Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“I My Best Friend Stood Me Up After I Said I Was Suicidal”

I’m a 19-year-old female and have had this guy friend, “Joe,” for years. We met in my first year of high school and we were basically two peas in a pod. We were different in a lot of ways – he was extroverted and outgoing, I’m introverted and to myself – but overall, we were great together and had a pretty tight friendship. Hell, there might’ve been a small part of me that may have been in love with him, but I don’t know if it’s truly that I felt that, or if it’s cause I’m just a sucker for and hope to live out one of those “best friend turned partner” type love stories. It’s probably the latter.

Anyway, throughout these past few months, I’ve been going through the worst time of my life. I’ve had family members deliberately give me COVID-19, I’ve had family members try to get me arrested, some of them tried to literally kill me, and many of them (who are very frequent pot smokers) tried to tarnish my name by insinuating that I’m a heavy drug addict or something for simply smoking a joint or two with them while we were still on good terms. (I should make a quick note here that I was not a frequent cannabis smoker at the time. I only did it on occasions back then, but after they began insinuating, I quit marijuana for good.) I lost my mother, my sisters, my brother, my grandmother and my father because of all of this, and because I was depressed, I stopped eating and lost over 10 pounds within less than a month (I now weigh less than I did when I was 13).

Joe knew that I was going through a hard time. I’d be texting him crying and saying that I needed him because my mental state was at its most dangerous and I’m trying to hold onto my sanity and not do anything I’ll regret. He always responded with “I’m sorry I haven’t been there. I’ve been busy.” I always, I dunno, had hope that he wasn’t being a terrible person and that he was actually busy, and you know what? Maybe he was, but to be too busy to quickly check up on your friend who’s expressed to you that she’s had suicidal thoughts and ideations? I dunno, I just found it messed up. And then today, we had plans to meet up because I needed to talk to him about that, only for him to cancel on me after I’d been standing outside waiting for him for almost an hour.

I didn’t want to explode, but that just did it for me. I went off telling him that he hasn’t been a good friend to me and telling him how I felt. He then said how he’s been so stressed with moving, how he’s been going through a lot that he never talks about cause he doesn’t want it thrown in his face (which I immediately shut down cause he knows I’ve never done that) and how he hasn’t had the energy (hasn’t had the energy to text his friend who made it clear she’s almost suicidal?), and how he’s not here to keep being yelled at by me (which is just “argh! the nerve!”). I’ve reached a point where as much as I still have the super tiniest bit of hope for this friendship, I’m also mentally depleted, and I’m just done. I hate to say it, but I’m really just mentally done. I’ve never had a friendship breakup that hurt like this. Especially at my lowest, when I literally have no one, not even my family. What advice can you give on recovering and healing from something like this? — Melancholy Lone Wolf

I’m really sorry you’re having such a hard and lonely time. And I’m sorry your friend, Joe, has disappointed you. I know you’re hurting right now and you feel betrayed and like he doesn’t care. I’d like to offer another perspective. I think you’ve put an awful lot of expectation on Joe alone to help carry the weight of everything going on in your life. You say you’ve been upset that he hasn’t even texted you, but would that have been enough? Really? You express to someone that you’re suicidal and you think you’d be ok with a quick text reply checking in on you? You’re both so young – 19 is so young – and I don’t mean to imply you don’t have emotional depth to be great friends to each other, but I do know that at 19, I may not have had the insight, the wisdom, or, frankly, the psychological bandwidth to be a sole support system to a friend going through an extraordinary crisis. I feel empathy for you both.

Joe is human. He’s a 19-year-old boy human. He obviously is not capable of being a therapist to you, nor should he be. He doesn’t have the qualifications or the criteria. It’s unfair to put that expectation on a friend – any friend – and then to be so angry when they fail to rise to the demanding occasion. Has he let you down? Yes, of course. Was he rude to stand you up? Absolutely! Could he have extended himself a little more to offer you a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen to you? I think so, yes, but I can also imagine being leery of offering more than he felt capable of handling. I can understand being young and maybe having under-developed emotional maturity and feeling overwhelmed by a friend’s threat of suicide. I could imagine someone without the skills to address such a need just turning away from it, not because he doesn’t care but because he just… doesn’t know what to say or do. And, as he said – he’s been going through his own stuff too, and that’s fair. We all have our own stuff. We all have different levels of energy and time that we’re able to give to others, and it could be that you both are in positions of needing from the other when neither of you has much in the tank to give. That doesn’t make Joe horrible. And it doesn’t mean your friendship is over forever.

