When I first got separated, I suddenly found out all my friends were mutual friends…and most were married. And, I realized how much I had neglected my friendships. I had a wonderful group of women who used to invite me to wineries and to go glamping with them. I always found excuses because I didn’t want to leave my family for a weekend, or even an evening. I regret that decision of giving up some amazing friendships. I still consider these women my friends and love them, but I isolated myself. So, separated and isolated, I was on a journey to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. I started with old friends. I was able to reconnect with a few and go out with them some. But I still felt like I didn’t have a tribe, like I really didn’t belong. I joined MeetUp, but never went to anything. I realized I had anxiety about going somewhere with a lot of strangers.
What I really wanted, no needed, was a group of women with whom I could share my feelings, and they would just get it. Women who have understood the roller coaster ride of separation and divorce. Women who know what it’s like to put a smile on your face for your kids, so they don’t see all the tears you shed, and so they never see you as less than the strong woman you want them to know. Women who have to learn how to date again and trust again after a loss of a marriage. But how do you find a group of women like this, and seriously, they would have so much crap going on…how would they get along.
So, on a whim, I thought I would try social media. I didn’t feel like I had any other outlet for meeting people. I happened to find a group for women who were either separated or divorced. It was a nice group and every day the administrator would post very positive messages. Many times,these messages were spot on to how I was feeling. the administrator and I reached out to each other and met up for dinner. I was so excited at the possibilty of a new friend. I never imagined where this would lead.
Not long after meeting this woman, we decided to have a meetup at a local coffee shop. There were only a few of us there, but I could feel something changing. The group of us ranged from someone having been divorced many many years to someone who had only been separated for a matter of a few weeks. I made a couple new friends.
The group continued online and served as a place for great resources and even better support. sometimes, on really bad days, I felt comfortable sharing with the group. I always got support. I didn’t always like what someone said, but I took the advice and used it to better my situation. Eventually, there were more meetups, with a bigger group. Many were the same women, with a few new women to meet each time. It was amazing! We all had very different experiences, yet we all just knew what to say to each other, how to comfort each other. This last year, connecting with these women, has been one of the best experiences. We meet up regularly, as a group. But some of us get together outside the group.
Some of us have been in the dating scene. We all support each other in our endeavors and share our horror stories. There have been times I have laughed so hard I almost peed…okay, maybe I peed a little. But the adventures of dating will be another post.
Christmas, well, we got each other through the holiday. Those of us who did not have our kids on Christmas Day met up for a movie and dinner. We gave each other something to look forward to. We are working on a girls weekend. Something very inexpensive because, well, we are all rebuilding and pinching pennies. But, I cant think of a better group of ladies to spend the weekend with.
So, to my Tribe, thank you all for being so supportive. For lifting me up on days I struggle. Thank you for allowing me to help you through bad days. Thank you for listening to my adventures and sharing yours with me. Thank you for your honesty. But mostly, thank you to all of you for being the type of women to straighten each others’ crowns. Your friendship has been life changing.