January 07, 2005

It's A Silly Game & I Won't Play

I have a friend who I met about two years ago and got to know fairly well. We shared a lot of things together for a while and then I moved back up to Wellington.

Ever since I've known her she has been suffering from depression, and periodic suicidality. I understand that better than most and I've tried to kind of be supportive without being entangled.

Now, she is a mutual friend of mine and Deb's. And Deb is one of these people who can't help getting entangled when she's supportive. We all know how much Deb's going through at the moment. She doesn't deserve this person ringing her up to "say goodbye" every few weeks. She doesn't need the packages and letters with the "open this after you hear" instructions. And she certainly doesn't need the bizarre text messages asking her to travel up north for unspecified reasons.

So I'm pissed off on Deb's behalf, and pissed off on my own behalf a little too. She sends me the same text messages, out of the blue after the last thing I heard was that she was "absolutely" going to kill herself and so if I wanted to see her again come north right away (several months ago). It was another request to come up north. She knows I have no money, and anyway, why would I spend all that money and time on someone who's just going to kill herself?

And there's the rub. I'm pretty sure that this is some kind of "rescue-game" (conscious or otherwise) - she's going to try and try and try to kill herself but something or someone will always come along to stop her just in time, because in her heart of hearts she doesn't want to die; she just wants someone to love her and take care of her.

I wish I could, but I can't. She'll pull me under at the moment. I don't have the energy or the emotional resources to play this game with her. It gives me shudders every time I hear of a suicide (or worse, a murder-suicide) on the news until I'm sure it's not her. I feel guilty for not "being there" for a friend but it's just unfeasible.

The thing is, if she were trying to go in a positive direction, I'd dearly love to help her, because I do understand some of what she's feeling and she's a neat person under it all. But she is swimming in circles and trying to attract sharks, so the only safe distance is the shore, as far as I'm concerned.

I feel really mean! But I feel okay with being mean because I know it's not bitchy-mean, it's survival-mean. And I've never had a problem with survival-mean.

Posted by phreq at January 7, 2005 06:09 AM | TrackBack

I cant see a possible happy outcome that you can contribute to. You endup being a spectator, a catylst or a victim if you front up to help. And if you dont you feel guilty.

Yet I feel that we always get the message to wade in as it is beneficial for the person feeling suicidal to feel like there is someone willing to help. I often wonder if that is true or they are waiting for an audience.

I think the glass needs to be full again.

Its strange to me that an individual always appears to be the biggest threat to thier own survival.

Posted by: Vincent at January 7, 2005 08:21 AM

I can honestly say I know what you are going through. I have had similiar experiences over many years with family of mine. My brother has scizophrenia.

I have often tried as much as possible to 'help' him. That is to listen and to make some constructive suggestions about coping mechanisms, self help and support in the community etc.

I did this and do this often, however, one day I realised that this seemed to be just a waste of time, as he just repeated the same mistakes, ignored my suggestions and got into the same 'victim' mentality.
So, I stopped. I just decided that it was upsetting me to much, and I was getting pulled down with him. But I never felt guilty. I often thought how would I feel if he committed suicide, and decided that if he really did want to then there was absolutely nothing I could do about it (whether I was living in the same city or not!). I guess the worst part about all of this if I was to feel guilty was how much stress my family (especially my brother) put onto my mother. Now that made me feel mad!! (but thats a whole different story)

I guess for me it was working out what and how much I could give, how much was he listening to, where was his head, how much was his medication playing a role (if any or was he on any?) etc etc.

I think for my brother is biggest problem is loneliness and bordom. He needs friends (but ones that will be of benefit and that he will listen to) and he needs goals (yes, Ive done all that too) and probably a part time job that will give him some sense of accomplishment.

I love my brother SO much, yet have felt so frustrated and sad at seeing his roller coaster ride - mostly downs(partly due to his changes in medication, partly his own negative thought processes).

Sorry to harp on about my brother, but Im not sure of your friends situation. Has she had professional help? etc etc...
You may not want to hear it, but maybe your friend just needs someone to be honest with her - if you havent been already..(in a supportive yet firm manner).

Yes, survival mean is okay.....
Give only as much as you can and take care of yourself. Debs needs to do the same.

Good luck and I hope it all works out for the best.
Kia kaha!

Posted by: Debs at January 7, 2005 11:13 PM

Thank you for sharing that :) It is nice to know that other people out there have faced similar and worse dilemmas and managed to work through them.

Posted by: phreq at January 9, 2005 05:24 AM


Posted by: Online Home Loans at November 19, 2005 11:03 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?