I do think it would be wise to take a step back from Joe, at least until your emotional needs ebb back to a more manageable level. In the meantime, I would urge you to reach out to a suicide hotline to speak with someone trained and experienced in helping someone feeling the way you’re feeling. They’ll be able to talk you through next steps, including maybe how to find an affordable counselor, someone you could talk to on a regular basis whose sole job in their relationship with you is to listen and help and guide (with no burden of reciprocation from you!). Call 800-273-8255. Help is available 24 hours a day. Good luck.

I recently went on a date with a woman I met at a party that a friend invited me to. The party was actually the woman’s divorce party (celebrating the finalization of the paperwork). Anyway, she and I talked on and off throughout the night, and the following day we both followed each other on Instagram and messaged a few times. One day she messaged me saying that “hopefully we could get together one day” and I replied back that I’d like that. But nothing happened due to my work schedule. Some time passed and we messaged each other again and I gave her my number and she texted me almost immediately.

After a month, I finally worked up the courage and asked her on a date and she said yes. The date went really well and at the end of the night she said that she had a great time and would like to do it again. Fast forward to a couple of days later and I called her to say hi and she didn’t answer. The next day, I texted her asking her if she’d like to get together again. Much to my delight and surprise, she said: “Yes! But I don’t know when I’ll be free again. The next couple weekends are being taken up.” I responded with: “Okay, cool. I’m sorry to hear that. Let me know if your schedule opens up any time and I’ll rearrange some things.”

Now I can’t stop wondering if she is blowing me off or is she genuinely busy. She has a five-year-old son with special needs who will be going to kindergarten soon. I understand that her son is her priority and that being a single mother is tough and getting time for herself can be difficult. But I’m hoping that when her schedule does free up, she might reach out and we could set up that second date. What do you think? Am I overthinking it, or should I gracefully bow out? — Wanting a Second Date

 
Yeah, you’re over-thinking it big time. She said she wanted to go out with you again. She said it enthusiastically (well, with an exclamation mark, at least). She’s probably genuine. Why wouldn’t she be? And even if she’s not – even if she has no intention of seeing you again or if she’s actually swept into whatever life is throwing at her and you don’t hear from her again for a while, so what? What is it that you’d actually be “gracefully bowing out of”? The invitation for a second date? And what would gracefully bowing out of that even look like? What, are you going to text her back and say, “You know, on second thought, I’d like to rescind my offer, but I wish you very well”? I mean, come on. There isn’t really a “graceful” way of bowing out of something that isn’t even planned yet. You just want to know how you can gracefully say, “Hey! I like you and I thought you liked me too, so prioritize me!” and you can’t because you barely know this woman. You went on one date. You haven’t earned prioritization yet.

Look, she sounds busy. At least for the next couple weekends. (And to be honest, your throw-away comment that you’d “rearrange some things” if she becomes available makes you sound kind of busy, too, or at least like you want to seem that way. What is it that you’d need to rearrange if you don’t even know when she might be available for a date?). In two weeks, if you haven’t heard back from her, send her a text and say, “Hey! Any chance your schedule has opened up in the coming week or two? I’d love to hang out again if you have some time!” If she can’t find time over the course of, say, the next four weeks to schedule a second date, I’d say it’s safe to say she doesn’t have room in her life for you right now. That doesn’t mean she never will or that she doesn’t like you or whatever. But it does mean that it would be time to move on already. Or, as you call it: “bow out gracefully.”

***************
Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.

34 comments… add one
  • Peggy August 3, 2021, 9:18 am

    For the second LW on dating. You both sound busy and sometimes people have lives and schedules that make it difficult to get together/date, even if they are interested in each other. That could be the case here.
    Wendy has good advice about reaching out again in a couple weeks. I would add this; be specific when you call or it will all be vague again and nothing may happen.
    So I would mention a specific event with a day and time and see if that works. “Would you be free to meet at the farmer’s market at such and such a day and time and grab coffee or breakfast?” Or “Are you available for dinner at X place and time?”
    If she is busy for those specifics, suggest she tell you a day and time that will work so you can plan something. If she still can’t meet under those terms, then I would forget it. Good luck.

