"He talks about suicide so I can't give up on him." (posted elsewhere, also) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 41 Old 10-04-2010, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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"He talks about suicide so I can't give up on him." That's basically what my dd said about her recently-ex boyfriend. Dd revealed that her best friend said the same thing about her own boyfriend, even though she wants to leave him. Dd describes similar dynamics with her other girlfriends and their boyfriends. These kids are generally 15 to 17 years old.

Dd came to me in tears last night and talked to me a long time about how things are still intertwined, intense and complicated between them, even though he broke up with her more than a month ago.

I don't have any personal experience with this. I had one other boyfriend before dh, and though he 'drunk dialed' me in tears once after we broke up it didn't make me want to take him back.

My experience was 25 years ago. Are teen relationships that different these days? Maybe I'm kind of heartless??

It's really too bad that dd got so emotionally involved with this kid. This dating thing was just supposed to be fun. She's only 15 y.o., she's not old enough to be dealing with this level of responsibility for another human being. She wants to save him from his bad father and clueless mother. And I know the huge thrill from prospect of being someones savior is part of it, I've felt it too.

But in the mean time, even though he broke it off with her, when she starts to move on emotionally and finally heal, he conveys that he's jealous of her friendship with one of his friends, that he doesn't think he can 'trust her' (with what, for God's sake?? You broke up with her, you little dweeb! ) and then tells her how he started cutting again, how utterly depressed he is, how his dad gets so mad at him he hits him.

I'm getting from her that she might be able to finally move on if she was certain that he was getting some good help with his own issues, but in the mean time she's stuck and can't get out of this emotional turmoil.

If you've had experience with this particular dynamic, the 'suicide' factor --what do I do??

Edited to add, wow I sound like I don't believe the exbf, that he's just making it all up to manipulate her. That's not the case at all, but I am frustrated and it's made me flippant. I am very angry with how this has torn my daughter up and my priorities are with her.

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#2 of 41 Old 10-04-2010, 05:36 PM
 
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I had a very similar experience as a teen. It wasn't my boyfriend but my closest friend. I started to pull back from him at some point, and he called me in tears - many times - talking about suicide. My mom's perspective was much like yours, and it caused a major rift between us. Even if he had been attention-seeking (and I don't think he was), I still could not walk away. What if I hung up and he had killed himself? That was always in the back of my mind. My friend had a lot of horrible things happen to him that I didn't want to share with my mother. (I don't know if that would've changed her mind - probably not).

If it were my daughter, I might feel the same way. I can't stand to think of my beautiful little girl feeling responsible for someone else's life decisions, but at the same time, I'm very sensitive to mental health issues. What I wish my mom had done (and so probably would do) was 1) acknowledge that he & I both were hurting and 2) help me learn how to help him. I could have used resources to point him to or even books to read, something. When my mom said that she wanted me not to speak to him because it wasn't my "responsibility," it just made me feel hopeless.

ETA: Cutting is *rarely* a suicide gesture. It's an entirely different ball of wax. Maybe it would help both you & your dd to read up on it so that you can put everything into perspective.

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#3 of 41 Old 10-04-2010, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I finally had time to talk with dh about this. He says not to underestimate the drive for sex. He says these boys might not even know they're doing it, but they keep pouring on the neediness in an attempt to maintain that connection with the girls, because it just might work. It might be hours, weeks or months, but in the back of their heads they're ever hopeful. It comes down to sex, even if a particular boy hasn't had sex yet. Dh has said all this to dd before, but he says he'll talk to her again about it.

I called the counselors office at dd's school and asked for a call back. I can't in good conscious not say something to someone about the disturbing things dd has told me the exbf is experiencing. Heaven knows, teens NEVER exaggerate to each other just how horrible their parents are. But I know from my own observations his dad has an obnoxious hothead temper and obviously the boy is very, very unhappy.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#4 of 41 Old 10-04-2010, 05:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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VisionaryMom, we cross posted, but THANK YOU! More thoughts in a bit...

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What I wish my mom had done (and so probably would do) was 1) acknowledge that he & I both were hurting and 2) help me learn how to help him. I could have used resources to point him to or even books to read, something. When my mom said that she wanted me not to speak to him because it wasn't my "responsibility," it just made me feel hopeless.

