Sunday, July 6, 2008

Missing (a) Person

One of my dear friends has done a disappearing act. I haven’t heard from her in nearly a month, despite several emails and a couple of voice mails.

This isn’t the first time she has seemingly vanished. We’ve had fights over our 20-year friendship that have caused her to go mute on me for weeks. When she was pregnant with her first child, I think a mild depression settled upon her and she kept herself holed up, nearly unreachable, for several months.

I don’t know what’s preventing the communication now. I don’t know whether she is down and needs a shoulder to cry on. Whether she needs support to get through a tough time. Whether she's incredibly busy and can't get to a phone. Or if I did something to upset her and she’s too mad to tell me what it was. I’m at a loss.

She moved away from Southern California a couple months ago, and I’m wondering if part of her assimilation-to-her-new-life process includes cutting ties with her old life. I’m hoping this isn’t the case because I have so much I’m dying to share with her. I want to tell her how Mr. W IMed “I love you” to me. I want to talk to her about what’s going on with friends and family. And find out whether we can plan a girls’ weekend in the fall. I want to know how she’s adjusting to her new house. Whether she has made any new friends. How she’s been spending her days. How her little ones are doing. But it seems that any attempt to reach her is just not getting through.

The stalker side of me even looked on Facebook to see if she’d been talking with anyone else. She seems to be active on there, but just not with me or our local friends. I don’t get it.

So what’s next? A singing telegram? An email to her husband? A flight to the state where she moved? Or continued silence…?


Dingo said...

I have a friend like this as well. Our radio silence never comes from a fight but that she's moved away and is so insanely busy running her own law firm that she doesn't have time to talk or email. In some ways I'm happy for her for following her dream. In other ways I'm hurt that it seems as if I've been left behind.

I hope your friend makes contact soon and she's okay.

Anita said...

I thought your friend reads all your posts and makes a lot of comments on them, no?

I had a similar thing happen with Liz recently and she finally emailed me not indicating anything was wrong. Like me, you're probably just stressing over nothing but only because you care about her so much. Hope you reach her.

Michael C said...

I hope this all works out for you. Hopefully there is a really, really, really legit explanation.

I should admit that I pull the same disappearing act at work all the time. THe only problem is that my clients and other folks trying to get hold of me call my boss, instead of checking Facebook...

Good luck!!!!

Nilsa S. said...

I guess the question is what's the goal of going through extreme means of contacting her. If it's to make sure she's ok, then I think you already have your answer (a la Facebook activity). If it's more about you and your wanting to share how good life is ... well, maybe she's not in a place to share your joys right now. And though it's surely hurtful to realize that, isn't it better than forcing a person into doing something they don't want to do? I'd say your best bet is to shoot her an email or a card. Let her know you care and are thinking of her. But keep it pressure free. She knows where you are and will find you when she's ready.

geekhiker said...

I've been in situations like this and, honestly, I go back and forth.

Sometimes I end up in friendships where it seems that I'm the one putting in all the effort into communication, and I find myself wondering if it's worthwhile. I get frustrated, stop, then relent and send another e-mail. Sometimes the friendships return, sometimes they don't.

My suspicion is that, at this point, she's trying to establish a new, local social scene for herself. Doing that makes it difficult to maintain both the local scene and the long distance one, at least for a time. My suggestion would be to lay low for a bit, give her a couple more months to get established in her new home, then contact her again.

Anonymous said...

I think a "thinking about you" card would be appropriate with a simple message that you haven't heard from her for awhile. She is probably trying to make the best of her new surroundings which is not very easy. Be patient; she'll contact you. Also, maybe she has had alot of company visiting and is busy and no computer time. Sounds like when Leigh goes for months without contacting big sis.

justrun said...

I have a couple friends like that. I never really know what to do-- be concerned? Take it personal? Worry too much and drive to her house? I'm not sure.
I hope you hear from her soon. It's probably nothing, but that doesn't make it easier for those of us wondering.

Mel Heth said...

Dingo - It is hard to not feel as though you've been left behind. I know this is part of life, but it's still a sad part. I hope your friend contacts you soon, too!

Anita - Blog comments were the only communicae I was getting there for awhile but now even that has dropped off. Hopefully I am stressing over nothing. :)

Michael C - I'm going to call your boss in a panic next time you skip a blog. I'm sure he/she would appreciate that.

Nilsa - Please send me your email address so I can properly thank you for this comment. I looked all over your site and couldn't find it. You are a smart cookie - thanks for the reality check.

GeekHiker - You're probably right...she may just be getting settled. It is hard to not get frustrated, though.

Mom - It is sort of like Leigh. I don't know if she'd even respond if I sent a card...

JustRun - Glad you think like I do. :) I broke down and emailed her husband, so hopefully SOMEone will respond to my pleas.

thecoconutdiaries said...

As someone who just left So Cal and has been an absolutely nightmare keeping in touch with friends from home, I can only say that moving away from everything/one you know is hard. You're trying to establish yourself someplace new and resist the urge to pack up and go home. As a texting-whore, I know I love a good text can go a long way. I like the idea of the thinking of you card. Maybe a little something from home she can have would be cute, too (i.e. a seashell, sand, etc.)

Hannah said...

I have a friend who does this too. The longest silence we ever had was almost two months. I have learned that when she does this it has nothing to do with me. She just gets into weird moods and won't call. Or she gets busy.

And even though I know this it is still hard not to think that it is something personal.

I am sure that she is not mad at you. She is probably just feeling gloomy and stressed from her move.

It's hard when you care so much about a friend you just want answers rightnow.

Wow, that was awkward said...

What did you do to her?