"He talks about suicide so I can't give up on him." (posted elsewhere, also) - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 41 Old 10-05-2010, 02:08 PM
 
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I would not want my teen handling that kind of burden. I've worked with suicidal people professionally. I have the training to help them, but also to remove myself and my responsibility away from their choices.

On the other hand, there is a good chance he's being manipulative, it is a tactic for people who seek to control their partners.

I would be sympathetic to her and her friend's plight, but I'd also stress heavily how much this is NOT her responsibility. How she is not trained or equipped adequately for this and how she needs to make sure his choices do not make her alter hers. I would look up resources and get her to refer, refer, refer, and indeed if he calls her on a suicide call, get her to call 911. In fact, I'd have a heck of a time not intervening directly. I'd also encourage her to continue with her life and not to become too wrapped up in this. Either way it is not healthy or responsible in so many ways. She needs to let the professionals handle this and that's probably the angle I'd come at it with.

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#32 of 41 Old 10-05-2010, 02:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by The4OfUs View Post
: 15 is too young to be burdened by this. Whether this boy is pb]depressed, being abused, or is an abuser[/b], he needs PROFESSIONAL help for any of the scenarios, NOT the help of a 15 yo. She can remain compassionate, but point him in the direction of the kind of help he really needs.
It sounds like all three to me, honestly. (The cutting is concerning to me. I did it, on a small scale, long before it became a known, widespread phenomenon, and I was definitely suicidal at the time. The cutting was a...flirtation with finishing myself off.) The talk about suicide goes both ways - it really can be game playing, but it can also be sincere...and it can be both. I didn't deal with this as a teen, but my ex used suicide threats to manipulate me a couple of times (doubly difficult to deal with, as I was genuinely suicidal at the time, and he knew it). My cousin dealt with the same thing as an adult. It's extremely hard to deal with, and all I could do was remind myself that I was not responsible for what he did. The thing that really gets me about OP's dd's ex-bf is the stuff about being jealous of her hanging out with his friend, and not being able to trust her and all that. IMO, this is head games. They're not a couple, anymore, and if he can't trust her, why is she the one he's calling and dumping all this on? He's just tying her in emotional knots.

OP: I think it was great that you called the counselor. I also second (3rd, 4th, 5th?) that your dd should call CPS/the police the next time he calls her up. They're trained to deal with this, and your dd isn't. She needs to get herself as far out of this as she can. I don't agree with the poster who said you should tell his parents. Let CPS/police/school counselor do that, if they decide to do so. But, if the stories about his dad are true, things could get worse. I've seen some appalling reactions to suicidal behaviour from abusive parents.

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#33 of 41 Old 10-05-2010, 02:29 PM
 
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you've gotten some great advice already, and i don't have anything too much to add - i have threatened suicide when i desperately needed help, and was once brutally raped by an ex who called to say i had to come over or he would "do himself in" (i was 14, he was 20). it is likely he is suicidal AND manipulating. you deserve a pat on the back - you sound like a great mom to your dd.
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#34 of 41 Old 10-05-2010, 02:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AmaraMonillas View Post
Wow. Many of your responses are incredibly painful for me to read.

I have been with my husband since Jr. year of H.S. and I have struggled with severe depression since then. He literally saved my life on more than one occasion. It was because of my guilt over the burden I added to his life that I ever considered breaking up with him (I never had the strength), and that same guilt often fed the suicidal desires I have struggled with for 6 years. I am not saying this is definitely the case for your daughter's bf, but he very well may have broken up with her for her own sake. Yet she is someone (maybe the only person) he can trust to share this stuff with, so when he is scared for his own safety he reaches out.
I also cut, talked about suicide, and had no one else to turn to but my H.S. boyfriend. His mother found out and definitely resented me for it and discouraged us spending time together. God, that hurt more than anything anyone else said or did. (fyi, we have a good relationship now)

Now we have been married over 3 years and are excited to meet our first child. I wish I could say all my problems are gone, but I still struggle. One thing I do know, is that I bring enough good to his life and our partnership that he would be devastated without me. We have a healthy relationship and love being married.