ETA: Cutting is *rarely* a suicide gesture. It's an entirely different ball of wax. Maybe it would help both you & your dd to read up on it so that you can put everything into perspective.
To your first point, I feel really fortunate that so far my daughter seems to still feel comfortable telling me about this. She's come to me three or four times with these tearful episodes. I totally know what you mean about acknowledging and accepting the pain. I didn't always get that from my parents, either. So I make a big effort to shut up and listen to her. And I tell her I can see she's in horrible pain. I've told her it's totally not fair that the boyfriend, anyone, really, has to deal with a dad like that. I did do some reading about cutting. The boy had traumatic medical issues when he was a baby, still has to deal with them, and add a nutty, hostile dad on top of that, plus a stressful Junior year of HS, and it's no wonder he might turn to cutting.

To your second point, I totally get that I can't tell her not to talk to him. I was also 'shut down' by my parents when I really needed them. But I hopehopehope, I believe I'm handling this better with dd, so far.

None the less, it ISN'T my dd's responsibility to fix this boy's problems, she is not capable of doing that. *I* can't either, but like I said above, I did put a call in to the counselor's office, and I hope they can tell us something.

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#5 of 41 Old 10-04-2010, 05:58 PM
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Threatening suicide is one way that abusers manipulate their victims. So I think you're right to be concerned here, and right to be a little skeptical and heartless. Bottom line, if this kid needs help, simply calling your dd in tears is not accomplishing anything. If he's attention-seeking, calling your dd is manipulative and abusive. Either way, this needs to be brought into the light with adults who can intervene and point both this kid and your dd towards appropriate resources.

Calling the school guidance counselors is a good step. I would also say, that if this kid is reporting child abuse to your dd, he may well be desperate for help. In cases of apparent danger to self or others, adults who are aware of the situation should make a report. You can call the police (this is who I would call in re. threats of suicide), or you can call CPS (for reports that his dad hits him). The guidance counselor is a mandated reporter, and is required to report all non-accidental injuries to CPS or the police. They should investigate the cutting. If there is a school resource officer, that's probably who they are reporting to. You can try calling the SRO if you're more comfortable with that than with the police non-emergency number.
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#6 of 41 Old 10-04-2010, 06:02 PM
 
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I appreciate what VisionaryMom has to say, but I have a bit of a different perspective. I too had am emotionally difficult relationship w/someone as a teen. What I needed in order to move on was to feel empowered to seperate from the "coupleness" and move on as my own person. The constant pulling back into the relationship by the boyfriend is both manipulative and abusive. The last person who should be having responsibility for 'helping" someone who is engaging in this type of behavior is your teen daughter. i don't think he's looking for resources-he's looking to control her.

My dd is a preteen, so I'll be watching to see how this plays out for you. But, I have seen other teen relatives in very, eerily similar relationships and I have never seen anything positive from one teen feeling responsible, or feeling as though they have the power to be responsible, for helping another with such disturbing relationship dynamics.
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#7 of 41 Old 10-04-2010, 06:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by journeymom View Post
I finally had time to talk with dh about this. He says not to underestimate the drive for sex. He says these boys might not even know they're doing it, but they keep pouring on the neediness in an attempt to maintain that connection with the girls, because it just might work. It might be hours, weeks or months, but in the back of their heads they're ever hopeful. It comes down to sex, even if a particular boy hasn't had sex yet. Dh has said all this to dd before, but he says he'll talk to her again about it.

I called the counselors office at dd's school and asked for a call back. I can't in good conscious not say something to someone about the disturbing things dd has told me the exbf is experiencing. Heaven knows, teens NEVER exaggerate to each other just how horrible their parents are. But I know from my own observations his dad has an obnoxious hothead temper and obviously the boy is very, very unhappy.
I think you probably did the right thing by calling the councilor. If you think the abuse allegations are true, then I would also report it to the police. On one hand, it could just be an attempt to control, but on the other hand it could be a very serious cry for help and he felt that in some way (possibly by telling you or another adult) she could find a way to get him the help he needs. Personally I wouldn't feel comfortable brushing off what he's been saying.

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#8 of 41 Old 10-04-2010, 07:48 PM
 
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FWIW- I had a similar experience with an ex-bf in high school/college. He threatened to kill himself unless I took him back. I talked him away from the gun (literally) and he calmed down. I did not tell my parents or his. I look back at it now and realize we were very lucky that nothing horrible happened. I'm glad that you and your dd have an open enough relationship to talk about all of this.

