i’m a skilled magician

In 2014, I ghosted my best friend of 15 years. You know, totally fell of the face of the Earth and dropped all forms of contact with her. I’m not proud of it. There is no denying this is the coward’s way out. But sometime’s you’ve gotta gotta fight fire with fire when you’re dealing with toxic people, and in this case, fighting with fire means doing some totally cool and unnerdy magic tricks and making myself disappear. Abracadabra!

toxicpeople

(Photo credit goes to littlebiddy. Go check out their blog!)

I was trying to end my friendship with her years ago… and then she got engaged to my brother. Awkward, right? It wasn’t worth it  to put my entire family at war with each other, so I dealt with her. Even when she broke into my house. Then again when she stole money from me. I even shrugged it off when she told me she had a thing for my dad. (100% true. Sick, isn’t it?) When they called their engagement off, she told me, “It’s no big deal. I’m realizing now I didn’t care about being married to your brother, I just wanted to be part of your family so bad.” Her obsession with my family still gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Part of me wishes I went about it more maturely. Part of me wishes I was more outspoken about it. Part of me doesn’t regret it at all. This chick was toxic and brought out the worst in me. It was pure insanity.

Life is just too short for some of this bullshit.

Some people just shouldn’t be in your life, you know? Have you ever been ghosted? Ghosted someone? Had someone date your sibling or want to bang your dad? Cringe

(PS – The majority of people don’t deserve to be ghosted. People deserve closure. Unless they steal your shit and break into your house, do them a favor and just let them know why you don’t like them and honor them by telling them to piss off. Being up front always works.)

205 Comments

  1. Some times — too often actually, the people I want to extinguish have ties that are necessary, and also my mood can be a factor. When push comes to shove though, and someone must go, I don’t burn bridges, I blow them up.

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  2. I’ve never outright ghosted on someone. I usually let them know it’s coming, like trying to communicate or whatever and then if it just gets to the point where they are not getting it or nothing’s changing, I just stop communication. I think if there’s a toxic person in your life, the rules of etiquette do not apply.

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  3. Omg that girl though o_o
    I did ghost someone a few years back – had a toxic friendship with this person & the only way out of it was to cut all ties (I even changed my phone number…).

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  4. From one of my favorite blogs: “If I don’t want to talk to you, then I don’t want to talk to you — and that includes explaining why I don’t want to talk to you. You’re not owed an explanation in a space you do not own.”

    My dad is like a million years old so the thought of anyone (even my mom) wanting to bang him is a little out there. My siblings are half a million years old too so the same mostly applies to them.

    Sometimes I think I’ve been ghosted when it’s really just that the other person is busy. And the only person I’ve ever PERMANENTLY cut out of my life is my abusive ex, who unfortunately I still have to hear about because he’s friends with my cousin-who’s-more-like-a-sister. Silver lining, he stopped trying to contact me directly after she told him I told her he raped me.

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      1. Yeah, it’s pretty freaking troubling. I would be tempted to go low-contact with my cousin except that I don’t want her baby to be raised exclusively by someone who thinks it’s cool to be friends with rapists. So, I stick around.

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  5. I’ve never ghosted, but I thought I was ghosted once fairly recently with someone I had been talking to. Turns out, she really genuinely had some really major reasons she kind of disappeared for a while. So that was nice to know.

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  6. Ewwww I’ve been ghosted and it was the most troubling thing. But I’ve done it too. I just hit the end of my rope with people sometimes and then, *poof*! I’m done. Just done. So I guess I pushed someone else to the end of his rope. I guess I have to understand in a way. But it sucked.

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  7. I ghosted on someone and don’t regret it at all. It was my mistake to allow this guy into our lives for as long as I did. When I wised up to his deceptive behaviors, I told him off and have never spoken to him again. No closure, just walked away. With some people, it’s the only way to protect yourself.

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  8. I had a friend who would ghost everyone, including her mom and daughter. After she used you, sucked everything material from you that she needed, stole and robbed from you, then she’d disappear. Except she forgot about the Internet where few people can truly disappear and police records which will follow her from place to place. If you live in Sarasota, FL beware of The User!

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      1. She was stunningly beautiful as a child, used sexually by her dad. Oh yah she had issues. But chose to get even with the world. It’s a hell of a way to live. But I’m glad she’s a ghost, dead to me. Pity for the men in Sarasota though!

