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Still crying over a long lost friendship

(33 Posts)
Kladdkaka Wed 27-Jul-11 14:52:26

I lost a friendship almost a year ago and still feel heartbroken over it. I know I need to forget about it and move on, but I can't. I put on a brave face and act all normal but inside the pain is as raw as always. When the mask slips, I cry again. I can't bear it.

I'm autistic and don't make friends normally. I try, but it just doesn't seem to work. There are people who I think of as my friends but I don't think they see me the same way. In my whole life I have never had someone else initiate contact with me. Literally never had so much as even an email that wasn't in response to something I'd sent. Never been to someone else's party, never been invited to meet up for coffee. Nothing.

Apart from this one person. We live a couple of hours apart so would meet up for coffee half way and chat once every month or so, or very occasionally at each other's homes, and chat on Facebook in between.

Then I put a status update on Facebook which she took offence at. She really went off on one at me. I didn't have a clue what I'd done wrong, I still don't, but was really upset that my friend was upset. So I apologised and apologised some more but she wouldn't have it. Just seemed to get angrier and angrier with me. Eventually she deleted me as her friend and hasn't spoken to me since.

It probably sounds very drama queenish but I feel completely traumatised by this. My husband tells me that I did nothing wrong and she clearly has issues and is off her trolly. But I'm the one who now has even less contact with the outside world because I'm so frightened that I might say something completely innocently that makes people angry at me.

How can I put this behind me when I still don't understand and I'm still crying over it? sad

CuddlyNemesis Wed 27-Jul-11 16:04:34

I am so sorry you're feeling so bad about this. I don't have any good advice for you, but didn't want to leave your post unanswered. Somebody more wise than me will be along soon. smile

Hope you're ok...

Kladdkaka Wed 27-Jul-11 17:42:25

Thank you, you're very kind. I feel alright most of the time and then it all comes back again. I don't know why I'm feeling particularly bad today. I've had a couple of really nice PMs which have cheered me up. (I feel a bit embarassed nowblush)

mummakaz Wed 27-Jul-11 20:40:31

I lost a close friend around 2 yrs ago. It hurt like hell up until fairly recently. She just basically stopped contact and I don't know why. I have pretty much moved on now. I think in my case it's the not knowing what I had done

Without sounding harsh the only way to move forward is to accept the friendship is over and move on. I know it's not as easy as that sad

Kladdkaka Wed 27-Jul-11 22:04:06

I think I accept it. She was pretty nasty and said stuff from which there is no going back. As you say, I think it's the not knowing what I've done. Or rather not being able to process the difference between what I know I've done and her reaction to it. It just makes no sense and so goes round and round in my head.

pollyblue Wed 27-Jul-11 22:09:30

Someone i thought of as a close friend decided she didn't want to remain friends with me a while ago. I know why, and I did try to sort things out, but she didn't want to know and at the time i was very upset, and it really knocked my confidence.

The only thing that has helped me has been changing the way I see the situation - alright, the initial mistake which led to the falling out was mine, but she was the one who inflicted several months of the frosty treatment on me before finally announcing that the friendship was over, and she was the one who was spiteful and rude in a couple of emails, and made me feel like sh*t. So I got angry! Called her every name under the sun (in my head), cheerfully deleted her from my phone and email contacts - had a good 'cleanse' if you like.

We all make mistakes, but you can only be responsible for your own, and how you deal with them. Sometimes other people behave in ways we can't understand, and certainly can't control. Losing a friend is horrible, but you need to stick your chin up and think "sod her, her loss." You will make other friends, and ones that will treat you better - keep telling yourself that.

Right, lecture over...........grin

Kladdkaka Wed 27-Jul-11 22:57:45

You absolutely right. I guess I'll never understand the mentality of people who can throw their friends away with such ease. There's nowt queer as folk.

starlady Fri 29-Jul-11 14:46:18

Hi Kladkakka, this isn't exactly a reply to your post, I'm more offering a bit of general advice, if you're interested.

You sound lovely and I'm amazed others haven't connected with you, but as I have a son with aspergers I know sometimes things aren't that simple when you have a social communication disorder.

I just wanted to say, what I have noticed with my 11 yr old ds (who does OK socially after a fashion), sometimes he over-focuses on certain people, often who are very desirable in the wretched social hierarchy, and then gets upset when he doesn't get the response he wants. I've also noticed there are often other children who are actually interested in being his friend, but he doesn't he even notice them.

I know you're an intelligent adult, so I'm sure you have more self insight than my ds, but is it all possible that there are potential friends to be made that perhaps you havn't noticed, because you're feeling down, and looking at life through a prism of low self-esteem?

This is going to sound so cheesy, but when I have been feeling down it helps - instead of ruminating on social slights, could you write a list of ten good things that happen each day? Even when someone smiles at you when they give you change in a shop? Have a nice cappucino in a cafe, husband cooks dinner, whatever it is is. Happy people attract others.

