A follow up

I never followed up on it, because it seemed like I should wait a while to put it out there, but I ended up distancing myself from that friendship I wrote about not long ago. Actually, my blog ended up doing the hard work for me.

Oh yeah, this is one of those posts.

One of those posts where I write about how my blog imploded a small part of my life, and I wondered yet again why I keep writing.

It turns out my friend, the one from the post, had been reading my blog. So she read that whole post about how our friendship was making me feel. You can guess how that went down.

But you’re probably asking yourself, Why did she know about your blog in the first place!? That’s a good question.

I actually told my friends about my blog. The first one, the one I started a long time ago, when I was really struggling with my failures to get pregnant, and then my ectopic pregnancy. I was desperate for those close to me to understand what I was going through, and to offer support. I was naive enough then to think if my friends read my blog they would get what I was going through and know how to help me.

That wasn’t exactly what happened. (Looking back on it, I can’t believe I hoped it would happen that way. What a fool I was. I have a lot of regret about sharing my blog with them.)

I won’t write out what actually happened because the truth is, I can’t really remember anymore, at least not accurately. I only remember flashes, small bright points of pain that I incorporated into my understanding of myself and other people. A constellation of hurt that shaped the way I have walked through the world for the rest of my life.

In the end I asked my friends to not read my blog anymore. One friend had already stopped, because she recognized that it was affecting our relationship negatively and she wanted to salvage what was left. I am forever grateful to that friend for honestly sharing her concerns, and then distancing herself from a part of me she didn’t have to engage with.

{I was able, after the hurt had faded, to take my friend’s concerns to heart, and her advice has actually shaped how I present myself here to this day. I ended up telling her that after this recent blog drama. I hope she appreciates that sometimes words reach a person, it just takes a while. I know I learned that myself at that time.}

My other friend hadn’t actually been reading my blog much, so I didn’t really worry that she would keep doing it. (Ha! Was I wrong!) And I was pretty sure my third friend never read it, and never has since then – the last thing she wants to be a part of is someone else’s drama. I didn’t really think about them reading it much after that.

Eventually I kind of forgot they had ever read it at all.

{But when I changed spaces and moved here, I did take down the forwarding address rather quickly, partly because I didn’t want any occasional visitors clicking here after a lengthy stay away. Was that because of them? At the time I didn’t think so, but now I wonder.}

Anyway, my friend must have been a frequent visitor, or she just happened to be at my old blog at the right time, because she made her way to this one. And I guess she kept reading. And I guess she didn’t stop.

{This is actually the thing I most want to ask her, if she was reading my blog all these years. I just can’t fathom her doing that and never telling me. And when our mutual friend tried to tell me that it was only her I’d asked to stop reading my blog, and wouldn’t believe me when I assured her I had asked them ALL not to read it, that was my defense: would a real friend who felt it was okay to read my blog NEVER mention it, or one thing I had written on it, for YEARS?! I don’t believe she would. I am certain she knew she wasn’t supposed to read it, and kept doing so anyway.}

And all that time, while she was reading my blog, and privy to my inner-most thoughts and feelings, she distanced herself from me, sharing less and less, and eventually not sharing anything at all.

The level of betrayal is staggering.

When I found out (through our mutual friend of course – she briefly got caught in the middle), I was furious. And hurt. So, so deeply hurt. Knowing she had been reading my blog, that she had been granting herself access to my life while denying me access to her own, while specifically withholding important information from me, but sharing it with our two mutual friends, hurt me in ways few things have hurt me. I was gutted.

It took me days to sit down and write her an email about it.

Her response was short and to the point. A classic sorry, not sorry about the whole not telling me things that she told our friends. She regretted that I no longer felt comfortable in the group, knowing I was not welcome in the closer, more intimate subgroup, but she said she understood. She also said that she hoped we could salvage something of our friendship in the future.

She never once mentioned reading my blog. She refused to even acknowledge to me that she’d done it.

I agonized over my response for days. In the end I went with the most non-committal reply: sure, maybe some day we can salvage something. I guess it was my feeble attempt to not burn bridges, except it felt like someone else had already taken a torch to any bridge that might have still existed between us.

And then it was over. My friends still have each other, and probably rarely realize that I’m no longer there. They already had their own thing without me, so I imagine it’s not that hard to keep having it.

I, on the other hand, lost that group. I still talk with my other friends–I try much harder now to stay in contact, mostly to make sure they realize how much I appreciate that they haven’t deserted me–and I’m super careful to NEVER bring up the woman I’m no longer speaking too, but it’s hard. We were a group, the four of us together. Always. It’s awkward pretending she never existed, that her absence isn’t a gaping hole in what’s left of my relationships with my other friends.

So yeah, that happened. And it’s made me re-examine a lot about my life, especially why I write here. My friend, the one who stopped reading my blog of her own accord, mentioned again that she doesn’t understand why people (specifically I) blog. And I recognize her confusion. Why put myself out there in ways that can come back and bite me in the ass? It’s a fair question, one I’ve been asking myself more since all this happened.

I’m still not really sure how I feel about the whole thing. I haven’t yet gotten to the point where I’ve gleaned the moral of the story. Perhaps there is no moral. Perhaps the whole thing is just a bump on the road of my life and my writing. Just another thing that happened to me, in conjunction with this space.

