...the ugly

photo from google images

One of the best things about moving back "home" is returning to friends and family.  It makes the moving transition easier knowing you have established relationships waiting for you.  Besides all the moving I have done during my married life, I also moved a fair amount as a child which does not make long-term friendships easy nor plentiful. 

My Portland girlfriends are the friends who"knew me when"....I had my children, when I was pregnant, when I had difficult pregnancies, when I moved back to Portland the first time......they have gotten on airplanes to visit me when our family relocated to New Jersey, to Pennsylvania and to Minnesota.  And while I know that their lives have gone on since I left, I look forward to the comfort of knowing they are just across town rather than across the country.

When I began writing about our move, I promised I would share the good, the bad and the ugly.  Bear with me because that promise is taking me out of my comfort zone.....but lately, I have been ALL about going out of my comfort zone.

Today, I am choosing to share a bit of the "ugly" with you.....unfortunately, I think many of you will relate to my ugly tale.........

Just over six months ago I had a serious falling out with one of my best Portland girlfriends.....and we have not talked since....

and it's been painful.....especially now since we are moving back.....

and I am reminded more frequently of the void of that once important relationship.

Women's friendships are so damn complicated....why is that? 

I am certainly not going to spell out all the details of the "EVENT", let's just say that it boils down this.....after over 10 years of friendship, I thought we were rock solid friends, besties till the end - sister-like friends, who would be there to dance at our children's weddings and share life's other joys as well as the inevitable sorrows.  What happened between us made it clear {to me} that I was the only one of us who felt this way........who valued our relationship in that way.  Let me just say, however, I am not claiming to be the perfect friend and perhaps I somehow contributed to our friendships end....

When this "Event" happened all those high school insecurities came flooding back over me....I felt humiliated, even embarrassed......and hurt and a bit angry too.  I didn't like it, I am a grown woman in my 40's for goodness sake!

In the months since, I have returned to Portland a few times and always think about my friend. When I take my girls to Portland next week to visit their new school, I will likely think of her again.  Of course our paths will cross, we have many mutual friends and acquaintances....I am uncomfortable with all of it, but mostly I am sad. 

Because, while I miss that friendship, I have come to realize in the months that have passed, in reality I am missing something that never really existed anyway. 

Doesn't make it any easier.

27 comments on "...the ugly"
  1. Thank you for this post. I, too, have lost the friendship of someone. There is no chance of us ever reconnecting as we both moved away from our homes and have no way to contact each other. I still miss her, and I still don't know what caused her to end our friendship. My best to you ~

  2. I had an "event" that took 15 years away from a very very close friendship... I looked her up and called. I got no return call. I called again a week later and left another message. We have reconnected. It made my YEAR. It will never be the same, and we can't get the 15 years back but we have so many future years to look forward to. Why not pick up the phone? What's the worst that can happen? Nothing. Nothing can be worse than what you are feeling now. You may never choose to be close again, but you may just get something you never expected again! Just say'n

  3. Wow I just want to say thank you for sharing that. I really needed it. As I was reading I was stunned that I too had an "event" with a 15+ year bestie back in August. We talked single day, live 15 mins apart... the thought of not being friends till we were 80 didn't exist. We have 6 yr. old daughters who were also very close. I am still trying to realize it wasnt really what I thought it was. Amazing how sometimes there seems to be a blog post written just when you need it. Thanks again so much again!

  4. women, it always happens!!! sorry you were hurt, I think all of us, really understands!!!

  5. you never mentioned this in any of our every.single.day conversations?!
    I hear you loud and clear....the great friends..the rock solid ones... are keepers aren't they!

  6. Jill: As we get in our 40's friendships change. We grow and those we trust and can count on are the ones we share ourselves with. I noticed you still refer to her as your friend. You need to decide if she really is. She caused you pain and you need to forgive her or let her go. We women often hurt one another and find it hard to find our way back. It's your choice to live with the friendship as it is or let it go. I think many of us have had to go thru this and it is painful, uncomfortable. Do what is best for you. If the relationship fills you up try to repair it. If it takes from you and you feel drained let it go. We tend to miss things when there gone but if the relationship was not based on mutual respect and love then it really is not worthy of YOU....

  7. My heart hurts when I read this. I had something similar but unfortunately she was my sister. Two years later I have learned to live without her. It is hard...it stinks...it is beyond my control. I truly know your pain. Dianntha

  8. Hi Jill,
    I love the part Julie (anonymous) said above -

    "Do what is best for you. If the relationship fills you up try to repair it. If it takes from you and you feel drained let it go."

    Kind of goes along with my FB quote I posted yesterday...

    On a happier note...would love to see you when you're in town! Maybe you and Allie could come over for coffee or something!


  9. Your story is so often experienced by others, me included, but still painful and raw and undesired. I will be thinking of this the rest of the night.

  10. As a woman who moves all the time & yes, has these situational friendships & sometimes moves back to the city i grew up in with access to ALL my old friends from school . . . let me give you this advice - go back with your eyes open, heart open & positive, you have no idea if she might have forgotten the 'event' or be over it, be ready to apologise or just be completely benign with your mutual friends, if you see each other, it's pleasant but not best friends & different. Don't assume anything, be prepared for any possible emotion & feeling, if you are the positive one, your friends will see you as the bigger person & that you are coping, better & calm. You just never know what was really going on in her life which lead up to an 'event' happening. Good luck!! I have to say, i've been pleasantly surprised as minor versions of this have happened to me, i've been left dreading bumping into them, then they make first contact & it's fabulous, weary but lovely fun friendship again. People change, enough said!! Wishing you well, good luck, love Posie

  11. Oh girl I'm sad for you. I know this pain all too well. It's just awful and uncomfortable and leaves a big sick place in your stomach. I'm praying that you will somehow break through the silence that's been between you and a bridge will form. Anytime you need to talk it about it I'm here!