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  • LisforLeslie August 3, 2021, 9:54 am

    LW#1 – I agree with Wendy’s comments about your friend. But, and maybe it’s the cynic in me, something about your terrible year isn’t sitting right. You lost your entire nuclear family because of something one of your relatives said or did? Maybe your familial relationship was shaky to begin with, maybe you were the designated scapegoat. I’ll leave the door open for a shitty home life, but if that’s the case, I don’t think you’d be as upset as you are that you “lost” them.

    Usually close families don’t cast one member off unless that person really crossed some boundaries. Maybe you’re diminishing that drug use? Maybe you’re trying to justify crossing a line that you know is firm in your family? Are they simply mad at you and you haven’t apologized? I pulled some shit when I was about your age. My mom was angry as hell but she never stopped loving me. I never “lost” her but I had to do some groveling and behave on the up and up for a time to demonstrate that I understood that I had privileges and not rights.

    LW#2 – depending on the services she’s lined up for her kiddo and when you had your last exchange – she may be in that summer spot where camps and services end and school hasn’t yet begun. It’s too early to introduce you to her kid and if she has her kid 24/7 for the next couple of weeks, it’d make sense that she’s not available. Nonetheless, you’re totally overthinking it – she gave you all the signs that she’s interested, just busy.

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    • Teri Anne August 3, 2021, 2:26 pm

      LW1’s experiences are very similar to mine. I was 16 and a sophomore in high school when my siblings began drinking and smoking pot heavily. In an effort to get along with my siblings, I also tried pot but stopped because I didn’t like it. Finally the situation came to a head shortly after my high school graduation, when my mother found pot sitting openly on a dresser. I told her the truth when she asked me what it was. I said that everyone but me smoked almost every day, and that I had tried it a couple of times. That night all hell broke lose as my parents started screaming at all my siblings. They were so angry at me for telling on them that they shunned me through all four years of college, and throughout adulthood. 45 years later, the shunning continues. I will admit to also feeling suicidal ideation during my university years, as I struggled with shame, embarrassment and fear. There is still a lot of stigma towards people who are shunned by their families. Over the years I kept to myself a lot, because people like Lisfor Leslie often assumed I did something wrong to justify this treatment or else I was just being a drama queen.

      I am very sorry for the LW’s ordeal, which is worse than mine because I didn’t have to deal with the complications of covid or a family member trying to have me arrested. Right now as much as possible I urge the LW to focus on getting a job or finishing her education, so that she can become financially independent. If her parents refuse to fill out the FAFSA so she can get financial aid to attend college, she should consult her university. If they kick her off their health insurance, she can purchase Obamacare all year by showing a letter of insurance cancellation. Health insurance now covers therapy, which would be invaluable for the LW.

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  • FYI August 3, 2021, 10:39 am

    Sorry, I find LW2 infuriating. It took you a MONTH to ask her out, and you’re ready to “bow out” now that SHE is busy?! With a special-needs five-year-old!? She expressed clear interest in you, and you respond by making it HARDER on her (someone who already has it hard) to date you. Why? Because of your insecurities. C’mon, dude.

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  • ron August 3, 2021, 11:56 am

    Both of these letters read strangely:
    LW #2 — you wrote: “But nothing happened due to my work schedule. Some time passed and we messaged each other again and I gave her my number and she texted me almost immediately. After a month, I finally worked up the courage and asked her on a date ”

    So, which is it, your work schedule or your lack of courage, which caused the month-long delay on your end.? As a guy, I have to ask, how much courage does it really take to ask a woman on a date? A woman with whom you’ve talked most of the night you met and then on-line after. A woman who already told you it would be nice to go out together? Then… later, you give her your phone number, again forcing her to make the first move. Again she does. Then, finally… you ask her out. You really seem too timid a soul to be dating and it doesn’t sound like you’re super young, since you met the woman at a party for the finalization of her divorce.

    Now, because she’s busy for two weeks, you decide she’s blown you off and want to fade? Really! What a coward’s move. It took you literally forever in dating (or really not dating) terms to get up the courage to ask her out. Thinking she’s blowing you off is your MASSIVE insecurities talking. She’s said she wants to go out with you again. It is not at all unusual for a person to have her time lined up 2-3 weeks in advance, especially a single mother. Very possibly she has dates for those nights, but likes you better, but is too polite to stand the other guys up, or finds you so flakey and insecurity ridden that she suspects she can’t count on you to not do exactly the cowardly ‘backing away’ that is so clearly more in your comfort zone than continuing to date her and risking her walking away in the future.

