My ex-friend won't accept that I don't want to contact her. What now?
June 14, 2013 10:08 AM   Subscribe

My ex-friend won't accept that I don't want to contact her. It's been 2 years since I've spoken to her, but she keeps texting me, emailing me, even sending presents on birthdays and holidays. What now?

This person and I go way back, all the way to middle school, which is what I think makes our friendship so complicated and troublesome: While I can act like a perfectly nice, generous person to my other friends, she inspires this petty, competitive side in me as if we're still bitchy teenage girls, and I know I do the same with her. It's awful, and our good times are just not worth the headache and heartache when the bad times inevitable come. Over two years ago, she blew up at me over something minor (I came back from my honeymoon without getting her a souvenir) and said to never contact her again. I sent her an email accepting that decision and explaining basically what I said above about our toxic dynamic, deleted her from my contacts and phone, and moved on. It was easy, since we live in different states. 4 months later she apologized via email and asked to resume our friendship. I ignored it. She wrote back several more times and gave up. On my birthday, Christmas, New Year's, etc., she always texts me something. When Sandy hit NYC, she texted to see if I was okay. About 6 months ago I got a long email explaining her behavior, saying she misses my friendship, etc. I haven't responded to any of it.

If it sounds harsh to cut her off completely, I should say that this is part of our cycle: we blow up at each other, there's silence for months, even years, and then we become good (long distance) friends again. We talk on the phone and internet all the time for a while, then the good will devolves in pettiness and underhanded comments, and then another blow up. I have many wonderful friends and a fantastic husband, and I just don't feel I really need her anymore. She has a much, much harder time making friends (for many of the reasons listed above) and puts more stock in me.

I always thought the best way to keep up a wall of silence is to never breach it. Should I keep it up? Today she sent me another email, a very strange one that was just my address in it and nothing more, but I'm worried she's planning on sending me a gift for my 30th birthday which is tomorrow. I don't want her to, and I want her to stop contacting me entirely, but maybe - even though she instigated the silence in the first place - I owe her closure.

If she does contact me again, should I gently explain I still don't want her in my life? Or is that opening the door for another couple years of unwanted communication?
posted by Viola to Human Relations (39 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Best answer: Just keep not responding. Forward her email to trash.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:10 AM on June 14, 2013 [17 favorites]


Best answer: Just keep not responding. Forward her email to trash.

Exactly this.
posted by The Michael The at 10:12 AM on June 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Ditto. Don't respond. Send e-mail directly to trash. She will give up.
posted by Dolley at 10:13 AM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Set up preferences online and on your phone so that you don't receive anymore contact from her. Just completely block her and move on.

You said all you needed to say the first time. No need to repeat yourself.
posted by jbenben at 10:18 AM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Best answer: Communicating with a person such as this in any way whatsoever indicates to them that you want to communicate. It does not matter if you open your mouth and gurgles come out, or if you send an email with random numbers and letters. The fact that you have acknowledged their request for communication means there is now a ray of hope for them for the two of you reuniting as BFFs. You do not want to inspire a ray of hope in them, because all that means is that exactly this dynamic will keep going, and you don't need this dynamic. What you think of offering her closure (which you, honestly, do not owe her an iota of, but that is beside the point) will be exactly yet another sign of life for her to cling.

And if the gift shows up, send it back with just the words RETURN TO SENDER. No polite letters of refusal or anything. Do the same as you would for a box that showed up that isn't for you.
posted by A god with hooves, a god with horns at 10:19 AM on June 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


Best answer: but maybe - even though she instigated the silence in the first place - I owe her closure.

You owe her nothing, and in any event the last thing you said to her was essentially "I accept your friend-divorce, bye."

Ignore, block her texts/emails, return packages to her unopened and with no comment beyond "refused" in sharpie on the envelope.
posted by headnsouth at 10:26 AM on June 14, 2013 [10 favorites]


Although it feels wrong, you are right in continuing not to contact her. You don't owe her closure.

That's the funny thing about closure. You can sit down, explain it, accept it and then...'and another thing...' There's no such thing as closure. There's always more to say, and no matter what, it's not worth it.

You've said all there is to say, the rest of it is assuaging guilt.

If she does send you a present, take it back to the post office with "Return to Sender" on it.

FWIW, I had a very good friend in Middle School, we had a breach, and we recently got back together for our 30th high school reunion. She was never mean and nastly, we just grew apart for a while.

