Sunday 18 October 2015


Readers Niamh writes about her best friend, and how a childhood of doing everything together fell apart when a fight between their parents destroyed the friendship…

Niamh says:
Jo and I did everything together. Our mums were best friends, and we were around each other's homes so much growing up that we felt like family. My dad had left when I was a baby so Mum was raising me alone. It was just the two of us, and so Jo was like the sister I never had… her family were like my family. Sometimes, I even pretended that we were twins, because I felt that nobody in the world understood me better than Jo. All that ended the summer we turned twelve. The first sign that something was wrong was that Jo was off school, and instead of Mum calling to see what was wrong and how she could help, she told me not to bother Jo, and said we were going to Gran's for a while. I did text Jo, to let her know we were going away and to say I hoped she was better soon, and a text came back telling me to stay away, that she never wanted to see me again.

It took most of the week to find out the truth, but Jo told me in the end, in a long, ranting phone call. Her parents were fighting, her mum threatening to leave because her dad had been having an affair with another woman. I was so upset for her… I wanted to be there, help her, support her. That's when Jo told me who the other woman was - my mum. I suppose my world fell to bits right then, and it has never been the same since. It was like the ground under my feet was no longer steady, like everything was in ruins. I tried to talk to Mum about it but she said I didn't understand how lonely she was, how hard it was to be alone. She said she'd fallen in love with Jo's dad, and didn't seem to understand that this was wrong. A bit of me wondered if there could be a happy ending - if Jo's mum could magically vanish out of the picture and Jo and I could be sisters, they way I'd liked to imagine when I was little, but that didn't happen.

Jo's mum and dad stayed together, and everything went on as normal except that Jo and I weren't friends anymore. Mum had lost her best friend too, but I had no sympathy for her… she'd destroyed everything with her fling, and if she was lonely now, well, she deserved it. Things are difficult these days between Mum and me; I blame her for what happened. I wish I could say we moved away and started over, but we didn't. Mum had to stick with her job, and I had to keep going to the same secondary school, seeing Jo every day. She looks right through me these days, as if I'm not even there, and I guess I don't blame her for that. All I can hope is that one day she will see that what happened was not my fault, and find room for me in her life again.

Names have been changed in this account to safeguard privacy.

Awesome illustration by talented reader Caoimhe - many thanks!

Cathy says:
Niamh's story is so sad… her friendship has been broken up through no fault of her own, and all she has left are the memories. Have YOU ever lost a valued friend? What happened? Why? COMMENT BELOW to share your story...



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