Being ghosted

Maybe you have fallen out with your mate, or perhaps you are about to betray them - whatever it is, talk about it here.
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Tarantula
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Being ghosted

Post by Tarantula » Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:12 am

'Ghosting' - modern colloquialism for when someone ignores all contact and pretends you don't exist, or that they don't exist in your life.

Hi PP

I'm quite happy these days, having a wonderful year so far. But there's a small situation which is bothering me way too much, given how small it is.

There's a woman I've known for a couple of years, we met at a vegan art exhibition ( :D ) and even then, I did get the first impression that 'this person is a bit up themselves', but I never like to trust those too much because it isn't fair if you haven't taken the time to get to know someone before judging...

anyway, we met a few times and then had brunch together with our boyfriends. The four of us got along great as a group. Then I invited her and her partner to come stay with us for some days in our lovely country house abroad, where I now live. The visit went okay, she was a bit of a pain in the backside over little things, like insisting on going back to the house to 'dress for dinner' when we were already out, or whinging helplessly about doing an easygoing, one-hour hike in beautiful nature despite being slim and in normal health. At other times we got along well, and had big chats about shared experiences in our childhoods - in particular, that she was also sexually abused, by her step dad, told her mum and her mum didn't do anything and they are still together, and my friend still visits them every couple of weeks and the whole family pretends like a thing is not a thing. I really felt bad for her when she told me, and advised her to limit contact with them as it's toxic for her. But she lives in a flat owned by her step dad and is an on-and-off-again student with no career, so I imagine that complicates things. I still think she needs to stick up for herself and get away from anyone who doesn't believe/support her, though. Anyway.

After that trip I didn't see her again until we were both going to a big event, we said we'd definitely meet up there, but when I contacted her on the day to arrange, she ignored it. I ran into her there and decided to go along with it and give her the benefit of the doubt.

After that, I didn't see her until last December when I was having a really bad time. I arrived back in London and she let me stay at hers for a night as I hadn't booked a hotel. A few days later I invited her round for dinner where I was staying, and she said she'd let me know a time but then didn't. On the day she was supposed to come around, she text around 4pm to say her trains were delayed so she would let me know when. By that point, I assumed the plan was off anyway, as she hadn't been in touch and like, if I'm cooking, I need to know in advance so I can get the stuff. So I replied saying I'd like to have an evening to myself. She said no worries.

That was the last contact all the way until a few weeks ago when I text her asking if she was free for a phone call. I was a bit sad that she hadn't been in touch at all, or acknowledged that she had kind of messed me around with that whole dinner plan. Considering I was having a really bad time during that period, I did expect that she would make more of an effort, but she didn't. So I wanted to speak on the phone to clear the air. She completely ignored that message. So, the other day I again messaged asking why she didn't reply and asking if she doesn't want to be in touch anymore.

Finally she responded saying she feels I only get in touch when I need something, and that she was annoyed that I cancelled the dinner plan after she let me stay at hers that one night. This took me by surprise as I'd been having the similar thoughts about her. Our vague friendship was already one-sided, with me usually being the one to get in touch first, and the one time she does me a favour - letting me crash in her spare room when I was desperate - she holds it over my head expecting a garland of roses. I won't take away that she did me a favour, for sure.

My goodness though, you'd have to really dislike someone to NOT let them crash, in a desperate situation, when you have a spare room and all you really have to do is open the door. I mean I'd do that for almost anyone if they asked! So I reminded her that I hosted her and her boyfriend for several days in my home, cooked them dinner, took them on day trips to show them around etc - above and beyond anything she's done for me. I mean I was happy to do all that, but if we're gonna play 'who's contributed more to this relationship', then it's me by a mile. I also called her out for not bothering to reply to my previous attempt at contact. She responded by not bothering to reply again.

I've been trying to understand why this whole thing is bothering me so much. I think it's because I feel used. She basically used me for a free holiday, and I told her that's how I felt, and I think she's not replied because she can't handle the criticism and couldn't care less. I wasn't being flaky about that stupid dinner plan (which, as usual, was instigated by me), but even if I WAS being flaky, roles reversed, I'd allow it. It would allow it because when a friend is having a really bad time, you don't hold a grudge over a silly bit of miscommunication like that. Also, she wasn't particularly supportive in general during that time. I would have done a lot more for her. So it makes me very irate that she's acting like I'M the ungrateful party!

