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AIBU?

Is my ‘friend’ pretty shit or do I need to get over myself?

99 replies

jesapp · 16/01/2024 14:57

Just that really. Both had babies around a year ago. We used to text daily. Both equally making the effort, never felt forced, known her years.

For the first six months after having the babies we still were in contact. Rather suddenly she went off the radar a bit. I didn’t immediately follow this up or smother her but did message every few days saying I hoped she was ok. Around three weeks later I got a massive text back saying she wasn’t coping and she hadn’t wanted to tell me as she thought I was coping fine and happy and it would put a dampener on things for me. I found this quite strange as we’ve always shared each other’s problems and been supportive of each other. I was also a single parent (she is not) and I was surprised she would have assumed I was so happy all the time, obviously I hadn’t had an easy time so really she surely would have known she could have opened up to me. Anyway she was upset and said she wanted to see me etc. I was supportive and told her to call me anytime and that we didn’t need to meet if she wasn’t up to it etc but please tell me if she needed anything. We slowly began chatting again as normal and then it slowly dwindled again. I did check in and she replied two weeks later to say she was fine, chatting away about an upcoming holiday etc. I replied and have heard nothing back for 6 weeks. I haven’t followed up this time as it just feels like I would be being too much given she’s clearly not responsive.

I have other friends and I am able to get over this but I can’t pretend it’s not hurt me. I genuinely thought she was a close friend all these years. I know I will only get an answer if I ask her but has anyone experienced anything similar?

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Am I being unreasonable?

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bloodyeffinnora · 16/01/2024 15:32

Aria2023 · 16/01/2024 15:10

I think if you're struggling it's hard to be the one to initiate. People may say 'I'm here if you need' but when I've had difficult times, my really close friends have just taken the lead and proactively picked up the phone or come round to see me. I'm not saying you haven't offered support, but your support sounds a bit passive, when perhaps she needs something more proactive?

I agree with this. be more proactive, invite her round to yours, arrange a lunch.

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MeinKraft · 16/01/2024 15:36

jesapp · 16/01/2024 15:27

@ManateeFair i don’t know if she is depressed though. She’s not ever said that.

What do you think 'I'm struggling' means?

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TygerPassant · 16/01/2024 15:37

Sugarfish · 16/01/2024 15:29

You actually sound like a friend I ditched. She had this habit about making my problems about her.

If she is depressed it’s not something she’ll suddenly snap out of and then be ok forever. It can come and go. She doesn’t need to tell you anything she doesn’t want to and if she’s feeling like crap she probably doesn’t have the energy to get into it.

By all means keep reaching out and offer support, but accept she might not want it. And don’t take it as a personal slight, because it’s not about you. I know when I’m feeling down I don’t want to talk or see anyone. As kind as the offer might be.

Good post. When I’m feeling down or even just complex about something, I withdraw. I don’t want to see friends, talk about it, or be cheered up. My friends either deal with that, or withdraw from the friendship.

You and your friend are just dealing with new motherhood differently. Just signal your support periodically without pressuring her into meeting or talking, or engaging in text back and forths.

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jesapp · 16/01/2024 15:37

MeinKraft · 16/01/2024 15:36

What do you think 'I'm struggling' means?

@MeinKraft well I think there’s a massive range between not coping well and PND?

OP posts:
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PostingAnonymously · 16/01/2024 15:38

Hi OP, I've been through something similar. Apart from she had a baby and I had a miscarriage. Had been friends since we were 5 years old. We were meant to meet up one day, so texted her to double check and never heard from her again. Never knew why she just stopped responding. This was before I knew what ghosting was. Quite heartbreaking for someone I've known for so long to do that. And I never got to the bottom of what the reason was. I didn't have a choice but to get over it. Now happy with 2 amazing kids and great new friends.

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Tandora · 16/01/2024 15:38

jesapp · 16/01/2024 15:27

@ManateeFair i don’t know if she is depressed though. She’s not ever said that.

She said she’s not coping! That’s enough. When people aren’t coping they don’t always feel like texting friends all the time. She also has a tiny baby. Just give her some space, 6 weeks is nothing . I have loads of very dear friends I go for much longer periods without texting. This doesn’t mean your friendship is over, she’s just going through a busy, stressful time.

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badwolf82 · 16/01/2024 15:42

I’ve gone through really bad patches in my life where I fell out of touch with people and didn’t want to discuss what was going on even with my closest friends. No matter how close you are or how well you think you know her, there might be stuff going on that she simply can’t bring herself to discuss with you. And people can be extremely good at hiding misery and appearing okay.

I would suggest to continue reaching out to her and make low commitment suggestions like meeting for coffee or taking the babies for a walk in the park. Don’t take it personally, this most likely has nothing to do with you or your friendship.

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Smallsuitcase · 16/01/2024 15:45

She told you she was struggling and would like to see you, you brushed her off. She tried to keep the friendship going and you don’t seem to have done the same from what you’ve said.

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SayBaby · 16/01/2024 15:55

People don't always want to see others/meet up/talk about it if they're struggling with something. Not everyone deals with things in the same way.

Sometimes they just need to go into their shell and hibernate a bit. This may be what she's doing.

I had a very difficult time mental health wise last year. I just wanted to be left alone. I didn't have the capacity to communicate much with others, even those offering support.

