I heard from one of my high school friends the other day. We keep in touch via email every few months and see each other about once a year. She’s the one out of that group of friends I’ve remained closest to and kept the most regular contact with.
She had some news and pictures to share. I wrote back and told her what Peanut, Hubby, and I are up to and asked about her family. I also told her about Mom.
I haven’t heard anything back. It could be that she’s busy. It could be that she doesn’t know how/doesn’t want to respond. It could be something else. I hyper-analyze her lack of response.
I hate that.
I hate the stigma associated with mental illness. The weird looks, the silence. I’ve made other friends uncomfortable by talking about Mom. I hate feeling like I have to edit what I say for fear of scaring them off. They’re my friends, dammit, and I should be able to share this with them. Not only is my mom in a bad place, I am too. I need friends to talk to, shoulders to lean on. But when I talk about it to people other than family or one particular friend (who has been through depression and whose husband exhibits a lot of bipolar tendencies), I end up regretting it. I start to wonder: Is that person going to avoid me? Have I lost that friend?