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Featured Is my friend avoiding me?

Discussion in 'Friends, Family & Social Skills' started by Owliet, Dec 28, 2020.

  1. Owliet

    Owliet Active Member

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    Hello I’m new, and I’m having a bit of a crisis. I feel very confused and quite upset as I don’t know what to do. I know that this year has not been great for everyone, and I do understand that maybe my friend (disabled but NT)whom I have known since first year university may also be feeling overwhelmed by what the year has brought into her life but... I feel like she’s been avoiding me.


    We haven’t had a proper conversation...as in she’s constantly active on the computer for most of the day due to her being house bound,,,and more so now because of the More stringent lockdown in her country. Nothing really has changed that much for her as she doesn’t work and only socializes online even before Covid.

    I understand that maybe she has things to deal with herself. But...when she’s been online she’s not responding to my messages, and when she does it’s been pretty sparse. It started to decrease in activity from July, and then sporadically until the last message I received from her was in early November (2nd).

    Like everyone else, I’ve had a bad year ...Covid lost me out on job opportunities, I don’t deal with job rejection well, my cat died a week before Christmas....and my anxiety and depression has been quite bad this year. I have had more downs than ups emotionally-wise and have had suicidal thoughts harmed myself as a result. It is probably my fault that she seems to be avoiding me (or that’s how I feel), as I do share these things with her. But isn’t that what people do with friends? And maybe it got too much. But it still is very hurtful and I don’t really know what to do about it, I don’t have any other friends. And maybe I’m relying on her too much...but I have tried to message her wishing her a happy holidays and new year etc. but even that’s been ignored. And my past experiences with people aren’t exactly positive so I tend to think the worst. I don’t want to break my friendship with her but I feel like it has been already and that makes me feel so hurt and sad that instead of telling me outright she’s avoiding me. Of course, that may not be the case and it could be she’s dealing with stuff herself but I really don’t know what to do. I attempted to write a “I’m sorry that your no longer friends, I’m going to have to delete all contact to save my own mental health and protect myself “ message but then deleted it. I’m tired of being hurt by people. And it’s obvious that I’m not worthy of friendships.

    Thank you for reading.
     
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  2. Wolfsage

    Wolfsage In training to be Wolf King.

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    Well, maybe you should take a breather.
    Work toward getting yourself to a happy, peaceful place. Through music or art or a good movie.
    Or more fun pictures like your owl.:p
     
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  3. paloftoon

    paloftoon Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Not everyone handles having other friends use them as counselors well even though we all want to be able to bond over strong friendships whether in the negative or positive. Strong friendships should be about listening and confiding and sharing moments good and bad, right? Sometimes, some people are selfish or "selfish" and only want positivity or things that they want at their convenience. If you don't get along with their friends, if you aren't a certain way, even if you are otherwise a great friend to so and so, nothing can be enough for some people some time. Try to look for support groups- many are meeting remotely. Seek out building new friendships.

    You might be able to apply for essential jobs. You're less likely to be turned down, since you don't deal with rejection well.
     
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  4. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    yeah, I'd say it's over. You may be too much of a burden for her, particularly if your airing too many problems, like oversharing. Try and keep things a bit light with friends in the future. It's good to have had the practice at friendship. I'm sure it will help with future ones.
     
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  5. Owliet

    Owliet Active Member

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    I think that you’re correct. I’m really not in the best possible place, I’ve been struggling a lot and I thought being on anti depressants would help me be more stable but I think I also expected them to be a quick fix and would magically make me happy. I relied on my friend a great deal and maybe that was perceived as selfish by overburdening but I had thought that the other times were they were just talks about more positive things made up for it? I guess not. To be honest I think I’m just done with people. It’s not easy making friends, obviously, but when I have done in the past the friends that I make fizzle out because maybe they think that I’m just not good enough. Right now I really feel like I’m unworthy of friendships. But maybe that’s the depression?


    I genuinely thought that I had a strong friendship with her. With her physical disabilities and with my being ASD we met and bonded at university through our mentors. Maybe that was forced? It’s happened to me before when a friend doesn’t really want to be friends with me but thinks they have to be...

    I really don’t know anymore.

    No. I don’t deal with rejection well. I take it personally even when I know that it isn’t....regarding job rejection. I know that at interview stages this year that I screwed up and got too anxious...so that was understandable even if the rejection hurt. I do understand.
     