So never say never, but if she doesn't fit into your life now, she doesn't and it's perfectly okay.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:28 AM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Best answer: OH!! If a gift comes tomorrow, write "moved" and "return to sender" on it and put it back in the mail. If it comes via delivery, refuse delivery.

Do NOT open the package, don't read anything associated with the package. The mistake you've been making is reading her emails and texts. If a gift arrives, you don't want to even think about what it might have been. Get it?

In fact, have your husband deal with any packages that arrive so you won't know if anything comes or not.

For the record, I think sending you an email with just your (physical, I assume) address in the body of the message is vaguely threatening in a very passive aggressive way.

My stalker (an ex friend) used to send me text messages like that, messages that has double meanings, one meaning innocent and the other designed to freak me out. Once I entirely blocked that person's access to me, it stopped being a problem in my life.

Block her entirely. Good luck.
posted by jbenben at 10:29 AM on June 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


If it sounds harsh to cut her off completely, I should say that this is part of our cycle: we blow up at each other, there's silence for months, even years, and then we become good (long distance) friends again.

I'm going to disagree with above responses. Their advice would be fine if she was a stalker but given the sentence quoted above, how exactly was she supposed to know that you were actually serious this time? You could've cleared all this up if the first time she reached out to you you just said "I was quite serious in my last email. I wasn't just doing the ignore you thing, we've done before. I really, really don't want to talk to you again because of our dynamic. Don't contact me again. If you do, I will never respond." and then ignored her. So send her an email like that and then ignore her.
posted by nooneyouknow at 10:30 AM on June 14, 2013 [36 favorites]


I agree with nooneyouknow. If part of your history is that you forgive each other after long periods of not communicating, how is she to know that this time you don't?

And she's not a threatening stalker ex. She is your old friend who misses you and doesn't know that you don't miss her the same way.

I think an email saying something like "this friendship ran its course years ago and it's pointless for you to keep sending me stuff. Please go away" is appropriate for what you want to convey.
posted by fingersandtoes at 10:35 AM on June 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


This sounds super annoying. I'm sorry she's bugging you. For what it's worth, I have a sort-of similar situation. A girl and I were best friends since second grade. After freshman year of college, my then-boyfriend did something stupid. She called me afterwards and said that I was a horrible person and she never wanted to see me again.

A few months later, 9/11 happened and she sent a group of us an email. I ignored it. She sent me a Facebook friend request. I ignored it. Years later, my mom died. She sent a letter with her condolences, stating that my mom had always been nice to her, also ex-friend was diagnosed with bipolar after a suicide attempt. I ignored it.

What she does now that is really upsetting is she bugs my sister on social media. She started an argument on my sister's Facebook wall. When my sister tweeted something, ex-friend retweeted it (apparently ex-friend has 1000+ Twitter followers) so then crazy people were tweeting at my sister.

I want to tell her that she is a sociopath. I want to tell her to leave my sister alone. But you shouldn't poke the crazy. Continue to ignore. Return letters to sender. Block emails and social media. Ignore, ignore, ignore.
posted by kat518 at 10:39 AM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Best answer: "I'm going to disagree with above responses. Their advice would be fine if she was a stalker but given the sentence quoted above, how exactly was she supposed to know that you were actually serious this time? "

The ex friend IS a stalker.

- It's been two years. Anyone except for a stalker would have backed off by now.

- The level of contact the ex friend is repeatedly engaging in, without any response from the OP, is pretty much the text book definition of stalking.

- The OP already ended the friendship very eloquently two years ago.
posted by jbenben at 10:40 AM on June 14, 2013 [8 favorites]


Best answer: If this is part of your cycle of friendship, I think you're just going to have to wait it out. She might be assuming that you've forgotten about the email where you said you didn't want contact, based on the previous occasions you've fallen out. (Or she might be quite aware of it, and just decided to hassle you until you give in anyway - who knows?) It sounds like she's going to be quite desperate to keep you as a friend, so you're going to have to be at least as persistent in not contacting her. Eventually, you'll win, as it were, if you keep up the no contact for long enough.

It feels a little silly to recommend The Gift of Fear here, but this is sort of one of the things the book talks about - any contact will show your interlocutor that they just ave to hassle you X amount and then you'll respond. So, if you contact her after 2 years, you'll likely extend her contacting you by another 2 years. Best to stick to no contact and divert her attempts to contact you to somewhere you can't see them. That way, you can put it to the back of your mind and just go about your life.
posted by Solomon at 10:57 AM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm also agreeing with nooneyouknow. It sounds like periods of giving each other the silent treatment for years has been par for the course for your friendship.

