Tuesday, October 30, 2007

No Way to Say Goodbye

One of my closest journal friends has vanished. Someone who sometimes posted two or three times in a day simply quit writing. Hasn’t left comments anywhere else. Hasn’t replied to emails. She’s just…gone.

Since I know she was going through a lot of upheaval in her life, I am alarmed at her disappearance. I’m afraid something really bad may have happened. I am worried about her. And I’m completely helpless to do anything about it.

This episode has sent me on another of my "internet friends suck" tangents. From time to time, I am rudely reminded that the internet is a really bad place to "meet" people. Because you never actually do. Meet them. You only know what they write. It could be real, or it could be complete fantasy. When you choose to cultivate internet relationships, there is a huge amount of blind trust involved. And, as is true in any other aspect of our 21st century lives, real or virtual, blind trust is often misplaced.

I have to admit, though…I understand that this sort of thing—this popping in and out of relationships—is not necessarily an exclusively "ethereal" occurrence. There is something about people in our society…we are so able to walk into others’ lives, interact until we have our fill of whatever it was we needed, and then walk away without looking back. We are so…disposable to each other. Friendships are disposable. Marriages are disposable. Family relationships are disposable. We hang around only while it works for us. If for whatever reason the tide turns, we are outta there.

Then again, I’ve never been a master of good relationships. In fact, I have no idea why I have a decent marriage. Just about every other relationship I’ve had in my life has, well, sucked. I have an inkling that I’m too easily bruised, and way too unwilling to be needy. My husband gets me, and to some extent, my family does. But that combination of hyper-sensitivity and stand-offish independence has not been a great way to win friends and influence people over the years. So I haven’t really had a lot of friends upon whom to test out my theories on good relationships… J

So all I can do about my missing internet friend is to hope she is okay and try to wish positive energy in her direction. And hope she will pop back into the ether as quickly as she disappeared from it. What a lame, helpless kind of friendship. But it is what it is, I guess.


  1. I am devastated and worried about this as well.  I used to have her phone number but I'm sure it was just on a scrap of paper long gone.  

  2. I hope your closest journal friend is OK and she returns at some time in the future to put your mind at rest ~ Ally x

  3. The ebb of flow of relationships is part of the way of life.  People touch our lives for whatever reason to either help them get through something or to help us get through something.  I only have 1 friend that has stayed the course with me and even that friend and I have at times taken breaks from one another. I have learned not to take everything personally, I am not the center of all things that happen.

    Of course a sudden disappearnce can be troubling and cause us concern.  Sending out good thoughts and then letting it go is a good thing to do.

    PS: no relationship is lame there are lessons to be learned from all who touch our lives.

  4. I'm so sorry to hear that your friend has vanished.  I would be very troubled if an online friend of mine was gone without a word.  I hope that she reappears and that nothing more that life's chaos has kept her away.

    I know you've had your misgivings about  internet friendships over the years.  But I'm so glad that you're still here.  And, I'm glad that our circles of trust intersect.


  5. You are so right. Good friends or even indifferent friends are damn hard to come by. Can't afford to lose even one. Good luck to her.


  6. It's difficult to find good, solid friends regardless of your standoffishnessneedy-ornotneedyness.  Honest.  

    Perhaps someone else who reads/comments in her journal was/is closer to her and they can point you in the right direction or pass along some watered down version of ... what?

    I really enjoy my internet friendships.  I didn't enjoy it so much when my good on-line (and eventually the friendship turned into a friendship over the phone -- long distance does stink a bit) passed away this spring.  It stunk and it hurt.  

    I feel your angst on this one.  It's frustrating and worrisome.  And you tell yourself it shouldn't be, but somehow it is.

    {{hugs}} Virtual or not ... they are the best.  Even for you!

  7. I'm very worried about her too.  I don't know her well enough to call her, however, I did find 3 numbers for her that I passed on to Wenda, who has tried calling...apparently, two of the numbers were old (disconnected), but dunno about the third...but Wenda will let us know right away if she finds out anything.

    I'm sending good thoughts her way, too, and hoping it's just computer problems...


  8. I have often hated the sudden disappearing acts too...I have been so absent I do not even know of whom you are writing.

    But, that said, I love you Ms Lisa.

    And if I did not get that new little baby boy (Guess what we named him? Charley.)
    I would be closer to finishing your surprised.

    That I am going to mail to you too.

  9. Lisa, First off, I send you my condolences for the death of your mother. Judi sent me here to read your post about missing Cynthia and the quality of your writing drew me into reading more.

    I wrote about the issue of losing blogging friends, too, some time after Cynthia disappeared (now I lay me down to sleep). I've been trying to find Cynthia, but without any success. I miss her and feel anxious that she has disappeared to suddenly and for so long.

    I hope she and the womanchild are okay, but I fear they are not.

  10. It appears many of us have been concerned about Cynthia, and I've no doubt that she is aware and appreciative.  I too suspect that she is going through something quite difficult right now and needs her privacy to protect and heal.  We can take comfort in knowing that she has friends and support in her life and community.  When she is ready and if she so chooses she will come back and tell us what has happened in her life.  More than that we cannot expect.  

    The truth is that virtual friendships are limited by definition. Unless we choose to make real world contact via phone or even tangible meeting, relationships via the blogs are, I've come to think, rather like that of pen-pals who have never met but correspond faithfully over time and distance; we come to know and care for each other, very sincerely to be sure, yet always there is that remove.  It is an easy sort of friendship to maintain; we breeze in at our convenience, offering heartfelt words of support and encouragement and then disappear into our own lives until next login. Yes, we care. Yes, we share. But nothing is truly expected of us.  

    Real life relationships are not like that. Real life friendships are so richly rewarding because they are not abstract; they are sometimes inconvenient, occasionally messy; requiring us to forgive faults and reveal ourselves in ways that the still relative anonymity of the blogs does not.  We may think we are being honest when we write about our limitations and foibles but we are still choosing what to reveal and what we believe it says about us.  True friendship makes demands that writing a blog does not.  Certainly, it has it's own rewards or no one would bother at all.  But, as you say, it is what it is.  They don't call it virtual reality for nothing.