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  9. 23 years ago I ghosted every friend I had. All of my drinking buddies to be exact. Still don’t talk to any of them (and probably won’t ever bother). I actually ghosted my best man too, now that I think of it. He relapsed and I have to be very careful how much I’ll let people like that near me. He’s different though, if he sobers up and calls me, I’d take him back in a second. To your point though, you gotta do what you gotta do. Happiness is far more important.

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  10. Blair, my wife is the best of listeners, as she would rather others talk about themselves. As a result, she collects overbearing people who need an audience, sometimes because they have exhausted other ones. When a relationship becomes toxic, where the person makes their problems hers (mind you these are not as extreme as what you described), she has to make a series of distancing decisions or it eats her alive.

    So, she reduces and compartmentalizes contact (always have a ceiling on your time – I have to go at 1:30 pm. e.g.). If that does not help, she has to cease their relationship which she had done on occasion. If it is cold turkey, she will tell the person that I need more time with my family and need to back off for now.

    It is difficult. But, I tend to ask the same question when things become toxic – are you getting anything out of this relationship? If you are not, then why do you still see her? But, 100% of the time, she is glad that she ended the relationship. Best wishes to all when they have these encounters. Keith

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  11. I’m the worst kind of friend. I’ve always done the ghosting, I just didn’t know it was that until recently. Maybe not the full on ghosting where you delete all contact with them, but I do a really good non contact with people for a long time. It’s just better for me to keep my small family/friend group around me (you know like all the guys in Furious 7 call themselves) and drop everyone who isn’t contributing.

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  12. I suppose I’ve been ghosted and have ghosted too. Sometimes you start with a small distance but there doesn’t seem any reason to go back. I don’t even realize I’m doing it except at the beginning when I tell myself I need some space. It’s not a back thing. If there are a lot of shenanigans I will call someone on it and announce the ghosting.

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  13. Have ghosted and been ghosted. I TOTALLY agree with if I don’t want to talk to you I don’t have to talk with you and that includes explaining why I don’t want to talk to you. Boundaries are hard to set because adults hate them, but they are super necessary for my mental health. And for everyone else’s safety …

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  14. Girl! In high school I had one my best friends tell me that she was.going to figure out how to marry my dad and become my stepmother! She said she was joking and liked that it creeped me out. Yeah, that friendship went ghost as years went by, but I finally had it when I stood up for myself when she said an extremely racist thing and got mad at me! I realized then that it was over.

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  15. I did not do it but I feel that i should to certain people. I believe sometimes this is the only way to get rid of some people. They obviously don’t deserve respect and i think if you tried any other way it would just give her reason to cling and grasp tighter.

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      1. Uhhh yeah. Unless she speaks a different language. .. space is not synonymous with break into my house. Boundaries people!! My own mom isn’t allowed over unless she calls first!

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  16. I’ve had to cut ties with toxic friends before. I chose to explain. I’m not sure I should’ve bothered. The “break up” was worse than the friendship! I think you sometimes just have to drop out.

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  17. Holy cow, your reaction seems perfectly reasonable in that situation. I totally dropped an extremely close friend about 16 years ago – our families had been inseparable, and she and her husband were our middle child’s god parents. But I finally realized that this woman was a roller coaster ride, and she wanted me right beside her in the front car for every super high and super low. In the end I just couldn’t go there with her any more – largely because I was busy with the roller coaster of my severely depressed husband and two rollercoasters at a time were about to kill me. I still feel guilty, even though I know it was totally a survival move.

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  18. I don’t have any friends – NONE – other than my wife. But, in the past when I wasn’t retired/disabled I ghosted people all the time. It’s tied in with the PTSD, (and that’s a whole ‘nother story). I’ve done it on Social media, too. In fact I almost deleted all of my accounts this morning! If I get overwhelmed it’s “poof,” gone like a wisp of smoke. Is it right? Don’t know – but the survival instinct doesn’t give two shits about proper etiquette 😉 Peace . . .

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    1. You know, we sound a lot alike. Even though I don’t have PTSD or anything so I’m sure it’s a lot more intense for you. (Sorry to hear about it) I have no friends left either, but that has a lot to do with moving frequently. I get overwhelmed and done with social media too. I hate it.

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  19. Hmm, I’m not sure it’s true ghosting, but I had a male friend tell me he couldn’t talk to me anymore because he had developed feelings for me and they were interfering with his relationship with God. Then uninstalled the app we used to talk so I couldn’t even retort. That was pretty crappy.

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  20. STH

    I’m not at all sure it’s really helpful to have a “breaking up” conversation with a friend. Is it any less upsetting than ghosting? Do terrible people really want to know how terrible and toxic they are? And if they are toxic, they’re much more likely to take revenge on you if you officially “break up” than if you ghost.

