I remember when I first wrote this post, under the same name, when I knew our friendship was over, but before you’d ever said so.
I remember writing it, without knowing the full details, accepting a future I knew was inevitable.
I bet, K, you assumed that I wrote that piece after what you did—all of it. But I didn’t.
I wrote it at Christmas.
A Christmas I’m sure you remember well, because you spent it in America.
I knew before Christmas. No one else did, and everyone else assumed we were still inseparable, the best of friends.
Did you know, K, on my last day, Sophie caught me sobbing?
And do you know what she said to me, K?
“Don’t worry, Carla. It doesn’t matter what she did to you. You have amazing people like K in your life. You know K would never hurt you like that; you two have always been inseparable.”
I cried harder because I knew the truth that only you wanted me to know: You didn’t want me in your life, and you were making sure I was cruelly eliminated.
Except your decision to eliminate me without reason would bring you contempt when people realized you were abandoning me because I was ill, and that was something you couldn’t handle.
The illusion of our perfect friendship had to continue until you could reach everyone you needed to.
That day, which was both of our official last days, I deliberately decided to include you in my farewell speech. While I knew our friendship was over—you’d lied to me days before, on my birthday, so that I turned up at our farewell Christmas party without a costume. I didn’t tell anyone else your lie, and I kept the secret, and I pretended that it had been my plan ‘all along’ to not dress up.
I didn’t tell them that you’d strung me along for weeks as I’d rumbled off costume ideas.
I didn’t tell them that the day before, and the day of, I’d begged you. Anything. We could re-wear our Sailor costumes like we’d planned for Supernova, before mine had accidentally been ruined and I had to go as Snow White.
I didn’t tell them that you told me, repeatedly, you hadn’t planned anything and you didn’t really want to dress up, and if you did, it’d be something you and your husband threw on.
I didn’t tell them that you told me, repeatedly, to just wear plain clothes because it would be ‘funny’, and that’s what you’d probably be doing anyway.
I didn’t tell them any of that when you walked in—a full parade of costumes.
I didn’t tell you, when you whispered across the table about it ‘being last minute’, that it couldn’t be, not in Emerald, which only had one costume shop, that you were all in elaborate costumes, ones that certainly weren’t last minute.
That even if they were, even if I really believed it, you still knew how I felt. You knew that I felt excluded and sad because I straight up told you that you didn’t want me to be associated with your ‘entourage’.
It’s okay. You needn’t worry about me writing this because no one cared when your husband ignored me all night long and made faces when I spoke.
Even my own fiancée didn’t care enough to intervene, and most of your husband’s faces about how horrible it was that I opened my mouth, ever, especially to breathe, were directed towards my fiancée.
However, despite knowing this and knowing I planned to let our friendship go once we no longer worked together, I wanted to honor our friendship, so I gave you the one thing I knew you craved most: Recognition amongst our peers for how great you were. And when I said that I valued our friendship and that I cherished the memories we made together, I meant it.
I still do.
Just like, when everyone else was going on about how our friendship would last forever and oh, weren’t we so cute, the best of friends! You were quietly whispering to me, ‘Thank you for including me in your speech. That was nice of you. I didn’t realize you thought we were friends.’
You said that.
You said that after spending most weekends at my house before I inconveniently fell ill.
You said that after telling your real best friend that I was your ‘Emerald’ best friend.
You said that after your wedding, which you invited me to, which you said that, ‘If you and Scott ever breakup, don’t be worried about telling me. You’re my best friend and [my husband] met Scott later. If someone has to go, it’ll be him.’
Yeah, after making declarations like that, you said that you didn’t realize I thought we were friends.
A few weeks later, after re-asking someone I presumed was a close friend—as she was my bridesmaid—if I’d done something wrong, she repeatedly denied that she didn’t know, before scolding me for asking her because she wanted to remain ‘neutral’ (I guess when the answer to the question is, ‘You were sick, you didn’t get better when you should have, so K and others told everyone you had Munchhausen’s and I believe them’ would mean that you would have had to admit that you were anything but neutral), I sent you what was meant to be a final goodbye message.
I said I was sorry we hadn’t hung out as much because I’d been so ill, but hopefully that would change in the new year. I deliberately kept it open and vague, the way you do when you’re saying goodbye and letting a relationship take its natural, inevitable course, but you’re not childish enough to cut them out and stop speaking to them for no reason.
You replied, dismissing me as ridiculous, because ‘getting sick is just life’. I have the receipts. As we’re both Taylor Swift fans, and we went to a Taylor Swift concert together and we stayed in a hotel together—weird, considering you tried telling me we were never friends—I’m sure you’ll appreciate the reference.
I didn’t mind. It’s what you do at the end of a friendship when you’re both mature adults and nothing’s gone wrong, isn’t it? You smile and reflect and make promises you know you’ll both never keep, and you go your separate ways, with a Facebook like here and an Instagram comment there every year or two.
But then you messaged me, telling me about work, casual days we could get before we both moved from Emerald, asking me how my holidays were, apologizing for not replying sooner.
I wasn’t naïve—a polite email does not equate a friendship.
I responded in kind, and you opened up more—your second email significantly longer than the first (I’m actually looking at them as I write this, so it’s not based on memory, it’s based on fact), and your eager declaration that we should catch up.
