I could have just said "I don't know" or deflected the question. I didn't have to say anything. But when my boyfriend's parents asked me over a family dinner the other night what I might want write a book about, I answered honestly: my struggles with depression.
Surprised, I think, neither parent said anything in response, which made me feel nervously awkward. But then another relative chimed in with her own depression story. She said when she started taking anti-depressants, she would sleep all day, so I shared that Lexapro used to make me conk out, too. Then the relative kept on talking, and pretty soon, the dinner convo had veered onto other topics entirely.
I'm not ashamed that sometimes I feel unbelievably sad and my life is temporarily derailed. My extended family knows about it, my roommate knows about it, even my boss knows about it. But I woke up the next morning and asked myself, "Did I really just tell my boyfriend's parents that?" The Frisky: Dating Don'ts: What Secrets Should You Reveal In A Relationship?
Parents love me. They've always loved me. On paper, I make a good impression. But peel back a few layers and that's where good dirt about me and my family is hiding.
The juicy stuff was bound to come out sooner or later and, in fact, it kind of had already: on a long car ride alone with my boyfriend's parents, they asked about my older brother and I told them about his struggles with mental illness and drug addiction. And my depression is my truth.
My boyfriend and I have been dating for five months, and early on in our relationship, I told him about the hand that I've been dealt by genetics. He has been as accepting and as loving as any woman could hope. We moved in together this past weekend and we know we want to marry each other in the next few years. Both of our parents more or less know we feel this way about each other. Even if I still want to make a good impression, his mom and dad should know the full story about their future grandkids' mom, shouldn’t they? The Frisky: We're Moving In Together—After Three Months