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I Was Ghosted By A Close Friend

And I'm not sure I'll ever get over it.

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ghosted by friend, aarp, girlfriend
Chiara Ghigliazza
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When we first moved to our neighborhood, I was the only stay-at-home parent on our street. Though I was excited about the prospect of being home full time with my kids, the days were often lonely. I had mom friends that I met at playgroups and Mommy and Me classes, but I didn’t have a circle of moms on my street that I could turn to when I needed a sanity check.

Slowly, our neighborhood started to turn over as more families moved to our street and surrounding homes. I got to know the women who moved in, and there was one in particular with whom I clicked right away. She was wickedly funny and shared my ridiculous love of reality television shows (don’t judge). Though she was just starting her family, we became fast friends.

During the five years she lived on our street, our families shared dinners on our back patios under the stars with our kids running amok, as well as date nights where we had to be home before our sitters turned into pumpkins. We traded texts daily and regularly took our babies for walks in the warm spring sun. We planned block parties, and we helped each other during the aftermath of a major hurricane in our area.

We weren’t best friends by any means, but we were close. We were “no need to knock, just come on in when you get here” friends. We were “I know you take your coffee with just cream and I left one by your door” friends.

l loved spending time with her.

Slowly, though, she started to pull away. I assumed it was because we were both in the trenches of raising kids and jump-starting our careers again. We talked and saw each other, but she was distant. Though I asked her several times if I’d hurt or angered her, she always deflected the questions. She never gave me a straight answer, but there was an underlying tension I never could put my finger on.

Without warning, a “for sale” sign went up in their yard.

Thinking she was distant because she didn’t know how to tell me they were moving, I reached out to ask about their move and new job. She gave me perfunctory details, and over the next few months as they prepared to leave I saw very little of her.

Moving day came, and my kids and I went to say goodbye. After an awkward meeting and a quick hug, she was gone.

And that was the last I heard from her. She dropped me from her social media channels, and though I’ve tried to reach out over the years, I haven’t received so much as a Christmas card or a reply to an email.

Seven years later, I still wonder why she abruptly ended our friendship.

Being ghosted by a friend is a bewildering and painful experience, and it’s a situation that you never really get over.

I spent the months and years after she shut me out of her life wondering what it was that I had done to hurt her feelings so deeply. I think back to the nights where I watched her babies as she quickly ran to the grocery store and the day I was standing in her kitchen when I found out my father had passed away. I smile wistfully when I look at the “Good Coffee, Good Friends” magnet she gave me that still hangs on my fridge.

There are so many memories attached to our friendship, and it still hurts all these years later that she didn’t care enough to at least tell me why she was ending things.

It feels like a breakup — a heartache that doesn’t ever go away. When I drive by her house I can sometimes still see my kids riding their bikes with training wheels in her driveway, and my heart feels heavy. She moved away, and the memories likely have faded for her. But her old house stands as a stark reminder that I unintentionally hurt a friend in a way I can never undo.

I wasn’t given the chance to make things right with her, and that hurt hasn’t dissipated.

Since becoming a mother, my friendships have been my lifeline — and I have cherished the women who have walked the path of motherhood next to me. Being ghosted has made me try to be a better friend to those around me and, when conflict arises with a friend, I’ve worked hard to therapeutically work things out.

Because I know ghosting a friend is never the right answer.