Annie Lane: Ghosted and grifted?

Published 5:35 pm Friday, February 24, 2023

Dear Annie: Over the years, I’ve reconnected with a high school friend who I’ve known since grammar school. Each connection throughout the years has been different until this last one where there was an instantaneous spark that truly synchronized us on so many levels, including talks about the near and far future, as well as expressing our feelings for one another, until I was ghosted. He cut off contact and has ignored me completely with no explanation.

I know this tactic has become widely used, but my confusion comes from not knowing what triggered it. We hadn’t a single disagreement or argument. In fact, that last day we talked, he was receiving a shipment on my behalf that he has also since been unresponsive regarding, outside of the scope of our relationship, and I really don’t know how to read this.

Ghosting’s fine. Not being interested in me is fine. But how about common courtesy to return what does not belong to him so that nothing is connected between us? Especially since he’s displayed all the signs that tell me he’s just not interested, which I’ve come to accept and bow out of gracefully.

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– Stranger in Paradise

Dear Stranger: You’re absolutely right. It’s not a crime for this man to have lost romantic feelings for you, however, he has no right to keep what doesn’t belong to him.

Send him another text or email asking to meet to get your package with a few dates that work for you. Mention that you’ve taken his silence to mean the relationship is over and your intention is simple: you just want your possessions back, period.

If he continues blowing you off, consider how far you’re willing to go for this shipment. Depending on what it is, you might be better off cutting your losses. If not, you can reach out to your local police department and inquire about what kind of recourse you have. (You might also confirm with the delivery company that the item in question was successfully delivered to him to begin with.)

• • •

Dear Annie: This is in response to “Crippling Anxiety,” who was struggling and overwhelmed by day-to-day life with anxiety. I, too, have dealt with severe anxiety my entire life, even as a child, but I didn’t know what it was. I felt something must be terribly wrong with me, with this nameless dread and these oppressive feelings. I had to literally name all the things that were all right in my life just to hopefully fall asleep, even at 7 years old.

Finally, in my 30s, I was able to give those feelings their name: anxiety. For me, medication has been a godsend. I have no side effects, just a welcome break from the dreadful stress that would bubble up inside. Certain times of year, depending on the season, I will still have those anxious episodes. They don’t last very long, and I am able to tell myself, “This is just something that happens. It will pass.” And it does, every single time. Everyone is different, and what helped me may not work for everyone, but do not give up! I will be on this medication for the rest of my life, and for me, it works. It is a blessed relief. Others, including my husband, really don’t understand anxiety, and that’s OK. I get you, and you are not alone!

– Been There

Dear Been There: I appreciate you sharing your journey and sending such encouragement to “Crippling Anxiety.” A handful of other readers sent in their stories of gratitude and relief at finding the right method for living with their anxiety, many of which included medication. With the help and guidance of a good doctor, “Crippling” and others may find that same peace of mind.

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