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Username123343 · 16/01/2024 15:59

Jesus, from your comments on here, I’m not surprised she’s put some distance between the two of you.

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peachgreen · 16/01/2024 16:02

I withdraw socially when I’m struggling emotionally. Lots of people do.

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Spomsored · 16/01/2024 16:05

You could send a message saying you are thinking of her but not really asking for a response. Or you could suggest meeting for coffee or taking the babies somewhere. If you propose something specific she's more likely to answer, yes or no or propose an alternative.

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HMW1906 · 16/01/2024 16:06

She possibly has post natal, she’s told you she is struggling. Just be supportive and make sure she knows you are there when she is ready.

i had post natal depression with my first child. It’s easy to pretend via text message that everything is ok.

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Muthaofcats · 16/01/2024 16:07

Friends are supposed to trust each other, which includes giving them the benefit of the doubt if they go awol for a bit. They’ll either come back or they won’t, but forcing it certainly won’t help. You say you’ve got other mates and a life so crack on with that and she will return to you if and when she wants to engage with you, you aren’t entitled to anything from her and any sense of that from any of my friends in the past has always ended in me distancing myself tbh.

Her mental health aside, life managing kids and work and relationships can be all consuming and for some that can have a huge impact on the amount of resources they have left over for anything else. I feel endlessly guilty that I can’t be the friend I was pre kids; and if others have different priorities or manage their lives differently then that’s up to them. If people got shitty with me for the amount I was available rather than just happy to interact when I was, then it would make me think they didn’t think that much of me/ were far too self involved. When time is limited you will invest it in things that make you feel good, not bad.

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Ellie1015 · 16/01/2024 16:16

If she is a good friend and no issues contacting you previously then give her benefit of the doubt that this is not about you.

Perhaps busy getting used to life as parent and finding it tough. Possibly PND.
Either way it isn't an insult to you or a sign she doesn't care.

If you have capacity to reach out more then do that, give lots of options walk with the babies, coffee at yours or hers. If you can't manage that at the min then text now and again checking in and wishing her well.

Do not take offence or be irratated by the lack of contact it isn't personal.

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AnneValentine · 16/01/2024 16:33

jesapp · 16/01/2024 15:37

@MeinKraft well I think there’s a massive range between not coping well and PND?

No one struggling with transition to motherhood wants to be around someone nailing it.

“I’m struggling” coupled with her behaviour speaks a thousand words.

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jesapp · 16/01/2024 17:15

AnneValentine · 16/01/2024 16:33

No one struggling with transition to motherhood wants to be around someone nailing it.

“I’m struggling” coupled with her behaviour speaks a thousand words.

@AnneValentine im a single parent, i am
finding it harder to nail it than most I expect!

OP posts:
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AnneValentine · 16/01/2024 17:20

jesapp · 16/01/2024 17:15

@AnneValentine im a single parent, i am
finding it harder to nail it than most I expect!

She literally told she is struggling and you’ve translated that to shit friend.

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ExtraOnions · 16/01/2024 17:26

If it were me, I prob message one a week: “hope things are ok, thinking of you, always here when you need me”

I have a friend, who’s husband has terminal cancer, I send her a message like that every week, I don’t expect a reply.. it’s just so she knows she’s not on her own

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SayBaby · 16/01/2024 17:59

You seem to think that because she's not a single parent she can't possibly be struggling with her mental health?

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Atethehalloweenchocs · 16/01/2024 18:21

Friendships wax and wane. Doesnt make them rubbish or shit, just means that sometimes time, proximity and priorities make it impossible to carry on as they have been in the past. I am also aware that you also have a new baby and that this may also be making you feel a but sensitive.

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OvertiredandConfused · 16/01/2024 18:33

One of my closest friends of more than 30 years standing has really struggled with her mental health over the years. There have been periods where she has gone for literally years without responding to me, and I only knew how she was doing from contact with one of her sisters. I just kept very gentle, periodic text messages going during those times.

If you think it might be something similar, then I would recommend reducing the frequency of messages and try not to send anything which requires a response, but rather just keeps the channel of communication open. Doing that makes it easier when she is able to pick things up.

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Sunshineandrainbows23 · 16/01/2024 18:36

jesapp · 16/01/2024 15:01

@Topee i thought that but her last communication was very upbeat etc and I do think I know her well enough to know if she’d been hiding something else. Could be wrong though I guess

That could have just been a rare sunny day in a general mist, or the product of a good night's sleep, or just masking how she really felt so as not to worry you, but the effort of doing that too much to sustain.

I honestly wouldn't take it personally. I know it's really horrible but that she's admitted she's not coping says that's it about her, not you. It may be depression or it may just be exhaustion or feeling overwhelmed.

I think I'd just give her some space with just very occasional check ins saying you hope she is ok and just re-iterating you are there if she needs you but no pressure to reply. You may find she's more likely to contact you if she doesn't feel like it will be the start of having to get back into regular communication before she is ready.

Big hug x

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PBandJ111 · 16/01/2024 18:37

Please keep in touch for the moment as she will have good and bad days. She may have PND.

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Newchapterbeckons · 16/01/2024 18:42

PND is brutal.
Your poor friend.
Step up and keep messaging her, tell her you are there for her whenever she is ready. I would be sending flowers but that’s me. She needs a shit load of support and some.

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