I'm not a very good friend. Actually, I'm pretty sure I'm terrible at being friends with people.
I don't text much. I forget to reply via text and messenger until hours or days later. I don't often hang out with people and I feel awkward asking them to. I'm always working or at rehearsal or whatever. Sometimes, it's just too exhausting to try to interact with people.
But, I do still try to be there for people in whatever capacity I can. And I do at least try to let people know I will be there if they need someone to talk to.
Because I know that when I need someone to talk to, and there's no one there, it sucks.
I have a few close (closer?) friends. I'm not a social butterfly. I don't have a giant network of friends to fall back on and my family is also more or less useless in that regard, so being ghosted sucks. It's the worst feeling. I would much rather someone tell me "Hey, I don't want to hang out anymore" and go away rather than wondering for months what I might have done wrong or whether they will eventually respond.
Mainly, though, I get worried. Especially when there's a relationship involved. Twice now my friends have ghosted only to reenter my life because an abusive relationship was isolating them.
It's when someone has reentered my life, and I've tried to help them get over the bad relationship and move on, and they've apologized for being so absent, and they seem to get back on their feet and then move on and possibly meet another person -- and then ghost you again -- that's when I feel a little more justified in feeling hurt.
I guess I just wonder how many times someone can drop you before you stop picking them up again.
I should probably feel angry, but mostly I just feel worried. Does that make me a loser? I want to know they're OK. If they've moved to a new part of their life and don't want to be friends, fine, as long as they're happy and OK. Maybe I'm just a reminder of a shitty part in their life that they need to cut loose before they can move on. That would be fine. I would get that.
But looking back on this pattern of people's romances dominating their lives to the point where it becomes isolating and abusive, and then seeing another pretty close friend drop off the face of the planet, it makes me concerned.
I don't know where a friend's place is in all this. Am I wildly overestimating my friendship level? Maybe I've been thinking of myself as a Level 5 Friend, when I'm really a Level 2. What business do I have butting into someone's life and nosing around asking if they're OK? This is where I start to psych myself out.
The problem is, this kind of back and forth is really draining. I have my own issues, and I am torn between not wanting to be an emotional drain on my friends but also not wanting to be used by them as an emotional dumping ground. Because using me to offload all their problems and then vanishing when I happen to need a friend is not very friendly.
This doesn't mean I won't be there whenever a ghost friend wants to resume the conversation. But I think that next time I may make it clear that this sort of arrangement isn't very fair to me or healthy for either of us. I really want to put more effort into friendships, but it needs to be a mutual thing.