    I didn’t speak to my brother from the time I left home at 18 to when my father died when I was 46 or 47. Totally necessary for self-preservation, and I’m so glad I did it. Now we exchange Xmas cards and he’s told my sister that he’s dealt with his anger problems in therapy; that’s nice for him, but exchanging Xmas cards is as close as I intend to get to him.

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  21. I love that picture. Giving the finger just puts it right over the top.

    It’s real simple: how important is your health and happiness? That’s it, there’s no other question in life for you to ask. Just decide what you are worth early on, act on it always, and you’d be surprised how few assholes you have to deal with.

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  22. Yeah, I’m usually the straight up – this is where it stands – person. I consider it kinder, like yanking the Band-Aid instead of letting things fester (ew, you made me think of pus-EW!) Anyhoo, I make an exception for people that steal from me or completely go off on me for their own reasons unrelated to me and show themselves to be unstable, untrustworthy or toxic. The fastest way to get them to disappear is for me to disappear. Engaging them is just more drama, and they are not likely to ever really understand. Attempting closure will be repeated slamming of their foot in the door – not nice – and you’ll likely slam your own fingers in it too.

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  23. I’m so out of it that I never had even heard of the term “ghosted” until I read your post just now. I think I ghosted my very best friend about two years ago… or maybe she ghosted me, I’m not really sure. I’ve tried writing about it once or twice, but it ended up being this WHOLE THING that was starting to be an albatross. So I ditched it. I think what your post is telling me is that I don’t ever need to write it — that one can just move on in a healthy way. I’m glad that you have. Great post, thanks for sharing it.

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      1. I did the original for Hitrecord – it was someone else’s words and I just drew the picture for them (https://www.hitrecord.org/records/1032911). I don’t mind if you keep it on your blog, like you said it’s kind of everywhere now! I did try to contact Higher Perspectives once to ask them not to use it (mostly because it pissed me off that they had stamped their name on it), but they didn’t respond.

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  24. In my world, best friends don’t break into your house and steal your stuff. Now wait… let me think about this. I don’t have a best friend, and my house has never been broken into. Interesting….

    But yes, sometimes you have to just cut some people loose. I severely dislike drama and refuse to be around those who actively court drama. I would probably tell them why first, firmly but politely, and then just disappear. “Thanks for flying Air Prayer! So long… buh-bye.”

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  25. Yes, I have ghosted someone. The longer I knew her, the more she seemed determined to demean me. I’d always call her out on it and she’d backpedal, but that still didn’t feel good. I realized I had really enjoyed her company, for about a year, but then I started to dread interaction. Initially, I was too busy to get together, then I was too busy to talk on the phone. I did deliver her baby gift as promised, but I had to run, had a lot to do that day. That’s the last I spoke to her. “Here’s that baby swing I said I’d get you! Gotta go!” (FOREVER lol)
    Ran into her once at a restaurant. She looked well. I think she’s alright. I’m always glad she doesn’t try me on social media.
    Sometimes it’s what we need to do.

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  26. Your friend sounds dramatic and irrational…not a great combination. Sometimes confronting people like that make it worse. I think I may be the queen of accidental ghosting. I’m not super social so I’m always making excuses not to go somewhere until that person gives up trying. It’s not that I don’t like hanging with friends, it’s just hard to leave home… anyway, it sounds like whatever method you used it was important for you to get away from that friendship!

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  27. jan

    I’ve ghosted friends whose lives are a mess but who never told any advice given. I got tired of the constant drama. My family provides enough drama. Sometimes you have to take care of your own mental health first!

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  28. It’s been done to me and it’s awful. I had asked one person (a very dear friend) in particular why she did it repeatedly over the years as I have no blessed idea why. She never responded and to this day, I don’t know why. I think it’s cruel and mean and immature not to at least explain to the other person at least why you are doing it. Honestly, you are no better than they are if you do it in my humble opinion because it’s cowardly and dishonest. Just tell someone whatever it is they did to you and why you don’t want them in your life anymore! Just ‘ghosting’ them as you put it, doesn’t help that person at all to maybe grow in the long run. Maybe they won’t, but maybe they will. But then, I try to be hopeful about people and give them the benefit of the doubt. And certainly try to be the better person. Two wrongs certainly don’t make a right!

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    1. You have a valid argument for sure. It’s not something I’ve ever been overly proud of. I’ve been ghosted before and it left me with a lot of questions and frustration. In the situation with my friend, she knows why I did it. I tried to end the relationship many times and never succeeded. That’s why she got engaged to my brother. It was to stop the drifting of us. There’s a lot of strangeness to this specific story. But I agree with you in general. In a lot of cases it’s a cruel way to go out.

