Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Helping a friend

... who might not really want or recognize the need for help.

It's my best friend. She's not very stable in life and displays signs of Borderline Personality Disorder (though none in my relationship with her). She feels a need to get very drunk regularly, has a pretty high need for sex (and it's always meaningless). Has been "hooked" on this one guy for at least 5 years despite him never reciprocating any deeper feelings than wanting to bed her. He would not go out and be seen in public with her at the time they had a "friends with benefits" thing going. That has been 100% over for 1 year and she still gets a physical reaction when his name comes up or if she just sees his car.

I don't know anything about this kind of unhealthy infatuation and I don't know what to even say about it.

I don't know anything about difficult relationships with parents, siblings or even friends and I don't know what to say when she goes through something.

I don't know anything about getting drunk and so I don't know what to say when she says she needs to go get drunk.

I simply don't know.

I mostly just make sure I'm there for her with supporting words and light advice. Like, "You know, you don't need to get drunk, there could be better ways.". I don't want to act mom-like with her and I don't think that's what she needs, but sometimes I feel she needs a more honest direct response and I don't know how to give it.

How would you deal with these types of situations?

7 Comentários:

Kiddy said...

She seems to be obsessed with this guy.

Becky said...

I cannot really tell you how to deal with it, but I can sympathize. My sister and I have always been very different, to a degree that people have often doubted or not believed that we're actually sisters.

She's a little less than 2 years younger than me, and was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder when she was 16. Our father died when I was 17, she was 15, and she acted out a lot (it actually started earlier, after he'd gotten sick), she started smoking, drinking... she actually lost her virginity before I did (not just that she was younger, but in, she actually did it almost a year before me). She cheated on most of her bf's and they cheated on her... she started smoking weed, then stronger stuff and ended up in the hospital.

Honestly, I don't know where she would've ended if things hadn't changed.

But things did change.

She became pregnant with my nephew around her 17th birthday. It was her second pregnancy (she actually got pregnant around the original due date for her first pregnancy). She'd been pressured into getting an abortion the first time, by her bf who threatened to leave her otherwise (he cheated on her, again, a month later). With the second pregnancy she said she could never go through an abortion again. So she chose to have the baby. And then I watched her change. I watched her grow up. Yes, she still smokes. She still drinks at times (and at times too much, but NEVER around my nephew, only if he's with his father for the weekend, or at my Mum's place). He's 4 years old now, and the state finally said they didn't need to keep an extra eye on him anymore, because there was nothing to remark (being a young mother, with her diagnosis, she was battling the state from day one, who had actually threatened to take him away from her at birth). I know she's getting healthier, because she hasn't had a boyfriend in 2 months. I know that might sound silly, but in the past 10 years, I believe that's the longest she's gone without a boyfriend.

So I don't know what you should tell your friend, I didn't know what to say to my sister, and at many times I still don't, although we have grown much much closer over the past couple of years. I do hope she'll get better, and happier with herself. Has she seen a therapist? Cause her behaviour definitely isn't healthy.

Kaighla said...

I had a friend like this, in a way, and then the guy she was obsessed with, who just kept doing her wrong over and over, who was just a deadbeat, he died of a drug overdose. She always believed she was going to save him somehow, so it was my true desire that she would wake up from this when he died. But, no. Now, she has decided to make her life a shrine to him. Even though his family tried to sabotage their relationship when he was alive, now she vows she will always be in their family, visits them like three times a week, says they refer to her as their daughter-in-law, weird stuff! I have told her how I worried for her, I have been telling her since we were in high school that this guy was a deadbeat, but she would not listen. I have all but given up.

I have another friend who is SO BEAUTIFUL. She is such a wonderful, wonderful, amazing person through-and-through. I love her dearly, but she is retreating into this pit of depression. She has only ever had one boyfriend whom she believed she would marry. two years later, he just up and dumped her, saying he was not ready for marriage and then TWO WEEKS LATER married someone else (who divorced him in a month or something). Since that day like 3 years ago, she is just so depressed! She thinks she is ugly, she feels unwanted, she attaches herself to men needlessly, men she never even expresses her interest in and then in double-crushed when they do not respond or even get other girlfriends. All of us have tried to tell her how wonderful and beautiful she is, how worthwhile she is, how marriage is not always roses and wonderfullness and how sometimes you hate your husband and he is the source of your unhappiness! But she is convinced (at 25) that she will never ever meet anyone who will love her for her and that she is doomed to a life of loneliness and misery. I feel so helpless because I felt EXACTLY like she does so many times in my life and honestly, nothing anyone said made it any better. I just had to experience it, put my hope in more than a man. I think the only thing we can do for our friends is pray for them, ask for clarity and courage.

Candice said...

Becky: It sounds exactly like my friend! She is such a great person, really. And she's good with kids and loves kids a lot - babysitting friends' kids and spending time with them really does her good and it's something she even enjoys. I think that having a child would help her, really, but she's not in any stable place to actually actively try (no job, no boyfriend).

I feel confident she would step up if she fell pregnant and that she'd turn her life around for her child.

My friend hasn't seen a therapist but I don't think she has the money for it and the ones covered by insurance are just super hard to get into. The system is just not 100% great, yknow.

I find it great to hear that your sister is doing really well despite what we could consider a rough start. Very happy to hear that!

Kaighla:
Wow, it's sad that your friend 1 is having so much trouble over this man. And he is deceased too? It's hard to imagine her getting over someone when even death doesn't give any sort of indication that it will happen.

Is your second friend on any medications? It really sounds like a depression that is probably a chemical thing that cuold at least be helped with some meds... It's not a cure, but I know a lot of people who have found them helpful in making the feelings of hopelessness much better.

I love your suggestion of prayer and I will actively try that for them.

Becky said...

Oh I wouldn't encourage an unplanned pregnancy, just that sometimes great things can come out of "accidents", and that sometimes we need someone beyond ourselves to give us that push to change things around.

I don't know how it is in Canada, but in the US you can see therapists who are getting their Ph.D. for as little as 20-30 dollars per session, because they have to take clients for their hours. I'm not sure how it works (since I'm not American), but I've heard about it several times, and if there's something similar in Canada it might be worth looking into.

Sarah said...

She sounds a little similar to one of my friends, who doesn't drink but has been in a casual-sex arrangement with a guy for over a year and is in love with him but he's always said he doesn't want a relationship. I, too, have great difficulty knowing what to say. I have given my opinion countless times but she just seems incapable of seeing that it is a dead-end situation. She still keeps hoping he might change his mind. Sometimes I think I will go crazy if I have to hear about it one more time.

I suppose you can give your opinion and try to challenge what seems like irrational thinking. Ultimately she will have to work it out herself though.

Candice said...

Becky: I didn't take your comment as an encouragement to an unplanned pregnancy, don't worry!

Sarah: She really will need to work it out herself. I will be a better support system for her if I don't wear myself out being frustrated with her choices and if I don't alienate her by voicing my opinions too strongly. I think overall I am a good stabilizing influence just being there generally...

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