Our DD started school last September and we son hit it off with a family we met at the school gates. Our daughter made friends with their younger daughter, we started seeing each other socially etc.
The couple had been together a couple of years and the mum had two daughters from her previous marriage. The dad was constantly complaining about his elder stepdaughter, who is 14 and has special needs (some sort of autism or ADHD type thing I think, not sure about the specifics) Things like she had a messy room or wasn't polite enough at home. He said things like she was ruining their lives. She would be sent to her room during adult social gatherings, which I was uncomfortable about but didn't feel it my place to say anything.
Recently the stepdaughter asked to go and live with her biological dad and stepmum. She was vilified very publicly for this decision by her mum and stepdad, and following her change of residency last week, his mum has declared that she will not be having any contact with her daughter again. She has removed her from Facebook and has ebayed her belongings.
I am horrified and don't feel like I want to spend any more time with these people, but I am worried about awkwardness at the school pick up and DD having to see the younger girl every day at school. I feel they have behaved in an abusive way towards a vulnerable child. I have seen no overt signs of them abusing the younger child, but they pride themselves in their "strict" parenting style, and have arbitrary rules at home she had to follow (not being allowed in certain rooms as they are adult only etc)
Sorry but I'd be more than happy to cool thing and volunteer the info as to why if asked. And fwiw I ended up once having a former close friend no longer speaking to me in the playground. It is horrible for approximately a week and then I just watched the flouncing with mild amusement.
I would also take step back but still be civil & polite when spoken 2 & not avoid any conversation with them but if any social things crop up that they invite u 2 I would make sure I had other plans & hopefully they'd stop inviting all together.
I don't want to cause any problems for my daughter at school, so I think we will do the slow gradual withdrawal. My DH is privately refusing to have anything more to do with them himself, but I am the one who usually does school pick up so it should be ok.
You do not have to be friends with anyone you don't want to. Friends are people you love being with. These people are no longer that. They are now in category of acquaintances. A polite hello and smile if need be. You can chose your own friends. Also you do not need to respond to texts or phone calls from them. You do not have to explain yourself to them.