Yes, I am woman (female) hear me roar!
And yet as far back as I can recall in being a female, which meant cultivating female friendships, because what girl or woman doesn’t want to have friends. Yet, these friendships for all the good and wonderful times shared, also came fraught with all the necessary female drama still, too.
From as far back as I can remember, when one of my childhood friends decided in third grade that she no longer wanted to be my friend and resorted to not only making new friends, leaving me behind, but also making me feel a deep loss for that friendship, I was a victim of the ‘Other Ex’ syndrome.
Then in high school, my very good friend, decided that she enjoyed the company of my then boyfriend at the time over mine and another friendship was down the tubes, as I shared here.
I had a few college friendships that also just fizzled out as we grew up and apart. And even in recent years, I have had some not so nice, but catty issues with grown women, as I wrote all about here.
So, when I was sent this teaser:
“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.”
– from the editors Jessica Smock and Stephanie Sprenger on behalf of The HerStories Project about My Other Ex
for the latest book from The HerStories Project called, “My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Losing and Leaving Friends“, I not only jumped at the opportunity to review, but immediately began to read once I got my downloaded copy.
My Other Ex:
Right away, I found the book (separated into five main sections) to be so very compelling and want to share a few of my favorite essays with you now, too.
The first section was aptly named, “When We Were Young”. One of my favorites from this section was Allison Carter’s (from Go Dankser Mom, “Holding Hands with the Villain,” in which she shares of a friendship from when she was indeed younger that was not only tumultuous as they come, but also had a very bad breakup in the end when she no longer felt they were not meant to be friends any longer. Trust me, this one definitely had drama and felt for both Allison and her friend from the past once I concluded her essay.Allison Carter’s (from Go Dankser Mom, “Holding Hands with the Villain”
The second section dealt with being all grown up, aptly titled, “When We Were Grown Up” and the third section delved even further adult friendships in “Motherhood“, such as those you have now that you are indeed a mother and no longer just you. I have had my fair share of friendships as a mother myself over the last five years and definitely read this section feeling quite an affinity for each of the essays shared here.
Yet by the fourth section, I was even more pleasantly surprised by the topic of female friendship, “Reconciliations,” especially from Alison Lee (of Writing, Wishing), where the story started on such a negative first line, such as “Have a good life.”, but then delved into not only what caused the rift and cracks in their once blossoming internet friendship, but also just how these two women were able to indeed achieve forgiveness in the end. I must admit that in this day and age of social and internet connections across the board, I truly enjoyed and found myself rooting for their friendship by the way.Alison Lee (of Writing, Wishing) – “Have a good life.”
And if I was rooting for their friendship to indeed work out in the end, I was definitely pleasantly surprised to see another wonderfully expressed friendship reconciliation with Alyson Herzig’s (The Shitastrophy), Sometimes It is Your Children That Teach You. I couldn’t help but smile learning that she learned a valuable lesson from her daughter, who helped bridge the gap to have her mom and her friend’s mom find their way back to their friendship.
Last, but not last was the perfect ribbon around this beautiful package of a book with section five in which, Stephanie Sprenger (one of the editors and also co-founder of The HerStories Project, “What We Have Learned,” where she explained quite simply that women’s friendships and relationships are indeed complex and very rarely black and white.
And as I shared a bit earlier from my own experiences with female friendships over the years, I just couldn’t help, but feel more connected with this reflection from Stephanie, but that didn’t surprise me for not only do my past friendships and all the ups and downs that have come from them, too.
But also because I have read and followed Stephanie’s personal blog here for a few years now, having grown to know and love her as a friend myself and even have felt a connection, as a women and mom, too. So, her own shared story only made me feel even more connected to not only Stephanie, but also with most, if not many of these beautifully written and shared essays.
I also want to say a huge thank you to Stephanie and Jessica, as well as ALL the amazing and talented ladies of My Other Ex for indeed sharing and putting your words out there for all (including myself) to read.
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