and let him know everything was fine.
He read it but no reply.
I bit the bullet and wrote that this game was getting a little old, life is short, and I’d just like things to be resolved. Whether that took the shape of us being friends again, or the action of us consciously walking away from one another didn’t matter so much; we needed to come to some sort of decision or resolution because whatever this was wasn’t healthy for either of us.
He started to respond and tell me how he felt. And we started to talk about our lives a little again.
I tried to engage him in conversation by telling him little things going on in my day, but also by trying to reiterate we needed to talk (preferably face-to-face) about where we had been, where we are at, and where we felt this should be going.
He did read my message telling him I cared about him, I still care about him, and that does not change no matter how much we do or don’t talk, or with how I feel about him at the time. I’ve come to the conclusion that even when I am angry at someone I know well, it’s because I care about them. At least he read that, and I can know he knows how I feel.
His responses came, I need to add, when he was away from his partner and his family.
Once he was on the way home, and when he was home, the responses stopped.
And now my messages are being delivered, but not read.
Yesterday, I wrote my latest (and perhaps final) text to him. It was civil, but it basically said that “ghosting” me wasn’t acceptable, and he needed to be an adult and talk to me. Sure, I’d be hurt if he said that he thought he wanted a step back, or even no further conversation at all, but I would respect his wishes. However, I was hurt, frustrated, and angry at being “ghosted” again. I called him out on it and let him know.
The logical part of me, which needs to pick everything apart and have every little mystery solved, wants resolution (of course) but also is dissecting this whole drama in my life. And the further I pull things apart, the more I realize many of the issues in this particular saga are not mine. I’ve come to terms with and accepted the different parts of me, even if I don’t like some of those parts particularly. They are what makes me unique, and I can keep my head held high that I am trying to be authentic and open in my life. It’s not perfect, but at least I know I’ve tried the best that I can.