To me her statement contradicted my not having anything to apologize for. There was no incident before the ghosting, so I truly did not know why she has behaved this way.
She concluded by saying, "I think we should go our separate ways."
I stopped going to a performance series that she, a mutual friend and I attended together because it's a small audience and seeing her would bring up my hurt. She continued to go, so it seemed that she felt this issue was resolved.
I've run into her a couple of times since then. She didn't seem embarrassed. I feel terrible.
Now she's joining my church, so I'll be running into her now and then. If she'd join the church she knows I attend, she apparently feels no awkwardness.
I'd rather not even acknowledge her when I see her, but that seems inappropriate in church. I've thought about talking to a clergy person but expect the counsel would be to forgive. Maybe I haven't forgiven if I'm upset again, but she wasn't on my mind much until the expectation of seeing her arose.
If I stay away from church events, I'm acting like a guilty person, but I don't know what I'm guilty of doing.
But I don't want to have any kind of interaction with her, even a chat during coffee hour. So, Amy, how do I handle this?
Hurt Ghosted Friend
Hurt Ghosted Friend: Don’t avoid clergy counsel simply because you anticipate what you will hear, pursue it.
You must find a way to process this. Your former friend has behaved unkindly by dropping you so suddenly and refusing an explanation.
You should be honest with her now. Tell her, “I admit to being very hurt and bewildered by your behavior toward me. I’m trying to forgive you for dumping me and I want to move on, but your refusal to communicate about why you have ended the friendship has made moving on even more challenging for me.”
That’s it. You simply speak your truth, without the expectation of any specific response or outcome. And then, yes — you work on the forgiveness. Granting forgiveness is a personal and spiritual challenge. Forgiving her will liberate you, as well as deepen your faith practice.
My theory about this — for what it is worth — is that she (not you) has done something unethical or deeply embarrassing, and that she would rather bury it than deal with it.
Dear Amy: I was recently taken out to lunch for my birthday.
On the way back, my friend said, "Next time is on you!"
Am I old school, or was that really inappropriate?
Bemused Birthday: I don’t think you pal’s exclamation was really inappropriate — just quite clunky. Ideally, the script would have been flipped.
After the meal, you would have thanked your friend and exclaimed, “Next time is on ME!”
Your pal created some awkwardness, but this should not affect your memory of the generosity, or your gratitude for it.
Dear Amy: The letter from "Nervous Nelly" describing her postpartum anxiety really resonated with me.
Unlike Nervous Nelly, I was never anxious until I had my child.
Some days I couldn't even leave the house with him as I was consumed with fear. Attempts to ask fellow moms if they ever felt this way led to side eyes and incredulous looks, and left me feeling very alone.
I urge Nervous Nelly to seek professional help. Therapy, combined with an antidepressant, saved my life and made me a more secure and happy mom!
She is definitely not alone!
No Longer Nervous
No Longer Nervous: In responding to this question, I detailed my own struggle with postpartum anxiety. One of the most challenging aspects of this experience, for me, was the shame of not feeling “normal,” “natural,” or possibly even ready for motherhood.
Other parents who had never experienced this made me feel even worse. Thank goodness my own mother — and my partner — were so compassionate toward me at that time. My own anxiety lifted gradually, but, yes — any woman experiencing this should definitely pursue treatment immediately.