True...in theory, I "shouldn't" have to hide my illness. And maybe if I had family--the kind most are lucky enough to at least HAVE, no matter the relationship, for "better or worse"--I'd feel less afraid to open up. But in my particular situation, I've learned the hard way that my illnesses scare people: the more they know, the more they care about me, the more scared they are, and they tend to run (because it's overwhelming to them-->to be completely helpless in the face of a set of disorders that is progressing with no treatment or cure). And those who know less or care less (school/work/casual aquaintances) don't really care, think I'm exagerrating (that "you don't LOOK sick" nonsense....I don't LOOK sick bc I work very hard not to!), OR think I should "take time off until it gets better" or "give up" (so....I can be homeless and wait to die? no thanks)
I don't think there's a "right answer" for anyone....I do have a few people I share things with....and I try to tell them that I just want them to listen, to be "with" me, that I know they can't fix it and I know it's uncomfortable....unfortunately, people like that are harder (for me anyway) than one might think to find...