  12. I'm so sorry for your pain. As women, this happens to all of us. I have a friend that lies. She believes that she is doing it to spare others. In reality, she does it to help herself. I watched it for years, but when she lied to me, I was devistated. Why? We always believe it won't happen to us. She appologized, with another lie. I forgave. We are friends again, but it will never be the same. I will always know that I can't trust her & that the friendship never meant as much to her as it did to me. I felt like a death had occured. As women we feel so deeply. And that is what makes us such good friends. Just some better than others.

  13. I'm sorry you've had to go through this Jill. I had an experience like that 1 year and a half ago. I would say it took me a good year to get over it. For months I felt really down and hurt and couldn't believe the way this friend had hurt me. It was also hard for me to invest myself in other friendships for awhile. I finally let go of the hurt which helped me tremendously. I know in my heart that the friendship could never be repaired which made it even worse. Some one that cares about me would never treat me the way she did. I hope there will soon come a day that you will be able to move past it and I think the first time you bump into her will be the hardest. I think you were brave to share this today. Hugs to you. Jen

  14. Hi Jill - thank you for being so honest and sharing something that a lot of us have experienced. I have had similar experiences and have yet to figure out what it is with women! Unfortunately, I tend to shy away from getting very close to other women for this reason. I know what you mean about feeling like you're back in high school - all those same feelings come rushing back! And it's especially hard when you never know when you might run into this person. There is a lot of great advice in the comments you have received. I love what Posie Patchwork said about being the positive one and being the bigger person - that's good advice for all of us. Things will work out! Good luck with your move and I can't wait to see your new home. I wish I could move to MN and buy your cottage. It is so adorable!

  15. first of all, sweet jill, bravo to you for being transparent and sharing the ugly.
    sadly it's a reality many of us have also walked through.
    i had a 20something year best friendship issue end several years ago. it took about a year for me to stop thinking about it every day. we were as close as we could be so it left a huge hole in my heart.
    it's painful & disappointing when you realize a friendship isn't what you had thought it was. or even worse, when you feel your friendship was dispensable.
    it is awkward, but i'm praying that as you move back you head over there with confidence and that new friendships & the old ones will become stronger than ever.
    thank you for sharing

  16. Oh Jill I have had this experience and it HURTS like HELL! For a lack of better words! Girlfriend relationships are so complicated.....!
    I will pray for you as you go thru this transitional time and that God brings someone to fill that everyday girlfriend, going thru life void that we all long for!
    Blessings on you!

  17. I just a few weeks ago had a huge falling out with my best friend of 10 years (a male), I am still in the shocked and stunned stage and perhaps it will be repaired and move on...but perhaps not.

    You did a good thing in sharing your pain and fear about this friendship. We have all felt this terrible hurt it seems. I tell myself all the time...in good and bad..."this too shall pass"...it helps me to stay in the moments of my life.

    Be strong, count your blessings and know you are not alone in this ugly hurt.

    Bella Moxie

  18. The death of a friendship is never easy and rarely expected but sometimes a necessary evil. It almost always hurts and you probably will mourn it forever or I have anyway. It is painful and I'm sorry this has happened to you. Life goes on and happily I have realized that what matters most is under my roof and within the walls of my own home, everything else is a bonus.

  19. My college bestie,
    my maid of honor {and
    I, hers} wrote me a
    letter after visiting
    me one time when our
    girls were babies to
    say that she couldn't
    be my friend any more
    because our lives had
    moved in different
    directions...i.e., I
    stayed home and she had
    to work {not by choice}.
    Well, that is a story
    for a glass {or bottle!}
    of vino, but let me tell
    you, it does hurt and
    I hear you. She ended
    up re-locating to the
    Twin Cities and then, so
    did we...
    We have to plan
    a date if you want the
    rest of the story!!
    xx Suzanne
    PS: All kidding aside,
    I'm here if you want to
    talk : ) And hope that
    you are feeling better!

  20. I'm sorry to hear about the friendship gone sour. Why is it that we're so complicated and fickle when it comes to one another? Good luck with eveything and have a lovely weekend.

  21. I had a friend in high school, about fifteen years ago, that was one of those people that dig in and never really leave. We grew apart and there are sone old scars... but what never ceases to amaze me is that WE DON'T EVER FORGET them. They visit us in dreams, and pop up in our thoughts so much.15 years ... crazy.

  22. I know how you feel! I went through a "I'm gonna clean house" phase, I thought I was doing good, my logic was " if you do not bring value to my life then out your going!"
    It just seemed like there was constant drama, well, when I cleaned house, I mistakenly threw out the best broom I had, and I miss her.

  23. We haven't been friends for longer than we were friends. And yet... I still get sideswiped with a rush of pain as I celebrate my first grandbaby. She should have been there for this. :( I miss her still.

    Hoping this goes better for you than mine has.

  24. It doesn't mean it wasn't real...things changed. I had a 20 year + friendship that fell apart about five years ago. I felt the same way about her that you described about yours...we have actually started to restore our friendship this year and even though it may never be the same...I wouldn't want to live my life without her friendship (and I know she feels the same). I hope moving home brings some form of healing.

  25. Some girls are radishes and some girls are not!

  26. Wow! I can so relate to this post, it is a beautiful...and sad posting. Like you, I feel women's relationship can be difficult. I guess most of us have had this or a similar experience, how sad! It has caused me to be very distant, not wanting to get close to anyone for the fear of loss. I do hope that in time your friend will come around. However, can things ever go back to the way they were? I don't know.

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