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To not be in further contact with ex-friend with serious illness?

(8 Posts)
BirdLover Sat 31-Jan-15 18:25:25

Some background:
Have ex-friend who I've known for many, many years (since schooldays).
Remained solid friends for about 25 years after leaving school.
Started to go wrong when we hit early 40s when my ex-friend started becoming fairly unpleasant and dis-respectful towards me.
Took me a while to twig to the dis-respectful behaviour (about 10 years!).
Decided to call it a day on the friendship when I realised that - when in her company - I was always very tense waiting for the next unpleasant / disrespectful comment.
So gradually withdrew from the friendship about 5 years ago.
No arguments of any kind (something I wanted to avoid as we have several mutual friends and did not want to make life difficult for them).
I just gradually reduced and then stopped making contact.
Following this - there was zero response from my ex-friend.
I.e. zero calls / emails to say "where are you?", "missing you?", "what are you up to?", "why haven't you been in touch?".
So I've always assumed that the old friendship was also not working for my ex-friend and worked better for both of us to be occasional aquaintances.

Cut to March last year:
Ex-friend emailed me out of the blue to let me know that she had been diagnosed in January 2014 - very suddenly and unexpectedly - with a serious illness for which she was getting urgent treatment.
- I rang her on the evening of getting the email to check how she was.
- I then rang her 3 - 4 weeks later (in April) to see how her treatment was going.
- I then rang her another month later (in May) to see how she was getting on (answer was she was doing well and recovering).
Since then I have not been in further contact.

Over the last few months
I have regularly wondered whether - given the length of time we've known each other, our previous friendship and the seriousness of my ex-friend's illness - should I have been in contact more.

So my question is - AIBU to have not made any further contact with her?

AfroPuffs Sat 31-Jan-15 18:30:48

Well there is nothing to stop her picking up the phone...not sure why it has to be you making all the effort.

However when she was ill, did you go and actually see her?

Waitingonasunnyday Sat 31-Jan-15 18:33:10

I can only imagine that if I had a serious illness, I'd want people to be in touch who cared about me And my health. Not to be in touch for the sake of 'doing the right thing' if they didn't actually care.

fluffyraggies Sat 31-Jan-15 18:40:50

Y'know OP, your first paragraph i could have written word for word sad

Then the cue to march would in my case be when i told her about a personal tragedy going on in my life. We emailed a couple of times, a couple of calls back and forth and now it's gone dead again. If i email she takes weeks to answer; then i'll answer and wait weeks again. Or hear nothing.

So IMO, it's a 2 way st. Illness or not. Harsh sounding i know, but i also know how hard it is when an old friendship is dying.


Cameochick11 Sat 31-Jan-15 18:42:19

I think you've done enough. As others have said, if it's contact all in one direction, that tells you all you need to know!

fluffyraggies Sat 31-Jan-15 18:43:45

In other words no, YANBU.

If she had been getting that much comfort from your renewed communications it would have run more smoothly between you and you wouldn't find yourself in this situation of second guessing.

Aeroflotgirl Sat 31-Jan-15 18:45:37

You have done enough, time to take a back seat. Think about why you have distanced yourself in the first place. Friendship is a two way street.

BirdLover Sat 31-Jan-15 19:57:13

Hi Afropuffs - no - not been to see her. Would have liked to but (i) moved house 3 years ago so now live nearly 600 miles away and (ii) last year all my free time was spent looking after parent with dementia (now thankfully all sorted).

Thanks all - very helpful responses. Definitely given me some perspective on this which has given me a fair bit of worry and concern over the last few months.

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