July 17, 2017 at 9:26 am #158490
A few months ago I made friends with someone through work. When we first began our friendship, he shared that he was going through a lot including battling horrible anxiety and depression. Throughout our friendship, I supported him in various ways and he continuously assured me that although he did not feel that he was capable of fully returning my support at the time, he did greatly appreciate and value my friendship and that I meant a lot to him. A couple weeks ago, he asked me if I had developed feelings for him. I told him that it was hard to say because I didn't think it was practical to start a relationship because of where he was at the moment but also because he is moving away soon. We agreed to be friends. Since that conversation, he has greatly pulled back and started essentially ghosting me. We used to talk every day, but now he won't return my texts. I know that it is wisest to let go, but I am heartbroken because I believed that he truly loved me and cared for me as a friend. I am really struggling with how to get over this loss of friendship without closure. Please help!July 17, 2017 at 12:44 pm #158550
He “assured (you) that although he did not feel that he was capable of fully returning my support at the time, he did greatly appreciate and value” your friendship- I am thinking it was a one way friendship where he needed help and you helped him. He wasn't capable of returning your support- and I assume you didn't ask him for support (?)- meaning it wasn't a two way friendship.
It reads to me that he wasn't satisfied with your answer to his question about developing feelings for him. Your answer to him reads reasonable to me, but I am not him, of course.
You wrote that you are struggling with how to get over this loss of friendship. I think it would help if you understood the nature of the friendship you lost, that is, what in fact you lost. Maybe if you ask him a few questions, for that purpose, it would help you. I do hope you feel better soon.
anitaJuly 17, 2017 at 1:22 pm #158576
Thank you so much for your response. To clarify on the type of relationship we had, I think that he was very helpful and supportive to me when he was able to do so. However, due to his severe depression, we did not spend any quality time together and our relationship was mostly confined to texting. I expressed a desire to spend time with him on a few of occasions, and he said that he would very much like to but he didn't feel comfortable being around anyone in his state of severe depression so I let it go. I was happy to hold space for him because I myself have suffered from depression and understand how difficult it can be to spend time with people when you feel so badly about yourself.
He expressed previously that he really loved me as a friend, cared about me, and desired to keep in touch after he moved. But recently, it is as if a switch has been flipped so I am a bit confused and hurt. I texted him a handful of times to let him know that I was thinking of him and once he responded and said thank you. The other times, my texts have gone unanswered. I asked if he no longer wished to be in contact and he said that he did but he felt like he had nothing left to give. My friends have told me that he isn't a good friend and that I should just stop holding out hope that he will reciprocate my friendship, but that hasn't felt right to me. I suppose I am having difficulty letting him go because I do really care for him and don't want to leave him hanging in his hour of need. But at the same time, the relationship has become very one sided, as he barely bothers to acknowledge me when I do reach out. I think I got too attached to him and the possibility of friendship and perhaps I need to just take a step back and focus on taking care of my own mental and emotional health for now?
July 17, 2017 at 1:30 pm #158692
- This reply was modified 8 months ago by Lauren.
Yes, it seems to me too, that you got too attached to him. Interesting, you wrote that you “don’t want to leave him hanging in his hour of need”- while it is you who is left hanging in your hour of need, the need for his friendship. He is not the one left hanging because you reached out to him and he … well, he left you hanging.
Do take care of your mental and emotional needs best you can, and post anytime.
anitaJuly 18, 2017 at 6:22 am #158762
I too suffer from Anxiety and depression. Althoungh I am in therapy and on Medication, I know how debilitating it can be and how it can distort one's thoughts and emotions. I also know that when one is very depressed, they tend to isolate themselves from everyone, including their own family. They are doing the best they can. Depression is ugly and takes over your life.
I would not take it personally. He is probably unable to give anymore at this time due to his illness. People can only give what they are able. They can't give more than they have. I would just give it time. Maybe he feels awkward because the friendship and emotional bond developed in the workplace. And maybe he thought perhaps he was being unprofessional, by constantly texting you. Maybe he did not want you to become more emotionally invested because he is moving. It could be alot of things, but it sounds like he is going through alot of personal struggles right now, and maybe when he feels better, you may still hear from him again. However, remember friendship is a 2 way street, so, if you are constantly, giving and giving to him in the form of emotional support, and he is not giving anything back, it can be very unhealthy and ultimately put a strain on any friendship.July 18, 2017 at 6:46 am #158766
Hi Anita and Eliana,
Thank you both so much for your thoughtful responses. I do think that the friendship was becoming too one sided, and that was the root of the hurt that I was feeling. I may never know the reasons why he changed his behavior, but I do need to accept that the friendship is just not where it once was and it may never be there again. The funny thing is, I heard from him this morning on my way to work – he texted me to let me know that he hopes I'm doing okay and have a good day. I responded and thanked him, but I think that it would be wise for me to draw back a little bit from the friendship to avoid strain and further disappointment. I am going to leave the door open, but moving forward I won't expect anything from him.
LaurenJuly 18, 2017 at 7:21 am #158770
You are welcome. Drawing back some reads to me like a wise choice because when you do, you are less sensitive to the changing movements on his part- toward you and away from you. When too attached, each move toward you brings too much hope, and a following withdrawal hurts more.
anitaJuly 18, 2017 at 10:56 am #158818
You're welcome, please post anytime..