To My Best Friend -- I Know Why You Ghosted Me

07/12/2017 10:02 am ET Updated Jul 12, 2017
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I didn't understand what I did to you. I didn't know what I said or how I acted. I didn't know what moment it was that pushed you over the edge. But you ghosted me. You walked away from our friendship and left me without answers.

It wasn't a subtle ghosting, but rather an all-at-once maneuver. Your mother told me to think harder about why you might be upset with me. My husband told me to stop worrying about you entirely and to move on from our friendship.

I laid awake every night for a month trying to figure out what I could say to mend our friendship, how to apologize for something I didn't understand.

I wrote emails and texts to you. I dialed your number numerous times, but never hit "call." I drove to your house numerous times with the intent to drop in and ask for a conversation, but I never made the left hand turn onto your street.

Eventually I decided not to intervene and accepted that you ghosted me. If you wanted to reconcile our friendship, you would have done so, I’m sure.

It's taken me three years, but I know now why you ghosted me.

Someone told me it was something I said to you. Someone told me it was something I didn't say to you. Someone told me it was an announcement I had made on Facebook. Someone told me it was your husband.

But it wasn't any of that. And I know exactly why because I once ghosted a friend too.

After college, I walked away from my then-best friend of 7 years without blinking an eye. I blocked her on social media, deleted her phone number, deleted her email address from my contacts. All of it. I couldn't see her or speak to her; I didn't want the memories. When people asked me about her, I just said "we grew apart."

The truth is, the reason why I ghosted her had nothing to do with her at all, but everything to do with what I was going through in my life at that moment. 

My senior year of college, my mom died from complications of a long-term illness, coincidentally, the same month my best friend had moved out of our apartment and in with her then-boyfriend.

Back then I felt abandoned and betrayed. I was alone and scared and hurting. I blamed her for not being there. I blamed her for not being sensitive enough. I blamed her for words she said to me that she meant with compassion but that I perceived as criticism.

It's only of late that I've come to realize she never actually did anything to hurt me. She was there when I asked her to be. She checked in with me. She talked with me in detail about things when I needed it. She helped me with homework. We still shared in course projects in college.

She never left me.

The problem wasn't her. It was me and my perception of the situation. I was heartbroken over the loss of my mother and I projected all of that onto our friendship, unfairly.

Our friendship never stood a chance, actually, because I wasn't capable of being a good friend to her at that time.

I walked away from a situation that was difficult for me. I ghosted her because I wasn't strong enough. Instead of communicating my feelings openly and honestly, it was easier for me to just fade away like the friendship never existed, like she didn't know my biggest fears and my deepest secrets.

I ghosted her because of me.

I never knew how much it hurt her either, until you ghosted me. But I know now that I wasn't the real reason you ghosted me at all.

You ghosted me because of you.

The week before you ghosted me, you uttered your deepest fear to me while chatting in your living room. You were going through a painful time in your life that only you could understand. No matter what I did or didn't say, our friendship was doomed because you had to grieve. You knew your deepest fear was becoming a reality and every day I was a constant reminder to you of that pain.

You had to bury our friendship just like you had to bury your feelings to get through it.

And not only do I not blame you, I understand. I would have ghosted me too. And I love you as much now as I did before you walked away.

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