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  29. I ghosted a toxic friend just a couple months ago after almost a decade of toxic friendship. She was a user and it was all about her. She drops friends like 3rd period French and then suddenly has new “besties” every 6 months or so. I realized after always bending over backwards for her and always being there for her with the result of her disappearing when I needed a friend that she had to go. I congratulated her for getting a writing gig I wanted (she has this knack for going after things her friends want), she responded with saying we should get tea and I never responded. Dunzo. Buh-bye.

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      1. Technically she didn’t steal it, but because she decided to write a blog right after I did and because she writes about food, she got the opportunity to write a full page and my “article” wasn’t even an article. It was just the freaking cherry on top. I’m not about competing and that is what drives her motivation to do everything she does.

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  30. Being found by certain people is why social media can be kind of terrifying. I had a blog post mostly written about that -I was found!-but dropped it for its own toxicity. Plus my mom reads my blog so I end up self-editing.

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  31. I’ve only really ghosted one person in my life, which I’ve written about at length on my blog. But I’ve been ghosted a few times – and I agree, people deserve to know why it’s happening. But then I’ve had what I’ll call “hauntings” lol where I’ll get ghosted until they need something, then they’ll pop back up for a few days, weeks, etc. Then they are gone again. lol

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  32. There are some people who can’t be dealt with in any other way but ghosting. There have been people I have tried to have productive conversations with and it just didn’t work. Some people simply will not allow a relationship/friendship to fade away with dignity. They leave you with no choice but to disappear on them. It’s part of their toxicity.

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  33. Sometimes you need to do that. It’s necessary. I had to do that with my narcissist ex-husband – just disappear. Poof! There was no amicable closing there. He was difficult and in the end, also dangerous. You gotta do what you gotta do. I think you were completely justified.

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  34. I’m kind of ghosting someone right now that I’ve known for 28 years. It helps that she and her spouse moved to St. Pete (a 2 hour drive) to take over her In-laws family business. She’s called three times inviting me over. My reason for wanting to sign off is lame: I was always the entertainment of the friendship, always had much going on and she liked hearing about it – she’d come over, smoke on the porch, ask if there was any wine in the house, and only go home when I cut her off.
    I don’t want to drive 2 hours to continue this role. Phone calls between us have been proof she has nothing to bring to the table. There are no commonalities.
    This is getting longer and longer because I feel guilty and hope that if I keep typing, sooner or later I won’t feel bad about my passive euthanasia of this now long distance friendship.
    Thanks for letting me vent!

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  35. My sister lost all chance of a relationship with me when she got back together, 20 years later, with her first husband who molested me when I was 10. My mother as well is no one I ever care to be around, as she actually had them over for Christmas dinner. A child molester. My brother’s the only one who was like, hell no I want nothing to do with this creep, he’s not coming to my house. Oh and there was never any apology from my sister or mother about their welcoming in this sick fuck back into their lives.

    My husband’s mother turned out to be a crazy bitch as well… he was estranged from his father for years because she’d said his dad had been saying all kinds of horrible things about my husband for years. Then his father died and we found out that all of that was a lie (his dad hadn’t actually spoken to his mom in almost 20 years) and that his mother is just a crazy narcissistic bitch. My husband fell into a very dark place after all that, as I’d never even got to meet his dad as he assumed his father hated him and of course he hadn’t even spoken to his dad in almost a decade. I never liked his mom from the moment I met her, as she was one of those people who only talked about herself in the conversation, and insulted my husband and his sister whenever they didn’t gush all over her, and we just ended that relationship right then, she doesn’t even have our phone numbers or address here in the US (she’s in Australia thank god).

    Our thoughts are, if you feel worse after being around someone, you don’t spend time with them. Period. DNA doesn’t mean shit. I get so fed up with that “blood is thicker than water” bullshit because we look at everyone with open hearts and those who are dicks don’t somehow deserve our time or energy just because there’s a genetic connection somewhere. That’s just self-flagellation to be around people like that, ya know?

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    1. Wow, I don’t understand how someone can turn a blind eye to something as appalling as child molestation. That makes me sick to my stomach. I would have dropped them all too. I’m glad that your brother at least has some sense! And that’s terrible about your mother-in-law. I don’t understand why she would go so out of her way to ruin her child’s view of his father. That’s sad. I can’t even imagine dealing with those situations!

      Reply

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