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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Celyn Offline
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I feel like giving up on him - April 15th 2012, 04:15 PM

I'm friends with a guy, called Jack and he suffers from manic depression/bipolar/depression (I'm not too sure which one). He has had it for a few years now, but I've only known him for 2 years. The first time I met him, in school, he hated me and didn't hide from showing it. Then when we actually got to know each other we became really close friends.

Then we left school, and I'm in university, whilst he is at home doing nothing. He applied for university the same time as me, but deferred his entry until this september. I didn't know he did this until later, when he was ranting about how he hated his mother for not caring about his results and how she wanted him to go college. So, I was on Jacks side, that university would be good for him etc. Then I find out he deferred his entry. Well, obviously college would be a good idea, because what else was he going to do for an entire year? He deferred his entry because he thought he would be ill due to his mental health, though how you can predict what happens in 9 months I will never know.*

Eventually, he decided to go to college to do psychology (he was interested in it). 2 weeks after and he drops out. Said he didn't like it and didn't want to do the work. Then his social worker suggested an English course (since he wanted to do an English course in uni), like distant learning, where they give you the work and assignments and you get on with it. This course was worth uni credits. Except he left his 4000 word assignment to do the night before it was due in. The next day I asked him how it went, and he said he didn't do it. I don't know if he is continuing with this course.

I know that having depression or whatever means that you can be tired and so don't do work, but here's the other thing. He gets disability living allowance, even though he is living at home and dependent on his family (where me and my family had to fight tooth and nail for the disability living allowance since my dad has Alzheimer's.) He told his other friend that he has saved 500 for drinking. It's like he doesn't want to do any work, but just wants to get drunk. Even though he is on medication and has all the help he can get (counselling, doctors, changed medication, psychologist, support of friends and family) I feel like he isn't trying to do anything to change his situation.*

Back in December, we had a relationship, but it didn't work out because he was moping over his ex from 4 years ago, and a guy that he "loved" (even though this guy is straight, homophobic, never talked to Jack just insults him, and humiliated him on valentines day 2 years ago, when Jack made him a valentines card which this guy ripped up in front of him and went off laughing with his friends). So I got over it and accepted that it is something Jack is going to have sort out. A week after we broke up ( we decided to remain friends) he told me he is flirting with someone else. Then he told me the Internet was going off permanently because his parents couldn't afford it. I got suspicious thinking he was going to do something stupid. But actually, he just stopped talking to me, but is still on the Internet. Then yesterday he announced he had a boyfriend (online, never met). But then we had this conversation:

Jack: do you think this relationship will work?
Me: if you want it to and the other person does, then I don't see why not
Jack: good...because I'm going to move to Holland
Me: why?
Jack: well I've always wanted to run away
Me: but running away doesn't always work out
Jack: why's?
Me: to a foreign country??? And Dutch is hard to learn.
Jack: I already speak Dutch.

Except, I do actually know some Dutch and said a simple sentence and he did not understand. So from my perspective it doesn't matter that when he told me about his self harm, that I sent him the link on here about alternatives (which he didn't even look at), or the fact that when he was saying he wanted to commit suicide I listened to him and sent him the link about reasons not to (which "don't apply" to him), or the night of my ball that I did not go to I spent 2 hours talking and listening to him so that he would not run away and kill himself. None of that matters now he has a boyfriend, he never talks to me, only to complain that he is lonely and bored or is in a mood. I feel bad for saying this but why can't he take responsibility for his actions and the consequences? It's his fault he is lonely and bored, he deferred his entry and dropped out of college, to stay at home and play games online. All his friends his age (he is 20, nearly 21) are in university, or are working, all his friends my age are in university, college or working and his friends 2 years younger than him are still in school. His boyfriend is 16 and is like Jack, doesn't go to college or school and plays games all day. If they were dating whilst in school, I might not mind so much, it's just that Jack has got the 500 to run away with. He won't get far since he can't speak Dutch and doesn't know much about the area, but he can't live there as he has no where to stay and has never worked or had a job here, so I don't think he would get a job or go to a Dutch uni if he can't even speak Dutch. It would've been different if Jack said I will go to the uni here, get my degree first and then if the relationship lasts long, consider moving there. It annoys me that he might not be in the relationship for the right reasons, but I can't say anything since he wont listen to me. Jack doesn't have a mobile, and I don't know where he lives so I can't tell his parents.

It really annoys me because I feel like I'm always looking out for him, but he never asks how I'm coping with my dad, and with all the help Jack gets I do believe that it is down to Jack to change things for the better and take responsibility and not moan to me all the time. He is afraid that if he goes to uni, he will be alone in a dark room, whereas running away helps? Its the same with his self harm. He said the only reason he doesn't do it, is because there are people in his house all the time. It's a bit like smoking. If you want to give up, you will try. But if you don't want to, you will stop smoking when there are people in the house, but as soon as you're on you're own, you will smoke. I know I posted a thread about me moaning to my friend and so I am a bit of a hypocrite but when I moaned to my friend I was 12 years old. Jack is 20.*

I'm going to be a teacher in 3 years time (graduate in 2 years then do PGCE) I will have less free time. I don't want my time taken up listening to Jack about how lonely or bored he is. Especially because I know my life isn't going to get easier with my dad since he isn't expected to live 5-10 years...and that was said 3 years ago.*

We only talk on Facebook, but I don't know what to do. If I ignore him or delete him, I'm afraid of what that could do to him. At the same time, if I talk to him and say I can't cope, or taking a break from the Internet he will probably think I'm like his old friends who "left" him. I just don't know what to do since I get stressed worrying about him, when every time I help him he throws it back in my face. Help?

