Around here on Wednesdays, a couple times per month, I’m going to write up a book review. This time around, I’m going to tell you about an anthology that I was delighted to read: My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Losing and Leaving Friends.
Have you ever lost a friend? Was that loss in some ways more painful than the end of a love affair?
There are somany ways that friendships can end, and this book describes 35 of them, from talented and accomplished contributors. At the heart of each essay is the recognition from each writer that she has lost something very real and very personal, a connection that will never be forgotten. Published by The HerStories Project Press. Editors: Jessica Smock and Stephanie Spranger. Released Sept. 15, 2014
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed reading this book. These women were brutally honest, taking the blame when needed, questioning why or freely admitting to feeling less than admirably toward an ex-friend. There are a multitude of reasons that friends grow apart, and they run the gambit here.
The book is broken up into sections:
- When We’re Young
- When We’re Grown Up
- What We Learned
“It’s these soul-connecting friendships that we hope will survive the inevitable physical and emotional separations that happen over time. When they don’t, whether the loss is a slow burnout or a blowout that shatters the seemingly unbreakable bond so completely it can never be repaired, it’s a sort of death, and it’s just the worst, because it’s so damn confusing and incomplete.” from the foreword.
These aren’t stories about the friend gone to soon after a long bout with cancer. These are the friends whose relationships were so strong that it felt like we were sisters. We cried with each other through the triumphs and shed more tears during abject failures. We were positive that this was the friendship that was unshakable, unbreakable. When it did dissolve, it was devastating.
The thing about these stories, is we’ve all lived them. The details and the faces are different, but at some point in life you’ve had a friendship gone awry. You have had a childhood bestie, whom you’ve simply grown apart. The work friend, who you realize you don’t have anything in common with- was she ever truly a friend? Even when the experiences are a stark contrast from your own, the emotions behind the stories are easily relatable. Women can be our biggest support system and rivals all rolled into one.
My Other Ex allows you to explore the complexities of relationships with each other. The Good, The Bad and the sometimes heart wrenching. I definitely recommend reading this collection of true stories. You should buy two copies and send a copy to a friend.