friendship

"She lied about having cancer." Seven women share the worst ways their friendships ended.

Over the weekend, the entirety of the internet watched as a friendship exploded into smithereens.

Well, the population of the world who weren’t looking at their phones with a furrowed brow yelling WHAT IS A JAMES CHARLES AND A TATI WESTBROOK!?

Basically, they’re two big-shot beauty bloggers made famous on YouTube. Charles has modelled for Covergirl, and even scored a coveted spot on the Met Gala guest list last week. Westbrook is a veteran makeup artist and YouTube beauty scene stalwart. She’s also Charles’ mentor (well… she was).

The two types of “work wives”. Post continues after video.

Westbrook publicly “cancelled” her friendship with Charles over the weekend after he posted a paid sponsorship post with a sleep vitamin company on Instagram that Westbrook is in direct competition with.

In a 42-minute long video, she claimed she and her husband have supported Charles’ career for years, but she is now tired of making justifications for his behaviour, including recent problematic comments he allegedly made about wanting to have sex with a straight waiter at a restaurant regardless of his orientation.

Charles subsequently lost around 2 million followers despite posting an apology, and now a whole bunch of other celebs are jumping on board the James Charles hate train, fuelling the allegations of his predatory behaviour towards straight men.

Meanwhile, Tati Westbrook has gained over 1.5 million YouTube subscribers.

Phew.

It’s a lot.

While many of us might not be as invested as the rest of the world, the situation has made us ponder our own messy friend breakups. Sadly, a situation many of us have been through.

Breaking up with a friend can be as traumatic as ending a romantic relationship. Sometimes even more so.

It’s an experience that can leave you feeling betrayed, insecure, utterly isolated and in some situations, deeply depressed. If the friendship is toxic – its end is often necessary for your own mental health and well-being. Sometimes, it can come seemingly out of nowhere, leaving you confused and in shock.

Here, 7 women share their most horrific experiences of friendships breaking down.

While none of them resulted in a highly-publicised internet feud, they’re just as intense and life-altering:

Claire

My best friend in high school sat me and a few friends down at school one day and told us she had leukemia and had to start chemotherapy.

ADVERTISEMENT

We all kept offering to come to any appointments or help out in any way but she kept making up excuses.

In the end, she was faking it all to try and guilt her ex boyfriend into getting back together with her.

She wouldn’t apologise for lying about such a horrible thing or explain herself to me about why she did it so we just never spoke again.

Laura

When I was 12, my best friend (who went to a different high school after primary) accused me of stealing her rings out of her bag when we were at weekend soccer. She got really nasty with me and didn’t talk to me after that. I was crushed.

It wasn’t until about five years ago that she re-connected with me via Facebook and said sorry and that she regretted the way she acted. She also admitted to finding the rings at the bottom of her bag.

Sarah

An old friend of mine read my messages then left a two-page letter on my bed pretending our mutual friends had told her I was “talking sh*t about her” – I didn’t find out she had read my messages until months later and that was it.

Michelle

While I was living overseas my brother’s girlfriend overheard one of my closest friends from school telling a group of people at a party that I’d thrown my career away and was addicted to drugs. She called me a loser and kept saying that I’d “f*cked my life up”.

We’d barely spoken since I moved, so she really had no idea what I’d been up to overseas and I was really hurt that she was spreading rumours about me.

When I moved back to Australia I felt really lost and alone. I was embarrassed that all these people thought I was a drug addict and I didn’t know who I could trust. I confronted her about it after weeks of ignoring messages to catch up and she played dumb.

She kept denying it until we were at a wedding together recently. She broke down in tears and told me she made it all up because she’d always been jealous of me and couldn’t stand seeing me succeed. She said that deep down, part of her hoped it was all true.

We’re civil now, but will never be as close as we were.

Hannah

I pulled the pin on one of my longest friendships because I realised she was toxic for me and, I ghosted her. I just stopped answering her calls, deleted her socials and blocked her.

We never spoke of it again, but she did start following me on Insta again recently, and wished me a happy birthday. It must have been mutual in some way, but I now wish that we’d had it out because how I handled it was pretty petty.

Tilly

I’ve never had a huge circle of friends, but one had stuck by me through a lot since we left school.

In my early 20s I was dating a guy who treated me like sh*t. Once we were out for dinner and I went to the bathroom but when I came back, he was gone. No call, no text. He’d just left.

I rang my best friend in tears and she came and picked me up, bitching and complaining about this guy the whole way home.

I was in this toxic on-again, off-again relationship with this guy for years. It drove so many people away and caused huge fights in my family, but my best friend was always there.

I eventually met someone else (my husband!) and moved on, but a few months later, I heard rumours my best friend had started dating him! The same guy! I confronted her and she pretended she had no idea what I was talking about. She told me, flat out, that it wasn’t the same guy. That I’d never dated him. No apology, no explanation. It was bizarre.

ADVERTISEMENT

I’d always imagined she’d be one of my bridesmaids, but I didn’t even invite her to my wedding in the end. Oh, and she’s still with the guy – they’ve been together nearly three years now.

Lisa

I lived in a house with three girls, two were my best friends who were introduced through me. We partied and went out a lot. During this time I was dating a guy and one my friends was dating his friend so it was really fun to hang out. We did everything together.

Unfortunately my friend and the other guy didn’t work out and I’m not sure if that was the reason, but soon after my two friends and the other girls we hung out with all began to ice me out of the group.

It was as if one day I woke up and my friends, both whom I’d known since grade 9 and 10 (which was a long time back then), just didn’t want to be friends with me, and really really hated me. I was young and hadn’t ever experienced that kind of deep betrayal before so it cut me really really deep.

My living situation was bad, I hated being there and it was putting a strain on my relationship because now it seemed like I only had him and that my world was crumbling.

My relationship didn’t last, but slowly over time some of the girls realised how bad it was and slowly we worked on our friendship. That was until I received a call from my ex begging to come over, I declined so he let me know he’d been sleeping with my ex best mate, the one who I’d been best friends with since year 10.

I don’t think I ever fully recovered from this, my confidence definitely took a hit and I was just different after. But even though it was horrific, I wouldn’t change anything because it lead me to where I am today. Cheesy I know, but the truth!

*Names have been changed.

Sydney-siders, we need your opinion. Take our quick survey now.

MMSurvey

Light blue and pink butterfly illustration. You click, we help. Shooting star illustration.

Mamamia is funding 100 girls in school, every day.

So just by spending time with Mamamia, you’re helping educate girls, which is the best tool to lift them out of poverty.

Thanks for helping!

Light blue and pink butterfly illustration. Girl with pigtails sitting at desk writing in notebook. Row of four books.
Three hands holding books
00:00 / ???