View Full Version : Need advice about a friend

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August 4th, 2012, 05:19 PM
This is a little long, so please bear with me. I have been friends with my girlfriend for 11 years. I was her daughter's 1st grade teacher, and her husband is a lawyer who helped me when my ex-husband filed for divorce. During the first few years after my divorce, they became my family, in fact I am an adopted "aunt" to all four of their girls. She helped me through the devastation of my divorce, when I lost my job, and we have been through everything together. We are both a lot alike, in fact we could look like sisters, but one of the ways that we are both alike is that we each only have each other as friends.

I have many acquaintances and my husband, but no one else that I can completely share my heart with or call up in the middle of the night. I love her to pieces.

But now our relationship is changing. Now she is the one who needs me, but I don't know how to deal with it. For the past several years she and her husband have been going through a destructive cycle of anger, blame, almost outright hatred and separation. But then a few weeks later, they patch things up and everything is fine again. After a few months, they go through the cycle again. Because I am the only person who she has to confide in, I am at the receiving end of all of her distress. She tells me that she is miserable and asks me to give her advice. I tell her to trust in the Lord to change her husband and just keep praying and asking God to show her what He wants her to do. But she always comes back with excuses starting with "BUt he...".

Now she has upped the ante. She grew up in an alcoholic household, and learned that the best way to deal with stress is to run away. She has not slept in the same room as her husband for 12 years, and now she has her own bedroom. I try to explain to her that that probably makes him feel terrible, but she won't listen. She has taken to drinking (and driving) when she feels miserable, and now in the past couple of weeks she has started taking muscle relaxers along with her alcohol. I tell her to give it up, but her excuse always is "that it makes the pain go away." After she sobers up she feels incredible guilt and apologizes to me up and down and promises that she will never do it again.

This is my dilemma. A couple of years ago she called me hysterical at 6 in the morning saying that she just wanted to fall asleep, that she had taken a number of pills(she didn't know what or how many), and that she was going to turn her phone off. I am now halfway across the country, so the only thing I could do was to call her husband. I had to try for an hour before I was able to get him, and doing that just caused him to lash out at her. Well, now in the past two weeks she has done this three times, the last time today.

Right now she is "sleeping it off". I called her and told her to go downstairs and tell her husband. She wouldn't do it. She was upset because he and her daughters were downstairs "feeling sorry for themselves." She said that she didn't want to be a mother anymore. Then she said that she might just get in her vehicle and drive to see me. I don't want her anywhere near my kids until she gets some help, which she won't do. Her 12 year old daughter was with her when she bought the alcohol yesterday and she cried. My friend said that she wasn't accountable to her daughter so she shouldn't feel guilty. Today she texted me that if I called her and she didn't answer the phone in 3 hours that I should call her husband.

She is my best friend, and I love her dearly, but this is getting to be too much for me. If I call her husband and tell him what is going on, it will create trouble between them again, but if something happens to her then it will be my fault. She was upset that her 2nd daughter (who was just recently married) has to take valium and drink rum to help her sleep, but I want to ask her where her daughter learned it. She and her husband have had 30 years to learn these destructive patterns of thinking and responding to each other, but she always gives excuses why they can't get help. I don't want to lose her friendship, but I would just love to smack her a few times and tell her to get her head on straight. I pray for her often, but it is getting to the point where I dread her phone calls or her texts, because every time she calls she tells me how miserable she is.

She was there for me when I needed support after my divorce, and now I want to be there for her. But I have nowhere else to "unload" everything she tells me. I really can't help her besides praying and I do that several times a day. Am I enabling her behavior by being a sounding board? It feels good to know that she needs me, but our friendship is no longer one in which we can tell each other everything, because I cannot tell her much about my life. I feel guilty for being happy in my marriage and with my kids, and even though I am ten years younger than she is and have less marriage experience than she does, I think I know more than she does.

Thanks for reading my rant. I will continue to pray for her.

August 4th, 2012, 05:41 PM
For your own sanity, it is time to move on and get a new friend somewhere else along the line. I understand that you feel you owe her, but this situation is destructive and there is nothing you have been able to do that has had any effect on it, just that it is going to take you out if you continue to be involved.

