SRS Overwhelmed. Over. Whelmed.

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by unorthadox, Feb 4, 2008.

  1. unorthadox

    unorthadox New Member

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    Let me just start out saying thank you to those that actually read this mess of a message - i appreciate it, and hopefully will get an accurate cliffs at the bottom.

    So, I've recently been dating an amazing girl for the past 3 and a half months. She is younger, although probally more mature than I am. In short she's everything I look for: smart, funny, caring, good looking, and exciting. And I can truly say that the past couple months of my life have been like nothing ever before....

    However, every up has a down. She comes with some baggage. Serious baggage. In the past she has cut herself, and had problems dealing with her emotions - she has told me all this in confidentiality so I won't be mentioning any names obviously. What worries me is today she cut herself again - it seems lately that she has been on another planet. Problems with her mom (she will be undergoing surgery on a tumor soon and they are very close), her parents (moving from the only home she has known), roommates and best friends, and little things.

    I know I need to be there to support her, and to be the strong body for her to hold on to in these times, but sometimes it is so draining. She's great in the sense that she can adapt and be alright "on the go" however it takes a lot of time to make her feel comfortable and safe. Meanwhile, I have leadership positions in various activities in school (not to mention all the actual work in school), and my own problems.

    I guess the only thing I'm getting at is what can I do to help her and help myself? She makes me insanely happy, and we've been so open with each other that it blows me out of the water how close our relationship has become... but at the same time, it can be too intense on occasion. Are there any tips you guys have for helping your S.O out of rutts, or how to explain to them in a proper fashion that they need to shape up?

    Maybe this was just an excuse to vent, as I haven't been able to tell anyone about the stuff she has told me, and her troubles. You wonder sometimes if it's all worth it. And writing it down right now, I can see it is.

    Any tips about helping someone through difficult times would be appreciated. Should I tell her parents if she told me not to (do i want to break that trust?), or convince her to see a doctor? Thanks.

    -unorth
     
  2. Lucky Penny

    Lucky Penny Mr. cut me some slack cause I don't wanna go back,

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    You seem awesomely supportive and I think that's so great. :big grin: I'd convince her to go talk to someone if I were you. A lot of people have maladaptive coping skills- as long as she's willing to get help and you want to continue on in this relationship, then I say do so. Find a way for you to go blow off some steam too- whatever that may be is fine, as long as it's healthy

    Good luck to you :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2008
  3. giz

    giz Active Member

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    I personally would let her know how her actions are affecting you. If you are as close as you think, it should be motivation enough for her to change.
     
  4. unorthadox

    unorthadox New Member

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    Thanks Penny, I am already prety active in sports so I think that will be a good outlet for me to "vent" some more.

    And I appreciate the insight too giz. I just wonder if she's in too fragile of a state to accept that sometimes she is too much - almost like I don't want to push her over the edge. I bet that just comes back to human nature, and people wanting to be "in control" of helping others. Am I selfish liking that I can support her, and not wanting to lose that. Too many variables.

    I'll keep this updated, and I'm seeing her tonight so we'll see how it goes.
     
  5. METALLlC BLUE

    METALLlC BLUE New Member

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    Great, I'm happy for you.

    That's terrific.

    I'm very sorry to say this, but that's a red flag on my list.

    -- Red Flags Avoid these people with these patterns: Abusive parents, abusive ex-husbands, abusive ex-boyfriends, alcoholism, drugs, talks about ex on first, second dates, negativity, disrespectful, confuses you, arrogance/condescending, Cheated in past, self-centered, Breaks Dates, Makes excuses, lies, cusses a lot, No Class, Inflexible, Distrusting, Bitter, Nags, gossips. Women who say something, but their actions and body language reflect different signals. Women with low self-esteem, fixated on money, or have psychological problems, or psychiatric problems. Remember, life isn't fair. I personally fall into some of these areas, and I'd expect a female to be ruthless in cutting me off too if she felt I wouldn't be a good mate for her.

    Another unfortunate red flag:

    --Never give advice to a woman you're interested in or dating. You can listen, but don't give advice, that's what her therapist is for. (Notice at the end here of this rule? Therapist.)

    Sadly, a girl in this position needs therapy. Cutting is a reflection of serious underlying problems. I've done a lot of research on cutting and other forms of self-injury. This isn't a problem you can fix. I can assure you, you will sacrifice your energy like you're dispensing aspirin, it may provide her temporary relief, but she will inevitably bleed out unless she gets help.

    I actually wrote a very short story about this situation awhile ago. Here it is:

    Unfortunately your relationship will end in a collapse upon itself if she does not get professional treatment. These relationships can not self-sustain themselves without it. I can provide you information in the meantime to be of support, but this is the best I can do:

    I wrote this for another person on OT in 2004

    I personally would not tolerate a relationship in which someone self-injured themselves. It's too complex, and too dangerous to my emotional wellbeing, however I have been down these roads and I've seen what happens when I try to save the day or try to persevere. It doesn't work. However, you are not me. You may be able to tolerate it, but based on what you've written here, I'm unfortunately going to have to tell you to back-up and detach to protect yourself.