Under the bonnet, I wonder if she's post-rationalising for a feeling of discomfort she had about me anyway. During that long talk about our pasts, I did explain that cutting the negative people out - family or not - has been vital to my wellbeing, and she said she thinks about doing the same, instead of having to keep up appearances (she told me her step dad gives her a kiss on the cheek when she goes there - yuck! This is the person who abused her as a child, it just makes my skin crawl, it's so horrible.). But she hasn't made that move, and I wonder if she feels awkward around me because I know too much and I HAVE made that move in my own life and I'm free of it.

I think another reason this is on my mind so much is because her ghosting has triggered my abandonment stuff. It always upsets me when people just don't reply, even if we're not that close. I also feel annoyed at myself for giving so much for so little. I did a nice thing, hosting her here and showing her around. I didn't have to do that. I should reserve that now only for proper friends, but I feel very privileged here and want to share the joy. I don't need much in return, but to at least not be made out to be the negligent friend, what the heck. So I feel like she's 'got away with it' and I 'lost'. I know, I know.

Huff. Why are people so lame sometimes?

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Re: Being ghosted

Post by reckoner » Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:04 pm

"But she hasn't made that move, and I wonder if she feels awkward around me because I know too much and I HAVE made that move in my own life and I'm free of it." (Sorry, my quotes aren't working.)

Yes, I think you're on the money here. I can imagine it must be a great source of shame for her to still be dependent on her abuser. I'm guessing that the closer you got with her, and the more you shared with her, the more uncomfortable it became for her. Not only that, but I think you're also succeeding professionally too, whereas she isn't. So when it comes to winning and losing between you, she hasn't even qualified for the competition. So I think she's engineered a situation where she can walk away from the 'friendship' and discomfort, forget about all the problems you remind her of and put the blame for it on you. It's rude, ungrateful, petty, and perhaps the only way she can deal with the existential crises I'm sure she's experiencing. Though I doubt she'll be able to accept that's what she's experiencing for as long as she's dependent on her abuser.

Why are you 'disproportionately' upset, to paraphrase? I don't actually think you are. You've invested a lot emotionally in this, extended a hand of friendship against your better judgment, allowed yourself the expectation of developing something good by focusing on the positives over the negatives - basically done everything right - and been thoroughly burned for your trouble. I'd feel the same.

Why are people so rubbish? Good question. Meaning: I wish I knew. All I can say is that she's in a horrible situation so maybe letting her blame you is the only act of kindness she's in a position to accept.

I do hope, though, you don't let this put you off trying to be nice. It's at times like this where I grip hard the notion that your reward will be in heaven. When someone finally appreciates you, it WILL be worth it.

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Re: Being ghosted

Post by Tarantula » Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:36 pm

Thanks reckoner. That was exactly the kind of juicy, congratulatory validation I needed. I have trouble trusting my own perceptions of situations sometimes, and then I get all annoyed at myself for doubting myself and I always try to be oh so high ground, and when it's not reciprocated I get vengeful thoughts of 'I should've just gone low like they did.'

Also, that point I made about her past was really me going straight for the jugular on here - where I'm writing freely - I haven't mentioned this to her, and I won't. Even if she lashed out at me, I won't use what she's trusted me with like that as ammunition. But at the same time.... yeah, I think there's hard truth there for sure, especially since that occurred to you as well.

I guess I'm beating myself up for caring so much because I feel I 'shouldn't', because our friendship never really had legs anyway. I wanted it so badly to be a thing, but it was never really that much of a thing. And it never will be either, I expect.

