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My son's girlfriend-talking about suicide

(32 Posts)
sick0fants Thu 11-Apr-13 15:47:35

Ds1 is 13.
I just found out via my facebook newsfeed and with a bit of digging after seeing a comment he posted there that his girlfriend was found the other night in her bed room with some pills and had told a few people she was going to kill herself.
Ds got a phone call 2 nights ago late in the evening, when I asked about it then he said it was just his mate ringing for a chat as they had been in town together that day.
Clearly it was ds being told about his girlfriend as it was same night and noone calls him at that time.
So, I feel gutted that he doesn't feel able to talk to me about it, and worried about how he is generally, and upset that he fibbed about the phone call.
I feel I should bring up the fact that I know about gfs situation and ask how he is feeling, but don't want to make him close up even more.
I thought we were close and to realise he doesn't confide in me when he's

sick0fants Thu 11-Apr-13 15:48:44

upset worries me. Any help or advice greatfully received. Please be gentle with me, in tears at moment

sick0fants Thu 11-Apr-13 15:53:56

I think I should talk to him about suicide as a separate subject from gf too but don't really know where to start

Pancakeflipper Thu 11-Apr-13 16:01:23

I think I would sit down with hot chocolate and biccies with him. Say kindly you have heard his girlfriend is struggling.
See how he reacts, if he closes up then you talk about how he can tell you anything and you'd like to support etc... That there's help out there - give him numbers of helplines etc so he knows there's help out there.

If he opens up - result.

Don't take it personally, teens are tricky things and seem to think they are the only people to ever experience things ( think adults wont understand) and forget theres help and support out there.

Lots of luck.

Pancakeflipper Thu 11-Apr-13 16:02:59

P.S I don't have teens so could be talking crap but I was a teen once and it was agony at times!

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 11-Apr-13 16:14:59

Well his girlfriend sounds like a terrible drama queen and I actually wouldn't be surprised if he'd worked that out already. Remember a girl my DB knew at school standing outside our house threatening to jump off a balcony if he didn't go out with her. Rather than sympathy or concern it drew the world's biggest <eye-roll>. Do raise the subject but angle it that you want to know what he thinks of the situation rather than making too many assumptions.

SassyPants Thu 11-Apr-13 17:39:45

I don't understand the glibness, cogito. Someone discussing suicidal intention isn't necessarily just a sign that they're a drama queen, it's a myth that 'real' suicidal people don't talk about it. Any discussion of suicidal thoughts is a big red flag.

Sick0fants this must be very stressful for you, you poor thing. Just let your ds know that you're there to talk with no judgment.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 11-Apr-13 17:44:27

Cogito

That's heartless. You have no idea what could be going on for that girl

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 11-Apr-13 17:45:08

I would do what Pancake suggests - and I have a 12 year old DS

sick0fants Thu 11-Apr-13 19:01:12

Thanks for all the replies, thoughts and advice. Once I have got younger dcs tucked up in bed I will sit down with him (hot choc and biccies included! ) and see how we go

cory Thu 11-Apr-13 21:12:52

Cogito, we have heard no evidence that the gf is using the suicide threat to manipulate the OPs ds or anybody else. It may well be that it is a genuine cry for help.

Some young people do attempt suicide. Some succeed. My dd has failed twice. Thankfully.

Dh's friend failed the first time. But not the second. sad

Cherylkerl Thu 11-Apr-13 21:27:49

That's so sad, but don't assume it means you two aren't close - maybe he doesn't want to worry you or has been asked not to say anything. It's a taboo subject in any case never mind being a teenager.

Hope the hot choc and biccies talk helps

quietlysuggests Fri 12-Apr-13 12:40:53

Your son is too young to be in a relationship with a suicidal or self harming girl.
I would be stopping him from seeing her to be honest.
He has already shown you that he isn't able to handle it by covering up whats going on.
It would challenge most adults, it would overwhelm most children.

sick0fants Fri 12-Apr-13 15:19:19

Well we had a long chat last night. Ds said he hadn't spoken about it because he just didn't want to talk about it, but wouldn't say why. I think perhaps because he knew if he did he would get very upset and cry so he was just keeping it all in. It's a hard conversation to start, and I understand his reluctance.
I did say I thought it was important to talk about things that upset us a lot, that it didn't have to be to me, but that keeping it all in can make things worse sometimes and be a heavy burden to carry.

He was very tearful and worried about gf clearly. I asked if he thought she would have gone through with taking the pills if her friend hadn't intervened, and he said he didn't know. I explained that sometimes people told others they were suicidal as a cry for help, and that I thought this might be the case here, as she gave warnings to a few people, and hadn't actually taken the pills. I said this to try and reassure him a bit, as my understanding of what's gone on is that gf is having a very tough time and needed somehow to let the outside world know how very bad things were for her at home.