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#9 of 41 Old 10-04-2010, 08:01 PM
 
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If your daughter really wants to unhook from the drama, but also take him seriously, the next time he threatens suicide she calls 911. She doesn't attend to him, the cops/paramedics do. I had a friend when I was a teenager who went through this with a boyfriend. He called her, said he couldn't live without her, was going to kill himself. She called his parents, said she was worried about him, could they please check on him. Never happened again. And he didn't kill himself. If his parents really are a problem, I wouldn't recommend going this route, but 911 works as a professional will be helping him. Probably not what he really wants.
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#10 of 41 Old 10-04-2010, 08:10 PM
 
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as the sister of someone who died by suicide, i will add this:
1) call the boys parents. even if they are abusive, ultimately they need to know that their son is threatening suicide. you don't know his history or his mental health status. it could be that he is diagnosed, that this behavior is part of a pttern for him that his parents need to know about so they can intervene. my brother reached out to a friend's mother (who works with my mother, who's brother killed himself) among other reasons she should have told my mother but she didn't. had my mother known he did this outragous behavior she would have taken him into his psych, but she didn't know. he was hiding it. or maybe they will blow it off, but as he is a minor- they need to know.
2) someone who cuts themselves is more likely to commit suicide. it is part of the suicidal ideation. if someone is cutting themselves and threatening suicide, then they need to be monitored. those are HUGE indicators for suicide.
3) while not everyone who says suicide actually means to do it, many many many people do. it is not a cry for attention. it is a sick sick disease which kills more people than homicide every year.
4) if there are any sort of crisis center in your community, giev the info to your daughter. tell her the next time he talks to her for her to give him the information and to walk away. you keep some yourself and if he shows up at your house, give it to him and ask him to go there and to leave your house.
5) help your daughter understand that past giving him the info to help himself there is nothing else she can do. that if something does happen it is not her fault. she is not responsible for his actions.
it is totally unfair for him to put this on your daughter, he has no right to do this. however, someone who threatens suicide is mentally ill. he is sick and needs help. please call his parents, monitor all his behavior with your daughter, don't leave them alone don't allow her to go back to him. he needs help. i wouldn't let my daughter be with someone who says that to her either. it is unfair, but unfortunatly, it is the situation you are in. call his parents, call the school (which you have done, which is great) and encourage him to tell his parents. i know that the people who my brother reached out too have been traumatized by his death because they didn't act. even if his parents blow it off, at least you will have tried, and if anything happens you will know you did all you can do.
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#11 of 41 Old 10-04-2010, 08:10 PM
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I agree with PP. I had this problem in hs with a friend, and I just took it to the guidance counselor. My sister also had several friends do this, and her default is to call the cops on her cell while on the house line with her friend. That way if it's real, they're taken seriously, and if it's not, they realize that that tactic ain't gonna work and will cause them a lot more trouble than they want to deal with.
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#12 of 41 Old 10-04-2010, 08:16 PM
 
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Honestly, I think kids are allowed to be in heavy relationships with kids of the other gender much younger these days and it leads to this sort of thing. This boy was not emotionally mature enough to handle a date and a break up. Your daughter is not emotionally mature enough to handle his behavior. None of them should have been dating in the first place.

If this were my daughter, I would cut off the relationship. She would have me to fall back on as a safety net. She could tell the guy she is grounded and not allowed to date for a while. She cannot take his calls, he cannot be on her facebook. Her facebook security settings would be that the only people who can see her posts are friends only, not even friends of friends. I would also call his parents and let them know what he said.

I am serious about all that. She can know she is not really in trouble, but that she can "use you" as her safety net right now and tell him that she is grounded and simply not allowed. She needs this right now, desparately.

((((hugs))))
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#13 of 41 Old 10-04-2010, 08:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by InMediasRes View Post
I agree with PP. I had this problem in hs with a friend, and I just took it to the guidance counselor. My sister also had several friends do this, and her default is to call the cops on her cell while on the house line with her friend. That way if it's real, they're taken seriously, and if it's not, they realize that that tactic ain't gonna work and will cause them a lot more trouble than they want to deal with.
Yes, this.
The police usually have a nonemergency line too. One of my friends called it this past month when her ex-boyfriend wrote a scary email. The police took it very seriously, did a welfare check, and asked for a copy of the email.

