My best friend didn't invite me to her wedding
So my childhood friend didn't invite me to her wedding and I don't know how to get passed it.
We have been through everything together over the years.
She spoke to me a few months ago about potentially going to Fiji and just eloping or only including family. She said she didn't want to make a big fuss of her wedding and make it a social event.
While I understood that, I also assumed I would have been included.
She has always considered me family. She calls me Aunty to her daughter. I always considered her mum my second mum growing up. I often spent more time at her house than my own.
As we have become adults, and lived our own lives, there were periods when we weren't as close and didn't speak as often. But when we got together again, it's as if nothing had changed.
She always maintened that I was one of her best friends and that it would always be like that.
After she had her baby, she got post natal depression and sort of stopped making an effort with me. I was always the one visiting her, calling, keeping in touch, making plans to see her etc. She made no effort, cancelled plans often, rarely called etc.
I started to get fed up. After a few years of this, I confronted her about it and she said that she was like that toward everyone.
That she had one friend who helped her through her post natal depression because she had gone through it herself and understood the condition first hand.
I was a bit upset that she pushed me away when I tried to help her and confided in someone else but I accepted it.
Anyway, fast forward 2 years, we have grown apart a bit. Mainly because I stopped making an effort as well. Partly because I was tired of being the only one to make an effort, and partly because I have some health problems of my own now.
No, she has not been there for me through my problems.
About the wedding.. She let me know via text along with ten others that she got married and that it was immediate family only.
I was a bit upset because I thought she counted me as family and it hurt I wasn't included but I could get over it.
Then I saw on Facebook that one of her friends was there.
I asked her about it and she said that her and her husband chose one friend each to invite.
I guess I was upset that she didn't include me.
This friend is also very close to her like me, but has her own life, husband and has spent much of the last few years overseas.
In fact, they live a few streets away from each other and and they barely saw each other the last few years even when she was in the country.
If anything, she has been closer to her new friends who she has reached out to about her post natal depression, but they weren't included in the wedding either.
I guess it hurts that she lumped me with everyone else in her life.
The friend she chose to invite is her other childhood friend. Sort of equivalent to me in that she considers both of us family.
I just never thought she would choose between us like that.
The wedding was held locally at the beach we grew up near and spent so much time at when we were younger.
It just breaks my heart that I wasn't there to share in one of the most important days of her life and now I don't feel I'll get that chance again.
I understand she didn't want her wedding to be a big deal, but now she's made me feel like our friendship and our history isn't a big deal to her either.
What do I do? Do I forgive her and get passed this? How can I ever be close to her again knowing she chose to exclude me from her wedding day?
This is a problem that i feel you should be looking into yourself to answer. I'll say a couple of things, but ultimately you should be asking yourself that. Whether you forgive her or not has to be a decision that you ultimately decide by yourself.
First, I had a short read of postnatal depression. It seems to be quite severe, with three things that stood out to me. "Low self-esteem and lack of confidence", "Anxiety, panic attacks or heart palpitations" and "Feeling that life is meaningless". All of these would significantly impact on social life, may even remove it entirely. However, people who have shared a similar fate have a connection that predisposes most forms of problems, as you don't feel different when in their presence. That would be why, of all the people in her life, the only one she talked to (as a friend) was the women who also had postnatal depression.
Furthermore, there is one further thing about postnatal depression that I thought was important in this context. "Feelings of inadequacy and guilt". By the sounds of it, your friend made little to no effort to contact you, talk to you, or try any other form of relations within her time of postnatal depression (assuming it isn't still happening). I would assume she feels very guilty and even inadequate because of your efforts to try and make it work. She's probably scared about the encounter, or rather anxious about how you'll react to her. Her other childhood friend, on the other hand, has been overseas and had relatively little connection to her while she has/had her postnatal depression, so the same problem doesn't arise.
However, with that said, she still should've made the effort in the end even if she does not invite you to your wedding. It was clear that you went to great lengths to try and help her through the tough time and while she may feel guilty over this, making the effort for you now should be something she should be doing.
As I said, there's really no right or wrong here. You could try contacting her again and seeing if she's willing to fix the connection between you two. You don't necessarily have to forgive her at first, but communication is a long step towards that process. But as I said, these are decisions you have to make for yourself. You'll feel much more content if you feel it was a decision made from your heart.
Stella - why don't you throw a little party for her and her new husband? Then you will be able to share in the event. Invite even more people who would like to be close to her at this time. There are probably other people who feel the same as you do and would like to be close to her at this happy time in her life.
