When You are Cast Off the Mom Tribe Island

The group text suddenly grew quieter and quieter. Our usual never-ending thread went from solving the world’s parenting and relationship problems to one word responses. I knew deep in my heart that something was not right, and indeed my gut feeling was spot on. One group member took up an issue with me and to this day that remains unsolved, and not by my choosing. For some things you just need a face to face conversation. And I felt this relationship deserved that opportunity but it never happened.

The Hurt

It felt like high school all over again, except I never experienced this during my high school years. After several months and a few awkward encounters, I had to make the decision to make like Elsa and find a way to LET IT GO. I put boundaries in place on social media because the constant pictures of events I was no longer invited to HURT. The reminder of broken friendships was not allowing me to heal and move on. This was loss all over again, something I had experienced just a few years earlier with my mom

The heartbreak that came with this experience has slowly subsided. Those were my people and when one went, the group went as well, with the exception of one. Along with a sense of loss, I also felt SHAME. I shudder even as I write the word because I never realized how deep of an impact this had on me. When trying to figure out what happened, I was told that “I knew what I did”…yet I didn’t really know.

Shame. 

Why shame someone when you can have dialogue? When you can talk it out? How can you fix something if nobody is talking? And most importantly, why can’t we as women have open and honest conversations that lift each other up and out of the hurt? Bless. 

Working with women for most of my career, I learned in my early twenties that dialogue is essential to meaningful relationships. When disagreements or misunderstandings arise, you talk about it and you don’t let it linger. This was now a lingering awkward mess. At least to me that is what it felt like. 

The Lessons

I realized that shame is real and ugly. It robs you of your joy. I retreated into a lonely place and felt so incredibly sad. My people were gone. First losing my mom and now losing my tribe. Yet so many questions started to arise in me such as Who is the woman that God created me to be? As an old identity was shed, so came a new curiosity that pushed me into places of self-reflection. On a whim, I signed up for a spiritual growth class at my church  and it helped to give me fresh perspective on this experience. It was not easy. Many tears were shed and often times it felt like I was taking one step forward and two giant steps back on the road to healing and self discovery.

I learned that I cannot control what others think of me.

I can only control my actions.

Mic Drop. 

This experience made me feel like my character was in question and it was hurtful because I am an open book…as evidenced by this post. People “show up” in many different versions of themselves and being fully aware of how I show up  is critical to me living with integrity. I replayed this situation in my head many times looking for an explanation, looking for what I did, what I could have said or not said and at the end of it all, I am at peace with God knowing that there is nothing I could have done or changed about what happened. It simply is what it is. 

Moving On

I forced myself to get out of my comfort zone and meet new people. I have to admit that depression reared its ugly head after being cast off the island and my coping mechanism was just to hide at home or try to be invisible in social situations. I’m not sure what was the moment that prompted me to sign up for that class at church but I am so glad I did. I think I had hit a rock bottom for me that was so out of the norm that it scared me and forced me to break out of this cocoon I had been hiding in. That later led me to sign up for a new workout place, which led to finding some happy endorphins, which lead to reaching out to people again. 

Lastly, I re-learned that some friendships are only for a certain season of life. Those friendships come and go while leaving a permanent mark on your life. Then there are those select friendships that withstand the test of time and distance, from high school to be exact. The lifelong tribe. The ones you laugh with, cry with, agree with, disagree with, drink a little too much with, and drive with the windows down while looking for a G^3 with…that’s code for Get a Good Guy…and don’t judge y’all…we were about 18 back then! Those are the rare gems you hold near and dear. 

Over 25 years of friendship in one picture. My rare gems.

I debated for a long time if and when I would write about this but it had been sitting heavy on my heart for a long time. Once the fog lifted, I realized that there are probably more moms out there that have experienced something like this. If that is you, just know that you are not alone and I pray that those amazing, female friendships that are so important come back into your life again soon.