In the past when you both went years without speaking, did either of you behave like she is right now? I can understand why telling her "do not contact me ever again" would not be effective if you both have a history of ignoring the other person's no-contact requests.

If you decide to respond to her, I would not gently explain anything. I would tell her very directly that she should not contact you again, that any further emails, letters or gifts will be put directly into the trash unopened, and block her number from your phone, block her on social media.
posted by inertia at 11:10 AM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


If she is sending you a gift, she already sent it. Since this is your pattern with her, it's not surprising that she hasn't gotten that this time is different, so I wouldn't treat her like you would a stalker or someone who should know better.

Email her that you wish her well but continue to not be interested in talking to her and that unlike last time, you're not going to change your mind, and in fact will be blocking her from texting and calling, and sending her emails to your spam folder. Then do those things if her contacting you genuinely disturbs you. Otherwise, it starts to smack of you enjoying what drama you can squeeze out of this relatively quotidian occurrence.

If you actually do get a gift, donate it or put it on the curb. No big thing.
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:24 AM on June 14, 2013


You're doing a great job. Continue trusting your instincts and keep up the good work!
posted by bleep at 11:29 AM on June 14, 2013


1. Mark her emails as spam (because that's really what it is) and set up rules/filters to do so automatically so you never see it again.

2. Have someone else call her from your phone, saying they just got this number and no, they don't know Viola, and please stop calling and texting.

3. Next time you receive a letter or package in the mail, have someone else send a note back with the refused mail (in their handwriting) saying they just moved in, and sorry I don't have a forwarding address for Viola.

A bit dishonest? Sure. Helps accomplish your ultimate goal of ceasing communication from her? Absolutely.
posted by trivia genius at 11:30 AM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Response by poster: Thanks for the responses. I should have added that obviously I have filtered multiple of her email addresses into spam. But she uses new work addresses that I'm not aware of, which is how this keeps happening. I also haven't moved in years so she has my home address for when she wants to send handwritten notes.

I have not, however, filtered/blocked her phone number because I am lazy and the text messages are necessarily brief and easy to delete. Is that easy to do on an iPhone?

As for gifts, she drops them off on my parents' doorstep (she lives near them but very far from me) and I just tell them to throw it in the trash or give it to my sister.

I'm going with the stone cold wall of silence. I don't enjoy the drama or the extra expenditure of energy dealing with this, but it helps to remember that she doesn't really miss ME, she just doesn't like getting cut off the way she repeatedly cut me off for years and years.

Anyways, I will buck up and stay strong! Thanks again.
posted by Viola at 11:40 AM on June 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


Given the history, can't see the harm in writing her something like: Hello, I know we've had our blow-ups and subsequently starting to communicate again, but that's not what I want this time. Please don't contact me again. Best fortune, Viola.
posted by ambient2 at 11:43 AM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Tell her you're through and instruct her not to contact you again.
posted by J. Wilson at 11:46 AM on June 14, 2013


Blocking her phone number is not something you should do to save time; it's something you should do help keep her out of your head. You don't want to be ignoring her texts, you want to be not even knowing that she's trying to text. Blocking a number is something that was easy even on my prehistoric brick Nokia, so I assume an iphone would have no trouble with it, but the iphone owners will have to advise on specifics. (I don't know if she will also get a notification that the message was not delivered; if so, that's another bonus.)

Note also that for many email services (instructions for gmail) you can set it up to not only send her emails to trash, but send an automated reply making it clear that the message was not delivered -- you may even be able to disguise it as a "this address is no longer valid" message. It won't get round the problem of her emailing from new accounts, of course, but it will make the wall a little thicker if she emails from a known address.

Finally, there's an obvious answer to this query:

Their advice would be fine if she was a stalker but given the sentence quoted above, how exactly was she supposed to know that you were actually serious this time?

She knows you're serious because you don't respond to her, ever, in any way. And that's the only way she knows you're serious.
posted by pont at 12:19 PM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


I had a smilar friend situation. However in my instance, he was not talking to me, and then I flat out told him to never contact me again and I meant it.

I think she is contacting you because she thinks she can fix it, and win you over, since she ended it in the first place.

What measures are you wanting to take here?

Do you think if you tell her to never contact you that she will take that as "Oh she responded to me! YAY"? Or do you think that it will make her leave you alone?

Personally I think it's the first one. However, I guess if you tell her to leave you alone then I'm not sure how much worse it can get. (I don't know your friend, so I say that lightly.) But she is already WAY out there in the stalking realm, so I'm not sure you have much to lose by sending one message. You could send it from a dummy email account too.