Yeah, professionally, all I ever do is go on about my experience, how to help children now, and how vital it has been for me to cut out all the 'baddies'. When people ask, which they often do, how I've dealt with all the things, once of the first things I point to is not being around negative family members who didn't support me anymore. So.... I earn money talking about this stuff, which is very much the opposite end of the spectrum from where she's at. And I feel bad for her and hope she fights her case one day, or at least desists with 'the dance' of keeping up appearances. It's so important

Anyway, thanks. I've thought about deleting her off my social media but I think I'll try to be empathic and leave the door open in case she decides to be in touch later on, maybe when things are different for her. This is exactly the kind of attitude I'll later swing back to being annoyed at myself for, if she does anything else to get on my nerves, but... I feel better knowing I genuinely tried to do things in a good way.

Not that it would be BAD if I closed the door, I mean she's given me enough reason. But. I guess you never really know what someone else is going through..

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Re: Being ghosted

Post by Tarantula » Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:37 pm

Oh, another little point is that my partner really isn't great when it comes to this sort of smallscale girl-to-girl conflict stuff. He sort of tunes out and implies I should just stop thinking about it (gee, didn't think of that!). So I haven't had anyone else to validate my feelings about it.

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Re: Being ghosted

Post by David020549 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:21 am

Don't expect men to understand "girl to girl conflict" we don't "understand" our own partners emotions, expecting us to know why women don't get on is expecting too much.

A while ago you mentioned a "Vegan Woman", she must have made an impression on you at the time, but why describe her like that?. I guess she was an animal rights campaigner, wearing the tee shirt, or anorak, whatever, at the time I did say be cautious, because many activists are doing it to draw attention to themselves, the more extreme they are the more attention they get. They may be an interesting acquaintance for a while but not a good prospect for a lasting friendship.

As we get older we get more intolerant of others, even little things, mannerisms, habits, petty likes and dislikes so it becomes more difficult to get a close friendship. We tolerate each other for a day or a weekend, longer than that can get very fragile, add to that your partners mannerisms ect, it is even more problematic.

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Re: Being ghosted

Post by boulding » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:00 am

Hi

I think you would have to be a saint not to feel slightly resentful about this girl's very off hand attitude towards you and her rejection of your friendly overtures. Particularly as she has accepted your generous hospitality which she almost seems to throw back in your face and now tries to suggest she's done you a favour by letting you stay one night. The problem is we take this stuff personally and try to search for a reason for this sort of behaviour when the answer is there just isn't one. She clearly isn't the person you thought she was to start with. She's just plain flaky and there's nothing you can do about it.

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Re: Being ghosted

Post by reckoner » Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:47 am

Tarantula wrote:That was exactly the kind of juicy, congratulatory validation I needed.
Well good :D
Tarantula wrote:that point I made about her past was really me going straight for the jugular on here - where I'm writing freely - I haven't mentioned this to her, and I won't.
Maybe you were, but it just seems logical to me, and was what I began to wonder as soon as you wrote that her mother is still with the abuser. Having to greet him with a kiss cemented it. I think we're all entitled to a little private theorising but yes, absolutely, that theorising must stay private because, as you say, you can never really know.

In case it's of interest, I've been thinking more about how she was able to put responsibility on you for this fallout (in her own mind at least). When you cancelled those dinner plans (understandably - if you're making dinner, as you say, you obviously need to plan and I suspect the flake on this on her side was already in the works - as evidenced by failure to plan a hook up with you at the event you bumped into her at), but by saying you wanted a night for yourself, you gave her an opportunity to turn the flakiness on to you. You could perhaps have avoided this by messaging her first to confirm her plans. Then, if she didn't reply or flaked, you're clear of responsibility. Or, you could have said that you'd assumed she wasn't coming having not heard from her.

So perhaps that provided her with excuse enough (again, in her own mind) to have a go at you when you chased a reason for her lack of contact, and how she could dig her heels in when it came to the 'who's contributed more' argument.

Please don't think I'm trying to excuse her - I'm very much not, but perhaps these were the mechanics for her to get out of a relationship with someone who I'm sure was making her feel extremely inadequate (EDIT: unintentionally).

Back to the theorising thing - this is when I always lose my partner's attention. I suspect there is some truth in David's assertion, maybe men do prefer a more fact-based approach to understanding a situation than the theorising I regularly do with girlfriends.