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  6. Owliet

    Owliet Active Member

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    Yeah, it does feel like it is. Doesn’t stop it from being confusing or hurtful but it is what it is...should be used to it by now anyway. I’d like to say that I didn’t mean to burden her, I felt like I could say anything to her and she would also share things but maybe it went too much. I’m not even sure if I should message her again but that may be perceived as more adding.
    I don’t get people. They tell you that they’re there for you and it’s okay to share things but when I do...

    @Wolfsage is correct. I’ll take a breather and focus on getting a more positive mindset.
     
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  7. paloftoon

    paloftoon Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    How long was your last friendship? Did you guys hang out pre-pandemic? Did you guys try to do remote or socially distanced activities or even trusted each other during pandemic?

    You may not have been wrong about how strong your friendship was, but maybe it changed over time and not for the better. If you're afraid you're going to ruin a friendship, ask a person how they feel about being a position of a counselor and if there is a frequency that would bug them. Part of this also is, if a friend is going through issues, would you be willing to be their counselor? Could you reasonably console them and be potentially helpful ? These are factors you can think about as well.

    Sometimes, we receive rejection through nobody's fault.
    Unfortunately, part of life is being able to accept rejection and trying to look for new things sometimes. Stick with looking for hobbies, maybe a pet, and just keep things on an acquaintance level until you feel ready to "take a leap" again.
     
  8. Owliet

    Owliet Active Member

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    We have...had...been friends for a few years. At university We used to hang out, and online we used to talk quite often. Often enough that now it’s not...it’s obvious. She knows that I have ASD. I thought she accepted it but who knows now. I have played counselor for her too, but maybe it was not good enough. But I have never said anything mean, condescending or anything directly like that to her when she’s had issues.
    Thank you for taking your time to respond to me. I appreciate it.
     
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  9. OkRad

    OkRad μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος οὐλομένην V.I.P Member

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    It is complicated. Happens to me, too. Often the people on whom you unload ask for it. Once they have had their fill and their curiosity is sated, they back off.

    Recently the same happened to me. They keep up with the, "NO! You are not a burden! No, you're not bothering me...."

    But then they never reply to emails, never return calls, never connect with you in any way other than when they want to feel they have some kind of empathy quota to fulfill.

    AND since I am in pain a lot, overshare, seek out comfort and seek connections AND since it's been a long time and society is set up to create people in need and people with more than enough, well, it's set. I just have to accept the pattern and not beat myself up over it. If they connect back to me one day, great.

    In the end, we did nothing wrong. They did nothing wrong. It's just the way the wheel of Fate turns. Soften what you can.
     
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  10. Owliet

    Owliet Active Member

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    yes exactly the “you’re not bothering me, you’re not a burden thing” please tell me more. It’ll help...yet...here I am wondering.

    id get it if I had other friends or if I didn’t care much about friendships (then again if I did I wouldn’t be posting this or feeling upset about it). My mom said to just accept it that she wasn’t a good friend for me and there will be others, and my dad said that she may be dealing with things in her life and may not be online as much or if she isn’t friends with me anymore I may never know because we don’t always get to know...

    bit of mixed bag there.
     
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  11. SDRSpark

    SDRSpark Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Been there done that. I wish people would be honest ("hey, I care about you, but I am going through my own stuff right now and can't support you with this. Can we talk about something else?") - I really think that NTs would be horrified if someone said this to them, so they do everything they can to avoid it, so they wind up ghosting us instead, which completely destroys us mentally and emotionally and leaves us wondering what the hell went wrong. I wish they wouldn't do that. But it seems to be the way of the world.

    "I'm here for you/you're not a burden" seems to be a socially required platitude, too. They make the offer to support you but then they don't expect you to take them up on it.
     
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  12. Owliet

    Owliet Active Member

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    Despite coming to conclusions, I do feel very confused and overwhelming hurt by it. It’s not the first time with other people but I thought that she had understood, considering I have told her about the other “friends “ doing similar or more hurtful things like pretending to be a friend Because they felt sorry for me. Now I’m left with wondering what and why....but I’m also facing this with trepidation and reluctance to even try again. After all if it keeps happening, maybe it’s me....and maybe I deserve this.

