The last few years have been pretty stressful for me. My separation and subsequent divorce generated emotional responses in me that, in retrospect, I should have questioned. My life was so lonely that I put up with a lot of shit from people.
I established and maintained friendships that were pretty much one way because something is better than nothing. The biggest issue here is when, as the old saying goes, you make people a priority who only regard you as an option or, in most cases, a last resort.
One of the manifestations of this breakdown in reciprocity is an astounding level of ignorance in communication. This runs the gamut from people not replying to texts to actually physically standing me up. In just one week, I was let down/stood up *with no explanation* four times by four separate people.
When something like that happens, you have to re-evaluate your approach to friendships. To be treated in such a cavalier manner by so many people in such a short span of time indicates that something is not right.
Here are some choice examples of people being ignorant:
No reply after that. Not a word in around two months now.
Are you going to text me that you can or can’t make it? No, why bother, eh? Over a month later, no reply.
This is probably my fave in that WhatsApp lets you see for sure that they’ve read the message. So, they read the message and just didn’t reply. Nothing since then, four months.
Bear in mind that I put these ones up because the senders’ identities are protected. I have more, sadly.
If any of these people had messaged and cancelled, for whatever reason, I’d be cool with that. Just let me know so I can go and make use of my time. It’s the sheer ignorance that galls me!
The major reason I put these up is to show that I didn’t chase after these people. In 2012, I would have, forgiving them time after time when they ignored me.
I won’t do that any more. I refuse to let myself be treated badly and I’m done with chasing people who patently don’t give a fuck about me.
It’s a process. I can do better. The trouble is, divorce is utterly devastating to self-esteem, possibly the biggest rejection a human can ever face. So, I have wobbly days where, foolishly, I miss people who don’t miss me. I’m lonely and start thinking things like, ‘Ooh, maybe I should text them? Maybe they just didn’t get five texts in a row! IT COULD HAPPEN!’
Then I take a breath and realise that I deserve better. I put the phone down and go and do something useful with my time, with people who are my actual friends.