    I wouldn't advise, or convince, nor would I inform her parents. Self-injury is a defense mechanism. If her parents are at all involved in the development of this mechanism, alerting them may strip her of the only control she has.

    Rather, I would give her the information you've seen here, or find some research on the internet. Cutting + Self Injury can be of value. Don't be surprised if you inform her that it would be in her best interest if she saw someone if she resists and doesn't listen. She may do the opposite and agree with what you say, but still not listen. I've seen both cases. Rarely do cutters go for help when confronted, because the shame is extensive.

    Let her ask you "What should I do?" or something of that sort, before you present this information. Let her be the one to choose, it will lessen the probability of her rejecting the help. The odds are still poor unfortunately.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2008
  6. unorthadox

    unorthadox New Member

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    Thank you for the help here Metallic.

    The one part about "the majority of people who self injure tend to have specific personality characteristics: Perfectionism, unable to handle intense feelings, are unable to express their emotions verbally, have a strong dislike for themselves and their bodies, and can experience severe mood swings. They may turn to self-injury as a way to express their feelings and emotions, or as a way to punish themselves when other more obvious methods are not available to them, or they do not know what else to do." definetly touches home as it is very close to who she is and how she acts.

    I think I will defininetly confront it with her, its just a matter of timing and when to do it. I appreciate all the information and help, and I can't see it not being put to use. And yes, this may be bad for my own emotional well being, and sure it could end up being a waste of time in terms of the relationship in the future - but if I can make her life better, somehow, then I will definetly do that.

    Will keep you posted.
     
  7. Yuppy

    Yuppy Have a seat right there....

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    NO!

    you should get that girl some help but tellin her parents will get you dumped and then she will be worse off than before
     
  8. METALLlC BLUE

    METALLlC BLUE New Member

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    I agree with you. If she needs help getting counseling or finding a support system, there is support on the internet, as well as through her school. If she wants other types of help, we can talk further. Remember, she's not alone in this, there are a lot of people like her who have gotten thru it.

    Cutters can get better, but it requires counseling. Finding the source of the behavior is necessary.
     
  9. doubleb23

    doubleb23 Ooooo

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    I am sorry to say that I don't think you can do anything to help her because it probably doesn't have much of anything to do with you. If anything, it sounds like you are one of the better parts of her life. It isn't that your behavior is harmful and causal to her doing this to herself.

    I have used multiple types of self-injury for a long time, and i barely even know why. It's an uncontrollable urge for me, something that is so removed from the human experience as we collectively understand it that to try to rationalize it in English seems futile.

    I have had multiple significant others who have pleaded with me to stop doing it, told me how it makes them feel, etc. and it really only makes me want to do it more because those conversations are extremely alienating and guilt-inducing.

    The whole thing is terrible and you can't fix it. So, the ball is really in your court in the sense that you need to decide whether or not you can deal with it. I don't mean to say that she is not responsible for the wellbeing of the relationship, and that she shouldn't try to make you happy by changing her behavior. But don't hold your breath trying to wait it out until she stops, because there's a good chance that she will either continue with cutting or shift her compulsion into other forms of self-injury.
     
  10. doubleb23

    doubleb23 Ooooo

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    It doesn't necessarily work that way. Expecting it to is pissing in the wind.
     
  11. unorthadox

    unorthadox New Member

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    Short update of sorts..

    I found out the below info just two days ago, and was pretty shocking considering who I thought she was/her family was. Her mom hit her again last weekend. Apparently she used to be hit when she was a child, but it doesn't make the least bit sense to me - they're a well off middle class family, not super religious... It's just so fucked up. She had bruises on her arm from where her mom grabbed her, and a bit of swelling on the head where she was hit.

    Considering I've never even come close to this situation I was/am a bit dumbfounded as to what to say and do, but I just reassured her it was NOT her fault, that hitting is never right, and that she can always come to me for support. Was that the right move? I don't want to set our relationship up so that I'm just being dumped on and dumped on over her life and problems but at the same time I want to be there for her.

    Either way she promised me she would go to counseling or at least see someone over it - my only worry is timing. It should be alright if she does it after classes are over for this term, right?

    Once again, sorry for all the questions, I just literally have no clue and don't want to screw this thing up.


    Cliffs: Found the root, not sure what course of action to follow.
    TY in advance
     
  12. METALLlC BLUE

    METALLlC BLUE New Member

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    Now you know why she cuts.

    Never be your partners therapist. Be supportive, but don't give advice or I promise you it will end poorly if you do. It likely will end either way, but you don't want to make it worse.

    She needs to be counseling on a regular basis consistently and indefinitely. Also, cutters always promise to go to counseling. They rarely keep their word.

    You don't have to worry about screwing it up. I assure you the abuse she's endured has already ruined it before it even started. You can't save her superman, but I applaud you for the effort. Also, be aware, a romantic relationship will likely not survive this. Be prepared to let go at any moment.
     

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