I read a book a while back titled “The Friend Who Got Away”. It is a collection of essays written by women, who for a myriad of reasons, lost or ended friendships with other women.
The breaking up of a friendship between two women is the hardest break-up I can imagine. Having lost both female friends, male friends and male lovers, it was the loss of a few female friends that more than any man, hurt the most. And those scars run deep.
It’s an interesting dynamic that I hadn’t considered much until I read this book. But when I think about it, it makes sense. The women are the ones who get it. The women are the ones who are there to help pick up the pieces when the men are gone. The women understand about the shoes and the ice cream and the up and down and yes and no and back and forth. Because they’ve been there too. They don’t judge, because they are you on a different day, at a different time. We’re all in this together. Sisters, supporting each other, laughing through it all over ice cream and sushi and Dirty Dancing DVD’s.
On the flip side, women are the competition. We vie for jobs, men, nicer apartments, better shoes, better lives. I’ve seen it so many times: I’ll support you, until I feel that you have surpassed me in some way. And then I cut you down. Or cut you out. Because you have what I want. Women can be rocks for each other, but they can also be sad and petty and downright cruel in unexplainable ways.
Though I’ve had many friends come and go over the years. I really only have a very small number of friends at any one time, so the loss of one is often felt quite sharply. And it lingers long after it looks like it’s gone.