If you do say something, don't gently explain. Tell her "Do NOT contact me ever again. Do NOT send me gifts. Do NOT call me. Do NOT text me. Do NOT email me." She clearly won't take "gently" seriously.

If you think that contacting her will make it worse, then keep on the ignoring path. However I have determined that if my ex-friend tries to contact me, I will respond to him that I don't want to speak ever, and I meant it, and move on.

Again, what measures are you willing to take? Getting authorities involved for stalking? A protection order? I'm sure you have enough evidence that this person won't leave you alone.

My Ask about my bad friend.
posted by Crystalinne at 12:20 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have done the ignore route. A former friend from high school and I had a very negative dynamic. I ended the friendship and she phoned me for years, she also mailed me things and when email entered the picture (this was a long time ago before email was common) she emailed me. I ignored her. It was hard, but I did it.

The emails and calls stopped after about 10 years. But they did finally stop. She's not even tried to friend me on Facebook...so you may have to stay the course, but eventually, in my experience, they do finally stop.
posted by Lescha at 12:28 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you want some form of closure, you could send 1 communication (email or postal mail) saying Our friendship wasn't healthy for me. I have no interest in blame or discussion, and I have no hard feelings, but I do not want to be in contact. Sincerely, You don't have to do this; you've been consistent in your lack of communication. I would definitely tell the parents that if they talk to her, they should just say Viola has no hard feelings, but does not want to be in contact. It sounds like she thinks that persistence will be effective. I'd say it's 50:50 whether a do-not-contact communication would help or hurt.
posted by theora55 at 12:59 PM on June 14, 2013


Best answer: You're right, it's not that she misses you.

Upon your update - WOW. That's an intense level of contact. I'm sorry she involves your family, too.

Don't read her emails when they come from new addresses. Just add the new address to your spam blocker preferences. You really have to stop engaging by not even pondering what she has to say. You do this by understanding anything and everything from her has ZERO to do with you, it's nonsense, it's information for somebody else. When something arrives, you get whatever it is out of your sight and mind as quickly as possible, and this includes not reading anything, ever.

I think there is now a way to block numbers on the new iPhone. I wrote a few questions about that here back when I was having my "problem."

At the time there were no great solutions beyond changing my number, so instead I assigned my stalker's phone number an outgoing voicemail message that was the AT&T "this number has been disconnected" message. They stopped phoning and texting once they were convinced I had changed my number. In the meantime, I assigned my stalker's texts and calls silent ringtones. I also changed their contact info so their name was simply "IGNORE." I actually have a few numbers assigned this name in my contacts, so if any of those numbers ring through and the ID says "Ignore," I'm not even tempted to look at the number or guess who it was. It's someone I'm not interested being involved with, that's all I need to know.

For today's iPhone, you'll probably have an easier time blocking unwanted numbers. Those were examples of the hacks I came up with back in the day because on old iPhones it was not possible to easily block specific callers.

iPhone makes it really easy to delete voicemails without having to hear them. You don't need her voice in your head, so use this feature.

Now. About your family....

I think you're going to have to tell them all one final time that anything from this person should remain unopened, get thrown away, and then ask them not to share with you that anything arrived. It's very intrusive that she uses your family to telegraph messages to you, and you must put a stop to it.

The sooner you implement a process for dealing with this unwanted contact, the sooner this drama can fade into the past. Get your family on the same page concerning this ex friend. Close the door on that chapter of your life. You don't have to go in circles or feel guilty about this a second longer. She doesn't get to take up space in your life.

Just because you're not in physical danger, doesn't mean this person isn't engaging in outrageous behavior directed at you. That's an awful lot of frequent and upsetting contact you describe in your question and update over a two year period. There may be things that are charming and attractive about this woman, but to be honest, she sounds unwell. It's good you decided to extricate yourself. Get your family on the same page as far as processing any future contact, and this relationship will fade from view soon enough.
posted by jbenben at 1:02 PM on June 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


Given your follow up I'd continue to ignore her and toss any mail unopened.
posted by the young rope-rider at 1:22 PM on June 14, 2013


You can't block incoming calls or SMS text messages by number on an non-jailbroken iPhone, not even an iPhone 5 (to my ongoing annoyance) unless you do it at the carrier level. For example, AT&T charges $5/month to block up to 30 numbers.

If you're willing to jailbreak, you have more options.