It turns out her grandma has just died, and her parents' behaviour is causing her a lot of unhappiness. They live under the same roof but are separated and fight a lot, so I think gf has possibly felt invisible and alone at home.

It's a very sad situation, but I gather the police were involved and she is having counselling, so I hope that will enable her to feel less unhappy, and will make her parents aware of how miserable their behaviour is making her.
We had a more general conversation about suicide as well, and I impressed on ds the need to talk to someone if he ever felt very low, because even if he felt like things could never get better for some reason, talking to someone was really important because when we feel low we're not always able to see things clearly, take a step back, etc.

My neighbour's son committed suicide a few years ago, I watched him grow up, and it has been so so sad to see the consequences for his family. His father is a broken man, consumed by grief, still going to the place it happened every day to light a candle. My uncle committed suicide too, so it's a very real worry, as I am acutely aware of how someone can take their own life without others being aware of their mental suffering, and not recover from the awfulness of it.

cory so sorry to hear your dd has been very unhappy, I hope she will get through the sadness and see a brighter future ahead. Must be terribly terribly hard for you as a parent sad

quietly I don't feel I have the right to interfere atm, ds is very mature and level headed, his cousin always phones him first when she's in a pickle, and he manages to give good advice without getting too involved if that makes sense. He would lose all respect for me if I tried to stop him seeing her, plus I think she could do with some support in the way of just having a normal time when she's not at home. Now I know what's been happening at least I can monitor the situation.

It's just really hard when things like this happen as it highlights to me the fact that no matter how much you want to, you can't protect your children from encountering difficult situations or save them from suffering.

sick0fants Fri 12-Apr-13 15:26:26

Thanks again for all your replies

McBalls Fri 12-Apr-13 15:34:23

Oh my god, a million times what Quietly said.

He's 13! And you don't feel you have the right to interfere??

Your son is your priority, on what fucking planet should a 13yo child be dealing with someone making suicidal threats?

Speak to her parents or the school or some other appropriate adult to ensure someone will help her (whether that's help her deal with real issues or help her realise that seeking attention in this way is not on) and then sit your son down tell him he's been wonderful but this isn't the sort of pressure he should be dealing with, and the 'relationship' has to stop.

quietlysuggests Fri 12-Apr-13 15:36:46

glad you're feeling happier about it all, it must have been a dreadful shock. poor girl, I hope things improve for her too, at least now she may get the help she needs.

sick0fants Fri 12-Apr-13 15:57:55

mcballs he already has had to deal with it though, along with other of her friends who were aware of what happened.
As I said, gf is having counselling so she is already talking things through.
My son is of course my priority, I disagree though that he should be made to have nothing to do with her. I think it would make him see her in secret and push him further towards her. I'm not going to ground him, take his phone away and his laptop, and start picking him up from the school gate so he doesn't have anything to do with her. I can impress on him the need for all his friends to seek adult help if they're in trouble, but 24 hr surveillance to stop him being in cintact with her doesn't sit right with me, and that is what it would take.
Ds mostly sees her in a group anyway. If I thought ds was at risk of harm, I would intervene, but I don't, especially given what I've explained.

sick0fants Fri 12-Apr-13 15:58:59

Thanks quietly
I think she will, as police were involved etc

McBalls Fri 12-Apr-13 16:07:36

Well, you've obviously thought it through and done what you think best. And I don't have a 13yo so I suppose it's easy for me to say what I would do.

I do think it was great that you used the situation to have a talk about seeking help if feeling down (or worse).

sick0fants Fri 12-Apr-13 16:27:55

I have taken on board what you have said mc balls, and i will say to him that he MUST speak to an adult if she tells him she has thoughts like this again, or similar, and he must explain to her that despite caring for her, she needs to talk to an adult with specialist knowledge, not him, about those feelings, as he's not the best person to help her.

I am influenced by having a very strict, domineering, critical mother, who dismissed my feelings often, so I may be guilty of being too far the other way with ds so he knows I won't judge him harshly if he makes a mistake or override his feelings. Such a hard balance between protection and freedom

sick0fants Fri 12-Apr-13 16:30:49

as they grow into young adults

5318008 Fri 12-Apr-13 16:46:34

Have you told her parents? you must

the responsibility of this knowledge should not rest with you and your son solely

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 12-Apr-13 16:51:14

Sick0fants

It is a dilemma. I understand what you say completely and think you a treadingna good line. I also think you do need to keep a close eye. If his image of himself is of a mature coper and supporter he may not be able to see what is realistic and acceptable for him to take on, may even be flattered by it, subconsciously.

5318008 The police are involved and the girl is now having counselling. Her parents will definitely know now.

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