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I used to be pretty close friends with a girl named Abby.  We met online, a chat room, of all places!  Abby used to ask me (quite frequently) if i thought we’d still be friends in 10 years.  Of course, my answer was always yes!

Abby lived in VA and i made at least one or two trips down to see her every year.  Abby visited me a time or two each year, also.  We talked on the phone or in IM regularly and became entwined in each others’ lives quite comfortably.  We trusted one another with our deepest secrets.  I trusted Abby with knowing my family.  I cared very much about Abby.

The last time i saw Abby was in late October of 2007 when i visited her.  At the time, i knew the visit felt strange...that we weren’t nearly as comfortable with one another as in the past.  We did the typical stuff but I felt uncomfortable all weekend.  It began when, on my way, i called and asked about stopping for groceries because she was working all day.  Instead of it being a productive conversation, it was combative in that she wouldn’t cooperate because she didn’t want me to PAY for it.  I was exasperated, and i’m sure she heard it on the phone.  I had reached the end of my rope with being smothered by her and planned to talk to her about it.  I know that in Abby’s mind, she wasn’t being anything other than helpful but she was so interested in me getting what i want that it was often at her expense...and i hated that!  No compromise, always MY way.  Because of that, i stopped expressing an opinion or sharing ideas, because there was never a conversation about just happened however I suggested.  

Perhaps i sound ungrateful or bratty but I enjoy indulging a friend as much as anyone.  IMO, it’s a component of a good relationship.  But so is compromise and respect...and a host of other things!  I sometimes felt like a child.

Something else i noticed about Abby...whenever i visited, her phone NEVER rang...EVER.  She talked about a few people in her life but everyone except her sister had fallen by the wayside.  I began to understand the root of her question about us still being friends in 10 years.  Abby had a very small network of people in her life.  It appeared that, aside from her sister, i was her only friend.  She did date this guy who treated her terribly...when she was convenient for him, that is.  She would try to create a healthy relationship with this emotionally unavailable man and, when i would ask her why she stuck around for such shabby treatment, she would tell me that if she left him, the last couple years would have been a waste of time!  Now, i didn’t agree with that one bit and tried to explain to her that she was wasting her time WITH him, not WITHOUT him.  All to no avail so i let it go...she would make her own decisions and i didn’t feel that I should inject myself into that relationship so i became diplomatic about it and relished in her happiness (however infrequent it was) and supported her feelings when things were bad.

After my last visit, i had planned to visit again in early December to do some shopping with Abby.  Things got busy and I couldn’t make the time to go back and i felt that Abby was upset with me for it.  We still talked on the phone but not as regularly...after a little time, our conversations were less and less frequent.  

I had been struggling with back pain for 4 years by this time and in February of 2008 I was FINALLY dx’d and a neuro-surgeon told me he could help me.  I was over the moon!  I wrote to Abby to tell her about the good news and my upcoming surgery.  No response.  I wrote to her several times to tell her about a bunch of other things, too.  Polite responses were the best i received.  I wrote to her after my surgery, no response.  I sent her a birthday response.  I sent her a grad announcement for my response.  That’s it...i get it...i’m done.  No hard feelings, no anger...nothing.  I’m a pragmatic person.  I don’t look for things that aren’t there and I accept the reality of things as they are presented to me.  I felt badly but i accepted that Abby was no longer interested in being friends.

Over the past 3 years, i have often wondered how Abby is doing but i have only made one attempt to contact her.  It was about a month or two ago to ask if her mailing address was the same.  Y‘see...I always admired a sketch of hers and asked her to draw something for me.  She never did but for my 40th birthday, she gave me the sketch i’d always admired!  I have recently decided that it doesn’t belong with me and I want to return it.  Not because i don’t like it, but because it doesn’t hold the same meaning it once feels misplaced.

Just the other day, another client asked me about Abby.  When i told her I haven’t heard from her in years, my client asked, “don’t you miss her?”  My response...“I am blessed with lots of other friends...those who want me in their life.  I’m good!”  My client said, “That’s a good way to look at it.”  But i thought to myself...“is it?”

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tuliplady wrote Jul 18, 2011
    • I think it’s about the only way you can look at it.  

      And who knows, maybe in a few years she will get over whatever it is and realize she misses having you in her life.

      I have a friend who was going thru a really hard time in her life, and managed to alienate a lot of friends when she probably most needed them.  People often don’t realize how much they push others away.

      I’d keep the sketch if you like it.  If it was a gift, it would be a little insulting to send it back.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Msj wrote Jul 18, 2011
    • I am so thankful to have read this. I just ended an 18 yr. friendship with an Abby....

      As a dear friend put it to me yesterday. “You have learned to recognize toxic relationships and that is a good thing”

      I felt odd the first day but after that I feel a BIG relief!heart

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Jul 18, 2011
    • Interesting you write this I have just been through something similar - I have a lot of friends but my real core mates I’ve had forever and I have over the years become dubious of people who don’t have old friends or real go to friends due to this.

      I suppose as we get older we don’t want folk around us who are toxic or into drama (well I don’t )

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Diane17 wrote Jul 22, 2011
    • Daphne,

      I’m sorry this has happened to you.  It’s sad when a friendship fades away.  Most of the girlfriends I have had over the years are now more like acquaintenances.  Due to family, work, other commitments, distance, etc, we don’t see each other and don’t talk to each other as much as we used to.  But when we do get a chance to connect, it’s great.


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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Marya1961 wrote Jul 23, 2011
    • It feels as though you were reading my mind, as this has happened to me too.  I look to the future and welcome those into my life who can accept me for me and that is not only rewarding, but along with it an element of fun and surprises.estatic

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