I really hope you manage to move on from this person, sometimes we can't be responsible for others reactions. Good luck. X

WhoseGotMyEyebrows Fri 29-Jul-11 15:11:09

Aaaaah! sad I completely get why this still upsets you. It's hard to let go when you don't really understand why it happened.

I had a close friend for 7 years and we did everything together. Then I suddenly realised that actually she treated me really badly. She would put me down all the time and I realised that every time I made (or started to) a new friend that new friend would suddenly go weird on me. Took a long time but I eventually realised that my friend was sticking the boot in. She cost me so many possible friends over the years and did other bad things such as taking credit for my work at college.

I walked away from the friendship but it was so frustrating as everyone believed her and not me so I lost my little social circle. I was really lonely for about 5 years afterwards.

The anger I felt was unbelievable. I was angry at myself for letting myself be treated that way and at everyone who believed her. I guess they were never real friends.

I think what starlady says about there being people who might want to be friends with you who you haven't noticed, is very interesting.

By the way, what was it that you put on Facebook?

Kladdkaka Fri 29-Jul-11 15:18:37

Thank you, I think you're right. There is a blindness to social interactions. I see it in my daughter too (also autistic). Unfortunately the nature of the beast is that you cannot see it in yourself.

I remember when I first started to think I may be autistic and I dismissed it because there are symptoms that I just don't have. My daughter cannot read facial expressions at all. I can. No problems at all in that area. When she did the facial recognition test she got upset because she can't read anything. I raced through mine. It's so easy. I got them all wrong. Not only wrong, but sometimes the total opposite of what they should have been. I'm having to learn and accept that I cannot read anything from a persons body language, that what I think I read is actually wrong. (I was only diagnosed last year, so at least I now know what I'm dealing with)

You right about the focusing on bad stuff too. That's a common difficulty of ASDs. It's part of the rigid thinking. Everything is black and white. There are no trivial bad things, even small things that don't really matter feel like the end of the world. (I know all the theory, shame I'm rubbish at implimenting it)

I'm working on trying to focus on the good stuff with my Occupational Therapist. He's signed me up to join a choir after the hols. People interaction without the need to actually converse. Very scary.

Kladdkaka Fri 29-Jul-11 15:19:22

That reply was to Starlady.

WhoseGotMyEyebrows Fri 29-Jul-11 15:31:22

Wow, it must be quite life changing to find out that you have ASD. I guess it may change a lot of things but also explain a lot too.

I suspect (it's pretty obvious really) that my brother has Aspergers or ASD. Don't know if he would be willing to go and get tested though. He doesn't sound like you as you sound smart, whereas he has a low IQ (I think) as well. I don't think he understands it enough to realise that he is different anyway and I wouldn't suggest that to him. My dad I think also has something, maybe ADD and Dyspraxia. I'm no expert, just read up on it after years of not understanding my family!

starlady Fri 29-Jul-11 15:34:07

That all sounds good, and it's great you have an OT. If you have the money (and, I have to admit, it's ferociosly expensive) I would also recommend the Hoffman Process - just put it into google. It's great for shaking out those negative patterns. Hope the chor goes well!

Proudnscary Fri 29-Jul-11 15:38:59

I'm so sorry for the pain this has caused you sad. I don't think it's silly or over the top to feel traumatised when a so-called good friend decides to end the friendship.

Sorry I can't be of any help - all I'd say is to allow yourself to feel the way you feel about it, don't beat yourself up for that. Then decide to get over it, even give yourself a date - you write down all your feelings, maybe in a letter to her (never to be sent), and burn it or bury it?

Tell yourself you are a good person with a gorgeous family who love you for you, and someone more than worth befriending. Because you are.


hellymelly Fri 29-Jul-11 15:39:52

I lost touch with a really close friend for several years,I was just fed up with lots of little things and I allowed them to build up .It was very difficult to get time to talk to her properly as she lived far away and was very busy.I was childless,she had children,there were lots of compounding issues.Anyway,she was so upset that she had counselling,i found that out when we were eventually back in touch,and I feel dreadful about that.Part of the split was down to her behaviour but mainly it was my fault as I didn't explain to her how I was feeling.I make much more effort now to cut my friends some slack and to talk more openly.I am sorry you have lost your friend,maybe in time you will be able to resolve it,but even if not,perhaps it will help in the long run with your relationships with others as it sounds as though you are really making a huge effort to understand yourself and how you come across.
What did you say on facebook that so upset her?

Kladdkaka Fri 29-Jul-11 16:12:32

On Facebook there was this 'have you read the top hundred books' thing doing the rounds. I did it and posted it on my wall and it went like this, over 2 days:

Initial comment by me to nobody in particular: 6 how flippin rubbish is that? Can I include them if I've seen the film?

Her: no!

Me: But they can't be that good as books because otherwise I would have finished the ones I started. I love reading and have read gazzillions of books. It's obvious that these ones don't cut the mustard. Can I add all my half read ones together instead then? ;)

Her: coz being even with everyone else is like really important isn't it?