    Therapy. Then, man up, man. Re-read your letter. You really sound more than a little pathetic for a guy who’s no longer a teenager.

    LW#1 —
    Your whole letter reads off, with your whole family dumping you for no reason at all. Yes, call a suicide hot-line. I think you should work through them to check yourself in for a 48-hour psych-eval. I think you frightened your friend away. Probably family too. Wendy is right in saying you need more help than a 19-year-old friend could possibly provide. The good news is, whatever the problem is, very high odds it can be dealt with and you can move on to a brighter future than you see today. Let people who are actually trained to help you, help you.

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    • Teri Anne August 3, 2021, 2:41 pm

      I am a lurker who usually doesn’t comment. Unfortunately some families are as horrible as the family of LW1. Forty five years ago, my family dumped me because I didn’t want to do drugs, and to this day the shunning continues. I was not invited to weddings or holiday parties, and when I was invited to Christmas everyone got presents but me. My eldest brother now has dementia so unfortunately their is now no possibility of reconciliation. Like some commentators here, people did not believe me. They assumed I was making it up or that I had done something wrong and deserved this treatment. I believe the LW. Given the stigma towards being estranged from family, few people would be willing to make all this up.

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  • anonymousse August 3, 2021, 12:39 pm

    LW#2 you sound too immature to date adult women. She has a five year old (already a handful, I can assure you) WITH special needs! and it’s August.

    You sound very self centered and clearly can’t put yourself in another persons shoes. It took you a month to work up the courage to ask her out, but she’s busy for a couple weeks and you’re melting down and writing in to advice columns. She already has one child.

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  • Guy Friday August 3, 2021, 8:10 pm

    LW1: While I am sympathetic to your situation, sincerely, I would suggest to you that throwing around the term “suicidal thoughts and ideations” like you are isn’t really what you mean. I don’t say that lightly; I don’t like making it sound like I’m minimizing a genuine cry for help. But I’ve BEEN Joe in situations like yours, and, to be completely honest, while I would accept the first time you needed to talk it out, and maybe even the second, by the third time you told me you had suicidal ideations I would have called the police to take you into a mental hospital for a 72 hour psychiatric hold, and I would continue to do it each individual time after that. And I strongly suspect, had he done that, you would have been writing in complaining that he over-reacted, when frankly I think if someone says they’re suicidal they SHOULD be taken seriously and held to their word. So I would caution you to carefully choose what you actually mean, whether that you’re severely depressed and anxious or actually suicidal.

    The term that came to mind when I was reading your letter was “emotional vampire,” in that your letter strikes me as being from someone who takes and takes and doesn’t give in return. And that’s not a criticism, mind you; we can’t always balance it equally at all times. But the problem with emotional vampires is that sometimes the person you’re trying to steal energy from simply doesn’t have it to give. Sometimes they’ve had a long day at work or at school, or they have issues on their mind, and they simply cannot spare the energy to give you. And, frankly, the tone of your letter suggests that Joe may have had a valid concern in that you would criticize and resent him for not giving you energy when you need it, because . . . well, you DO feel that way, and you say it in the letter! But the problem is that it’s NOT his fault that you’re struggling right now, and it’s NOT his fault that you cannot regulate your day to day life, and it’s NOT his fault that you have family issues. It may not be your fault either, but you’re looking for someone to blame, and you’re making him your scapegoat, and that just sucks to do, to say nothing of the fact that no one, no matter how close they are to you, is going to stick around if you keep using them as a punching bag.

    Please, for your own sake: get trained medical help. Don’t be afraid to do it. If you broke your leg you wouldn’t worry what people thought of you for seeing a surgeon; don’t worry what people will think of you for seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist. Treat your mental health as more than just something you can talk out, and model the kind of behavior in your life that you want others to model to you. I guarantee you, if you do that, you will have people there to catch you when you’re struggling; I can speak from personal experience on that.

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    • Rebecca August 4, 2021, 8:17 am

      Welllllllll…

      I frequently have suicidal ideation. It’s passive–more along the lines of “I would like to not be *here*”—rather than active. But it’s real. And while I don’t think I require hospitalization for it, I understand how alarming it can be if a) you’re not used to it, on the LW’s side of things, and b) you’re hearing about it, on Joe’s side of things.

