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My girlfriend wants to "get away" and refuses counselling

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  • My girlfriend wants to "get away" and refuses counselling

    Hello,

    I'm 17. I have a stable family life, and I'm going to university on scholarship in September.

    My girlfriend is 16, and she'll be in her last year of high school during my first year of university. We have been together for a little over a year now, and she claims she's loved me since four years ago. I love her to pieces, and I'd love for her to follow me to the same university when she graduates so we could live together.

    Yesterday, we had a fight about how I didn't tell her that my mum had confiscated my phone until I finished a project for school (meaning I hadn't responded to her texts for three and a half hours). Today, she was seemingly still bitter about it, as well as about the fact that I had to go home from school early to provide company for my sick little sister. Later tonight, after we argued some more, she decided she was going to "get away". She rode her bike close to my street and I texted her to come see me. She did, and we had an in-person fight about how I thought she was acting insane, running away on a bike because of this. I had also spent the past weekend with her at her cottage, so it wasn't a long stretch of neglect on my part.

    Except after I had grabbed onto her bike to stop her from leaving, she told me she had been cutting herself and having breakdowns for months and hadn't been telling me because "I couldn't handle her". She's not without reason for thinking this; I've grown incredulous and exasperated in the past about how she interprets what people say in the worst possible way, and how she makes the worst of every situation. But I was astonished, disturbed and saddened nonetheless when she told me that.

    I held her close and tried to get her to stay, but she somewhat angrily left on her bicycle, going who knows where. Except then she collapsed on the side of the road, and called me asking if I would come back. I brought her back to my house, and my mum gave her a lift home.

    I had told her before that she should see counselling, but she vehemently refused (apparently she's had bad experiences in the past with counselling). Now I'm scared for her; it's not the first time she's decided she's going to run away with no goal or destination in mind.

    I should explain how she got this way. She has ADHD and anemia, and I'm pretty sure she could be diagnosed with acute depression. She's scared about me leaving for university, though I'd be coming home at least every two weeks. She is involved in a lot of stuff at school. She has incredibly low self-esteem, which is a combination of several things. Firstly, she and I have similar interests, and I tend to do better than she does in them. Secondly, she is a competitive person, and being second-best is a blow to her. Third, probably most importantly, is her family life. She was adopted as an infant from a foreign country, the homeland of the father of the adopting couple, and she sees this as meaning that her biological parents thought she wasn't good enough for them. Worse, her mother seems to think she's a saint for adopting her. Her father runs a maintenance company out of town (in the same city as the university I'm going to) and he's rarely home. Furthermore, there seems to be little to no affection between her parents. But the worst part is how her mother constantly belittles her when she does even the slightest thing wrong. Her mother is also very controlling, and makes it a laborious task to ask her for anything. Example: she thought she should receive a gift for driving us to a music competition out of town. Oh yeah, and her mother thinks "depression comes from within", but that nurture matters more than nature. So basically, she takes credit for all the good parts about my girlfriend and denies that she causes the bad.

    But here's the thing; my girlfriend goes from saying she hates her mother or is annoyed with her dad to saying they're the best. I called her mother a nasty word once and my girlfriend ripped me to shreds about it.

    So, I don't know how to get through to her. She told me she just needs to see me and be held, and I'm happy to oblige her. But I'm a busy guy with my own family at home; I can't always be there for her, especially when I'm at university. I don't know what to do if she refuses counselling, won't see her mother for what she is, and won't try to heal herself. I told her "I'm not your therapist; I can't heal you singlehandedly," but she's only taken the first part of that phrase. (And she's committed it to heart. She's obsessive like that.)

    So, yeah. I want to help her, but I don't know what to do. I don't want to keep meeting her late at night to convince her to go back home, and not run off into the night.

    Thank you very much for reading, and I hope you can provide some general advice.

  • #2
    RE: My girlfriend wants to "get away" and refuses counselling

    Hello,
    Thank you for reaching out to us. We are sorry to hear about how your girlfriend seems to be in a bad place mentally and that puts a lot of weight on you. It seems like your main concern is how to get her to take some action in fixing her situation without it always coming down to you having to console her; you have a lot going on where you can’t bear all of her problems. It is great that you are so supportive of her and that you two have each other. It definitely seems like she may benefit from some formal counseling. It may be worth exploring with her different forms of counseling in order to try and get rid of the idea that it won’t be beneficial for her. Also, it seems like a big dilemma for her may be her self-confidence issues. You can explore ways with her to help boost her self-esteem and try to empower her to be happy as the person she is. For example instead of looking at hobbies and interests as who is better at them you can look at them collaboratively and help each other learn and become better. Another thing you may consider is tough love. You said that you can’t continue to keep meeting her in the middle of the night to validate her and try to get her to go home. What do you think would happen if next time you told her you cannot do it anymore and then if it happens again, not meet her? It seems like the more you keep giving in, the more she becomes reliant on you doing those things, which in the long run, may not even be very good for her. It is also worth thinking about how these action may have an effect on you while you are going to the university. Is her being around going to make things for you easier (may be maybe not). It seems like you have a lot to consider. It is really great that you both care so much for each other. If you need to talk more about what is going on we are here 24/7 at 1-800-RUNAWAY. We hope to hear from you soon. Good luck.
    NRS
    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

    National Runaway Safeline
    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you!

      This helped a lot. Thank you!

      Comment


      • #4
        re: Thank you!

        You're so welcome. If there's anything else that you need, please don't hesitate to call or chat with us. Remember, you can call us 24 hours a day at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or you can chat with us through our website (www.1800runaway.org) from 4.30pm-11.30pm Central time.

        We look forward to your call or chat.

        Best of luck to you,

        NRS
        Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

        National Runaway Safeline
        [email protected] (Crisis Email)
        1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

        Tell us what you think about your experience!
        https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

        Comment

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