I recently wrote about two people who had resurfaced after ghosting me.
One was my 12 step sponsor. I have to give him credit; he has been responsive and supportive since his unghosting. He has backed up his words. I won’t ever count on him again or trust him again to the same extent but it’s always refreshing to see a human being not be terrible.
The other was a friend I’ve known for 39 years. He was very glad when I told him not to worry about the ghosting. Again, like my sponsor, I’ll never trust him to the same extent and I’ll never make plans with him again without a backup. But he was very enthusiastic about our reconnection. He really wanted to catch up “this week” (last week) so I gave him my work schedule and told him I was happy to talk to him after work hours. He has my number.
Guess what? No call.
I think I gave it a 20% chance that he would call so I wasn’t surprised at all when he did not. Again, if he resurfaces or calls, I’ll talk to him. If he wants to meet up and I can afford it and have the free time, I’ll set the plans (but have a backup). I’m not holding my breath. For me, I’ve filed him into a different part of my brain now. I call it the neutral zone (because I’m a Star Trek geek). Once a person resides there, they can’t hurt me anymore because I don’t expect them to follow through anymore.
Another friend of mine unghosted me just a few days ago. He lives in a place that has had terrible floods recently so I reached out via text to make sure he was ok. He said he was. But he gave me the “polite response”. This is when someone responds to a question you send via text (or email or whatever) and they do not offer up a question of their own. I usually got the polite response in a dating context. But it’s the same deal. The sad thing is that I would always respond to the polite response with another question in the vain hope of actually starting a two way conversation. I really believed in 2nd chances. But they would never offer a 2nd polite response. Their manners or guilt or whatever only extended so far.
I keep writing about ghosting and friendship and forgiveness because I’m still not committed to doing the best thing. I know the best thing is to let it go. And it’s not like I’m ghosting them back or confronting them or even not forgiving them. But I’m a sensitive asshole. Once someone I care about hurts me, I just don’t see them the same way anymore. I think what I’m gravitating towards is a “soft” letting it go. Let them back in but do not turn my emotional back on them anymore.
But what kind of friendship is that? When you don’t trust someone and always plan a backup plan when you’re supposed to meet them, is that still friendship? Or is that an alliance? Obviously I wouldn’t tell them that I don’t trust them the same way anymore. But it doesn’t feel like friendship anymore. The last thing I want to feel about a friend is ambiguity and trepidation.
I know the best thing to do would be to totally forgive them and start anew. But I don’t think I can. At least not yet. And maybe never.
I’ll keep you posted. I’ve still got a whole lotta overthinking to do.
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