      For the LW: yes, it’s great to have a friend who will listen and help, but let me tell you–the threshold for someone who will/can/is able to/is willing to actually do that is VERY high, and Joe isn’t meeting it. Maybe take it down a notch with Joe–instead of “I need a text back or (it is implied) I am in danger of self harming” aim for “can you tell me something you like/value about me?” I find that friends are excellent for reminding us of our worth and endurance.

      Also, can you find ways to…sit with the pain? A “life sucks now but now is temporary and I can wait this out” type of thing? I’ll be honest, it really is partly your age–at 19 EVERYTHING feels immediate/a crisis, but I promise you, I *promise* you, things even out over the years.

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      • anonymousse August 4, 2021, 11:18 am

        Are your passive suicidal ideation texted to your love interest/friends for attention or sympathy?

        I don’t think your thoughts sound at all similar to what this person has described. I have had those thoughts, too. The difference between me and someone who is actually suicidal is that they have a plan, have envisioned it and might be taking real steps to do it. When I told my doctors what I think when I think about it, they were reassured that I was just having a very, very hard time and not actually contemplating committing the act of suicide.

        If she is sending texts threatening self harm or suicide, he should be calling 911. Anyone should. In my town alone, there have been a cluster of teenage suicide this year. It’s serious, even if she isn’t.

        A boy (or any other friends) of 19 is not the person she should be leaning on for help. She needs professional help.

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    • Dear Wendy August 5, 2021, 8:56 am

      I’ve been the friend who, after multiple threats of suicide from my friend, I did call the police and she was involuntarily committed to a psych ward for 72 hours. It totally ruined our friendship, but she’s never threatened suicide again.

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      • Ange August 5, 2021, 6:05 pm

        I did that once too but she was an awful person who kept doing it for attention (legitimately, the only mental health issue she had was that nobody was paying her enough attention). Finally I had enough and called out the ambos who threatened her with a hold, that scared her enough to never do it again.

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      • ktfran August 7, 2021, 8:56 pm

        My 12 year old niece cut herself earlier this year. Actually, she wasn’t even 12 yet. It was three weeks before her 12th birthday. My sister immediately took her in and she was admitted for a week.

        I definitely wouldn’t be taking these thoughts or ideas lightly.

        She’s doing a lot better, but still struggling.

        Both of my nieces have been heavily bullied. The 12 year old is having a really hard time making real friends. I can’t imagine growing up now, with social media. And then the pandemic on top of it. Yikes.

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    • laylas August 7, 2021, 12:53 pm

      Why do you assume she is ‘throwing around’ her suicide ideation? This line of thinking in recent years of minimizing the feelings of people in total crisis, accusing them of exaggeration and manipulation, is extremely disturbing to me. Where has people’s compassion gone?

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      • Kate August 7, 2021, 3:36 pm

        I don’t get it either, why commenters on here feel fine drawing the fucked up conclusion that people who talk about suicide are being dramatic, hyperbolic, and manipulative. Hello, middle-aged folks, today’s youth are having a really different experience than we did.

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  • ele4phant August 3, 2021, 9:14 pm

    Oooohhh, I feel both sides of LW1.

    As someone that has been through some real rough mental times, I feel deeply the abandonment and disappoint you feel, LW.

    But, I’ve also been in Joe’s shoes. You cannot make your mental health dependent on another person. It’s too much to ask of another person. We can only give what we can give, and sometimes we have to put the oxygen over our own mouths first, if you know what I mean. When you are going through some things of your own, even if they aren’t as bad as someone else’s, you can only give so much to someone else.

    I hope you can find help (professional and otherwise), and I hope you find it soon. Whether he can’t or just won’t, Joe is not in a position to be a support for you. You need to seek that kind of help elsewhere.

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  • anonymousse August 4, 2021, 11:27 am

    Joe can’t be there for you for this. That’s what he’s telling you. That’s not a reflection of how good a person he is, it’s an indication that what you need is too much for another teen to help with. You need real help, from mental health professionals.