I said ‘catch up for coffee at Gloria’s’ the way you would to anyone, but not necessarily someone you’ll believe will take you up on the offer. Not a bad thing if they do, but we all know what I mean by ‘we should catch up for a coffee before you leave’ and ‘let’s absolutely definitely schedule a time. Tuesday works well for me, what about you?’
But it was you who did that.
You made the time. You set it aside.
I thought it meant something. I thought maybe my message, where I’d apologized about being sick, had maybe made sense to you. Maybe you realized that I was just as upset, frightened and confused as you might have been. That maybe you thought, now I was engaged, I was playing up ‘being sick’ for some absurd reason, or some other ridiculous miscommunication that happened, and maybe things would go back to the way they were.
After all, what relationship doesn’t have a few bumpy spots?
I decided I’d made you a scrapbook of all our good memories in Emerald. We had so many of them to choose from: Supernova, your wedding, Marist Races (times two), countless nights out, you introducing me to my husband, SPAM—more things than I can count.
I thought it was a nice gift—if you really were keen on rekindling the friendship, it would give you nice memories, and it would show you that I cared, too. After all, I’d taken the time to assemble a scrapbook, which showed that I valued you enough to spend time on something I’d hoped you’d liked. And if, for whatever reason, you decided you didn’t want to continue our friendship, and we really were parting ways, it’d be a nice token of what was. After all, nothing bad had transpired—my close friend and bridesmaid assured me it was just ‘moving apart’.
But then you blocked and deleted me from everything just a few days later. I didn’t even notice straight away—or, what I mean is, I didn’t notice that you had blocked me straight away. You’d deactivated your account plenty of times, and your last messages had been about how draining Facebook was, so when you disappeared, at first, I didn’t think anything of it.
It was only after you kept getting tagged in things by so many of our mutual friends that I started realizing it was odd. At first, I just assumed it was a Facebook glitch, or that maybe you could tag certain people still depending on when they’d deactivated it. It didn’t seem to be a thing of concern—after all, why would it?
But then, it started becoming more obvious. When you have 60+ mutual friends at the time of blocking someone, it becomes abundantly clear when one of those people blocks you.
Especially when they haven’t told most of your mutual friends that you’re even ending the friendship, so they turn up to your wedding in a few months, confused as to where ‘your best friend is’ because you were too cowardly to tell them what you did.
I was devastated, but there wasn’t anything to be done. You’d made it impossible for me to contact you in any way, even going so far as to block and remove my husband from everything—someone who barely uses social media and even remembers his Instagram password anymore. So it was impossible for me to mistake your meaning: You did not want to talk to me at all. It didn’t matter what I had or hadn’t done, because you didn’t even want to give me the opportunity to explain, or even hear why you had decided you suddenly hated me so vehemently.
When I originally wrote that post, the one that promised hope to millions of women who had suffered similar friendship breakups, I thought what you had done was cruel and cowardly, but nothing more.
I did not realize, K, that you were telling everyone I had Munchhausen’s.
It’s weird how someone so educated would rather believe that I have Munchhausen’s than accept a much simpler answer: When you contract meningitis and encephalitis, your body is bound to suffer.
When I thought our friendship ended, I thought you were a decent person—at least for the most part.
I did not think that you were capable of telling people, including my husband’s friends in Adelaide, that I had Munchhausen’s, when a) the only person who can make that diagnosis is a psychiatrist, which you are not, and b) that anyone, especially you, could be so malicious.
So this letter is very different from the first, K, as I’m sure you can tell (if you ever read either).
I know what you did, K.
I know what all of you did.
I know that my own bridesmaid was standing next to me while I was marrying my husband believing that I was poisoning myself, at the very least.
I know that at least two of my husband’s groomsmen also believed this.
I know that more people than not had at least heard of the Munchhausen’s rumors, even when I hadn’t, regardless of whether or not they believed them.
Everyone seemed to assume that I’d heard them.
And those that didn’t want me to know, like my bridesmaid, made sure I didn’t. They told me that everything was all in my head while knowing it wasn’t.
You did that, K.
For almost an entire year, you successfully made sure I knew I was nothing while making sure that the right people saw me as your best friend (while making sure you could eliminate that very same evidence when the time came on your social media). It took me a while to notice how you strategically placed me in your photos, making sure I was never quite with you, but with my photos, the ones that could be denied or explained, we could be ‘together’.
And you were so successful.
It’s been almost four years and people still believe the Munchhausen’s rumors. My husband’s parents do, thanks to you and your kind.
He’s barely spoken to them for a year because you thought it was your place to do something so horrifically cruel.
Because they actually think that you must have been telling the truth, because why else would you do that in the first place?
But the sad truth is, K, that there’s plenty of people in this world like you. I don’t know why you did what you did, and I don’t know how you justify it.
What I do know is that the best thing about this friendship breakup is that I understand that now, and I never have to have anything to do with you again.
And I think that’s a far more fitting goodbye letter.
Author: Carla Robinson
Author Bio: I love a lot of things, which is why my Instagram is @thingscarlaloves.
Some of the things I like are weird, like my fondness for horror films. Others are more normal, like my love for dogs.
If you think we have similar loves, definitely drop me a line.
Link to website: https://thingscarlalovesofficial.wordpress.com/ | Instagram @thingscarlaloves