There it was…a friend request I never thought I’d get. Was it real? I fumbled for my reading glasses just to make sure I could properly see the notification.
It WAS real. After four years of silence, she wanted to connect again. My apology letter four years prior must have touched her in some way. After all, I took all the blame for whatever I did to sink the ship that was our seven-year friendship. It was never really clear what she and the others took issue with, but it was clear they wanted nothing to do with me around the time I filmed Shark Tank in 2010.
But now she was back! Our friendship was built near the schoolyard doors, waiting for our kids to get out of kindergarten. We became lifelines for one another while our little ones laughed and played.
While I waited for some sort of personal message from her after I accepted her request, I surfed her Facebook newsfeed. It was clear she was still hanging with the same crowd that ostracized me.
It was hard to see because, one day, we were part of a clique of friends who took vacations together and made homemade pizzas on Friday nights, and the next, all six families put us out on the curb. Was it because I was starting to awaken to my intuitive gifts? Was it because I was spending more time on Mod Mom, and less time on get togethers during the Shark Tank prep? Maybe it was a combination of all of it?
I’ve learned that female friendships can be incredibly brutal, even as adults. After talking to others who endured similar pain, I realized that the silent demise is commonplace in these types of relationships. I hadn’t experienced anything like it until we moved to LA. All of my friendships prior and after have thankfully not presented with the same pattern.
In the years after being kicked to the curb, I ruminated on why it all happened, but mainly, I accepted that I was the one to blame. I had to be at fault. In my mind, the entire crew led by one funny, charismatic woman couldn’t be wrong.
It would take years before I realized it wasn’t all my fault. When I was finally out of the abusive relationship and Scott and I were back together, I recognized a pattern in me that I couldn’t see all those years ago. Because I wasn’t healed from the abuse I endured as a child when I was part of the clique, I was still people pleasing and codependent. I made myself small in order to not compete with their energy and status. They seemed bigger than life, at times. Some were actors or wannabe actors, and all were interested in talking shit about other people. I never felt comfortable with it, but I molded myself to be someone they accepted and loved.
Until they didn’t.
The friend request I received was a sign that maybe she felt sad about how everything went down. I waited patiently hoping for a message that never came. The next day, I opened Facebook to see that I was no longer her friend. It took one day for her to shun me again. Maybe she was just feeling nosy and had heard that Scott and I had separated at that time? Or maybe the Friday night crew decided to see if I would take the bait of a request, and they stood around the kitchen talking shit about what they saw on my page? I’ll never really know what happened that night, or why she decided to send that request in the first place.
Fast forward a few years to 2019…when I learned that one of the newer crew members who was part of the group when I was shunned experienced the same thing I did. She apologized to me for getting caught up in the drama of the queen bee, and for participating in my ousting. I was touched and sad. I couldn’t believe that, just a few years after I’d been kicked out of the club, it happened to her, too. Seems she became the villain that year in an all too familiar pattern. We both talked about just how much we learned and healed because of what happened. Like me, she was also a people pleaser and needed to heal codependent tendencies.
She’s an amazing woman—smart, capable, beautiful, and sensitive. She now has an authentic, caring group of friends like I do. I am blessed to have girlfriends who love me for me, support me through the good and bad, and always have my back.
Living through the heartache of friendship breakups led to revelations and healing, and for that, I’m eternally grateful. I will never again make myself small for anyone. And I will never again fall for the old Facebook request trick.