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After my inaugural foray into myspace turned out to be not emotionally damaging (to me, at least), I decided to give this creepy find people from 20 years ago on the internet thing another shot. This time, I had a specific person in mind. I decided to look for one of my oldest friends. We were pretty inseparable as kids, but by the time high school ended our friendship was totally fractured. The reasons we fell apart are too many and too huge and too petty and too small to go into. We had been close friends for 12 years and we were barely speaking.

Things got better once we went to college. We traded some letters, saw each other once or twice, seemed to be getting along ok, and seemed to be letting bygones go. And then, I don't know. The last time I saw her, she would barely speak to me, and I was shocked. I had been looking forward to seeing her. I knew we weren't really close anymore, but I thought we were at least ok. I thought we would sit around and reminisce and laugh a bit. I had no idea that she hated me.

I was hurt. Badly. I had been upset in high school when we stopped getting along, but at least then I knew why. I understood what had happened. I knew where the blame lay with me and where it did not. This time, I had no idea. I didn't know if I had done something, not done something. It was hard to get over it.

I called her a couple of years later, and she was very cold. Clearly, she was not happy to hear from me. It was hard to get over.

I called her again a couple of years after that. Clearly, she was not happy to hear from me. It was hard to get over.

That last phone call was eight years ago. After that, I told myself I was done. I put it behind me. I regretted losing what had been a very close friend of my entire childhood, but I accepted it. At least I thought I did, or told myself I did.

A few days ago, I found her and sent her an email. It was hard to know what to say. My email was very short, very non-descript. We've missed so many years of each other's joys and tragedies that there was really no common ground from which to start. Fundamentally, there wasn't anything I really wanted to say, just hi. I agonized over writing it for a couple of days. In the end, I went with hi, I hope you are well.

I haven't heard back. I don't know whether I will be more surprised if she does answer or more surprised if she does not. I don't even know if I am hoping for a response or not. I don't think we will ever be friends again. (Even now, after so many years, it wrenches my stomach to say that.) I don't think we will ever be friends again. I don't think we will even be casual correspondents again. But I had to give it one more try.

One more try to say hi, you were very important to me. Hi, I still think about you sometimes. Hi, I still miss you sometimes. Hi, I think I will always regret what happened to us. Hi, thank you for those years of friendship. Hi, I loved you once. Hi, I still care what happens to you.

Hi. I hope you are well.

Comments (45)

I have so many old friends like that. Even in the short five years since high school, there's a few people I really regret losing touch with. And as an RCMP brat, I've moved around a lot. The worst, I think, was hearing that my best friend from Gr. 4-7 died suddenly from a blood clot. I hate that I never got to say goodbye. I hate that I didn't talk to her the last time I saw her on msn. I hate that her name had some sort of countdown on it, and now I'll never know what she was counting down to, only that she never made it.
/depressing

I had one important friend like that, with an important rift like that. I agonized for years, and finally sent an email, expecting to be smacked down--but I guess enough time had finally gone by that we could play nicely again. We're still not close, though: we send newsy emails, we send Christmas cards and family photos, but we're not Friends. It's not Cold anymore, though, and that's good. I hope your old friend writes back.

I have a friend like that. We helped each other through some really hard times in high school. After we graduated, she started resenting me for something that I was never able to discover. What makes it all the more uncomfortable is that we're both still friends with the same person, so we see each other every few years. She's fuming with resentment, and I am left wondering what the hell I did.

I liked this post. Time does NOT heal all wounds. Sometimes time makes the wounds turn into to scars. And sometimes those scars are not a reminder of the cause of the wound but the actual wound itself.

It's funny that so far out of the first 4 comments, the 3 that are from women all mention that this has happened to them, too. (Well, I assume that Heather, Kristen, and Jen are all women. These days people name their children in interesting ways... ) :-)

And yes, it has happened to me, too. My friend from middle school through age 25 (12 years) stopped talking to me after I WAS A BRIDESMAID IN HER WEDDING last summer. Yeah. I don't know why the hell she's acting this way and it's so frustrating not to know what I've done! You can read about it ** here ** if you'd like to.

I hope that if your friend does not respond to your message that you can finally let her go. There are too many wonderful people out there whom you can have a positive relationship with rather than one that makes you feel bad...

I can't imagine anyone hating you. I've had a similar experience to this. It's puzzling. Some people seem determined to hang onto their anger. I wish I knew why.

i think we've all had this happen. and it's baffling. I'm struggling with this right now, waffling between contacting two people who used to mean the world to me and for whatever reason have drifted away...

perhaps it's worth just saying those things, even if they never respond.