    I would like to echo what Rebecca said above, that this is temporary. Most feelings are. I have struggled with depression, PTSD and anxiety for almost my entire life. I recently had the lowest period I’ve ever had. I found a great therapist. She helped me realize that even in the darkest moments of my life, I have survived them all, and then it goes away. I know that. I can feel the spectrum of emotions and know that they are temporary and will go.

    I hope you find the help you need.
    You can text #741741 to chat with someone if you are contemplating suicide.

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  • Teri Anne August 5, 2021, 11:30 am

    A desperate 19 year old wrote into Dear Wendy after getting covid and being abandoned by her entire family due to drug issues. With no one else to turn to, she naturally tries to confide in a close friend who lacks the maturity to handle the situation and unfortunately blows her off. I am horrified by the cruelty of some responses. No family is that awful, so she must have done something wrong. Or she is so troubled that she is making it all up and belongs on a psych ward. Or she is an emotional vampire who takes pleasure in depleting everyone else’s joy. Or she should have known better than to confide in a friend, because everyone knows that 19 year old boys are immature.

    Forty five years ago, I endured a similar abandonment by my family due to drug issues. Fearful of harsh judgement, I never told anyone. This is the first time that an advice column features a LW with a situation similar to mine, and it confirms that I made the right decision. Therapy was much less available 45 years ago. I hope the LW is not so discouraged by these responses that she is afraid to seek therapy. I finally got help in my late 40s, and I can reassure the LW that a good therapist will not respond in such a cruel fashion.

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    • anonymousse August 5, 2021, 11:35 am

      Who told her she should know better than ask her friend? I am telling her a 19 year old doesn’t have the mental bandwidth or capacity to help her, which he’s shown again and again. I never said she should know better.

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    • ron August 5, 2021, 11:43 am

      Yes, some families are this bad, but… the letter reads like its writer may have serious mental health issues which need treatment. Getting a psych eval seems a prudent course of action. What do you suggest Terri Anne — just trying to muddle through this as best she can. That hasn’t worked for her. She needs professional help, perhaps just talk therapy, perhaps more, but she clearly is sinking. I don’t think suicide threats voiced to another should ever be not taken seriously.

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    • Guy Friday August 5, 2021, 1:01 pm

      First of all, with all due respect, you need to work on your reading, because my entire last paragraph was about both seeking professional help AND the fact that doing so should in no way be viewed as any different than seeking a doctor for a broken bone. So I EXPLICITLY told her to seek trained help.

      Second, you quote my comment about being an “emotional vampire” and yet somehow concluded that I thought she took joy in it despite me saying “And that’s not a criticism, mind you; we can’t always balance it equally at all times?” Really? She’s blaming her friend for not giving her everything she needs; it’s a valid point to make that it’s an unfair and unreasonable expectation to make.

      Finally — and I can’t emphasize this enough — to suggest that no one should consider seeking out a psych hold for this LW despite the fact that she has REPEATEDLY and CONSISTENTLY told someone that she is suicidal is not only disingenuous, but also incredibly dangerous. I would much rather risk a friendship to make sure she is alive than assume she’s speaking in hyperbole and then find out she killed herself. I’d make that choice every single day. And if you wouldn’t, I submit to you that that speaks more about your character than it does mine.

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      • Rebecca August 5, 2021, 2:07 pm

        Hey. It was me who said she might be speaking in hyperbole, not Teri Anne. And I said that because as a whole we’re not taught to determine, either for ourselves when we’re expressing it, or when we’re hearing it from other people, which mentions of suicide are legit going to lead to a suicide attempt, and which are more like “I really need a friend to gas me up right now because everything feels so awful and I’ve forgotten my self-worth” and because she’s still here, hasn’t been committed, and hasn’t attempted suicide, I rather assume it was the latter. The LW can come back and contradict me if she wants.

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      • anonymousse August 6, 2021, 11:29 am

        What if she doesn’t come back and contradict you? What will you assume then?

        You feel confident in assuming she’s not serious. How can you be? That’s a lot of assumption about someone you don’t know at all. And most of us are taught to take threats of suicide seriously and I don’t need to explain why. Hyperbole can be determined by the admitting team at the hospital.

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      • Rebecca August 6, 2021, 12:40 pm

        Yeah, I am really comfortable assuming that the best place for a young person without family support is not being on a 72 hour hold, and I’m also familiar *FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE* with both types of suicidality and I can tell you *FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE* that the time I almost jumped from a 5th story window I did not reach out to anyone, but when I was feeling more like I *just shouldn’t be living anymore* friends were there for me.

