If you aren't following Renee Ruin's blog then please go check it out. She blogs about everything that us people who like the dark side, love. Fashion, music and editorials, she is the "cool" girl we all want to hang out with. With her permission, I am re-posting an article she wrote that hit home for me. After having a friend just stop talking to me for what seemed like no reason, I was so hurt. When I read this it made me feel better to know that I am not the only one who values female friendships dearly and gets very hurt when we "break-up." (cover photo by Matthew Henry).
WHY FEMALE FRIENDSHIP BREAK-UPS ARE WORSE THAN ANY OTHER RELATIONSHIP BREAK-UP
by Renee Ruin posted on her blog November 2018.
I’ve spoken about this topic with many female friends, that is, the trauma that is a bff breakup. We’ve all had one, whether it ended dramatically or just kind of drifted off and disappeared. There’s an intense feeling of betrayal and deep sadness and conflicted emotions when a female friendship ends. You remember these breakups forever, not that you don’t forget all your relationship breaks ups but a bff breakup is just like a burn and sometimes you never ever get the reason why. Often you’d turn up somewhere and discover that your friend is no longer talking to you and there’s no discussion, no clarity, like in an adult relationship. Its ghosting, it’s whispering, it’s no longer being invited to things, it’s the laughing behind your back, the rumors, it’s the rest of her friends ignoring you too, it’s the complete cut of the cord. Some of the most vicious breakups I’ve witnessed in my lifetime have been friendship breakups between two women.
The first cut is the deepest. My first real bff and I became friends in grade 6, we were both misfits who wore a lot black and loved grunge and we used to have sleepovers almost every weekend and we’d practice guitar and I’d suck every time at trying to learn “Doll Parts” (Hole). She saw the very intimate side of my life, that is my personal life, my family life and I too, saw hers. The intimacy and the personal side of your life is something your future partners often never ever see or become privy too. But bffs, you share everything, you talk about everything, because you’re living it together in the same moment, that same space and time. I mean we were 12 going on 13. EVERYTHING mattered, or so we thought.
Around 14 a new girl joined our bff group. I think I knew then things were gonna get rocky. This girl was tougher and smoked cigs and weed and they bonded over that. But we managed a dysfunctional bff trio but I think I always knew I had been knocked down to back up bff. My whole teenage years I spent with this girl. I told her everything, my deepest thoughts, truths and desires. Then one day I turned up to high school to meet her at our normal spot. I sat down and was greeted with silence. I continued to talk and was greeted with not even a look, grunt or eye contact. After a humiliating 10 minutes too long of sitting there being treated to what felt like the worst silent treatment I’ve ever experienced I picked up my pathetic self and honestly what was a broken heart and walked off. I hoped a day or two later it would pass. It never did. I was ignored, avoided and I became invisible. No one claimed to know the reasoning and I never found out what happened that day. We never talked again and at 18 I moved away from the town. I still thought about her and things I wanted to share and things I wanted to know. I remember in my university years I found out her phone number and called her to try and get some clarity but it just left me feeling embarrassed about how much I let this one person effect me. I can say with complete honesty that that was my first experience of heart break.
I thought as women there was some code where we stuck together but I learnt very early on that sometimes the worst people in your life can turn out be women. After that experience I went off to university and remained a lone wolf majority of the time. Also having BPD issues, getting close to people who you feel will just leave you, kind of triggers your walls to go bang straight up. I rekindled a friendship with an older girl from my hometown when I moved to the city and the moment I met her I fell in love with her and knew she was destined to be my bff. She was bold, strong, brave as fuck and dressed how she wanted and had the best confidence and attitude I’d ever seen. I made it my mission to hang out with her until eventually we become bffs. We spent weekends and weeknights together, we went to shows together, we had addictions together, we went through relationship breakups together, we dealt with family shit together and we went through our own mental health breakdowns and trials and tribulations together. It was the kind of friendship where you didn’t have to talk, you just knew. I’ve never laughed or cried so hard than during that time. I still love her to death to this day. But this bff match made in misfit heaven eventually ended after 6–7 years. There was a reason and it was more love than anything. It’s hard to watch someone you love destroy themselves and help them over and over and them hate you for it. We stopped talking for a long while and then got back “together” maybe 6 months later but eventually the end just had to end. I truly cried my eyes out and felt so much sadness and emptiness, which I think I still carry to this day. But when friendships end we don’t talk about them. We are kind of just expected to get over it like it’s not that important because it’s not a sexual relationship which I find insulting and beyond irritating. A true female friendship is so intimate and strong and any woman will tell you that the bonds of woman-ship are nothing to scoff over.
Later came the adult bff. A beautiful, younger, exuberant, truly angelic woman. She was everything I wasn’t. She was like a baby sister to me. I took her under my wing immediately and worshipped the ground she walked on. She was the girl at the bar every guy couldn’t stop looking at but she was also so smart and so much more than just that pretty girl people lumped her in the category of. We shared our lives together, our happiness, our sadness and our heartbreaks. She truly meant the world to me and sometimes if I think about the ending of that bff friendship it brings me to tears. I became her mother and my concern and love of her eventually got in the way of our friendship and I said the wrong thing out of fear of losing her and fear of her losing herself and then we stopped speaking for months on end. Those months became years. I recently made a point to talk to this woman about the incident that ended our friendship and upon reflection what I feel like was my mental health and emotionality that contributed to it. It felt good to be honest. Whilst we are not best friends like we were my love for her is un-parallel in comparison to my love for many other people.
Fear, abandonment, betrayal, loss, sadness. These are all feelings that you feel when a friendship ends and people may try to tell you it’s nothing but it is something and you should let yourself acknowledge the pain. Those female friendship break-ups have taught me more about breakups than any relationship breakup with a partner and we don’t talk about them. How traumatic they are, how much they hurt, how you feel so disgraced and embarrassed and how you are so lost without your girl. I know I’ve spent many nights during those friendship breakups tormenting myself with reasons why. There’s this weird feeling of betrayal by your own “clan” if that makes sense. Men, we expect this from. But, not from our girls.
I find myself now in my late 30s with a larger grouper of friends and less very close friends and honestly think my experience with friendship breakups has a lot to do with it. There’s this feeling of failure and disappointment when a female friendship ends. Especially when it ends by silent treatment, being iced out or ghosting. The feeling of shunning cuts deep.
Female friends are amazing and the ones I have I love and the ones I’ve lost I love still. But the battle scars females give each other are brutal. With age, honesty and authenticity it becomes easier to know what types of people to avoid but we all carry that little flame for that first best friend that we got stung by. The world of human interaction is dangerous out there. Friendships, relationships, break-ups, they are unavoidable. But in hindsight now I have the ability to acknowledge the way they affected me behaviorally and emotionally and how to approach any future female friendships. I am a lover not a fighter. I love women and I love being a mentor and I love being a mother figure. Nourishing and evolving female friendships will always be a part of who I am. Maybe the lesson of all this is more of a cautionary tale about putting your everything into one person but on the other hand maybe it’s a tale about the truth of love and friendship and it’s fragility.