The Hardest Breakup

It was one sentence. One sentence in an email that was the iceberg to our Titanic. Following that, it was one defensive, disastrous email after another, a few uncomfortable phone calls, and a single mailed letter. Then just like that – after four years of Hard Core Best Friends – it was just over.

Over.

I replayed those last few weeks again and again in my head for probably a year. The hurt. The accusations. The betrayal. Four years of friendship disassembling into a sea of wreckage in what felt like moments, so fresh I could still taste it. Even now, nearly two decades later, I’m still confused by it all. Not so much hurt anymore, but I’d be lying if I said I don’t still think about her from time to time.

It’s no coincidence I’m bringing this subject up again – the inherent complexities in women’s friendships- after Monday’s post. Clearly, I’m an expert by default, which is why this breakup stung particularly bad; it was my first Best Friend since grade school. The first woman I’d let into my world, my heart, after years of basically writing off the female gender as a whole.

I moved on from boyfriends in days, weeks at the worst, the pain never lingered long. But this? The end of me and her, and her and me, and all our secrets, and laughs, and shared experiences? My first close female friendship…ever?

This. Was. Brutal.

I read a book the other day that struck so many chords, I sounded like a harp.

My Other Ex: Women’s True stories of Leaving and Losing Friends.

My-Other-Ex-final-3-200x300

35 women came forward with their own breakup stories (and quite a few reconciliations), gently woven together by the editors of the HerStories Project into a gorgeous, heartfelt anthology.

I couldn’t put it down.

Each essay is heartfelt and brutiful. Some had me nodding my head; some made me chuckle; some shocked me; some made my eyes fill with tears. And yes, the ugly cry happened more than once. But most of all, I came away realizing I wasn’t nuts for the overwhelming and intense feelings I experienced when that friendship ended all those years ago.

The bond between women is often deeper than any other relationship in our lives. It’s small enough to seep into our marrow and interweave with our every fiber, yet immense enough to fill a stadium. It’s the deepest trust. The truest true.

“There can be so much good, so much power, so much love, in female friendships. But there is also a dark side of pain and loss. And surrounding that dark side, there is often silence. Women feel that there is no language to talk about their feelings. There is shame, the haunting feeling that the loss of a friendship is a reflection of our own worth or capacity to be loved. My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Losing and Leaving Friends is a step toward breaking that silence. The brave writers in this engrossing, diverse collection of 35 essays tell their own unique stories of failed friendships and remind us of the universality of loss.”
 
If you’ve ever felt the anguish of a friendship ending, whether it was the friendship of a sister, an aunt, that spunky girl in elementary, or the one from college….this is a book you must read.

To get your copy from Amazon go here

Advertisements