        Honest to god, shove your righteousness.

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      • anonymousse August 6, 2021, 1:59 pm

        Guess who can determine if the threat is real? Trained professionals!

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      • anonymousse August 6, 2021, 2:05 pm

        I had someone call 911 after I said something along the lines of I didn’t want to live anymore.

        The ER doctors did an evaluation, and determined I wasn’t suicidal, gave me a small prescription for Xanax and mental health resources. They didn’t put me on a psych hold because I wasn’t suicidal.

        Why is that so deeply offensive for you to imagine doing to this girl who literally wrote she has no one? This friend isn’t it.

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    • anonymousse August 6, 2021, 1:54 pm

      You didn’t say you assume she doesn’t belong on a hold, you said you assume she isn’t serious with her threats and professionals shouldn’t be called.

      AND I never said she should be on a hold, I said the friend, ANYONE in this situation should call 911 if their friend is threatening suicide.

      Wow, I wrote all that out without getting personal! Have a great weekend.

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    • laylas August 7, 2021, 12:55 pm

      I completely agree with you. Completely disheartened by many of the callous responses here.

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  • Teri Anne August 5, 2021, 12:24 pm

    I had to muddle through on my own for many years, and while I did fairly well I definitely do not recommend it. Therapy improved my life a lot, and I hope the LW can get therapy. She needs help coping with her very difficult circumstances. Yes suicide threats must always be taken seriously.

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  • Bittergaymark August 6, 2021, 4:32 pm

    Eh, as somebody who wrestles with suicidal tendencies, I have to honestly say that the first letter did kinda scream drama drama drama. It read — as hyperbole. (To me, at least.)

    At any rate, Joe is simply NOT equipped to fix this. More, the LW seems awfully quick to dismiss Joe’s moving problems. And he is afraid to confide in her for some reason… when he tries to tell her why, she always “shuts that down right quick.” Which is pretty… uh… one sided.

    If you need help, LW. By all means… Get it. But blaming a friend for NOT being your oncall therapist is a real quick way to find oneself without said friend.

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  • laylas August 7, 2021, 12:46 pm

    LW1: Joe is not capable, or not willing, of giving you the amount of support you need right now. Him being ‘too busy’ to even talk or go to coffee with a friend in crisis is total jerk territory, and if I were you I would take a big step back from this friendship. My guess is that, in addition to possibly feeling overwhelmed by your level of need at the moment (which sounds warranted, but still overwhelming for a young dude), he senses your romantic feelings for him, and it’s freaking him out. Instead, if you’re truly in as bad of a place mentally as you say, you need to focus first on finding a good psychiatrist. The right medication regiment here can literally be the difference between life and death here. You may also want to hire a therapist. If you find a really good one, therapy can be a very useful supplement to medication. Next, once you’re on more stable ground, you should focus on forging new friendships. Meetup.com is a great tool for meeting people. Get involved in a Meetup group that does something you enjoy – there are meetup groups for everything under the sun. Meeting new people and getting involved in new activities will go a LONG way in getting you out of your own head, and will likely give you a more positive outlook on life. Good luck to you.

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    • ron August 7, 2021, 8:10 pm

      I don’t think Joe is in total jerk territory. I think LW has terrified him. It is super scary to realize that you have been made responsible for another person’s mental stability and avoidance of suicide. That she loves him must make him feel even more emotionally threatened. She’s made a huge ask of a 19-year old. Way too big an ask. It’s actually good that he has realized he is in over his head, but he should have figured out how to gracefully tell her that. That he didn’t is a sign of how very not up to the ask he is at his age and a certain lack of polite communication skill, It reads to me like he panicked.

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  • ron August 7, 2021, 8:13 pm

    I say a good thing in part because what he has done helps her in the long run. He has been an incompetent crutch, which she has leaned on as an excuse not to get the professional help she so badly needs. His stepping aside will hopefully drive her to seek real help. Also a good thing, because he is self-protecting his own mental stability by stepping away from what is way beyond what he can deal with. Some have the social skills at 19 to withdraw gracefully. Apparently he does not. I think most `19-year old guys do not.

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  • Bittergaymark August 7, 2021, 9:09 pm

    I wonder how many times she has called him when feeling suicidal.

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