I think you're right to not block her on social media. If you did, it's another excuse for her to put responsibility on you for the breakdown.

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Re: Being ghosted

Post by Tarantula » Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:18 am

Thank you boulding - it’s so easy to internalise other peoples shady behaviour and wonder ‘did I do something to deserve it?’ I need to stop needing to understand everything, and get better at just accepting it.

David - I can’t recall which post you’re referring to but I have quite a few vegan friends, and I speculate that you feel upset by veganism as a concept. Don’t worry, you are safely in the majority in this regard, but if you did want to have a neutral conversation on that topic, we can certainly do that. Though, in my experience, they tend to go like this:

Me: please stop paying people to kill animals. They have feelings and don’t want to die. There are many other things you can eat instead.

Them: Stop forcing your views down my throat, it’s my personal choice.

Me: I’m not forcing my views, as this is only a comment. It’s not a personal choice if there are victims. Are you not forcing your taste preferences on the animals?

Them: What if you’re on a desert island/I have canines so it’s okay/lions do it, I am a lion/plants have feelings and I suddenly care about plants/circle of life, which can mean whatever I want it to mean/you just think you’re better than everyone/it’s my personal choice.

Me: What about the victims of that choice, though?

Them: effing vegans. I’m gonna eat an even bigger piece of meat for dinner now, nerrrrrr. How’d you like that, huh? Huh?

... So you see, I find it mostly a pointless exercise to engage in those discussions as most people are committed to misunderstanding no matter what, and would never go ‘hmmm, you’ve a point there, let me think on this more deeply.’ Hell no.

This is why I’ve ignored your previous comments about it David, and will continue to do so unless you make any point which I haven’t just addressed.

Reckoner - thank you for offering even more insight. From reading it I realised that the whole thing becomes a bit of a blur - and doesn’t fit the person I want to be, or the friendships I want to have. I want friends who don’t lead me to need to analyse their texts in detail or worry that the friendship could be over because of a simple dinner plan misunderstanding. I want relationships that are more solid and, I dunno - wholesome. Luckily I do have a few people like that in my life. I’ve got to accept that this really is her stuff, and it doesn’t make me arrogant or self-biased or pompous to, for once, NOT accept responsibility for their behaviour.

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Re: Being ghosted

Post by stephie2 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:46 am

It might be a good idea to meet up and air all the tension over a frank discussion. At least then you can both say how you feel and see where you want to go with the friendship.

It doesn't seem that you were really that much of friends anyway but if you did want to continue the friendship then I do think some basic courtesy should be agreed. That way you both know how each other feels.

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Re: Being ghosted

Post by David020549 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:46 pm

Tarantula, I have no interest in what diet anyone chooses to eat, its up to them, what I object to is being told what I should eat, the current Vegan campaign concentrates on "Meat is Murder" and other equally extreme catch lines that distort the reality of meat. Their tactics include intimidation and threats of violence, yet it is a doomed cause, at best all they are going to achieve is convincing a few impressionable individuals to join them, that does not justify terrorist tactics.
The point of my reply was that activists of any kind make very shallow friends, you may agree with them on that issue but as you found out soon sours.

Must go now my Pork Chop is cooked and ready.

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Re: Being ghosted

Post by Tarantula » Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:02 pm

Oh David. The irony that you claim distorted reality when the simple reality, and the one that you don’t want to address, is that your pork chop came from a sentient, feeling creature who wanted to live.. Also well done for not really deviating from my expectations one bit regarding what a typical conversation on this topic looks like lol. Like shooting fish in a barrel.... oh. Please don’t do that either. :o

‘Activists of any kind are shallow friends’ is just another baffling generalisation.

Reckoner, thanks again, I did try to open a dialogue with her by calling, but she ignored. I then messaged a week later, she responded once and then ignored my reply. The more I think on it, the more I can see that this has nothing to really do with the dinner plan. It was definitely something else and I think I know what that is.

