January marked a year since I have had contact with my best and oldest friend. Fifteen years. Our friendship had survived cross-country moves and the perils of being a teenage girl. So what finally broke us?
I told her that my husband and I were going to try for a baby. She told me I was unfit to be a mother.
I have been living with bipolar II, PTSD, social and general anxiety disorders for well over a decade. Some years are harder than others but my disorders are always managed. I had three different types of medical doctors telling me I could do it, but my best friend? She thought I was incapable of taking care of a child.
That should have been the end of it really. She was judging me. She was judging me for something I could not control, for something that was a part of me, but does not define me. For something, even, that was a part of her as she often admitted to needing a therapist and medication but could not afford it. I was hurt, but I also thought that perhaps she was projecting her own insecurities on to me.
I was pregnant within weeks. Because of the dynamic of our relationship, because she was busier than I, she was always the one who called or texted first. I decided in my first trimester that I would not reach out for a bit because I was scared and depressed, and I didn’t need the negativity.
Weeks went by. Two months went by. I announced the pregnancy and she didn’t acknowledge it. While this hurt, I couldn’t say I was all that surprised. I began to count the months it had been since we had talked. Every month sunk deeper in my heart.
In August, my precious dog (my Emotional Service Animal) died suddenly. I really don’t have the words to describe how broken I was. And my best friend wasn’t there. It was a bigger punch to the gut that I didn’t get at least an “I’m sorry” for Duke’s passing than a “like” on my baby announcement.
Then, in September, I turned thirty without a peep. Three strikes, you’re out, I guess.
I am mourning our friendship like a death. Sometimes sad that I cannot share a thought with her that only she would appreciate; sometimes mad that she would deny me the joy of my daughter. Because that’s what a baby has brought to my life: ceaseless joy. I am a good mother. I will continue to be a good mother if depressions takes a hold of me again. And I am confident in the knowledge that, if she ever presents with any mood disorders, I can give my daughter the tools to not only survive, but to conquer.
Jessica Sneeringer lives in Oklahoma. She owes her happiness to her husband, daughter, and fur-child. You can find her writing at sheisawolf.com and attempting to be hilarious on social media @_shethewolf.