Hello future loyal readers.
Thanks for visiting my website! Tell all your friends!! Haha… scratch that “Haha” I’m actually serious. Tell ALL your friends. Please?! LOL
I am an average woman in her mid 30’s. I am not a qualified expert in anything, but if I was, friendship problems would be up there! Problems more than resolutions that is! Lol But I’m working on that!
I play many roles in my life; I am a daughter, a sister, a niece, an aunty, a wife and a mother. Even the term “woman” delegates me into a role to a certain extent. In these roles I know what is expected of me and what I can expect in return, and most of these roles don’t cause me much concern. In terms of understanding the expectations involved, the hardest role I play in my life is that of a “friend.”
For most of my life I have wondered if there was something fundamentally wrong with me in this area. I have searched for answers, guidelines, rules; instructions, I suppose, on how to make, and sustain the “best friend forever” relationships with one or more women. They appear to be happening all around me, and yet seem somehow elusive.
It’s not that I can’t make friends; I can and I do. I have had the most extraordinary women in my life. The types of friends who would walk to the edge of the earth for me and I felt the same for them. The types who can and do call you at 4am with a crisis, or take you to the airport at stupid o’clock, then stay and feed your cat and bring in your mail, maybe even watch your kids while you enjoy a holiday. The ones you go on holiday with! The ones that definitely filled that stereotypical do anything and everything together types. The ones you tell EVERYTHING to, and never run out of things to talk about…. Until one day… you do…..
I have loved every one of these women fiercely, and although I’m fairly certain the sentiment isn’t reciprocated; I have taken something positive away from having known them and sharing the bond we did. I have fond memories of them and I genuinely hope they are all happy. That said, it’s hardly all rainbows and lollipops, because these same women that I describe have caused me the most devastating heart breaks I have experienced outside of death. These friendships have died. And grieving the loss of someone who is very much alive (and likely wishing I wasn’t! haha) is such a confusing and unspoken pain. These have hurt me undoubtedly more than any romantic breakup. To the point I have often suspected I must have been “in love” with her or something. To the point where she has also questioned this… more than once! Lol
It feels important to note that I am not exclusively heterosexual, despite my husband and 2 children. Therefore it wouldn’t be abnormal for me to develop romantic feelings for a woman. As such, I have questioned my friendships with women for as long as I have known my sexuality, which is basically forever. I have thought this is what set me apart and made female friendships, and the ending of them, so painfully difficult for me. For my fellow “queer” readers, (or however you want to identify) I do want to explore and acknowledge the similarities between friendships and relationships, rest assured! I hear you! However, for my heterosexual reader – don’t despair! I have finally reached the conclusion that my sexuality is not at all relevant to this difficulty. This is a breed of pain we all tend to experience, wherever we fall on the sexuality spectrum and it may be even more confusing for the heterosexual woman. How can a woman break my heart in such a profound way?
And that question, Ladies, is what brought me to reading as much information as I could gather on the topic of the ending of a female friendship. I noticed there was a lack of resources, information and websites. The ones that did exist, didn’t sit well with me. They encourage us to place blame, label each other as toxic, vampires or worse. And I wanted to write a book about it. One that looks at the ways we interact with each other. What our friendships mean to us. How we feel when they end. The types of issues we face that impact our friendships. How we handle unfriending each other. Our expectations and are they realistic? Is there a place in friendship for the word NEED?
What started as a quest to get to the bottom of female friendship, for a level of personal understanding and so I could avoid future heart break, led me on a journey. I don’t want my book or this website just to be about me and what a crap friend I am or have been!! (And indeed I have! My ex-friends will have no shortage of stories of their own on that matter! Lol Alas, lets let them write that book if they want to.) I want this to be a book about us. All of us. The more women I talk to, the more I realise we all have a story. Most of us have a heartbreak that has gone unspoken, unacknowledged and sometimes even unhealed.
This is not something we are encouraged to discuss. We are afraid of being “bitchy” or labelled a gossip – for bad mouthing the ex-friend. We worry about putting mutual friends in an awkward position or having our feelings invalidated by comments like “it was JUST a friend, were you in love with her or something? Just get over it.” (Bringing our sanity and our sexuality, into question…) We fear talking to other friends about it because we worry they might think it means we are a bad friend too. Or that we might upset them by accidentally disclosing that the closeness we shared with the friend in question was superior to the closeness we shared with them. Or a multitude of other reasons. So. Many. Reasons! But are they valid?
There is no language for the ending of a friendship. That is how little it is discussed, we don’t even have a word for “unfriending” (Or maybe we do. Thanks Facebook!) When faced with the situation, from either side, women feel fear and shame and blame and guilt, while dealing with sadness, pain and heartbreak. It is one of the most isolating feelings in the world. And it’s compounded when the person causing it is the person you usually talk to about these very feelings in the first place. Am I right or am I right?! (I’m right!)
Please help me? Help me explore this issue and open up the closed communication. Help yourself! Share your stories with me, with us all. I want to open this discussion on the women we love and the heart ache that we cause each other. I want to encourage accountability ladies. We cannot fix what we do not acknowledge. My experiences have shown me this situation full circle. I have been on both sides and seen both perspectives. My blog is called confessions because I have ended friendships (badly) and had them ended for me.... (which I handled badly!)
Most of us have experienced these endings; if we are really honest? Perhaps by sharing our stories (and confessions) with one another, we will all gain better insight into how best to deal with one another in ways that bring us together, build one another up instead of tearing each other down. I don’t have the answers, I invite you to come on this journey with me, help me unravel it all and see what we can figure out together. Please? (I’ll be your best friend for(N)ever?! Haha :p)