And for crying out loud, call her husband if she just took a bunch of pills and told you about it! You don't need a suicide on your conscience on top of it all.

This opinion may seem harsh but you did ask and that is my opinion. For what it's worth to you. You have to decide that. Time is of the essence in overdose cases, by the way. Which I am sure you already know!

August 4th, 2012, 05:42 PM
You need to contact the authorities.

I would call the police and explain what is happening, in very short detail:

"I have a friend. She has made a couple of suicide attempts. She is drinking, taking muscle relaxers, and driving. She has the care of ____ small children. Her name is ___ and she lives at ___."

She is a danger to herself, her children, her husband, and anyone else out there on the road.

As long as you keep "rescuing" her, she will continue the behavior, until someone dies or is crippled for life. She needs to be reported to the authorities. She needs hospitalization, intensive counseling, and perhaps medication.

That is my opinion, as a professional crazy person. :hat

August 4th, 2012, 05:44 PM
This is directed at everyone out there:

If someone is talking suicide, or has overdosed, there is only one thing to do: CALL 911 and report them.

That is the only thing to do, even if they are "just talking about it".

August 4th, 2012, 05:47 PM
That is my opinion, as a professional crazy person. :hat

A better piece of advice from someone who knows better than I do. Just do it!

August 4th, 2012, 05:48 PM
Yeah, I'm worried about those girls.

August 4th, 2012, 05:52 PM
I don't know what your financial position is, but if there is any way you can find help with your kids for a few days, board a plane and fly out and help her get the help she needs (preferably in-patient treatment), that would be the very best thing you could do for her. For whatever reason, she's at rock-bottom right now and she's right on the cusp of losing everything. Her marriage, custody of her kids and everything else. She needs someone to pick her up, take her to an alcoholics annonymous meeting, help her find a Christian therapist, take her to the appointment and help her plug into a good solid church.

I agree with Acts - if she's called you telling you she's attempted suicide, you need to call 911 immedietly. Even though the last few times she hasn't played for keeps, doesn't mean the next time she won't.

August 4th, 2012, 06:23 PM
Thank you for all the replies so quickly. She just texted me and told me that she was on her way to the hospital. She texted her chiropractor and told her what she did, and the chiropractor called her husband. She was complaining about how her husband was being mean to her, and I told her that I wasn't very happy either and that I should have called her husband. She texted me back, "Ok, whatever." This is breaking my heart.

She has not said that she wants to commit suicide, just that she wants to forget and fall asleep.

August 4th, 2012, 06:57 PM
It can still happen.

Take an OTC "pain" pill, the stuff you get off the shelf. Taking 8 can ruin your liver, and kill you. If you mix 3 or 4 with alcohol and/or other drugs, you could die. The "normal" dose is 2.

She probably thinks she "has" to take the whole bottle to die, and her statements are still alarming.

I would let her know, you will be telling her husband everything, and the next time she calls after an OD you will notify the authorities.

Robin is right, she could lose custody of her kids. My own mother did. She was so deep into drinking, head games, and her illness she couldn't provide for me. I was in pretty bad shape as a result.

After she lost custody, I ended up in a better living situation. I'm glad someone had the guts to report my Mom to the authorities (someone from my sister's school).

I would notify the police and let them take it from there. She is very, very, ill, and I'm worried about her kids.

August 4th, 2012, 08:50 PM
my2babysmama, you are to be commended for wanting to reciprocate your friend's help years ago, when you were going through a divorce. She was probably a very different person back then than she has been in recent times. Also, you weren't pulling these kinds of stunts and then calling her to report a 'need to fall asleep and forget your pain.' No one should ever do this to another human being who considers them to be a friend. Her behavior is not that of a friend, but of a manipulator who is in desperate need of professional help. I agree wholeheartedly with the posts from Acts (who knows what she's talking about here). This ongoing stress with her foolishness is taking a severe toll on you, and you don't have as much emotional strength available to give your own family. I would assist in getting her the proper help that she so desperately needs, and then pull back a little bit (notice, I didn't say cut her off/abandon her) until she has time to get a grip on herself.
Maye one day, after she gets proper medical/behavioral intervention, she will be able to be a real friend to you again.
God bless you for praying/caring for her. :hug