Let the professionals evaluate the risk. It's not a 15 year old's job.
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#14 of 41 Old 10-04-2010, 09:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Annie Mac View Post
If your daughter really wants to unhook from the drama, but also take him seriously, the next time he threatens suicide she calls 911. She doesn't attend to him, the cops/paramedics do. I had a friend when I was a teenager who went through this with a boyfriend. He called her, said he couldn't live without her, was going to kill himself. She called his parents, said she was worried about him, could they please check on him. Never happened again. And he didn't kill himself. If his parents really are a problem, I wouldn't recommend going this route, but 911 works as a professional will be helping him. Probably not what he really wants.
yes this EXACTLY.
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#15 of 41 Old 10-04-2010, 10:16 PM
 
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I agree that she should either call 911 or escalate this to other adults around him. But it might also be helpful for her to see a counsellor, either at school or one through a women's centre or crisis centre, to understand her responsibility in this (that is, pretty much none). Just in case he does do something now or later, either to himself or by escalating this with her, I think it would be good for her to have an outside, professional opinion.

I don't think there is any reason to bemoan her feelings. They really speak well of her and her caring and capacity to form attachments. However, she may need some help in dealing with the impact and results of those feelings, and this situation with this young man is one that even adults would struggle with. Nothing wrong with marshalling some troops for her.

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#16 of 41 Old 10-04-2010, 10:54 PM
 
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3) while not everyone who says suicide actually means to do it, many many many people do. it is not a cry for attention. it is a sick sick disease which kills more people than homicide every year.
Yes. I feel everyone's assuming he's lying to manipulate without any real evidence. I didn't get from the op that this boy is saying "take me back or I'll kill myself." Rather he is reaching out and telling the op's daughter that his parents are abusive and that he wants to die because of it. He's self-harming. Those are indicators that something really is wrong.

I know of far too many suicides where later someone said, "he said he wanted to die, but I didn't believe him at the time." There was a high-profile suicide 2 weeks ago in which many people reported that the man who died said he wanted to die, and people brushed it off.

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#17 of 41 Old 10-04-2010, 11:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This has been sooo helpful, thank you everyone. I told dd that I called the counselors office to ask for direction and help for exbf. She's self conscious about it. She also said that he finally talked to his mom about his dad's actions. I don't believe for a second she doesn't know.

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Yes. I feel everyone's assuming he's lying to manipulate without any real evidence.
It's interesting, I see multiple perspectives.

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#18 of 41 Old 10-05-2010, 12:39 AM
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Tell her "you can't save people from themselves."

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#19 of 41 Old 10-05-2010, 12:40 AM
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and if the dad is hitting him, a call to CPS is definitely warranted.

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#20 of 41 Old 10-05-2010, 12:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Lisa1970 View Post
Honestly, I think kids are allowed to be in heavy relationships with kids of the other gender much younger these days and it leads to this sort of thing. This boy was not emotionally mature enough to handle a date and a break up. Your daughter is not emotionally mature enough to handle his behavior. None of them should have been dating in the first place.

If this were my daughter, I would cut off the relationship. She would have me to fall back on as a safety net. She could tell the guy she is grounded and not allowed to date for a while. She cannot take his calls, he cannot be on her facebook. Her facebook security settings would be that the only people who can see her posts are friends only, not even friends of friends. I would also call his parents and let them know what he said.

I am serious about all that. She can know she is not really in trouble, but that she can "use you" as her safety net right now and tell him that she is grounded and simply not allowed. She needs this right now, desparately.

((((hugs))))
What about what he needs? If he is suicidal and being abused, than he needs help. And not tomorrow, or the next time he starts dating. He needs it as soon as someone can get it to him.

I think the OP's dd is more mature then you give her credit for. She was very much able to find someone (the OP) who has more resources to help the boy than she does. I think the OP's DD handled it very well seeking help.

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#21 of 41 Old 10-05-2010, 12:55 AM
 
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Honestly, this isn't your daughter's responsibility. It is good that she is a caring person but she can't save or fix him. She can find the people who CAN help him, but all she can do is support him.

