I got invited by an old friend to meet up with another one a year after our graduation (before corona). I was really excited, bc one was my former best friend of over 10 years. I was aware that we were hardly good friends anymore, but I thought that it would still be a nice experience. My former BF was there when I fought against my anxiety problems and I wanted to show her how much I was able to work on myself: I can talk to strangers easily now and I'm no longer afraid to take the public transport alone. My anxiety was part of the reason why our friendship broke down. We never talked about it, but I'm not doubting that.
I wasn't trying to go back to how it was, I just hoped to show her that I did make progress, that I'm no longer stuck in my headspace, and that a casual friendship would be... doable? That we could still find things we admire and like about each other, even if we go a year or more with barely any contact.
But it went really bad. The 3 of us spent the whole day together. We explored the city and the other two wouldn't stop talking excitedly... with each other. It was like I wasn't even there and I'm not trying to make it dramatic. I'm not a very anxious person anymore, I can involve myself in conversation, I can make jokes or share my experiences with my university - but all this didn't seem to matter. Whenever I tried, the just ignored it or talked right over me. And I was crushed. I was frozen and confused. I didn't know what was happening. It was surreal.
The 3 of us drove back together. The whole car ride of 3 hours, I didn't say a word. Finally, after 2 hours, they asked whether I was feeling alright. Well, what do you think how I am feeling?, I didn't say.
After that, I gave up being friends. But what really drives me mad is that I wasn't even really trying to become good friends again. I just wanted to have something small, to not completely lose all those shared memories.
I don't even know whether they were even a tiny little bit aware of what they were doing. But they sure harmed my self-esteem. I honestly questioned whether I ever had any real progress at all with my anxiety