A Long-time Friend "Divorced" Me.

Although this situation occurred almost 2 months ago, I'm still feeling very hurt at the events that transpired, and how I feel like I haven't gotten any "closure". It really illustrates how easy it is to just "divorce" a friend you have online, and cut off any lines of communication with them. What really surprised me, was that after more than 10 years of friendship, I felt like I was cast aside like a worn out shoe.

For a little backstory; We had become involved many years ago, a couple of years before the "dot-com crash" of the late nineties. He was a 15-year-old kid that loved playing Quake, and wanted to be involved in a gaming network of sites another friend and I were developing. Needless to say, a friendship formed, and after the fallout, we still remained good friends for years. We shared many things happening in our lives, from divorce, to attempted suicide, to everyday loneliness. Since he lived in Australia, the chances of us actually meeting face to face were very slim, but if there was one person from my online travels I would have liked to have met, it would be him. Unfortunately, that will probably never happen, now that we no longer even talk to one another.

The "falling out", as it were, happened in late January of this year, while I was in one of my bouts of depression. Having been laid-off due to the closure of the company I worked for, due to the terrible economic conditions in the U.S. right now, as well as some not-so-smart business decisions by the owner, I was unemployed for the first time in almost 8 years. I loved doing the job I did, and even though the pay was terrible, I couldn't think of another job that would give me so many pluses. As a result, I was stuck at home, looking for work, trying to start a business of my own online, and taking care of my 3-year-old daughter. I love my wife and my daughter to death, and I honestly cherish part of this time we get to spend together. Growing up in a single parent household makes me accutely aware of how important it is to have the love and attention of your parents, and how valuable those family relationships are in life.

I had expressed my desire to try and get a business going online that could possibly mean me NOT having to re-enter the workforce as someone else's employee, and give me that "financial freedom" so many dream of. My friend expressed his support for this, and even offered to throw in with me financially, to help defray some of the monthly costs associated with this endevor. I was thrilled. For someone to really believe in me to this point was really rewarding. He had the benefit of figuring out what he wanted to do for a career early on, and was able to tailor his schooling to achieve those goals. Myself, I've had a couple of different careers, before really finding my love for technology, and it's role in our changing world.

As time went on, he checked on my progress with things, and I'll be the first to admit; I procrastinated often. With changes at home, family responsiblities, depression, and even plain laziness, I wasn't making a lot of forward progress in my business venture. However, this really wasn't what we had issues over. Ultimately, it came down to something we had done so often over the years; heated debates over technology, software, and business.

We had one of our usual pointless arguments about the release of Windows 7, and during the course of the debate/argument, he went offline in the instant messenger we regularly communicated in. I just assumed initially that he'd gotten tired of our pointless bickering, and gone offline for the evening to sleep. He currently lives in London, works a boring day job to pay the bills, while working on an ambitious online venture in the evenings. The next day, I checked on some equipment we shared the billing on, as part of our joint venture, and noticed that he had turned off his account on it, and had moved all of his content to another company. I was shocked. I immediately looked for him on many of the instant communication methods we used, all to no avail. Then I noticed something; He had basically "divorced" me on all of these tools. I was no longer part of his list on Skype (voicechat), I seemed to be blocked on any instant messenger platforms we used, which I verified via another mutual contact we had. This contact could see him online. I could not. This meant one thing; I had been blocked.

Over the next couple of days, I tried to call him via his cell, send him emails, and whatever else I could think of. All of which garnered me no response. I was angry at first, and then took a look at myself, and my actions. I admit I wasn't exactly the "best friend", but at no time did I insult him, or take things to a level that I thought would be taken that way. Obviously I was wrong.

A few days, or maybe a week later, I got an email back from him asking why he was receiving all these "weird" messages from me. He said that his business clients demanded he move his resources elsewhere, or lose them as clients, which I understand, but he gave me no notice? Then he went on to say his laptop had essentially melted down the evening we were talking, which is why he went offline. This of course didn't match up with the information our mutual contact gave me, telling me he showed as online in his contact lists, and we responding to messsages...all while his computer had supposedly melted down. This confused me greatly.

I wrote him back a very long email, detailing my thoughts, feelings, and questions about his story. I apologized profusely for anything I might have done to offend him, asked his forgiveness, and even said that I would rather just have our friendship remain intact, than have a falling out of this nature over anything business related. I didn't think that was the cause, but still, I mentioned it.

Two months later, I have yet to hear back from him. I never received a reply to my letter. He's never un-blocked me from his messenger clients. He still isn't visible to me on any online tools that we used. He even removed me from his friends on Facebook. I'm very saddened by this. At a time when I feel most isolated, and most like a big failure, this just adds to everything. Mutual acquaintences that we had online have expressed their shock at his actions towards me, and are baffled by it. A couple have told me to just "kick him to the curb" for being such a jerk. I can't help it though; I miss him. I miss talking to and sharing my time with this person who was as much a close friend to me, as the couple of close friends that I have that I can meet with physically.

I'll forever wonder just what was "the straw that broke the camel's back" was, and why he didn't feel like even answering my email. Even being called an ******* would have at least given me some closure...

themidlifer themidlifer
Mar 23, 2009