 


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11 Responses to When You are Cast Off the Mom Tribe Island

  1. Lauren Mathiasen
    Lauren Mathiasen October 16, 2018 at 7:56 am #

    This happened to me two years ago when I was still a new mom and needed friends most. It still stings some but the hurt as mostly faded. It’s hard though when you feel so alone. I’m sorry this happened to you too.

  2. Avatar
    Dawn October 16, 2018 at 10:54 am #

    Great article Maria! More relatable than many women would probably like to admit! 😉

    • Maria G
      Maria G October 24, 2018 at 5:25 pm #

      Thanks Dawn! I agree it seems like this is not openly discussed but happens more often than we think!
      -M

  3. Jennifer Hester
    Jennifer Hester October 17, 2018 at 9:31 am #

    I LOVE this post, girl!! Super vulnerable for you, I’m sure, but so relatable! It’s hard to make and keep friends as an adult. In high school and college you are friends with people because of convenience but friends you keep as adults are the real “I care about you and the things that happen to you” thing, so they mean more. The ones that leave? Let them go! It’ll make the ones that stick around even better and more meaningful!!

    • Maria G
      Maria G October 24, 2018 at 5:26 pm #

      So true Jennifer!
      As that one famous ice queen would say…Let it goooo!
      -M

  4. Maria Gorosito
    Maria Gorosito October 18, 2018 at 5:02 pm #

    Hi Lauren,
    I’m glad to hear the sting has worn off! I’m so sorry you went through this too, especially right after having a baby! Thanks so much for reading!

  5. Avatar
    Kelli October 22, 2018 at 3:34 pm #

    I think there are probably LOADS of women that will identify with your story, and I am absolutely one of them. I have experienced hurt by the women I thought were my tribe to the point that all I could do was lay down, bury my head, and close my eyes against the hurt. You were owed an explanation, but in my experience, when someone doesn’t want to tell you what you “did wrong”, it’s typically because they know how silly or foolish it will sound when said out loud, and ultimately, it probably has very little to do with you at all. People who are hurting will hurt others. I appreciate you seeking God’s heart and using your hurts to lift up other women who are hurting! Also, making friends as an adult is LEGIT HARD. You’ve made me feel a bit bolder to get back out there!

    • Maria G
      Maria G October 24, 2018 at 5:24 pm #

      Hi Kelli!
      Thanks so much for reading! I agree that making friends as an adult is quite hard! I’m glad to hear you are ready to give it a go again!! -M

  6. Avatar
    Kim October 25, 2018 at 2:46 am #

    Thanks for sharing this Maria. I have experienced seasonal friendships too. It can be so hard and awkward to let them fade away but when they are abruptly cut out of our lives like your situation that’s really tough. So uplifting to know it lead you to some joyful outcomes and realizations! Inspiring!

  7. Avatar
    Megan October 25, 2018 at 7:27 pm #

    Yup. I’ve been there. I had my mom group of friends and we talked and hung out with and without the kids all the time. Then I was dropped like a bad habit when going through my divorce. Hurt like hell for a long time. Seing them all happily hanging out at events I was left out of was the worst. It’s been a few years now and I thankfully have found new friends who and moved on, but it was heartbreaking when it all happened

  8. Avatar
    Carly October 29, 2018 at 8:11 am #

    Happened to me too! After my second was born I suffered awful post partum depression. I have no family close by, my mum friends were all I had. Instead of supporting me and trying to understand, they just gradually stopped including me. I called them out on it, asked if I had done something wrong, but was told ‘no we just thought you were busy.’ I guess when I stopped laughing I was no longer wanted. A year on and it still hurts. More so because I am yet to find another tribe. Hopefully in time I’ll find friends who are there through the good and the bad! I’m sorrry this happened to you too. I’m also sorry this is more common than we think and that there are some women out there who tear other women down when we should be banding together and supporting each other on this already difficult journey.

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