Boyfriend crying out for help but is isolating himself
I've only been with my boyfriend for 4 months it's been nothing but amazing. We went away together 2 months ago for 2 weeks it was great except for a few moments he was really distant, I thought this was him being bored of me.
The week we got back he was so distant we barely spoke and made a few comments about his mental health being bad. The following week the same thing, then the next week he sent me a snapchat of a place he tried to commit suicide at. I completely freaked out and said I'm here for you and I'm all ears like I did the previous weeks but again he kept pushing me away, I said some things I now know aren't the right things to say but never came from a bad place I was just frustrated as he kept saying he's fine and has always dealt with being like this.
2 weeks go by and he's still super distant when we're not together so I message him and ask if he's over me and he said no.. anyway things escalated because I have anxiety and have a fear of him leaving me. The next day I drove to his house and we spoke for hours, he was really angry and told me he'd need a few days but still loved me...it's now been 3 weeks and he still doesn't want to see me (hasn't directly told me no) but he keeps reaching out and telling me he's mentally in a really bad place and just wants someone to talk to but completely ghosts me when I suggest we meet up. I'm not sure if I should give him more space when he's ready to see me or just show up at his house again like the first time.
He's never had anyone be there for him before so I think deep down he is just scared.
Is it bad to just show up at his house again without telling him? I don't want to push him away if he's not ready
I'm glad you came to here as you are in a horrible position, you fear the one you love might take his life, and also fear he may not want you. A frightening and frustrating place to be
There is a very strong temptation that your worries will spill out every time you are talking with him, and the conversation centers around suicide, or the things he finds hard to deal with -and of course your own feelings too (which may make him feel guilty -something I felt)
Can I suggest a two way approach to this? I remember when I was suicidal I did not want to talk about it at all sometimes, other-times I did. So it might be a good idea to see if you can make your conversations enjoyable in their own right, or even inviting him to a meal or a movie wiht a promise of no heavy stuff. Keep away from anything taxing. Show you are happy to be with him
He did send you that snapchat so maybe at times he might like to say what he is facing. If so it might be good to have something to offer that might help. I would suggest a free phone app called BeyondNow.
The idea is you fill it in beforehand and then if one is realy down - so down it is hard ot think - you just reach for it
It's a lot more than you might expect, not only emergence number and so on, but a section where you put down what you can do yourself to help get though the bad time. This can be very hard to fill in and mine is always a work in progress. You put in anything you like - walking to a particular place, reading a book or comic you've liked before, a \YouTube clip, a movie or anything else at all.
The two things to bear in mind is it has to be specific -eg :YouTube, The Stones " Paint it Black" (that's just me) or whatever, being exact makes it almost automatic.
Two heads are better than one. I could never think of what had amused me, gave me a lift, reminded me of other things, changed my mood and so on. Even when in a good place I did a pretty poor job. I had to reply upon my partner to do the remembering for me. I ended up with pretty good long list and still add to it
In this very hard time can I ask if you have family or a friend to care and just listen perhaps?
Please let me know how you go
Hi Croix thanks for replying.
I have asked him if he still loves me and misses me to which he has said yes to both but everytime I suggest we meet he totally ignores me.
I have told him that we don't even have to speak if I go and see him even if I just go there hug him and leave. Every attempt he ignores me, he's never actually said no though.
He has been sending me snapchats daily still which to me means he is still wants to reach out to me.
He keeps telling me he is angry but won't tell me why (I can only assume it's because of me) he misread my text messages when I said I felt like I wasn't a priority to him anymore as he was so distant and he can't seem to get past that word even though I've explained multiple times it was just the one comment he made to me that made me feel that way.
I'm exhausted from trying so much, it's so hard when he is sending me mixed signals. He says he's not sure if he trusts me now for him to open up to me again. Do you think it sounds like he is just scared?
I have been chatting to close friends which has helped me.
Thank you for your advice on your own mental health it helps me understand a lot.
Um, I think you are falling int a couple of traps. The first is to think that his reactions are about you -there are many reasons for being angry, his situation and mental state for one. I was angry at being ill.
My partner first off thoght that my state and behaviour was her fault, and it wasn't until my psych explained to her it was not her, but recognizable symptoms, that she was able to see things as they were.
In fact no longer blaming herself gave her the confidence to help me more - and yes my reactions were unpredictable too. Somtimes just being asked if I'd like a cuppa could make me react badly.
The second thing is I'm worrying about you, as you are trying very hard. Nobody is an inexhaustible well of strength when trying to support someone you care about. You have to pace yourself with other activities -any ideas?
Don't try to explain to much, you are dealing wiht feelings and emotions -not logic, so explanations tend ot bounce off, or they did with me. Similarly you do not always have to ask for permission to visit, you can always go, drop off a cake and see if that leads to you staying.
While you might not get the chance at the moment the best thing is to persuade him to seek medical help. Is there anyone you can think of he might listen to?
I"m glad he keeps snapchatting to you.
Thank you so much for all your advice, I just went to his house to drop off some food he didn't answer the door so I left the food there.
I have been working, catching up with friends and family and exercising which is all helping me a lot.
I do feel as though I am starting to calm down a lot now which has been helping the way I communicate with him as I do become quite emotional when I talk to him.
He refuses to seek help I have asked him twice and he won't budge.
There is only so much I can do and what will be will be.
Thank you so much for all your advice I really appreciate it.
you are very welcome, I hope relaying some of my experiences has helped you to realise it was a situation it was easy to get too close too.
I'm glad you are with family and friends and I think you should feel you have done everything anyone can reasonably expect