HerStories, our new series on women’s friendship, continues today with a powerful essay from Julie DeNeen. Read her story of how her connection with a woman she had never met brought her through a time of personal crisis.


Friendships form in the most unlikely of places. You don’t think your life is going to change because you’ve met someone new. And sometimes it doesn’t.

But once in a while, it does.

It was April 2011. I was in the throes of the deepest and darkest crisis of my life. Having reunited with my birth father in early 2011, our relationship had spiraled out of control and was on the fast track towards the most dysfunctional relationship you can imagine.

I was desperate for help. No one in my life knew what I was going through – having no friends who were adopted, I felt very alone.

Turning to Google one evening, I searched online for stories like mine. “Someone somewhere has to have dealt with this madness,” I thought. A few clicks later, I had stumbled on a blog.

For those of you who blog and wonder if it matters? It does. My life changed forever because of this blog.

I read every entry – gasping for breath when I realized whomever this writer was, she was going through the same thing as me. Since it was an anonymous blog, I had no idea who it was behind the words, but I knew I had to talk to her.

I hit the “contact” button and sent an email to my mystery lifeline. She responded quickly and within minutes, we were friends on Facebook, chatting in the message box.

Me: This is weird huh?
Carly: Yep. I just knew when I read your email we should talk.
Me: I can’t believe there is someone else in the world going through the same thing!
Carly: Let me call you.

I’ll never forget that first phone call. There were no pleasantries or exchanges about the weather. From the moment I said hello, we dove into the grimy and gritty reality of what both of us were facing – reunited birth fathers who had turned our reunions into sexual escapades.

They (whomever they is) say that people bond during trauma. Carly and I bonded instantly that spring, talking nearly every day. We formed a fast friendship and depended on one another when no one else could understand.

By December of 2011, both of us had successfully extricated ourselves from these toxic relationships with our fathers. Back on solid ground, Carly suggested we start a new blog to talk about the hidden nature of complicated adoptive reunions.

I was blogging regularly on my personal site, Life According to Julie and she continued her anonymous blog. But she saw something bigger in her mind and wanted us to do it together.

We set out to create a new blog and it turned into something we couldn’t have imagined. Four months later we were co-owners of an entire community of people looking for help. The blog exploded and several big press outlets contacted us.

Through the next year, Carly and I traveled to Los Angeles, interviewed with ABC news, and flew to Madrid for an adoption conference.

What started out as a horrific nightmare turned into something beautiful. An unlikely friendship that altered my life, changed my perspective, and set me on a new course.

It is because of Carly that I have written my memoir.
It is because of Carly that I was able to get out of the swirling mess with my father.
It is because of Carly that I am now a writer.

She is a dear friend and it is fitting that I would blog about our friendship, when it was a blog that started the whole thing.

So keep blogging ladies. It matters.

julie laughing smallJulie DeNeen is a full time freelance writer and blogger. She authors a popular personal blog called Life According to Julie, and also writes on various other sites like Hubpages and Open Colleges. And since that didn’t seem like enough to do, she opened a blog consulting business at http://www.fabulousblogging.com. The best way to connect with her is on Twitter or Google +.



*With HerStories: Tales of Friendship, we are excited to hear your stories of friendship, be they lighthearted, gut-wrenching, or somewhere in between. Send your essays to: herstoriesfriendshiptales@gmail.com. We will ask for a 500-1000 word essay (approximately) as well as a 2-3 sentence author bio. 

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