Six years ago, while I was pregnant with my third daughter, I was the bridesmaid in my friend C's wedding. We weave in and out of the other's life. Our similarities have managed to hold us together — we worked together for about a year and a half, our oldest daughters are the same age and our younger daughter's share the same name (She claims I stole her idea for that name. Whatever.).
Today, she told me she's getting a divorce. She and I haven't talked in months. She moved further away about three years ago and we sort of fell out of our friend rythym. We didn't see each other at our kids' school or run into each other at the grocery store any more. I had no idea what she had been going through in her marriage for the last year and a half. After talking for nearly an hour, I felt guilty and sad. Regret over how I could have been there for her washed over me.
She had pneumonia last December — I had no idea. When she was hurting over her husband's insensitivity, I wasn't there. She said she put on a brave face and didn't tell anyone about what she was going through until just recently. I've done the same thing.
Why do we resist asking for help or reaching out for someone to talk to when we're going through pain? Do we think we're better off not sharing with our friends when emotions are too raw? Are we afraid we'll be embarrassed about falling apart in front of others after the fact?
Do I recommit to the friendship and call her like crazy? Do I let her go her own way and call me if she needs me? I feel as though too much contact would just drain me, but not enough will make me feel guilty. Plus, I don't know if she knows what she needs when she's never been through this before. What's the answer?