30 Reasons Why I Disappeared

Do you ever wonder why some people disappear from your life?

Or they stay on the edges of it but keep tabs on you from a distance? Sometimes you drift apart and other times there is complete silence with no clarifying conversation + no closure. And you don’t know if you’ve “done something” or if they died or were kidnapped by the mafia or if their phone was stolen (and your number along with it) or if life just swallowed them whole. And it sucks, especially if they meant a lot to you. Maybe you admired them and wanted to be close. 

It doesn’t make sense, you whisper into your pillow at night and mentally replay your conversations, text messages, emails, or get-togethers. Everything was fine. I know. It’s happened to me—more than once. 

But today I want to tell you about the other side. I’ve been that person. I’ve been the one who slips out the back door when you’re not looking.

Here’s why. 

These reasons are blunt and direct on purpose. I hope they will be helpful for someone. They’re not easy to write and if you’ve had this kind of thing happen to you they may not be easy to read. Please only do so if you’re in a strong place. If this is raw or fresh for you right now you might want to bookmark it to read at another time. Most importantly … do not read these and think they are about you! This is what fifteen years’ worth of navigating relationships and myself looks like.

30 reasons why I disappeared

  1. You wanted more from me than I could give.
  2. We grew apart.
  3. You were controlling and toxic.
  4. You were greatly disrespectful of my space, my very full life, my sacred no, my journey, my relationships + my beliefs.
  5. I was depressed. You were high-maintenance. I couldn’t carry both of us.
  6. Your jealousy was too much for me.
  7. You were too close and stifled me, my creativity, my being.
  8. I couldn’t handle the toxicity anymore.
  9. I moved on and you didn’t. 
  10. You moved on and I didn’t.
  11. I was going through deep personal shifts and you didn’t understand. At the time it was so raw and I couldn’t explain. You were not considerate or patient. I chose to remove myself from your accusations, your judgements, your leaping-to-conclusions, your harassing texts, your demands, your disrespectfulness.
  12. We were meant for seasons, not for life.
  13. You manipulated me. You were passive-aggressive. You played with my mind. I had enough.
  14. You took my words, concepts, and ideas. You used me. I felt smothered. I felt betrayed.
  15. You took advantage of my good nature and eagerness to please. 
  16. You wanted me around for what I could do for you, how I could inspire you, for the gifts I gave you.
  17. I always feel drained after being with you. I’m in a season of guarding my energy.
  18. I didn’t have good boundaries before. I tried to make it work anyway. It didn’t.
  19. I couldn’t explain. And I realized I don’t have to.
  20. You asked way too many personal questions. 
  21. You kept pressing me.
  22. I didn’t want to hurt you. I avoid conflict and confrontation. Nothing I could say would be helpful to you. In fact, it might make things worse.
  23. You wanted me to need you, to ask you for advice, for a place at your table. I made you feel empowered. I still loved you. But I was no longer available for your emotional fulfillment.
  24. You were codependent. You withheld love and went back on your word again and again.
  25. I did not trust you.
  26. You used me to make you look good and then threw me under the bus.
  27. You wanted me to change according to your timeframe and worldview and you were not willing to agree to disagree.
  28. I didn’t like to argue. I didn’t like debate.
  29. The toxicity was making me sick. I didn’t know how to tell you. 
  30. I was going through some really heavy, personal things. I didn’t want to talk about it. You wouldn’t leave me alone.

Truth is? If this has happened to you, you may never know what happened. I may never know. I am not proud of all the ways I’ve slipped out the back door because I’ve left people hurt and confused which I never like to do, regardless of the reasons why. But in others, I am damn proud—I slipped out that back door because I was running for my life. My life, freedom, and a little breathing room.

There must be grace for this, the both of them. There must. 

If someone you love or admire “disappears” on you … 

Always assume the best. Have beautiful boundaries. Be respectful. Don’t push too hard or you could push away. Trust your heart. Let others trust theirs. It’s okay to reach out. To say “hey … I notice you’ve been quiet. Is everything alright?” Most likely life is happening—the kids get sick, the emails, dishes, and laundry pile up, and getting teeth brushed before bed is a luxury. Unless you have reason to think otherwise, always assume the best. 

After several days of silence, if you’ve got a strange feeling it’s okay to reach out again with a simple “If I’ve done something …?” or “Is there anything you need?” note. Gently. 

But after that … don’t press it. Maybe it’s you. Maybe it’s them. You’ve made yourself available and shown concern. Respect their space and their journey, as mature or immature as it might seem. You never know what is going on behind the scenes. Maybe they are wrestling with their sexuality and don’t know what to say; maybe they are walking through a heavy and unexpected dark night of the soul, maybe they are processing past abuse and are intensely private. Maybe they don’t have the language to express a profound awakening. You just never know.

Has this ever happened to you? 

It hurts. And the grief must be felt. How did you move through the process?


Hillary Rain