A person once said to me, "It's not important to some people to make up and have closure."
I never could understand this because I feel that life is too short to hold grudges.
My ex-husbands wife feels like that for my daughter. It is a sad situation. She goes to see her father and 1/2 brother and sister and this woman doesn't even speak to her.
I've decided that When I can repair and renew, I will, but sometimes the best thing to do is to enjoy the good memories and let the rest go.

I have a friend like that, too. I think so many of us do. I think about my friend a lot; I wonder how she is and what she's doing with her life. I think about what happened between us and it makes my head hurt, and I know if I tried to get in touch with her I would be met with a very cold reception. And that hurts a bit.

This has also happened to me, and upon your post, I decieded to look her up on myspace...I am glad I did because it helped me to let her go now that I know how much she has changed (her profile has more profanity than a bathroom wall), I think I will be able to move on now. I also want to thank you for my new MySpace addiction, I had no interest before I knew you could look up people from high school. That combined with my stalker tendancies is a recipe for disaster. Have a great day, Beth!

In my life there is a "before" and "after", as if some imaginary line cuts across my lifeline and everyone I knew before that time is just gone (except perhaps for some family members)

It's really strange, and horribly sad, so I try not to think about it. It's great to see so many comments about "I had a friend that got away, too" to see that maybe I'm not quite so abnormal. I wouldn't know where to begin looking for old childhood friends.

In contrast to some (perhaps many) others, we did NOT move around when I was a kid. In fact, my parents still live in the house they bought when I was two years old. They still buy groceries at the "new" store that went in when I was in sixth grade. I'm now in my forties.

But old friends from the neighborhood? I've lost track of all of them, and they of me. This wasn't necessarily due to a falling out, just a drifting apart. Which makes it a little easier to take, but still sad.

Sorry about your friend, Beth. Perhaps she'll be ready to talk, soon, and she's saving your emails for that time. Perhaps not. At least you tried.

I agree. At least you tried. And sometimes that is all you can do. Hope you find your peace with the situation, however it works out to be. Hugs.

Yipes - this post struck deep for me.

I really hope you find a peaceful conclusion to the situation.

I had the same "best" friend from infancy 'till I was 15. After YEARS of being devoted to her, our relationship became severely strained. She chose to make me to out to be a huge reject, so she could climb the nasty highschool social ladder. She flaunted every boyfriend and every friendship with the "popular" crowd, making every effort to publicly point out that she had outgrown me. I didn't lash back because I (stupidly?) remained convinced that she'd find her own confidence and outgrow this, then we'd be close friends again.

When I was in college, I still horribly missed (the old) her and decided to suck up my pride and go visit her, taking my boyfriend with me for support - to prove to her I could land Mr.TallDark&Handsome.

I guess I kind of snapped when she started making fun of me as a means of flirting with my boyfriend. SO. I stayed friendly, offered her drink after drink and was relieved when she finally napped on her couch. I should have just declared her a bitch and left, but instead? My boyfriend and I locked ourselves in her bedroom for nookie on her floor. We were dressed and ready to flee as she knocked and slurred "what are you doing?" "Just makin' out on the floor, didn't want to wake you, have a good evening, time for us to go".

She was civil but obviously _not_ happy to see me the when I tried to smooth things over a few weeks later. After sporadic cards and letters went unanswered for over a year, I declared the friendship dead. Now, I just tell myself that my childhood best friend stopped existing, although I heard that she got married to a fireman after becoming pregnant with his son.

(Please excuse the length of this comment)

I hope it goes well for you, Beth. I find that (for me at least) most of the things that were So Huge at 24 are just water under the bridge 8 years later, and have been using MySpace myself this last month, just to get in touch, get some closure, see how people are doing. I hope for you that your (ex)friend has grown over those years as well.

I still haven't found *my* vanished friend, as she's not on MySpace, or anywhere else that I've found. I also still haven't decided whether apologizing to the ex-(boy)friend I wrote about is worth taking the chance that he'd want to meet now.

Good luck with your closure.

I did this once - looked up an old high school friend and emailed her. I had hoped that hearing from me would be a nice blast from the past and she would say hello. I don't know what I was looking for other than to hear that she was OK. She did not respond and that was all the answer I needed to move on. I do hope you get what you need - either with a response or not - but be proud that you were brave enough to try to seek her out. That is a great step. Good luck.

