Check my foolishness please

I have a friend who texted me one week ago saying (paraphrasing) “Someone important to me has died, I will not be in communication for a few days.”

Okay. I replied with commiserations etc.

The next day she texted me again, “I won’t be going to [thing we planned to go to a few days later]. And I’ll probably be completely out of touch for a while.”

I ask if I can do anything, bring food etc, and I ask if she’ll mind if I check in in about a week, and she replies “Thanks, I’m okay, and feel free to check in, but I don’t know when I’ll have a phone again.”

She’s not going to have a phone? Okay…

Maybe her friend who died lives in the Australian Outback. Iunno. She’s a good friend but it’s not like I know everything about her.

The next day, her husband–with whom she has been in a trial separation for about a month–leaves a message on her facebook wall. “If anyone needs to get in touch with [her name here], contact me and I’ll pass it along. Please don’t inundate me with questions, though–I don’t really feel like talking about it.”

Okay, it’s her private life, I need to not interfere but I’m starting to get a “wtf is happening” feeling. I start to have paranoid fantasies that he’s done something to her which I KNOW IS REALLY SILLY but I get into “worst case scenario mode” sometimes. I recognize that for what it is, and move on.

Today the pressure breaks, and I actually do a drive by of her house. (She just lives a couple minutes away so it is unfortunately easy for me to feed my paranoia in this way.) Her car is still in the driveway, which means she isn’t going to work and hasn’t been, probably, which worries me, and there is a broken window–which I had never heard mention of, and which I know must have happened within the two weeks prior to my last contact with her. Something like this would normally have been posted to facebook.

Maybe she was in an accident, her friend in the passenger seat died, she is ashamed to say it, and she’s at the hospital incommunicado? That’s the best case scenario running through my head right now.

Worst case scenario, her husband in an (as far as I know uncharacteristic) fit of rage attacked her and is holding her, or worse. Which I know is just, just BEYOND silly to think. But I can’t let go of the thought.

Two questions:

  1. Can you please provide me with some mundane scenarios?

  2. Should I do something? Like, would calling the police about this be COMPLETELY inappropriate? Not to spout my paranoid fantasies but just to see if they are up for checking in on her or something.

If someone I cared about died, I might not put fixing a window at the top of my priority list. Also when my mom died I was home for a week, dealing with the arrangements.

You don’t take a hint very well, do you?


My first guess would be a mental health episode (e.g., depression), and she has checked into an inpatient treatment program with limited access to the outside world. The stigma of mental illness would explain the evasive or misleading statements from her and her husband.

The same would apply for an inpatient recovery program for substance abuse/addiction.

While that thought had crossed my mind, once the post from her husband on her facebook page went up, I knew that what you’re thinking wasn’t what was happening.

Edit: Also, Shodan, suppose you had been right. Did you really want to handle that fact in such a cruel fashion? Or do you, on reflection, wish you had put it differently?

Phones are usually confiscated in psychiatric wards, so…that’d be my guess.

Maybe rehab.

She might be having an operation - might be something very personal or “cosmetic” (plastic surgery) and she does not want anyone to know about it.

Respect her wishes.

It also could be something legal - she may need to be spending time in jail and does not want anyone to know about it. Respect her wishes.

Or maybe she is telling the truth? In any case, she seems to want some privacy, so I would respect her wishes.

FYI - “A friend is someone who knows all about you and still likes you!” I don’t care to have friends like her. I prefer people who can be open and honest about themselves. Makes for a better and closer relationship. Not someone I would want to have a long term relationship with.

Depending on what state you live in, there may be options. In Illinois (as recently happened with Sinead O’Connor), you can ask the police to run a well-being check, and they will. The procedure is for the police to make an effort to contact the person at a usual location, and take any necessary action to assure the safety of the subject. I don’t think it entitles you to get any feedback concerning the result of the check, but reassures you that somebody is aware of a potential problem.

So you can call your local police and ask if the state law allows them to run a well-being check.

What I am thinking is that you should MYOB.

She wants to be left alone. She said so, her husband said so. You then begin speculating that her husband has attacked her and is holding her in the basement. Do you think that maybe that is the kind of thing she wants to avoid?

Maybe she is in the hospital suffering from a major depressive episode. Maybe she is meeting with lawyers to talk about the estate of a relative, or her divorce. How about if you give her a little space to deal with whatever it is?

I have no idea if she is trying to tell you, specifically, not to bother her. But I have no idea how many of her friends want to call the cops every time her soon-to-be-ex-husband posts something on Facebook.

Like I said, you don’t take hints well. OK - what I think is that you should Leave Her the Fuck Alone for a month. Maybe when she gets out of the hospital/is out on bail/flies back from the Bahamas, she will tell you all about it.

You want us to check your foolishness? I checked - you’re being foolish. Now stop doing it.


You’ll just have to wait this out. It’s clear this friend will be out of contact and doesn’t want to give you any more details. I understand how this is going to distract you right now but that will pass soon.

Don’t you have any friends in common? I think the first thing I’d do is contact someone I know who is also a friend of this woman, and say, “I’m worried about Mary. Do you have any idea what’s going on with her?”

That person may tell you everything is OK with Mary, in which case you can stop worrying. Or that person may have some idea of what to do, such as “I’ve been worried about her, too. I’ll call her sister and find out what’s going on and get back to you.”

In this one paragraph you mention the house and the car, but don’t specify which has a broken window. Is it the house or the car?

Leave it.

I don’t agree with Shodan on much, but he’s exactly right on this one. There is nothing in what you said that suggests she is in any kind of trouble that requires your intervention. Thinking the husband is holding her prisoner is so far out there that “foolishness” doesn’t begin to cover how ridiculous that is.

Speculate to yourself all you want, but don’t do anything more than that. It’s none of your business.

IMHO, but if I asked politely (three times, plus a fourth via my husband,) for some space to deal with whatever my problem is, and someone sent the police to check on me, I’d be furious. On top of all this (whatever shit) I am dealing with, now I have to explain myself to the police?! That’s beyond intrusive, totally paranoid, and would probably result in the end of our friendship.

She’s asked politely, the husband doesn’t want to talk about it either, and there’s a broken window. Maybe someone broke into their/her house and killed the dog.

And my thought, not knowing the couple and worst case scenario - do they have a child? If so, you might not want to pull that thread.

We don’t actually. But mystery solved as it turns out. Her husband texted me a few minutes ago at her request and explained the basics of what’s going on. A hospitalization is involved.

While you’re right ultimately, I don’t really agree that thoughts of calling the police are that far out there. They’re out there, but not incredibly so. I mean, someone basically drops off the face as far as you can tell… after a week you start to wonder if they’re safe. Add in intense ongoing family drama and well…

Anyway, see prior post!

Hell, she could have taken a cab to the airport and isn’t there at all, which would explain both the car still being there, and the un-fixed window.

I mean, someone being gone for a couple weeks isn’t unheard of if the loved one was a parent or sibling.

See post #17. She’s in a hospital.