Me: Not at all, I was only joking. I know I have a problem with reading books that don't interest me. It's part of my condition, my brain just switches off and I can't engage with them.

Her: what's your point though? that even though i have read more of these than you, you really have read more than me? or that the list is wrong? it's only a list!"

Me: Honestly, it was meant entirely tongue in cheek. I didn't mean to offend you. I'm sorry.

Her: well it sounds like sour grapes to me.

Me: I really sorry, but I just don't understand why you are responding to what was supposed to be friendly banter in such an aggressive and nasty manner.

Her: and who appointed you in charge of which books are interesting or not? eh? other people are only allowed to enjoy the books you deem interesting!why can't they be that good? because you didn't finish them? what about those who did? or are you the benchmark for book appreciation?

Me: Whatever I've said to upset you, I'm really sorry, it was not intentional.

Her: oh FFS! i know you're autistic but you're so blooding arrogant and patronising. the world does not revolve around you, stop being so bloody selfish.

Me:I'm sorry my comments have upset you, that was absolutely not my intention. Beyond that I don't know what else to say

Her: can you not read/see how arrogant and patronising it sounds????????? i AM upset kladdkaka!!!!! i am upset!!!!!! it's not just you that is made to feel upset by other people. omg!!

Then a few weeks later she removed me as her friend.

The only other comment was from my brother in reply to my second one. He said my gazzillions don't count because we're talking about grown up books, not Rupert annuals and that I could add as many half read ones up as I liked, it wouldn't change the fact that the average house brick was smarter and more cultured than me grin

Was what I wrote really so very bad? confused

(Aspie photographic memory comes in handy sometimes)

Kladdkaka Fri 29-Jul-11 16:13:35

Sorry that was a massive aspie-who-can't-summarise post.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Fri 29-Jul-11 16:15:43

you said absolutely nothing wrong at all and she sounds insane.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Fri 29-Jul-11 16:16:30

and she was also totally 100% rude and out of order.

NewlyConvertedFordLover Fri 29-Jul-11 16:33:49

I agree- your 'friend' sounds crazy. What a complete over reaction.

I am sorry you are feeling hurt by losing her friendship though. I have lost a few friends this year alone. They don't know each other and I've met them during different periods in my life, so frankly the only common factor in all of those friendships is me, so I am coming to terms with that and it's hard. I feel for you, but well done on joining a choir, that's a great move!

hellymelly Fri 29-Jul-11 16:44:21

Your friend was so bristling and defensive that it seems to me as though she was already annoyed with you and this was the last drip in the bucket. Particularly given what she says about you being self-centred.I am wondering if you have missed the cues that she is bothered by something and that she in turn thinks you are using your Aspergers as an excuse? Perhaps you have talked about it a lot (understandably)but she has been getting fed up and you haven't realised because the aspergers makes it difficult to spot this?

carlywurly Fri 29-Jul-11 16:56:17

I really feel for you. Social relationships are hard enough to navigate without an ASD being thrown into the mix to lead you off track. I have two dc's, one on the spectrum, one not, and the difference in their social interaction is huge. It really helps me understand to read your posts, especially how easily body language can be misinterpreted. It must be a relief for you to understand why these things have been happening to you, I'm sorry it took you so long to get a diagnosis.

I can't see a thing wrong with what you wrote on FB. Your friend has massively over-reacted, and hellymelly makes a good point about there possibly being more to it. Either way, even if she had prior issues with you, that wouldn't be a mature and sensitive way of resolving them by anyone's standards. She wasn't a friend worth having.

You do sound lovely, and the choir sounds a good idea. Don't give up on finding friends, I have a good friend who has Asperger's, and we all accept her as she is - ASD often brings some traits which can be really valued in friendship - her honesty and endearing quirkiness are attractive qualities.

TheProvincialLady Fri 29-Jul-11 17:01:14

I am still mourning for a lost friendship that ended over five years ago - I even have dreams about my friend where I manage to persuade them that everything is ok and then we are friends again. My friend just dumped me - didn't return calls or emails, seemingly for no reason. It is very hurtful.

What strikes me about your situation is that being someone's only friend is a HUGE pressure and maybe she was at the end of her tether in the way that hellymelly describes. It is great that your are having occupational therapy - can you ask for specific help in forming and maintaining friendships (sorry, don't know much about how these things work)? You always come across as interesting and intelligent on MN, which is a good foundation.

TheProvincialLady Fri 29-Jul-11 17:04:12

BTW I have no ASD or issues that I know of, but have made myself improve my social skills since having DS1 and it has helped a lot. Many of the social niceties are fairly meaningless to me and before I had him I would have ignored them and just stuck to the people I already know or immediately clicked with. But now I force myself to go through the motions and have made friends that way, and lots of pleasant acquaintances. These things can be learned to a certain extent, though obviously your ASD makes it much harder for you.

QuietTiger Fri 29-Jul-11 17:06:58

Based on your FB excahnge only, your "friend" sounds an utter nut-job TBH. What you have written is perfectly sane and reasonable by normal standards!

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