Suicide is serious. Self harm is serious. It is beyond the capabilities of a young teenager to do more than be his shoulder to lean on while he gets help elsewhere assuming he is currently in a place that can take her support without in turn hurting her.

Sometimes helping someone is telling them to come back when they are in a better place. We can't be taken down with other people's problems because it becomes our own. We can't be the kind of support needed if it is our problem as well.
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#22 of 41 Old 10-05-2010, 01:37 AM
 
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This seemed like good advice to me:

Quote:
Originally Posted by rachel_eva View Post
as the sister of someone who died by suicide, i will add this:
1) call the boys parents. even if they are abusive, ultimately they need to know that their son is threatening suicide. you don't know his history or his mental health status. it could be that he is diagnosed, that this behavior is part of a pttern for him that his parents need to know about so they can intervene. my brother reached out to a friend's mother (who works with my mother, who's brother killed himself) among other reasons she should have told my mother but she didn't. had my mother known he did this outragous behavior she would have taken him into his psych, but she didn't know. he was hiding it. or maybe they will blow it off, but as he is a minor- they need to know.
2) someone who cuts themselves is more likely to commit suicide. it is part of the suicidal ideation. if someone is cutting themselves and threatening suicide, then they need to be monitored. those are HUGE indicators for suicide.
3) while not everyone who says suicide actually means to do it, many many many people do. it is not a cry for attention. it is a sick sick disease which kills more people than homicide every year.
4) if there are any sort of crisis center in your community, give the info to your daughter. tell her the next time he talks to her for her to give him the information and to walk away. you keep some yourself and if he shows up at your house, give it to him and ask him to go there and to leave your house.
5) help your daughter understand that past giving him the info to help himself there is nothing else she can do. that if something does happen it is not her fault. she is not responsible for his actions.
it is totally unfair for him to put this on your daughter, he has no right to do this. however, someone who threatens suicide is mentally ill. he is sick and needs help. please call his parents, monitor all his behavior with your daughter, don't leave them alone don't allow her to go back to him. he needs help. i wouldn't let my daughter be with someone who says that to her either. it is unfair, but unfortunatly, it is the situation you are in. call his parents, call the school (which you have done, which is great) and encourage him to tell his parents. i know that the people who my brother reached out too have been traumatized by his death because they didn't act. even if his parents blow it off, at least you will have tried, and if anything happens you will know you did all you can do.

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#23 of 41 Old 10-05-2010, 10:00 AM
 
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I don't think it matters whether or not it is a genuine suicide threat. It is clearly a cry for help. The OP's daughter CANNOT help him. SHE IS ONLY 15. Whatever problems this boy has (and it sounds like he has plenty) this is classic abusive, manipulative behavior.

OP I think the best thing you can do is to tell everybody who is involved with this boy that he has been threatening suicide-take him at his word!- and then to distance your daughter as much as possible from him. She needs to learn that it's not right when another person makes her responsible for his happiness and that the best way to help is to let other people that love him in on the secret. It's a terrible relationship pattern to get in to.
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#24 of 41 Old 10-05-2010, 10:12 AM
 
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Originally Posted by alfabetsoup View Post
I don't think it matters whether or not it is a genuine suicide threat. It is clearly a cry for help. The OP's daughter CANNOT help him. SHE IS ONLY 15. Whatever problems this boy has (and it sounds like he has plenty) this is classic abusive, manipulative behavior.

OP I think the best thing you can do is to tell everybody who is involved with this boy that he has been threatening suicide-take him at his word!- and then to distance your daughter as much as possible from him. She needs to learn that it's not right when another person makes her responsible for his happiness and that the best way to help is to let other people that love him in on the secret. It's a terrible relationship pattern to get in to.

: 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.

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#25 of 41 Old 10-05-2010, 10:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post
Yes. I feel everyone's assuming he's lying to manipulate without any real evidence. I didn't get from the op that this boy is saying "take me back or I'll kill myself." Rather he is reaching out and telling the op's daughter that his parents are abusive and that he wants to die because of it. He's self-harming. Those are indicators that something really is wrong.