Keep in mind that if she is sending you text messages via iMessages (in the Message app, the blue text balloons rather than the green ones), she gets a notification that the message was successfully delivered to your phone (or other devices linked to your Apple ID) and if you have read receipts turned on, she will get a notification that you saw the message as well. Here's how to turn off read receipts in iOS.
posted by jamaro at 1:27 PM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


FWIW, since someone mentioned iPhone-- the new iOS 7 will have the ability to block calls and messages from certain numbers.
posted by supercres at 1:54 PM on June 14, 2013


Alternate approach.....

Is this a promising avenue for self-improvement that if properly exploited, would teach how to manage toxic dynamics? Is the approach you are currently taking actually perpetuating the very dynamic you are trying to avoid? (Seems both you and she are sweating it in different ways. A petty ending stays petty.)

Adult relationships don't have to stay in the childish territory in which they were born. Apologies aren't enough. Commitment to change is what makes them different. Any idiot or two can apologize. Meaningless, in most cases. Change, however.... that's rare and good.

Of course, if she's mental, or you are, adult relationships are out anyway. But decent contacts into the past can't be created like new ones. Some history by default is longer, and tastes different as you age.

Doesn't matter, though. Whatever you decide to do today can always be amended tomorrow. Just ruminating on a concept. Good luck. I hope it all works out well.
posted by FauxScot at 1:54 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Don't try to explain to her. Won't work.

This happened to me and I tried to let the person down gently but unequivocally. Didn't work. She continued to stalk me for years, most recently on Facebook where she repeatedly tried to guilt me into dealing with some family shit (which was, it should be obvious, none of her fucking business) as my mother was approaching death. When I again replied briefly that her intrusion was hurtful and unwelcome she flamed me six ways to Sunday. Clearly batshit crazy and it was the last thing I needed at the time.

NOT WORTH ENGAGING. Ignore, ignore, ignore.
posted by Sublimity at 2:48 PM on June 14, 2013


Stay strong: continue never responding to her email, texts, whatever. Anything she snail-mails to your home address should be marked "Return to Sender" and returned unopened to the post office.... I would NOT suggest marking things with any variation of "Addressee Unknown" or "Moved": that might just cause the post office confusion when it comes to the REST of your mail!

As for the packages she leaves with your parents, ask them to just set those out, nice and prominately, with the rest of their trash. And let your family know you are not interested in any messages she leaves, so please don't bother passing those on to you.
posted by easily confused at 3:14 PM on June 14, 2013


Download the Mr. Number app to your phone and set it to pick up and hang up on her number (so she can't even leave voicemails) and to block her texts.

Set up a rule in your inbox to automatically delete her emails.

Throw any packages you receive from her in the trash unopened.

Basically, treat all contact attempts from her as you would treat advertisements you weren't interested in, until your emotional reaction to them is the same as well.
posted by Jacqueline at 3:41 PM on June 14, 2013


I could buy the idea that she doesn't understand that this time is final.

However I don't think that spelling that out to her is a good idea. Leave aside the question of whether it would work or whether this woman is a stalker, the reason for telling her would be out of kindness, the same reason you explained you were cutting off contact originally, instead of letting her twist in the wind.

But as kindness goes, there really is no polite or kind way to tell someone to fuck off and get out of your life because you never want to see them again. Saying so twice is just going to add unkindness to the situation, and if she's truly stalky it's unlikely to persuade her to back off anyway.

So I definitely vote continued no contact here. She'll go away eventually.
posted by tel3path at 5:34 PM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure right now if I read it in The Gift of Fear or elsewhere, but returning mail and packages might itself be viewed as a communication. You can picture it turning into a game, right? Most of her packages come back (with your handwriting on it!) and then one doesn't because you got tired or couldn't be bothered that one time, and she takes that one non-return as acceptance. Better that they go straight into the trash or to charity.* I'd say the same principle applies to voicemails vs. a hang-up app or a changed phone number. It's better to let the stalker think they are getting through and annoying you by leaving a message than to have them go off in pursuit of your new number.

*Advice from The Gift of Fear, or myself, or my recollection of The Gift of Fear may be fallible
posted by ziggly at 5:48 PM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


I disagree with a lot of the advice on here. I think ignoring somebody without giving them closure beforehand is exactly what encourages stalker behavior.

I once had a boyfriend vanish on me without explanation and it sent me into a crazy spiral trying to contact him and find out what happened. In another case where someone made it clear that they wanted no contact when a relationship ended and we actually had a final conversation, I never had that urge.