P.s so sorry that was long and equally sorry if I posted in the wrong section.
   
  (#2 (permalink)) Old
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Re: I feel like giving up on him - April 15th 2012, 05:02 PM

OP, it is very evident what you should do in this instance, and even you know what that is. And although your personal hang ups with doing so are normal, they are also completely unnecessary to feel. Jack is a grown up and unless a grown up is allowed to fall once in a while they will never, ever mature. If he does move to a place where he cannot speak the language, based on the personality you have described of him, he seems likely to give up and return home. He does not seem the type to enjoy any challenge what-so-ever and based on the information you have provided he seems to rely on a crutch excuse for why he does not approach these challenges. Your interference in any of his life decisions would be an injustice to both he and yourself. You have other priorities in life that are being neglected, as you stated yourself, and you are likely to regret not paying those issues mind while you still can. A friendship is a give-take relationship, and if that balance is not there then it will not last. You have something more akin to a doctor-patient relationship.

Aside from that, you cannot control what happens to Jack, anyway. I've said this to others here and I will say it to you as well: Life has the ability to adapt to changes in external stimuli. Your distancing yourself from his problems will allow him to find other means to move on. He will not simply stop functioning as a human being if you remove yourself from his situation. You will, however, stunt his growth if you attempt to "save" him at every opportune moment in his life. You are one human being and Jack is not your responsility. You can only control what you, yourself, do in this situation and you cannot predict what will happen in the future to either one of you. In this particular instance, what you need to do is begin to look after yourself.

Unfortunately, you will probably feel stress due to this distancing as you said. You will feel this because you have an imaginary sense of responsibility toward Jack. This is not a real responsility, but you have created in your mind a relationship with this person which puts you as their mentor. You not only have to separate yourself from Jack physically, but also emotionally or you will never move on. Again, your responsibility to him is imagined and not real. I would advise you that time typically weighs down stronger emotional responses. With time passing, you will be able to let go entirely but you must start to do so before any of this can transpire.

I only offer you this advice because you asked.

Good luck in whatever you decide to do.
   
  (#3 (permalink)) Old
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Re: I feel like giving up on him - April 15th 2012, 10:26 PM

I say just let him do what he wants to do let him make the wrong choices it's up to him. You tried harder enough to make him listen but if he wont listen up then that's his look out in life. Concertrate on being a teacher think about yourself for a change. It's up to you if you want to delete or keep him but don't let him take up your time. Maybe he only knows some dutch words but not all of it. it is down to him to change things. He just gets bored easily if he quits doing something in college. You should give up now.
   
  (#4 (permalink)) Old
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Re: I feel like giving up on him - April 15th 2012, 10:52 PM

While a lof of his actions are due to his mental illness, it's up to him to manage that, not you. It's fine to care about him, but not to the point that he is a distraction to you or that you are taking care of him more than yourself. He's an adult now, so whether you agree with his decisions or not you have to let him make them and live his life. Having someone in your life with a mental illness isn't always easy and you have to come up with ways to manage your stress too. Take a break from him at least for awhile and if you want to try again with him later that's your decision. It's time for you to take care of yourself.


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  (#5 (permalink)) Old
Celyn Offline
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Re: I feel like giving up on him - April 16th 2012, 06:35 PM

Thanks guys. Well an update really. He split up from his boyfriend of one day, and is now posting statuses such as "I guess some people aren't supposed to live and die alone", which is referring to him wanting to kill himself. I'm ignoring anything he says to me, unless it's about suicide since I would blame myself for the rest of my life if he was threatening suicide and I did nothing. This is why I feel I have to put up with him- not because I want to, or I'm his friend, or I'm trying to play hero, but simply because I would blame myself if I deleted him and find out he killed himself.
   
  (#6 (permalink)) Old
Kate* Offline
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Re: I feel like giving up on him - April 16th 2012, 06:59 PM

There is now a way to report suicidal content to Facebook so I would suggest doing that. Follow THIS LINK for more information. Help him by reporting him to people who can help and then step back. Anything he does to himself is a direct result of his own actions, not because you weren't there for him.


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  (#7 (permalink)) Old
Celyn Offline
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Jeez, get a life!
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Re: I feel like giving up on him - April 16th 2012, 07:10 PM

Thank you so much Katie
   
  (#8 (permalink)) Old
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Re: I feel like giving up on him - April 17th 2012, 12:25 AM

I had a friend who was very much like that, constantly said he was going to commit suicide and stuff and I was sick of having to drop things I was doing to talk him down. It got to the point where I was moving in a few weeks and he NEVER cared what I was doing, he didn't give a crap how stressed I was over my move or anything and decided to be all melodramatic so I snapped and told him that if he was seriously intending to kill himself that I would call the cops and have them show up at his house within 10 minutes. Suddenly, he didn't want to kill himself.
I had another friend who's behaviour was SO out of control he pushed all his friends away, I finally snapped at him too. And hey, he's getting it together.
I am not saying I am the soul reason these people tried a bit harder. But fact of the matter is that none of these people, my friends and Jack, are incapable of doing better and let a disability be the excuse for all their problems in life. Yes, as someone who has a disability myself, I can say it makes it no easier, but you can't run away from everything with it as a shield.
And fact of the matter is people like them usually just need a good kick in the butt. Your friend has a bunch of people helping him, and you can't let him mess up things in your life. You can be compassionate and caring but not to the point where it is a determent to yourself. You should do what you have to to make it clear he can't drag you down and if he claims he'll hurt himself, call the police to pick him up.
If he moves to Dutch-land, that's his problem. I know people who've claimed things like that will happen. It usually doesn't work out and they either come back OR don't leave to begin with.
   
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