    I do have to focus on trying to be more positive, so maybe avoiding people outside family may be good overall for my mental health and anxiety when dealing with social situations... and I can maybe pick myself up to maybe try again...but I’m not going to unburden ever again. I don’t think people are sincere about it.
    I feel very confused, hurt but also disappointed. Is this how it’s always going to go?
     
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  13. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps the OP should consider a few more basic possibilities for their friend to be more withdrawn at this time.

    The pandemic and all the negativity it breeds with so many people being unnaturally housebound, compounded by how not all of us view the Christmas season with joy and goodwill towards everyone.

    It just might be that for their friend, none of this is indicative of any one person per se. That the combination of situations for one housebound on the computer is just proving overwhelming. Where they may have reached their limit of listening to the problems of much of anyone, let alone friends or relatives.

    That maybe the OP should just back off and give this person time to rebound under such difficult circumstances, rather than to ruminate over whether or not you are being ghosted. It's just the wrong time to be depending on much of anyone at a time where for better or worse, so many of us are left to our own devices. Which may or may not be sufficient for us to emotionally and physically get by.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2020
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  14. NB79

    NB79 Member

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    'Welcome to the club' just kidding a bit, but it has happened to me, that people after hanging out with them for a while would start ignoring me even in person. Sometimes i felt like i was cursed or something, not so great feeling...

    I say if she cares about you she would respond your messages. Unless you are messaging her too much or something.
     
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  15. Owliet

    Owliet Active Member

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    i considered this. It could be anything.... She’s home bound due to her disability even before Covid hit and a lockdown due to Covid doesn’t mean much since most of her socialization is via the Internet. She has been online before but hadn’t responded to anything I had sent her. Of course, she could still be affected by it but It is still hurtful that since July there’s been barely any response like we used to have. And when she has responded, it’s been sparse. Like literally, I’ve spoken to her about something we both liked...and I got ah “oh yes I saw that”. That was it...no further discussion no follow up to anything else said. Unlike times when she usually would. And not all the messages of mine have been heavy negative emotionally. But maybe I’m just a burden. But you’re right, I overburdened and I’ll just “back off”.
     
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  16. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    If it were under any other circumstances I think you could speculate along the lines of your concerns. But wow, right now things are bad for so many people, having to deal with them alone under circumstances that while aren't all that alien to we on the spectrum, they can be catastrophic to those who aren't.

    Solitude whether forced on us or not is more often a friend than a foe. But for the average NT, this can be downright toxic. No telling how it may negatively impact their behavior towards others. Something I sense every time I talk on the phone with my NT cousin.

    So much so that I elected to physically spend Christmas day with her, despite the inherent risk to both of us. Guess we'll both find out in another two weeks if this kills one or both of us.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2020
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  17. Owliet

    Owliet Active Member

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    Every time I think I have made a friend, it becomes clear to me how wrong I was...that I got the wrong message or that they get bored of me. I don’t overburden with people unless they tell me that it’s okay, and maybe it was too much in the end. To be honest, I don’t think it helps how I currently feel. Depression seems to make it 10x worse and I go into some negative spiral thoughts and anxiety kicks in to just make it worse, which may be evident already but I also know that friendships in the past have never been long or as long term as my friendship with her has been. The fact that I may have overbuilding her , makes me feel guilty but also sad that I just can’t have that level of deep friendships like other people seem to have. I thought talking about other things or sharing pictures would also elicit a response but even that I got nothing.
     
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  18. NB79

    NB79 Member

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    I can relate...
    It can happen people just thinks there is something wrong with you even when your intentions were good and you didn't do anything hurtful etc. i don't know.
     
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  19. Owliet

    Owliet Active Member

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    it could be this...but then she hasn’t really left the house in 3 years. It’s possible that I’m over analyzing and getting worked up over this when it could be that like you stated...but I just don’t think that it’s wise to try to see if she’s online and then get disappointed and confused and hurt that once again that’s not the case. Perhaps I’m too jaded with people after experiencing similar or worse things with socializing with people but if there’s any further contact it’s on her. Not me. I just can’t keep doing that. It’s just demoralizing.
     
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  20. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    I'd try to approach it all in this way. That sometimes we have to give NTs the same amount of space that we might require after a meltdown or shutdown. I think it's reasonable to assume that at times some of them may well have similar ways of reacting or dealing with various forms of stress. Agreed, it is on her. So give it time, and see what happens.

    Hopefully at some point your friend will reach out to you again.
     
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