I know of far too many suicides where later someone said, "he said he wanted to die, but I didn't believe him at the time." There was a high-profile suicide 2 weeks ago in which many people reported that the man who died said he wanted to die, and people brushed it off.
I find it very interesting that many of you are talking as if it's got to be "either/or" and not BOTH. It is completely possible (and most likely) that OP's dd's ex is both truly in a bad situation at home and possibly really suicidal... AND that he's manipulating dd and his knowledge that she cares about him to control her other friendships and keep her entwined in a relationship she now realizes she doesn't want to be in. (Telling her he's jealous of her friendship with others, he doesn't think he can trust her, pulling her back in when she starts to distance herself with details of his depression - I believe he's truly depressed, but that is also very manipulative).

I agree first and foremost with all the advice about helping dd understand that no matter what, she is NOT responsible for what her ex does or doesn't do to himself or anyone else. And that she needs to look out for her own emotional health first and foremost, which probably means offering concrete help (or letting OP offer him the help) and then getting some real distance from him.

But it's also true that if he's in real trouble, it would be best for OP or her husband to reach out to the bf and offer him some connections to resources (any free teen counseling or school counselor or whatever is appropriate in your area). Explain to him that it's up to him to reach out to really get help, but it's not ok for him to expect your dd to "save him" because that's not fair to either of them.

And then yeah, if he does talk to dd again and threaten suicide or cutting, she should call 911. And she should tell him ahead of time that if he does this again, that's what she'll do.

She is really too young to be burdened with all this, but the truth is that at NO age is this a healthy dynamic. Now that she's already in this, it would be great for her to learn how to keep herself safe and healthy as a priority. If she can do that and still be supportive to him, great, but IMHO that is too much to ask a 15 yr old to try to do.

One more thing, OP, you should also explain to your dd that she should be ready for friends or others to possibly give her a hard time or call her cold,heartless, any number of things. Hopefully that won't happen, but if that many of her friends are experiencing similar dynamics with boyfriends and friends, that means others may be threatened by her standing her ground and not taking responsibility for someone else's issues. If she were my dd I'd just talk her through her thoughts and feelings and possible responses if anyone gave her a hard time.

By the way what did the school counselor say about all this? (I think you said in a prior post you called them?)

It's great that your dd confided in you and talked to you. That bodes incredibly well for her and hopefully this situation, even though it seems so early to be dealing with it, will teach her some great things about herself.
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#26 of 41 Old 10-05-2010, 11:15 AM
 
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Honestly, this isn't your daughter's responsibility. It is good that she is a caring person but she can't save or fix him. She can find the people who CAN help him, but all she can do is support him.

Suicide is serious. Self harm is serious. It is beyond the capabilities of a young teenager to do more than be his shoulder to lean on while he gets help elsewhere assuming he is currently in a place that can take her support without in turn hurting her.

Sometimes helping someone is telling them to come back when they are in a better place. We can't be taken down with other people's problems because it becomes our own. We can't be the kind of support needed if it is our problem as well.
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Originally Posted by alfabetsoup View Post
I don't think it matters whether or not it is a genuine suicide threat. It is clearly a cry for help. The OP's daughter CANNOT help him. SHE IS ONLY 15. Whatever problems this boy has (and it sounds like he has plenty) this is classic abusive, manipulative behavior.

OP I think the best thing you can do is to tell everybody who is involved with this boy that he has been threatening suicide-take him at his word!- and then to distance your daughter as much as possible from him. She needs to learn that it's not right when another person makes her responsible for his happiness and that the best way to help is to let other people that love him in on the secret. It's a terrible relationship pattern to get in to.
Yes, to all of this. Having been on both sides of the situation as a teenager, YES.
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#27 of 41 Old 10-05-2010, 01:33 PM
 
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If your daughter really wants to unhook from the drama, but also take him seriously, the next time he threatens suicide she calls 911. She doesn't attend to him, the cops/paramedics do. I had a friend when I was a teenager who went through this with a boyfriend. He called her, said he couldn't live without her, was going to kill himself. She called his parents, said she was worried about him, could they please check on him. Never happened again. And he didn't kill himself. If his parents really are a problem, I wouldn't recommend going this route, but 911 works as a professional will be helping him. Probably not what he really wants.
Yep, this exactly. A high school boyfriend of mine pulled that crap, but luckily I instantly saw it for the pathetic game-playing that it was, and was repulsed and didn't get drawn into the guilt at all. I said, "Okay, let's call the police or go talk to the school counselor so that you can get some help." He backed off and never pulled anything like that again. It's selfish and absurd to dump something like that on a friend and expect them to somehow "handle" it themselves.

