I’ve been feeling a little friend-less lately.
My sister-friend and I compared our cellphone’s recent history the other day and realized the only calls we get are from each other.
I have 556 “friends” on Facebook, but when I announced my baby girl’s birthday on my profile page a couple of weeks ago, only six “friends” liked my announcement (3 of them were family) and four different people left a little message.
I participate in twitter, follow 95 people and have 91 followers. But I just tweeted “crying over folks who ain’t crying over me. *deep breath and klonopin*” and got crickets back. I often feel ignored on my timeline. It’s the least satisfying social networking tool ever.
I have friends from friends from high school and college on the East Coast. I go out of my way to keep in touch, to attend special events, to let them know that I care. When they call, and ask, “Are you busy?” Even if I am, I drop it, and attend to what they need. Only one of those friends has come here to visit me in the last three years that I’ve been here in California.
Here, in Palo Alto, I know a lot of people. One group of friends are about 12-20 years older than me, with children slightly older than mine, well-off mothers. Good people, we get together for mass playdates, ladies game nights, movie nights, dinners out and the like. But I don’t know anything about their relationships with their husbands, or what’s going on in their lives that has nothing to do with their kids. They regularly give me advice about my marriage and my childrearing, but not the other way around. It’s like I’m not an equal to them.
I’m having a get together on Saturday, of graduate student women. I’ve invited 31 women that I like, new grad students in the law school, women that I know look up to me. I don’t know what the turn out will be. So far 4 yes, 2 maybe, 1 no.
What about your friends / Will they stand their ground / Will they let you down again?
What about your friends / Are they gonna be low down / Will they ever be around?
Or will they turn their backs on you?
As a black woman, who suffers from depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety, I’m currently suffering from a lack of connection. I feel like I’m looking at a bunch of backs. I’m currently having a panic attack because on the one hand, I don’t want people to start calling me off he hook. People don’t want to talk to me about my panic attacks and my anxiety because they don’t know what to say. They don’t know what to say about my physical issues for why I need to go to the urologist. They don’t know how to listen, not solve; how to hear my tears without trying to stop them.
But on the other hand, for my sanity, I need more than pills. I need friends. I need to know that my friends love me, care for me, would care if I wasn’t here anymore, enjoy my company, want to hear what I have to say, think I’m interesting. As black women and mothers, we need each other to be for each other. But right now, my lack of connection with any of those I used to call friends has me questioning whether I even know what a friend is anymore. What about you, dear reader? What about your friends?
*I edited this on Sunday, September 19 because I did not want to potentially hurt someone that could be called a friend.