Post # 1
Last night, I was contacted on facebook by a girl (we’ll call her Jill) via message. I’ve met her once or twice, but I can’t recall ever talking to her in person. We have only ever exchanged a few words on facebook, and it’s mostly me calling her out on being rude/snarky to/about other people. She sent me a message that said she felt like I was hovering over her, like an investigator, waiting to see if she really means what she says. Then she said she respected me. Weird, right? Not knowing her beyond facebook, I figured Jill was always just a sarcastic, dry girl with no sense of tact or discretion. I kind of thought she was just a jerk.
I replied to the message just asking what she meant. I don’t know how it happened (she was changing the subject wildly, and said she had been drinking), but she completely divulged her entire life to me – and it was terrible.
This girl has suicidal thoughts, she cuts herself every 3 months or so, she has absolutely no faith in a single thing or person. Her cousin just committed suicide, and she can’t handle it. She doesn’t want to disappoint her parents, she’s secretly gay, and she feels hated by everyone. She is masochistic and says she’s an awful person, and confessed that she has never had a normal friendship last longer than a year, let alone a close friendship. There is so much more to this – I stayed up until nealry 4am talking to her, but you get the gist of it all.
It was absolutely heartbreaking to hear all this. I want to do everything I can to help. She is very much alone – seemingly going crazy in her own thoughts. She lives nearly across the country, so there is no way to see her face to face. As far as I can tell, there is nothing I can do besides be there to listen and ask how she’s doing – which is something she does not have currently (someone to talk to, someone to ask about her, etc). Do you ladies have any other suggestions? I’ve never dealt with someone like this. And it was so strange that she picked me out of everyone else to lay her burdens on- she kept saying she respected me.
I talked to her again today and she was better, we had normal conversation. I plan on talking to her every day, and being her friend for as long as possible. I also know I have to be careful that her anger and sadness doesn’t influence me. If you have ever dealt with someone like this before, please give me any thoughts you have!
Post # 3
I had a friend like this once, but it seemed like after awhile she was telling me these things to gain attention and not because she was serious about them. I’m not sure what kind of vibe you’re getting from this girl right now, but what I had to do eventually was call the police when she said she was suicidal and had a bunch of pills. I just could not have that on my conscience if she actually went through with it, even though I didn’t really believe she was telling me the truth.
Post # 4
I don’t understand – how do you know her? You have met her in person but haven’t spoken to her in person? And she thinks you’re hovering over her though you live across the country? I probably wouldn’t continue to talk to her, but I don’t feel comfortable friending people on Facebook that I don’t know in person.
Post # 5
@redheadem: I don’t feel comfortable friending people on Facebook that I don’t know in person < This.
I never understood the action of keeping people on your facebook that you don’t have regular contact with.
But on the subject, it is up to you if you would like to keep communication open with this person. If you do, I would suggest you do some research about community programs in her area. Find out of there are any distress helplines, free counselling, or support groups for those who have been impacted by suicde/depression/issolation. Maybe encourage her to use those resources.
Post # 6
It’s difficult to tell the tone of people over email/facebook (as well as text). You’d probably have to talk over the phone or in person to really see how genuine this all is, or if she’s attention seeking like a PP mentioned. I hate to say it, but I’ve seen people like this suck the life out of their friends and that’s why they have nobody to turn to. Sounds like no matter what she really needs a lot of counseling, and while it’s admirable you want to be a friend to her, you shouldn’t have to be her counselor. Do your best to guide her in the right direction without sacrificing yourself and getting dragged down into her issues. There’s a reason all of her friends have bailed in the past.
Post # 7
My gut tells me that you should be careful with her. I’m not saying she’s not genuine or really needing help – maybe she is – but I would watch her with a vigilent eye. Who knows if she’s on drugs or if she has a mental issue? If she does, she needs help, but do not give her money. As suggested above, point her to help in her area – numbers to call to set up counseling. It is up to her to do these things – not up to you to do them for her. Just be careful.
Post # 8
I agree with everyone here… I would be very careful with speaking with this girl. In My Humble Opinion, I would not talk to her or befriend her. People like this (while she may have some very valid issues going on) are generally attention seeking and can bring nothing positive to your life. The last thing you need or want is someone pouring out all of their problems, burdens, and negativity on your lap. Try to give her some suggestions of couceling that she can seek in the area that she lives in and remove yourself from the situation ASAP.
Post # 9
@leafgum: I feel bad that this is what you are dealing with. I have to say though, that my “spidey senses” went way high when I read this. While I think it is noble and awesome that you want to befriend her, I just don’t get the sense that her intentions are as genuine as your own. I think it’s great to try to encourage her, but I think you may need to tread more gingerly regarding this situation. I think that there is a reason that she does not have any close friends and cannot maintain any lasting friendships. IME with a similar situation, this girl had extreme dependency and jealousy issues. Her behavior was very self-destructive and dangerous. Because she had endured so much hurt, her way of dealing in relationships of any kind, was to hurt them first before they hurt her. I think that you should talk to her, but be careful not to make it your personal journey to counsel her. Maintaining a relationship with someone who has so many over arching issues can be extremely taxing. Not to seem inhumane and nonchalant about someone who is hurting, and not to make her seem like a leper because she is dealing with adversity–I just want you to be careful with how you approach this and engage her. If and when you continue to talk to her, you should suggest counseling. As much as my humanitarian me would like to encourage you to be what she needs because I hate to see someone hurt and trapped in a rough situation, my more logical/practical side is saying to tell you not to take this on by yourself. I will keep her in my prayers, and you as well because I appreciate how delicate this situation seems to be.