I am not saying your daughter should go out and marry this guy, in fact it is probably wise to discourage romantic involvement. But all these reactions of "ditch him, he is a horrible manipulator" (I know that isn't how anyone phrased it exactly, but it is what I read) are so lacking in compassion. Even if he is being unfair, if your daughter were hurting and confused like he is, what would you want from her friends and their parents?
Your daughter will be fine, she has your support and is not the one with severe mental health issues. While it may hurt her to be close to him, I would see it as an opportunity for her to grow in understanding and empathy. You are there to help her recognize how to continue to take care of herself and to see the difference between being available and compassionate towards someone and taking responsibility for their burdens.
I mean this gently, but your situation is the exception, and not the rule. The OP said that the exbf is saying these things when her dd is starting to emotionally move on - which is indicative of manipulation.

OP - I would encourage your dd to call 911 if he ever starts talking suicide, and not to be alone with him since if he is a danger to himself he is also a danger to others.
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#35 of 41 Old 10-05-2010, 02:45 PM
 
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I would absolutely commend her for being strong and coming to you with this. Let her know she did the absolute right thing by doing that. She needs to know she's not helpless and has a good head on her shoulders.

There's a lot here I want to comment on. While I would absolutely treat the suicide threats as real (always, no matter what), there are some other red flags here, the fact that he doesn't want to be with her, but he doesn't want her to move on are just scary to me. It screams controlling and abuser to me. My brother was in an unhealthy relationship and one time he actually stood up to her and broke it off, and she immediately swallowed a bottle of tylenol pm. She told the investigator she only did it because she knew it would make my brother feel guilty and then he'd never leave her (not making that up, I was there when she said it). And that's what happened. He wasn't able to get away from her until she got pulled over one day, was arrested and extradicted to another state.

I have a very co-dependent personality. My heart bleeds for people who seem to be hurting, and all I want to do is help them. I had to learn how to protect myself because some people really use and abuse people like me, I'm easily manipulated. I became a nurse and that helped me learn how to help people while also not being emotionally involved. If your daughter is seeing a therapist, hopefully that's something they will explore. You can discuss it with her, too.

Bottom line, she did the right thing by coming to you. You did the right thing by acknowledging her and by contacting the school. I am really hoping that boy can get some help and soon. He sounds like a very hurt person who needs it. But you're right, your daughter is too young and not emotionally capable of handling that. My brother was in his mid-20's and he was not able to handle it.
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#36 of 41 Old 10-05-2010, 03:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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GoBecGo, I'm sorry, that's so painful.

Quote:
I became a nurse and that helped me learn how to help people while also not being emotionally involved.
That's interesting. My daughter has been saying for a few years now that she wants to be a psychologist, or some sort of counselor. I think it's in her fibers to want to listen to people. Hopefully she can learn how to do that without losing herself.

I'm going to tell her today that if exbf talks to her again about suicide she should call 911.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#37 of 41 Old 10-06-2010, 02:47 PM
 
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This is a good time for her to learn that she isn't responsible for other people's happiness and there is only so much you can do to help and then it is up to the other person to decide to do something or nothing. However, there is things she can be doing to help and it sounds like she was right in coming to you.

Also, kids deal with strong emotions everyday. I remember all my life, but especially once the hormones started to kick up in middle school, having big emotions that sometimes were too much for me to deal with alone. I think I am on the more sensitive side of things to be sure and it sounds like your daughter is too. She feels things strongly and it really gets to her, but this isn't negative or positive by itself, just a part of her. It really is great that she is coming to you! I think dating is a good thing to do around this age so she can learn about it while she still has you as a pretty strong presence in her life. Does it suck that she is so distraught right now, yes, but it is also great if she can take this experience and learn from it so that she is better equipped to deal with a situation like this in the future when she is on her own.

Others have given good advice on what to do, so I will leave that to them, though it sounds like you have already taken some great first steps

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#38 of 41 Old 10-06-2010, 09:01 PM
 
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I don't have a teenager yet... so I have very little input about the situation...

but I wanted to tell you that I believe whole-heartedly that you must be some kind of awesome mama that your DD feels safe and comfortable enough asking you for advice like this. I would guess that many teens wouldn't want to talk to their moms about such personal and emotional stuff.

The other thought that occurred to me... is could you simply ask her what kind of help she wants from you. Many people have suggested that you limit her relationship with this boy... and maybe that's what she wants you to do, but just doesn't want to say so... maybe she's looking for you to step in as the authority and lay down some rules about her interactions with him so that she can use you as an out (if that makes any sense)... you know, so that if he calls again, she can say "my mom won't let me talk to you any more" (or whatever) so that you essentially are getting the blame for her cutting him off. Or she may just really want you to work with her on how to support him...