Hi. I hope she's reached a point in her life (and maturity level) to write back and at least give you some sort of explanation. It's so sad to me when friendships like that can be so easily discarded.

I did this yesterday. I even linked Jurgenation's post from yesterday about lost friendships.
I heard back from one former friend and he said..the same, I think of you, I miss you. No we will never be friends again. But it's nice to put some stuff behind us. If I see him IRL I can be friendly without pause.
I heard back from the other former friend I sent it to and she ranted about where I had went wrong and how her life was better without me.
It stung. again.
I don't know how to not set myself up for this. I am a loyal person. So loyal in fact that I will miss you even when you have pointed out to me that I'm nothing to you.
I feel ya girl.
Hope it works out for you.

Thanks for the MySpace idea. I got back in touch with a friend I had lost touch with about 5 years ago. We talked for quite a while and are planning to meet for drinks to catch up. I never thought of looking on MySpace to find her until I read your post.

I really hope things work out for you and you get the closure you need from this friend.

I have a former-best-friend situation like this... I know where she lives (near where we grew up), but I can't gather the courage to call her on the phone (sad, I know)... I've tried finding her online, emailing, but haven't had any response. I think I'll call her when I go home for Christmas this year. Seems 'in the spirit' of the holiday, don't you think?

Hmm... And see, I'm on the other end. I had a "great" group of friends from college that I realized after the fact - therapy and medication and some geographic distance - weren't so good for me. I felt like crap every time I talked with them or saw them. So I just cut it off. Self-preservation and all that. And they are probably thinking "What the heck??" But, it was right for me. I'm sad that they aren't in my life but I know that bit of sadness is a much better thing than where I was.

you and I are some weird cosmic 'friend-comes-back-into-your-life-kick'
go read my blog today, I had a friend contact me after 3 years of not knowing what i did wrong. Now i know it wasnt me.
hopefully your friend will be able to give you the same closure.

This is something I've recently become well-versed in. It's hard. It hurts. My very dear friend and I are still working on our issues, our problems, and everything we never said when we should have. Such a sucky situation. I'm sorry :( However, I'm strapping on the ass-kicking boots!

I have a good friend that once told me some people come into your life for a little bit and they teach you a lot about life and they leave. Some people come into your life and never leave. We are supposed to learn everything we can from each individual to better ourselves. It may hurt forever, but we are better people for it.
By the time I graduated by best friend and I had parted ways. She started getting wrapped up into a world I wanted no part of. I learned from her a ton of things. Most important I learned what it meant to be a good friend and how bad it hurts to loose one. I am a better person because of her.

I have one of those friends too, although our friendship was a bit shorter. I met her in college and I was convinced that truly a soul mate. We clicked on so many levels it was scary. After college we kept in touch for a couple of years. She moved to Vegas and I took a trip out there to visit. We had a great time together (or so I thought), she gave me a hug when I left and I never heard from her again. I attempted to contact her many times with no response and it eats me alive every day. I have no idea what happened. I can't let go either.

Did you just tear a page from my life? I did the same thing not too long ago, and at least I had the door closed, not slammed, in my face. It still hurts, but at least the not knowing part was solved so I could move on.

I've toyed with doing that for the longest time- I had a very good friend who I had a very bad falling-out with and even ten years later still think of her. I have her address, but have yet to send her a note. Maybe I'll do that today- if she writes, great, if not, at least I tried.

This very same thing happened to me. At the very moment I finally accepted it she picked up the phone and called me. I saw her last weekend for the first time in 5 years. After the tears and big giant squeeze you to death hugs I met her son. Her beautiful and amazing son. I sang him to sleep in my arms and life was complete.

She will come back. It will take some time and who knows what else but I have to believe these people we call "sisters" and "friends" find us in our life for a reason and mark us forever.

Take Care

I did this exact thing a few months ago. It took her a few days to respond, but it ended up on a positive note. We're not about to have slumber parties at each other's houses, but it's good to know that if I saw her on the street, she'd probably stop to say hi. That's all I wanted out of it.

I think we probably all have a story close to that.

Ever read the book "What Did I Do Wrong?" about women and friendships? I'm reading it now.

Oh, I wanted to reply to your "Bitches" post. I love that new Hummer vehicle commercial where the Mommy is getting the shaft at the playground, so she goes and buys a big honkin' Hummer. The slogan was "Get Your Girl On". lol.