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#28 of 41 Old 10-05-2010, 01:47 PM
 
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I work as a 911 dispatcher. It is not uncommon for a suicidal teen in a relationship to do this to their partner/ex-partner. Yes, it can be a tool of abuse. Bottom line is that a 15 year old girl should not be burdened with suicidal threats from a boy because she is absolutely unqualified to deal with suicidal threats if it is a real threat. We go through extensive training to deal with suicidal people and are objective observers. A 15 year old child will be manipulated. People who threaten suicide are often manipulative (this is not an insult - it means they truly do it to manipulate a response from somebody, either as a cry for help or to control a person's actions). A person who self-harms is more likely to complete suicide.

If I was you, I would call the police and advise them of the suicidal threats. In addition, if it was my daughter, I would also place a restraining order against this boy. This may sound extreme but if the authorities are informed, it is their prerogative to deal with the threats and alleged abuse. Your #1 goal is to protect your child. Suicidal ex-boyfriends also do not always just kill themselves - they have been known to take their ex-girlfriends along with them.
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#29 of 41 Old 10-05-2010, 01:47 PM
 
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Whether he is actually reaching out or trying to manipulate her, this is too much for a 15 year old to handle. I've had my share of dramatic friends and boyfriends who pulled this every time they didn't get their way (I truly think they were just too immature to get that you can't just lay down threats like that) or needed a little attention. It was a huge relief with one friend in particular when my parents just said look, you can't hang out with her anymore. It was not my job to be her emotional punching bag or savior. It's just too much for a kid.

Whatever reason he has for doing this, next time it happens tell her to call 911. If he's doing it for attention, he'll stop and if he really needs help he will get it.

He dumped her, she can't string her along forever.
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#30 of 41 Old 10-05-2010, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I find it very interesting that many of you are talking as if it's got to be "either/or" and not BOTH. It is completely possible (and most likely) that OP's dd's ex is both truly in a bad situation at home and possibly really suicidal... AND that he's manipulating dd and his knowledge that she cares about him to control her other friendships and keep her entwined in a relationship she now realizes she doesn't want to be in. (Telling her he's jealous of her friendship with others, he doesn't think he can trust her, pulling her back in when she starts to distance herself with details of his depression - I believe he's truly depressed, but that is also very manipulative).
LROM, thank you so much for stating this. I couldn't figure out how to word it, but that's exactly my take on it, and I'm proceeding as if this is the case. I feel horribly for this young man, and I can't help but think of the myriad ways he could be helped.

But on the other hand everything I've learned about him, aside from one comment from his mom about his dad, everything has been from my daughter. I don't know what is true, and frankly I've learned from the many accounts from mamas here at MDC, that it would be unbelievably irresponsible if I didn't acknowledge that my daughter is being manipulated.

And frankly I put a lot of stock into my husband's perspective. He says try to get gals to have sex with them whether they're aware they're doing it or not, and it doesn't make them EVIL. But they do look for ways to maintain a connection to a possible sexual encounter. It's one of the most basic drives in life.

I'd left a message with the counseling office yesterday and someone called me back just this morning. I explained what my daughter said her exbf told her, that his dad has hit him several times when he was angry with him, that he's been cutting himself and he has been talking about suicide. I said I don't know how much is 'true' but it doesn't really matter, there's still something up and he needs help. And I told her (the counselor) that while this boy has been an absolute @ss to my daughter, she's still worried about him, and so am I.

Daughter just started seeing a therapist (saw her one time). Dd tells me that for as long as she can remember she's been the second banana to her friends, willing for them to play with her, then leave her and come back when they want. As they got older she was content but not entirely happy with the fact that girlfriends would dump on her but wouldn't necessarily return the favor. She said, her own words, she's been a doormat to her friends. Personally I'm horrified by this and I wonder where I've let her down. I'm glad she can see the connection between that pattern and this experience with the boyfriend. I'm strongly encouraging her to talk about this with the therapist.

Dh and I agree we've let her hang out in her room, away from us, for far too long. She needs to get out and get busy with her strong girlfriends.

Thank you again ladies.

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