A friend I used to be close to (at least I thought so...) isn't speaking to me. Is there any way to make amends, or do I just give up and try to cobble together an entirely new friend group?
A little backstory, first. The past six months have been absolutely devastating for me, possibly the worst in my entire life so far, for reasons I can't really talk about publicly (both for fear of being identified and, in one aspect, because of a contract I signed). It is the sort of time in a person's life when she needs her friends to be there for her more than ever. Unfortunately, the opposite has happened: my friends have all pulled away, and I've been almost completely isolated as a result. There have been entire months when the only human contact I've had was a minute or so each with my roommate and the bodega guy. It's not that my friends aren't going out - they are, just almost exclusively without me. I've tried to initiate stuff myself, but always get excuses like "I'm broke" or "I'm way too busy." (But not too broke or busy to hang out with everyone else
....) I've also asked whether people are mad at me, and everyone swears they're not - but yet there they are, leaving me out of everything. It almost feels like I'm being gaslighted, how much it looks like they're mad at me and don't want me around but swear that's not the case.
This came to a head, I guess, a few weeks ago. I tried to have a birthday party, and followed all the right procedures - announcing it weeks in advance, holding it at a low-key place in public (my dream birthday party is a house party, but I'm afraid I'll never be able to pull that off), following up with friends in person to remind them. But much like last time
, only two people showed up, over an hour late, and I was so devastated by the time they did (because I'd been sitting in a restaurant for over an hour alone trying to explain to the servers what was happening) that I'm sure they had a miserable time, although they did a good job of putting up with me. And of everyone I invited, only two people bothered to offer to hang out sometime else, and only one person ever followed up with any concrete date or time.
This has been the pattern with me for years, pretty much - I've never had a social circle or community I truly felt like a part of, and never felt assured that I had friends - so one thing I am trying to do this year is not bottle up my feelings, because it just leads to grudges that last forever. So the day after everyone hung out without me yet again, I wrote an email to one of the friends I thought I was closest to explaining my feelings: saying I really wished I'd have been invited, saying how confused I was by all this, etc. I tried to be diplomatic about it - using I-statements instead of you-statements, trying not to make statements of blame, stressing that I didn't want to lose any friendships, googling fucking WikiHow shit on how to send this kind of email, etc. I even copied and pasted some wording from an email one of my friends had sent that came across diplomatic and non-dramatic, and ran the whole thing past my mother (who'd gone through a similar situation recently and sent a similar email, albeit of the "fuck you, I'm out" variety), who said it didn't sound rash at all.
But it's been several days since, and I've heard nothing. Even a "fuck you, how dare you send me something like this" response would have been better. I haven't tried to make further contact because I don't want to come across as annoying or overdramatic, but here we are. It all makes me feel even worse - like my feelings don't matter, like it was a mistake to even let on that I have feelings, like I just have to accept being alone. And, you know, this also means I have that much fewer friends, which is the last thing I ever wanted to happen - but it seems to have happened anyway. Is there any way to salvage this? And maybe not even salvage it, but actually manage to go out with my friends (if they even are my friends) again?