I guess it wouldn't be the best idea to send this post to her, but it's too bad in a way - you've expressed yourself so beautifully, and I found myself thinking that it could open the door to communication and healing. But that's not a given after so much time has passed, I suppose. It's so horrible when something wonderful turns sour - it robs you of your ability to even enjoy your memories with abandon, and that's a tragedy upon tragedy.

I was just thinking of one of your past posts about a friend of yours that you were trying to reach out to and you weren't sure if you should let the friendship go or not...is this the same person? I almost replied to that post because this appears to be a common thread among us women, perhaps? I had a friend whom I spoke to every single day and then one trip back home and some hurt feelings and me opening up in an email explaining why I was hurt, etc. and I have never heard back from her. We've been friends for the last 10 years and have had daily contact for the last 5 years and then...nothing. Not one word. No further emails. Nothing. No closure, and I think that is the hardest thing. Not knowing is what makes this all so difficult. If you knew what had happened (like in HS, for instance) then you can at least address it or deal with it and move forward. I thought for sure this once-dear friend of mine would have contacted me one month later when my dad died, but she didn't even then! Hurt to say the very least. Good luck with the email!!! WHo knows, maybe she will respond this time more warmly.

I hope your friend responds, but if she doesn't I hope you realize that you have done everything in your power short of stalking her to mend fences. You definitely went above and beyond what I would ever do. I'd say the ball is definitely in her court. Hopefully whatever happens you can make some peace with what happened.

This has totall happened to me with almost every close friend I've had (minus two in college, and one in high school... okay, I did say almost). I hate that most of my friendships have ended so abrubtly and that I haven't stayed in touch more.... I hope that pattern changes....

This was like reading something straight out of my mind. I went through this with a friend of mine not so long ago, though our cease communication was not my doing nor his, it came from a third party. I still miss him like you would not believe and I wish with everything in me that we were still friends.

I just did this exact same thing myself not long ago and I got the same result as you did. Your story sounds very similar to mine, and i know how you feel...

Shash

Oh, Beth. I hope - well, I don't know what I hope... I hope you find a peace with her that can either be grown into a new relationship or a peaceful, fulfilled final separation.

I'd like to know - how did you find her this time? I have an old friend I've toyed with trying to locate. Short of paying money for some person-finder service to give me info, I don't know what to do. Any suggestions?

Good luck with this.

Amy :)

I've had it happen too without ever knowing what I did.

I don't hold grudges usually and I try to make amends even when I don't know why. If it doesn't work, I wish them well and let it go.

This post just hit me like a truck.

Wow, Beth, I am so sorry. But honey? That was some fucking fine writing.

It sounds like you've needed some closure in the very least. I hope she responds to you. If not, it's definitely her loss....Good for you for contacting her, though. Brave....

It IS fine writing, and therefore I don't feel bad stealing the idea (with a trackback). It hits so close to home.

Wow. I hope she responds. If anything, so you two can talk and maybe get some closure as to how things happened. If she doesn't respond, then you can at least have the comfort that you REALLY TRIED. Cold comfort it is, I know, but you did try, and honey you are such the woman for doing so.

Really beautiful post, Beth. You captured that so well. I have one friend in particular, a former best friend, that I reach out to every now and then. It is hard to get over. *wiping tears*

it must be a new mom thing..i have done the same thing. And with some of the people it was cool for a while and we drifted again, and with 1 or 2, it has actually rekindled our friendship. Of course, there are quite a few out there that i distanced myself from in the first place, ON purpose, that are trying to get back in. But i have been feeling that need to connect with old friends ever since one of them died. We had been friends for 11 years and the last year he was alive we didnt speak b/c of a slight falling out. When i found out i was pregnant, i had decided that i would send him a christmas card basically telling him i had no beef with him and wanted to try and be friends again. unfortunately, he was hit by a drunk driver and died dec. 7. So it never happened and he died without us ever making up. Or him even knowing i wanted to. That kind of feuled my desire to at least make contact with some of the good friends i had just let drift and let them know that i appreciated the friendship we had and that if it was still wanted, i was here. So good luck with it all, i hope it works out for you.

This post makes me want to get back on Myspace and find my old friends. Most of which really don't want to talk to me either. College years....bah!

BTW, For those of us who are being creepy and using MySpace, even though we are parents and may even have kids who have their own MySpaces (oh, the shame!), I would like to know when you are going to make your MySpace real so we can all add you as friends.

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