One good thing did come out of the whole ordeal: When I started this space I made the promise to myself that I would never write a post that I didn’t want someone in my real life to read. Or rather, I would never write a post that I would regret having written if someone I didn’t expect to read it laid eyes on it one day. When I do write about topics that involve other people, I try hard to make it about myself and not about them. I still stand by that post, and I don’t regret putting those thoughts and feelings out there. Writing that helped me understand how the situation made me feel, and the comments you all left clarified the direction I intended to take (and I would have, if my friend hadn’t read the post and veered my path sharply). In the end I don’t regret anything I wrote here, or how I present myself in this space, despite the consequences. And that is a significant thing. At least I have that.

7 Comments

  1. I’ve been in a similar situation of having a friendship die due to me writing out my feelings and frustrations. I’ve also been on the end of reading some things written about me that made me incredibly angry. If it helps, I don’t think you ended this friendship. I think your former friend did, using your blog as an excuse to.

    And I think that’s the thing to take away: why be around someone who is intent on attacking you? It’s one thing to read and communicate concerns or feelings, but it’s entirely different to be silent and use information against people.

    To be honest, I think your former friend really has some issues she’s not being honest about. The sub-group is a clear indication of this. And it would be one thing if she was reaching out, but instead she’s been actively excluding you AND violating a request for privacy. Shame on her for that. I know it hurts, but I think you can safely say it’s not about you.

  2. I’m so sorry about all this. Nothing hurts more than being left out. And it does seem to me that your friend treated you very unfairly.
    I’m super sensitive to rejection because of some childhood/adolescence stuff, and I’ve had a lot of issues with friendships because of that, but it’s been more about me fading out because I fear that somebody/everybody hates me and want to avoid being rejected directly. But this has been mostly in my head; most people I know seem to have an intuitive sense of justice saying that leaving a member of a group outside is just not cool, no matter what.

  3. I 100% agree with Cristy’s comment above. Your post didn’t end the friendship – your friend’s actions (or lack thereof) did.

    And yep, in my first year of blogging, I also wrote a post that totally imploded a friendship (and I had NOT shared my blog with her – she had stalked my online presence and found it somehow, eek!). It changed how I write for the better though, which I suppose was a good learning lesson for me.

  4. Another one who agrees 100% with Cristy. Your friend clearly has her own set of issues, and the fact that she was excluding you from the group says something. I agree with your rule about writing that you’d be fine with anyone finding and seeing, and agree that your post fit those rules completely. But I also know it still hurts. Sorry you are going through this.

  5. Sounds very painful. I’m sorry. It’s hard to feel like the person who was let go in a friendship, even when that friendship is not working for you.

    However, a couple things to consider, as you reflect on all of this, I don’t agree with your rules regarding friendship and reading your blog. Your language suggests a deep violation of intimacy, as though she entered your home and read your diary when your back was turned. She did not do this; you posted something about your friendship with her publicly. You put your thoughts and feelings into the world. These words are no longer just yours, and you cannot control their dissemination (or rather, you chose not control its dissemination) or anyone’s reaction to it. Your posts are usually much more self reflective than this, so I am surprised. You publicly wrote about your friendship with her, presumably without her knowledge or permission. It’s difficult for me to see her reading your blog in the light you are painting it.

    Maybe your definition and understanding of friendship and group situations is different than hers. Friendships are also fluid and sometimes I feel more comfortable talking to one person about a topic than another. I don’t think I owe telling anyone a confidence because I have shared it with a mutual friend. It’s not something I would apologize for. In fact, I’d be ticked off if someone expected me to actually say sorry about that (“A classic sorry, not sorry about the whole not telling me things that she told our friends.”).

    Just some thoughts, which I hope don’t add to the pain. On balance, I’m not sure how helpful it is to paint her actions as you have – can’t it be that you grew too far apart, but neither of you grew apart from the mutual friends?

  6. I may be in the minority, but I am not one who maintains ties with friends from whom I have really grown apart for the sake of nostalgia. I do maintain a few “old” friendships with people whom I would never befriend now (for various reasons), but those people are not a part of my core group of friends who actually know the day-to-day of my life and in whom I would confide.

    That said, I know from firsthand experience that losing a friendship can hurt as much as the breakup of a romantic relationship, and I’m sorry you went through that. . . while simultaneously thinking that you are likely better off without this friend.

  7. This is a tricky situation. I think if I knew a friend wrote a blog and then asked me not to read it, I’d probably be really tempted to read it. But then if I did, it would feel awkward knowing something about a friend and have her not know that I know. So I would probably stop at some point. But I can see myself doing back and reading it. Honestly, I don’t think telling someone about a blog and asking them not to read it is really a fair request. Or maybe I’m just really curious/nosy so it would be a really difficult ask for me and others would be fine with it. I’d like to think that if I were in her situation I’d be honest about the fact that I was still reading. I also don’t think I’d be judgmental and weird based on what I’ve read but who k owe. Do you think she pulled away because she was reading your blog? Or was she pulling away and then was angry that you wrote about it on the blog? By the way, I reread the post you linked to and I didn’t think it was offensive at all. I’m surprised she reacted so negatively to it.

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