Post # 10
@redheadem: She lived in my area for quite some time. We have mutual friends. We may have talked in person before, but I don’t really remember, and it would’ve been long ago. We know each other because we belong to the same church organization (small, scattered congregations all around the world, but we all pretty much know each other through travel). A big part of what she talked about was her desire to get out of the church, because she was against it, and she’s gay so she “knows she doesn’t belong.” Her church area has been going through a lot of difficulties in the past years.
She was talking about me “hovering over her” because I often call her out on what she says on facebook. However, she says that she respects me, and that whenever I do call her out, she takes note and quits whatever she’s doing. Which is true. Very strange situation.
Thanks for the help, bees.
Post # 11
Well, I agree don’t give her money or anything, but I think that’s fairly obvious. It makes me pretty sad to see everyone saying she’s probably just seeking attention and will be destructive in your life. I’ve suffered from depression. Every time I lashed out or explained my situation I was crying out for help and everyone reacted like all of you- I was just stuck up and attention seeking. I’m shy and can’t seem to hold onto friendships either. Really I was on the brink of suicide, and no one took me seriously. I’m lucky my Fiance and mom DID take me seriously and got me some help.
@leafgum: I think you should suggest counseling or see if she has anyone she can talk to in person where she lives, even if you have to go behind her back a little bit. If she continues this behavior and you can’t find anyone else to help, calling the police might be the best thing you can do for her. If she starts bringing you personally down with negativity, then you should pass it on to a professional, as it sounds like she really needs some counseling.
Post # 12
For some reason I find it odd that you would ‘call her out’ on her posts and such, when you don’t even really know her. I can see why she would consider that hovering. I have very rarely friended those I haven’t met IRL, and I would find it very strange if (basically) a random person were judging my posts all the time.
I would unfriend her. Maybe reply back that she should get help for her issues, with a phone number for a local center or such that could help her.
Post # 13
@galloway111: Thanks so much – I really don’t think she’s attention-seeking at all. I would never assume that and was surprised that so many people did. Maybe I explained the situation poorly. I’ll try to look into counseling for her. She went once, and it helped, but now she wants to “save herself,” which she does through her creative writing and poetry. I think that’s a good thing, but probably not a cure-all.
Post # 14
@hisgoosiegirl: I’m not going to unfriend her, or leave her after she opened up to me. I think that would be cruel.
I called her out because she would say silly little rude things to a mutual friend. I guess not really call her out, but that’s the wording she used. For example, Friend A was promoting Friend B’s music. Friend A posted a link. Jill responded with a sarcastic “really? every time A comes out with a new song, lets just say 6 feet of my newsfeed is about it.” And so I simply said, “So? It’s good to promote new music.” That is the extent of my calling out.
Post # 15
@galloway111: It makes me pretty sad to see everyone saying she’s probably just seeking attention and will be destructive in your life. I’ve suffered from depression. Every time I lashed out or explained my situation I was crying out for help and everyone reacted like all of you- I was just stuck up and attention seeking.
This! Exactly this. I am so disappointed that this had been the general concensus in this thread.
I have had friends who were depressed. They lose friends because the depression makes them withdraw from people and/or lash-out at them. It’s hard to remain friends with someone who is hurting so badly they say hurtful things to/about you, or worse, won’t talk to you at all.
My brother was depressed for years. He refused contact with family and most friends, and lost his job. He killed himself four years ago. So I take depression and suicidal thoughts VERY seriously.
You don’t have to be this girl’s new best friend. But lending an ear or a shoulder to cry on or a few encouraging words can be all the difference to someone who is depressed. At a Suicide Memorial, a speaker mentioned during his troubled high school years, one teacher, (who wasn’t even his teacher, just one he passed in the hall every day), would say “hello” to him, and every Monday, would ask him about a new motorcycle. Years later, he found out the teacher knew nothing about motorcycles, but standing in the check-out line, he would look at the magazines so he would have something to talk to the kid about each week.
Please, don’t write her off. And encourage her to seek professional help. You didn’t mention where she lives, but there is a national suicide prevention hotline you can direct her to. It’s 1-800-273 TALK (8255). Their website is http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ (more info is on the “Get Help Now” page).
Post # 16
You know, I hate saying it, but I’ve been in a place like that too before. I had just moved across the country, I had no friends and no job at my new place yet, my Darling Husband had gone out to sea for several months…and I was horribly depressed and very alone. I’m also a VERY shy person. Over the past few years, I’ve slowly built up friendships and let others into my life. But it was hard!! At the time, I kept to myself. I kept most people at a safe distance. I wanted to trick everyone into believing that I was “okay.” I had problems with self-destructive habits, and part of the problem with being in a state of mind like that is the shame that comes with it. You push others away, which may be why she has no friends or lasting friendships. She is probably ashamed of her problems. I was.
But the moment I reached out…FINALLY…it was to a faceless girl from an online forum…a wife of one of the men on my husband’s ship. I’d never met her in person, and we only talked through text messages and emails, but I told her EVERYTHING. I don’t know why. But I do know it felt better to just get it all out. I had been honest with someone else for once in my life, and I am so very glad that she stuck around to listen.
I’m not saying you need to act as her counselor…that is not your place. I’m not saying you need to give her financial support, nor am I saying you should devote endless amounts of time and energy into keeping her around. But I don’t think it is horrible of you to want to show her a kindness just by being there to listen. Chances are, she’ll probably feel a bit embarrassed by what she told you already and back off herself. Maybe just check in on her every couple days with a nice “how’s it going?”…sometimes people just want to know that they aren’t alone and someone cares. But if you abandon her now, chances are that she’ll be even more ashamed and reclusive. At least, I imagine that is what I would have done.
All I’m saying is, it doesn’t ever hurt to be nice to someone (to a point…you know your boundaries). But a small kindness can make a HUGE difference in someone else’s life. I’m living proof of that, thanks to a faceless internet friend. 🙂