The text message from Christine Blasey Ford this summer worried her college best friend, Catherine Piwowarski.

Over their years of friendship — as roommates, bridesmaids and parents on opposite coasts — Dr. Blasey wanted to know, had she ever confided that she had been sexually assaulted in high school?

No, Ms. Piwowarski said she texted back, she would have remembered that, and was everything O.K.? Dr. Blasey didn’t want to speak in detail quite yet, her friend recalled her responding. “I don’t know why she was asking that or what it ultimately meant or didn’t mean,” Ms. Piwowarski said in an interview, but she remembers thinking that the question betrayed deep turmoil.