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Re: Being ghosted

Post by reckoner » Tue May 01, 2018 9:54 am

David020549 wrote:"Meat is Murder" and other equally extreme catch lines that distort the reality of meat
I have often wondered how much meat people would eat if they had to confront the reality of killing the animal themselves first. David, it wouldn't surprise me if you personally didn't have qualms about doing what was necessary to have that pork chop (I mean that respectfully as I know you're very practical), but the number of times I've heard people say that they don't like handling meat while they're cooking it makes me think it is a viable question to the wider meat-eating community.
David020549 wrote:that does not justify terrorist tactics
Perhaps media campaigns have adopted this kind of strategy, but it certainly doesn't apply to the vegans I've known personally. And I suspect the term 'activist' is more easily applied externally by others than accepted internally by people who I think see it as nothing more than just trying to do the right thing while swimming against the tide, with the tide being very strong.
David020549 wrote:activists of any kind make very shallow friends
I'm into photography and can tell you that a fashion photographer and a reportage photographer usually have just a camera in common. Cameras with very different spec. So I think it's truer to say that shared interests are not, in themselves, sufficient to sustain a meaningful relationship.

I have come across lots of studies etc. showing that the benefits of a plant-based diet are both ecological and environmental and, with a good diet, healthy. I think food has become more of a pastime than a source of sustenance and even medicine, as I believe it can be. And factory farming is nothing short of a global disgrace. Humans are the only species with the potential to choose what they eat, which is why I think this topic is an important one, and one I hope we can all consider with an open mind. I think it's in the interests of the planet and public health for those of us in a position to make choices to take a much more considered approach to diet. Even if veganism or vegetarianism is not an option to an individual, the evidence seems very strong that less meat would be good for everyone.
Tarantula wrote:...I can see that this has nothing to really do with the dinner plan.

Absolutely. You've done the best anyone could have done. =D>

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Re: Being ghosted

Post by David020549 » Tue May 01, 2018 9:09 pm

No qualms whatsoever about about providing meat for the family, but I entirely understand why most women would not want to get involved, they would ask their men to do it ( you provide it I will cook it), if the need arose many men would be the same. Before any of you say I'm chauvinist expecting my wife to cook, I do cook rather well, as good as most restaurants and enjoy doing it

Tarantula, I did not realise you were a committed Vegan, that explains quite a lot, vegetarians in the UK number 3 or 4% of the population of those maybe 15% are vegans so way less than 1% of the population, but 80% of those are women, that is entirely logical because it is an emotional choice and women in general are more prone to emotional choices.
That imbalance is a handicap, you have a one in four chance of finding a vegan male partner, not many men are going to stay in a long term relationship with a vegan, there are enough stresses in relationships without adding more obstacles.

Why are so many of you so passionately supportive of animal rights and yet so neglectful of children, the RSPCA alone gets massively more support than NSPCC add to that RSPB and all the other charities, children get a tiny amount in comparison. I suppose there is more kudos in being compassionate about animals, sweep it under the carpet, let the local council deal with kids.

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Re: Being ghosted

Post by Tarantula » Sat May 05, 2018 8:52 am

David I just don’t know which part of that to correct first

My man is vegan, as I believe any rational person would be if they educated themselves about the impact of animal agriculture and contemplated the victim’s point of view for long enough

Germany’s strongest man is vegan, as are many other athletes

Me being vegan doesn’t ‘explain’ anything other than that I no longer eat animal products

The NSPCC receives c. £7 million in funding each year from the government, far more than any animal charity

I run my own business training professionals to help vulnerable children, this is very much my area. Yes, that’s right David, I’m a woman who isn’t financially dependent on their partner, try not to faint.

So you see it isn’t one or the other, you can work to make lives better for children AND have a diet free from animal cruelty.

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Re: Being ghosted

Post by snail » Sat May 05, 2018 11:51 am

We can create a thread about veganism in the Chit Chat section, to thrash out the rights and wrongs. We can move posts already made from this thread, so the discussion can continue there without anyone having to repeat any posts. Anyone who would like this, just let us know, either by posting here or by PM to me or any of the mods.

Otherwise I think we should probably get back to the original topic of how Tarantula feels about her friend and what has happened there.
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