It's a fact of life that relationships are a two-way street. Or if you like, a pot-plant which demands that two people be responsible for watering and feeding just one side each (the opposite side) of a single pot plant but where nurturing from either side remains overly contained to said opposite/counterpart side, meaning, when one person out of the duo is failing by whatever lax degree to do their duty of maintenance, not only will your side look the worst for wear but the entire plant will be only half healthy, i.e. BARELY healthy. Certainly not enough to bloom and regenerate. If this is allowed to go on for long enough, even the roots will deteriorate (and then you're f***ed).
There are only so many moves you can make before you stand back and notice how only one-way is going on. Yes, there can be extenuating circumstances, like post-natal depression, but if after that episode, with the person understood to be back to their normal self, she *still* fails to step back up, you have to accept that they do not value the relationship to the same degree you do, no matter WHAT they might say with their mouth or mere Macsurface actions. It's deep, sustained actions that prove what's true or not, or one massive action that can't be argued with.
Alot of what I read in your post seemed to focus on the sentimental angle in terms of your friend representing a tangible link to your childhood in your mind. Clearly, that's not how your friend operates (ever or any more) and, despite you never had cause to notice before today, now you see it (in one giant action equal to a run of repeat smaller actions over time). Otherwise she'd have paid this base meaning due credence by having made you her sole wedding-day friend, not this other woman.
Clearly for her, her wedding day was not a celebration of her life up until that point. For her, it obviously meant one of all things new or less recent.
Obviously, when this woman was testing you out regarding how you'd feel at being left out, you got the wrong end of the stick. Hardly surprising, given how 'round the houses' she was about it. But having communicated her intention ineffectively, she kidded herself that you wouldn't be that bothered rather than had misunderstood and ran with that mis-reading, taking it to the bank.
Time and further testing events always prove what lies at the crux of any acquaintanceship, be it platonic or, deeper, romantic. Experiences, especially traumatic and testing ones, affect your shape - either by reinforcing and exaggerating it or altering it majorly. Because they're deeper, romantic relationships expose their connective essence and along with it the base shape of an individual that much faster, especially when your 'mere' friendship featured the huge pauses it did. These had the result of slowing down thus delaying the inevitable result and outcome (the inevitability possibly since altered off its original course via her experience of PND). This means it's just taken far longer than it otherwise would have for you to see what chasmic incompatibility exists between your respective understandings about what friendship is and means and why, and the resultant attitudes as colour respective behaviour.
In with that is this: When you've been a main witness to their 'warts' and imperfections, some people, once they recover (what they deem) their more publicly-impressive selves, don't LIKE being reminded via some visual trigger symbol on legs (you) that they once were in what to them was a truly pathetic, desperate and unattractive state. So in their wish to leave that blot on their landscape far behind - you - being a part of that blot - get deliberately left behind with it. "Good riddance to that whole era!".
Furthermore, them having been stuck for too long in underdog position compared to you, they either fear (or have concluded rightly or wrongly via certain seeming behavioural evidence) that this lopsided dynamic has had a chance to set too firmly, meaning it would take too much mental effort to alter back to a more equal strength and impressiveness state. If they've already got, by their standards, enough on their plate, and if their pride can't take it, they can't be arsed. Basically. But this links back to how much value the friendship truly, underneath any seeming surface impression/evidence, held for them.
You admit yourself you were getting regularly and increasingly pissed off with her so you would have been better to have taken heed of those signs and gone, "Old friend now proven a dud - neeeext!". You hung on in your mind for, as I say, sentimental childhood associations reasons which, as I say, she didn't possess. And - be honest - that's it, that's all... That was the one and only remaining facet of value about this friendship to you.
Some people have a conglomerate sense of moral plus sentimental plus social responsibility/duty that they place onto/express via relationships and some don't. Birds of a feather tend to stick together - no matter WHAT life throws at them to push them apart. It's impossible for outside events and changes to damage or weaken in any permanent sense a human-human connection that copious test-driving has proven lies at the very essence of each of your beings because core moral values tend only to flex a little, not get actually shunted up or down the values queue or brought out - "ta-daa!" - only whenever and for however long it suits the person and whatever it is they feel is in their interests to display.
We're obviously of similar feather because - I'm with you. "What a chocolate teapot she turned out to be as far as you're concerned, NEXT CANDIDATE, PLEASE!".
In summary, your half house was built atop stone. Hers was built atop twigs. Enter wind, rain, sleet, snow, hurricane..... PLEUGH!, went her half the house, leaving yours likewise uninhabitable thereby rending the entire building useless.
Look at it this way: she's finally through this giant insult set you free to seek a better, *lasting* friend...one who IS there for you after you've been there for them, and one who gives you credit for having helped shape the person they've become... not one built (or half built) atop the pithy, woefully inadequate foundation called Common Circumstance(s).
She could always go on in time to prove me wrong, though, in terms of it being a temporary rather than permanent development/exposure. But to-date, you've done *enough* of your own workload and hers, don't you think?