But if you asked her if she wants you to "lay down the law" about her relationship with him, she might just be relieved that you are offering to take some of the responsibility off her shoulders...

otoh... the only experience I have with teens is my own teenage years and only have toddler right now (I saw this thread in parenting) so I don't really know what I'm talking about, but this was something that occured to me.

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#39 of 41 Old 10-06-2010, 11:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The4OfUs View Post
: 15 is too young to be burdened by this. Whether this boy is depressed, being abused, or is an abuser, he needs PROFESSIONAL help for any of the scenarios, NOT the help of a 15 yo. She can remain compassionate, but point him in the direction of the kind of help he really needs.
Right on mama. It isn't her place to help him. But there does need to be an intervention of some sort for this kid.

I think it is awesome that your dd can talk to you about this, OP.
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#40 of 41 Old 10-07-2010, 01:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by shanniesue2 View Post
I don't have a teenager yet... so I have very little input about the situation...

but I wanted to tell you that I believe whole-heartedly that you must be some kind of awesome mama that your DD feels safe and comfortable enough asking you for advice like this. I would guess that many teens wouldn't want to talk to their moms about such personal and emotional stuff.

The other thought that occurred to me... is could you simply ask her what kind of help she wants from you. Many people have suggested that you limit her relationship with this boy... and maybe that's what she wants you to do, but just doesn't want to say so.
.. maybe she's looking for you to step in as the authority and lay down some rules about her interactions with him so that she can use you as an out (if that makes any sense)... you know, so that if he calls again, she can say "my mom won't let me talk to you any more" (or whatever) so that you essentially are getting the blame for her cutting him off. Or she may just really want you to work with her on how to support him...

But if you asked her if she wants you to "lay down the law" about her relationship with him, she might just be relieved that you are offering to take some of the responsibility off her shoulders...

otoh... the only experience I have with teens is my own teenage years and only have toddler right now (I saw this thread in parenting) so I don't really know what I'm talking about, but this was something that occurred to me.
That's an excellent suggestion, and I will ask her what she wants me to do.

Thanks for the kudos.
I'm trying really, really hard to listen before I talk.

In my alarm about the 'manipulative' turn this was taking, I didn't bring up here the other side of the story. My daughter was much more in love with him than he was with her. I know now she was bored last summer and was texting him constantly, and he must have been overwhelmed. So the first couple times dd came to me in tears about this and I was learning just how intense she'd been, I'd interrupt her trying to explain 1)he's just a kid! It's really unfortunate how poorly he handled this break up, but ya know, he was probably doing the best he could, and 2)holy cow, considering his dad's issues and his own possibly serious mental health issues, you dodged a bullet and you should just be relieved you know this about him now, rather than later when you're even more entrenched in the relationship. All said at the top of my voice because I'm frustrated with the tears, frustrated that she doesn't see my perspective, frustrated because I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have been that intensely attached to any guy when I was 15.

Well, duh, Mom, she's only 15 y.o., this is all new to her, and if you start minimizing her feelings she's just going to shut you out.

Where's the pull-my-hair-out smiley??

This has been an important learning experience for me. We'll be getting busy as a family more, keeping her busier with us, and putting stricter limits on her phone usage.

These things get lost in huge posts, but I'll just repeat, I did talk with the counselor at school about our concerns about the exbf. I think this will be the extent of our involvement with this issue.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#41 of 41 Old 10-10-2010, 02:03 AM
 
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I had a very similar situation with a bf I was with for part of high school and on into college. He was often threatening suicide for both reasons, in an abusive/manipulative way but also because he really was suicidal at times. I can't tell you what it was like to go through that emotional drama on a regular basis. It's like it was someone else's life looking back on it now. So (((hugs))) to your dd for having to deal with it.

In my case, we were together for two years, then on-again off-again for another year and a half. During one of the off times he actually did end up killing himself. It's a terrible, terrible thing to have to deal with. Knowing that it isn't your fault or responsibility to be someone's savior, but it's still impossible not to feel an enormous amount of guilt.

OP, you've gotten lots of good advice and it's good that you've talked with the counselor about your concerns. I would just say to make sure that something is done for the boy, and that it's not just brushed off as teen drama, whatever his reasons are for talking about suicide. Also, the more distance from him you can help create for your daughter, both physically and emotionally, the better.

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