It's almost like more than anything you want some acknowledgment that you still exist as a person to them, because when somebody who has been an important part of your life just cuts you off without explanation it feels debasing, like a denial of your existence. No matter the circumstances, it's unnerving and can lead to obsession. A lot of the responses to this thread strike me as not understanding the workings of an obsessive psyche.

Continue to stonewall her without giving her closure if you want but expect her stalking to continue for years. If you contact her with a short dismissive three sentence "fuck off" you will get a similar result.

If you want her to stop, you need to give her actual closure. I would call her up, listen to her side, then explain to her exactly why you can't be in contact, and say your goodbyes.
posted by timsneezed at 9:40 PM on June 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Pulled this from this page

Diffuse the unique motivations of the stalker
(a) Make it completely clear that a relationship is not wanted now or in the future.
-Say this only once.
-Use plain language.
-Try not to be emotional.
-Avoid using threatening or humiliating language.
-You may want to rehearse with a friend before speaking with the stalker.
(b) Do not engage in further discussions with the stalker.
-Do not argue with them.
-Do not negotiate with them.
-Ongoing communication will reward the stalker and lead him to maintain contact.

Be careful not to unintentionally encourage the stalker
(a) Never initiate contact with the stalker. They may misperceive this to indicate that you are interested in them.
(b) Statements like, "I'm sorry, but I'm just not interested in a relationship at the moment," or "I'm too busy for this right now," may imply that you could be interested in a relationship some time in the future.
(c) Statements like, "I already have a boyfriend," may be interpreted as "I'd go out with you but for my boyfriend."
(d) Do not let them down easy by delivering your rejection in installments. This will only needlessly prolong the relationship. This may give the stalker hope or give his obsession with you time to grow.
(e) Do not return unsolicited letters of gifts. This may prove to the stalker that he is connecting with you.
posted by timsneezed at 9:55 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've been rejected through the ignoring tactic by guys I used to send love letters to in middle school, so I can affirm that it does work with time. Avoiding and cutting contact does work, but it generally leaves a bad aftertaste in your mouth afterwards, so drink some Orangina if you start feeling guilty.
posted by lotusmish at 11:29 PM on June 14, 2013


Best answer: I don't understand this thread, and I'm pretty sure the OP has checked out by now - but maybe not?

If we read the question carefully, the OP clearly states she wrote an email accepting the ex friend's break-up with her, and added personal reasons explaining the acceptance of the end of the friendship. That's closure right there!

I think the OP was clear she was disengaging herself completely from the cycle of drama. The two years of non-response to overtures from the ex friend proves her intention is firm.

When after two years of non-response, I tried to firmly but compassionately explain to the ex friend harrassing me that it was over, the contact escalated such that I had to change my landline number (a BIG deal, since I used it for business and had it for years) and I managed to save my cell phone number only through subterfuge. We also had a decades long history of on/off relations, so I get where the OP is coming from.

It's so miserable when you've clearly explained yourself the first time, and someone just won't go away. They fixate on you inappropriately. It's not your fault. You were clear. They just won't or don't believe you that it is over.

Folks picking apart the OP's narrative looking for wiggle room for the ex friend to keep up the shenanigans are inadvertently engaging in the same faulty thought process the ex friend is. The twist is that I think most people on MetaFilter would have backed off after the first few overtures were ignored. I think my fellow MeFites who regularly answer AskMe's would have backed off well before TWO YEARS of non-response, whether an explanation had been given (it was!!) or not.

Thanks to the wealth of experience on Ask MetaFilter, I was made aware of WHY the mistake I had made trying to tell my ex friend/stalker once again after two years of harrassment that the relationship was over, FAILED.

My only AskMe's about the fallout were regarding how to block this person on my iPhone.

We do the OP a disservice when we ignore the facts (a clearly written email, two years of non-response) we ourselves would have reacted to sanely by backing off.

This is one situation where trying to see the alternative perspective is just engaging in the crazy.

I think the OP has checked out, but for anyone else dealing in similar circumstances who might read this - IF YOU STATED YOUR INTENT CLEARLY IN WRITING AND BACKED IT UP WITH MONTHS OR YEARS OF IGNORING - YEAH, NO GUILT NECESSARY - YOU'RE DONE AND THE HARASSER IS BEING INAPPROPRIATE.
posted by jbenben at 2:20 AM on June 15, 2013 [9 favorites]


Mod note: Comment deleted. Reminder: please go ahead and address your advice to the OP instead of having side-conversations with other commenters. Thanks.
posted by taz (staff) at 3:56 AM on June 15, 2013


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